Sun, Dec 04, 2011

Timid, Tyrant & True Man

Part Three of our series on Marriage
Duration:50 mins 36 secs

Timid,Tyrant & True Man

Introduction

There are basically three types of husbands

The Timid, the Tyrant and the True man of God.

There is a story of a man who died and went to heaven to find two signs above two different lines. One sign said: "ALL THOSE MEN WHO HAVE BEEN DOMINATED BY THEIR WIVES, STAND HERE." That line of men seemed to stretch off through the clouds into infinity.

The second sign read: "ALL THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN DOMINATED BY THEIR WIVES, STAND HERE." Underneath the sign stood one man.

He went over to the man, grabbed his arm and said, "What's the secret, how did you do it? That other line has millions of men and you are the only one standing in this line."

The man looked around with a puzzled expression and said, "Why, I am not sure I know. My wife just told me to stand here."

We have all heard jokes about "who wears the pants in the family." Yet, leadership in marriage is no laughing matter.

Our culture has redefined the meaning and responsibilities of the man and woman in society and in marriage. Men are confused and insecure. Many do not know how to act in the home. Many lacked a good model for leadership at home as they were growing up.

Consequently, abdication is common. Men do not know how to lead and often they don’t even try anymore.

So they become timid, passive and they've decided that the easiest thing to do is to do nothing.

Does that describe you? The Timid

The Tyrant

On the Other extreme you find the Tyrant who truly lords it over his wife and children. His leadership is selfish. He is consumed with pride and thinks his wife exists to serve his every need. She is called in Scripture a helpmate so it must mean that God has given her to me to help me live my life. To serve me, to help me - She is here for me – that’s it.

This causes him to be domineering and controlling, everything has to be exactly as he demands. His wife and kids are terrified of him. For fear of doing something wrong or something right in a wrong way.

He misuses his God given role to shepherd his wife and family and he forgot that his role is to lovingly exercise oversight over his family - not steely control.

Difference – over sight v control – ask and tell

 A husband should humbly serve his wife and family - not lord it over them-1Pet 5: 2-3) 

Is that you? Does that describe you?

The True Man of

Thirdly there is the True Man of God who seeks to love His wife as Christ loves His

Church and who seeks to lead his wife as Christ leads his bride.

Not perfectly, but with perseverance.

Last week we looked at the Husband’s love for his wife – a love that is sacrificially, purposefully and caring

This morning we will look at the husband’s leadership role.

Again the charge is – Husbands – be like Christ! Christ is the head of His church Eph 5: 23. The Lord as a leader can be described in two ways                                                                        He is a Shepherd leader and He is a Servant leader. Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd.

Now True spiritual leadership starts with first being a true follower of Christ. To the degree that a man is a follower of Christ, will he be the spiritual leader of his home.

A personal, vibrant, growing faith is an absolute must to be the husband God demands a man to be.

SO Husbands do you know the Good Shepherd, have you heard his voice calling and are you following Him. Jn 10 1-5

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

                   People have Christ called you by name, is He leading you. Is He the Shepherd of your life, do you follow Him. If not then hear His voice today, Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me , for I am gentle and lowly in heart , and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

He is calling you, will you respond to Him, will you follow Him. Frans I want to come but I don’t know how – Scripture gives the answer and it is a command: you have to repent and believe! You have to confess and forsake your sins, your own prideful ways, your self-reliance and your arrogant ignorance – confess and forsake! Forsake the sin that separates you from God and cry out to Him for forgiveness and believe in Christ Jesus for the salvation of your soul. Today is the day of salvation, now is the time to humble yourself. In today’s message on the role of the husband in marriage, I will call on you to follow the example of Christ in leading your wives and you would find it of tremendous help and encouragement – but only if you yourself is following the Chief Shepherd.

Let me ask the Lord to help us

                   A shepherd leader and a Servant leader – two leadership models to follow

Both with one primary concern- The CARE of those in or under your leadership

Both the Timid and the Tyrant has lost sight of this fact or at least has a selfish understanding of it.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd let’s look more closely at what that means.

Shepherd Leader Jn 10:11-15;  Ps 23  - look up place fingers there – read both

You will see that the Shepherd leader gives direction, protection and provision for the sheep in his care.

