It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot in just the first day. It was also really surreal! We are REALLY getting married :)
He had us do our vows at the very start. He wanted us to understand the covenant of marriage and the commitment we will make. So, we already said our "I do's" haha! After, our pastor said, "well give her a kiss or something" haha! :) oh gees. Derik said, hey we're married now! haha - no, no... not yet. But, we have made a commitment :)
Our pastor mentioned God's view on marriage. God only mentions it like 3 times in the bible. The first in Genesis and then again in Ephesians and then again somewhere else in the New Testament.
"Genesis 2:24 - For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."Our pastor says "what is missing in God's design for marriage, what does it NOT call for?" D guessed it, but I was a little slow. What is missing is the word LOVE. God does not mention the word LOVE in his formula for marriage. God does not require LOVE for marriage... it may seem strange, but listen here... God knows that LOVE is not constant, you may fall in and out of love... you may want to strangle your husband one day and feel like you want to go to a movie with him the next... LOVE is a beautiful thing, but God does not base marriage on LOVE being constant. That's why it's not in the formula. Our pastor said, "I don't doubt that you love one another, but Brittney you're going to get mad and want to hit him over the head with a frying pan someday (haha) and D, Brittney's going to drive you crazy one way or another... if I asked you then, do you love her/him... it'd be hard to say yes." But, that's the reason God does not require LOVE. He requires a commitment. Where it says united.... it means together/commit... not LOVE. We are committed regardless of if we are in LOVE or not at any given moment.
We in English, only have ONE WORD to describe Love... it's LOVE. But, there are 3 greek words for the word LOVE in the new testament:
Eros - this is where we get the work "Erotic" for sensual/sexual love... passionateAwesome to ponder on I think... Our society falls in and out of love and goes through divorces because they base their view of marriage on "are we in love or not?". Our pastor gave us an example of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. He said, they took the Eros kind of love and the Phileo kind of love... it was emotional and sensual... but they didn't have the Agape kind of love that marriages need to be based on... not selfishness, but SELFLESS-NESS! (I love me some Jennifer Aniston, this is only an example) :)
Phileo - think of Philadelphia - the city of Brotherly Love... it's an emotional kind of love... best friends have this kind of love
Agape - this is God's kind of love... no one can love like God can. But, he lends this type of love to husbands and wives... we are to show an Agape kind of love to our husbands/wives. But, we can only do it through HIM.
He also gave us this illustration/story. It's not theologically correct, but good. Here goes:
A man died and was brought to the gates of heaven. St. Peter said "well, do you want to go to Heaven or Hell" the man said, "I'd like to visit each and then decide." So St. Peter took him to Hell first. Hell was described as a long warehouse of a place, long wooden tables all throughout. On each table was a BIG pot of stew. Delicious Stew. It smelled good to the man. Then the man noticed the people. They were all anorexic looking, skinny, mal-nourished, and starving. He noticed that their left hand was tied to their side and their right hand was tied to a 3-foot long spoon. They could dip their spoon in the pot, but the spoon was too long to turn around and eat out of. They kept spilling it on themselves. The man said, this is too sadistic... this is terrible... can we go see Heaven now. So, St. Peter took him to Heaven. Heaven was described very similar to hell. There was long tables and the same big pot of stew. It smelled good to the man. He noticed the people... they were big, fat, happy, and laughing a lot. They too had their left hand tied down to their side, their right hand tied to the same 3-foot long spoon. But, these people weren't feeding themselves, instead, they would reach the spoon across the table to feed the others.
Agape love is not about selfishness... it's about SELFLESS-NESS!
I will try and share more as we go to our other sessions :)