Our congregation has been learning about covenant love. So many times, relationships are based on a convenient love. He loves her and she loves him, as long as it doesn’t cramp their style. At the first sign of trouble, they bolt from the relationship —as in Usain Bolt!
Case in point: have you noticed all the celebrity marriages that are ending in divorce? If a marriage is based on convenience, then it is only a matter of time until the four horsemen of the apocalypse show up and ravage that relationship.
First Horseman – Criticism. Criticizing our spouse is not the same as sharing a complaint with them. Criticism is about assigning blame as opposed to addressing the issue.
Second Horseman – Contempt. Being disrespectful, using sarcasm, ridicule, and body language to show disgust. It is familiarity that breeds contempt. Once we begin to take our relationships for granted, we are descending.
Third Horseman – Defensiveness. A defensive person is someone who realizes they are wrong, but not humble enough to admit it. Listening without defending oneself is a sign of emotional health. Listening with an open mind doesn’t mean you agree with the other person’s assessment, but it does show respect for them.
Fourth Horseman – Stonewalling. Stonewalling is avoiding the other person, giving them the silent treatment. Building up emotional walls, turning to other interest/hobbies that absorb your time away from those you love is never healthy. Avoidance just makes things worse.
The funny thing about these horsemen they don’t travel alone, if one them shows up the others are not far behind.
All our relationships are susceptible to their intrusion
These riders go after our relationships with: parents, children, relatives, bosses, co-workers, and even pastors.
Think about it, people enter into a marriage overjoyed only to exit it frustrated and hurt.
People start a new job thrilled with the opportunity and excited about the new challenge, but shortly after they are looking elsewhere.
People began attending a new church overwhelmed by the ministries and services it provides, only to become disenchanted years later.
What happens? The four horsemen trample convenience, but flee in the face of commitment.
Just a thought!
This weeks message: Strong Families Do It God’s Way. See You this weekend!!