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Sermon series title: The Sanctity of Marriage – Part Three: The Christlike Husband

Sermon Date:March 12, 2017

Sermon Topics:Ephesians 5:25, 28-30

Author:Allen Burns

Sermon Topics:, , , ,

Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:1-11 Sermon Series title: The Sanctity of Marriage Part Three: The Christlike Husband Sermon Text: Ephesians 5:25, 28-30 Memory Verse: Philippians 2:3 MAIN IDEA: Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loves the church. Be a Christ-like H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife H – Humble U – Unconditionally loving S – Speaking the Word B – Believing God A – Assuring N – Nurturing D – Denying Self   NOTE: “Scripture quotations are from the NASB." This manuscript is provided as a courtesy and is not intended for publication. The audio message will differ because the manuscript is not followed word for word. Thanks for understanding.  

Introduction

Imagine having a painting in your home which is a landscape with a small village and some hills in the background. It’s nighttime. We see a crescent moon, and beautiful bright yellow stars fill the sky. In the foreground, we see a tall, dark Cyprus trees. The village in the background looks serene and as though everyone is asleep. A church steeple is in the village. The painting is striking with the vivid blues and yellows and has an interesting painterly quality. Friends come over and comment on the painting. Some think it looks beautiful. Others say it looks to modern for their taste, but it’s okay for your home. One friend scoffs and says it looks like a child painted it with finger paints. You don’t mind the criticism because you enjoy the painting. Years go by, and with the passing of time, the painting doesn’t quite hold the same attraction as it once did. We move the painting from a featured location in the front of the home to a corner in the small den leading to the back porch. When people visit, nobody notices that the painting is no longer in the feature spot. Sometimes things in life are like the painting. When things are new and fresh, we get all excited and can’t wait to talk with others about them. Marriage may be like that. Sure, it was exciting to plan for the wedding. The first few years together are wonderful and fun. But after a while, marriage may become routine. It loses the “front room excitement” and moves to the “den in the back of the house” once something new comes along (not necessarily a new lover, but the new job, new house, baby, new car, camper, etc.). We need to do all we can to keep the spark of marriage aflame because it is a valued treasure. The focus this week is how husbands should love their wives. There is no reason to tune out or not pay attention to the message just because you are not a husband. We need to pay attention because what we are speaking about is the glories of Jesus Christ. All Christians are to be Christlike. God gave us these verses to showcase the magnificence of Jesus Christ. As we look at these verses, we may rejoice to how Jesus loves us, His bride, the church. We who call ourselves Christian, who take His name, are to look to His example. It is our privilege to live as He lives, love as He loves, and be in union with Him through His Holy Spirit. Since we are all to be Christlike, it’s no surprise then, that husbands are to be Christlike in how they love their wives. The title of the message is The Christlike Husband. We are looking at, Ephesians 5:25, and 28-30. The example of the sacrificial love of Jesus shines brightly in these verses.

The Christlike Love of A Christian Husband

In a Christian marriage, the husband is to look to the example of Christ. The husband is to give himself for his wife just as Jesus gives Himself to the church. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her. (Eph. 5:25) Jesus gave Himself up for His bride for a reason, 26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27that 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. (Eph. 5:26-27) Christ’s work on the cross sanctifies His wife so she may enjoy Him fully, in a state of perfection. After we learn how Jesus gives His life, we learn how a husband is to apply the example of Christ in his marriage. 28So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30because we are members of His body. (Eph. 5:28-30) The words of God’s Holy Spirit’s teach us that Jesus is joined to the church as man and wife join in marriage. We join to Jesus, and we are His body. When we join, we become one with Him. Jesus loves His body, the church. Jesus does all He can to care for the church. In the same way, a husband joins with the wife.  He is to care for her as he cares for his body. Jesus’ marriage to the church is the example husbands are to follow. To help us remember His example, we are going to use the acronym, HUSBAND. The first characteristic of the Christlike husband is that he is:

