Summary: How do we stay in love from the honeymoon until the tomb?
For mine and Rebecca’s wedding anniversary this year, my parents gave us a card that read:
An Anniversary Look at Dating vs. Marriage
When you were dating . . . Now that you’re married . . .
You always looked your best. You wear whatever is clean.
Your manners were impeccable. You burp at the dinner table.
You’d hide cute little love notes for your partner to find. You tack a note on the door saying, “We’re all out of toilet paper.”
You’d regularly compliment your partner’s hair or choice of clothing. You regularly point out that the other has something in their teeth.
You’d say, “I love you!” You’d say, “I love you!”
Thankfully, some things don’t change!
That’s what we’re after this morning. Being able to say and mean, “I love you – through it all.” This morning we will discover how to stay in love from the honeymoon to the tomb.
How do we stay in love from the honeymoon until the tomb?
To find out, let’s go into the master bedroom and start remodeling. The Master Bedroom is a place for love. You might immediately think we’re going to talk about physical intimacy this morning. That kind of love is important in a marriage, but that kind of love on its own will not get you from the honeymoon to the tomb. So how do we get there? Well, let’s see what our house plan says.
Turn to Ephesians 5:21-33. When you hear that scripture announced, you may think you know where this message is headed, and you’re probably right. But you need to listen this morning because I think you’ll hear some things that are a bit new or maybe expressed in a new way for you.
Chapter 5 of Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus begins with an exhortation by Paul to the church. He says in v. 1, “Be imitators of God.” Are any of you making straight A’s when it comes to that? No, but that statement seems to drive or be the foundation of this entire chapter. Keep that charge in mind, “Be imitators of God,” as we check out God’s plan for the master bedroom. That particular plan begins in vs. 21, so look there. In Ephesians 5:21-25 I feel God gives us at least two ways for making over our master bedroom.
The first way to make over the master bedroom is to SUBMIT. God shows us that submission stabilizes a marriage.
A couple was celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. A newspaper from the local town decided to show up and find out how come everybody talked about the stability of this home. How could it be, first, that a couple could stay together for 50 years and, on top of that, have such peace and joy and tranquility?
The journalist got in touch with the husband and asked him, “What’s the secret?” The husband said:
Well, it dates back to our honeymoon when we visited the Grand Canyon. While there, we took a trip to the bottom of the canyon on a pack mule. We hadn’t gone too far when my bride’s mule stumbled. Because I was riding close to her, I heard her say quietly into the ear of the mule, “That’s once.”
We proceeded a little further down into the canyon and the mule stumbled again. And I noticed she leaned forward and said quietly, “That’s twice.”
And, you know, we hadn’t gone another half mile before the poor mule stumbled a third time. My wife reached in her purse pulled out a revolver, and, BANG – she shot the mule dead.
I made an angry protest over the treatment of the mule. Then she looked at me, leaned forward, and quietly said, “That’s once.” . . . . And he added, “And we have lived happily ever after.”
There you go, ladies, a story of a man submitting to a woman. Shocking in a study of Ephesians 5!
The first way to make over the master bedroom is to SUBMIT. God shows us that submission strengthens a marriage. Your Bible may have the heading for this section after v. 21, but, remember, those headings were added by the editors of your particular translation. Many scholars believe, and I agree, that the passage actually begins in v. 21. Let’s begin there.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything (Ephesians 5:21-24).
In our culture, people hate this passage and the others like it in the New Testament. Terms such as subjugation, submission, and subordination, stir up strong feelings in our free society primarily because each term has nuances of forced subjugation, forced submission, and forced subordination. For some reason when they read this passage people seem to picture an ogre of a husband speaking to his wife like she’s a dog, “Submit, woman, submit. . . . Good woman.” Unfortunately, their vicious response to such teaching reveals biblical ignorance on their part. For this kind of meaning is far and away removed from that intended by Paul. If everyone truly knew what this is all about, they would support it 100%.