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              ROLES AND RESPONSBILITIES OF HUS-WIFE  EPH 5:21-33

INTRODUCTION

1.  This passage is met with mixed emotion.  ON the one hand some brand the apostle Paul as a male chauvnist pig who reduces marriage to a master-slave relationship.  They have charged that Xianity has set back women intheir quest for equality and consider the roles established in this passage as blamphemous and degrading.

2.  On the other hand this passage is applauded because it unvails God's design for a marriage relationship.  It sets forth the roles and responsibilites according to God's plan.  This passages how how hus and wife are to relate to each other so they may experienc the maxium fulfillment and satisfication.  It shows how the blending of 2 lives together can reach their highest potential as human beings and as Xians.

3.  Let's discover from this passage God's blueprint for the home.  I believe this passage is the solution to many marriage problems.  Because many huas-wives are not willing to submit to this design they are not experiencing marriage as it was desgined to be.

4.  Let's make sure we understand this is not an experimental passage.  Paul doesn't say let's experiment with how hus-wives relates and see how it works. This is not exp erimental but it is to be experiential.  We are to experience the role and resp outlined here so we might lives together as hus-wives in order to reap fulfillment.

5.  Of course we have a choice.  We can reject this design or submit to it.  May each hus and wife cooperate with the HS and be filled by Him so you can construct your lives together according to God's blueprint.

I.  SUBMIT TO EACH OTHER (V21)

1.  To properly understand the role and responsibilites of hus-wives we must begin with v 21--submit yourselves to one another outof reverence for X.  This verse calls for mutual submission of hus-wife. We are to fit in with, adapt ourselves to one another.

2.  This is done to honor X.  As X, hus-wives we ought to have placed ourselves under the authority of X so we can honor him.  We agree to allow X to devleop out of us the new creation, one that is characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, longsuffering, gentleness, faithfulness.  Then in the marriage relationship each spouse cares as much for the needs of the other as their own.  Each has pushed aside self interest for God interest.  As this happens then the one flesh concept Pual speaks of in v 31 begins to become a reality.

3.  Evidence of mutual submission is seen as each helps the other become all they can be in God.  Each is sensitive to the others need; each listens to and values the other's opinion.  Each then are equal card caring partners. Neither are dependents but both are associates.

4.  The reason and motivation for mutual submission is the relationship w/Christ.  If we have a problem respecting each other as equals in the marriage=-we have a spiritual problme.  If your realtionship w/God is out of focus so will your relationship with your spouse. Unless we are willing to place oursleves under the leadership of X we can never accpet God's design and submit ourselves to each other.  When we reject God's design for mutual submission we can be sure difficutlites will creep in and undermine satisficaiton.

II.  ROLE OF HUSBANDS

A.  LEADER

1.  Let's turn our attention to the husband's roles and resp under God's desing.  He has two roles--a leader and lover.  His position in the marriage is leader, to be head of his wife as X is head of the church.  His passion is to love his wife as X loved the chruch.  These two roles are to be balanced.  One w/o the other produces distortion.  Leadership w/o love produces dictatorship.  Love w/o leadership is irresponsible sentimentality.  So hus we are to provide a leadership of love.  lWhat does that mean?  One way to discover what it means to be a leader is to disocver what is is not.

2.  Being a leader of the wife doesn't mean dictatro.  It doesn't mean to boss or dominate.  God is not calling husband to be T.I. barking orders and handing out deatils.  He is not to demand the family line up in formation each morning and issueorder of the day and then declare he will return at 1700 for inspection.  Notice Pual uses the analogy of X and the church as the pattern for hus-wife  relationship.   Is X a dictator?  Does he carm things down our thorats?  He is soveriegn but he doesn't coercise us into obedience and serice.  He draws us by his love so we willingly offer him our lives.

3.  The headship of the hus doens't mean the wife is inferior.  As persons we are equal in God's sight.  Paul tells the Gal (3:28) in X there is no male, female, bond, free but we are all one in X.  As partners we are functionally different.  We have different functions in the relationship.  lGod desinged man to be the head.  He established the line of authority or chain of command in I Cor 11:3.  If we say a women is inferiro to man because she submits to him is to say X is inferior to because he willlingly submits to God the father.  That is heresy.

