Tonight I want to preach on the subject of marriage. It's something needs to be talked about quite often just because our society has such skewed views on marriage that we need to push that reset button often and look at what the Bible says, get a reality check on what a good marriage is going to look like according to the Bible.
Now, look at Ephesians chapter 5 beginning in verse number 22, the Bible reads, "Wives, submit yourselves under your own husbands as unto the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of church and he is the savior of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men are to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
"For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth it and cherisheth it even as the Lord the church. For we are members of his body, and of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife and they too shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless, never let everyone of you in particular love his wife even as himself and the wife see that she reverence her husband."
Now let me just point out that that last verse is basically a summing up of everything that he just said. In these 11 versus where he talks about marriage and he talks about the husband's responsibilities and he talks about the wife's responsibilities, then he just summarized it all in that last verse and says, "Let everyone of you in particular love his wife even as himself and the wife see that she reverence her husband." That's the main thing that he's trying to get across in this passage. As you read this passage on marriage, one of the clearest passages in the New Testament on marriage, you'll notice a lot of talk about Christ and the church and you say, "What's that all about? I just wanted to know how to have a good marriage." Here's the thing: it starts with Christ.
Speaker 2: Amen.
Speaker 1: It starts with being a Christian, and it starts with both husband and wife being a Christian because of the fact that if you're unequally yoked together with unbelievers this isn't going to work out. See, the Bible teaches that we need to take the whole counsel of God. There are so many people who want to take an ala carte approach to what the Bible teaches. It reminds me of a coworker that I had one time and he had just gotten saved, he had just received Christ as savior just a few days before. We were talking about all different things and we were reading the Bible together and he said to me, "How do you get your wife to submit to you? How does that work? I want in on that." Then he tells me, "Well, she's not really my wife, it's my girlfriend."
Wait a minute, step one: get married. You're living with someone that you're not married to and then you want to apply the principles of the Bible to make that a good marriage and to have a proper ... Obviously, that's ridiculous. You've got to follow all the advice. You can't just pick and choose which part of it you're going to take. In order to have a good marriage, you need to have a good Christian life. It starts with Christ, it starts with the church, it starts with all these things. How are you going to love your wife as Christ loved the church if you don't know Christ? How are you going to submit yourself unto your husband as the church is subject unto Christ when you don't even go to church or you don't even know Christ?
Obviously, this is a spiritual matter, and so it's starts with Jesus and it starts with the Word of God. That's where a lot of people are missing this and they want to just take bits and pieces. You got to really take the whole council of God and the Bible on this and on every subject. What's the Bible saying here? Let's start in verse number 22. It says, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church and he is the savior of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."
When the Bible says "as the church is subject unto Christ," it's basically saying "in the same way, to the same degree." A lot of people think that a wife is supposed to "kind of" submit unto her husband, whereas the Bible is actually using a really strong analogy saying, "Look, just like the church is subject unto Christ in everything, that's how the wives are supposed to be subject unto Christ in all things." You say, "Woah, that's pretty extreme." If you think about it, the church is supposed to be very submitted to Christ. I mean, how many churches have you been to where they make it crystal clear that the Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
The vast majority of baptist churches are going to have something like that in their doctrinal statement about how Christ is the head and the Word of God is the final authority. The pastor will get up and say, "Hey, look. If I say something that's contrary to the Word of God, we got to go with what the Bible says. That's the true boss." Christ is the head of the church, but then all of a sudden, when it comes to marriage, they get real shy about talking about the husband being the boss. All of a sudden, they start softening the language and talking about submission as, "Well, you know, submit, but ..." Then they water it down and make excuses and yata, yata, yata.
No, the Bible's real clear on this. I mean, there's a very serious submission that needs to be going on by wives. Also, at the very end of the passage, it says in verse 33, "Nevertheless, let everyone of you in particular so love his wife even as himself and the wife see that she reverence her husband." Now, the word reverence is a very strong word. If the main responsibility of the wife is to reverence her husband, and if the main responsibility of the husband is to love his wife, then these are the most important things that we should focus on. I feel like we have a greater understanding of the word "love" than we do of the word "reverence."
Pretty much everyone knows what the word "love" means, a real common word, whereas "reverence" is a word that some people may not be as familiar with, so I want to just quickly go through every time the word "reverence" is used in the Bible so that you can see what this word means. Go back if you would to Leviticus chapter 19. Leviticus chapter 19 is the first time that we find the word "reverence" being used. If you look up all the different references to reverence in the Bible, then that can help you get understand of what the word means. Let the Bible be its own dictionary. Compare spiritual things with spiritual. I mean, wives, if this is your primary responsibility, if God just wants to sum it up in one verse and just write it on the back of a postage stamp for you, here's what you need to do to have the right kind of marriage. It's summed up as, "Husbands, love your wives and wives, reverence your husband." That's all summed up there in Ephesians 5:33.