H – Humble

Be a Christ-like H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by being humble. During the Scripture reading (Philippians 2), we read of the humility of Jesus. We are to have the same mind as Jesus who left His glory in heaven. There is no higher place or higher position than what Jesus left. Jesus is the Lord and Creator of the Universe; King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Although He existed in the form of God, He did not regard His being equal with God something to push on others. He didn’t assert His authority. He never acted out of pride or arrogance. Jesus did not live with an attitude of superiority. He never put Himself above the church. Jesus never said, because I am the Lord, you must do such and such. He patiently and gently led with a servant’s heart. Jesus took the form of a man when He could have easily taken the form of God the King. Jesus took the form of a servant when He could have rightfully, taken the form of Master and Lord. There is nothing attractive about a man with pride or a man who is arrogant. If we want our wife to be attracted to us and to respect us, we must never play the “I am your master the husband card.” Husbands should never assert themselves as Lord of the household in a way that is domineering or controlling. A wife will submit to a humble, loving man much quicker than she will to a man who pushes his authority. The world teaches us to be an alpha male. The example of Jesus teaches us to have confidence, but not be prideful. We are to be bold, but not arrogant. We are to seek to have a character of meekness and humility. Being meek doesn’t equate to weakness. Humility and meekness are spiritual strengths we need to develop and demonstrate. Our role as the leader of the house does not mean we are superior and our wife is inferior. Our wife is superior in many ways. She has gifts and abilities which far exceed our own. Though we are to follow the example of Jesus, we must remember we are mere men; we are not Jesus who is perfect in all His ways. Part of being humble is admitting when we are wrong. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for directions. A good leader in the home is willing to ask his wife for advice. Most of all, we need to be humble and ask God for help. All men have areas of weakness. We need to be on our knees before the Lord and ask His help. To love our wives as Christ loves the church is an impossible command to keep. However, with God’s help and with the power of the Spirit of Christ, we may be changed. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus, and as we look into His face, He will change us from glory to glory. Be a Christlike H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by being humble.

U – Unconditionally loving

Be a Christlike H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by being unconditionally loving. Jesus gives Himself to the church even though we are completely undeserving. Jesus does not wait for His bride to do what is right and then love her. He doesn’t want for His bride to be beautiful, before setting His eyes upon her. Jesus loves His wife as she is a sinner. Jesus love is a love of grace and mercy. There is nothing the bride of Jesus does which merits Jesus’ love for her. Jesus had died for us before we were born. Jesus love is described well in 1 Corinthians 13:4-6. Jesus shows patience and is not irritated because He has to wait for His wife to get ready. Jesus’ love is kind and never speaks a word which tears down or insults His bride. His bride is not the butt of His jokes, ever.  Jesus does not brag or is He arrogant by teasing His bride because she can’t park the car as good as Him or doesn’t know how to use the computer like He does. Jesus does not seek first His needs but seeks to make sure His wife is taken care of first. Words spoken by His wife do not provoke Him. Her shortcomings do not make Him angry or cause Him to strike out at her. Jesus does not make a list of all the wrongs committed to Him by His wife but casts them from Him as far as the east is from the west. When His wife makes an error or does something wrong, Jesus doesn’t rejoice and say, “I told you so.” Instead, Jesus rejoices when His wife does well and achieves; He rejoices with the truth. Jesus is willing to bear all things His wife does, even her annoying habits. Jesus believes all things that are good about His wife. Jesus hopes all things for His wife. And Jesus endures rainstorms, blizzards, sleepless nights, illness, and all other things because He loves His wife unconditionally. Jesus unconditional love for His bride allows Him to forgive His wife of any sin. His unconditional love exists despite anything His wife may say or do. His wife already meets all the conditions for His love, because there are no conditions. Jesus’ mind is already made up. No matter what, He will always love His bride. Jesus’ expresses His unconditional love in His actions of being willing to die for her. He expresses His love in His eternal Words written for His bride to read. There is no question in the mind of Jesus’ bride that her Husband loves her deeply. Husbands, express your unconditional love for your bride in your actions and your words.

