Summary: The key to a successful marriage is following God’s prescription. This message focuses on the roles of husbands and wives to imitate the example Christ has set for them.

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Live Out Loud – Our MARRIAGE

Ephesians 5:22-33

Funny: A week before his wife turned 45, a husband asked what she wanted for her birthday. She said, “I’d like to be 10 again.” So on her birthday, he got her up fed her Pop Tarts and Coco Puffs, and whisked her off to of Six Flags where they rode the all the roller coasters and wild screaming rides gorging on theme park food. Six hours later she staggered out of the theme park w/ a splitting headache and an upturned stomach only to head across the street to Wet and Wild for (4) hours of water sliding and sun. Next he took her to see Shrek the Third in a crowded theater snacking on popcorn, candy, and soda. Then on the way home, he stopped by Chucky Cheese for a pizza, an animated concert, and a few video games. When the wife finally fell into bed that night, he said, “Do you feel like you ten again?” She groaned, “I was talking about my dress size!”

Trans: Last Sunday I offered you a quick and memorable outline of the Christian life according to Paul in his letter to the Ephesians – He says the Christian life is about KNOW-ing Christ, GROW-ing in Christ, and SHOW-ing Christ.

Last Sunday we began looking at what it means to SHOW Christ by discussing the call to imitate Him. Paul wrote, “Be imitators of Christ.” This is the Christians highest call. The question is how do we do this? Paul offers (5) areas where we can SHOW Jesus – in ministry, marriages, parenting, jobs, and spiritual warfare. Today, we’re going to focus on how husbands and wives.

Insert: Just this week, Outreach Magazine reported that only 52% of Americans say they believe the Bible is God’s authoritative Word. Of this group, only 36% say they believe people should live by Scripture; 45% say they operate by a mixture of God’s commands and their own inclinations and opinions; and 15% say they ignore God’s Word when and if it conflicts with their plans. 7/07, 24

Note: Why is this important? B/c when God’s Word states something we don’t like and our culture rejects and calls obsolete – we’re faced w/ a dilemma – will we believe God and obey His leadership trusting that He knows what He is doing.

Trans: Now this is a tough topic – especially for ladies. Let me assure after 100+ marriages this isn’t a popular teaching. I’ve had more than one women ask me to skip it. In fact, some of you are already antsy, while others have already tuned out. But listen carefully. Just b/c it isn’t popular doesn’t mean God is off His rocker. If you want to have a successful, healthy marriage, it is important to know God’s way of marriage.

I God’s Call to WIVE’S

Text: 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

A The APPEAL to Submission v. 22a-23

Funny: A nervous bride was having trouble getting down the aisle during her rehearsal. The pastor took her to the side and gave her some advice. He said, “Tomorrow as you enter the church, you’re going to walk down the same aisle you’ve walk down every Sunday – focus on the aisle. When you get halfway down the aisle, focus on the altar. When you reach the altar, your groom Jim will be waiting for you. Remember – focus on the aisle, the altar, and then on Jim.” The next day the bride proceeded perfectly, but along the aisle people were shocked to her whispering to herself – I’ll altar Jim.

Trans: I’m not sure how successful she was at altering Jim, but Paul offers the key every wife needs if she hopes to influence her marriage to success – Submit.

Word: submit (hupotasso) used in vs. 21 – it means to relinquish one’s rights and to fall in line by willingly placing oneself under another’s authority and care. It is a military term of a soldier who comes under the authority of a superior officer and obeys his commands.

Note: The emphasis is on a wife who willingly makes herself subject to her husband’s authority and care – she falls in line under his love. It is a voluntary response to God’s will to give up one’s independent rights to her husband.

Insert: Let’s be clear. A Christian wife isn’t commanded to obey (hupakouo) her husband, as children are called to obey their parents and slaves their masters. Likewise, a husband isn’t to treat his wife as a servant or child, but as an equal. A wife isn’t a slave to be ordered around or who serves at her husband’s beck and call – she is a bride to be cherished, respected, and adored.

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