Well, the Bible says in 19:30 there, "Ye shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary. I am the Lord." Now flip over to II Samuel chapter 9 verse 6. Let me just point out to you that Leviticus 26 verse 2 says the identical thing. In both 19:30 and 26:2, it says "Ye shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary. I am the Lord." While you're turning to II Samuel chapter 9, let's ask ourselves, "What does reverence mean in this context?" Reverencing God's house, reverencing God's sanctuary, reverencing the tabernacle that they had built unto the Lord. What's he saying? To basically have respect for it and not to treat it as something that is profane or something that is common, but to actually treat it as a holy place and to have great respect for it.
Look at II Samuel chapter 9 verse 6, "Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, 'Mephibosheth.' And he answered, 'Behold thy servant!'" Flip over to I Kings chapter 1. In this context, someone doing reverence is actually bowing down to someone. This is actually not just respect, but it goes a little further than respect. We wouldn't just have respect for God's house, we'd have a lot of respect for God's house. When we say we reverence God's house, what that is is it's taking respect to another level.
A lot of the modern versions will just replace reverence. Instead of saying that the wife should reverence her husband, they'll just say that the wife should respect her husband. The thing about that is that the Bible often uses the word "respect" elsewhere, but that's not the word that God uses. He used the word "reverence" because the stronger word that has a different connotation. Let's keep reading to get the full connotation of the word "reverence." I Kings chapter 1 verse 31, "Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth and did reverence to the king and said, 'Let my Lord, King David, live forever.'" That is again the same usage as in II Samuel chapter 9 where she's basically bowing down.
Look at Esther chapter 3, Esther chapter number 3 verse 2, Esther chapter 3 verse 2. While you're turning there, I'll read for you from some of the New Testament mentions. There's a parable that Jesus tells about the lord of the vineyard who goes off into a far country and he keeps sending his servants to reap the fruit of the vineyard and they beat one and kill another. Then finally he sends his son, and when he sends the sons he says, "They will reverence my son." Then when the son shows up, they say, "This is the heir, let us kill him and seize on the inheritance." Obviously, the parable is about the fact that Jesus Christ was sent unto the Jews who had already killed the prophets and then of course they crucified Jesus.
When he says, in this parable, and this is found in Matthew 21:7, Mark 12:6, and Luke 20 verse 13, pretty much the same statement, "They will reverence my son," what's he saying? He's saying that when he sent low-level servants, they might have just disdained them and blew them off. When the son of the owner of the company shows up in the parable, he assumes that they're going to reverence the son and say, "Wow, this is the boss' son," and that they would have great respect for him and that they would submit themselves unto him.
Look what the Bible says in Esther chapter 3 verse 2. It says, "And all the kings servants that were in the king's gate bowed and reverenced Haman. For the king had so commanded concerning him, but Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence." Verse 5, "And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath." Flip over to Psalm 89, Psalm chapter 89. So far what we've seen is we've seen two references to reverencing God's sanctuary, having great respect for it that it not be defiled. Then we saw 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 references where reverence was actually somebody bowing before a king or bowing down before an important person.
Then we saw a few New Testament references where reverence had to do with great respect and fear and awe of the boss' son coming and checking on things or lack thereof. Then look at Psalm 89 verse 7, "God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him." Look at Psalm 111 verse 9, Psalm 111 verse 9. There the word "fear" is associated with the word "reverence." "God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him." Look at Psalm 111 and verse number 9. The Bible reads, "He sent redemption unto his people. He hath commanded his covenant forever, holy and reverend is his name."
This mention is similar to those in Leviticus of reverencing God's sanctuary. God's name is holy and reverend. Now, if you would, flip over to Hebrews chapter number 12. Hebrews chapter 12, there are 2 more mentions. We've seen, obviously, the one in Ephesians 5 where we started that the wife should reverence her husband, so here's the last chapter that has to do with reverence, and then we'll put it all together. Look at Hebrews chapter 12 verse 9, "Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?" Notice how "subjection" and "reverence" are used hand in hand just like they are in Ephesians 5.
Then verse 28 says this, "Whereby we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may be serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire." Here we see again, it's being coupled with fear. Why is that? Because reverence has a connotation of someone that you're not just going to flippantly just blow off, just blow them, "Oh, what gives you the right? What do you know?" No, it's somebody that you actually respect, and listen to this, you take them seriously. This is what reverence is. I mean, you're going to take God's house pretty seriously. You're going to take the name of the Lord pretty seriously.
When you're a kid growing up, hopefully you take your dad pretty seriously when he lays down the law in your house. Here, he says we ought to have "reverence and godly fear for our God is a consuming fire." This is what the Bible says when it's teaching on marriage in the New Testament. He says that the husband should love his wife and see that the wife reverence her husband. What does that mean? It's not just, "You need to be respectful." No, it's something where you don't look at your husband as just a joke, you don't look at your husband as somebody who doesn't have the right to tell you what to do, but you stand in awe of him, you have great respect and fear for him and understand that he is the boss. This is what the Bible's teaching. This is strong language that the Bible's using.