4.  God place man at the head of the family to prevent a 2 headed monsteer.  Unless there is a clear defined leadership there would be choaos.  Consider what would happen if we had 2 wing Com  Could you imagine what te dialy operations of the wing would be like.  God wants to aovid that in marriage so he placed the hus as the functional leader.

5.  Well if he's the leader then the hus makes all the decisions while the wife keeps her mouth shut.  She is seen and not heard and becomes a wall flower and her mind and abilites become dormant.  No at all.  That's the furtherest from what being a leader means.  Leadership doesn't mean he makes all the decsions w/o delegation or discussion.  How ridiculous to think men have the corner on good judgment, competence, insight and ideas.  LGod has gifted our wives w/ a variety of gifts and how foolish not to use them.

6.  lThere are many areas the hus should delegate the decsions making to the wife because she's more competent.  The wife for example may be a better money manager and checkbook balancer than the hus.  I bounce many ideas off my wife because I trust her insights and judgment.  Often her suggestions were better than mine.

7.  Well twhat happens when they disagree.  As the leader, the hus ought to discuss the issue with his wife;  Each views are set forth but if an agreemnt can't be reached then the hus should make the decisions.  It may not be the best decision but man is respon according to God's design.  God ask the wife to submit to that decsion and to support it and then when it's worng God want you wives to say I told you so. No.  but to pray for wisdon and direction ands supports the husband no matter.

8.  A fourth thing leadership is not is the hus is always right.  He is not always right but he is always resp  He is the steward of the decision making process and will be accoutnible to God for such.  this of course doesn't mean  as we have said he makes all the decision.  Just like any Commander doesn't make the decsions within sq, wing or bases but he/she is resp for the outcome.

9.  The hus is the head of the wife according to God's design.  lt does not mean he is dictator. It doesn't mean wives are inferior but in God's sight are equal.  It doesn';t mean hus makes all the decison but he must delegate.  He is not always right but always resp. 

B.  THE LOVER

1.  The us is also the lover. His passion is his wife.  the model and example is X's love for the chruch.  X's love  for the church was a sacrifical love.   He gave himself for the church. He died to make the ch pure, holy and clean.  Obviously X placed his own need over that of the ch.  He died to bring the church to its highest potential. Our lvoe for our wives demand such sacrificing action.  We encourage her to express her abilities, pursue her  interests.  God has desinged  wives to be our helper and when she become the most complete person God inteneds, she is the greatest help to her husband. Hus how often do you consder your wiveds need above yours?  X'ls model demands it.

2.  X's love was a caring love which resulted in the chruch's good.  X loved the ch so she would be better.  Our lvoe for our wife ought to promote our wife's well being.  This dismisses the idea if a wife submits to her husbnad she will become a dooormat and cease to exist in her own right and person,.   One ancient rabbi siad:  your partner is a sleeping beauty waiting for your kiss.  She will be whatever yourlove will make her to be.]

3.  The caring love is concerned about her phny, emotional and spirtual needfs.  Our resp is not fulfilled by bringing home the bacon.  lShe neeeds to hear and be shown she's not just the chief cook and bottle washer.  lshe needs companionship.  This can be met by leaving the kids and going out on a date or sittting over a cup of coffee. She needs to hear you love her.  Don't let her assume it.  A story is told of a couple who were having some marital problems came to their pastor.  What's the problme. he asked.  she qluicly siad--he donesn't love me anymore.  The pastor asked is that ture?  lThe hus said I told her 15 yrs ago I loved her and if that ever changes I'll let her know.

4.  Our love for our wives is an act of the will. It is something we choose to do.  We don't lvoe her only when she is lovely or loveable. What if X loved us only when we were lovable?  Love is not a response it is an initiative.  It is both word and action.  Neither can substitute for the other.  Both are necessary.  Lvoe as an act of the will is not based on how we feel.  Even in the middle of a fight we can say I lvoe you and mean it.  Love as X models it is a gifts we give.  It is not earned.

5.  lWhen we beocme lovers like this we express tenderness, thoughtfulness, compassion, sensitit8ivity.  ONe of the greatest thing hus you can do for your children is love their mother like you love your own body.  We we  love our wives with the passion modeled byX then we make it easy for our wieves to assumes their roles.

