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Introduction:

Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her (Genesis 24:67).

The measure of my love for Kristi is not seen only in gifts or words, but in acts of sacrifice and concern for her happiness and welfare.

 

A happy marriage is not going to come automatically; it is something that I must work at all the time.  As we walk with Christ in submission to Him, we will have no problems submitting to one another & seeking to serve one another.

 But where there is selfishness, there will be conflict & division.  If there is bitterness in the heart there will eventually be trouble in the home.

 

Where do we get the power to love and submit?  From the Lord. 

If we are wearing the “graceclothes” described in (Col.3:5-14), and if we have our heats filled with the peace of Christ and the Word of Christ, then we will contribute to the joy and harmony of the home.

 

If we live to please Christ first, others second, and ourselves last, we will build strong marriages and spiritual homes.  

I.                  The Husbands Role

A.       My Duty Towards Being a Husband

1.     I must not be bitter towards Her.

Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them

(Colossians 3:19)

a)         a selfless and unselfish love.

b)        a giving and sacrificial love.

c)         a love of the will as well as of the heart.

d)        a love of commitment as well as of affection.

e)         a love that works for the highest good of the wife.

 

Very practically, I am not seek to have Kristi fill my needs, desires, comfort, and interests; but I seek to meet, nurture, and nourish all these for Kristi. It is God’s will for me to totally sacrifice myself for Kristi.

And note: I am to do it without bitterness.

a)         Never harbor an ill will toward Kristi for something she did or did not do.

b)        A “root of bitterness” in my heart can poison my relationship with Kristi & give Satan a foothold

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (Ephesians 4:31 NKJV)

Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; (Hebrews 12:15 NKJV)

Be open & Honest with her.

a)         Speaking the truth in love (Eph.4:15) is a good way to solve family differences.

·                  love without truth is hypocrisy.

·                  truth without love is brutality.

b)        Always be open & honest with her, never hiding my feelings or lying to her.

c)         Never go to bed angry with her (Eph.4:26)

Never behave harshly or throw my weight around.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; (1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NKJV)

2.     I must respect her.

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered(1 Peter 3:7)

Physical—“ dwell with her”

a)         I must make time to be home with Kristi.

b)        I must provide for the material & physical needs

Intellectual—“with understanding”

a)         Matthew Henry states it in a simple and pointed way:

                    “[Husbands are to dwell] with the wife according to knowledge; not according to lust, as brutes; nor according to passion, as devils; but according to knowledge, as wise and sober men, who know the word of God and their own duty” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Vol.6, p.1023.)

a)         I must “know” Kristi’s-moods, feeling, fears, and hopes.

b)        Listen to Kristi with my heart & share meaningful communication with her—Give her my full attention when she is talking.   

d)        To show consideration to Kristi, I must understand her needs and problems.

·                  To say, “I never knew you felt that way Kristi”, is to say I don’t know Kristi as well as I should have.

·                  I must be building bridges not walls.

Emotionally—“giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel”

a)         Be the “knight in shining armor” that treats Kristi like a princess.

b)        Treat her like an expensive, beautiful, fragile vase, in which is a precious treasure.

c)         Highly esteem her, setting her upon a pedestal before my eyes.

d)        Never take Kristi for granted—do a lot of little things for Kristi—take down the laundry for her—This will make her happy.

Giving honormeans to value; to esteem; to prize; to count as precious.  I should:

v  respect Kristi’s feelings, thoughts and desires

v  protect her, be the primary provider.

v  take the lead, oversee the family and its welfare.

v  be the driving force, plow the way.

v  be the initiator.

I am to honor Kristi by lovingly and tenderly taking care of her. I am to look after and care for her with warmth and tenderness, treating her in the most precious of spirits and esteeming her ever so highly.

 

In doing these things, I myself will grow and help my children to live in a home that honors God.

 

 

 

Spiritual—“being heirs together that your prayers may not be hindered”

   

    Note this point: in God’s eyes men and women are joint or equal heirs.  I am not above nor Kristi above me.  God has no favorites. Spiritual gifts and rights are given equally to wives and husbands.