S – Speaking the Word

Be a Christlike H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by speaking the Word. Jesus loves His bride by speaking to her the truth of God’s Word. Husbands need to speak the Word of truth to their wives. However, a husband may not speak the Word to His wife unless he is first immersing Himself in God’s Word. If husbands are not reading and studying the Word, they will not be the loving husband God calls them to be. So, first and foremost, be a man who studies and rightly divides the Word of Truth. When speaking the Word to your wife, tell her of Jesus dying for her on the cross. Tell her His mercies are new every morning. Share with her what you learn as you read and meditate on the Scripture. Psalm 19 speaks of the glories of God’s Word. Tell her how the Law of the Lord is perfect and will restore her soul. Rejoice with her that the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. When feeling downcast, remind her the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. When there seems to be gloom and darkness, proclaim to her that the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening her eyes. When life hits a wall, remind her that the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. As the head of the household, give the Word of God its rightful place of supreme value. The Word is more desirable than gold, yes than much fine gold. It is sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. When tempted to stray from the Word, remind yourself and your wife that in keeping the ways of Scripture, you find great reward. Jesus cleanses us with His word. We are to speak the cleansing word fo truth to one another. His truth sets us free from the slavery of lies and deceit. The wife taught in the Word will no longer have wrong thinking. She will speak and live as a woman filled with grace, truth, patience, and love. In all that she does, she will prosper. Be a Christlike H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by speaking the Word.

B – Believing God

Be a Christlike H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by believing God. Jesus obviously has faith in God and believes in God. There are three ways Jesus demonstrates His belief in God; His prayer life, obedience, and hope in God fulfilling His promises. There is no greater demonstration of belief in God than prayer. Jesus was continually in prayer. He is shown to pray: alone (Mt. 14:23; Mk. 1:35; Lk. 9:18; Lk. 22:39-41), in public (Jn. 11:41-42; Jn. 12:27-30), before meals (Mt. 26:26; Mk. 8:6; Lk. 24:30; Jn. 6:11), before important decisions (Lk. 6:12-13), before and after healing (Mk. 7:34-35; Lk. 5:16), during His many miracles (Mt. 14:23; Mk. 6:46, Jn. 6:15; Mt. 15:3; 6; Mk. 8:6-7; Jn. 11:41-42), on the night of His betrayal (Jn. 17:1-26; Mt. 26:36-46; Lk. 22:39-46, Mk. 14:32-42), on the cross (Lk. 23:34; Mt. 27:46; Mk. 15:34; Lk. 23:46); and before His Ascension (Lk. 24:50-53). We need to be a Christlike husband by being like Christ in our prayer life. Jesus shows He believes in God by doing God’s will. He demonstrates a willingness to do God’s will and obey His commandments even when it is very difficult. He humbles Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. There is no greater demonstration of faith in the goodness of God then to be willing to give your life for God’s purpose. The original sin of disobeying God’s commands is not believing God’s Word. When we do as God commands, we show we believe God is good. Obedience to God’s commands flows from our belief that His commands are for our good. When we obey, we believe God rewards righteousness and that God is just and will punish evil doers. When we disobey God’s commands, we live as though God doesn’t see our disobedience, God is less valuable than our act of disobedience, His ways are not worth living, or that we are Lord and not Him. Disobedience is a lack of faith and belief. Jesus died on the cross because He believes God is faithful to bring about His promises. Jesus believes doing God’s will is the best way. Jesus believes all which God says, including His resurrection and exaltation, will come to pass. Listen to how the writer of Hebrews encourages us to believe as Jesus believes: … let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us (notice the link between sin and faith!), and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (He. 12: 1b-3) We are to believe like Jesus. We are to look to Jesus as our example of believing and trusting in God. No matter what hostility comes our ways, we are to remember how Jesus endured the hostility because of the joy set before Him. Jesus believed in the resurrection. Jesus believed in all the promises of God. We too are to believe in God’s promises and look to the joy set before us. When the Christian life gets difficult and challenging; let’s set the example of looking to Jesus. Let us be the example of Jesus to our wife by faithfully being men of prayer. Let us show we believe God’s ways are good by our willingness to be obedient to God’s commands no matter the cost. And, let us set the example of believing in God by not complaining and grumbling during trials, but by enduring them our hope set upon the joy set before us. Let’s show our wives how to keep our eyes on Christ. Be a Christlike H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by believing God.

