God’s Divine Design for Husbands Preached by: Matthew S. Black Text: Ephesians 5:25-33 Series: Rooted in Christ Date: August 26, 2012, 10:30am Living Hope Bible Church of Roselle, IL Introduction: Open your Bibles to Ephesians 5. We are continuing our series: “Rooted in Christ”. The title of the message is: “God’s Divine Design for Husbands”. Husbands, love your wives! So says the apostle in verse 25. Then he says in verse 32, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” So this is a message more about worship than it is about wives. What we are going to find today is that men who don’t love their wives have a worship problem, they don’t have a wife problem. “I Love You More Than Hockey” Men, how much do you love your wives? A husband was watching a football game one night and his wife stepped in front of the TV and posed a question: Do you love me more than football? To which he replied, Step aside woman, I can’t see the screen.” She again asked him if he loved her more than football to which he replied again, “Out of the way.” She asked him a third `time the same question. He saw her persistence and thought for a minute and said, “I love you more than hockey.” This may be funny but it is sad. This is really more common than not. Married women are lonely and wish their husbands would just talk to them. Men like this are selfish and are cowards. They are to prize and protect and provide for the wife. Married men don’t love their wives as they out because they struggle with… § Trusting God and others (so we manipulate and control to hide our insecurity) § Being selfless (we are only concerned about ourselves) § Taking responsibility (we can be immature) § Asking for forgiveness and admitting we are wrong (we are prideful and even arrogant) Listen Up Singles How can you as a married man be the godly husband God wants you to be? I know the married ladies will be listening, but the single ladies need to be listening to, because they need to know what to be careful to stay away from a selfish, carnal man. That will bring you more sorrow than you know. And you single men need to listen to. You may have the gift of singleness now, but any day God could give you the gift of marriage. Godly husbands must do three things… They must be § godly leaders, § godly and selfless lovers, and § godly learners. Ephesians 5:25–33 (ESV), “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 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. 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.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” I. Husbands should be Leaders. Husband is the head of the woman. He is her leader. Ephesians 5:22–24 (ESV), “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” What is biblical headship? HEADSHIP = LOVE Immediately we see that there is a Confusion about headship. Ask the average man what headship means to them, and he will suggest words like: power, authority, control, or leadership. The Bible uses a different word to describe headship: love! You will exercise your leadership, authority, etc., through your love. Strip authority of love and you have a monster. Raw power is tyranny. To be the “head” of the home is not a relationship of superiority. It is actually using your position to love, build, and nurture a relationship of deep sacrifice with your wife. Husbands are to demonstrate their headship by sacrificing themselves for the wife. With that in mind, notice our text does not say “Husbands rule over your wives, command them, demonstrate your authority over them and command them around.” It says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”. Give your self up for your wife. Christ is the Head of the Church Ephesians 1:22–23 (ESV), “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Christ is the head for the sake of the church. Whatever He does, he does for the sake of His bride. He has her best interests in view! The command is not to exercise your authority by demanding submission, but the command is to love your wives, “as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” This is not an authority that says, “serve me, meet my needs, fulfill my selfish and petty desires.” Rather, this is an authority and a leadership that is sacrificial for the purpose of benefiting your wife. A. A leader is a servant. Not like the Gentiles. Christ is the head for the sake of the church. Whatever He does, he does for the sake of His bride. He has her best interests in view! An Example of Bad Leadership Remember James and John wanted to be leaders, and so they asked if they could sit on either side of our Lord Jesus when He comes into His Kingdom. But Jesus said, true godly leadership is very humble. We use our leadership to serve! We read in Matthew 20:25–28 (ESV), “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.” A Real Leader Serves His Wife Serve means to “minister to the needs of others” Ò You are most like Christ when you are serving others, i.e., your wife!! A Godly Husband Doesn’t Escape Leadership means facing the hard problems and taking the burden off of those who are following you. A coward runs away from problems. The godly husband serves his wife. He doesn’t run and hide behind the TV, work, etc., when a problem sticks its head up. He moves in patiently and meets