When it says, "Hey, subject unto your husband as Christ is the head of the church, the husbands, [they're the one 00:15:13]." I would just ask this to people, how much authority does Christ have over this church? If you asked that in any church in America, if you said, "Hey, to what degree should Christ reign in the church?" They'd say, "100%, 100%. All things. He must have the [inaudible 00:15:33]." Then when you get to husbands, it's like, "Woah, it's 50/50." Is that what the Bible is saying? I'm not playing games with you tonight, we just looked up every single reference in the Bible to the word "reverence." I'm not making this up, you can see it for yourself what the word "reverence" means and why God chose that word, it's very clear.
Let's go back to Ephesians chapter 5, if you would, where we were. Ephesians chapter number 5. This is what men are looking for. We have to understand that we ... Hopefully we all love our wives here and hopefully all the wives here love their husbands. Right? You have to show your spouse live in a way that they understand. Different people have different ways of receiving love and of showing love. For example, there are people who feel very loved if they receive a gift. Someone gives them a gift and that makes them feel really loved. Someone else, maybe getting a hug makes them feel really loved. Somebody else, maybe if you praise them and tell them what a great wife they are or what a great husband they are, that makes them feel very loved.
Some people are different in this regard. Not everybody's exactly the same. Some people, if you do something for them, then they feel very loved, they really enjoy that. Whereas other people would prefer to receive love in a different way. Your love doesn't really do anything for your spouse if it's not expressed in a way where they feel that love. For example, you have to understand there's a huge difference between men and women. As a woman, you might say, "Well, this is how I'm going to treat my husband because that's how I'd like to be treated." Here's the thing that you need to understand is that mend are different from women. Men might think to themselves, "Well, here's how I'd want to be treated, so I'm going to treat my wife that way."
Wait a minute, women are different than men. You have to learn and understand how to love your wife in a way that she can understand it, in a way where she feels loved. Also, wives need to learn how to love their husband in a way where they will appreciate it. Here's a thing about it, that men want to be reverence by their wife. This is more important to them than other expressions of love that a woman might feel. Women like it when you give them gifts. For example, you give them flowers or candy or something. You know what? As a man, we're not going to get as excited, probably, about our wife getting us a box of chocolates or something, or giving us flowers or something. It's not the same for men and women.
This is why you need to understand that that whole golden rule thing of "therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you do ye even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets." You have to understand that that's not the way it work in marriage because we're dealing with men and women and there's a difference between men and women. Men want to be reverenced because men have ego. Now, again, the Bible speaks against pride and the Bible speaks about being humble and to esteem others better than themselves, but we have to understand that in the home it's quite natural and normal for a man to want to feel like the king of his castle. There's nothing inappropriate about that.
When God gets up in heaven and says, "I'm the Lord. Fear me. Worship me." You wouldn't say, "Well, God's filled with pride there." Would you? No, because pride is when we think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. God has every right to receive all glory and praise and honor because he's God, he's the Creator. Here's the thing, obviously men are not God in their home. That's not what I'm trying to say, but I'm saying there is an analogy between Christ and the church in the home and that in the home it's more than acceptable for a man to basically want to feel like the king of his castle.
We as men should not desire to rule over other people. That's what the Gentiles wanted to do, Jesus said. He said, "The kings of the Gentiles, they want to exercise lordship over one another and they that are great exercise lordship over them, but it shall not be so among you." Here's the thing, as men, we're out of bounds when we want to rule over nations and rule over people and tell other people and enslave other people and tell them what to do. Here's the thing, within our home, we're within our bounds to rule our home. That's where ruling is appropriate within the boundaries that God has given. It's more than appropriate for a parent to rule over their children, for a husband to rule over the wife.
Now flip over to Genesis 3:16 because some people just cringe when I use that word "rule over," but let's see what the Bible says. Here's the thing, if you're not a Bible-believing Christian here tonight, well then you have every right to disregard everything that I'm say. Those who would claim to believe the Bible, it's really mind-blowing when they just disregard the Bible's clear teaching on this subject because of political correctness. This is not an anti-women teaching because, in fact, whenever I preach and teach on this subject, I get far more positive feedback from women than men saying, "Oh, man. That sermon needs to be preached."
Why? Because women actually desire this kind of a relationship with their husband. They want to reverence their husband, they want their husband to be the king of the castle. No woman wants to marry a milk toast man. It's just the truth. Look, I'm not recommending you read romance novels because I'm sure they're full of smut, but I don't think there's any romance novels about some woman who finds some wimpy guy that she slaps around and tells what to do everyday. That's probably not the subject of romance novels. I don't know because I haven't read any, but I think that's a pretty good bet. I'd put a lot of money on that based on the dude on the cover or whatever. You know what I mean? It looked like he was running things. You know what I'm saying?
The bottom line is, despite what the feminazis will tell you, and despite what our world is trying to cram down our throat, this kind of a 50/50 queer-looking relationship is not anything that men or women want. When you cut through the social programming and the social engineering, women actually desire a man to put his foot down and take charge. They like it. It's what women crave in man. Just like we as men, we want our wives to be feminine. We like it when they're feminine. Well, guess what? Wives want their husband to be masculine, and part of masculinity is taking charge, part of it is making decisions, being decisive, being a strong leader.
