It’s only in the last few years that we have felt the Lord lead us to adopt a theme for the year. Last year, before many of us went into lockdown in our homes, we had felt the Lord put on our hearts the theme, Welcome home. This year, we have felt the Lord lead us to focus on the theme, grow. The word grow conjures up different emotions in me. There was a time, quite early in my pastoral ministry, when it was recommended to me that I engage a ministry coach. It was my desire to do all I could to see our little church at Legana grow. The ministry coach agreed that this should be my focus. It just so happened that at this time I was in the throes of my doctoral studies.
If you want to be truly successful it won’t be because of your income or bank balance. Neither will it be because of your social media popularity. Success is measured by who we are — which determines how we relate to others, especially those closest to us. This is why we are so surprised when we learn that many rich and famous celebrities are so desperately lonely and depressed and unable to succeed in love. I have met many high flyers who are publicly admired yet, secretly, feel they are failures because their marriages and parental relationships are dysfunctional. This is why I’ve come to see “success” as being measured by a person’s ability to know how to be a good person who engages with people appropriately.
Whenever I prepare a couple for their marriage, I stress several critical things that will help them build a happily-ever-after-marriage. The first thing I stress is that our preparation is going to focus on their life together—their marriage—rather than focusing on their wedding. The second thing I stress is that for them to have a happily-ever-after-marriage they need to learn how to love. Interestingly, what many couples come to realise is that these principles don’t just help improve their relationship—it also helps to improve their other relationships as well. I hope you’ll join me in prayer and pray that as we work together on Sunday to worship Jesus that they will indeed see Him who loves them and want to forgive them and become their heavenly father. I pray that we can love like Jesus. As we consider the fifteen greatest description of love ever given, I pray that it will challenge each of us to ask God for the help we need to love Him and to love others.