Sun, Nov 27, 2011

Husbands love your wife

Part two of our Series on Marriage
Duration:50 mins 14 secs

Husbands love your wife - Eph 5:22-33

Recap – companionship, courtship, commitment and male headship

Today we will be looking more specifically at the husband – What does God requires of you? He has a special and specific role for you to fulfill – the role of Husband

Introduction

When we talk about marriage and male headship many times people start getting all weird as they read their often skew understanding into the situation

We have a friend who was a Broadway actress and producer – very talented, very dramatic very funny, eccentric. When the Lord saved her she had orange hair that looked like it was brushed with an electric mixer – when she was looking for a church – people warned her not to go to Grace Community Church – for women have to submit to their husbands at that church – whhhoooowwwwww! Scary!

 There is a lot of misunderstanding out there about God’s design for marriage.

They don’t’ see the husband’s headship as a blessing from God but as a curse.

(1)   People think the wife will be relegated to do all the dirty work, basically being enslaved to the demands of the husband.

(2)   People think that if the wife submits, she is doomed to a life of misery and unfulfillment.          

(3)   People think that true fulfillment and happiness is found in being free to do whatever you want to do. – They quickly forget that our delight should be in doing the things of God – Ps 1

As Jesus corrected the women who said blessed is the womb who bore you and the breast who nurtured you – Jesus responded - Lk 11:28;  Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.

Or as James said ..” the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” 1:25

 People – think biblically!!! – Allow the word of God to influence you views on everything and given our series - especially marriage.

The culture views God’s blueprint for marriage as oppressive to women.

That is a lie from Satan himself - Nothing can be further from the truth.

Allow me to make just a few remarks regarding this perception that women are inferior to men. That is not true - The Bible affirms equality between the husband and wife. The wife is not inferior to the husband in any way in terms of status and standing, of worth before the Lord.

The Bible affirms Equality

Gen 1:28 – both were created in the image of God. Both husband and wife are image bearers of God.

Gal 3:28 – both husband and wife are equal recipients of God’s grace in salvation - There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. All are the same, all are equal in Christ.

1 Pet 3:7 also affirms this – saying that wives are heirs with their husbands, they are joint-heirs with their husband of the grace of life

SO in standing and worth before God – the man and his wife are equal

However the Bible also teaches that there are differences between the husband and the his wife

Gen 2:18 – Adam needed a suitable helper – literally -one in accordance with Adam – made to be his equal, not inferior to him, like him but different- in what way?

Apart form the obvious physical and relational differences there are also Differing roles – The woman was created as a helper, not a leader, not the one bearing responsibility for the family unit.  We saw last week when Adam was confronted about their sin, though Eve was the one deceived– The woman was created to fulfill the role as a suitable helper. Eve was Adam’s equal, yet she has a different role to play in God’s plan and purposes.

This is not a unique concept – we see it displayed in the very core of God. We see it displayed in the Godhead, the Trinity.

We believe in one God – Deut 6:4 Hear o Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.

Also Isa 45:5 – I am the Lord and there is no other, besides me there is no God. 

But this one God is presented to us in Scripture as three persons. God the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit – each being equal in substance and essenceeach being fully and wholly God-

Yet we find distinct and different roles for each member of the Trinity 

God the Father – has a leadership role, a fatherly role (Jn 6:38; 7:16-18; 8:28; 10:32)

God the Son – Submitted Himself to the Father (Phil 2:5-8), took on flesh to secure salvation. Role of Sacrifice, Mediator, High Priest, Advocate etc between man and the Father.

God the Holy Spirit – Send by the Father and the Son – to complete the work of Christ 

           He testifies to Christ – not of Himself – Jn 16: 13,14

Convicts the world of sin – Jn 16:8-11

Giver of Gifts to the Church– Rom 12, 1 Cor 12,14; Eph 4;11

One God but three persons – equal but fulfilling different roles.

There are differing roles in our society, which Scripture commands us to maintain.

