Love, Dates & Heartbreaks, Part 3: Grownup Love // Andy Stanley

– So today we are in
part three of a series that I’m super excited about, and I hope you are as well, and I love it because I
get to talk about something that’s near and
dear to my heart, but it’s called the Love,
Dates, and Heartbreaks series. This is the Love, Dates,
and Heartbreaks series, and this is a series
for anyone who’s dating, anyone who wants to date, anyone that used to date that finds themself
dating again. If you’re married,
there’s been something in this series for you, if you’re trying to make
your marriage better, if you’re trying to make
any relationship better, if you’re engaged, Love,
Dates, and Heartbreaks. As I said, this is something
that’s near and dear to me because one of the things
that breaks my heart is watching people make
relationship decisions that undermine
their relationships, or making relationship decisions
in a current relationship that I know, and that even
they’re smart enough to know, you’re smart enough to know, is gonna undermine the integrity
of a future relationship. We said, week one, that
much of the confusion when it comes to love and dates and the whole dating
thing that’s so different than it used to
be, are two myths, and that there are
basically two myths that fuel pretty much
all of our thinking when it comes to relationships, and once we surface these
myths, once we talk about ’em, they’re clearly myths. So the first myth was
the right person myth. We said the right person myth is that once you meet
the right person, everything is gonna be
all right, including you. You’re just gonna
magically change and become an incredible person once you meet the right person. All of your problems,
all of your habits, all of your insecurity,
it’s just gonna go away. The problem is you just
haven’t met the right person. We said that’s a myth. The truth is, we grow
up, isn’t this true, we grow up fantasizing about
meeting the right person. We never spend a moment of time fantasizing about
becoming the right person. But who you become often
determines who you meet and also determines the
success of the relationship. So I ask you this questions, I’ll ask you the question
throughout the series. Are the person that the
person you’re looking for is looking for? If you’re married,
are you the person the person you married
was hoping for? How much time and
attention are you giving to becoming that person? Then we explored
the promise myth, and the promise
myth goes like this. A promise replaces the
need for preparation, that unlike any
other area of life, when it comes to relationships, we don’t have to prepare,
we can just promise. All you need is a
promise and a party, and you’re good to go. A vow, a ring, and a party, and that’s all it takes,
no preparation necessary. No matter what kind of a
person you were before, once you meet the right person, once you make a promise,
a commitment, a vow, everything’s gonna
work out fine. That a, but a
promise, we know this, a promise is no substitute
for preparation. We know this in
every arena of life. Saying, “I do,” saying, “I
do” makes you accountable, it doesn’t necessarily
make you capable, and I’m gonna let you
fill in the blank. When you are accountable
but not capable, eventually you’ll be miserable. Yes, everybody in the
front three rows got that. Yes, when you find yourself
accountable for something you’re not capable of doing, ultimately, you are miserable. This is why some of you
dropped out of some classes when you were in college. You were accountable,
you weren’t capable. You said, “I think I’m gonna
major in something else,” right, you were miserable. I don’t want you to have
that same experience in relationships, so you have to prepare
in order to commit. This is why we say, this
is why following Jesus won’t just make
your life better. Following Jesus will ultimately
make you better at life, because I don’t know if
you heard this growing up or if you grew up in a church where they presented the
whole Jesus thing differently, but when you read
the New Testament, here’s what you discover. Jesus did not invite
us to pray to him, Jesus did not invite
us to promise to him, Jesus did not invite us
to negotiate with him, Jesus invites us to follow him. If we were to say, “Jesus,
if I’m gonna follow you, “where are you gonna take me,” he would say, “here’s
where I’m gonna take you. “I just have one thing
I want you to do. “I want you,” he said,
“this is my command,” and everything
beyond this command is commentary and application. Everything hangs on
this one big idea. He says, “I want you
to love each other, “not the way you’ve
seen love work, “not the way you
imagine love will work. “I want you to love each
