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Summary: Sermon 5 of 7. This sermon was preached on Memorial Weekend 2002. It is based on Ephesians 5:21-33. Three issues are discussed: the issue of submission; the issue of headship; the issue of trust.

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Choose Respect

Seems appropriate on Memorial Weekend!

This is not your traditional series of sermons on marriage. I didn’t preach a traditional sermon to men on Eph 5 last week. You know, (deep commanding voice) “Men, Love your wives.”

I am not going to preach a traditional sermon to wives on Ephesians 5. You know, (deep commanding voice) “Wives, submit to your husband”

Last week I spoke to the issue of choosing love

I pointed out that Paul spoke of five characteristics concerning love which come out of Ephesians 5.

Love Sacrifices. Love Purifies. Love Beautifies. Love creates intimacy. In fact, when a person love someone in these ways we become God-like in our lives – that is to say we think and act like God would and does.

I also spoke to the issue of “choosing” to love. That love is a choice. It is active and decisive. It is not something that happens to you. Love is a decision. Either you choose to harden your heart toward a person or you choose to soften your heart.

Today, I want to speak to the issue of choosing respect.

In many ways it is exactly the same message as last week – just a different perspective.

If it’s the same message, why bother? Let’s sing some more. Let’s leave early! How about brunch!

Why bother if it’s the same message from a different perspective? Because there are three important issues which need to be covered and settled if you to build a really stron marriage and have really great relationships with others.

The issue of Submission

The issue of Headship

The issue of Trust

The issue of Submission

Let’s start with the issue of submission. Look at Ephesians 5:22.

“And you will submit yourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord.”

Eph 5:22 ISV

There have been many sermons preached on this over the years – mostly by men to women. When you speak of submission in church there is an instant response

That response is not simply boredom. Hardly anyone yawns and stretches as they look in the bulletin for something to interesting to read. Hardly anyone uses that time to work on their “todo” list for the coming week.

No the response is almost electrifying. The men snap to attention and then settle in for what they expect to be an enjoyable sermon while the women cross their arms and furrow their brows.

You see we have two extremes at work in our world

On one hand there is a radical movement of feminism which is built on a hatred of men and all things male.

On the other hand there is a radical machismo atmosphere of treating women like things to be owned, toyed with and then tossed away like a Styrofoam cup at the end of the coffee break.

Listen to some of the bullets fired in this war between these extremes:

( Dan Erickson, SermonCentral.com.....

http://www.life.1stbaptist.org/SER062099-21.htm)

Remember Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, "I’d face a new edition of the Spanish Inquisition than to ever let a woman in my life."

Or maybe you’ve heard of Char Wittman who said, Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought of as half as good. Luckily this is not difficult.

It was W. C. Fields who said, Women are like elephants to me. I like to look at them, but I don’t want one of them in my house.

And Lady Nancy Astor once remarked, “I married beneath my level. All women do.”

What does Submit mean?

“And you will submit yourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord.”

What does it mean when we talk about this matter of submission? What does it mean when Paul says “SUBMIT”?

Huppotasso is a military term used to emphasize the idea of being subject to the structure of command:

Sounds simple enough except that this command is given in the passive middle voice of the Greek language. In other words it is not commanding the man to make his wife submissive or to rule over her. No, Paul is appealing to the wife to give her allegiance to her husband

If you look at the Roman Army it will be a little easier to grasp. Warfare in the olden Roman Army days was a lot different than today. The power was not in the weaponry (smart bombs; rifles; air to ground missles; radio controlled airplanes) it was in the military unit.

I found a picture of some men recreating one of the basic units in battle called the “Tortoise” where all the men are gathered into a small area and the shields are used to protect the group from the arrows of the enemy. Not a good tactic for today’s hand grenades and missiles but extremely effective for that time.

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