A – Assuring

Be a Christlike H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by being assuring. To be assuring is to provide a sense of comfort and safety. The husband who is assuring brings a sense of calmness and confidence that everything is going to be alright to the anxious and fearful wife. Jesus continually provides assurance for His bride. He tells her that He will never leave her or forsake her (He. 13:5). The bride finds refuge in Him (Ps. 2:12). Jesus is the bride’s mighty fortress, deliverer, rock, shield, and horn of salvation. Jesus is the Shepherd who protects the bride from predators. Nothing may come against and separate Jesus’ bride from His love; no angel, principality or power, nor any created thing. Even when walking through the valley of the shadow of death, the presence of Jesus gives the bride confidence that nothing may bring her harm. We need to give our wives assurance. We need them to know we are willing to protect them at all costs. We need to prove we are willing to keep them safe from harm. We may not be the strongest or the smartest husband, and she knows that, but, she may know we are willing to die for her protection. Ask our wife, “what do you fear” and then do what we can to help them find assurance. Sometimes, what we need to do is tell them of the safety of being in the arms of the Savior. Never, ever, be the source of anxiety for our bride. Never threaten separation or divorce if things don’t go your way. Those words may not be in a husband’s vocabulary. We must continually express our love and give reasons for our love. We mus let our brides know there is nothing she may do that will change our love. It is unconditional. Prove you care for your wife by not taking unnecessary risks. Drive defensively and not like a fool. Don’t make her wonder if you are going to survive your latest recreational activity. Give her confidence that the next time you walk out the door, you will walk back into the door. If you don’t, it will not be because you did something stupid and reckless. Let us be husbands who give our wives assurance in Christ. Remind her of the sovereignty of God and how He works all things for good. Speak the truth of Scripture to remind her of the almighty power of her Savior. He is the Captain of ten thousand. He has at His command armies of angels. Kings bow down to His authority, and He raises up and sets down the nations. Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah who defeated her greatest enemy at the cross. She need not fear death because Jesus overcame the grave. Speak the truth of Jesus’ love for her and that she may have assurance of her salvation when she puts her faith in His work on the cross. Protect and guard our wives, so they are safe in our arms. Take her hand and lead her on the great journey of life to the home Jesus prepares for her in heaven. Give her assurance that, as her husband, we will do all we can to bring her safely into the arms of her Jesus. Be a Christlike H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by being assuring.

N – Nurturing

Be a Christlike H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by being nurturing. Jesus nourishes His bride by providing her all she needs. Jesus gives her everything. How might we provide for our bride? We may nurture our wives many ways. As the verse says, husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. If we know how to nourish our own body, we know how to nourish our wife. How do I nurture myself? When it gets cold, I make sure I have nice warm gloves and a hat. When I am hungry, I make sure I eat. When I am tired, I make sure I sleep. When I need to learn, I make sure I find the time to study. I have the tools I need to get a job done. There are countless ways I nurture myself. How may I nurture my wife? I may take a look through her closet to make sure she has all the proper clothing she needs. I may make sure her winter boots are in good condition, and she has proper gloves and a warm hat. I may make sure she never has to add fuel to the vehicle she drives. I can make sure she gets the proper rest she needs. I can make sure she has all the books and educational materials needed. Instead of looking to replace my phone, I can make sure she has the latest technology. I shouldn’t be using the newest souped-up laptop while my wife struggles with a PC from 1992. Let’s make sure our wives have a supply of favorite treats. Be willing to provide your wife a listening ear when she desires to share and talk. Polish her shoes. Buy her favorite perfume. Jesus cares about our heart, soul, mind, and body, and we should care for our bride in the same way. Be a Christlike H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by being nurturing and cherishing for her as you do for your own body.

