Summary: Submission, Surrender, Marriage, the Church
Love Like You Mean It – Love That Submits and Surrenders
Ephesians 5:21-33 (pg. 816) February 14, 2016
Did you know this about Valentine’s Day?
“Most believe the holiday finds its roots when Emperor Claudius II of Rome didn’t want men to marry during war time...But a Bishop named Valentine went against his wishes and performed secret weddings. For this Valentine was jailed and executed. While in jail he wrote a note to the jailer’s daughter signing it “From Your Valentine.”
There are an average 220,000 wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day.
And also 3% op pet owners give their pet a Valentine.
1 Billion Valentine Cards will be exchanged this year...making it the 2nd largest card sending time of the year...Christmas is the first.
For those who are single February 14 is also “Single Awareness Day.” SAD (I’m not kidding). It’s designed so people can celebrate or to commiserate their single status.
Maybe this is why 15% of American women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
Women will purchase almost 85% of all Valentine’s Day gifts.
Teachers receive the most cards...followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.
And every Valentine’s Day the city of Verona where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet lived receives about 1,000 letters addressed to “Juliette.”
I love romance...I think Kari would describe me as “a romantic.” I like surprising her with special gifts at special times...whether it’s a yellow MG Midget for our 10th anniversary or a diamond ring on her 50th birthday (many of you all were there).
But the scary thing about romance is it can often be used “haphazardly, sporadically” as if the time in between the card, the car or the ring doesn’t matter.
I see the same thing happen many times with couples preparing to get married. The wedding day becomes so “central” that sometimes they forget...the “’til death do us part” part...June 27, 1981 was one day...A very special day...but 35 years later I can only remember parts of it, because of pictures.
For that reason I don’t believe any church should be in the “wedding day” business. Many get mad at that...but my calling and the church’s purpose is to glorify God and build men and women who are committed to Him and each other...if you don’t want that...then it’s about “A Day” and not the 35 years or 50 to follow...I’ve heard “But I want to get married in a church!” And I’ve shared “This is just a building...the Church is the body of Christ...the family of God...I want you to get married in it too.”
Important stuff for us to remember before we say “I do” and after.
I. SUBMISSION ISN’T JUST FOR WOMEN
Verse 21 in our text is essential if we are to understand the words that follow...It says “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
That “one another” isn’t gender exclusive...It’s not a guideline just to men or just to women...it’s a guideline for every believer.
Reverence for Christ means...We, both women and men...husbands and wives have made Him Lord...He’s in charge...He is the leader of our lives.
As we shared last week, God designed men and women in His image. He is the glue that binds them together as one flesh...Oneness...As we have accepted Christ’s Lordship, we become one body with Him. “For we are members of His body...for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the 2 will become one flesh...This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the Church.
This submission to Christ’s leadership through His Holy Spirit is essential to a healthy relationship with God...whether you are a husband or wife...it’s the starting place.
Yes it says “wives submit yourselves to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is head of the Church, his body of which He is the Savior...Now as the Church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
Remember this is written to the Christ revering wife...but often men read this and think, “Alright...I can make her do what I want!” It wasn’t written to you! We’ll get to your part later...it is a choice to submit...if you dominate, abuse, order submission it’s abuse of your own body...Jesus never beat someone into submission...or abused someone into submission...He called followers.
The Greek work used here...in both submission to Christ for men and women, and for wives in regard to their husband’s leadership is “Hupotasso”...it’s the same word used in regard to Church leadership...it’s never involuntary...it’s always voluntary.
Godly husbands aren’t dictators...They are much more like soldiers who take the point and die trying to get their platoon to safety.
[I’ve shared this with every couple I’ve ever married, and I’ll share it with every couple I ever will marry...This decision you’ve made to share your life with someone for 50 or 60 years is the 2nd most important one you’ll ever make...it will affect your life here on earth greatly...but the 1st most important decision is accepting Jesus as your Savior and Lord...it’s eternal...and then I share, the responsibility of getting your family to heaven rests on both of you...but I tell the husband...you’re on point.]