Direction

The Lord as Head of the church gives clear direction to his people. He does not leave them to fend for themselves. He leads them.

Ps 23 – this beautiful Psalm of David describing in very personal terms the Lord as His Shepherd  v 1

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

The Shepherd leads; the Shepherd knows where he is going. He has a fixed destination in mind. He knows where his flock should go. He knows what is good for them and how to get there. He is leading them to a place of ample provision and peace. He knows how to get there, what route to take.

Christ knows the destination of His Church. He came to save and to sanctify his people and to present them to Himself as a bride- in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Eph 5:27

 He knows how to get there – through the working of trials, trust and the Truth- Jn 17:17 – Sanctify them in the Truth , your Word is truth

Likewise Husbands you need to lead your wife. Know your destination and how you will get there.

Do you know where you are going? -  Or are you just wandering around aimlessly, hoping all would be OK? Or do you have a clear goal in mind – What is your goal?

A Shepherd leads with direction and purpose. The purpose of Marriage as with everything we do – is to glorify God. 1 Cor 10:31 – whether you eat or drink or whatever you do – do it all to the glory of God

So lead, make decision, set boundaries all with the goal of glorifying God.

God is a God of order, not confusion and God has given the husband the responsibility to bring about his purposes in the family in a orderly manner

The means, deciding on what you will do, when and how- all in a God glorifying manner

V 2 reads - He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 

Interesting insight is found in a book called - A Shepherds Look at PSALM 23 - the author Philip Keller who was an shepherd before he became a pastor gives us this insight – “It is almost impossible for them (sheep) to be made to lie down unless four requirements are met. Owing to their timidity they refuse to lie down unless they are free of all fear. Because of the social behavior within a flock sheep will not lie down unless they are free from friction with others of their kind. If tormented by flies or parasites, sheep will not lie down. Only when free of these pests can they relax. Lastly, sheep will not lie down as long as they feel in need of finding food. They must be free from hunger.”

 

For them to lie down they need to be free from fear, free from friction, free from pests and free from hunger. The Lord makes his sheep lie down in green pastures and leads them by the quiet waters

Husbands – how are you doing? Have you brought order to your family? Have you created an atmosphere of peace – where your wife can flourish in?  Is your Care your leadership - tangible to her?    In leading your wife, in shepherding her, is she free from fear? Is your presence, your leadership a source of security to her? Is she so convinced of your love and care for her that no matter what may come your way, she knows you will be there and knows where to look for the solutions if it is not immediately apparent what to do

Does she feel safe and secure under your leadership? Your decision-making?

Is she terrified of you decisions? DO you make God honoring, wise decision or are you impulsive, inconsistent. Foolish – I tell you that will cause your wife to fear- if she see you making foolish decision all the time – why – cause she has to bear the consequences with you.

What about free from friction. Are you a shield for her? Do you position yourself between her and anyone who may want to harm her? Do you provide a much needed shield against a hostile world, against those who would criticise her, against gossip and other hurtful and harmful words and actions? A Good shepherd always positions himself between his flock and any threat - Men lead by shielding your wives in the decisions you make.

Free from pests. Husbands, do you know the little things that annoy her. That steals her joy or irritates her. Do you know the things that concern her that worries her and steals her peace? The things, which hampers her from reaching your goals as a god glorifying couple. You need to know her and lead her accordingly. You need to live with your wife in an understanding way 1Pet3:7. Know her strengths and weaknesses and lead in a way that utilize her strengths and help her in her weaknesses.

Free from Hunger. Do you provide for her? Physically? Spiritually.

This brings us to the second aspect of husband as Shepherd leader and that is provision

Provision

V 1 The Lord is my Shepherd – I shall want, He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters

Sheep are very dependent animals and rely on the shepherd to provide for them. The Lord is a Shepherd who provides and He provides amply.                                                           The second half to the verse 1 - I shall not want - is not to be understood as not desiring anything else but as not lacking anything. The Lord provides completely for His flock. He is the one who provides us with the Bead of Life; He is the one who gives us the living waters. He cares for us Spiritually-Go read again Eph1 and marvel at His spiritual provision

He cares and provides for us physically – Mt 6:31-33

Husbands as the shepherd leader of your home – You are responsible to provide for your wife and family, physically as well as spiritually.

 Physically – it means you are responsible to provide for your families physical needs. That means you will be the primary breadwinner.