the conflict head on. He is willing to get his hands dirty in the process of finding solutions, knowing that every problem has a biblical solution. His attitude is “my wife’s problem is my problem”. True Leadership not a Sword, but a Towel to Serve Leadership is not a shield and sword; it’s not a club to beat people with. è It’s a towel and basin to serve, meet needs and get my hands dirty with the things of life that really matter. John 13:1–5 (ESV), “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” B. A leader is a teacher. He is to growing himself spiritually, and he should lead in his hunger or the Word. He is someone who can teach because he is someone to emulate. His character is innocent and blameless. The husband is a teacher. Deuteronomy 6 says you are to lead your family by teaching them the Word of God. Are you a student of the Word? Are you a leader? § Teach your wife! Ephesians 5:26 (ESV), “that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word…” 1 Corinthians 14:35 (ESV), “If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” § Teach your children Ephesians 6:4 (ESV), “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Deut 6 – Teach your children diligently! II. Husbands should be Lovers. Ephesians 5:25 (ESV), “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” The Definition of love. What is agape love? 1. First let us look at what it is not. Agape love is not an emotion. Love, as God defines it, is not en emotion. The world says, “when the feeling stops, the love is over.” Love is not a tingly sensation. Love is not sentimentalism. Love has nothing to do with how you feel. God so loved the world that he gave His only Son. He didn’t look at the world and say, "I just can't resist them; I've got to get them in heaven. They're terrific." There wasn't one thing in us that was deserving. We were enemies; we hated God; we were sinful and vile, but God loved us anyway. And He loved us so much, he gave Himself. Agape love is not simply appreciation. It is not just saying nice words to someone. Proverbs 27:6 (ESV) — “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Love is more than empty words. Love is action. Love is an act of your will that chooses the best for the other person. We can say all kinds of nice things to a person and it not help them. Sometimes love is saying very hard words to a person. Agape love is not admiration. It is not simply liking or being fond of someone. Agape love goes far beyond admiration. It sacrifices for those that are not admirable. 2. Now let us look at what agape love is. By looking at the cross we can say that agape love is a voluntary abandonment of self-preservation for the good of another. Husbands, use your position of authority to sacrifice your life for your wife. Agape love is a God-centered love. Understand the Bible makes a shocking statement like: “God is agape”. 1 John 4:16 (ESV) — “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” You cannot truly love your wife as you ought without being born again. This kind of selfless love is impossible simply through the human nature. You must have the divine nature dwelling in you. God must dwell in you. It is a God-centered love. Agape love is a voluntary act of the will – A CHOICE “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…” (John 3:16). I’ve heard men say about their wife—“I just don’t love her any more”. Well, then choose to love her. You’ve stopped abandoning yourself for the good of your wife. Start anew right now. We can measure our love for our wives by an objective standard. We are loving them only as we are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ and are laying down our lives for our wivcs! A. Love provides Significance. Prized… Your wife should feel that she is special and worthy of attention. Ephesians 5:25 (ESV), “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” He cherishes her! You are to PRIZE your wife! Prov. 31:10, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Treat her as special. Ask her: Do I clearly show you that you are the most important person in my life? § How does she know she is the number one priority in your life? § How does she know she is special? § More than: Job, parents, children, toys, hobbies Your wife should know she is significant! She is important. How do we know that we are significant to Christ? He gave His life or us! Your wife will know this by you sacrificing for her. This is the essence of love. She is valuable to you because of who she is, your wife, not because of what she does - your laundry, meals, clean, etc. Is she as valuable as (based on how you treat her): § Your job § Your new car § Your hobbies § Your computer § Your vacation time § Your sports § You getting your own way? Do you abuse your wife emotionally? § By saying hurtful things. § Sarcasm about her looks, weight. § Insensitivity to her tears. § Criticize her publicly. I challenge you to ask your wife today, “Do you see me making you the #1 priority in my life, second only to Jesus Christ?” Does your wife feel significant because of your love? B. Love provides Stability. Protected… She is to be nourished and cherished. Provide for her and protect her. The idea is that love protects. Paul uses the word “cherish” for this idea in Ephesians 5:28–29 (ESV) — “ 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”. Husbands are to cherish their wives. When you hit your thumb with a hammer, you feel the pain, and you do all you can to relieve it. Do you do that for your wife? Do you know when she is hurting? Do you protect her? 1. Are you providing spiritual stability? Verse 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.” Your wife needs you to love her by YOU loving God! Are you helping her grow spiritually? Just be consistent in… § Personal devotions – are you reading through the Bible regularly? § Family devotions – are you teaching your family regularly – at mealtime, bed time, times of correction, etc.? § Setting a godly example of self-control. 