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Summary: This is a reworked message of the first in Hal Seed’s FIREPROOF sermon series through Outreach. The first 2 principles are a gentle rework while the 3rd is a total rework. May be helpful for those who need a shorter, or little different approach than th

He Said-She Said: Enjoying the difference

Fireproof Your Relationships: Sermon One

Date Preached: Sept 28, 2008

Scripture: Ephesians 5:21-33

A man approached a very beautiful woman in a large supermarket and said to her, “You know, I’ve lost my wife here in the supermarket. Can you talk to me for a couple of minutes?”

“Why?” she asked.

“Because every time I talk to a beautiful woman, my wife appears out of nowhere,” he said.

This weekend, Sherwood Films released a movie called, “Fireproof.” I saw it yesterday. I hope all of you will take the time to see it.


In the next 40 days as we work through this sermon series, and hopefully many of you will participate in the Bible Study as well, we will discover together, principles and practices from the Bible that will fireproof your marriage (if you’re married), your friendships, and your relationships - in whatever context they may be.

How many of you have already been able to see the movie? (It’s on until Thursday night in Mankato.) I hope many of you will take the time to go and see it, not only because of its content, but because it’s a Christian movie and we need to support whatever comes out that is family viewing these days.

Fireproof is the story of a couple – Caleb and Catherine - whose marriage is breaking up. They’ve been together for seven years, but they’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, things are going from bad to worse, and they are headed for divorce.

And the film relates how this couple, with the help of God, and some very important influences in their lives, put their marriage, and their lives, back together again. They struggle through all kinds of issues and we’re going to explore each of these themes over the next six weeks as we learn how to Fireproof our Relationships. Two of the messages will be more specific to marriage, but the rest will cover issues that all of us deal with as we learn to love those around us.

Today, we’re going to look at how to get along with members of the opposite sex. Probably, by now you’ve noticed that men and women are different? Well, in the film, one of the first cracks that develops in Caleb and Catherine’s relationship comes from a challenge all men and women face, which is, “How do I relate to someone who is so different than me?”

There are three principles in our scripture text, that if you practice them, you will fireproof your marriage.

In verse 21 of Ephesians chapter 5, Paul says to: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

The verb “submit” there is a big, long Greek word that means to “line yourself up under” or “to give up your rights.”

Now what we need to understand, is that that word “submit” ONLY appears in verse 21. It’s IMPLIED in the other two places where it appears.

So, for example, in verse 22, when we read, “Wives, submit to your husbands...” the verb “submit” isn’t actually in the sentence in the original language. It’s understood from verse 21.

And the same is true when you get to verse 25.

So here’s what the Bible is saying: Men and women are to line themselves up under each other in order to make the marriage work. Each one is to give up their rights and look out for the best interests of their spouse. Do this, and the marriage will work well. Line yourself up on top of the other person, or refuse to give up your rights, and the marriage won’t work well.

Why? Because giving up our rights is an essential part of meeting each other’s needs. If my husband needs me to figure out directions while we’re driving, rather than read a book or just watch the sights, I submit - I line myself up under him. Likewise, when I need my husband to change the oil in my car, rather than go for a bike ride, or watch tv, he changes the oil first before he does those other things. We submit to each other.

Now do we always do that? No. But we should - if we want to have a great marriage!

Mutual submission is one of the great keys to a great marriage.

So, fireproofing principle number 1 is…


Men, that doesn’t mean that she has to rub your feet every time you ask her to. And women, it doesn’t mean that he has to run out for ice cream every time you have a craving.

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