other as I have loved you.” which didn’t make any
sense when he said this, but after the crucifixion
and after the resurrection, his first century
followers were like, oh, now we get it, this
is a love of another kind. This is a whole
‘nother kind of love. Because Jesus laid down
his life for his followers. He said, “now, I mean,
I want you to love me, “but I’m leaving. “I want you to take the
love I demonstrated for you, “and I want you to
demonstrate it for this world, “and I want you to
demonstrate it, act it out, “live it out in
your relationships. “So love as I’ve loved you.” Then the Apostle
Paul comes along, he’s a Pharisee, becomes
a Jesus follower, decides to take the message
of Jesus to non-Jewish people, and he begins spreading
this message of the gospel, that God came through
Christ to do something extraordinary for the world,
demonstrated his love for us. Then he teases out
this one command. What does it look like to love as God through Christ loved us? So in all of his letters,
in all of his letters, Romans or II
Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians,
all of those letters, you’ll find throughout
Paul’s letters, he comes back to
this simple theme, and he ties all of his here’s
how a Christian should live to the idea of here’s what
God did for us through Christ. He teases out or defines
what it looks like, to love other people
and to love each other the way God through
Christ loved us. So he actually
defines this for us. He’s not giving us a to do list, he’s giving us applications
of what it means to love as God in Christ
loved each of us. So we began last
week looking at that, and I called it The Fine
Print, this is The Fine Print, you know, it’s The Fine Print. But this isn’t the
Gotcha Fine Print, this is The Fine
Print, as I said, that will make you fine. This is what we
have to practice, this is what we have to do. This is actually how you prepare
for a future relationship. Now, real quick, if
you are a teenager, middle school or high schooler
or in that season of life, I just wanna say something
to you, this is so important. You have a unique opportunity
that us adults don’t have and I don’t want you to miss it. You have an opportunity
to practice at home these things we’re talking about so that you will be
good at them later. The reason I’m kind of
focusing on you a little bit is because we don’t
think in these terms. We think in terms of,
well, in the future, when I’m in love, when
I’m out of the home, when I’m doing
whatever I want to, I’m just gonna kind
of figure this out. But I’m telling you, at home
is the place to learn to love. The problem is this, when I, you know, I’ve worked with
students for many, many years and I heard it a thousand times when I would talk to
students about this. “But it’s just my mom, it’s
just my mom, it’s just my mom.” Here’s the problem. “It’s just my mom”
oftentimes becomes, “it’s just my wife, it’s just
my wife, it’s just my wife.” So we find less
honor in the home than outside of the home. Why, because we didn’t practice and because our good behavior is always a means
to an end, our end. It’s why you’re on your
best behavior at work, it’s why you’re on
your best behavior when you’re
interviewing for a job. It was why you were
on your best behavior when you were hunting and
searching for a partner. Then once you found a partner, well, “it’s just my husband,”
“it’s just my wife,” and your savior says,
“wait, wait, no, no, “that’s not how this works. “That’s how everybody
else does it. “I didn’t ask you to love. “I asked you to love
a I have loved you.” Which means the more
intimate the relationship, the more important relationship, the more heightened
the standard of love. There’s no such thing
as, “it’s just my mom, or, “it’s just my husband,”
or, “it’s just my wife,” or, “it’s just my dad, or,
“it’s just my little brother.” Jesus says, “no, no, no, no. “I’m inviting you to follow me. “I want you to practice this
in all of your relationships.” Students, I’m telling you, if you can begin
practicing this at home, you are gonna be way, way,
way ahead of the game, and I’ve told you this before but I’ll tell you again, not so that you model this, but tell you how serious I was. In our home, I have two
sons and a daughter, and daughter’s the youngest. In our home, I taught
our boys early on, you do not sit
down to eat dinner until your mom is seated. You do not sit
down to eat dinner until your mom is seated. I wanted them to
practice honoring. “It’s just my mom,” okay,
it may be just your mom, but you do not sit down
until she sits down and you don’t pick up your fork ’til she picks up her fork. I’m telling you,
it’s so funny now because they’re in their 20s
