Darrin Patrick talks about marriage, from what he calls the clearest message on marriage in the Bible: Ephesians 5:18-33.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Instructions for Christian Households
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wivesas their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Husbands are accountable as the heads. Yet, they must love, just like Jesus loved the church.
What does it mean to ‘Act like Jesus?’
- forgive first
- sacrifice most
- serve, instead of wanting to be served
- take responsibility for things that aren’t your fault
Husbands take responsibility for their wives spiritual health:
- Protection. You are her protector and if you don’t protect her, she will have no choice but to protect herself. And self protection is a form of pride.
- Cultivation. You look at her future glory, how she’s going to be for Jesus. And while you meditate on that, you will have motivation to help her with her practical struggles. One day, she will be perfectly and utterly confident before God. She will know why she is made. Picture that, and let it motivate you to help her with the hard spots in her life, and the hard truths that she is having difficulty with. If you’re doing this, how do you know? Because your wife is loving Jesus more because of you. The tragedy is that most wives have to grow, not because of their husbands, but, in spite of their husbands.
- Nourish/Cherish - to feed, to train, to teach. But, you also cherish her (verses 28-29). The word cherish means- you’re creating an environment. The idea is it’s ‘warmth’. The idea is: Husbands, teach your wife Scripture, have spiritual conversations where you help her understand who God is, who she is, what her mission is in the world. You do all that, in an environment that you have created, of safety and warmth.”Nourish and cherish”.
This is what it means to take spiritual responsibility of your wife. And, here’s the thing. If you don’t cherish her this way, she will find her own cherishing. Listen, your wife was made to be cherished. She cannot, not want that. And maybe. some hyper fenimism has tried to beat it out of her. Maybe her mom said, “Don’t ever trust a man.” Maybe this book said: Don’t ever give yourself fully. It doesn’t matter what she does. That’s who she is, and that’s what she wants: To be cherished. And you are God’s ordained man to do that. If you don’t, she will find ways to cherish herself. So, she’ll eat and look for comfort. Or find someone else to cherish her. They’re gonna talk to their moms, all the time, because they’re lonely. And some of your have great mothers in law so I am not criticizing that. Some will hide in their career, or the gym. Men, she’s made to be cherished, and you are her chief cherisher. We say this many times: You don’t love your wife to make her lovely, you love her to make her lovely. She’s lovely, but you’re gonna make her more lovely, as you love her. But, that requires confrontation.
- Confrontation – Ever had an infection in your body? It’s painful, it’s awkward. Husbands and wives confront each other. They clean out their wounds. They scrape out the infection.And husbands, you take the lead in this cleaning. If you don’t take the lead, she’s not going to feels safe to clean your wounds. If you’re not in constant scraping, in constant prayer, constant loving confrontation, your marriage is sub christian.
~~Husbands lead by making more of the Gospel, than of their marriage. (verse 29). You can get the Gospel without marriage. But, I don’t know that you can get the marriage without the Gospel. I know there are people who have decent marriages, that are not believers, but the more you understand the Gospel, the more you will lovingly lead. The purpose of marriage is to reenact what Jesus has done, and is doing. That’s the purpose of marriage. It’s reenacting the Gospel.
The Gospel is the focus, But, it’s also a pattern. Husbands, as you lead, you are putting on display the kind of leadership that Christ exercises over His church. Wives, as you submit to your husbands’ leadership, you are putting on display the type of surrendered trust that Christ wants in response to His love for the church.
So people ought to be able to look at our marriages and say, “Look, there’s the Gospel.” And so, as you get closer together, what happens in Gospel reenactment? You are confronted with your sin and you are confronted with the acceptance of your own righteousness, apart from your work. So what happens in your marriage? Same thing. Nobody knows your sins more than your spouse. You hid them from your room mates, your parents, but, there’s dirt underneath your dirt, that only your spouse sees. They know when you’re lying. They know everything.
And what happens is, if you are able to see your sin against God, the way God sees it- this is what put Jesus on the cross, this deserves the wrath of God, this is what separates me from God… If that is there, before you, if the Gospel is ever before you, you’ll be able to forgive your husband. If you believe that “I’m accepted for what Jesus has done. It’s not about my history, it’s not about how good my sermon is. I’m loved because I’m loved. I’m a son before I am a soldier. If that is real to you, you’re not gonna demand that your wife compliment you 15 times in the car. You have to make much of the Gospel. Marriage brings you into conflict. Not just with your spouse, or yourself, but, with God. Are you going to be under control of the Spirit? Or, are you going to repeat the patterns of previous generations and the way men dealt with their wives?
Published on Nov 14, 2012 thejourneystl
From the November 2012 A29 bootcamp at The Journey, in St. Louis, Mo.