Summary: (PowerPoint Slides and Cell Study Notes freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) Understanding and celebrating the differences between men and women...
He Said/She Said
Fireproof Your Relationships: Sermon One
Welcome to Fireproof - a campaign designed to strengthen marriages in the church and in the community. We started to look at marriages a few weeks ago, and if you missed those three messages I would strongly encourage you to order the CDs. This morning I want to pick up where we loft off. Sherwood Films released a film called, "Fireproof" and made headline all over the film industry. Many have seen the film, and like me, were moved deeply. It made me want to be a better husband, a better father, a better pastor, a better friend.
According to my dictionary, "Fireproof" means, "Capable of Withstanding or Preventing Damage by Fire." I’ve eaten Mexican food that qualified for that definition, but over the next 6 weeks, I want to give you principles and practices from the Bible that will fireproof your marriage, your friendships, and your relationships at work, school and play.
I believe many of you have seen this movie. It’s 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, and things are going south quickly.
Fireproof is the story of how this couple, with the help of God, put their marriage and their lives back together again. They struggle through the issues of forgiving, rekindling feelings for each other, breaking free of addictions and things that hold us back, and finding the love of God. 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 in the series will focus primarily although not exclusively on marriage, and the rest will cover issues that all of us deal with as we learn to love those around us.
Today, I would like us to look at how to get along with members of the opposite sex. I suspect 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?"
In this clip we’re about to show, watch what can happen if you expect your partner to be just like you. (Play the Session One clip from your Fireproof Your Marriage DVD. Total length = 1:33. PLAY CLIP)
I thought about putting all the men on one side of the room this morning, and all the women on the other so you could all elbow and agree about the superiority of your gender and the strangeness of the opposite sex. But, since our assignment today is to learn to live together, stay where you are please open your Bibles to Ephesians 5:21. I want to give you some very practical advice here. But it’s advice you might not see in first passing, so I’ll read it, and then give you a few principles. In the ancient wisdom of God, the Apostle Paul says that men and women should be treated differently. Why? Because we are different. As I read this, see if you can identify how men are to treat their wives and women are to treat their husbands.
There are three of principles here that, if you practice them, will come pretty close to fireproofing your marriage.
First, the first verse I read, Ephesians 5:21 gives the over-all governing thought for what is to follow. Paul says, in v. 21, Submit to Another out of Reverence for Christ.
That verb, "submit," is the word, hupotassomenoi in Greek. That’s quite a word, isn’t it? It means, to Line Yourself up Under, or, to Give up Your Rights.
The word only appears here in v. 21. It’s then implied in both of the next two paragraphs.
So, when we read in v. 22, "Wives, submit to your husbands…" that verb "submit," isn’t actually in the sentence. It’s understood from v. 21 that that’s what Paul is talking about.
Likewise, when you get to v. 25, the same verb, "submit," applies from v. 21.
Here’s what the Bible is saying: Men and women are to line themselves up under their mates in order to make the marriage work. Each one is to give up their rights and look out for the best interests of their partner. Do this and the marriage will work well. Line yourself up on top of 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 wife needs me to take out the trash, I submit, I line myself up under her. I give up my right to sit on the couch and watch the next point being scored or the next piece of action in the movie I’m watching. Conversely, if I need my wife to figure out the directions while we’re driving to a friend’s house, she figures them out as well as she can, and gives them to me. We submit to each other.