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Category: Marriage

A 5 Year Old Learns What A Proposal Feels Like

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Topic: Jesus’ Love
Scripture: Song of Solomon 2:4, 10
Author: Mitchell Dillon

Lila'sProposal

When a 5 year old is dying of cancer, what can be done to make up for all that she will miss? This was the challenge facing Ryan and Heidi, whose daughter, Lila May Schow, was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma and is not expected to make it to this Thanksgiving.

Springing into action, her parents decided they would not allow the cancer to rob their daughter of the important celebrations of life. So they planned a fairy tale ball, which included every major celebration a girl has to look forward to — a prom, a birthday bash and a wedding!

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The Hesitant Bride

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Topic: Commitment
Scripture: Revelation 19:7
Author: Thomas Bevers

I had an uncomfortable experience at a wedding recently. Everything was going along as planned until it came time for the minister to ask that all-important question of the bride, “Do you take so-and-so to be your lawfully wedded husband?”

Just then, for some unknown reason, there was an incredibly long and unbelievably awkward silence.

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Seeing Ourselves In 2 Dimensions

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Topic: Self-image
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:12; James 1:19
Source: “Why selfies and mirrors can make you feel weird,” by Starre Vartan, posted MOTHER NATURE NETWORK, 11/6/14
Author: Illustration Exchange

“It’s almost impossible to know what you truly look like … and cameras and mirrors don’t help,” reports Starre Vartan for the Mother Nature Network. Everything from lens distortion to camera angles, the asymmetry of our facial features, and the variability and “flip-flop” effect of mirrors all combine to keep our true self-image a bit of a mystery. And the one factor that is sure to keep us in the dark is the fact the we can only ever see ourselves in 2 dimensions (as reflections or captured images) rather than in 3-D as other see us.

Application:

It’s strange to think that everyone can see us as we are, except us! And we’re not just left in the dark about our true physical appearance; we seem to be at a similar disadvantage when it comes to our emotional and spiritual state, as well. We have such distorted perceptions of who we truly are in our heart of hearts. Ego, pride, arrogance, and even shame, guilt, and despair can all serve to distort our self-image.

Looking into the mirror of the Word of God helps to make the image clearer. Even so, these images are still mere reflections, distorted by our own human limitations. We will not see ourselves as we truly are–in 3D–until we stand in the very presence of God. Then we will be know even as we are fully known.

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Additional Application:

One of the advantages of marriage is that we are blessed with a life partner who is able to see us as we are, in 3D. But even this doesn’t help us, should we refuse to humbly receive the truth our spouse attempts to speak into our lives.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).

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Could God DVU People?

Printer Friendly Topic: Unconditional Love
Author: Cathy Drobnick / Illustration Exchange
Scripture: 1 John 4:10
Source: “THE QUESTION THAT MADE THEM LAUGH” by Cathy Drobnick, published by New Tribes Mission on usa.ntm.org, January 3, 2013

New Tribes Mission reports on the way one group of Bible translators came to communicate the fullness of God’s love to an African tribal community:

“The verbs for a particular African language consistently end with one of three vowels,” explains Dennis Farthing from the NTM Missionary Training Center. “Almost every verb ends in i, a, or u. But the word for ‘love’ was only found with i and a. Why no u?”

Dennis says the Bible translation team included the most influential leaders in the local community. In an effort to truly understand the concept of “love” in this African language, the missionary began to question them.

“Could you dvi your wife?”

“Yes,” they answered, “that would mean that the wife had been loved, but the love was gone.”

“Could you dva your wife?”

“Yes,” they responded, “that kind of love depends on the wife’s actions. She would be loved as long as she remained faithful and took good care of her husband.”

“Could you dvu your wife?”

Everyone in the room laughed.

“Of course not!” they replied. “If you said that, you would have to keep loving your wife no matter what she did, even if she never got you water and never made you meals. Even if she committed adultery, you would have to just keep on loving her. No, we would never say dvu. It just doesn’t exist.”

The missionary sat quietly for a while, thinking about John 3:16, and then he asked, “Could God dvu people?”

There was complete silence for three or four minutes; then tears started to trickle down the weathered faces of the elderly men of the tribe. Finally they responded, “Do you know what this would mean? This would mean that God kept loving us over and over, while all that time we rejected His great love. He would be compelled to love us, even though we have sinned more than any people.”

The missionary noted that changing one simple vowel changed the meaning from “I love you based on what you do and who you are,” to “I love you, based on who I am. I love you because of me and not because of you.”

Dennis concludes, “God encoded the story of His unconditional love right into this African language. For centuries, the little word was there—unused but available, grammatically correct and quite understandable.”

Application:

Have you embraced the fact that God could dvu you? He loves you because of Who HE is and not because of who you are or what you have done! No longer do you need to seek approval and acceptance from others to be loved. You are known and loved by Him Who loves you just because of Who He is.

That should blow our minds and overwhelm our spirits. Knowing that we are loved like this gives us what we need to love others with the same unconditional love. Such a love sets us free. Free to love as He has loved us.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

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Repackaging Infidelity

Printer Friendly Topic: Infidelity
Author: Illustration Exchange
Scripture: Proverbs 6:32
Source: AFFAIR!: HOW TO MANAGE EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR EXTRAMARITAL RELATIONSHIP WITH PASSION, DISCRETION AND DIGNITY by H. Cameron Barnes

In today’s culture of moral relativism, it shouldn’t be surprising that there exists on the shelves of booksellers a book titled AFFAIR!: HOW TO MANAGE EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR EXTRAMARITAL RELATIONSHIP WITH PASSION, DISCRETION AND DIGNITY. From the Amazon.com book description:

In the face of near-universal disapproval, between one quarter and one half of all married Americans (including 15-30% of married women) will, at some point, engage in an extramarital affair. They will have either an enriching experience or the sad, destructive, ugly mess for which affairs are far better known. There is one self-help book that every one of these millions of people wants and needs to read. It has never been written. Until now.

Affair is for them: a thoughtful, detailed discussion of every aspect of considering, preparing for, beginning and conducting a successful and emotionally fulfilling extramarital affair, including advice, case histories, numerous first-person narratives, humorous anecdotes and step-by-step guidance for every facet of the process.

Contrary to what the media like to portray, many of the major pitfalls are avoidable and an extramarital relationship can bring a person greater happiness and personal growth if properly managed. Affair shows how. Key sections include: Making the Decision to Have an Extramarital Affair, Planning and Preparation for the Adventure Ahead, Beginning Your Affair, Managing Stealth: Keeping Your Affair Private in an Unprivate World, Building, Strengthening and Celebrating Your Extramarital Relationship, and Accepting the Odds.

Application:

Well, you say, maybe I can have that affair I’ve been contemplating after all. Perhaps I can experience “greater happiness and personal growth” without the risk of getting caught so long as the affair is “properly managed.”

Not so fast! No matter what flowery language you use–dignity; happiness; personal growth–you cannot change the essence of infidelity. You can repackage it, but you cannot change its true nature. Let’s get real. Infidelity is painful, destructive, and perilous. In its essence it is betrayal, unfaithfulness, and disloyalty. It is duplicitous and treacherous. Infidelity is and always will be sin, and so it is and always will be destructive to those who succumb to it.

“He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself” (Proverbs 6:32).

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