Every Husband Owes Something To His Wife Ephesians 5:25-33 The Christian home should be like a symphony – harmonious. And the only way that is possible is by doing it God’s way, each playing our own part. In the life time of some in this room, the divorce rate was as low as 1 in 7. By the 60s it was 1 in 4. It wasn’t long before it was 1 in 2, and then you have America today, where divorces far outnumber marriages every year! What starts out as the ideal turns into an ordeal and then somebody is looking for a new deal. Too bad, because marriage is supposed to be a taste of heaven on earth…the closest thing to paradise this world can know. A marriage is supposed to be a picture of our relationship with Christ! ill.–Spurgeon said when a Christian home is done right angels would feel at home in it. The devil knows that if he can hurt the home he can hurt us everywhere, from home to church to nation to world! And according to God, it all begins with dad. No wonder the devil levels his artillery until the man of the house is dead in his sights! The Bible not only tells us what to do and how to do it and where to get the power to do it…but then it draws us a picture so we can’t miss the main message. Certainly God knew men would be slower than women and infinitely more hard headed. In this picture we have Jesus, and His bride, the church. And whatever Christ is to the church is what we men are to be to our wives. What Jesus gave for the church I’m supposed to give to my wife. Text: Ephesians 5:25-33 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. h 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
And so, men, we owe our wives: 1. Godly leadership. Jesus is the leader of the church, and men ought to lead their wives…in the right way. Godly Leadership is not dictatorship. That’s what we see now in Syria. It’s not coercion. Jesus doesn’t make the church obey Him. “I will serve thee because I love thee.” Godly Leadership is not domination. Some guys try to use their Bibles to beat their wife into submission. Not cool. You cannot subdue anyone into submission, because by definition, submission is voluntary. Submission of a woman is to be in response to loving leadership on the part of the husband. I get a kick out of these guys who say headship of the home is their Biblical right. Actually, it’s something to earn – like respect. ill.-‘traffic rights’. We all have our rights on the roads…but if you force the issue, it might mean death! [the quick on a green light and be right but still end up dead] Tombstone: “Here lies the body of Jerry Ray, who refused to give up his right of way, he was right dead right as he traveled along, but just as dead as if he was wrong!” If you demand submission, you won’t have it, and you might get yourself killed! We have Christian men today trying to be the boss of their home instead of the loving leader of their home. v. 23 ‘head’ does not mean boss. ill.–Gordon Selveridge built huge department stores in England by being a leader, and not a boss. He said, “A boss drives men, a leader coaches them. The boss depends upon authority, the leader good will. The boss inspires fear, the leader enthusiasm. The boss says I, the leader says we. The boss fixes blame for breakdowns, the leader fixes breakdowns. The boss knows how it is done, the leader SHOWS how it is done. The boss says go, the leader says let’s go.” It’s the difference between cornering someone and getting them in your corner. In a harmonious home, dad is to be the leader of the band, and he is responsible for the outcome of all the players. And if someone is out of step, it is likely his fault! Not always, but most often problems are caused by the man not providing the right leadership in the home. Eve may have sinned, but God came looking for Adam! The main problem in our homes today isn’t non-submissive wives, but husbands with warped views on leadership or no leadership at all. Remember how Jesus settled the disciples’ dispute over who is most important? By putting on an apron, bending over, and washing their stinking feet! Headship isn’t a chain of command…it’s a chain of responsibility and service. Leadership isn’t having others cater to your needs, but rather meeting the needs of other people. Some of us need to go home and wash our wives’ feet, figuratively, or maybe literally! We do so by apologizing, by learning, by improving, and by leading in love! It shouldn’t be the wives leading the family to church, tho’ we can be thankful for those who do out of necessity. It should be the man, the leader of the band! God help the man whose wife has to pray over the meal or it won’t get done, or has to pray with the kids at bedtime, or it won’t happen, or has to bring up spiritual topics or remind everyone about quiet time, or it will never take place. You are to be the spiritual leader of your home! 1. Godly leadership. 