Look what the Bible says in Genesis 3:16, it says, "Unto the woman he said, 'I will greatly multiply thy sorrow in thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.'" Look, this is the third chapter in the Bible, so ignorance is no excuse here. Nobody can sit there and say, "Well, I just never read far enough in the Bible to read that." Look, everybody's read the first 3 chapters. If you've ever decided, "Hey, I'm going to read the Bible cover to cover," I'm sure you made it to Genesis chapter 3. I mean, I could pretty much promise you that, or else you've got bigger problems than this sermon.
The bottom line is everybody's read this. It's right there in the Bible, but honestly, Genesis 3:16 is not quite as famous as John 3:16 and John 3:16 is the most famous verse in the Bible. Gen 3:16 is a verse that is the least famous verse in the Bible. It's kind of interesting how that worked out. This is the verse that doesn't exist according to most modern Bible teachers. It will never roll off their tongue. What does the Bible teach? What does the Bible say? We think so many times that we're smarter than God, or we think that as a society we've evolved past what God has taught. No, if we would actually get back to what the Bible taught, we could have a successful marriage, we could have a happy marriage.
I'm not talking about men being happy and wives being unhappy, I'm talking about everybody being happy. I'm talking about everybody being in their proper role and men getting what they want out of marriage and women getting what they want out of marriage. Go to I Corinthians chapter number 7 because I just want to show you briefly in I Corinthians 7 that God's will is that marriage be a satisfying institution for both men and women. It's not that God instituted marriage just to gratify men. No, actually, it's to make both of them happy. That's what the Bible says. Women enjoy having a husband, husbands enjoy having a wife. This is something that God has provided for us, a beautiful institution. It's a 2-way street in many regards.
The Bible says in verse number 1 in chapter 7, "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband," watch this, "Likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife." The reason I point that out is just to show you that there are certain areas where God says, "Look, the husband is the boss. He's in charge, okay?" That's not so that he can just get the good deal and the wife gets the short end of the stick. No.
The Bible is saying that because that's the order of nature. That's how God has created it. That's how women are, that's how men are, that's how they're going to be happy when they follow God's directive by having the husband in authority and as the head. Here in this passage we see that marriage is not just for the husbands benefit, it's also for the wife's benefit because right here it says, for example, when it comes to the physical relationship, it says, "The wife hath not power of her own body." What the? "My body, my choice!" Is what the feminists would cry. This whole thing of just "giving power of my body to my husband" is just unbelievable. Then it turns around and says, "Likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."
Here's the thing, the husband is there for the wife's pleasure and the wife's benefit and vice versa. It's not that God is being anti-woman here, as some people would try to paint this because this verse is not anti-women whatsoever. This verse is not in contradiction with anything else that the Bible taught, but rather the Bible is teaching that marriage is an institution where both husband and wife can be blessed. They can both be happy, but the lie that's been sold by the devil is that happiness for a woman is to be independent and to do whatever they want and to have a 50/50 type relationship with her husband. This is not what makes women happy and this is not what causes them to succeed and reach their potential and whatever you want to call it.
Now, it's interesting, my sermon this morning what talking about how all the difference so called mental disorders and the insanity that we see and the different breakdown of it, one thing that I didn't mention was that some of these psychotic type of situations that people are going through, they're diagnosed 3 times more in women than men. I'm not saying that to be down on women or anything, but remember ... It's true, I'm not joking. I was reading up on it and it was like, "This is 3 times more often as ..." If you look at it, more women are on these type of mind-altering medications than men.
It's not because women are crazy. They are crazy, but that's not why. Just kidding. Anyway, this is what it is. I'll tell you what it is because it also said that there's way more of this "mental illness" happening in America than in anywhere else. Listen, women are depressed today because of feminism, because it gives them a depressing life. Just because, "Oh, there's more women that are depressed, more women are taking anti-depressants," you know what? It doesn't mean that the Christian women are messed up. That's the world. It's the world that's all gooped up. Because in North America here we have these warped values and we've so called given women their "freedom and independence," it's caused women to live a depressing life and to be so depressed that they're actually signing up for these drugs 3 times more than the men are.
You can sit there and say, "Oh, this new culture in America really empowers women! We finally have it 50/50." Okay, yeah. It empowers them to be on 3 times as much drugs as their husband? That doesn't sound empowering. You know what it is? It's because they're 3 times as miserable. The women are just as miserable with this new situation as the men are. Why wouldn't they be? How many times have you seen women in the workforce who just clearly don't want to be there? I mean, it's really common where you deal with women in the workforce who just clearly don't want to be there more often than men. Here's why: because men belong there and women don't. That's why you see a lot more women that just don't want to be there because something inside them is unfulfilled because they're not living the life that God created them to live and it's depressing.
Just because women think that they want freedom, independence, a career, they want a husband that they can tell what to do, just because they think they want that, once they get it, they're going to realize that that's not really what they wanted deep down. It doesn't really work out that way. Look, if you would, to Ephesians chapter 5 where we were. The Bible says in verse 22, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.
"That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church." He's giving different instructions to the man than he gives to the woman because to the woman he's giving these instructions of reverence your husband, have great respect for him. Treat him with reverence. Then to the man, he's saying love your wife, nourish your wife, cherish your wife, so women receive love in a different way than men and they want to feel loved in a different way.
