One of the most integral parts of being human is relationships. We spend our entire lives in relationships — they shape, refine, sharpen, and strengthen us. The people in our lives lift our arms when we get tired, call us higher when we’re discouraged, and help us navigate difficult times. We celebrate our wins and grieve our losses with the people around us.
We bring our full selves into our relationships — our experiences, our strengths and weaknesses, our mindsets, and our baggage. Relationships bring out the best in us and expose the worst in us. All of us have experience the highs and lows that relationships inevitably bring. How do we navigate relational peaks and pitfalls? Can we learn to like the ones we love?
We like to set aside some time each year in our church to talk about relationships. We just wrapped an incredible sermon collection called Living Together: The Realities of Relationship, exploring the fundamentals of relationships and practical tools for finding longevity in love.
Whether single, married, dating, or divorced, there’s something in this collection for everyone. Each week of the collection highlights a different truth when it comes to cultivating healthy, fruitful relationships.
1. Motivation for Marriage
Marriage was God’s idea. It’s a representation of Jesus and his bride, the Church. Discovering God’s design for marriage helps us understand the power behind two people becoming one. This message lays out some of the pillars of marriage, like sacrifice, pursuit, and love. God gets the glory in our relationships when we follow his master plan for marriage.
2. Picking a Partner
Choosing a life partner is one of the most significant decisions we’ll ever make. It’s a choice of who we want to build a legacy with as we walk through life, sharing joys and hardships. The impact of this decision can be felt for generations. This message lays out five filters to use when dating.
3. The Path to Divorce
Every relationship has its challenges. In the roadmap of relationships, there are landmarks of dysfunction to look out for along the way. Taking time to pause, take inventory of our unhealthy patterns, and work toward healing will lead us into healthier relationships. This sermon points out some practical warning signs that indicate when a relationship is headed in the wrong direction. The good news: God is always leading us back to the road to life.
4. Repairing Relationships
It’s one thing to fall in love; it’s another to stay in love. Staying in love requires relationship repairs along the way. When we continually choose repentance and extend forgiveness, we have all the tools we need to work toward reconciliation and grace.
5. You’ve Changed
There’s a season for everything. As seasons change throughout life, we choose what we focus on during times of transition and life change. This message dives into how we can let go of fear and choose to focus on truth in every area of our relationships.
6. The Realities of Relationships
Our relationships are healthiest when we choose to love each other with God at the center, recognizing that God himself is love. With a relationship anchored in God, we can create deeper, more meaningful connections with the people we love.
Our creative department and web team collaborated to build a landing page for Living Together. As we dive deeper into the work of building healthy relationships, we wanted to create a space to provide some additional supportive resources.
1. Sermon Playbacks: The entire collection is gathered in one place, making it easy for people to tune in for the first time or to rewatch a message that impacted them.
2. Shareable Graphic: We want everyone to step into healthy relationships, so we created a graphic for people to post on social media and send to others in their community.
3. Sermon Library: Over the years, our pastors have invested a lot of wisdom around relationships into our community. This section gathers past messages into one place for anyone looking to explore further.
4. Single & Secure Book: Singleness is a season of life filled with purpose. In this book, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. unpacks the beautiful, fun, productive stage of life called being single in a new way.
5. Additional Resources: The journey doesn’t stop here. People can get connected to VOUS Care Crews focused on relationship health and discover additional reading resources for support.
No matter where we find ourselves on the relationship journey, we can learn to love the ones we live with. We believe God will breathe new life into relationships as you share these messages with your church community.