2. Love. vv. 25, 28, 33 If we are to love our wives the same way Christ loved the church, what kind of love is that? Sacrificial love–v. 25b–“and gave himself for it.” Jesus died for the church. We should be willing to die for our wives. How do you know if you are willing to die for her? Are you living for her? Are you dying to yourself? Let’s be honest men, sometimes we are pretty selfish. Somebody said that men are like a tick on a dog…we’re only in it for what we can get out of it. v. 25 means there should be nothing so precious to us that we wouldn’t give it up for our wife. “Well I work hard all week, and it’s my right to do what I want with my time off.” Grow up! That sounds like a spoiled school boy. Real love is 1st a Sacrificial love. It is also a; Sanctifying love–vv. 26-27–an elevating love! My wife is a radiant Christian, the best I’ve ever met. And I have the assignment from God to help her be even better. That’s a tall order! She’s supposed to be a better Christian because she married me. Oh my! I must never lead her into anything impure or unholy. Remember, real love lifts you up and never drags you down. If our teens get into a relationship that drags them down, that isn’t love, that is not of God! Drop him like a hard rock. Real love is a Sacrificial love—a Sanctifying love & also a; Secure love–vv. 28-30–provide her protection and security! This is physical protection for the weaker vessel. This is emotional protection. We are to be her help meet in weak areas, and yet some guys seem to get a kick out of aggravating and taking advantages of their wives’ emotional state. I remind you that according to the Bible, when your wife hurts, YOU are supposed to hurt! [one flesh] That’s the kind of Savior we serve. He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities! v. 29 ‘cherish’ = to warm someone when they are cold. ‘nourish’ = to feed. See to it that her needs are met, and when you provide her financial security as well as physical and emotional security, in some strange way, you will also be better for it, because you are one flesh! Ok, we’ve seen Godly Leadership, Real love… 3rdly. Loyalty. v. 31 ‘Leave’ speaks of the priority of marriage. ‘Joined’ [welded] speaks of Gods plan for the permanence of marriage. ‘One flesh’ speaks of the purpose of marriage. It’s all summed up by one word: loyalty. Contrary to popular opinion, the highest relationship on earth is not mother to the child, but the husband to the wife. Look at most any divorce and you see the opposite occurring. Your child has your unconditional love and loyalty, as they should, and as your spouse should also! We’re not trying to cry over spilled milk or unscramble eggs. This isn’t guilt for the divorced this morning, this is Biblical truth protection for the future! “But I owe it to myself to be happy.” No, you owe it to God to be holy, and to keep your vow! All couples have problems, but not all have the commitment to work thru it. “But we’re no longer in love.” It’s not love which sustains commitment, but commitment which sustains love. Here are some practical ideas for men:Learn to control anger. Some blow up. One lady said her husband was like a volcano, and when he would explode, he would spew hurt all over her and anyone else around, and it upset her so much she was losing weight. Her friend asked if she was going to confront him about it and she said, yes, just as soon as I get down to 120 lbs! Some clam up, and refuse to talk, but these usually end up blowing up down the road. We must learn to look up, and open up, and express our anger rationally, and let God help us through it. Direct anger towards the problem, not the closest person to vent on. We hurt those we love the most, but the more we love them, the less we should hurt them. So, Learn to control anger. Next; Control your tongue. Women hear words differently because they feel things more deeply than a man. A man can say, “Are you going to eat all of that?” And what did she hear? “So you think I am eating too much?” What he meant was that he wanted anything left, but that’s not what she heard. ill.–A dating couple strolled along down a country road. You could hear the crickets, and at a distance you could also hear a church choir practicing. The girl asked, “How do they make such lovely music?” He SAID, “By rubbing their legs together!” We speak different languages, and hear things differently. We must learn to speak one another’s language. Be careful what you say, and how you say it, but also, WHEN you say it. Pick your time to SAY THINGS. She may be preoccupied with planning dinner or something else.
Finally, be careful weather or not you even OUGHT to say it. Some guys pride themselves on saying whatever they are thinking. Unloading the truck is not always a good idea, especially when it’s full of a load of something unpleasant!
Husbands, remember what it is that we owe our wives. 1)Godly Leadership, 2) A love that is Sacrificial, Sanctifying & Secure, and also lastly; 3) your loyalty.
Remember, it’s not love which sustains commitment, but commitment which sustains love and Fathers, we owe that to our wives.