In 1 Pet 1:15 – Peter reminds the believers they are to be holy as God is holy – they need to be different than the world and in his application of what that means he points out it means to submit to the authorities over you 1Pet 2:13 and also to submit to your boss 1 Pet 2:18.

Then he links these general submissions specifically to the marriage relationship.

3: 1 - Likewise – in the same manner – wives are to submit to husbands

3:7 - Likewise – husbands – have to live with your wives in an understanding way – or with understanding

We can draw from this passage alone that the wife is not inferior to her husband in any way, just as Christians are not inferior to any pagan civil rulers or non-Christian bosses. But wives have been given a role that puts them in submission to the headship of their own husbands. That is what Scripture teach. Now that I have shown that husband and wife are equal but different – let us look more closely at the role of the husband.

           Are you ready – Let me pray for us again – open hearts, willing spirits to yield to Your Word, help us to look at ourselves through the lenses of Scripture – convict us of that we need to correct, strengthen us in that which are weak and enhance us with humility in the areas where we are strong – Amen.

Eph 5: 22-33 – read

Husbands – I have three words for you today. Three words that summarizes your role, three words that sets the standard for the husband  - be like Christ! – Simple. Be Like Christ - You are required to follow Christ’s example in your relationship with your wife.  Shall we pray again?….That is heavy!

You are not only to tell and teach your wife to be Christlike – you need to show her,

model it to her in your relationship with her.

In our passage there are two aspects of Christlikeness that husbands need to pursue in their marriage –

You need to love as Christ loves.

You need to lead as Christ leads –

Today we will look at the first one and address leading your wife for next week.

Husbands – Love your wife as Christ loves the Church.

There is one glaring reality what we must first address.

You cannot give what you don’t have and you can’t model what you do not know. A dry water tank is of no use to a sunbaked flower bed. DO you want your wife to blossom, your marriage to bloom with rich foliage and beautiful flowers to the glory of God – then you need to have Christyou need to have met the Saviour, You must be saved. The only way you would be able to have a God glorifying marriage is when you follow Christ.

You need to be tanked up, to be filled with the Spirit - you need to fill up your soul with the living waters till overflowing!

So husbands – it starts with you and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tell me about your walk with the Lord – tell me by your spiritual diet? What do the dieticians tell us? “You are what you eat.” Well what about your spiritual diet? What do you feast on?

How much Word do you consume daily. What is your daily intake? What % of the recommended daily allowance do you ingest?

Now compare that with how much world do you consume? What are you allowing to shape your mind? What worldly pursuits consume your time and permeates your thinking.

Dr John Barnett in his book The Word Filled Family writes and I quote:

I have been teaching God’s Word for over thirty years. I have watched those I teach over the years struggle with the great neutralizer. When they go home from a Bible Study, fellowship class or worship service, they sit down in front of the single most powerful mind altering device on the planet and within half an hour have forgotten  almost everything they had just learned. What is that mind- altering device? The visual images and powerful messages of television and movies.” End quote

What is shaping your mind your thinking? Let me clarify television and movies as a medium are great technologies – it is what we watch and how much of it that is critical.  

           Husbands are you being transformed by the renewing you mind Rom 12:2? Does the Word of Christ dwell in you richly Col 3:16? Or are you being desensitize by the relentless perverse and Godless messages of today’s programming.

You’ve all heard the computer acronym GIGO – garbage in – garbage out.

If what you consume is unwholesome – you will be unwholesome.

So men, work hard to put God’s word in your heart and life – if not whatever other garbage you do ingest will be what is coming out of you through your example.

Men your marriage relationship with your wife will never be better than your relationship with the Lord. If you are casual and non-committal in your relationship with the Lord – it will reflect in your marriage. If you desire God and seek to please Him in every aspect of your lives – then that will be clearly seen in your marriage.

The role and responsibilities of the husband is therefore as wide and comprehensive as those for the Christian life – but from our text this morning we will focus on Husbands must love as Christ loves

Husbands Love your wife as Christ loves the church

How does Christ love His bride? We see three ways from our passage

His love is sacrificial

His love is purposeful

His love is Caring

 

  1. Husband - Love your wife sacrificially

The love of Christ for the church is beyond our understanding and the ability of the husband to model perfectly. Yet you are commanded to love your wife in this way. What does Christ’s love for His Bride looks like?