We live in times where many families face unique and challenging circumstances – some opted for the solution of - role reversal - where the husband stays at home and the wife goes out to work.

Now there may be many reasons why some couples decide to do that – I would even concede that maybe for a time it could be an acceptable temporary solution. But it is not God’s blueprint for marriage. The husband as shepherd leader has the responsibility to provide. We will look at this again in more depth next week.

Many husbands do very well in this area. They provide very generously for their wives physically, often times not so much with her as his focus but as a by product of his selfish career pursuits. 

Unfortunately in many of these scenarios there are a distinct lack of Spiritual provision. Men provide amply physically, but starve their wives spiritually, because they are consumed with the things of this world.

Let me ask you: Husband is your wife starving in her Gucci dress? Is she well dressed, but spiritually malnourished?

Men you are responsible to provide for your wife

V 3 He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake

Men you should be the one scheduling a time and a place that you can spend with your wife talking about the Lord and the things of the Lord. Praying for and with her. Make sure your wife is being fed spiritually – with the Word, in Prayer, in Church, in Serving Christ her Lord. Be available and willing to answer her questions – Instruct her in righteousness. 

As a shepherd leader – you need to give your wife direction, provision and protection

Protection

V4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,

for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Even when we go through the deepest of darkness, the most difficult of times, including staring death in the face we can trust and rest in our Shepherd’s protection and care.  He is with us, what comforting words. His rod – a club like stick used to defend against predators and His Staff – the shepherds crook – which he use to direct his flock, protecting them from straying into harm.

Also in

Jn 10: 11-13 Jesus said:

11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

A shepherd who cares for his flock will defend them against any harm and any enemy. He will square up against the wolves of this life to defend what has been entrusted to him.

Husbands you, as the shepherd leader needs to be alert.

Be on the lookout for danger. A shepherd would never willingly and knowingly put his flock in danger. Likewise you should never willingly and knowingly put your wife in danger.

As it is in your ability to provide – provide her with a safe place to live, a safe mode of transport. You need to protect your wife both physically as well as spiritually.

So be on the lookout for spiritual dangers – heretical teaching, temptations, overpowering worldly influences. Identify the dangers and provide protection by leading her another way.

Don’t be Timid, nor be the Tyrant but be the True man of God who leads his wife as Christ our Shepherd leads us

Another aspect of leadership we need to imitate is to lead as a Servant leader.

Servant Leader Jn 13 :12-17  - read

Difficult concept for many; It is paradoxical in the eyes of the world. How can you be a leader and a servant? The two just don’t go together. Well Christ Jesus is our perfect example of servant leadership. He was the perfect leader and the perfect servant.

The Scriptures teach us that Christ put aside His majesty and humbled himself taking on the form a of a bond servant (Philippians 2:7, 8.). 

It teaches us that Christ is the King of Kings, the Ruler over all things as well as the Head of the Church (Colossians1:15-20) and yet while among men He said “I did not come to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45).

He lived out His words by demonstrating his servant attitude in washing his disciples’ feet (John 13:13-17).

As with the Shepherd leader so it is with the Servant Leader – they CARE for those in their care

The servant leader is always thinking of others, the need of others, their well being.  A servant leader places others before himself and is willing to sacrifice his comfort for the benefit of others.

This is how Christ leads His Church, therefore in the same way you husbands are to lead your wife, always keeping her best interests at heart.

Let’s look a Jn 13 v 13

Your position – Accept it  v13

You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.

Jesus acknowledged and accepted his position – he was his disciples’ Lord and Teacher

He decided when they went somewhere, where they went and what happened when he got there.

Jesus had a clear goal in mind, clear direction. He also was completely submitted to the leading of the Spirit – something we desire and aspire to but are seriously hampered by our sin nature.

He is also the one who continuously taught them the Word of God – He was the Word incarnate and he helped them understand that He was the Saviour, the Messiah, He was not to going to establish His kingdom as they understood it now. He came now as Saviour and will return as King

Husbands accept your position and your responsibility. –You are the head of the home. You are the one who need to provide leadership in the mundane as well as the profound

You are responsible for your wife and family’s goings and doings. What you will be involved with and what not. What to pick up and what to pass by.