and we’ll be out somewhere, and no matter where we
are, somebody’s house, my boys do not sit down until all the women are seated and all the other guys sit down and they notice my
sons are standing up. Then they stand up,
they don’t know why. “Why are we standing?” (audience laughs) I’m like, “hey, you
know what, you were, “I want you to honor at home “because I want you
to honor everywhere.” So for those of us who are
parents with kids in our home, I mean, this is the
opportunity of a lifetime. For those of you kids who
are still living at home, I’m telling you, this is
the time to get this right, because this is how you
develop the habit of love, because love is a decision,
it is always a decision. So the Apostle Paul comes along and he unpacks this for us,
he unpacks Jesus’ new command. He says, “this is
what love looks like.” So I’m gonna review
last week really quick then we’re gonna jump in to
the new part of The Fine Part. You remember the first one,
he says, “love is patient.” Love’s not pushy. Just like God accommodated
to your capacity and to your pace, you are to accommodate
to the capacity and the pace of
those around you. “Love is kind,”
love is basically loaning another
person your strength instead of reminding
them of their weakness, again, just like
God did for you. “Love does not envy,” he says, “it does not envy, it does
not boast, it’s not proud.” Love allows the other
person to shine. Love doesn’t have the step in
the spotlight all the time. Love is able to push the
other person in the spotlight and stay out of the spotlight. Love allows the other person to get the credit
and the attention even when they don’t deserve
the credit and the attention. Because after all, even the
Son of Man, your savior, even the Son of Man did not
come to stand in the spotlight. Even the Son of Man, Jesus said, did not come to be
served but to serve and to give his life
a ransom for many. As his followers,
that’s what we’re to do. “It does not,” we saw last week, “it does not dishonor others.” Love does not
behave dishonorably. Love does not
behave dishonorably, disgracefully, or indecently. It treats other people,
we talked about this, love treats the other person like they are more
important than we are. They’re not more important, we just treat them
like they are, and as we demonstrated
last time we were together, every single person
in this room, every single person
watching or listening, we know how to do this, we
know how to treat a person as if they are more
important than us, and God says, “I want
you to treat people “like they’re more
important than you “because I treated you like you
were more important than me. “I sent my son to pay for not
all the good things you did. “I sent my son to
pay for your sin. “In that moment, I
put you ahead of me. “Now, if you’re gonna follow me, “I want you to put
others ahead of you, “not because they’re better,
not because they deserve it. “In fact, the less deserving
they are, the better it is.” So we’re gonna pick
up where we left off last week in The Fine Print. Here’s what Paul says next. He sort of stays
on this same theme. “Love is not self-seeking.” We don’t use that phrase. Here’s how we say it:
“love it not selfish.” Love puts the interests and
the needs of others first. Love puts the interest and
the needs of others first. Love puts the interests,
“what are you interested in? “I would love to
spend 30 minutes “telling you what
I’m interested in, “what are you interested in? “You talk, your story.” Love puts the interests and
the needs of others first, which, let’s face it, we’re
all smart enough to know this, would solve 90% of all
relationship problems, right. If two people decide to
put the other person first, there are no relationship
problems other than, “okay, you first,
“no, you first, “no, you first,” “no you first,” okay, but that’s a
good problem, right. So when you, if
two people decide to put the other person first, that solves most relationships
problems and here’s why. Because in most relationship
problems there’s a theme. In fact, in most relationship,
in most arguments, in fact, in all arguments, the two people arguing actually
both want the same thing. They want their way, that’s
what they want, right? You had, the person you have
the most arguments with, you have something in common. You both want your way. This is why I’ve told
you in the past that, I wasn’t kidding, in the middle of an argument, especially if you’re
dating someone or you’re engaged
or you’re married, you should stop in
the middle and say, “hey, hey, hey, you know
what the problem is here?” You’ve heard me say this. “You know what the
problem is here? “I’m not getting what I want.” I mean, that shuts
