Several years ago, while straightening up after a wedding rehearsal, I found a candy valentine heart lying near the altar.
"Hmmm", I thought, "Maybe there's a little nugget here for tomorrow's wedding sermon." I was hoping to find one of the old standard phrases such as "Love Forever", "Truly Yours", or "Ever Devoted". Instead, I was disappointed to find that this little green heart said, "Star Dust." "Star Dust?" I exclaimed, "Good grief! Who thinks up this stuff anyhow? They were scraping the bottom of the barrel with that one! How on earth can I use Star Dust in a wedding sermon?" Here's how I figured it out:
Unfortunately, too many people have a "Star Dust" view of love. They think there's some magical poof from Cupid, and they'll live happily ever after. Before long, however, the "Star Dust" turns to "Star Wars." Marriages may be made in heaven, but they have to be worked out on earth. Then -- a brainstorm hit me! If a marriage is going to go the distance, it needs the another sort of S.T.A.R.D.U.S.T.
S- Spiritual Foundation
When a couple has a rock solid spiritual commitment, they love each other more deeply. The Bible says God is love -- and as we love Him more, our love for each other increases. No other foundation stands strong through life's storms. Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it.
T -- Troubles
Every relationship runs into troubles sooner or later. As my sweetheart, Cathy, said, "You can't love deeply until you've been through some 'stuff' together." She's absolutely right. With open hearts and humble spirits, we will learn and grow through adversity. The very things that threaten to tear us apart draw us closer together.
A -- Attitude Adjustments
We all have the tendency to slide into negativism and fault finding. Every day, we must take our thoughts captive and refocus our attitudes. If you look for the best (or the worst) in your partner, you will find it.
R -- Responsibility
In a strong marriage, both partners take full responsibility to make it work. It's not a 50-50 proposition -- but a 100% commitment on both sides. "I will go the extra mile for you."
D -- Dedication/Devotion
This says, "I will be yours forever. The other 'D' word (divorce) will not be a part of our vocabulary. I am determined to do whatever it takes to build a great relationship. This requires honesty, humility and the courage to resolve difficult issues. It's hard work -- but the reward far outweighs the price.
U -- Understanding
Seek to understand rather than to be understood. George Truett said, "The reason why marriage is for a lifetime is because that's how long it takes to understand each other." Actually, understanding is a wonderful journey -- an exploration into the fascinating person God has placed into your life.
S -- Selflessness
I believe almost 100% of marriage problems are a result of selfishness. The best way to marriage harmony is to have a mindset that says, "I'm here to serve."
T -- Trust and Tenderness
Trust is the glue that holds homes together. This is why truthfulness is so vital to every marriage. Tender thoughts, words and actions are love expressed! True love shouldn't remain bottled up inside. It must be communicated.