First of all, when we look at the word "nourish," if we just took the very literal meaning of that, it would mean feed them. Look, you want to have a happy marriage? Feed your wife. All right? Give her the right food and everything will great. A lot of the problems are just food problems. I'm joking. The thing is, when they Bible's talking about nourishing, he is talking about physical food. Obviously, that does speak to our role as a provider. Not only that, the Bible also talks about cleansing the church and presenting it a glorious church without spot and wrinkle that it's also the job to lead spiritually. Part of leading spiritually is sort of like when the Bible told the pastors in Acts chapter 20 to feed the flock of God. We're to feed our wives spiritually, meaning we're to basically teach them and instruct them in the Word of God.
In order to teach and instruct the Word of God, you have to know the Word of God. You have to know the Bible. You see, in order for the wife to reverence her husband, it'd be easier if the husband would be worthy of reverence. Obviously, no matter what our wife is like, we're supposed to love our wife no matter what just like Christ loves us no matter what. Also, the wife, no matter what her husband is like, is supposed to reverence her husband. It doesn't say, "Reverence your husband if he's an amazing guy. If he's the baddest dude ever, reverence you husband." No, it just says reverence your husband. Period. I'm not saying this as an excuse for wives not to reverence her husband or as an excuse for husbands not to love their wives, but let me say this, it would be a lot easier for your wife to reverence you if you would be worthy of reverence.
When you're a spiritual leader, when you're nourishing and cherishing her, when you can lead her and teach her and say, "Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord," and be the spiritual leader in your home, it's going to be easier for your wife to look at that and respect that when you're reverence worthy. When you're sitting around playing video games all day, that's going to make it a little bit hard for your wife to reverence you because you're like a little child in a man's body at that point. You're not taking life seriously. You're fooling around, you're playing games and you're like, "Why won't my wife reverence me?" When you are a slob or when you are playing video games all day or when you are childish, that's not going to help make your wife's job any easier.
You know what? If we were to flip over the coin, it's not going to make your husband's job any easier to love you when you're a rebellious loudmouth. Okay? Now look over at I Peter chapter 3. Of course, the love that the Bible talks about there in Ephesians chapters 5 was a self-sacrificing love because the Bible says, "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it." We as husbands are to be an authority figure in our house. We're to be the head, but we're not to use our position as the head just to gratify ourselves. Rather, we're to use our leadership position to do what's best for everybody in the family, not doing what's best for ourselves.
"Even as Christ came not to be ministered unto but to minister and give his life a ransom for many." Look, God is clearly in authority. Jesus Christ was clearly the boss amongst the disciples, but that doesn't mean that he was just in it for himself. He was actually there to help and to make sure that everybody was blessed. As husbands, we should not use our power as husbands to just gratify self, but rather the husband should use his authority in order to do what's best for everybody. Now, I'll say this: when there's a power struggle going on in the home, which is how most Christian homes are today, unfortunately, and it's really sad because I get the emails ... Just because I'm a pastor, people are constantly contacting me and emailing me their story. "Hey, my wife's leaving me," or, "Hey, my husband ..."
I get all the stories about the marriage problems sent to me or people come up to me and tell me or I get the phone calls and everything like that. It's really sad just how many marriages are having problems. The thing about it is that when the marriage is not in its proper place where the husband's in authority and there's a power struggle going on, which is what is very common, what happens is at that point, sometimes the husband will sometimes act like a tyrant a little bit just because he feels like he's grasping to get some of his authority back. Whereas when the wife is submitted to her husband as she should be, that takes the pressure off him and he could feel like, "Okay, I'm the boss here, I'm in charge." Actually, that'll usually make him end up being nicer to his wife and be more generous with her.
I'll be honest with you, I like to help my wife out and be nice to my wife and make her happy because I love my wife. If you love your wife, you probably like doing nice things for her. You probably like to take her out to nice places or buy her a gift or spend some extra time with her or tell her that you love her and tell her nice things. You probably enjoy making her happy. That's what it means to love your wife, right? Here's the thing, though. When you feel like you have to sit there and fight for every little bit of authority and ground that you have, then it makes it harder to be nice. For example, I'll often help my wife by changing diapers on the kids. A lot of men are like, "Well, I'll never do that." Honestly, you know what? I'll help, "Hey, honey. Let me get that." Right?
You know what? As soon as my wife said to me, "Steve, go change that diaper." It's like, "Woah, not happening." Right? As soon as my wife started just issuing commands, it's like, "No, do it yourself." At that point now I feel like my authority's being threatened. You know this crap that the world teaches you like, "Oh, well, if you're really secure in your manhood, you'll wear a pink shirt and love gays and let your wife walk all over you because you're so secure you can handle it." No, no. That's just stupid. Don't fall for that garbage. No, being secure in your manhood, you stay in the role that God gave you as a man. You don't go and see how close you can get to that femininity line and play around. It's ridiculous. This is the kind of nonsense that the world teaches you, isn't it?
