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Summary: Paul teaches that Spirit-filling plays out in a practical way in our personal relationships, keeping our lives from knocking down the things that are most important instead of building them up.

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Introduction

The following game, Marital Dominoes, is an effective way for a husband to cause a negative chain reaction in his wife. The “benefits” of this game then are double. Not only does the husband enjoy his own sins, but he also gets to put up with his wife’s. Everybody loses!

The Rules

1. Husband is unreliable and lets time slip by unnoticed. This leads to nagging by his wife as she repeatedly reminds him of things that need attention as well as his past wrongs and forgetfulness.

2. Husband is untrusting and condemning with an attitude of superiority. He demands control, and won’t let his wife know his plans. This leads to impulsive reactions by the wife.

3. Husband is angry and demanding, particularly with the children. Hates being inconvenienced by the family and sets standards too difficult for children to meet. This leads to permissiveness by his wife who makes excuses for the children’s disobedience and keeps secrets from the husband about their conduct.

4. Husband is insensitive and unkind, using hurtful words and often making his wife and others the butt of humor that is in poor taste and sarcastic. This often leads to over-emotionalism on the part of his wife who cries often, is easily hurt and keeps careful score. She can recall past offenses in minute detail

5. Husband is inattentive, thoughtless, and untrustworthy, often preoccupied with personal concerns. He dismisses feelings of others as unrealistic or invalid (if he acknowledges them at all). This leads to desires of domination by his wife who makes a habit of answering all questions, even those directed to her husband.

And so the weary game continues, until all the dominoes fall.

We must learn how to give our spouse our best.

I How should a wife view her role in marriage?

Wives (Ephesians 5:22-24, and other places)

A. His Adaptable Wife Ephesians 5:22-24

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord”

She gives the gift of respect and response (easier as he honors her)

B. His Loving Helper Genesis 2:28

“I will make an help meet [suitable] for him.”

His friend and ally; she completes in him what he needs

C. His Trusted Partner Proverbs 31:10-31

“Who can find a virtuous woman”

She is a doer!

D. His Darling Song of Songs 7:10

“I am my beloved’s and his desire is toward me”

Husbands need to their wives to tell them they like holding hands…

E. His Household Manager 1 Timothy 5:14

“Guide the house…”

Her management is either “his crown” or “rottenness in his bones”

F. His Loving Wife Titus 2:4

“Teach the young women...to love their husbands”

She learns to respond in love and affection to her family’s needs

G. His Beautiful Wife 1 Peter 3:3-4

“Whose adorning...let it be the hidden man of the heart...even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price”

Husbands need a wife whose emotions and spirit are under God’s control

+Wife’s Self-evaluation: Am I most most concerned with my body or my heart and soul first?

II How should a husband love his wife?

Husbands (Ephesians 5:25-29, 33 and others)

A. A Responsible Love (Ephesians 5:25-29, 33)

“Husbands love your wives, even as Christ…”

Take the responsibility for the relationship

B. A Realistic Love (Ephesians 5:25-27)

“Gave himself for it”

Give security to your wife and family in ways that make a real, discernable difference

C. A Sacrificial Love (Ephesians 5:25)

“Husbands, love your wives”

Live to give her good, nor just produce relaxation for yourself

D. A Constructive Love (Ephesians 5:29)

“But nourisheth...it”

Build her up

E. A Cherishing Love (Ephesians 5:29)

“But...cherisheth it”

Encourage and support her, even if it’s her area of expertise

F. An Understanding Love (1 Peter 3:7)

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge”

Respect and recognize her differences and unique personality

G. A Romantic Love (Song of Songs 2:2)

“As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters”

See a vision of her at her best, even if she’s only in curlers or pancake foundation

+Husband’s Self-evaluation: Does my love for my wife

reveal the marks of Christ’s love for His church?

Concluding Remarks:

Priscilla and Aquila were able to find themselves used by God in the lives of two early leaders of the church: Paul and Apollos. They were willing to give up some of their private time, open up their lives to God’s use, and put up with the changes He brought. Their relationship with each other allowed God to use them to make a lasting difference. God will use our marriages and families for His glory and our own good if we work on being the best we can be for him individually, then as a team.

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