A Marriage Made in Heaven - Part 2: God’s Plan for Husbands
1 Peter 3:1-7
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Jan. 13, 2013
*If you have ever wondered: “What’s wrong with my family?” -- You are not alone. You will never find a perfect family in this world. And you will never find a perfect family in the Bible, because Adam and Eve sinned.
*Romans 5 tells us that Adam’s sin has been passed down to all of us, so even our perfect Savior’s earthly family had problems, because Christ’s mom and step-dad were sinners, His brothers and sisters, too.
*None of us can have a perfect family life in this world. But all of us can have a better family life, if we will follow God’s family plan. Last Sunday evening we began looking at God’s plan for marriage. We started with wives, because that’s where Peter starts in chapter 3.
*And when we look at God’s plan for wives here, we see that it centers on 3 things:
-Respect for your husband.
-And reaching out for Jesus.
*All of this is summed up in vs. 1, where Peter said: “Likewise you wives, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives”
*God’s plan is for wives to have voluntary, grace-filled respect for their husbands, the inward beauty of right living, and a life that reaches the lost.
-But what about the men? -- What is God’s plan for husbands?
*We can see it down in vs. 7, where Peter said: “Likewise you husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”
*The first thing to notice here is that God wants husbands to live with “understanding” or “knowledge” in the KJV. That’s good because men, we need all the help we can get! And God gives us some of this vital understanding here in vs. 7.
1. So, what is God’s plan for husbands? -- First: God’s plan is for us to be unselfish in giving.
*God wants husbands to be givers. For example, in vs. 7, He wants us to give “honor” to our wife.
 And one reason to give honor to our wives is because of her weakness. As vs. 7 says: She is the “weaker vessel.”
1-Here God is simply telling us not to take advantage of her size.
*Now, my wife has always been strong. When we met, I had a 1968 Volkswagen Bug, and it’s a good thing that car wasn’t an automatic, because we had to push it off everywhere we went. I can still see Mary behind that car, pushing. She used to tell people that the reason I dated her was because she was the only woman I knew who could push that car.
*Well, that’s not why I dated her. I dated her because she was my destiny. But she was the only woman I knew who could push that car. Mary could even push that car uphill!
*But even though she is still pretty strong, I think I can take her. Peter is just stating the obvious here: Most women are physically weaker than their husbands. It would be easy to push them around. It would be easy to take advantage of them.
*But God says don’t do that! -- It would be ungodly and immoral. It’s also illegal.
-Give honor to your wife. Don’t take advantage of her size.
2-And don’t take advantage of her situation.
*The Word of God has just finished telling wives to submit to their husbands, and He sure doesn’t want us taking advantage of that. “Woman: You’re supposed to do what I tell you to do! -- It says that right here in the Bible.” Or: “You better do what I tell you to!”
*Men: Has Jesus ever talked to us that way? -- No. And He doesn’t want us to talk that way either. There is no telling how many marriages have been ruined, because the husband tried to be a control freak. God doesn’t operate that way, and He doesn’t want us to do it either.
*Give honor to your wife, because of her weakness.
 But also because of her preciousness.
*The Greek word translated as “honor” in vs. 7 is found 43 times in the New Testament. But the thing that astounds me is the way God uses it in 1 Peter 2:7. The first part of that verse expresses the way Christians feel about Jesus. And the Scripture says, “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious. . .”
*“To you who believe, He is precious. . .” That word “precious” is the same Greek word as “honor” in tonight’s Scripture. Jesus is precious to us! But God wants our wives to be precious to us too.
*They almost always are at first, but the fire tends to grow cold. Arthur Sueltz described how things can go downhill in a little spoof on the seven years of a wife’s cold. Here’s what the husband says:
-Year 1: “Sweetie, I'm worried. You've got a bad sniffle. I want to put you in the hospital for a complete checkup.”
-Year 2: “Listen, honey, I don't like the sound of that cough. I'm taking you to the doctor right now. And I want you to go to bed as soon as we get home.”
-Year 3: “Maybe you'd better lie down, honey. There’s nothing like a little rest if you're feeling bad. I'll bring you something to eat.”
-Year 4: “Look, dear. Be sensible. After you've fed the kids and washed the dishes, you'd better hit the sack.”
-Year 5: “Why don't you take a couple of aspirin?”
-Year 6: “Would you please gargle something! You’re barking like a seal.”
-Year 7: “For heaven's sake, stop sneezing. What are you trying to do, give me pneumonia?” (1)
*God doesn’t want husbands to go down that road. He wants us to fan the flames of our love and see our wives as precious!
*William Barclay explained that a Christian husband “must be chivalrous. He must remember that women are the weaker sex and treat them with courtesy. In the ancient world chivalry to women was well-nigh unknown. It was, and still is, no uncommon sight in the East to see the man riding on a donkey while the woman trudged by his side. It was Christianity which introduced chivalry into the relationship between men and women. (2)
*That makes sense, because though Jesus never had an earthly wife, the Lord Himself is our best example on how to treat a wife. We see this truth in Ephesians 5:25-27, where God’s Word says:
25. Husbands, love your wives, just 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.
*Listen again to Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it.” This is a verse that husbands ought to know in our hearts, and live out in our homes. We are to love our wives the way Jesus loves His church!
1-That means we must give sacrificial love.
*In John 15:13, Jesus said: “Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus Christ gave His life on the cross for us. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us. And God wants us to love our wives with this same kind of love.
*Sixteen hundred years ago, early church leader John Chrysostom commented on these Scriptures. And he set the highest standard for us as husbands.
