Husbands, love your wives

Excerpt from the message – John MacArthur:

(See entire message here gty.org/resources/sermons/80-383)

People in marriages attack each other because of their own sinfulness, their own fallenness and because there’s conflict as we read in Genesis between the man and the woman as they vie for power in the union. So immediately upon the Fall, marriage is under assault from the outside by Satan and from the inside by the conflict that rises in the hearts of the two people that make up that union.

……

MacArthur states that in order for a marriage to work, it has: To be „monitored by and empowered by the Holy Spirit”. 

“Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her so that He might sanctify her having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing but that she would be holy and blameless. “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife, loves himself, for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it just as Christ also does the church because we are members of His body.” A very lengthy and very detailed set of instructions for the husband.

The husband’s command is very clear. It’s a single command. Husbands, love your wives. Love your wives. That is the command. There is no command to take authority over your wife. That’s not the command. That is not the command. Is the husband the head? Absolutely he’s the head. We saw that, didn’t we, in 1 Corinthians 11, the husband is the head of the wife, Christ is the head of the man, God is the head of Christ. But the command is not to take authority. It doesn’t say a word about that. It doesn’t say take authority. It doesn’t say rule over your wife. It doesn’t say order her around. It doesn’t say command her. It doesn’t say subjugate her, subject her. It doesn’t say dominate her. It says love your wives…love your wives. And the word for love is from the verb agapao which is the most intense, most divine, most magnanimous, most sacrificial, most humble kind of love. It’s the love of the will. There are other words for love in the Greek language. There’s the word eros(? from which you get erotic, that’s a sexual kind of love. There’s the word phileo, the verb phileo which is the word that is in the word Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, it means that, that kind of a normal, human affection. There is even a word for family love and that word is used when the Apostle Paul writes to Timothy and says that people in the society, the worldly society have lost their natural affection. That is their family love. So there are words for family love, and erotic love, and brotherly love. But this is the word for the love of the will. This is the word that is the most magnanimous, the most far-reaching, and the most intentional. This is…this is a word for love that is not defined by the solicitation of the one loved. This is the love of the will. This is loving because it is right to love, loving because you will to love. It doesn’t mean the person is not attractive, but this word is defined as a word that expresses one’s intentionality.

This is how we are to love because we determine to love, because we will to love. This is, of course, defined for us as the kind of love the Lord has for His church. He does not love us because we are lovable. He did not save us because we were lovable. He didn’t save you and not somebody else down the street from you because you were more lovable than the person down the street. You might have picked your life partner because that person was more lovable in your judgment than the other people you knew. That is not how God chose you. He predetermined by His own will to set His love on you and to then spend His love relentlessly on you forever and ever and ever. And it is that kind of love that a husband is to set upon the woman that he takes as his wife.

It is the manner of our love. Let’s start with that word “manner,” we’ll break it down into several parts. This love, the manner of this love, “as Christ loved the church” and you can go all the way back and say, Romans 5:8, “He loved us when we were enemies, when we were alienated, when we were unlovable and unlovely and unloving and before we loved Him. We only love Him because He first loved us. That’s what we’re talking about. You set your love by your will because it’s right and it’s noble, and it’s the way Christ set His love on us. That’s the manner of it.

 

The Willful Submission of a Christian Wife

Excerpts from – see entire message here http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-382

John MacArthur:

In other words, if you reverence Christ, if you are in awe of Christ, if you desire to honor and please Him, then be a submissive person…a submissive person. As general characteristic, we are to be submissive. Spirit-filled people are submissive. That is to say, they are not dominating, they are not proud, they are not self-willed. They do not live by their own agenda which is, of course, the way people in our culture and our society today live. We have sown the seeds of a self-esteem psychology and we have reaped a harvest of pride, overwhelming pride, personal pride, self-glorification, self-will, domination of the environment by one’s own person and plans. But Spirit-filled people are submissive by the work of the Holy Spirit.

The word here for “subject,” or “submit” is hupotasso, it’s a Greek verb, hupotasso, it’s compounded. It means…tasso means to arrange, to place in order, and hupo is under. It’s a military term, it means to place yourself under, to rank yourself under. That’s what it means in the military sense. It is to rank yourself under those in authority over you, under those who have responsibility for you, to be under someone. As a general principle as Christians, we are to live lives of submission. This is so clearly the general principle of Christian living that it is referred to many times in particular in the New Testament. But perhaps as clear a section as there is Philippians 2. In Philippians 2 we read in verse 1, we’ll just pick it up at verse 1, “If there’s any encouragement in Christ, any consolation of love, any fellowship of the Spirit, any affection and compassion—talking about mutually among believers—make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, loving everybody the same, thinking the same things, united in Spirit, intent on one purpose.”

How in the world can you do that? How can you get along so completely with others? “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind, regard one another as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interest, but also for the interest of others.” That is the soul of submission. It is humility. It is being unselfish, having no conceit but with humility of mind, considering others as more important than yourselves. Not looking out for your own interests, but the interests of others. That is a spiritual grace that is produced by the Holy Spirit. If there is any fellowship of the Spirit, any real fellowship of the Spirit, this then will appear. And—by the way—the greatest illustration of this is Christ Himself. You are to have this attitude of humble submission in yourselves, verse 5, which was also in Christ Jesus who although He existed in the form of God didn’t regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, held onto, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave and being made in the likeness of man, found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross.”

This is what it means to be submissive, to be humble, to look not on your own things but the things of others. That broad command is also repeated in 1 Corinthians 16:16, “You also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.”

Darrin Patrick – Marriage: Loving Your Wife and Your Mission

darrin patrickDarrin 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”.

couple hold hands

 

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. 

Biblical Headship

~~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.

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