Summary: God’s Instructions for Families taken from Colossians 3:18-21.
Little Suzie came home from first grade and excitedly said, "Mom, today our teacher told us the story of Snow White.” For the next five minutes, she then recounted the fairy tale including the arrival of Prince Charming and his rescue of Snow White. "Then do you know what happened, Mom?” Suzie asked. "They lived happily ever after?” "No, Mom, they got married."
Someone said, "All marriages are happy. It is the living together afterwards which causes all the trouble.” Even if a marriage is made in heaven, we are responsible to maintain it and that’s not an easy task. Lots of marriages break down and seem beyond repair. In our country, roughly half of the marriages end in divorce. There are also many which are intact, but not healthy or happy ones. Unfortunately, marriage problems are not just statistics. They involve real people. Our friends, family members, maybe even we, ourselves, struggle to make marriage work. With so many folks having a tough time in their relationship with their spouse, the church of Jesus Christ, has a fantastic opportunity to show people a better way. We can let folks know that faith in Christ helps us live happily ever after as husband and wife. Unfortunately, in many cases Christian marriages, where husband and wife are both believers in Christ, don’t work much better than a marriage where neither partner is a follower of Jesus. In fact, a recent survey showed that Christians have a higher rate of divorce than the average person. This is partly because cohabitation and de-cohabitating have replaced marriage and divorce in some circles, but it clearly shows that Christian marriages often are not working.
So, what can we do? The old saying is "When all else fails, read the directions.” That is good advice. In this case, we need to pick up the Bible and see what God says about building a marriage which will work as He intended. Today we take a look at the directions He gives us in Colossians 3:18-21. There are a lot of good books out there on how to have a better marriage. Books have been written by James Dobson, Gary Smalley, Dennis Rainey, etc., etc., but what we are going to explore today is far more important than all of them put together. God is the Creator of marriage. These are His instructions to us through Paul. These words apply to people who lived in Ephesus in 60 A.D., to folks in Louisville, KY in 2000, and to every time and place in between.
Supremacy of Christ
1. The theme throughout the Book of Colossians is the supremacy of Jesus Christ
2. As a demonstration of Jesus as our "all-sufficient" Savior, we now
find His apostle Paul giving guidelines by which we can successfully
conduct our family and business matters!
3. This passage illustrates that the supremacy of Christ reaches every aspect of our lives.
As this passage focuses on relationships in the home, Paul first gives a word to Wives and Husbands and a Word to Children and Parents.
I. A Word to Wives and Husbands (3:18,19)
In the Scriptures, marriage is the first institution created by God. It is described first in Genesis: "For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave [be united] to his wife; and they shall become one flesh."
A. Wives Roles
a. What it is not:
· Submission is not a surrender of her will--that is due only to God.
· Submission in no way implies inferiority.
· Submission is not absolute. A wife may refuse to submit to her husband’s desires if they violate God’s word.
b. What it is:
To obey, without necessary reference to agreement. We must trust that the person to whom we are submitting is qualified to make good judgements. It is always used of a particular relationship where there is a reciprocal propriety or authority. It is used of the Son’s submission to the Father
A 1998 Gallup Poll showed that 69% of the public disagreed when asked if they concurred with the statement that wives should “submit graciously” to the “servant leadership” of their husbands
2. Respect (Eph 5:33)
“Wives, respect your husbands". The wife is to have a strong, and deep respect for her husband. She is to believe that he’s the best man in the universe. And that, not because ’love is blind.’ In fact, love is very far from being blind. It has been said that, "Love is not blind; that is the last thing it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind."
B. Husbands Roles
1. Love your wives
Ephesians 5:25 adds “just as Christ loved the church.”
Christ gave Himself for the church; so husbands should give themselves sacrificially for their wives. That’s what Christ did on the cross. He gave his life up instead of requiring his wife to. Husbands, when was the last time you sacrificed something for your wife? When did you give up? If you gave something up, was it of little surrender value, or great?? Look at what Christ gave up, and then see if you’ve really given up anything.