down the whole argument because then, you know,
if they have any sense of self-understanding,
they would stop and say, “well, that is part
of the problem, “because I’m not getting
what I want either,” and when two people
can recognize the problem is both of us
aren’t getting what I want, then you can talk, you
can work through this. But this begins with a
commitment not to be selfish. Now, a little tip for those
of you who are dating. The best way, or
the quickest way, to find out how self-seeking
the person you’re dating is, the quickest way
for you to find out how self-seeking or selfish the person you’re
dating is, is for you to be not self-seeking
and not to be selfish. In other words, if
you’ll practice this, if you’ll practice this 100%, then you’ll discover
very quickly how selfish or how self-centered
the other person is, and here’s what I mean. If you give and give and give, and they take and take and take, then you’ll know it’s time
to run and run and run. (audience laughs) Let me go over that again,
this is kind of complex. Okay, right, in other words,
if you decide, I’m gonna be, I’m not gonna, tit for tat, I’m
not gonna be back and forth, I’m not gonna match their anger, I’m not gonna match
their selfishness, I’m not gonna demand my way because they’re
demanding their way, no. I’m gonna be a Jesus follower, and if they take advantage
of my selflessness, and if they take advantage
of my generosity, then they are not for me. But if you choose not
to be self-seeking, if you choose to
be more selfless, and they respond in like kind, you may have found your person. “Love is not self-seeking,” and we are all
naturally self-seeking, so Jesus says, “that’s why
I want you to follow me. “Not your appetites,
not your impulses, “not the way your dad was,
not the way your mom was, “not the way your friends are. “I want you to follow me, “and as I gave my life for you, “I want you to look for
ways to give your life away “to the people around you.” When two people approach
the relationship that way, something happens. He goes on, he says this,
“love is not easily angered.” I highlight easily because
everybody gets angered at some point, right. I mean, anger is impossible
to, 100% avoid anger. But he says, “look, if
you’re gonna love like God “through Christ loves you, “you’re not gonna
be easily angered.” The little Greek word angered
actually was a cooking term. It means to be stirred
up, stirred up. In fact, you might even, you probably don’t
use this language, but in the past, people
would say things like this: “I was so stirred up,
I wanted to scream.” Have you ever had
people stir you up? It’s just like stirring you up. That’s what it
means to be angry. The Apostle Paul says, “okay,
when you decide to love “like God through
Christ loved you, “you will not be
easily stirred up, “you will not be easily angered, “because love doesn’t get
wound up or ticked up easily.” Love can listen, love, this is my favorite word. This was my word as a parent when my kids were going through middle school and high
school that I had to learn, that love absorbs, that sometimes you have to
sit and just take it in, and just take it in,
not reflect it back. Not pretend like it’s not true, you just absorb it. You know what to absorb means? We all know, we’ve seen a liquid
be absorbed into something. Did you know, you know this. Energy can be absorbed
as well, right. When we’re in a
difficult conversation
with someone we love or that loves us, there’s time when you just
have to absorb their energy. Love doesn’t react,
love responds, and I’ll tell you why. Because love, love puts
the other person’s, this is key, love puts
the other person’s story ahead of their own story. Because isn’t it true,
when someone’s angry, or when somebody
is saying things that are beginning
to make you angry, isn’t it true that the
conflict is around story. “This is my story, this
is the way I see it, “this is what I
experienced, this is how I,” “no, this is how I, this
is how I experienced, “this is what I saw, this is
what I heard, this is what I.” It’s all about story. So in those moments,
love realizes, “you know what, we
have different stories. “We have different stories
around the same event. “So I am going to
listen to your story. “I’m gonna put your story,
your version of the events “ahead of my own,
because love remembers, “love remembers that
everybody’s behavior “makes perfect sense to them. “Everybody’s behavior makes
perfect sense to them.” When their behavior
doesn’t make sense to you, it’s because you
don’t know something. So love absorbs, and love listens, and love prioritizes the
other person’s story. Because after all, she
