Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8aWe need to reshape our thoughts on love. We live in a sex saturated culture. All you have to do is look online, at a magazine or turn on the TV. Take these ads for example, what is being sold?
These are just two ads that I showed tonight. I think that in our sex saturated culture we've lost the true meaning of love. This leads to our need to reshape our thoughts on love because it's not leading us to a healthy place.
The reason we need to reshape our thoughts and actions is because what we’ve been sold isn’t helping. Let me share some quick statistics on marriage, divorce and sex. Let’s start out with sex. The average person is loosing their virginity now at age 17. A recent survey found for people between the ages of 20-59 found that the average woman has had four sex partners in their lifetime, while the average man has had an average of 7. At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women will have a genital HPV infection at some point in their lives (see this article for stats).
As these statistics relate to marriage, it’s not a shock that more and more people are practicing cohabitation before marriage. I’m sure we all know of a couple who lived together before marriage or has lived with a person of the opposite gender at some point. Cohabitation is the new norm. By the time they’re 20, 1 in 4 women ages 15 to 44 in the U.S. have lived with a man, and by the time they’re 30, that ratio climbs to 3 in 4, the new study shows. 1 out of every 5 women who commit to cohabitation for the first time become pregnant within the first 12 months of their decision. People who choose cohabitation are more likely to come from a home that experienced at least one divorce, which automatically puts them into a higher risk category (see this article for stats and this article).
This is a good transition to recent studies on divorce. It seems that the divorce rate is a hard one to nail down in the US because there are so many different factors that contribute to divorce. I think that many of you know that my parents divorced when I was about 3 years old. And it was tough growing up in a broken home. Current studies show that about 40-50% of marriages will end in divorce. The divorce rate for second marriages is significantly higher averaging around 63%. The divorce rate for third marriages skyrockets to 73%. According to some research, up to 85% of the couples that commit to cohabitation will either break-up or divorce by the end of 10 years.
All of this can seem like the future is bleak but I was to present quite the opposite to you. All of this is bleak if you don’t have Christ in your life. Now I’m not saying that because a person lives their life for Christ that they all get married, not have premarital sex, never get a STD or have a divorce. I am saying that a person who is fully surrendered to Christ, seeking to live a life of love and focusing on living a healthy life can experience a life filled with love.