You are also the teacher of your home. It is your responsibility to serve your wife and kids with the Word of God. You need to daily bring them to the Saviour and you need to remind them regularly of His coming as King. Teach them to live expectantly of His return, to be ready.

Your style – in humility  v14

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

Jesus who was God incarnate. The one whom angels worship at His feet – He bowed down and washed his disciples’ feet. That was a nasty job in those days delegated to the lowliest of slave. The climate was hot, the roads were dusty and custom was open sandals – resulting in sweaty, grimey, dirty feet. Yet the LORD and the TEACHER did not consider it beneath him to perform this task. It displayed immense humility.

Husbands – humility needs to be your style in leadership.

If you believe getting married is a license to lordship you are sorely mistaken

Mt20:25-28

25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

                    Getting married is not a license to Lordship – it is the highway to humility. Husbands, humble yourself and get dirty in the everyday tasks at home. Serve your wife. Christ washed his disciples’ dirty feet, but you don’t do the dishes – Come on.

Seek out and know how you can best serve your wife.

Servant leadership is not from the top down - it is from the bottom up. It is not lording it over but getting down into the trenches and lifting your wife up, holding her up, removing obstacles that make it hard for her.

Therefore husbands, you need to be a student of your wife. You have to know her and understand her in order to correctly and purposefully lead and serve her, honoring her 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Allowing her to fulfill her role as your helpmate – Sad to say many husbands run roughshod over the needs, desires, fears and trepidations of their wives because of their warped view of headship. I am the head of this house and I decide what we must do They never acknowledge that the same Holy Spirit whom they claim guides and directs them – resides in their wives as well. They hardly ever listen to her, or values her insight, her perspectives. Men she was given to you, as your helpmate- there is a reason why God gave her to you. Think of her as your blindspot protector. For those of you who think you don’t have a blindspot – think again – that’s why they are called blindspots – you are blind to them

We’ll men when you don’t acknowledge, appreciate and accept your wife’s input – you have a massive blindspot – and no one else loves you enough to warn you about it.

As a Servant-leader humble yourself.

Be like Christ – He described himself as gentle and humble in heart (Matthew 11:29) Furthermore Scriptures are clear that the proud are an abomination to God          (Proverbs 16:5), He resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble (1Peter 5:5). It is therefore imperative that the husband leads and serves his wife with humility, knowing that you will be held accountable before God for the way in which you lead your wife.

 

Your Example – Christ  v15

For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

I have said this before – Husbands – be like Christ! Here Jesus calls His disciples to follow His example. His example is naturally not limited exclusively to foot washing. SO don’t embark on a foot-washing ministry, per se.  Jesus was demonstrating the principle that nothing should be beneath you to do for a brother or a sister in Christ. Nothing should be beneath you in serving your wife.

Good leaders never ask one of their followers to do what they are not prepared to do themselves.

Jesus demonstrated his humility and his servant heart and say – you follow that.

So husbands – lead in humility and in service.

Your Expectation – fulfil it  v16

Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

Jesus reinforced his call on them to follow His example in humility and in service by pointing out that a slave is not greater than his master.

He drives home the point that He who was their Lord and Teacher was willing to perform the task and actually did perform this task, which was normally performed by only the lowliest of slaves

He expects them to do likewise. Leaders are to serve. They need to employ the gifts, abilities, opportunities as well as their position and status to serve.

Husbands – do you have a servant’s heart? Do you view your marriage as a God given opportunity to serve your wife? Serve her out of the position God has given you. He expects that of you.

Your Promise – Hold on to it  - v 17

If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them

Some of you may be able to say that really Frans I have never knew or understood these requirements of the Lord on me as a Husband.

I will say – its’ OK brother, but now you do. What will you do about it now?

Jesus here specifically and Scripture in general instructs us that there is blessing associated with obedience. Obey God and you will be blessed

His words, His commands are for our benefit.

Obey His commands, obey His Word, obey this call to servant leadership and you will be blessed

Your marriage will reach heights in the areas of companionship, courtship and commitment that you have not experienced before.

Nor is this a promise which plateau after a while

The more and more you do what God commands you to do the more and more blessed you will be.

Men, in your marriage, the Lord has placed you at the head. He has made you responsible. He wants you to lead your wife

Lead as your Saviour leads – As a Shepherd and as a Servant.  Amen.

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