D – Denying self

Be a Christlike H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by denying yourself. Jesus denied Himself for His bride. He left His throne in heaven and became a man. He is not just a man, but He is a servant among men. He went beyond being a servant to His bride, but He is a servant who dies for His bride. There is no greater example of denying self than the example of Jesus denying Himself for the church. The will of God for Jesus is for Him to deny Himself and pick up His cross. Obviously, we are not to follow the example of Christ completely. God’s will is not for us to be crucified for the sins of our wife. However, Jesus does tell us to pick up our cross and follow Him. Christianity is a life of self-denial. I remember the story Ted Tripp tells. He speaks of bringing two bowls of ice-cream, one for him and one for his wife. As he is carrying them, he is eyeing them and notices one bowl has a bit more than the other. He decides he will give his wife the bowl with the lesser amount. He then realizes what he is thinking and can’t believe he is willing to deny his wife, the one who washes his dirty socks, a few bites more of ice cream. Denying self takes place in the minutia of life. Denying self may be as simple as picking a movie which you know she will enjoy more than you. Denying self may mean being willing to drive her to Yankee Candle next Saturday. Denying self may mean waiting outside the dressing room and telling her what you do or don’t like as she tries on different items of clothing (in her desire to look good for you!). Denying self may mean washing her feet or her hair. We need to have the same cares as our wife. We need to care for our children as she cares for our children. It is helpful when we help do dishes or fold the laundry. There are countless ways we may deny our self. Most times, all she wants is for us to give her our time. As we practice denying our self in the little things, it gives her the confidence we are willing to deny ourselves when it matters. Laying down our life for our wife is not just when her life is on the line. Laying down of life begins with the little things.

Conclusion – The Supremacy of Christ

Be a Christlike H-U-S-B-A-N-D to your wife by being humble, being unconditionally loving, speaking the Word of God, believing God, being assuring, nurturing, and by denying yourself. The world’s best husbands are those who follow the example of Jesus. In our culture, Christlike husbands are a rarity. Ungodly men are the reason why divorce is rampant, domestic abuse abounds, and selfishness is everywhere. Nobody gets married hoping their marriage will fail. Everyone desires for their marriage to be a success. Husbands have it in their power to make our marriages a success. Remember the painting we talked about at the beginning of the message? You know, the one with the village and hills in the background and a tall Cyprus tree in the foreground. The sky is filled with beautiful bright yellow stars and a crescent moon. The painting is striking with the vivid blues and yellows and has an interesting painterly quality. Imagine one day an art critic shows up at the door and asks to see the painting. He heard about the painting from someone who saw it. We take him to the painting, and he gasps. As it turns out, the painting is Vincent van Gogh’s masterpiece, Starry, Starry Night. The art critic knows the painting and its value because he studies art. He knows the painting is a priceless treasure because he knows about the creator. Here is the point. God is the creator and designer of marriage. God painted the picture of marriage for us to be a reminder and representation of the relationship of Jesus Christ and the church. Our marriage is a picture, a shadow, of the marriage between Jesus the Bridegroom and His bride the church. We must never allow the picture to collect dust. We must guard it as a valuable treasure. We need to show the world the value of our picture. (gloves off) We have an opportunity to showcase the power of the gospel by having our marriage reflect the beauty of Christ’s love for the church. When we value the sanctity of marriage and are Christlike to our wives, we present a picture of the gospel which is beautiful. Our neighbors and coworkers will take notice of a marriage in which the husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church. Husbands, it is our privilege to be the leader in being responsible to preserve and protect our marriage. Next week, we will talk about how the wife is to be subject to their husband, and they are to honor him as they honor the Lord. Husbands, if you love your wife as Christ loves the church if you put every effort into being the husband described in this message, I guarantee your wife will have no problem honoring you. (Amen wives?) When husbands love their wives as Christ loves the church, we give glory to Christ, and He is reigning supreme in our relationship. We may enjoy the painting of our marriage because it is beautiful and we may treasure the painting of marriage because the artist is holy and perfect.