I’ll admit it. I watch the Super Bowl for the ads. My major in college concentrated in advertising and public relations so I am far more excited about the Super Bowl ads than the teams playing each year. Prior to the game, instead of reading up about the teams, I read articles analyzing the ads that will be shown. I didn’t even know the head coaches were brothers until the game started. I take my bathroom breaks during the game, not the commercials.
Each year, I watch for a favorite. This year I had a few favorites. Perhaps it was because it was my son’s birthday and I was feeling a bit sentimental, but my top three were all pull-at-your-heartstrings type commercials. Among my top three was the “So God Made a Farmer” ad for Ram trucks.
Like many Americans, I am only a few generations removed from a family of farmers. I still have family members living in Nebraska tending to the same land that my great-grandfather farmed. I’ve sat in their kitchens and heard the stories of droughts that ruined the crops that year.
But I don’t think it was my handful of visits to the Nebraska farm that made me relate to that commercial. I think the reason I related to that commercial was because the commercial was about the value of hard work. And we all know something about hard work.
As we concluded the relationships series on Sunday, the message I heard over and over again was that relationships require work. They require a lot of hard work. Like farming, there will be times that our relationships require heavy lifting and physical strength. There will be days when you will be called upon to help a friend move, help a parent transition into an assisted living apartment or carry your teenage son up the stairs because he has broken his leg playing soccer. You will do all these things because of love. Like farming, there will be times when your gentler side will be called upon. There will be times when you kiss away an ‘ouchy’ on your daughter’s knee after she’s fallen off her bike, times when you reach across the couch to hold your spouse’s hand, times when you sit silently next to an ill parent resting in a hospital bed. You will do all these things because of love.
Relationships are not a 40-hour a week job. You cannot take a sick day from a relationship. Everyday you wake up and you face the challenges that are ahead of you in your relationships. You do this because you love the people you are in relationships with. There are seasons of drought and seasons of great harvest. Paul Harvey’s words about farmers were very poignant and thoughtful about farmers, but in terms of relationships, I’m reminded of something Jesus said:
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’’ – John 15:13
I hope you have enjoyed the Sustaining Relationships series. I pray that the relationships in your life may be strengthened by what you have learned these past weeks. I know that the relationships in my life have.
If you missed any of the sermons from the Sustaining Relationships series, you can watch them here: Sustaining Relationships Sermons.