August 4, 2013

Attitudes of a Good Marriage

Passage: Ephesians 5:22-33
Service Type:



  1. Marriage is a topic of concern to many people today
  2. I’m not going to stand up today and talk about
    1. Attempts to redefine marriage
    2. Divorce & remarriage
    3. If we want to prevent these things, what we need to do is have a look at marriage itself and the attitudes that will make for a good one
  1. God did not create someone just for you.
    1. We tend to say things like
      1. “Don’t worry, there’s someone out there for you”
      2. Some will quote Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
    2. There’s no indication that God has someone in mind for you
      1. To my knowledge, there were only two marriages that you could say were arranged by God himself
        1. Adam & Eve
        2. Isaac & Rebekah
      2. This means that there are any number of people out there with whom you will be compatible – if you are both willing to work at it
  2. God has a role for you to play in your marriage
    1. The duty of wives (Eph. 5:22-24)
      1. They are to submit to their husbands in everything...
        1. Just as they are to submit to the Lord ("as to the Lord")
        2. Just as the church is subject to Christ
        3. The reason: the husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is head of the church
      2. Any time you have organization that is functional, you must have some chain of authority
        1. In the family, it is God's Will that the husband be the head of the wife, and that parents be over their children
      3. Here is an opportunity for wives to demonstrate the wisdom and value of an important principle in God's will: that of submission!
        1. Jesus taught by both word and example of the importance of submission - cf. Jn 13:12-17; Mk 10:42-45
        2. Indeed we all are to submit in one way or another - Jas 4:7; Ep 5:21
        3. Through their submission, wives prove that God's will is best in such matters!
    2. The duty of husbands (Eph. 5:25-30)
      1. They are to love their wives...
        1. Just as Christ loved the church, i.e., with a sacrificial love designed to bless and benefit their wives
        2. Just as they love their own bodies, i.e., with a love that nourishes and cherishes their wives
      2. Just as the wives have the opportunity to demonstrate God's wisdom concerning submission, so husbands are given the opportunity to demonstrate Christ's love...
        1. As the head over His church, Jesus rules as a "benevolent monarch"
        2. Some think such a concept as "benevolent monarch" is impossible (as per the saying, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely")
        3. But when a husband exercises his authority as head of the family with the kind of love Jesus displays while ruling over His church, they demonstrate not only the possibility, but the wisdom of a benevolent monarchy!
      3. A “marriage” between man and woman reflects the “marriage” between Christ and the church only if...
        1. A husband exercises his authority with love (Eph. 5:33a)
        2. A wife submits to her husband with respect (Eph. 5:33b).
  3. God intends for you to play your role even if your spouse does not
    1. The same principles that underlie the gospel message are to be displayed in our family relationships
      1. Personal responsibility
      2. Submission
      3. Love
      4. Sacrifice
      5. Obedience
      6. Honesty
      7. Fairness
    2. By example, then, we can demonstrate in our families what is truly good and right (i.e., God's will), and prepare others to be receptive to the gospel message!
    3. But not every spouse does the right thing
      1. Husbands refuse to love
      2. Wives refuse to submit
    4. In these times, it is our responsibility to remember that the commands that God has given us are not contingent
      1. Paul did not write:
        1. “Wives, submit to the husbands who love and respect you, as to the Lord.”
        2. “Husbands, love the wives which submit to you, as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.”
      2. Rather, he said things in a manner that indicates personal responsibility that is not contingent upon the actions of another.
        1. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
        2. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.”
      3. It may not seem fair, and it may not always make you happy, but we are called to do what is asked of us. Which is a point made in other contexts
        1. Servants are told to submit to even abusive masters (1 Pet. 2:18ff)
        2. Disciples are told to love their enemies and pray for those who “spitefully use you” (Luke 6:27-29)
    5. This is what makes a marriage that is for life (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6)


  1. It is in the marriage relationship that we can provide our very best example to the world
    1. The best example saying that “God’s ways are the best ones”
    2. The best example of what the relationship between Christ and the church is supposed to be
  2. Perhaps you want that kind of relationship today and don’t have it
    1. It’s possible for you to have it
    2. It starts with obedience to God
      1. Wives can’t really know what it is to submit to their husbands until they have first submitted to the Lord
      2. Husbands can’t really know what it is to love their wives until they have first experienced the depths of the love of Christ

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