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Men and Marriage

Practical Wisdom  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  33:45
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Every marriage is based on the first marriage. The story of the Bible is that God made Adam first as the head and leader of the family. He names the woman, that is a headship and leadership act. At this point, everything is called good, but there is one thing that is not good, and that is for man to be alone. So God creates a woman to be man’s helper. This is not a denigrating term. There are places in Psalms and Hebrews declares himself to be our helper.
Husband and wife are to work together in complementary fashion, like a right hand and a left hand. That the husband is to be the leader, and the woman is to be the helper, and that they are to work together. God then brings them together. He officiates the first wedding- one man, one woman, one covenant as one flesh for one lifetime. God lays out a process for all men to follow in Genesis 2:
Genesis 2:24 NLT
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
First, leave your mother and father.
Peter echoes this, Paul echoes this, and Jesus echoes this.
That means men need to grow up, move out, get a job, worship God, pay their own bills, stand on their own two feet, and take care of themselves. If and when they do that, then God says they can marry- find a woman, love her. and enjoy the fruit of marital union. They become one flesh and enjoy marital intimacy, biblically.
Be a man first, then find a wife.
Proverbs 18:22 NLT
The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.
Everything was fine until Gen 3. Satan comes and tempts Eve, but Eve, rather than ignoring or rebuking him, she engages him.
Puritans said, “while Adam was away, Eve fell astray.”
That’s not true. Eve fell while Adam was right there.
Sins of comission- did something I shouldn’t. Sins of omission- not doing something you should do.
Adam’s sin of omission by not loving his wife, standing up and leading his family.
When God calls, who does he call for? Adam. God held Adam accountable for the sins of the family because he was the head of the family. Jesus is the head of the Church, that’s why he pays the penalty for our sins.
God holds both men and women accountable, but there is an additional burden on the head- that is the man.
Because of this, there’s a curse. And the woman’s curse is pain in childbearing and that she misrust and distrust her husband, and that she will have many fears that will cause her to want to domineer her husband. That Eve will want to rule over Adam like sin wants to rule over Cain in the next chapter of Genesis. And you know this curse is still in effect and some women try to rule over their husbands through
crying and manipulation, or sex, or threatening, or being sweet or being pushy or being naggy or being bossy
And they are trying to play their husbands like marionettes do puppets. That’s their curse.
The man’s curse is that his wife won’t easily respect him, and that his work is difficult. This is why work is hard. ‘
And ever since the curse, the gender wars ensued. And as a result, men, not understanding masculinity in general and marriage in particular tend to go one of two ways:
Cowardice.
They are passive men, like Adam. They avoid responsibility. They avoid conflict. They dump parts of their curse on their wife.
2. Chauvinism.
They don’t want to be passive like their father, Adam, and so they overcompensate. And the become chauvinists and thugs and jerks.
And the history of the world is marked by these two men. And men have a proclivity toward one of these two, or both depending on circumstance.
There are some ways these come out. I’ll start with chauvinism first. Chauvinists don’t understand masculinity or how to treat a woman. There are four basic versions of this failure that I know of.
No-Sissy Stuff Sam:
Doesn’t know what a man is. He just knows that a man is not a woman, so whatever a woman is, he’s going to be opposite. Maybe you had this dad:
Mom hugs, so he doesn’t.
Mom says she loves you, so he doesn’t.
Mom kisses you, so he doesn’t because that’s girl stuff.
He doesn’t understand that both men and women are made in the image and likeness of God, and that they both have the same emotions and passions and experiences and express them in typically masculine or feminine ways, but that being a man is not the opposite of being a woman. Both are made in the image of God.
Some men think that being a man is someone who can belch the loudest, spit the farthest, fart the stinkiest, shoot the best, and punch the hardest. That’s not a man. That’s a joke. There’s no woman praying for God to send her that.
2. Success and Status Stewart:
Leftover jock. He defines himself by what he has and does. He flaunts his success and possessions.
Everything is a trophy including his wife.
And her job is to be quiet and look pretty and make him look good as another notch on his belt. And he doesn’t love her well- doesn’t serve her well. He cares more about his possessions than he does about his family.
