Summary: 2nd in 3 part series on marriage.
“THE GREAT COVER-UP”
(Understanding our Roles in Marriage)
INTRODUCTION: (Video Clip - Mona Lisa Smile - Chp. 24:1:30:20 - 1:32:45 - 2:25)
It is obvious that Ms. Watson, played by Julia Roberts and Joan, played by Julia Stiles, have very different views on the role of a wife. For Ms. Watson a housewife has no depth, no intellect, no interests... but Joan, much to Ms. Watson’s chagrin, doesn’t think becoming a lawyer is as important as the role of wife and being at home to raise her children. But that dialog is not surprising because there are many who are confused about not only the role of a wife but of a husband as well.
As we continue to explore marital happiness we come to one of the most practical and most needed passages in the Bible for restoring or keeping the magic in marriage. Last week we were reminded that God’s plan from the beginning has been: “One man for one woman for one lifetime.” And shouldn’t the One that designed matrimony be the best One to tell us how marriage functions best? God established marriage and designed the roles of the husband and wife. So, it makes sense to take His advice.
Now for some you this is “old ground” but I believe that we need to have God’s design for marriage branded on our hearts again and again. As someone once said, “It may not be as important to learn new truths as it is to be reminded of the old ones.” But for some, what we are going to discuss today will be new. My prayer is that we will all take to heart what God has to say in these verses because the Bible is God’s marriage manual. Now, as we begin, I want to warn you that much of what we say will go against popular thought. What we are about to talk about to me, is the “Great Cover-up” in marriage. Much of our culture neither understands or is interested in the truth this passage has to give to our homes. So, this morning you are going to be faced with two choices. You can look at the Scriptures we talk about & refuse to accept them, thinking of them as irrelevant jargon that has no application. Or you can admit that since God is the Creator and designer of marriage that maybe He knows better than we do. So, let’s look at this very important topic and see what God has to say.
I. ONE TO ANOTHER: SHARED SUBJECTION Vs:21
Before we actually get into the roles and responsibilities of wives and husbands I want to begin our discussion by understanding the concept of submissiveness. Let’s read vs:21 together.“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” This verse introduces a concept that certainly goes against what the world teaches. The world’s basic attitude is "Me First." We hear it espoused in such phrases as "Don’t let people push you around!" “No one has the right to impose their values on me!” “Look out for No. 1”
But the “Me First” philosophy is exactly opposite of what Jesus Christ taught.
Jesus’ point of view for living was not “me first” or even “put others first,” but it was to put Him first. Did you notice the wording of vs:21? We are to submit to one another out of what? “reverence for Christ.” You see when we put Him first, then, and only then, we will understand what it means to put others first or “submit to one another.” So, let’s look at a few Scriptures that talk about what our attitude is to be. Here are two passages that clearly tell us our attitude is to be submissive not assertive.
Matt. 20:25-28 is a passage where two disciples ask to be prominent in Jesus’ plans. “But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that in this world kings are tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them. But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must become your slave. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.”(NLT) He didn’t say be assertive he said, be what? A servant. In Philippians 2 Paul talks about how Jesus was equal, spiritually, with God and certainly superior to us and yet He humbled Himself and became obedient to God and submissive to our needs. “In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus. Christ himself was like God in everything. But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit. But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant. And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death—death on a cross.” (NCV)