Whenever you talk about the relationship between a husband and wife, you must always deal with prevailing attitudes. Our attitudes and understanding of what makes a good marriage and of the roles of husband and wife may or may not be right. Even in Christian circles, we have come to accept the attitudes of our culture without critically examining them in light of Scripture. On the one hand, there is the male chauvinist pig movement masquerading as manliness. On the other, there is the women’s radical feminist movement masquerading as freedom. Both are dead wrong.
What goes on in your home? Several years ago, a Dennis the Menace comic strip illustrated how some of these attitudes manifest themselves. Dennis is having cake and milk at the Wilson’s. Mrs. Wilson is washing the dishes while Mr. Wilson is trying to read a newspaper. Dennis wonders aloud why Mr. Wilson never goes to work. Mr. Wilson explains that he is retired. “Retired! Is that why you loaf all the time?” Dennis asks him. Mr. Wilson tells Dennis since he has worked hard for so many years he has earned the right to loaf. This makes Dennis wonder why Mrs. Wilson also doesn’t retire. He has never seen her loaf. Mr. Wilson responds, “She can’t retire because she never worked.” But Dennis has seen Mrs. Wilson always cooking or washing or sewing and he can’t accept that answer. “That’s different,” Mr. Wilson explains. “She’s a housewife! If she retired who’d do the housework?” Dennis asks, “Couldn’t you help?” “Dennis! Are you trying to make trouble?” Mr. Wilson shouts. Mrs. Wilson finally intervenes, telling her husband not to yell at Dennis. “He’s right and you know it!” In the next frame we see Dennis walking up to his mother in her garden. When she asks what the Wilson’s were arguing about, Dennis says, “I don’t know. I came home `cause I didn’t want to get involved!”
There are probably a lot of Mr. Wilson’s out there who think they have the biblical understanding of the wife’s role. The root problem for the man is that he does not understand his role. He does not understand what God expects out of him as a husband.
Dear Ann Landers:
My husband doesn’t talk to me. He just sits there night after night, reading the newspaper or looking at T.V. When I ask him a question, he grunts "huh, or Uh’huh." Sometimes he doesn’t even grunt uh’huh. All he really needs is a housekeeper and somebody to sleep with him when he feels like it. He can buy both. There are times when I wonder why he got married.
God gave us the institution of marriage for the mutual joy of the husband and wife. When God created woman, He said that she was to be Adam’s helper (Genesis 2:18). The word helper does not mean domestic slave, but it means helper. In Genesis 1:26-27 God said, “God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
The purpose for marriage was for procreation (Genesis1:28), companionship (Genesis 2:18), sexual fulfillment ( 1 Corinthians 7:4-5, Hebrews 13:4).
If you read in Genesis, Satan’s first act was to disrupt the family, when he tempted Eve to sin and she got Adam to, notice what happened when they got caught. Adam blamed Eve for his sin.
If you destroy the family structure, you destroy the society.
The wife has a difficult job, she is to submit to her husband, but the husband has a job that is difficult also. He is to love his wife like Christ loved the church.
Today we will look at what kind of love the Christian husband is to have for his wife. Notice that Paul does not say, “Husband’s love your wife (unless you have one you don’t like , or who nags at you or who is no longer a size 4) The love of the husband toward his wife is to be:
1. Sacrificial. Verse 25.
2. Sanctifying. Verses 26-27
3. Satisfying. Verses 28-30
READ EPHESIANS 5:25-33
THE HUSBANDS LOVE FOR HIS WIFE IS TO BE SACRIFICIAL. Verse 25.
1. The husband is told that he is to love his wife like Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.
a. This passage does not tell the husband to dominate the wife or treat her like a slave, but instead he is to love her so much that he is willing to lay down his life for her if necessary!
2. Paul commands the husband to love his wife three times in this short passage.
a. The word that he uses is agape. The word for love that is used of God’s love toward man.
b. This implies that the husband is to love his wife unconditionally, no matter what she looks like or what she does.
c. Most worldly love is love based on self-interest. As long as the object of our affections do what we want, we will love, but when the object stops performing for us, we quit loving the object. (EXAMPLE OF A CAR).
d. Love based on looks is an example. We marry a woman who is a knock out. People marvel at the fact we could get such a beautiful woman. It makes us look good. But two or three kids later, she is not that size 4 that we married. We stop treating her the same as we did when we felt fortunate to have her.