3. Give ‘em Heck Hank:
Violent. Short temper. Rude. Crude. Mean. He’s harsh. He’s intimidating. He’s overbearing. He’s scary.
4. I’m the Boss Brian:
He’s the king. He’s telling everyone what to do. Barking out orders to wife and kids. They tend to want to be in authority, but not under authority. he thinks being a man means being bossy. And they are the worst in a church. They show up, they want to be in charge of everything, and no one can tell them what to do, and when you rebuke them, they just leave, taking their wife and kids with them, making them suffer for their folly.
Those are the chauvinists. Now for the cowards:
Little boy Lance:
He’s a total sweetheart.
Can’t keep a job. Forgets to set his alarm. Works part time, because it stresses him out.
Still lives with his mom. Maybe he moved out, but his mom’s always worried about him, so she brings him groceries and picks up his laundry and helps pay his bills.
He’s a totally nice guy.He gets away with murder. And his hope is to find a girl who has a nice job and a house so that he can go from his mom to his girlfriend or wife. And he’ll come up with dumb ideas like “I’ll be the stay-at-home dad. They really like me since I am one.”
Women who are attracted to men like this are attracted to him like a mother is attracted to an orphaned child.
Women need to ask before they marry a man if he is someone she can respect. No one looks at this man and says, “I respect him. I want my sons to be like him and my daughters to marry men like him.”
2. Sturdy Oak Owen
Goes to work. Pays the bills. Comes home, turns on the TV, checks out.
Physically present, emotionally absent.
Always in the yard. Always in the garage. Always in his study. Always on his phone. Always on his computer.
You might say, “Dad, you were never there.” He’s like, “I was always there.” “Yes. In a comatose state.”
He isn’t there connected, participating. He’s afraid of connecting with his wife and his kids. That’s cowardice.
3. Hyper-spiritual Henry
Picture Ned Flanders from the Simpsons. He’s got all the Christian t-shirts and always only listens to praise music and wants everyone to know how spiritual he is. He’s so heavenly-minded that he’s no earthly good.
4. Good-time Gary
Everybody loves him. He’s the life of the party. He is funny. He is charming. He is entertaining.
Everybody loves him. No one respects him because he can’t hold a job, can’t pay his bills, can’t get out of bed, can’t follow through on commitments, can’t stay organized, can’t see anything through to completion. He’ll draw a crowd, but no one will follow him because he’s not going anywhere.
We are prone toward chauvinism or cowardice. The key is the Gospel. The perfect man is Jesus. God comes into history to be the perfect man. We must take our cues for masculinity from Jesus.
Jesus takes responsibility for himself. He works a job.
Jesus takes responsibility for us. He dies on the cross for our sins.
The real man is the one who takes responsibility. Men take responsibility for themselves. Men take responsibility for others. Men take responsibility for their job. Men take responsibility of their church. Men take responsibility for their wife and children.
And this is a little of what Peter gets at in 1 Peter 3:7:
1 Peter 3:7 ESV
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
In 1 Peter 3.6, Peter says that women are prone toward fear. And those fears that women have about marriage are legitimate. If a woman marries a man, she is trusting him with the rest of her life-
That he won’t hit her.
That he won’t cheat on her.
That he’ll work hard.
That he’ll pay the bills.
That he’ll love their children.
That he’ll finish the race well.
That he’ll walk with Jesus faithfully until the end.
That if she gets sick, he’ll take care of her.
That if she’s dying, he’ll be faithful to her.
Women have legitimate fears and Peter is saying that men need to live with their wives in a way that those fears are alleviated. “In an understanding way, showing honor.” That’s a man. Even the best men have areas of this verse in which we need to grow. So how do we do this?
Honor her maritally.
Ephesians 5:25 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
Is he selfish or selfless? Does he give himself up for you, or does he take from you?
When you get married, you’re to be a one-woman man. That’s the requirement of an elder. And that is the example for all men. That means you don’t flirt with other women. You’re not the female buddies guy. You’re not the downloading porn guy. You’re not the wandering eyes guy. If you are, you’re not honoring your wife.
