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Summary: This first message in the "Fireproof" series outlines the in-born differences between men and women so we can understand and love each other appropriately.

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[This sermon is contributed by Hal Seed of New Song Church in Oceanside, California and of www.PastorMentor.com. Hal is the author of numerous books including The God Questions and The Bible Questions. If you are interested in The Bible Questions Church-wide Campaign, please visit and watch Hal’s video at www.PastorMentor.com.]

For additional sermons related to the Fireproof movie, visit http://www.fireproofoutreach.com

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He Said/She Said

Fireproof Your Relationships: Sermon One

Ephesians 5:21-33

www.halseedbooks.com

[Author’s suggestion: For a powerful application, at the end of the message, have a couple prepared to share the story of their marriage and how they are going to apply the Love/Dare Challenge this week, or, ask one couple and one single to take the challenge a week ahead of time and have them share their experiences at the end of the message.]

[Author’s note: sentences and phrases in all capital letters are meant to be made into PowerPoint slides.]

Good morning! (SHOW FIREPROOF LOGO, using the Fireproof PowerPoint template on your Campaign Resource CD)

This month, Sherwood Films released a film called, "Fireproof." (Give results, if known, of how it’s doing at the box office.) I’ve seen the film and it moved me deeply. It made me want to be a better husband and a better friend.

According to my dictionary, "FIREPROOF" means, "CAPABLE OF WITHSTANDING OR PREVENTING DAMAGE BY FIRE." I’ve eaten Mexican food that barely qualified for that definition, but in the next 40 days, 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 hope 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 cover marriage, 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. I hope 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 kibitz 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 and OPEN A BIBLE TO EPHESIANS 5:21. I want to show 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.

Ephesians 5:21-33 (read it out loud).

There are three of principles here that, if you practice them, will come pretty darn 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. HUPOTASSONMENOI. 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.

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