The Husband Leads With Love
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. NKJV
One of the things about the feminist movement that amuses me is that they think that children come into this world gender neutral. Now I am not an authority on children but I am getting closer with the latest addition this past week. My grandsons love guns, baseball bats, swords, none of which my daughter has ever been interested in. She is into dolls. And I do mean into. She almost has more dolls than I have books. But my grandsons are not into dolls, although they do play with them, that is when they don’t have a bat, a doll will do to hit someone with.
Men and women are wired differently from birth. And no amount of culture or training can change that. God did not make them people, He made them male and female. That shows their distinctness. We also see that in the distinctiveness of the commands to each in this passage. Each command is what is often lacking in the relationship and what is most needed. Women often see little need to respect their husbands, to them it is not important. But it is very important to the man to have respect. It usually ranks one or two on the lists of things that are most important to the man. At the same time love is extremely important to the woman in a relationship. That is the most often complaint, “he doesn’t show that he loves me.” On the other hand, I have yet to hear a man in a normal marriage complain about his wife not loving him. But since love is what is important to the wife, Paul commands the husbands to love their wives. If what I have said doesn’t make sense to you, then ask yourself, why does Paul command these two different things to the wife and husband? Usually Paul instructs people in things they are unsure of or are doing wrong, or have a tendency to do wrong.
I. How Do I Love thee, Let Me Count the Ways
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
A. What a beautiful poem. But ladies, to men that poem doesn’t mean a thing.
1. We like love to be a little more defined, by something done than felt.
2. That is why I like the Five Love Languages of Gary Chapman.
a. Does anyone remember what they are?
b. Words of Affirmation
c. Quality Time
d. Receiving Gifts
e. Acts of Service
f. Physical Touch
3. Real love will always work out in action.
II. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.
A. Jesus showed His love by laying down His life so that the church might be saved.
B. Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.
C. Men, if you are called on to die for your wife, what else would you not be also do.
D. Real love involves sacrifice. Men, what should we sacrifice for our wives.
III. That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.
A. The purpose of Jesus was to make the church pure, holy, perfect through a continual washing of His word.
1. Jesus never wants anything for the church that would defile or ruin her.
2. Purity is an overwhelming concern fo Christ for the church.
B. We all have the potential to live up to or down to the expectations of those who love us.
C. Husbands your goal is for your wife to be the best she can be.
1. Are you making that a reality?
2. Are you building her up and not tearing her down?
3. Christ is the head of the church but He only wants what is best for her.
4. Tell the story of the ten cow wife.
IV. That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
A. Christ is not looking for mediocrity in His bride, but He works to bring out the very best in her.
1. He honors her.
2. He sustains her.
3. He gives to her for the end He has in view.
4. There is a story told of an important businessman who had quit his business to better care for his wife with advanced stages of Alzheimer disease. They were in an airport as they waited for their connecting flight. His wife could not sit still. She wanted to walk here and there. She was continually asking where they were at and where they were going. All the while the husband very lovingly answered the questions as if it were the first time she had asked them. A young lady sat in the same waiting area. She could not help noticing what was going on. The husband had seen all the looks that people can give and it seemed that the young lady was also wondering why this woman was allowed in public. But she was so taken by the woman’s actions that the husband finally asked her to speak up. When she did, he was surprised. The young lady just was wondering if she would ever find a man that could love her like this man did his wife.
B. Now when you realize that Paul is referring to the church, to us, we realize that we are far from perfect, but that is what the Lord wants in us.
C. The real problem is that most husbands do not work on their marriage hardly at all.
D. They think it is something that just happens. Most men are clueless when they get married.
E. They would not expect that of a garden, a little league team or anything else in their lives, but somehow they think this thing called marriage will just work out.
V. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
A. Notice here it doesn’t say that husbands are to love their jobs as their own bodies.
1. This is a far cry from the society of Paul’s day in which the wife was little more than property.
2. Remember from last weeks sermon.
3. I read this week that according to Roman law, if a man caught his wife being unfaithful he had every right to kill her right there without a trial.
4. But on the other hand, the wife had no right to say anything if her husband cheated on her, much less a divorce.
B. But this verse displays the care the husband show for his wife.
1. 1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel NKJV
2. Women long to be cared for to be secure, and it is the privilege of the husband to do that.
3. That is a part of love.
4. Jesus has given us all things.
5. We are rich in spiritual blessings.
C. In the same way that we care for our own selves, husbands, we are to care for our wives.
D. Now I know, some women are thinking I am a chauvinist.
1. But like I said before. The day they have a woman as a linebacker on the Chicago Bears football team, I will take it all back.
2. When my boys were little and they fell I would just say come on get up, you are ok.
3. But when my daughter came along, that didn’t work any more.
E. We have a responsibility to protect our wives from every type of physical harm, emotional harm, mental harm.
F. God made the woman to be a helper for Adam and Adam was to protect and care for his wife.
Now might be a good time to raise last weeks question. Are we smarter than God. Does God have a pattern for husbands and wives?
How are we doing?
If it hasn’t worked out too well for you in the past, why not give God’s way a try.