First - the agape love of Christ is primarily not a feeling at all. Love is, rather, a mindset. Love is a decision. Love is an action

Christ loved sacrificially (Gal 2:20; 1Pet 3:18, Rom 5:6-11) by giving himself, his very life to the church. Christ expressed His love in tangible ways through His words and deeds.

Christ initiated love for his bride – 1 Jn 4: 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. - We love because He first loved us. Husbands you need to initiate love. If love is lacking in your home – let me suggest you look for the solution in the mirror. You have to initiate love – You commit to imitate Christ and initiate love toward your wife and kids. You make the first move. If your relationship is in a bad way – you take the first step to love.

Agape love is an action love, an act of the will- Men if you are married – choose to love, don’t wait to be loved – you initiate it. You pursue her, you make your intentions clear – leave her no doubt that you love her – sacrifice your pride –what if she rejects or spurns your love – it does not matter – you act first. This not a card game where you need to keep your cards close to your chest – You need to let them see your cards – show your hand so that she may be in no doubt as to your intentions. Initiate love.

You love first but also love contra conditionally.

Rom 5:8 – God so loved us that while we were yet sinners – Christ died for us. He gave himself for His bride while they were yet sinners. Likewise men you love your wife in spite of her shortcomings, her failings, her sins against you.

…. I will love her if I am sure she will respond to it. – No… you need to love her regardless of how she responds - But Frans, I have not done this for maybe a long time -If I start showing her biblical love she will just be suspicious and she’ll through it back in my face, she’ll trample all over my affections.

Did I not pray for you a few moments ago, did I not say that it will be incredible difficult. You are called to imitate Christ – He loved sacrificially and part of what that means is to love contra conditionally – regardless of her response to you!

God’s love for His people is vividly portrayed in the life of His prophet Hosea whose personal life being married to an unfaithful wife reflected the unfaithfulness of Israel towards God – yet in Hos 14:4 - God says I love them freely

Men love your wives freely – without strings attached – not subject to any terms and conditions.  Freely.

Christ loved self-lessly - Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:6, 7

What did Christ sacrifice in loving his bride? – He stepped out of heavenly glory and put on flesh, He humbled himself and took on the form of a slave -

From the Highest in Heaven to the lowliest on earth. I do not think we can fully comprehend that short statement. Royalty to rags.  Why because he loved us.

He suffered and ultimately died. Christ gave Himself completely – He loved sacrificially for He love selflessly

Husbands how are you doing with loving your wife sacrificially? What do you know will be seen by her as you expressing love to her, but you are unwilling to express it for that means I can’t do ……….. you fill in the blank? 

Husbands  - be willing to give all of yourself – sacrifice selfish interests, selfish desires and wants in order to love your wife

If she loves your time – give her time

If she loves gifts  - give her something she will cherish

If she loves words – give her your words- talk to her, about whatever she needs to hear.

DO not withhold anything from her that would bless her

**** Constantly evaluate what may becoming more important to you than your wife

                                                                        Ask the question “ What is God calling you to give up because it diverts your attention and affection away from your wife.

                                                                        Sacrifice it for her.

                                                                        Apart from your relationship with God - Nothing should mean more to you than your wife. Not your desires, ambition, pleasures, hobbies, friends, children?

                                                                        You name it. Apart from God - Nothing should compete with your love and affection for your wife – bring it to the altar and sacrifice it.

                                                                        If you unsure if there is anything - ask your wife – she’ll tell you.

Christ loved sacrificially – Husbands you love sacrificially

Christ also loved Purposefully

  1. Husbands- Love your wives purposefully  

Ephesians 5:26, 27- 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish

Christ loves the Church for her benefit, for her improvement, her development and her welfare.  He will ensure that she will be presented holy and without blemish.

Men do you love your wife purposefully or another way of putting it – do you love her redemptively?