Basically, what I'm saying is that a lot of wives, they have this fear, and this is what we're going to see in I Peter chapter 3, but they have this fear, speaking of phobias this morning ... They have this fear that if they submit to their husband, he's just going to walk all over me. He's just going to take advantage of me. He's just going to do everything for his own gratification. In reality, it's just that they've never tried it and if they tried it, they'd probably find their husband's probably going to be nicer to them. If they would actually submit to their husband, he would actually be nice and do more nice.
When I feel like I'm firmly in authority in my home, then it makes me want to bend over backwards to want to help my wife because I love her. Whereas, if there's a power struggle going on, then I'm getting down in the ditch with the barbed wire and machine gun. It's like, "You want a war? I'll give you a war you won't believe." Here's the thing, that's not a good place to be in your marriage, but that's how husbands feel when their wife is just rebelling and mouthing. It's like, "Okay, let's do it. Let's go to war, if you want to go to war." Here's the thing, if they would actually just unconditionally surrender, then I'm ready to lay down my machine gun and come out of the trench and put away the barbed wire and everything like that.
Look at I Peter chapter number 3. By the way, the same goes with the other thing. We as husbands can also help our wives submit to us by also being loving, being more loving, but being loving is not enough. If you're just loving, loving, loving and sometimes that can just send your message to your wife saying, "Hey, you can walk all over me." Then she's like, "Oh, you disgusting, pathetic weakling." Then she just gets even more in control and it's a vicious cycle. Look at I Peter chapter 3, look what the Bible reads in number 1, "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning ..."
By the way, here's a husband who's obeying not the Word, right? Is this a good husband or a bad husband? He doesn't obey the Word of God. It says, "if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear." What's the Bible saying? If the husband's not doing his part but the wife starts doing her part, that can actually win over the husband. That's what the Bible's saying. It says in verse 3, "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
"For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." The thing I want to point out is it says in verse 5 "the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands." See, submitting yourself to you husband is not so much a matter of trusting your husband as trusting God. God is the one who commanded wives to submit unto their husbands, right? You're the wife, you're reading the Bible, and it's telling you, "Submit to your husband," and you're thinking to yourself, "Well, if I submit to him, he's going to make stupid decisions. I know how the finances should be. I know how our life should be run. He's going to mess everything up. He can't run things, he can't make decisions, I make the decisions because I'm smarter."
This is what some women are thinking today. "Oh, well her can't lead spiritually because I've been saved longer and I know the Bible more, and this and that." The Bible's saying submit to your husband and they're coming up will all these excuses of, "I'm afraid. I'm afraid that he's going to make the wrong decisions. I'm afraid he's going to walk all over me. I'm afraid he's going to take advantage. I'm afraid of being called a doormat." Here's the thing, nobody's asking you to trust your husband in that sense. We're asking you to trust God because the Bible says the women who trusted in God submitted to their husbands. Why? Because if God's the one that told you to submit to your husband, you have to believe that the path to God's blessing is through the door of obedience. You have to believe that God's going to bless you for doing what's right, and that God's going to take care of you because you obeyed.
Whereas if you say, "Well, no, I got to fend for myself in this marriage." Then you're on your own and don't expect any help from God. God is the one telling you to submit to your husband, and if you trust him, you know that obeying God is going to give you the best outcome. Think about it. Isn't that true for every area of life? If we obey God, we get the best outcome. In the end, that's where the blessing is: with obedience. This isn't any different. If you trust in the Lord, you do it God's way, and you just trust the results with him, you just see what happens. I'm not saying just try it, no, it's a way of life. Then you see that in the end you're blessed. The Bible says, "Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement."
The word "lord," it's not like our word "lord" today where we think of God as being the Lord. It's not that she's calling him God. In, I'd say, a lot of foreign languages, and in almost every language in the world, the word "lord" and the word "mister" or "sir" are the same word in virtually every language. It's only English where it's different. In English, we do have the word "lord" in that sense in the Bible, where they're calling people other than God lord. "My lord," and so on and so forth, like Sara calling Abraham lord. Today, when we hear the word "lord," it has a connotation where it means God to people when we say lord. That's why some people are kind of confused about this verse. Whereas, if we were speaking Spanish, it would be that she called him señor, if we were reading a Spanish Bible. In German, again, it's the same thing. The word for sir and the word for lord are the same word. It used to be that way in English back when the Bible was written, but not so much these days.
This is like she's calling him "sir" basically would be to modernize the lingo here. Which is what? Just showing respect. "Yes, sir," when she's told something. I mean, that makes people nervous and scared today. Honestly, it's just because you've been brain washed. Cut through the social programming. The wife is supposed to reverence her husband, nothing wrong with calling your husband "sir," this is biblical stuff, or "lord" for that matter, as long as you understand what it means, that it means that he's the boss. That's what "lord" means. It's not giving him god-like status, although we are to submit unto authorities that God has ordained.
Look what the Bible says in verse number 7. This is where we switch over to talking to the husbands. He's talking to the wives in verses 1-6, then in verse 7 he says, "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." Here's the thing. There's a mutual respect between husband and wife, but from the wife to the husband, it's known as reverence and from the husband to the wife, it's known as honor. These are 2 different words with 2 different meanings, 2 different aspects of the same thing.