2. Are you providing financial stability? The idea is that love protects. Paul uses the word “cherish” for this idea in Ephesians 5:28–29 (ESV) — “ 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”. Are you making sure the finances are where they need to be? This is one of those crushing things! Finances are your responsibility. Make sure that you are careful to love her by putting the burden on yourself – finding ways to live within your means! 3. Are you providing emotional stability? Verse 31, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Spend time together. Live life together. Listen to her. Provide emotional stability to your wife by spending time with your wife. You are to leave and cleave to your wife! § Have no other female friends! § Don’t compare her to your mom or other women – make her feel that she is just right for you! § Don’t come home to work on work. Come home to serve your wife! Be a blessing to her! How Much is a Wife and Mother Worth? Wives, especially those with children, have a very difficult and often stressful job. MSN Money Recently Reported That Based On The Job Responsibilities Of A Wife And Mother, Their Annual Salary Would Be $96,000 . My wife, at times, will not ask for help so it’s important for me to discern, pray, and analyze what my wife’s needs are. Because we have four young children, I set up a system where someone in our family watches our children for the morning so that my wife can get a needed break and get errands done. Provide emotional stability to your wife by listening to her. Get excited about what she loves! Often, men expect their wives to always follow them to the game, concert, or rodeo. Ask God to give you a liking for what she likes. Harmony, Romance, Togetherness, and Connection. III. Husbands should be Learners. The only way a family can function to please God with unity, purpose and direction is for all members to understand and work at fulfilling their God-given roles. Oneness (unity) will only be achieved as each know, accept and work hard at fulfilling their varying, but complementary roles. 1 Peter 3:7 has the secret of how to grow in your marriage, “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.” Three ways to protect your wife are listed in this verse. Ø Attention. You are to learn about your wife. Find out what hurts her and protect her from it. Have lots of conversations with her. Get to know her. You are the initiater. Ø Gentleness. You are to treat your wife as a weaker vessel or a “fragile vase”. This means you show honor. She is a precious treasure. She is a fragile vase. She is emotionally more sensitive than you for the most part. Protect her! Do not tear her down. You can win the argument and destroy your wife! Don’t do it. Ø Honor. She is an expensive, fragile vase. She needs to know she is prized. Conclusion: It is vital that you work on your marriage if you have that gift. Why? Paul cocludes in verses 32-33, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” This is a message not about your WIFE, but about your WORSHIP! Marriage is a Mystery! Marriage is a mystery! I think everyone would say Amen to that! But what does Paul mean? In the Bible, the term “mystery” means “a hidden reality that is now revealed”. In other words, it is a picture of Christ and the church, but it was not revealed until Christ came to earth. It wouldn’t have made sense. Unknown to the people of the Old Testament (it was a ‘mystery’), marriage was designed by God from the beginning to be a picture of the believer’s union with Christ. Back when God was planning what marriage would be like, He planned it for this great purpose: it would give a beautiful earthly picture of the relationship that would someday come about between Christ and His church”. George Knight III, “Husbands and Wives as Analogues of Christ and the Church” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1991), 175-76. There is Anticipation: Courtship and Engagment pictures the fact that we anticipate His coming! There is Passion: We love Him, we sacrifice for Him. He sacrificed for us! There is Purity: We are pure and faithful to Christ. There is Provision: We can expect Christ to nourish and provide for us! There is Protection: We can live under the protection of Christ. There is Completion: Christ completes us! There is Procreation: In Christ we bear fruit. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church, therefore “let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (verse 33). Are you worshipping Christ or idols? Are you worshipping Christ with your marriage?