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The Loneliness of Loving Love “’You’re nobody till somebody loves you,’ went the popular song, and we are an entire culture that has taken it literally.

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Presentation on theme: "The Loneliness of Loving Love “’You’re nobody till somebody loves you,’ went the popular song, and we are an entire culture that has taken it literally."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The Loneliness of Loving Love “’You’re nobody till somebody loves you,’ went the popular song, and we are an entire culture that has taken it literally. We maintain the fantasy that if we find our one true soul mate, everything wrong with us will be healed. But when our expectations and hopes reach that magnitude the love object is God.’ No lover, no human being, is qualified for that role. No one can live up to that. The inevitable result is bitter disillusionment.” --Tim Keller in Counterfeit Gods

3 Cycle of Idolatry (“depraved minds”) Seek to fill Void Addiction & Emptiness Fragmented Guilt & gnawing hunger Cognitive Dissonance

4 Cycle of Idolatry (“depraved minds”) Seek to fill Void Addiction & Emptiness Fragmented Guilt & gnawing hunger Cognitive Dissonance Turn to God in repentance!

5 We reflect what we revere …either for our ruin or restoration. Big Idea of Series

6 “God is love” ≠ “Love is God” Big Idea  When we love “LOVE”, we end up as lonely and disillusioned slaves.

7 The Slavery of Loving Love “We know a good thing has become a counterfeit god when its demands on you exceed proper boundaries. Making an idol out of work may mean that you work until you ruin your health, or you break the laws in order to get ahead. Making an idol out of love may mean allowing the lover to exploit and abuse you, or it may cause terrible blindness to the pathologies in the relationship. An idolatrous attachment can lead you to break any promise, rationalize any indiscretion, or betray any other allegiance, in order to hold on to it. It may drive you to violate all good and proper boundaries. To practice idolatry is to be a slave.” -Tim Keller in Counterfeit Gods

8 Genesis 29: Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, "I'll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel." 19 Laban said, "It's better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me." 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. 21 Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to lie with her."

9 What is up with Jacob?  Lovesick and infatuated with Rachel  How did this happen to Jacob?  His dad Isaac didn’t like him or prefer him  His mama was no longer around  Chose to live according to the scheming self, not submit to God…  Empty void going to be filled by something or someone…

10 What is up with Jacob? Genesis 29:22-25a  22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her. 24 And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter as her maidservant. 25 When morning came, there was Leah!  “No matter what we put our hopes in, in the morning, it is always Leah, never Rachel.”

11 What is up with Jacob? Genesis 29:25b-30  So Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn't I? Why have you deceived me?" 26 Laban replied, "It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter's bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work." 28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant. 30 Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.

12 What is up with Jacob? Genesis 29:25b-30  So Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn't I? Why have you deceived me?" 26 Laban replied, "It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter's bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work." 28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant. 30 Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years. Jacob’s behavior is that of an addict!!!

13 How did all this impact Leah?  Unattractive & grew up in shadow of stunningly gorgeous younger sister Rachel  Her dad basically said…  “There is no way any man is going to want you, so pretend to be someone you are not in order to get a man.”  “I don’t want to have to keep you around and care for you…you are not worth that to me…”  And then Jacob woke up furious that he was stuck with Leah  “he loved Rachel more than Leah” = literally he HATED Leah!!!  All of this created a sizeable empty hole in Leah’s heart…sought to fill it by setting her heart’s hope on getting Jacob’s love.

14 Genesis 29: When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, "It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now." 33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon. 34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." So he was named Levi. 35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.

15 Genesis 29: When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, "It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now." 33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon. 34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." So he was named Levi. 35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children. “If you get married... putting the weight of all your deepest hopes and longings on the person you are marrying, you are going to crush him or her with your expectations. It will distort your life and your spouse’s life in a hundred ways. No person, not even the best one, can give your soul all it needs. You are going to think you have gone to bed with Rachel, and you will get up and it will always be Leah. This cosmic disappointment and disillusionment is there in all of life, but we especially feel it in the things upon which we most set our hopes.” -Tim Keller in Counterfeit Gods

16 Genesis 29: When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, "It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now." 33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon. 34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." So he was named Levi. 35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.

17 What do we do with this? 1. Blame the things or people that are disappointing you, and try to find better options. 2. Blame yourself and beat yourself up. 3. Blame everything and everyone. 4. Become restored by radically shifting the focus of your life and affections to God. C.S. Lewis – “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

18 A Process of Restoration Reject the myth of romance  “I will get married when I fall in love, and we will live happily ever after because of the power of our romantic love.”  If you ever ask or think the following, there is a good chance that you are buying into this myth… “Have I really ‘fallen in love’ with my partner? Is this the real thing?” “You will just know when you have fallen in love, so if you don’t know then you are not in love.”

19 A Process of Restoration Reject the myth of romance  Do your friends perpetually complain about you not being available anymore because you are consumed with hanging out with your partner?  Do you become very intimate, very quickly with your partner? Romantic love is like a narcotic (even physiologically)  Can you easily articulate your dating partner’s weaknesses?

20 A Process of Restoration Grow into genuine Christian love  “Christian love is a voluntary commitment to give of yourself in every area to meet the appropriate needs of another person…We don’t ‘fall in’ Christian love. Instead, we have to build into a Christian love relationship.” -DeLashmutt & McCallum in Spiritual Relationships that Last  The best predictor of being able to love in the joyful crucible of marriage is whether or not you have been able to love well in less constant and less vulnerable environments prior to marriage…

21 A Process of Restoration Drink deeply of the passionate love of God in Christ  Romans 5:8  God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  1 John 4:7  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  1 John 4:19  We love because he first loved us. “If we are deeply moved by the sight of his love for us, it detaches our hearts from other would- be saviors.” -- Tim Keller

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