Today we are going to talk about making love. It is my hope that at the end of this sermon you will have gained new insights and skills for love making. And now that I have everyone's attention let me explain what I mean.
Writer Robert Fulghum once interviewed Alexander Papanderos, director of the Orthodox Academy of Crete. In Crete the custom of arranged marriage continues to this day. Papanderos had stumbled over a concept he found in Western literature. It was the phrase, "Making love." It confused him. "What is 'making love'?" he asked.
Fulghum explained that making love was a popular euphemism for sexual intercourse.
Papanderos replied that for Cretans, "Making love" is a much more serious idea. When two families agree that a son and a daughter would suit one another, it is expected that over time the man and woman will work at becoming compatible partners in the same spirit one might work at achieving competence in a life's vocation. This is making love.
Time and experience, mistakes and difficulties, are all part of the equation, the sum of which is a lasting, fulfilling relationship. Love is not something you fall into, Papanderos explained. Love and marriage are "made." Thus, on the isle of Crete, when a married couple is working at improving their communication skills, at understanding one another, at struggling through conflicts, maybe even arguing with one another, the Cretans would observe that couple and smile knowingly and say, "Aah, they are making love."
Given the current statistics for divorce, knowing the huge numbers of young people who believe traditional marriage is no longer viable and simple living arrangements seem to be the norm, it is little wonder we see so few solid, joyous, fulfilling marriages. Everywhere we turn today it seems that the state of marriage is under attack.
Some groups are attempting to legalize same sex marriages. No fault divorce has wrought havoc upon families and children. The messages of the media tend to undermine God's way for husbands and wives. Considering the state of marriage in our society, it is time people moved away from their preoccupation with sex and got serious about making love. It is time people stopped using each other for pleasure, power and profit and invested themselves in making love. It's time for couples to live up to their promises to one another and make love.
I want to let you in on a secret. The problem isn't that traditional marriage -- the design that God gave us -- doesn't work. The problem is that people are either ignorant of the principles for making love, or they are apathetic about those principles. You know the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don't know and I don't care.
We are going to look at our text from Ephesians 5
. It is my hope that when we are done, you will know and care enough to make love with your spouse, your child, your parent or whatever other relationship needs strengthening. While Paul talks about marriage here, you can apply what we are going to learn to almost any relationship. Our focus, however, will be upon the marriage relationship. Therefore, all of us who are married, all of you who may be married some day, need to learn and live with God's principles for making love.