Man’s Role in Marriage / Love your wife (Sermon text and audio)

Posted on June 24, 2012

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This is the fourth sermon in a series covering marriage, family, and the church. This message was delivered on June 24, 2012 at Hillcrest Baptist Church. This message deals with man’s role in a marriage, which is primarily to love his wife as Christ loved the church. This message explores ramifications of such a command. You will find the text of the sermon, and the audio. Please note that the sermon text is NOT a full transcript. Typically, as I preach, I add to what is in my notes. So, for the full sermon, please listen to the audio version.

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Role of man

SERMON TEXT:

Ephesians 5:25-33

Love your wife:

After giving the divine guidelines for the husband’s leadership and the wife’s submission, Paul devotes the next nine verses to explain the husband’s duty to submit to his wife through his love for her

In fact, a man’s primary role in the marriage is to love his wife. Everything else stems from this love.

This love is likened to the love that Christ has for the church, and believers possess Christ’s own nature and Holy Spirit, thus husbands can love their wives with a measure of Christ’s own kind of love.

This love is manifested in many ways.

PROTECTOR:
1 Peter 3:7

As the stronger vessel, man has an obligation to protect the weaker vessel.

PROVIDER:
Genesis 2:15

Man was designed to work, even before the fall.

Genesis 3:17-19

It is man’s responsibility to see that the family is fed.

WILLING TO DIE FOR HER – SACRIFICIAL LOVE:

Christ loved the church by giving “Himself up for her.” Romans 5:7–8 tells us about the depth of Christ’s love for the church.

Husbands, don’t tell me about your wife’s problems that make it hard to love her—you’re not as far removed from your wife as God was from sinners, yet He loved you.

Your wife may be a sinner, but so are you. Don’t lose that perspective.

Men who explain away their difficult marriages by claiming they no longer love their wives are being disobedient to God’s command.

God-type love is different then the world’s love, the world loves with an object-oriented love.

What that means is that the love is based on some physical attribute, or personality, its based on things that are subject to change.

It tends to be cliquish and overly selective, and this type of attitude can even affect Christians.

James 2:1-4

But that love is necessarily fickle because the moment the characteristic that motivated the love disappears, or loses its appeal, the love disappears.

Many marriages fall apart simply because the relationship was founded on that kind of love.

If God were going to love anything on the basis of its innate appeal, it would not have been the world, it would not have been us. We are all like unclean things.

Isaiah 64:6

Because God gave His children the capacity to love as He loves, He can command His love from them.

That means love is a choice we make—it is an act of our will as well as our heart.

Husbands, Scripture is not commanding you to love your wife because she deserves it but to love her even if she doesn’t deserve it.

Divine love is an act of selfless sacrifice.

When you love in that way, you’ll do what is needed without counting the cost or analyzing the need’s merit.

And your love will continue to meet the need whether it is received or rejected, appreciated or resented.

Husbands, as long as you’re looking for what you can get out of marriage, you will never know what it means to love your wife as Christ loved the church.

Look instead for what you can give: Be willing to make personal sacrifices for your wife, considering her needs and interests before your own (Phil. 2:3–4).

PURIFYING LOVE: vv. 26-27

When you love someone, that person’s purity is your goal. You can’t love a person and at the same time want to defile them.

Christ’s great love for His church does not allow Him to be content with any sin—with any moral or spiritual impurity.

But He doesn’t simply condemn wrong in those He loves; He seeks to cleanse them from it.

Don’t tempt your wife to sin, Love wants only the best for the one it loves, and it cannot bear for a loved one to be corrupted or misled by anything evil or harmful.

Love always seeks to purify.

CARING LOVE: vv.28-29

When your body has needs, you meet them. Your wife also has needs, and you’re to meet them just as diligently.

The husband who loves his wife as Christ loves the church will no more do anything to harm her than he will harm his own flesh.

When your wife needs strength, give her strength. When she needs encouragement, give her that. Whatever she needs, you are obligated to supply as best you can.

Don’t forget: You’re her divinely ordained provider and protector, but should that responsibility ever overwhelm you, recall that God is your Provider and Protector. He will help you do all that He requires.

Always remember that a wife is a God-given treasure to be cared for and cherished.

Proverbs 18:22

Don’t be harsh or resentful to your wife or allow yourself to be preoccupied with her flaws. She, like you, is bound to have plenty of them.

Respond with patience and loving leadership instead of masculine pride or outrage.

UNBREAKABLE LOVE: v.31

For a husband to love his wife as Christ loves His church he must love her with an unbreakable love.

Genesis 2:24

God’s standard for marriage has not changed.

One great barrier to successful marriages is the failure of one or both spouses to “leave … father and mother.”

A new family begins with a marriage, and while the relationships between child and parents still exist, they are severed as far as authority and responsibilities are concerned.

You need to love and care for your parents, but you cannot let them control your lives now that you’re married.

As a new husband and wife, you are to leave your parents and “cleave” to—be cemented to—each other.

You break one set of ties and establish another set. And don’t forget the second one is more binding and permanent than the first.

All of man’s duties – provider, protector, leader, etc are wrapped up in the command to love his wife. So, ultimately, man’s duty in marriage is all of the things that true, Godly love entails.

The Godly and obedient husband will always place his wife’s needs before his own.

He will be a picture of Christ in her life, and will earn the submission that God has asked of the wife.

The sacredness of marriage motivated Paul to conclude, “Let [the husband] love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband” (v. 33).

There is no more definitive statement of God’s ideal for marriage than that.

When Christian husbands and wives walk in the power of the Spirit, yield to His Word and His control, and are mutually submissive, blessing is the result.

Men, you have a choice. You can stand up and be the men that God has called you to be. By doing so you will be an example, a testimony, a blessing, and an encouragement to those around you.

You will instill the same attitude in your children, and your legacy will be a family that honors God.

Or, you can choose to ignore God’s plan, and live life as a weak and empty vessel, useless and spiritually dead.

You should never forget that, apart from obedience to God, your first responsibility is to your wife and children.

Your job is not your greatest priority, not your children’s college fund, not your savings account, your church isn’t even your greatest priority. It is your family.

Are you the man that God has called you to be?

If there is to be change in the church, change in society, it must start at home. And men, as the head of your family, the change must start with you first! You cannot demand of anyone else, what you are not willing to do.

The choice is yours today, what will you chose?

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Posted in: Family, Sermons