     

1.    I am to honor Kristi as being equal in life. Life is a grace; it is an undeserved gift of God.

2.    Therefore in life, I am to treat Kristi as an equal.

3.    I am not to be a tyrant, not to dominate and enslave her to serve and to meet my needs and wants.

4.    I am to be understanding, loving, gentle, and considerate.

5.    I am to honor her as a fellow heir of life, of the wonderful grace and gift of life that God has given us all.

     

      In the Song of Solomon, the wife say’s of her husband,This is my beloved, and this is my friend” (5:16).

v God will not answer my prayers if I dishonor her, no matter how much I profess to know Christ.

v I need to love Kristi, not for what she can do for me, but of what I can do for her

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."   The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs----heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8:15-17 NKJV)

 

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.   There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.   And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:27-29 NKJV)

 

That having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7 NKJV)

    Failure to honor Kristi hinders my prayers.

v God will not answer my prayers if I dishonor her, no matter how much I profess to know Christ.

v What God does hear is her sighs, not my prayers if I am mean and domineering to her.

v I can cry out to God all I want, but God’s back is turned away from me and toward the sigh of Kristi.

v God is going to hear her broken and contrite heart, not the prayers of my arrogant and dominating spirit.

v Both Kristi and I must love one another and live as God says to live, both fulfilling our duties to one another, if we want God to answer our prayers.

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4 NKJV).

Questions to Consider

v  Am I being a partner or a competitor?

v  Am I helping Kristi to become more spiritual?

v  Do I really understand her?

v  Am I sensitive to her feelings or ideas or am I taking her for granted?

v  Are we seeing God answering our prayers?

3.     I must regard her as myself

Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.   And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." (Genesis 2:22-23)

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? (Matthew 19:5 NKJV)

Eve was not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.

God Gave Kristi to me which involves several things:

a)         Kristi is very precious to God & I must see that He loves her more than I do—I need to see her through the eyes of God. 

b)        Therefore, I had better take care of God’s daughter because I will answer to Him one day!

c)         She is my better half-the other part of me-treat her as such.

d)        God intended man to take the lead:

Þ     He created Adam first—& woman to follow.

Þ     I am to be the initiator—Kristi the responder

Þ     If Kristi is not responding, I must not be leading!

See Appendix for notes on “leaving & cleaving”

4.     To love her a Christ loved the church.

Paul’s Instructions are simple:

1.         Love my wife

a)         Love her as Christ loved the church

b)        Cherish her

c)         Honor her, protect her, serve her & lead her

2.         Take the role of “Leadership”

a)         This does not merely mean authority. 

b)        My leadership to Kristi must flow from love & is to always be tempered by tender, caring affection - (more on p.9). 

3.         Love her as Christ loved the church.

 

___A Sacrificial Love_________________________________

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, (Ephesians 5:25 NKJV)

"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (Acts 20:28 NKJV)

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. (John 15:13 NKJV)

____A Purifying Love_________________________________

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 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. (Ephesians 5:25-27 NKJV)

a)         Kristi’s purity is to be my prime concern—I am to never lead her into any kind of sin-drawing her into anything that might temp her, dishonor her, or debase her.

b)        My love for her should drive me to honor and protect her purity, and to hate anything that defiles her.

c)         Anything that would threaten to steal her purity is my enemy and disgrace to Christ and my wife.

d)        Real love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.

 

Above all, if I do anything else in the life of Kristi, expose her to the Word of God.  Keep her under the hearing of the Word of God so that she might be daily cleansed.

I serve in a priestly role as head of my home, and a vital part of my task it to help guard my wife’s purity.

This is a great honor and privilege that God has given me

&

I myself must be an example of purity to her and my children.

 

___A Caring Love____________________________________

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.   For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. (Ephesians 5:28-30 NKJV)

a)         Be preoccupied with meeting Kristi’s needs.

b)        I should consider that if Kristi’s needs are not being met, then neither are my needs because we are one flesh

 

"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." (Ephesians 5:31 NKJV)

c)         I am to give Kristi the same care and consideration I give my own body.

d)        If I let her needs go unmet I will soon feel the pain of it.

How I treat Kristi reflects how much I love the Lord

"And the King will answer and say to them, `Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' (Matthew 25:40 NKJV)

___A Enduring Love_________________________________

"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh… “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Ephesians 5:31; Matt.19:6).

1.         This is a physical union.

a)         This refers to the sexual union between Kristi & myself.

b)        The fruits of this union is of course Brittany.

c)         This is such a sacred union the apostle Paul gave us a warning:

 

Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh." (1 Corinthians 6:16 NKJV)

d)        To violate this not only defiles the union between Kristi & myself; it also defiles the union between Christ & me:

Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! (1 Corinthians 6:15 NKJV)

2.         This is a spiritual union.

a)         This involves every aspect of life:

·                  Emotions, Intellect, Body, Personality, Likes & dislikes, Worship, service, private life & public life.

b)        Kristi is my life partner, we must cling to each other, sharing with one another

___Sacredness______________________________________

This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.   Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:32-33 NKJV)

1.         Marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church.

a)         I display what I think of Jesus Christ by the way I treat Kristi.

b)        My love for Kristi honors my Lord Jesus Christ.

c)         How I treat Kristi is not only a testimony to her, but also the world at large about Christ’s love for His people.