Do you honor your wife? Do you take responsibility for the marriage covenant?
There’s a lot of risk for women in marriage. There’s a lot of fear. If you don’t honor marriage, statistically she is going to go into poverty upon divorce. She will become yet another single mother.
2. Honor her physically.
She is the weaker vessel. That means if they get in a fight, the man is usually going to win.
If someone breaks into our house, I’m not going to say to Rebecca, “go get ‘em babe. I’ll be praying imprecatory prayers in the closet.”
Men who do not honor their wives physically are destroying their marriage. There is something profoundly demonic about a man who is physically violent with a woman. And women should get away from them as fast as they can. One of the most vile things in creation is a man who threatens or hits a woman.
Does she feel safe with you?
3. Honor her emotionally.
Wives want intimacy (into me see). They connect intimately. That means connecting emotionally. That means sharing your fears and feelings with her. Love her. Connect with her. Pursue your wife.
Do you honor her emotionally? Are you understanding of her feelings?
4. Honor her verbally.
How do you speak to your wife?
Some guys wouldn’t dream of hitting their wife, but how about with your tone? Not just to her, but about her? When you’re with the boys, what do you say about her?
5. Honor her financially.
1 Timothy 5:8 ESV
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
The worst men don’t bear their curse. See, the woman’s curse is pain in child bearing and respecting her husband. The man’s curse is having to work and work hard. And the worst men make their wives bear half their curse as well as their own. I’m not saying women can’t work, but I’m saying it is the duty of men to provide for their families. If women want to work, that’s fine, but ultimately, this is a responsibility that God lays on men.
Men pay the bills.
Men make the money.
Men feed the family.
And we live in a day and age that tells us that women need to be in the workforce for equality’s sake and ignore the maternal nurturing instincts that God gave them so that they can be good wives and mothers and earn money, because that’s all our day and age cares about. And it’s particularly bad when a good Christian woman loves Jesus and wants to have children, but her husband tells her they can’t because she has to work to help provide for the family. That is the burden of men, not women.
Men, do you honor your wives financially? Do you budget, save, give, invest in a way that honors your wife and family? Is that possible where you are? And if it isn’t, are you willing to follow the command of God and quit the job that isn’t providing for your family and going and getting a job that will?
6. Honor her practically
Do you take care of broken things around the house? Do you make plans. Do you have a budget? Do you have a schedule?
7. Honor her parentally.
Do you love your children? Do you spend one on one time with them? Do you pray with your kids? Do you open the Bible with your kids? Do you pastor your children? You are their pastor, just so you know. It’s your job to love your kids. It’s your job to teach the bible to your kids. It’s your job to pray with your kids. It’s your job to encourage your kids. It’s your job to discipline your kids.
Men, these are your priorities in this order:
Christian
Husband
Father
Employee
This is going to take most of your life. That means you won’t have much time left over. Men, our goal is not to stand before God and recite baseball statistics, or help him fix his plumbing, or tell him about the sweet car you spent so much time fixing up, or show him the awesome shop you have. But our goal is to stand before God and answer for how we loved our wives and how we loved our children.
Ultimately it all leads to number 8.
8. Honor her spiritually.
It is the job of men to lead their families.
You lead your family.
You pray with the family.
You read the Bible with the family.
You pick a good church, become a member, and submit to it.
You pick the small group you’re going to participate in.
You are the one to lead the family.
Some of you might say, “I don’t know what to do.” Just start by praying with your wife! Do you read the Bible with your wife? Do you read the Bible with your kids? Do you talk about Jesus with your kids?
Start there. If we fail at these, God does not listen to our prayers.
1 Peter 3:7 ESV
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
I want God to hear your prayers, men. So we need to lead well. Start by praying with your wife and kids. Open the Bible with your wife and kids. If you don’t know where to start in the Bible, start in the Gospel of Luke to show them God’s heart for the weak and downtrodden. Pray blessings over your wife and kids.
Find some good, godly men who love their wives and children, and watch them.
And if you need prayer that God would give you the wisdom to do that, I’d love to pray with you as we sing.
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