may push your buttons, but those are your buttons. He may tick you off, but
those are your ticks. That doesn’t really work
as well, but anyway, you can see what
I’m saying, okay. In other words,
here’s the thing, so here’s the question
I guess to ask. Are you easily angered? Are you easily angered? Do you realize, that’s a you
issue, that’s a love issue? Are you easily angered? It’s time that you begin
to practice absorbing and understanding and listening. I know what you’re thinking,
this is what people think at certain season of their life. “But Andy, okay, look, look, “the right person
won’t make me angry. “Okay, I just haven’t met,
the reason I’m so angry “is she’s not right for
me,” “he’s not right for me, “I need to find somebody
who won’t make me angry, “because when I find the right
person,” there’s the myth, “when I find the right person, “I’m not gonna have to practice
not being easily angered. “When I find the right person, “they’re not even
gonna make me angry.” You know what, that’s true,
they won’t make you angry. But did you know, no one
has ever made you angry? They’ve just brought
the anger out of you. To follow Jesus is to learn
to deal with what’s in you before it comes out of you, and to learn to absorb
rather than reflect and deflect and
respond and like, kind. You know, for some of
us, this is not an issue. For others of us,
this is a big issue. But at the end of the
day, it’s a you issue. He goes on. How did he know this, right, it’s like, when was
this written, yesterday? No, 2,000 years ago, you should read the Bible
occasionally, it’s great. Anyway, he goes
on, he says this. He says, “love keeps
no record of wrongs.” In other words, love doesn’t
have the file drawer, you know, “hold on just a
second, October 3rd at 3:30 “you did the same thing. “We’ve already
talked about this. “Put it back in the file “but now I have
another something else “to put in the file,” right. Love doesn’t do that. Have you, this is kind
of a funny thing, right, have you noticed this, that relational record keepers, they rarely keep track
of their own records? Have you noticed that? They got all kind
of files on you but they can’t remember
anything they’ve done wrong. In fact, the more
memory they have about your past
faults and failures, the less memory they
have of their own. In fact, you have thought this, in fact, you have made the
mistake of saying it one time. “Well, I guess
you’re never wrong.” They’re like, “hold on a second, “you always say that,
I have eight times “that you have said that
you’re always wrong, “and now I have a ninth,”
so you just can’t win, okay. Let’s talk about
you for a second. Be honest, you don’t have
to answer this out loud. Do you, do you enjoy
catching your fiance, do you enjoy catching
your girlfriend, do you enjoy catching
your spouse messing up? Is there something
that’s in you, it’s like, I’m gonna bring it up gently,
but I’m gonna bring it up. Is there any sense
of aha in you? Do you enjoy catching
them messing up? That’s messed up, stop it. Here’s why I say stop it. Not because the Bible says so, not because I think
I’m the boss of you. Stop it, because that’s
not what God does for you. In this whole new way of living, this whole new way of loving is taking our cue from
our Heavenly Father who sent his son into this world to deal once and for
all with our sin, and he’s got a file
cabinet on you a mile long. He never opens it. He hasn’t forgotten. He just doesn’t bring it up. He says, “now, I want you to
go do that for other people.” “Well, that’s difficult.” Of course it’s difficult,
all of this is difficult. None of this is natural,
it’s just better. None of this is easy,
it’s just better. That’s why following Jesus
will make your life better, it’ll make you better at life. He says, “don’t come and
try to be exactly like me, “I just want you to
follow me and over time, “you’ll fall into the rhythm “of a brand new way of
thinking about life and love,” in particular,
forgiving, forgiving and then pretending to forget
is always your best bet. Forgiving and then
pretending to forget is always your best bet. Because remember this,
this is important. You can be, if your a parent, if you are in any relationship, you can be exactly right and end up exactly alone. You can be exact,
in other words, you can be right about what
you say 100% of the time, and no one will want
to live with you. It won’t be because
you’re wrong, it’s because you
were always right, and you were right too often, and you just couldn’t
shut that stupid cabinet and leave it shut. You kept bringing up the past, and you were 100% right, I mean, your details,
your notes, your
dates, your memories, it was perfect, and nobody