*Chrysostom began by asking, “Have you seen the measure of obedience? Hear also the message of love. Do you want your wife to obey you as the Church does Christ? Then care for her as Christ does the Church. And if it becomes necessary that you should give your life for her, or to be cut to pieces a thousand times, or endure anything whatever, don't refuse it. Christ brought the Church to his feet by his great care, not by threats or fear or anything else. So should you conduct yourselves toward your wife.” (3)
*Husbands should love their wives with sacrificial love.
2-And with serving love.
*In Eph 5:26-27, we see the Lord doing great things for the church: sanctifying and cleansing “her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
*These verses remind me of one of the most memorable things the Lord did on the night before the cross. Jesus got up from supper. He picked up a towel and a bowl of water. Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet.
*Jesus Christ loves us with serving love, and He wants husbands to love their wives the same way.
3-Jesus also wants husbands to love their wives with sure love.
*The Lord wants us to be always there, always faithful. Can you imagine Jesus Christ being unfaithful to His church? -- Of course not, and He wants us to be just as true to our wives.
*James Cook told about a couple in the check-out line at the grocery store. And as they waited, they were discussing their upcoming 50th wedding anniversary. The young cashier overheard them and said, “I can’t imagine being married to same man for 50 years!”
*That wise wife replied, “Well, Honey, don’t get married until you can.” (4)
*The Lord wants us to have a loving marriage that lasts a lifetime. And we can, if we will follow His plan. A big part of that plan is for husbands to give their wives sure, serving, sacrificial love. Jesus Christ gave His best for His church. And now He wants husbands to give our best to our wives. He wants husbands to give them our time, treasure, and tenderness.
*God’s plan for husbands is to be unselfish in giving.
2. And to be united in grace.
*Peter pointed us to this truth in vs. 7, where he tells us that Christian husbands and wives are “heirs together of the grace of life.”
-If Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, we are heirs together of the grace of life.
*As Paul said in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This reminds us that the ground is all level at the foot of the cross.
*And Christians: We are “heirs.” That little word has such enormous significance! All of the wonders, joys, splendors, blessings, and riches of God belong to us because we belong to Jesus!
*And it’s all by God’s grace. God tells us this in Ephesians 2:8&9, where His Word says:
8. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9. not of works, lest anyone should boast.
*Saved couples are “heirs together of the grace of life,” because we are saved by grace:
-Grace that brought the Lord Jesus Christ into this world.
-Grace that took Him to the cross for our sins.
-Grace that brings us the truth that Jesus rose again from the dead.
-Grace that washes away all of our sins when we receive Jesus.
-Grace that gives us eternal life and a home in Heaven.
*Christians: We are saved! -- And how wonderful to share in that salvation with your husband or your wife. Heirs together of the grace of life.
*And here together by the grace of God. Husbands and wives, never forget that God brought you together in the first place. And it was all by His grace.
*Jean Johnson gives the example of her daughter Julie. Julie met a young man named Mark, when they were working on a ranch in Colorado. After Julie came home, Mark decided to pursue the relationship and came to visit.
*That Sunday, Julie’s pastor was greeting visitors from the pulpit, and he welcomed Mark as “Julie's future husband.” Julie just about died of embarrassment. She leaned over and whispered, “I'm sorry, Mark.”
*Mark whispered back, “Why?” -- Julie answered: “Because you've never asked me to marry you.” Right then and there he said, “Will you?” -- She said, “Yes!” And suddenly they were engaged. (5)
*They got married in that same church. But God used a clueless pastor to help bring those two together. And God brought us together with our mates. So we should never think it doesn’t matter to Him how we treat each other.
*What is God’s plan for husbands?
-For us to be unselfish in giving.
-United in grace.
3. And unhindered in going to God.
*This was Peter’s message to us in the last part of vs. 7, so please listen to it again. Peter said: “Likewise you husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”
*When Peter talks about “hindered” prayers, he is reminding us that these things don’t just affect our relationships with our wives and children. These things affect our relationship with God.
*As William Barclay once said: “Our relationships with God can never be right, if our relationships with our fellow-men are wrong. It is when we are at one with each other that we are at one with him.” (2)
*Well, it just makes sense that if we are all out of sorts with our wife, if we have a bad attitude toward her, if we aren’t treating her right, these things will poison our prayers. And that assumes we are still praying in the first place.
*Billy Graham once said, “Heaven is full of answers to prayers for which no one ever bothered to ask.” And that’s the truth. (6)
*So God has a plan for husbands. We are to be:
-Unselfish in giving.
-United in grace.
-And unhindered in going to God.
*As we go to God in prayer, let’s lift up special prayers for our own families and the families all around us.
(1) Adapted from “Life At Close Quarters” by Arthur Sueltz - Waco, Texas: Word Publishing - Source: Sermons.com illustration - Marriage
(2) BARCLAY'S DAILY BIBLE STUDY SERIES (NT) by William Barclay, Revised Edition (C) Copyright 1975 William Barclay - First published by the Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh, Scotland - The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - THE HUSBAND'S OBLIGATION - 1 Peter3:7
(3) “What a Husband Has To Do” by Rev. David Holwick - First Baptist Church - Ledgewood, New Jersey - July 13, 1997 - 1 Peter 3:7 - Holwick illustration #1776 - SOURCE: “How Should Husbands Love Their Wives?” by John Chrysostom
(4) SermonCentral illustration contributed by James Cook
(5) Jean Johnson, Fremont, Michigan - “Christian Reader” - “Rolling Down the Aisle” - Source: “Bible Illustrator for Windows” - Topic: Marriage - Index: 1620-1621 - Date: 7/1998.1171 - Title: “Surprise Proposal”
(6) SermonCentral illustration contributed by D. Greg Ebie - SOURCE: Billy Graham