The Duggar family has tackled the topics of courtship and marriage in the past. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Duggar in-law Derick Dillard would also want to voice his opinion on the topic of love and the institution of marriage. Dillard shared with fans that he is preparing a sermon on the subject of love and wanted to give a glimpse of his “creative process” by sharing his sermon draft with the public.
Derick Dillard took to his official blog to showcase the “creative process” that happens when he is creating sermons to use in the mission field. Derick and Jill Dillard have been missionaries in Central America since July of last year, living in El Salvador while making frequent visits back to the United States to visit family. Despite the fact that Jill and Derick had only been married for one year when arriving in Central America, S.O.S. Ministries revealed that the young couple would be providing marriage counseling and support to local families. S.O.S. announced Jill’s and Derick’s roles in the Latin mission project by detailing their duties in the group.
“Derick will focus on the men and young people, while Jill will focus on women and children ministry. Both of them will help with strengthening and encouraging married couples, which is mostly neglected in the Latin world, and they have already led a group from the church to a new region to preach the gospel.”
With the couple working with married couples, it is not surprising that Derick would be preparing a sermon on love. In the sermon outline, which he uploaded to the Dillard Family Blog, he asks the question, “What is love?” In the overview for his sermon, Dillard says that when humans think of love it is usually very different from “true love” as we are tainted by our human nature. Derick says that true “biblical love” is defined in a number of ways and says that it reflects the reasoning he chose to have a covenant marriage with wife Jill Dillard.
Arkansas is one of three states that allows couples to choose from a standard marriage license or a covenant marriage license. The covenant license makes it more difficult to get divorced as both parties sign that their marriage will last “forever.” To obtain a covenant marriage license in Arkansas, a couple must take marriage counseling and agree to stricter terms of divorce prior to marriage. Instead of the standard “no-fault” divorce in which any party can end a marriage for any reason, in a covenant marriage a divorce is only granted in limited circumstances such as adultery, physical abuse, drug or alcohol abuse, and abandonment in which the couple have lived apart for more than two years. Prior to divorce, the couple must undergo counseling before finalizing the split.
The Duggars have been advocates for the covenant marriage with both newlywed Duggar daughters, Jill and Jessa, entering into covenant marriages with their spouses. Derick notes in the sermon that God intends love to be forever. Therefore, a covenant marriage makes sense from a biblical standpoint. He says that the covenant marriage is an outward symbol of the inward biblical love. He also notes that “love is a mystery.” He says the “most secret truths” of the scripture can be discovered if one pursues love. In addition to being forever and mysterious, Derick says love is also supreme with marriage as the cornerstone of this commandment from God. Lastly, Derick describes love as unconditional. He tells others to “love your enemy” and to love others outwardly as an expression of Christ’s love.
Interestingly, it is the “love your enemy” that many have criticized the Duggar family for in the past. The family is often called hypocrites for their stance on LGBT issues with many claiming the family harbors hatred for the lesbian and gay community.
What do you think about Derick Dillard’s sermon on love? Does it surprise you that the Duggar daughters have both entered covenant marriages?
[Image via Instagram]