************ Wedding Sermon on Colossians 3:12-19 ************

By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman

This sermon was preached on October 3, 2015

Colossians 3:12-19

Married life, Johnny & Katie, is not easy. It requires work. It requires commitment. It requires attention to detail. We talked about this during pre-marital counseling.

Paul says clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, peace, and thankfulness. No one wears two sets of clothing. So, by grace, you need to take off your old set of dirty clothes before you can put on the new set of clean clothes. You need to take off sexual immorality, lust, evil desires, anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, and lies. And in its place you must put on Christ's graceful clothing of compassion, kindness, humility, and so on.

Paul has in mind an entire outfit. He isn't just talking about socks. He is talking about pants and shirt, dress and blouse, and everything else you wear. He is talking about the uniform of the Christian husband and Christian wife.

Each morning when you get up you make a decision about the clothing to wear. Likewise, when you get up you need to make a decision to be like Christ, to dress in His graceful clothing.

There is one article of clothing I have not mentioned yet. I have not mentioned the overcoat. Paul says:
(Col 3:14) And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Love binds all the other virtues together. Compassion in your marriage requires the presence of love. Same with kindness. In fact, all the virtues require the presence of love: humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, peace, and thankfulness all require love.

In your wedding text it is the husband who is especially told to put on love: "Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them" (Col 3:19).

So, what is love? What is the love Paul is talking about? Few words are as empty and meaningless today as the word love. Because there are so many different kinds of love.

For instance, there is love for nature, which is a splendid thing unless you make it your religion.

There is the love of family. Siblings appreciate each other though some of them would never choose each other as friends. This domestic love is comfortable like a pair of slippers and doesn't ask much of the other person. And, under the wrong circumstances this love can easily turn into alienation and hatred.

Maternal love is supposed to be the strongest kind of love. A mother hen will put herself in harm's way to protect her chick. Mother love can go bad, too, when it becomes a sick dependence.

Companionship is another kind of love. It is wonderful when two or three break the loneliness of one. However, we all know that groups can do a level of sin that a single person would not even dream of.

Friendship also involves love. But friendship can turn into a clique that keeps others out.

Romantic love is a kind of squishy love. It adds spice to a relationship but it is inherently selfish. It is driven by what you get out of the other person.

Marital love illustrates God's relationship with us, His church. It is an intimate love. But it is also a jealous love. And can become a controlling love.

"And over all these virtues put on love." The Greek word is agape. This is the word that describes God's love for us in Christ. It is this love which brought Christ to the cross and the grave. It is this love which we are to have. A love which gives for the sake of the other person, for the good of the other person. A love which isn't selfish and self-centered. A love which gladly makes sacrifices for the other person. A love which comes to expression in concrete ways.

Johnny & Katie, to have compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, peace, and thankfulness in your marriage you need love.

But how do you get that love? To have love you need to have Christ. So, Johnny & Katie, continue to keep Christ in your relationship. Meaning what? Believe in Him as Savior and Lord. Be thankful for His blessings. Have regular devotions so the word of Christ dwells in you richly. Be in worship where you sing with gratitude in your hearts to God. Have fellowship with fellow believers.

Start with Christ. By grace, put on His love. And then you will find your marriage is clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, peace, and thankfulness.
You can e-mail our pastor at: Pastor, Trinity United Reformed Church
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