II. WIVES SUBMIT

A.  FUNCTION

1.  NOw let's turn to the role and resp of the wife under God' design.  the key word is submit.  Wives submit yoursleves to your husband as unto the lord.  Submission just as leaderhsip is a matter of function not equality. God has designed the hus to be the leader and the wife to fit in with and adqpt herself to his leadership.

2.  lBeing submissive is not just for wives but as we have already seen for all beleivers.  It is not some demonic plan to single out and punihs women.  Under God's design submission would never make the wife a slave but it would make her a queen.Being submissive doesn't mean she becomes a wallflower nor would her abilities become drmant.  Quit4e the opposite.  God's design would insure her abilites are fleshed out to their highest potential.

B.  WHAT IS IT

1.  Being submissive is a voluntary action of the wive.  Wives submit yoursleves.  Submit yoursleves to your husband's leadership of love.  While it is a voluntary act God commands it.  Many wives do have problems with this idea but we have to remind oursleves Father does know best.

2.  What if the hus doesn't lead with love, then the wife doesn't have to submit? Not at all.  lThe treatment a wife might receive from their husband doesn't determine the wife's temperment.  It is not how a person act toward lyou burt how you react.  God is always with a wife and understands and gives the strength to fulfill his design.

3.  Paul reminds us submission is a spiritual matter.  submit yourselves as unto the Lord. Submission is an act ofdevotion to God. It is a part of ltthe X fiaht.  Ovisioulsy then, if a wife refuses God's design she is in rebellion against God as the hus is who refuses to assume a leadership of love.

3.  Submissin doesn't limit freedom but it gives tremendous freedom to be creative under God's divinley appointed head.  Theis allows the wife to be the helper, the completer rathn than compete.  Just as the realtion between lX and the ch is used as a model for the hus leadership of love, si is it usd for wives to be submissive to her husband.

4.  lThe function of the wife as seen here suggests her primary ministry in life is to fulfill the needs, lacks and inadequanceis of her husb.  God knew we men would need a lot of help and be incomplete w/o a wife so he provided a helpmate.  We have already seen this doens';t mean everything she does is in relation to her hus or not have interest of her own.  It doesn mean she'll not do anything to harm him.  You've heard behind every successful hus is a surpriesed mother in law.  But have you heard ebhinmd every successful hus is not only a surprised mother in law but a good wife.

C. HOW TO SUBMIT

1.  Wives can be submissive by providing a home as a place of comfort, understanding, encouragement.  It is a safe place to retreat.  A submissive wife show interest in her hus concerns, joys, goals, work.  she offers uggestions, corrects and advises.

2.  lA submissive wife as Peter remdins us keeps herslef attracive both inward and outward.  she avoids the totaled wife look.  A submissive wife above alls builds loyalty to her hus in his children.

CONCLUSION

1.  These roles and resp  seeem hard to accpet and live out.  How can we do it?  V 18 tells us how--Be filled with the HS.  lTodya is Pentecost Sunday.  lthis day we remember the coming of the HS in a mightyl demno of power. The HS on this day did not just come to the wordl but came to live within us in response to ur fiath inChrist.  The HS takes up residence in our lives working from the inside transforming both hus and wife into the likeness ofGod.  He lives within us to gudie, to empower to bring about a leadership of love and submission.  This transformation of the heart we do unto the Lrod so our marriage may fit the blueprint outlined byGod.

2.  If we say we cannot liveout these roles and resp within our marriage, we say God is limited.  lWe say he canot do all things,.  The HS is our power , motivation, and desire to live withing God's design to achieve tthe goal of a life long fulfilling satisfying reatlionlship.

3.  Each hus/wife here has a choice.  We can submit to God's desing and reap the wondrous beneifits.  We can reject it and reap heart ache.  the choice is ours. May we realize only by the filling of ther HS and total cooperation with him can we accomplish in marriage what God has designed it to be.  This is the supernatural working seen in and thru us that allows us to fllow the blueprint as we construct our lives together in marriage.  We remember the Ps who siad--unless the Lord build the house, its builders labor in vain.

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