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Summary: This is the third in a series on Ephesians 5 & 6. I am indebted to Russell Brownworth who wrote the sermon entitled "Five Kinds of Love That Build the Home". You can find it on Sermon Central.

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Choose Love

This is not going to be your traditional message on Husbands and wives. You know the messages you have heard before: “Men, Love Your Wives Sermon” and “Women, Respect Your Husbands Sermon”

Why? Well, Not everyone is married for one thing. All of us do have relationships with others. Friends, parents, and children.

Some will apply to marriages of course and we will speak of marriage relationships freely. But, I’m going to focus on the key building block of building a good marriage.

The building block is Love. The mortar is Respect.

The blueprints for what you build is all about submission. It’s not about ruling the other person. It’s about supporting and standing by them. And the foundation to any relationship you build must be Jesus Christ.

Let’s start by debunking a few myths.

Three Myth’s of Marriage and Relationships

Myth #1: Pressure Destroys

It is not pressure. All pressure does is accentuate the character of the relationship. If it’s good, pressure makes it stronger. If it’s bad, pressure elevates the temperature and it’s really bad!

Myth #2: Betrayal Destroys

Betrayal destroys trust and faith – not love. A marriage, a friendship, and a family can survive betrayal. I know many an example where there has been adultery or rejection and betrayal and the relationship not only survived - eventually as the trust is rebuilt - it got even better.

Myth #3: Lack of Compatibility Destroys

Listen to me. I have never met a couple who were compatable. No one is compatible with another person. No one! The ones I have met that were very much like each other weren’t compatable - they were just irritating.

Here is the reality. The opposite of Love is not hate…

Love is a consumning force for good in another person. Hatred is a consuming force for evil against another person. Apathy is a decision to not care.

The opposite of Love is apathy. The decision to not care. Moses called it the hardened heart. In a marriage there is a break and a divorce when someone decided to not love anymore.

In Friendship – someone decided to not love anymore.

In Family Relations – someone decided to not love anymore. The hard heart.

Let’s examine the five ways the Paul spoke of the consuming force for good for another person. Let’s talk about choosing love.

Choose Sacrificial Love

"And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her" Ephesians 5:25 (NLT)

Guys, Let me give you an example of selfless and sacrificial love in today’s terms. Are you ready? Give your wife the remote control…

Now ladies: Do not undervalue that action… It is a significant sacrifice for a guy! Several years ago my wife and vacationed in a time-share condo in Florida with my folks and hers. Susan was with us then. She adopted one room with the television it it. There were two other TV’s in the condo.

Now do the math... Two TV’s and three men. It was not a pretty site. There always seemed to be one man kind of wandering around not knowing what to do...

Now, that’s humorous – but it’s meant be a bit more.

The problem is that most of us fellows are into control. We want to be in charge. We want control. Love is not about being in control. Love is about giving up contorl. Guys, give your wife the remote control of your life…

Are you living for them? Being sacrificial means being ready to give it all for the one you love. Jesus willingly went to the cross for our sins. Paul says that husbands are to be like that.

Love Principle #1: Give up the controls to the one you choose to love

Choose a Purifying Love

"...to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s word." Ephesians 5:26 (NLT)

The love that Jesus has for the church is purifying.

It gives confidence in the presence of God and others

There is no guilt; there is no feeling of brokenness or uselessness.

When they are in your presence they are strengthened not weakened. Now who do you want to be around? People who tear you down or people who build you up?

Dumb question, huh!

When you hear a sermon from the Word of God, and you respond properly, you walk away feeling better, cleansed, whole. It is to be that way, gentlemen, in the way you love your wife.

Let me give you the principle about purifying love…

Any time you tear-down your wife with cutting remarks you are hating her and not loving her. Lifting is the result and hallmark of purifying love.

Father of the Bride film clip where the father sees wife on stairs and says she that’s not fair for the mother to be more beautiful than the bride.

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