3. Agape love does include an appreciation for beauty, but agape love is based on our sincere interest for the best interests for the other person. It is a permanent concern.
4. The problem that we get into is we feel that love is just a feeling, it is an action. Randy Gariss in is videos on love and marriage says that where our investment is, there our heart will be also. TALK ABOUT MAN ON 20/20.
5. Our love is an act of the heart and an act of the will.
6. In the fourth year of his layoff from his job, Dad gave Mom a dishwasher for Christmas. You have to understand the magnitude of the gift: Our old house had its original wiring and plumbing, and neither could handle the required installation. There was no spot in the small kitchen for such a large appliance. And we hadn’t even been able to meet the mortgage interest payments for over six months. But Dad hated the thought of washing dishes; he would rather do anything else. And Mom had undergone major surgery that spring, a radical mastectomy for breast cancer, and found it difficult to do any work requiring the use of her arms. No large box appeared, no new plumbing or wiring was installed, no remodeling of the kitchen occurred. Rather, a small note appeared on a branch of the Christmas tree, handwritten by Dad: "For one year I will wash all of the dirty dishes in this household. Every one." And he did. He really did. -- Judy Rogers, Westerville, Ohio, in Guideposts, Dec. 1988
7. Agape love will do what is best for the one loved, God did this in sending His own son to die on the cross for us.
8. We are to love our wives in spite of what they do. Jesus loved the disciples even though they were selfish, full of pride and ambition.
9. The church is not always what God wants it to be, nor is it a very beautiful bride at times. Jesus still loves the church.
10. We are to love our wives sacrificially because Jesus loved the church that way.
THE HUSBANDS LOVE FOR HIS WIFE IS TO BE SANCTIFYING. Verses 26-27.
1. Sanctify means to make holy.
2. We are to love our wives in such a manner that we will do nothing to bring shame on them. We are to love them in such a way that we do not damage their reputation.
3. We are to love them in such a way that we allow them to remain pure. A young man who loves his wife to be or girl friend will do nothing to destroy her purity.
4. We will protect our wives in every way. We will always be looking out for her best interests. Too many men today are more interested in hunting, fishing, jobs and sports to properly love their wives.
5. A man who will never lift a finger to help his wife is a man who loves himself more than his wife. No wonder she does not want to submit to him!
6. The macho act is for a man who has never grown up.
7. The man who loves his wife like Christ loves the church will not lead her into sin, but will try to help her grow in Christ. He will encourage her to live for Jesus and he will live for Jesus also.
8. Wouldn’t it be easy for a woman to do her duty before God if her husband loves her sacrificially and if he loves her enough to help sanctify her.
9. 1 PETER 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
THE HUSBANDS LOVE FOR HIS WIFE IS TO BE SATISFYING. Verses 28-30.
1. We are love our wives as we would love our selves.
2. We are to be satisfied with our wives.
3. Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.
4. We are to cherish our wives and take care of them. Most people will do what ever they had to in order to protect themselves or to have what they want.
5. Our love for our wives is to be selfless. Samson had a selfish love for women. He did not care about pleasing his wife, he just wanted her for his own pleasure.
6. I would hear men grip about their wives at work, I used to tell them that if their wife was that bad, then what does that say about his ability to choose?
7. We should not have a negative thing to tell other people about our wives, we are not to talk about them behind their backs, that dishonors them. We not to lust after other women. I worked with a lot of men who were preoccupied with lusting after other women. They openly talked about other women, although they said that they would not cheat on their wife. I would ask if their wife would appreciate the way he was talking about this girl.
CONCLUSION Verses 30-33
READ VERSES 30-33
The husband who never helps his wife with raising the kids or in keeping the house is not loving his wife sacrificially. The man whose only interest is his own relaxation and entertainment can hardly say that he loves his wife like Christ loved the church. (SOFTBALL EXAMPLE)
When the husbands greatest desire is for the happiness and well-being of his wife, and the wife’s desire is respect her husband, a happy harmonious home WILL result! A happy union between husband and wife will exist.
If as men we love Jesus, then we will love our wives as Christ loved the church, because we are commanded to!
Our wives are not door mats, but they are our partners in Christ for life!