Tuesday, September 27, 2011
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If you're in the manufacturing business and you plan to stay in it, there is an important function you must not neglect. They call it quality control. You know that someone needs to be checking what's coming up that assembly line to see what kind of finished product you're getting, not just how many you're getting. Imagine if there was a machine that turned out four broken items out of every ten that it produced. Would you say that machine needs some work, or maybe you need a whole new machine? Well, actually there is such a machine, and we just keep it cranking and it keeps losing four out of ten.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Better Way to Make Matches."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Ephesians 5:2-3. It gives us the standard for a Christian's relationships. "Live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us. But among you..." Okay, now there's a flip side here; something that could ruin all that. "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality or any kind of impurity or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people."
Well, the standard for a Christian's relationship obviously is Christ's love; love that's unselfish; that seeks your best, not mine. It's willing to sacrifice, and it's certainly pure. Then what messes up that kind of relationship between men and women? A sexual agenda.
Now, consider the machine called the American dating machine. It's actually a match-making machine. It basically trains men and women to think of each other as romantic catches or physical conquests. And four out of ten matches made by that machine break, they end in divorce.
Something's wrong with the machine. Something's wrong with what we're looking for in our relationship with the opposite sex. There must be a better way to make matches, and there is. It puts friendship before romance. Christian love, unselfish and pure grows best when a man and woman start with a friendship, not a romance. I'll tell you what, it's hard to make a romance into a friendship. That's why many people end up married to a stranger and then unmarried to that stranger.
But it's a beautiful thing when a friendship grows naturally into a romance. And I think Christian men and women can model a better way to make matches. We don't have to go for the lies and the broken things in our culture. Christian parents can teach Christian kids a better way. Groups where men and women don't have to pair up so quickly, where there can be mixed combinations where three men and two women, or any kind of mixture can go out. It doesn't have to be this couple thing all the time.
Relationships with no physical agenda where both men and women can relax and not have to play that physical cat and mouse game, "How far are we going to go?" Where they can be natural with each other—be real, to help each other be more like Jesus.
Couldn't we work toward a better goal than everybody pairing up; a kingdom of men and women who want to be friends, not lovers? Out of that can come some really strong marriages, because, you know what? Marriage isn't the ultimate sexual conquest, it's the ultimate friendship. So, start practicing now.