Summary: Wife, it’s not just up to you, but you’re the HEART of the HOME, in almost every circumstance. You will keep the relationship alive more than he will. Yes, he must cooperate, but you’re the one who will keep the bridge in good shape!
The Heart of the Home
Wives, it’s your turn this morning! Seriously, I am preaching today in the context of the Christian wife and mother. I believe that the Bible teaches that a man and woman who enter into the marriage covenant, invoke a wholly different set of responsibilities in this world. I urge you to contextualize this message within marriage, for the married woman.
Now, I need to say that presenting a sermon about the woman in the Christian is a real challenge for this
1. The obvious reason - I’m not a woman. (Now there’s a revelation!) I have lived with a wonderful woman for almost 31 years now, but she remains a mysterious creature to me in a lot of ways.
EX.- I don’t get tears - after all this time. Sometimes they mean, ‘hold me,’ and sometimes they mean, ‘if you come within reach I’ll tear out your eyes.’
I realize that the world looks very different to Bev than it does to me.
EX.- When our kids are going through a tough time, my inclination is to say, “You know life is tough. You’ll make it. And, if it doesn’t kill you, it will make you strong!” Her inclination is to say, “They are so sad. I wish I could be there for them.” They will forever be her babies!
2. Another reason this sermon is a challenge is because of all the ‘stuff’ that is wrapped around the core truths about the role of the woman in the Christian family. Few subjects provoke the same kinds of reactions that preaching about Divine Order will stir up.
3. And, then there is my fear that I will heard as advocating the old line about keeping your woman at home, barefoot and pregnant! Too often, what comes across in sermons about the role of the Christian wife implies that she is best when she is baking pies, putting on Band-Aids, and meeting the sexual needs of her husband. I don’t want to slip into that stereotype, for that has more to do with an ideal coming from American culture, than a Scripturally based one!
Well, let’s go, but first, let’s pray! PRAYER
This message divides into two main concerns - Responsibilities and Role
What are the core responsibilities of a woman and what is her primary role relationship within the family?
Let’s talk about the role, the place God has assigned to the Christian woman in her family.
TEXT - Ephesians 5: 22-23, 33 Pew Bible page 1823
Submit - there it is, that word that you all knew was coming! It is a much mis-used and misunderstood concept. And, to be completely honest, a hated word by a large segment of women in our culture. Many hear it as a word that is demeaning, that suggests that she is an inferior person, and that suggests domestic slavery.
The Bible implies none of those things in God’s call for a married woman to choose to submit to her husband.
∙ The model for that submission is the Believer’s submission to Jesus Christ as Lord. There is nothing negative in that concept, is there? I voluntarily submit to Jesus, considering it an honor to follow Him. Yes, my submission to Him is an act of respect. It is also a choice that I’ve learned provides great benefit to me. So I’d urge you to jump over the cultural barriers that might keep you from considering this challenge.
∙ It is not an isolated text that supports the submission of the wife to her husband. The NT Scripture is consistent in calling on women to this choice. While the Bible is clear about the equality of men and women before God and in the exercise of spiritual gifts, it is crystal clear that within the home there is an order and that women who honor God will choose to submit themselves to their husbands ‘for the Lord’s sake.’
∙ Nor is the call to submission, as some suggest, merely rooted in the patriarchal societies in which the Scripture authors lived. Divine Order emerges from the mind of God Himself from the beginning. He created Adam, and then, from Adam’s rib, He created Eve.
Some say that submission was the result of the Fall of Humanity into sin. When Adam and Eve were ejected from the Garden, God said to the woman,
“Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16, NIV)
So doesn’t that mean that when we become Believers, and overcome the curse, submission disappears? No! That is a misreading of the Word. Divine Order in the family came first, part of the perfect Creation. Sin corrupts Divine Order. Headship, which is to be an expression of godly servant leadership becomes dominance. Submission, which is to be a choice of honor leading to care and esteem for the woman, becomes a means of men ruling women, exploiting them.