When the Bible says here that the husband is to dwell with his wife according to knowledge, one of the things that will cause your wife to feel loved ... Remember we talked about how men and women receive love in different ways? One of the things that will make your wife feel loved is when you know her. Men, of course, have ego. I'm not talking about somebody who has just an over-blown ego, who's on like an ego trip or prideful or whatever. I'm talking about just a normal, natural ego that every man should have, where he wants to be respected in his home, he wants to be the king of his castle, he wants his wife and children to look up to him and to think that he's a great guy, and to tell him that he's a great guy, and to feel that way. That's what that reverence is.
One of the ways that wives like to feel loved is that their husband knows them. They like their husband to basically know what they like and so forth. When you get your wife, sometimes it's not just the price tag associated with it, but it's always the thoughtfulness that went into it in the sense that, "Oh, wow, he knew that I liked this," or something. That makes them feel very loved and cherished. We need to dwell with our wives according to knowledge, the Bible says. We need to know them and know them well. This is tying in with the cliché of you go to the restaurant to order the food for you and your wife, which is kind of an antiquated thing today, but in the olden days the husband would order food for his wife or even a guy who would take a girl on a date and he would order the food.
Part of that is that you have to know your wife because in order for you to really pull that off, you actually have to order something good. This is going to backfire in your face when you show up and order something stupid for your wife. Then, basically, you end up saying Pastor Anderson's preaching was wrong when it wasn't. It was you who were doing wrong. See, as a husband, you have to be a mind reader, in a sense. You have to know. Here's the thing, the longer you've been married, you should know your wife. Part of love is paying attention. Here's the thing, if you're not paying attention, it kind of shows that you don't care and then your wife doesn't feel loved. You know what I mean? Like you've been married for 15 years and you still don't know what she likes to eat or what she likes to drink or what she likes do, it kind of makes her feel unloved like you're not giving her a lot of attention, you're not really putting a lot of thought into this relationship.
Women like to feel like they're a priority in your life and that you care about them and that you're thinking about them and that you know them. Just recently, just a couple weeks ago, we went out to dinner for our anniversary and my wife said, "Oh, I want this." It wasn't what she really wanted. Women have a different way of communicating than men. Men communicate in a very direct way. We say what we mean and we say it mean. When we say something, we're usually not playing games and such, but women on the other hand, they often speak very indirectly and they want to you kind of read their mind or force them to get that more expensive thing on the menu. That's just how they are.
For example, we have this thing in our house and this trust was unloading all of this food and all of this stuff. Basically, the guy who drove the truck, he asked the lady, he said, "Hey, can I carry that to the car for you?" "Oh, no thanks, no thanks. I got it." It's this big heavy thing. "No, no. I got it." I just picked it up and took it to the car and she's like, "No, no, no," and I'm like, "Yes." I just carried it to the car. It's like, "Oh, thank you so much." I told the guy, I said, "Look, you just do it. You don't ask because they're just going to tell you no, but a lot of times with women, no means yes." Seriously. The people who are thinking Pastor Anderson doesn't know what he's talking about are not married or are failing at marriage. It's true, often no means yes.
For example, you take your wife out to dinner and it's like, "Oh, I'll get the salad or whatever." No. "I'll get the salad, just give me water." No. No, here's what she wants, the strawberry lemonade. Here's what she wants, big bad steak dinner. Look, I'll just make it simple for you, here's what she wants, the most expensive thing on the menu every time. No, I'm just kidding. I'm just saying, you can't just assume that what your wife says [inaudible 00:49:29]. We went out a couple weeks ago, like I said, for the anniversary, she ordered something that was real humble, but I knew that it wasn't what she really wanted. I step in and said, "No, this is what you're getting." Then of course she was thrilled because it was what she wanted.
How did I know? Kind of a risky move there Pastor Anderson. Yeah, but I know because I've been married to her for 15 years. This is part of loving your wife. Just start paying attention. Not as much to what your wife says, but to what she actually likes and what she actually doesn't like. Get to know your wife so that you can basically do things that she likes and make her happy. Right? If you love someone, you want to make them happy. You want to do nice things for them. This involves thoughtfulness, and this involves caring, paying attention, and making note of, "My wife said she wanted this, but then when I did it, it made her unhappy." Then you don't do that again. "Well, my wife said she didn't want me to do that, but then when I did it, she was happy." Then that's what you do because they have this indirect way of communicating. It's a fancy way of saying that they lie. No, I'm just kidding.
I'm just saying they often speak indirectly. They don't really just come out and say things like men do. It's kind of a manly attribute to just come out and say it, whereas women sometimes they're like, "No, no thanks. That's okay. I'll just have water." No, that's not really what they want. Anyway, we need to dwell with our wives according to knowledge and then the Bible says that we should give them honor as unto the weaker vessel and as being heirs together of the grace of life that your prayers be not hindered. Basically, we need to give them respect, let them feel important, and let them know that they're appreciated, that we appreciate what they do and that they have an important role in our lives, an important role in the family, an important role in taking care of the children, and so forth, and running the household.
