Love will find a (right) way, Simmons tells Chapel
By Karen Fernau
GCU News Bureau
Love for what you can give, not get. The opposite of love is selfishness, not hate. Love from the inside out. Love as Jesus did.
These are a few of the keys to a loving, lasting relationship that Luke Simmons, pastor of Redemption Church Gateway in Mesa, shared Monday at Chapel in Grand Canyon University Arena.
In a nod to Valentine’s Day, he titled the sermon, “Ways to Ruin Your Romance” and used the story of Samson in the Book of Judges as an example of selfish, failed love.
Samson, an Israelite driven by super-human strength and selfish wants, married Delilah because she was “right in my eyes.” Samson loved for pleasure and, in return, Delilah loved him for his power and wealth. They loved to please themselves, Simmons said.
“They had an unhealthy relationship and unhealthy romance,” said Simmons, a father of four who has been married for 15 years.
“They were using one another, not serving one another, not blessing one another.”
The Philistines, who were Samson’s enemies, bribed Delilah to uncover and share the secret to her husband’s brute strength with 1,100 pieces of silver, and she then convinced Samson that “if he loved her” he would share the secret to his super-human strength, Simmons said.
After a few false starts, he confessed that it was his long hair. Samson’s parents committed him at birth to the Nazirite vow, one that included never cutting his hair. As Samson slept on her lap, Delilah called in a co-conspirator to cut off his hair.
Their marriage, Simmons said, is a classic example of an “unhealthy relationship,” one built on receiving instead of giving.
“In those days there was no king. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes,” he said.
Samson rejected the wisdom of his parents and married Delilah because he was “ruled by his senses, his feelings,” Simmons said. “Samson did what was right in his own eyes.”
Instead, Simmons said, love should be defined by a simple question. “How about, ‘I can do whatever I want as long as it helps someone?’ That should be the standard. You must be willing to sacrifice for the person you love.”
Simmons also offered these suggestions for building and not ruining a relationship:
- Instead of using one another as Samson and Delilah did, focus on serving and blessing one another.
- Choose “gift” love over “need” love. “Find someone so filled with God that they can love and give, not using you to get what they need.”
- Cultivate your inner life and not your outer life. Samson was outwardly amazing, strong and fearless, but he was corrupt inside. “You will not have a healthy dating relationship, engagement, marriage if you only focus on the external, the Instagram you. If you want a healthy, strong romance, cultivate your inner self.”
- “Look to Jesus, the true groom, the true spouse. Look to what you can give.”
● For a replay of Simmons’ talk, click here.
● Next Monday: No Chapel because of Presidents Day holiday.
Contact Karen Fernau at (602) 639-8344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.