Summary: Valentines Day Message
To Die Or Live For (With)
Scripture: Ephesians 5:21-25
Tomorrow we will celebrate what is known as the day to recognize love – Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl’s name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.
Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II, Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that the reason was that roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. The good Saint Valentine was a priest at Rome in the days of Claudius II. He secretly married couples, and for this kind deed Saint Valentine was apprehended, beaten to death with clubs and his head was cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, about the year 270. We celebrate this holiday by giving the ones we love Valentine cards, candy and/or romantic dinners. In school our children have parties that sometimes lead to hurt feelings. There were always one or two kids who would not receive a Valentine card during the parties. I remember vividly watching Charlie Brown as he was always ready to receive a card, only to be disappointed.
In preparation for this message, I emailed a survey to you that asked you the question of which you like to have; a mate who would die for you or one that would live for and with you. The answers were mixed as I expected they would be. I want you to know that regardless of which answer you chose, you chose the correct answer because there was no right or wrong answer. I sent out the survey so that you would have time to consider the question before you heard the message this morning.
Turn with me to Ephesians 5:21-25.
I. To Die For or To Life For (With)
“And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church. He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:21-25
In these verses we find the key to a happy marriage, husbands do what your wives tell you. No, I am just kidding. To have a happy, satisfying and fulfilling marriage we should submit to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives should submit to their husbands and vice-versa. Husbands should also focus on understanding what it means to love their wives. As you think on these verses, I want to ask you this question for consideration and we will come back to these verses later: “How do you treat your spouse or loved one?” Tomorrow many of us will give our spouses or loved one cards and candy expressing deep love for them. With all of these words and expressions of love, how do we really treat them? Someone once said “I cannot hear what you are saying because your actions are yelling to loud.” Do your actions match up with the words? Let me give you a few examples of things we “say” but may not line up with our actions.
I Treat My Wife Like A Queen. Okay, here we find a statement where the man says he treats his wife like a queen. Let us examine this relationship, one between a queen and her husband. If the queen was the queen by birthright, when she married her husband he became a prince, not the king. She retained all of the power. He had no power so he had no choice but to treat her like a queen for she was his superior. Whatever decision she made, she could make it whether he liked it or not. Once the decision was made, he had to abide by it. Although he may have loved her dearly, the true power of the kingdom rested with her. So if this is what we mean when we say I treat my wife like a queen, then I am not buying it. There are very few men who “choose” to treat their wives this way. There is a difference between having to do it by design and doing it by choice. When we say we treat our wives like a queen, in the truest definition of a queen in this example, it does not happen. The other situation involves the woman becoming a queen because she married the king. If the queen became queen by marrying the king, then she was “treated” like a queen, not necessarily by the king, but by her servants. Although the king would make sure that she was taken care of and had the things she desired, he retained the right to do anything to or for her – her life was within his hands. Remember the story of Queen Ester? Remember when she wanted to talk with the king (her husband) she had to have permission to enter into his presence? This was typical of the relationship between a king and queen during those times. I believe this is the queen most men think of when they refer to treating their wives like a queen. They may treat their wives well, but their wives may not be seen as their equal since they are the “head of the house.” He is the head of the house and that is all there is to it. In some cases she may be treated like a queen depending on how she is acting that week. Are you getting my point here? Treating a wife like a queen is not necessarily a compliment.