Does your love promote her holiness, her Purity; does it praise her or edify her? These are all ways that describe how you ought to love your wife purposefully.

Sanctification means being set apart – set apart from something - unto something. Christ sanctified the church by setting her apart from the world and unto God.

 After listing a group of wicked sins Paul’s says in 1Cor 6 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Christ sanctified the church by redeeming her and by an ongoing purification and edification through the Word and the Spirit to bring her to the point of unblemished splendor.

Husbands love your wife purposefully – Go ahead – look at her – what do you see?  - No, no – keep looking – what do you see - A friend, a companion, the mother of your children? Let me tell you, if Christ has redeemed you, then before she is any of that - Your wife is first of all a child of God. You better see her in that light – she is a child of God. So before she is your friend or companion, confidant or life-mate she is a daughter of God, bought with a price and sanctified unto God.

Her heavenly Father has given her to you.  – Man I feel we need to pray again for that is such a profound thought. My wife who was made for me and for whom I have responsibility, is a daughter of the Most high.

As He loves the church you and I need to love our wives

Your love needs to promote her holiness

Your love needs to protect her purity

Your love needs to praise her person – edify her to unblemished splendor.

How are you doing? How am I doing?

Promoting her holiness means pointing always and ever to Christ. She should be able to say – I am following …….fill in your name…… as he follows Christ.

Means making sure she is fed spiritually.

Wash her with the water of the Word – Eph 5:26,27 – Make sure she is in the Word – Read the Bible with her & hold her accountable for her personal reading

Making sure she comes to church- that may mean help getting things organized and planned the night before – another pastor I know always says – Sunday morning starts on Saturday night.

Making sure she attends small group, if need be budget for babysitters for those couple of hours.

Remember you are married to a daughter of the King – let Him speak to her.

Means praying with her and for her – Jesus intercedes for us Rom 8:34 Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Also Heb 7:25)

Husbands pray with and for your wives. Let prayer become a knee jerk reaction in your home – when confronted with any problem – pray, when receiving good news – praise the Lord. Talk to God about your wife, thank Him for her, ask Him to bless and strengthen her – J you know what you are like – she needs help.

Means confronting her sin – Gal 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.

Don’t condemn her, help her, restore her. Help her restore her relationship with the Lord and then help restore her relationship with whoever may have been affected by her sin. That is the loving thing to do.

Means Discipling her – Know what books she reading. Identify areas where she needs to grow in her faith. Be available and willing to help her with any questions she may have. 1 Cor 14 35 – Instructs women to ask their husbands about spiritual matters they do not understand.

Guest what men, loving your wife purposefully means you will need to study as well so you can give an accurate and true answer to your wife. That is why we have a strong focus on men in our church and why even before we launched the church we have a men’s ministry going – men you need to disciple your wife.

Means being a constant reminder to her of God’s goodness

Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

1Thess 5;18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Heb 13:15 - Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name

 Always point out God’s goodness, His provision, His care, His love for her.

Loving your wife purposely is also protecting her purity

The list here is endless  -But husbands you need to protect your wife spiritually – protect her purity - Protect her against

Wrong Relationships:

-      Dangerous friends and associates – Bad company corrupts good morals 1Cor 15:33

  • Beware of the poison ivies – those friends who appear to be harmless, but have a nasty effect on anyone who comes in contact with them. You need to protect your wife from them
  • Inappropriate relationships – supplanting relationship with your husband or wife – emotional ties – he never listens to me, I find myself telling you things I can never relate to him.

-      Gossip- can be very hurtful

-      Bad attitudes:

From relatives

From children towards your wife – do not tolerate that.

-      Harmful mindsets/ worldviews

  • Materialism
  • Feminism
  • Perfectionism
  • Mysticism – seeks some secret knowledge from God
  • Emotionalism – being feeling orientated instead of obedience orientated

The list goes on and on.

Who does your wife listen to – who are the voices speaking into her life. What are the influences affecting her? You need to know. Adam said nothing when Satan tempted Eve- He did not protect her- don’t make the same mistake. You are responsible – protect your wife.

