Merrill and Gracie
Main Point: When a man and a woman love each other the way the Bible tells them to, their lives are changed forever. If we want to enjoy our relationships to the fullest, then we must love each other the way the Bible says to.
We don’t know much about him, except that his name is Merrill, he was married to Gracie for a really long time, and that he loves Jesus.
This video features a gentleman from The Greatest Generation giving a video shout out to his wife and his Savior. This video will make some of us cry. It will make many of us think. It will give most of us hope.
Take a look at Merrill’s video journal to Gracie and Jesus.
The Video: The clip can be found online at the following link.
Wow! There’s a lot to like about that video. I don’t know about you, but I kinda wish I could adopt Merrill as my grandpa, you know? Wouldn’t that be cool to have a guy in your life that’s so loving? Hopefully, this video clip of an elderly man that none of us personally know makes us think about someone in our life that lives and loves as Merrill did. This love story was a thousand times better than any love story in the movies, mainly because it’s real. But when two people love each other the way the Bible tells them to, their lives are changed forever. If we want to enjoy our relationships to the fullest, then we must love each other the way the Bible says to. Let’s take a look at the Bible passage that Merrill flashed across the screen a moment ago to see if we can learn the lesson he lived out so well.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and whether or not you want to get married.
- ASK A FEW: Based on this video, how would you describe their relationship/marriage?
- ASK A FEW: Do you personally know anyone whose love story/marriage is like Merrill’s and Gracie’s? If so, whose?
- ASK A FEW: If you had to guess, what would you say was the key to their marriage?
- ASK A FEW: Merrill said he tried to love Gracie like Christ loved the church. What does that mean?
- ASK A FEW: Merrill wrote on one of his cards: “You don’t realize what you have until you’re alone.” Do you agree or disagree, and why?
- ASK A FEW: What do you think Merrill’s Valentine’s Day is like nowadays? Why?
- ASK A FEW: Why don’t more married people have a story like theirs?
Read the following passage:
Ephesians 5:21-33 (NIV)
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church– 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery– but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be in a marriage/relationship like that. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want to be as old as Merrill is, but when I DO get to be his age, I want to look back on my life and my marriage and see a long trail of love.
You have to have a heart of stone to not think that video clip we watched together was special and sweet. Merrill got a chance to tell the world about the love he shared with Gracie. I wonder if any of us will have a love relationship that we’ll want to tell the world about….
If you ask Merrill, he’d say that the key to his relationship with Gracie hinged on Jesus. Merrill could love Gracie so strongly because he was loved by Jesus so strongly. All Merrill did was love Gracie the way that Jesus told him to: Jesus told him to love Gracie like Jesus loved the church.
That’s sacrificially. Perfectly. Wholly. Submissively. Responsibly. Graciously. Compassionately.
Those standards may scare some of you at first, but once you truly love someone the way Jesus commands us to, you won’t ever want to go back to anything less. There’s no way that Merrill would have had it any other way with Gracie.
And if you love that person in your life the way the Bible says to in Ephesians, your life will be changed forever. You will enjoy your relationship to the fullest.
Let’s spend a few moments praying together, asking God to help mold us into people who love others sacrificially, perfectly, wholly, submissively, responsibly, graciously, and compassionately. It’s good preparation for a life like Merrill had with Gracie.
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.