wants to be around you. Your Heavenly Father says
there’s a better way. “I want you to forgive and then
live like you’ve forgotten, “because that’s
when I did for you. “As far as the east
is from the west, “so far have I removed my
transgressions from you. As far as the east
is from the west, so far has he removed your
transgressions from you and from his memory. Besides, come on, let’s be
honest and I’ll move on. Besides, it’s a power play. Come on, the moment you
reach for that handle, it’s a power play, why? Because when someone holds
the past over your head, who is in the elevated position? The moment somebody begins
to remind you of your past, who is in the elevated position? Love does not power up,
love always steps down. Paul said it this way. “Jesus, Jesus made
himself nothing “by taking the very
nature of a servant.” He says, “now, follow me, “follow me into your marriage, “follow me into
that relationship, “follow me as a parent,
follow me as a boss, “follow me as an employee. “Take this kingdom values,
these kingdom values, “take this kingdom mindset, “take this upside way
of approaching life “into every
relationship you’re in.” The Paul wraps it up,
he kind of wraps it up when this big, big, giant
sort of life changing, or I should say
game changing idea. Here’s what he says, “he
says, here’s the finale.” You like, when the
fireworks display when they all go off at one time and everybody’s like, “Huh!” Okay, here it is,
here’s the finale. “Love,” he says, “does
not delight in evil “but rejoices with the truth. “It always protects.” Then he’s gonna give us a list. He says, “it always protects.” I love this. Always protects means
it keeps bad things out. Love always looks for a way to keep bad things out of
a relationship which means, and I know this is harsh. If you are smuggling bad
things into a relationship, if you have smuggled bad
things into a marriage, if you are smuggling
debt into a marriage, and they don’t know about it, if you are smuggling a
habit into a relationship, if you are smuggling a
habit into your marriage, if you’re bringing something in that has the potential to
undermine the marriage, you are not protecting
that relationship. If you’re smuggling
something bad in, you are not a good person, because you’re not doing what’s
good for the other person. You don’t wanna be that person. He says, “protect
that relationship.” Don’t look for ways
to smuggle things in. Then the fireworks go off. “Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth. “It always protects,
it always trusts, “it always hopes, and
it always perseveres.” Love, there’s always, it’s
always a choice, right, love chooses to see the best, love chooses to hope the best, love chooses to
believe the best, and then love chooses
to overlook the rest. Love catches people and
enjoys catching people doing good and doing right. It always hopes,
it always believes, it always perseveres. Love chooses, we’ve
talked about this, a generous explanation
for the gaps. So here’s all The Fine
Print at one time. Here it is, he says, “this
is what it looks like. “It’s patient, love
is patient, kind, “not jealous, not arrogant,
honoring, selfless, “not easily angered,
not a scorekeeper, “protecting, trusting,
hopeful, and persevering,” and if you’re like me, when you look at
this list, you think, well, then I get about a
C minus or maybe a D plus, or at times a B minus if I’m
really on my good behavior, but Andy, come on, I will never
be all of that for anybody. You gotta be kidding. I will, if this is
how we get an A, I’ll never make an A,
I’ll never make the grade. I will never be all
of that for anyone. I understand that, we’re
gonna talk about that the next couple of weeks. But here’s what I want
you to acknowledge. Isn’t this what
you’re looking for? If you’re married, isn’t this
what you were hoping for? I’m gonna give you a chance
to evaluate real quick, I’m gonna read the list again, and I want you to
mark off the list the things that you
aren’t looking for and aren’t hoping for in the
person you married, okay. These are, I just want
you to make a mental list of the ones that
aren’t important, and then this
afternoon, over lunch or tonight over
dinner, just say, “okay, there were
five things on there “I don’t expect of you. “Patience, yeah, kindness,
ah, that’s important, “not jealous, yeah, not
arrogant, yeah, I’m for that, “honoring, oh yeah, definitely, “selfless, of course, not
easily angered, for sure, “not a scorekeeper, yeah,
I don’t want a scorekeeper, “protecting, yeah, I want her
to protect this relationship,” “trusting, yeah, I
want him to trust me, “hopeful, yeah, I don’t
want him to despair, “and hang in there with me, “yeah, I’ll take all those, “but I don’t know if
