Summary: Although the best way to begin a new job is with a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities, too many enter into marriage with no such knowledge. (Based on a book by Bob Russell)

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Sermon Notes

Abraham and Sarah: Understanding Our Responsibilities

Genesis 12, 21; Ephesians 5; 1 Peter 3

(Second in the series, Marriage by the Book)

Introduction: There is an undeniably basic truth of creation: God produced two distinct types of people, male and female. Both are equally important to God, yet each has differing roles.

Proposition: Although the best way to begin a new job is with a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities, too many enter into marriage with no such knowledge.

1. The Husband’s Role: a Christ-like leader

There is a difference between leadership & management.

Leadership is not being the decision-maker all the time.

Leadership is not being the boss who barks out orders.

A business school’s definition of leadership: “Leadership is motivating people to develop their skills to the fullest of their potential for the good of the organization.”

A leader is a person who knows where he is going & is able to persuade others to come along.

Although unsure of the destination, Abraham knew he was following god’s will & was able to persuade Sarah to come along.

There are some definite responsibilities men need to pursue in their homes:

1) They are to lead spiritually

It takes a close reading of Eph. 5 to understand what is too easily misunderstood. For anything to succeed, it’s important that there be a designated leader.

2) They are to lead positively

Passive involvement doesn’t cut it.

Jesus’ command: “Follow me.” It’s too easy to put mind in neutral & let everyone else handle things.

We have the responsibility from God to take the initiative.

3) They are to lead sacrificially

Jesus did not demand his own way. He gave himself up on the cross.

4) They are to lead lovingly

Christ does not see our sin. His love has covered it.

5) They are to lead tenderly

1 Peter 3:7 “Weaker vessel” Fragile, valuable; needs to be treated gently & with admiration

2. The Wife’s Role: a Christ-like responder

Let’s deal with this word “submission” in 1 Peter 3. It does not mean that the wife is to be a doormat.

Sarah was a strong capable woman who stood up to Abraham & challenged him to do things differently.

To submit also means to contribute.

It is acknowledging & respecting God’s plan in marriage.

How did Christ respond & submit? Philippians 2

1) Voluntarily

He was equal to God. Yet he chose to humble himself & become obedient to His Father’s wishes. Being submissive does not mean being inferior!

2) Joyfully

See Hebrews 12:2. There was no grudging or bitter spirit.

3) With Honor

We honor Christ because of His submissiveness: washing feet; enduring shame; allowing what he created to beat him; bearing the cross.

4) With respect Eph. 5:33

Conclusion: God knew what He was doing when He designed marriage. The goal is not to wrestle over authority, but for two people to submit and become obedient, loving servants of God.

Invitation: Lord, Be Glorified

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