Loving your wife purposefully – means promoting her holiness, protecting her purity and now

Also praising her person - edifying her.

Building her up – in the Word but also with your words

Eph 4:29 - Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

An irritated response, a thoughtless remark, a sarcastic comment. Men your words can cut deeply and hurt profoundly. Place a guard in front of your mouth.

Focus on saying what is helpful; what is edifying, uplifting and gracious.

Let your voice and your words be associated with loving affirmation not scathing criticism.

Learn how to praise your wife. Affirm the gifts the Lord has given her - encourage her to greater faithfulness. Praise her for her godly character.

We men love to point our wives to Prov 31- that beautiful passage expounding the virtues of a godly wife. But how many of you are a Prov 31: 28-29 man?

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”

Men love your wife purposefully by edifying her, praising her for her character and the employment of her gifts – praise her for what she excels in and encourage her in the areas she is challenged. Praise her for her love and help to you. For the sacrifices she is making to enable you to fulfill your God given tasks.

You as a husband need to imitate Christ – who sanctified the church and who loves the church redemptively.

Men you need to love your wife purposefully – She was made for you and given to you. You are responsible; She is to be your closest companion and your primary disciple. Love her to that purpose

Husbands your are to love your wife Sacrificially and purposefully and you are to love your wife caringly

  1. Husbands – love your wife caringly 

28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Husbands when it comes to caring love - Jesus is once again your role model. As he cares and provides for the church, you likewise have to care and provide for your wife and children. Jesus Christ – sustains His church through His provision- both physical as well as spiritual. He church lacks nothing to accomplish the purposes of God. He provides for our every need. He cares for us because he loves us with a caring love.

Men, remember this - You are merely the steward of all the earthly possessions, abilities and opportunities granted to you by the Lord. That stewardship includes your wife and if you are blessed with children, your children. Scott Stuart defines Biblical stewardship as: “Managing, maintaining and making the most of all God has entrusted to us for the furtherance of His interests, as we look forward to future reward.”

Husbands love your wife as a good steward. Nurturing and caring for the precious gift that she is and who is entrusted into your care. 1 Pet 3:7; Jam 1:17

 Stewardship involves nourishing and cherishing your wife.

Nourishing – means to sufficiently provide for one’s needs. Making sure you have everything you need to sustains life and to function properly

Cherishing  – means to lovingly care for someone of thing.

Now we by nature love ourselves. So we are very adapt at nourishing and cherishing ourselves – we like to pamper ourselves.

Therefore we are instructed to love your wife as you love your own body.

J Just by looking at you and myself for that matter – I am convinced that we all love our own bodies. You are well nourished, and well cherished.

I am sure that when you go shopping – you don’t seek out all the bad veggies, the overripe, mouldy tomatoes – no you want the best – why because you care for yourself.

We love to take care of ourselves – Organic food industry – is worth $250mil/yr domestically and between $60-80- billion/yr in exports and is set to grow by 60% - Why – we want the best for our bodies – eat the healthiest foods

The Australian cosmetic and toiletries market is worth about 7 billion a year – of which the men’s ranges are the sector with the greatest growth- I just got to tell you about this new skin care product 0 is not an uncommon conversation at the Dome these days

We love to nourish and cherish our bodies no doubt -

God knows we love ourselves therefore He commanded us to love our wives caringly in the same manner. It that not the great commandment – to love others as ourselves Mt 22:39

Husbands love your wife caringly - dedicate yourself to provide and care for your wife to the same degree as you would care for your own body.

Why? Because you are one. You shall leave your father and mother and cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh.

If your wife suffers illness – you suffer illness in the sense that it affects you too.  If you care for her and nurture her back to health – it is as if you are doing it to yourself. 

Men you are called to love your wife caringly as a good steward of the gracious gift she is.

Husbands- be like Christ

Be like Christ in loving your wife

Love her sacrificially

Love her purposefully and love her caringly.

 

But it is not all

You as a husband need to lead your wife – but for that you will have to come back next week.

 

Please pray with me.

 

 

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