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5 Traits of True Love by Christopher Padiath

5 Traits of True Love is a sermon delivered by Heartland A Church Connected Pastor Christopher Padiath at the wedding of Christelle Amaya and Timothy Martinez.

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Song of Solomon speaks to us using word pictures and similes that help us understand what God has intended for us in the act of marriage. Listen carefully to the wisdom being shared from God’s Word for it is not the wisdom of a man or woman, but as inspired scripture, it is the wisdom of God communicated through His inspired Word.

Read Scripture: Song of Solomon 8:6-7

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of ones house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

In this portion of scripture, the Shulamite woman is making some profound statements concerning love. Though this portion focuses on her words towards her spouse, this is so much more than a one way conversation. True love can only be a two way conversation! In fact, Song of Solomon consistently displays a husband who always responds lovingly towards his wife so that their relationship can be mutually fulfilling through care and respect for each other.  This couple serves as a example to you and to us of a healthy premarital and postmarital relationship and they helps us decode the very essence of LOVE.

1) Love is Possessive - Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm

-      There are many images that come to mind when we think of the word “seal”

-      Today you will exchange rings and this symbolizes a form of sealing you together as husband and wife

-      To understand the concept of a seal we must look back to the ancient cultures where king’s would seal documents with wax using the imprint or insignia of their ring

-      This was done as a sign of security - to ensure that the right information was received by the right person from the original sender

-      Here is another example of a seal in our contemporary culture - You might have heard of couples who go get tattoos of each others name as a sign or permanent seal of their love for each other…

-      But the seal of love is much more than the external symbolism of a ring - the seal leads to a sense of belonging.

-      As this biblical couple is bound to one another in this seal of love - when it comes to making decisions, the wife will have an influence on her husbands actions, she will have an influence on his emotions and vice versa

-      All of a sudden these two have bonded with a 1 Cor. 13 love

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

So when we say that love is possessive, we mean that both individuals belong to one another.

2) Love is Permanent - For love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave

-      There is a sense of finality in love, just as there is in death

-      We often think of the archetypal love of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette that led them to the grave

-      You will take love with you all the way to the grave

-      The grave is the official end point of marriage, not divorce

-      Therefore to stop loving each other in this life is unacceptable because it goes against what God intended for us

-      Love is a lifelong decision and journey

-      Your love for each other must be jealous in that, it must remain undisturbed - there is no room for anyone else

-      This is how marriage must remain until we complete our lives either in death or in Christ - when He comes for His bride, the church.

3) Love is Passionate - It burns like blazing fire. like a mighty flame

-      The Shulamite woman now compares love as the very agent that stokes a strong fire

-      Like any fire, it may begin with a small spark, but it intensifies rapidly and when in a controlled environment, it is a beautiful thing - like the heat provided by a hearth or fireplace, it brings warmth and comfort to those who are near

-      May the passion you have for one another continue to burn through every stage of your life - as young adults, as parents, mature adults, as grandparents

-      Just as there is a passionate love shared between husband and wife, there is also a passionate love for God that can be shared by the couple

-      There is a small footnote in this passage which related “fire” to the very flame of the Lord. You could read the passage this way - It (love) burns like blazing fire, like the very flame of the Lord.

-      I am suggesting that we can have a healthy passionate love for our spouse, but that alone would result in infatuation. It is equally important to share a passionate love for the Lord.

4) Love is Persevering - “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away

-      There are going to be people, situations and circumstances that will challenge your love

-      In fact, this passage is making it obvious here - it is going to happen! But true love cannot be overwhelmed by the waters of chaos that try to drown love. 

-      ILL: Psalm 107:23-31

-      Listen to this short story in Psalms 107:23-31 which illustrates how we ought to weather the storms of life

Some went out on the seas in ships; they were merchants on the might waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds to mankind.

-      In this passage we see that all storms must come to a stop and somehow this story represents the measure of God’s love through the storm

-      When we encounter storms in life, we must remember that they are not beyond the control of God

-      The storm belongs to God so He who is Lord over the storm can surely still the storms

-      Tim and Christelle, God promises to respond to your cry… No matter what you face in life, trust in God.

-      Let your love be a love that perseveres by navigating the storms of life with Jesus

5) Love is Priceless - “If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned

- We have all seen those MasterCard commercials - There are some things money can’t buy” For everything else, there’s MasterCard.

-      As easy as it is to purchase or “charge” big ticket items to your Mastercard, there is no amount of money that can purchase martial love

-      Fleeting temporary pleasures can be purchased, however true love remains priceless

-      Here is a wisdom statement concerning the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31:10 - “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” -

-      A wife is more valuable than the rarest commodities

-      Something similar can be said of good men in Proverbs 12:2 - “A good man (or husband) will obtain favour from the Lord”

-      Neither the virtuous woman or the good man can be purchased - These types of people are only given to each other by God and I believe that Tim, you have found a virtuous woman in Christelle and Christelle, you have found a good man in Tim!

So remember the 5 “P”s of Love : Love is possessive / permanent / passionate / persevering / priceless.

Song of Solomon has much to say about true martial love, but in many ways it mirrors to us how Christ loves His church and how the church ought to reciprocate love in return. His love is a sacrificial love which He exhibited on the cross. We have done nothing to deserve this love, but He gives it freely to all who receive it through faith. To all those in attendance today, if you are looking for true love, come to Jesus - He offers His unconditional love to you today.

"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve." What if you read this each time you made a phone call, or texted, or received a call? Imagine the possibilities of auto-suggesting this into your mind hundreds of times per day.

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