It's a very important job being a mother and a wife and a homemaker. It's a very respectable, honorable position. Flip over, if you would, to Titus chapter number 2. As we go through all this information in the Bible that the themes that we see over and over again is that the husband is supposed to love his wife, cherish his wife, nourish his wife, know her, love her, honor her, take care of her, lead her, teach her. Then the wife is supposed to love her husband, and the best way that wives can love their husband is by reverencing them. What does that mean? Not belittling them, not talking down to them, not being disrespectful to them, not disobeying them, but rather giving them the honor due unto them not because they're a great guy necessarily, but because they're their husband. They need to just understand that no matter what their husband is like, God commands them to reverence their husband.
I guarantee you that if you look hard enough, you're going to find plenty of great things about your husband. You just focus on the great things about him and tell him how great he is and give him respect. Obviously, he's not perfect because nobody's perfect. Get over it. Look at Titus chapter 2, the Bible reads in verse number 3 it says, "The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded."
Again, the Bible's real clear that the wife is to be obedient to her husband, to be discreet and chaste, to be a keeper at home. If we do these things, then the Word of God will not be blasphemed. Look, the Word of God is blasphemed when Christians have the same marriage that the world has that's failing. How many times does the world love to throw that statistic in the face of Christians that, "Hey, just as many Christians are getting divorced as non-Christians." I mean, the world loves to throw that statistic in our face. It's a shame, but the reality is that the reason why there's just as many Christians getting divorced as non-Christians is that 99% of Christians aren't following the Bible on this subject and 99% of churches aren't having this kind of preaching tonight that teaches, "Hey, wives are supposed to obey their husbands and be in submission. The husband's the head of the household and it's his way or the highway, et cetera." This kind of preaching isn't going on.
Again, this is not something to say that men are better than women because they're not. Men and women are both of equal value in the sight of God, but women are not happy in a relationship with a man who is a pushover, who's a weakling, who's not leading. They want their husband to lead. I've had way more women complain to me and say something like, "Oh, I just wish my husband would lead more. I wish my husband would put down his foot more and lay down the law." I've heard that way more than, "My husband puts down his foot too much." You're not going to see that on TV, but that's the reality. Likewise, men today are miserable because there's nothing, listen to me, and I want all of you ladies especially to listen to what I'm about to say, there's nothing more miserable for a man than being disrespected in his own home.
It's so hurtful to feel that you don't even have the respect of your own wife and children in your home. It's just an assault on your manhood. No man likes to have his manhood stripped from him where he's this henpecked househusband. Nobody wants that. It makes him miserable. A lot of women I think just don't stop and think the damage that they're doing to their marriage when they're disrespectful to their husband and when they basically just go after his ego and try to take him down a notch. You're going to destroy your marriage just doing that. That's like the worst thing you could do as a wife. It's very hurtful. It would be like as if a husband just was completely unloving. It'd be like if you came to give your husband a hug and he just shoved you away and he said, "Get away from me." Think about how you'd feel. You'd feel unloved. Right? When you feel unloved like that, or if your husband said to you, "I don't love you," that'd be horrible. That's how men feel when they're disrespected by their wife.
If you want to have a happy marriage, you need to just do what the Bible says and just reverence your husband, obey your husband. Then husbands, we need to grow up, not be video game addicts or comic book addicts or whatever, we need to grow up, be manly, be respectable, and not abuse our authority to where it's a self-serving thing, but rather use our authority for the benefit of the whole family so that everybody is blessed. We need to step up to the plate as men, really show our wives that we love them in a way that they understand. Whatever it is that makes them feel loved, we need to really strive. Look, just a men like to be reverenced, women like to feel loved, and women often feel unloved. You talk to women and it's like ... They've been married for years and years and years and years and their husband loves them, loves them, and they're like, "I don't know if my husband loves me."
Women need a lot of reassurance that their husband loves them. They need it to be reassured it everyday, not like the guy who his wife said, "Oh, my husband never tells me they love me." He said, "Well, I told her when I married her and if I change my mind, I'll let her know." Women like that to be constantly reaffirmed, to be praised that they're beautiful and that you love them and that you want to be married to them and that you'd do it again if you had the chance and yata, yata, yata. That needs to be constantly ... You might think I [inaudible 00:57:51], "Why am I need to say that a thousand times?" You do because it makes them feel secure and loved. Here's the thing, men need to have their authority and their greatness reaffirmed over and over again, too.
You say, "Well, that's ridiculous." No, you're ridiculous if you think you're smart than God, if you're smart than the Bible. What did the Bible say to do? Do it and be happy. Do it and be blessed. Walk out of here and think that you're too smart for this, walk out of here and think, "I don't need the Bible, I don't need Jesus Christ in my marriage. I don't need church. I'm not going to let some man tell me what to do," yata, yata, yata, and walk out and be miserable for the rest of your life. Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer.
Father, we thank you so much for the wisdom and your word, Lord, and those who are wise will take heed unto your word, will trust in the Lord, and will do things your way and not to always think that they know better. How many times people have said, "Well, I know the Bible says that, but ..." Lord, help us to just submit to your Word and to just step out in faith and just trust you and just try doing things your way and see how you'll bless us. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.