Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and friends,
Steve here… This weekend is Valentine’s Day, a day where love reigns.
For 100 years Hollywood has been propagating a myth that finding the right match means happy days forever after. Who believes that myth in real life? Relationships have their ups and downs—it’s inevitable.
Someone once said that every marriage starts off as an IDEAL, then it becomes an ORDEAL, and then some couples start looking for a NEW DEAL.
One comedian spoke of the three rings of marriage: the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and then the suffering.
I know these are “groaners”, poor examples of humour and may be in bad taste, but they poke fun at the myth that constant happiness is a sure thing in relationships. People fight, argue, act inconsiderately, have misunderstandings, become unemployed, and get sick. Things do not always go right. Some days we wish we never got out of bed.
When it comes to relationships, rather than seeking happiness, we should seek to gain joy. Joy enriches all our relationships.
Happiness is external; joy is internal. Happiness is based on chance; joy is based on choice. Happiness occurs in relation to good chances; joy occurs in relationship to Christ. Certainly joy is emphasized in the New Testament, not happiness. The word “joy”, and its variations, is found 330 times in the New Testament, while “happiness” is only found 26 times.
Jesus clearly tells us “joy” is found in the relationship to Him, saying in John 15:11 (NLT): “I have told you this so that you will be filled with MY joy. Yes your joy will overflow!”
We sustain Jesus’ joy in our relationships when we focus on giving rather than receiving; when we focus on healing, not hurting; and when we focus on God’s power, not our problems. These kind of attitudes and behaviour help make our relationships—our marriages—sweet and joy-filled. Have a great Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart.
Have a blessed week,
Our 2014 Fellowship theme verse is:
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13 :35 (NLT)
We are pleased to announce that the National Fellowship is now available on Facebook and Twitter!