I can be all those.” That’s the beauty
of following Jesus, because he says, “follow me, “and if you ever wonder
where we’re going, “here’s where we’re going. “If you ever wonder
what it looks like, “read the gospel of John
or the gospel of Luke “or the gospel of Mark
or the gospel of Matthew. “If you ever wonder
if you’ll get there, “remember this, I want
to complete in you “what I have begun in you.” See, my hunch is, the
person you’re looking for wouldn’t strike
anything off this list, just like you wouldn’t take
anything off the list, right. So, now that you know
what you’re looking for, now that we know what
we’re hoping for, perhaps we should get
busy preparing for the relationship that we’re in, or preparing for
the relationship we hope to be in
some day, right? Or, if you’re married, we hope, this is the list that
will make you the person that the person who married you was ultimately
hoping for, right. So Paul concludes this with, it’s like he
changes the subject, but his conclusion
is so powerful. So he finishes The Fine Print, here’s what it looks like, and he, I think he feels like
that was kind of didactic, that was kind of like
chalkboard teacher. So he decides to pull out and make it personal
and emotional, and these next few words are maybe words
you’ve heard before, but maybe you didn’t
know they were attached to this list of the fine print of what it looks like to love. So here’s how the
Apostle Paul kind of, he tunes back into
us emotionally and he gets kind of personal,
and he says this to us. He says, “look, I
know that was a lot. “I know that seems unrealistic. “I know it seems like
you’ll never get there, “but here’s,” he says, “here’s
what I want you to consider.” He says, talking about himself, “when I was a little boy, “when I was a child, “I talked like a child, “and no one criticized me
for talking like a child, “I was a child. “When I was a little boy, I
thought like a little boy, “and nobody criticized me for
thinking like a little boy, “because after all,
I was a little boy. “When I was a little
boy, when I was a child, “I reasoned like a child,
and no one criticized me “for reasoning like a child,
I mean, I was a child.” Then he stares us down a
little bit and he says, “come on,” talking about himself ’cause he’s trying
to invite us in. He says, “but when
I became an adult, “I put the ways of
childhood behind me.” This is his gentle way
of saying, he’s so good, this is his gentle
way of saying, “folks, let’s grow up, “let’s grow up. “When I was a child,
I thought about love “and I fantasized about love “and I reasoned about
love the way a child does. “But now I’m an adult, “and I don’t think about
it that way anymore. “When I was a child, I thought, “well, I’m the prince and
I’ll meet the princess “and we’ll fall in love “and we’ll live happily ever
after, it’ll say the end, “but it won’t be the end, “it’ll actually just
be the beginning. “And it’ll all work out.” You know, that’s how
the love stories are, the whole movie is about
them finding each other, as I said, in week one, and
then once they find each other, they live happily
ever after, right. But we know it
doesn’t work that way. So the Apostle Paul’s saying, “come on, those are fairy tales. “That’s wonderful entertainment, “but let’s abandon “our storybook
assumptions about love. “Let’s abandon our
storybook approach to love. “Let’s abandon the
assumptions about love “that culture has
ingrained in us.” So the question as we move
toward next week is this: are you willing, am I willing, are we willing to
abandon the assumption that once you meet
the right person, you’ll magically become
a different person? Are you ready to do
the difficult work of becoming the person the
person you’re looking for is looking for? Or the person who married
you was hoping for? I hope so, and somebody else
hopes so as well. Now, the series is Loves,
Dates, and Heartbreaks, and we’ve just finished love, so next week, we’re
gonna talk about dates: Love, Dates, and Heartbreaks, and next week is gonna be epic, because next week the
title of the message is: Andy’s Five Rules for Dating. I completely made
these up, all right, Andy’s Five Rules for Dating. So this is gonna be specific
for those of you who are dating or dating again, don’t know if you wanna step
back into that. We’re gonna look into some of
the literature about dating, some of the interesting things
being said about dating, then I’m gonna give
you the five list, or the four or the five, by the next week, it
may be seven, who knows, The Five Rules for Dating. So don’t miss next week, don’t miss part four of
Love, Dates, and Heartbreaks.

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