2.         In understanding this sacred mystery, I will delight to:

a)         Love Kristi

b)        Purify Kristi

c)         Protect Kristi

d)        & Care for her with the Love of God!

5.     I must be faithful to her.

And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." (Genesis 2:18 NKJV)

Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well. (Proverbs 5:15 NKJV)

Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth.   As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love.   For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, And be embraced in the arms of a seductress? (Proverbs 5:18-22)

His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, And he is caught in the cords of his sin. (Proverbs 5:22 NKJV)

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD. (Proverbs 18:22 NKJV)

Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NKJV)

Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 9:9)

"I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; (Hosea 2:19 NKJV)

"So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." (Matthew 19:6 NKJV)

"For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. (Matthew 22:30 NKJV)

"Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." (Mark 10:9 NKJV)

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.   Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. (John 2:1-2 NKJV)

Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. (1 Corinthians 7:3 NKJV)

   …but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:9 NKJV)

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. (1 Corinthians 7:14 NKJV)

Then he said to me, "Write: `Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God." (Revelation 19:9 NKJV)

II.               Taking the Lead

A.       Being a Godly Leader

1.     I must take the lead not my wife.

For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. (Ephesians 5:23 NKJV)

One who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence   (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); (1 Timothy 3:4-5 NKJV)

But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

What does it mean to take the lead?

The godly leader is first a servant.

But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.   "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.   "And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave----   "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:25-28 NKJV)

a)         My concern must not be for myself, but first for Kristi & my children.

b)        If I am not willing to sacrifice myself – my personal needs – desires – time – money – I am not qualified, according to God, to lead!

Jesus did not lecture about service… He lived it.

(John 13:1-17; Phil.2:5-9; 1Pet.5:3; 1Thess.2:8-9)

2.     Four Marks of a Godly Leader

Jesus was always with His disciples-Spent time with them.

Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, "What do you seek?" They said to Him, "Rabbi" (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), "where are You staying?"   He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (John 1:38-39 NKJV).

Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." (Mark 1:17 NKJV)

Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. (Luke 9:28 NKJV)

Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, (Mark 3:14 NKJV)

I must share my life with Kristi,

My dreams, hopes, fears, ambitions

He regularly and tactfully taught his disciples

Formally – Jesus sat down and gave them the Word of God…as the Sermon on the Mount.  I am responsible to know the Word as well as to teach the Word

Informally – sometimes He used the examples around Him & often in the midst of crisis to teach them wisdom & self control.  As when the Pharisees tried to trap Him.  They watched His reactions, and listened to what He said.   

Jesus Led by Good Example.

Often Jesus said words like: “follow me” or “I have left you a good example” & His life was not only a living color illustration to follow but…it earned the respect of His disciples…they WANTED to follow Him and submit to His leadership.

a)         When I fail  - and I will  - I can be even a better example by showing humility and quickly asking God and those around me…even my children…to forgive me.

Jesus led His disciples by delegating responsibility to them

Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John   (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), (John 4:1-2 NKJV)

And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. (Mark 6:7)

Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass.   So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties.   And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all.   So they all ate and were filled. (Mark 6:39-42 NKJV)

Notice it was easy for them to agree and obey because the trusted Jesus…As a result of His continual example before them.

B.       Eight ways to demonstrate my love for Kristi.

1.     Unconditional

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NKJV)

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. (John 15:13 NKJV)

2.     Voluntary

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:4-6 NKJV)

3.     Intense

Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. (John 13:1 NKJV)

v  Jesus went to the cross…so do we, & we can climb off it!

v  Love her with all my heart.

4.     Unending

Nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39 NKJV)…never quit…love never fails

5.     Unselfish

Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:6-7 NKJV)

6.     Purposeful

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (Philippians 1:6 NKJV)

7.     Sacrificial

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)

8.     Manifested Love

This love can be seen by all…Christ demonstrated His love…He lived it.  He touched the untouchable; He hung out with the outcasts; He stayed up late and worked hard side-by-side them. 

 

v  Kristi needs to hear words of love. 

v  Kristi needs to see my love in an every day action by helping out around the house.

 

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