Love & Marriage: Simple Rules For Husbands

Love & Marriage: Simple Rules For Husbands

Introduction:
As I have said in many sermons, I love my wife.  I do.  I have also said that she loves me.  I really believe that.  We have a good marriage.  We have been together for over 21 years.  16 of those years I have spent married to her.  You would think that after all that time together I would know her better.  Don’t get me wrong, I know her but I have still not mastered the art of reading her mind.  

Angela will tell you that this is a huge frustration to her as she seems to be able to read my mind quite frequently.  

Gentlemen, that’s how it is isn’t it.  Most of us are pretty easy reads.  We don’t need much.  We need food.  Food is good.  We need clothing.  We need a chair.  Not just any chair.  We need our chair.  The chair that has the indention of our butt in it.  That chair belongs to us and no one else is allowed to sit in it.  Lastly, we want to watch sports in peace.  When watching sports, we don’t want to do anything or think about anything else.  The worst thing that a woman can do is to ask a man about his feelings when he is watching sports.  The worst thing a woman can do is to ask a man to make a life altering or important decision while watching sports.  It is a good day when you can mix all the things a man needs in one moment.  When you mix good food, comfy clothes, our chair and football we are in our happy place.  Some men might add fishing or hunting to the mix and that is fine.  Now some men have some very specific desires and Angela has figured out what that is for me.  I like to have my back scratched.  That’s right, at the end of each day, I will sit down on the couch with Angela and she will scratch my back.  

You know, when you really think about it, a dog and a man are pretty similar.  Food, chair, leave him alone, give him a scratch, he is good to go.  Just like most men. 

Now back to the mind reading thing.  

You see, I am simple.  Easy.  Angela knows what I like but she is still a mystery to me.  When we have disagreements, she says things like “you should have just known that” and I reply “well, honey I am not a mind reader”.  

You see, women have that God given proactive nature built in.  That’s why Proverbs 31 is such a powerful piece of Scripture.  They just get things done.  Men, we get things done as well, we just want to be told what to do.  

For example, Angela and I look at our closet very different.  For her, the closet is a place where clothing is neatly placed, hung, and organized so that we can find just the right outfit.  

I see the closet as a place that I throw clothes.  As long as the clothes are in the closet the house is picked up and clean.  

She sees things differently.  My attitude on the closet really bothers her.  Now I am happy to pick up clothing in the closet…if she asks…but I will not naturally do it.  The best day where I earn some real points is when I proactively do some of the things that I don’t normally do.  Picking up the closet.  Making the bed.  Showering.  You know the normal stuff.  

Men and women just see things differently.  God just wired us that way.  I am glad that God made us to see the world differently.  

Point:
Husbands, today is for you.  Next week we will examine some simple rules for wives.  Yet today is about you guys.  Perhaps you need a brief refresher on how to love your wives and how you can see your wives respond to you in a Christ-like way.  Guys, let me tell you something, if you do half of the things I am talking about today, your marriage is going to improve.  Do you hear what I am saying guys?  IT WILL IMPROVE.  

Guys, your relationship with your wife is a lot like a garden.  When you plant a garden you have to water it.  You have to fertilize it.  You have to show it the proper amount of sunshine.  You have to go out every week and check for weeds and spray for bugs.  No one just plants a garden and then leaves it to grow on it own.  A garden must be cultivated.  A good gardener is purposeful in his mission to raise up a good crop. 

The same is true with our marriages.  We have to be purposeful. We have to pull the weeds. We have to examine for bugs.  No, our marriages don’t need sunshine to grow, but they need the Son to shine in it to grow.  Trust me, you don’t have a good marriage by accident.  You have to work on it together.  

So…

Men, Is Your Garden Developing or Diminishing?

Ephesians 5:25 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…

Background:
Obviously, Ephesians is written by the Apostle Paul.  Paul letter to the Church in Ephesus is really about the power of the Gospel.  Half of the letter is dedicated to helping the church understand how powerful and transforming the Gospel can be to the convert.  The latter have of the book takes the doctrine of the Gospel and informs believers to connect doctrine with our lives.  Literally, the Gospel is not something to just possess, the Gospel is meant to be deployed.  

Paul knew that the church could not grow unless the foundation of that church, the family, was strong.  Men and women needed to understand their roles and what God was calling them to do and say.  The Gospel should govern our homes.  There are lots of helpful hints for husbands and wives in Paul’s writings but today we are just looking at one short piece of Scripture.  

3 Simple Rules For Husbands

I. Remember the Contract 
“Husbands…”

Illustration: Ashley Madison
It was just over a year ago that the Ashley Madison website was hacked.  Ashley Madison was a website devoted to helping men and women in a marital relationship have an affair.  An online group hacked the website and exposed millions of users online.  Some 20 million men from every state in America were exposed for seeking to have an affair.  

In light of this exposure, marriages were wrecked.  Some men, because of the embarrassment committed suicide.    

The Ashley Madison hack exposed men publicly who entered into a spiritual contractual obligation to their wives and broke the contract.  

There was a man in Kentucky who enrolled on the site and his information was leaked online.  A reporter interviewed him and this is what he had to say, 

“Everyone in my life is going to be very very disappointed,” he said. “It will change their idea of me as a person.”

He goes on to say “The repercussions of this are enormous to me. But there’s no one to blame for it but myself. This is self inflicted.”

It’s unfortunate that we have so many men, so many Christian men, who do not honor their commitment to being a Godly husband.  

Point:
So, what does it mean when Paul uses the word “husband”?

Point:
The Greek word for husbands is ἀνήρ and is pronounced an'-ayr.  We are going to look at this word two times today.  The word means obviously husband, it also is the masculine form of the word “virgin”. 

Paul is speaking to men who have entered into the spiritual contract of marriage.  I say contract because that is exactly what it is.  Paul is speaking to men who have committed their lives to purity.  These men saved themselves for their wives and only their wives.  

Paul is was speaking to men that understood that the marriage contract included more than just the ceremony, it also included their purity leading up to that moment when they entered into the contract of marriage.  

What does this contract say?

The contract of marriage is a commitment of faithfulness in all areas of one’s life.  Husband is a legal term used for a man who has guarded his purity and chosen to bond himself with one woman for the rest of his life.  It is not a contract easily broken or tossed aside.  It is verbal commitment and a physical bond that intertwines heart, mind and soul together.  

To be a husband is something that we as men should take seriously, we should pray about earnestly and something that we should recommit ourselves on a daily basis.  

Point:
Men, do you remember this moment?

I, ________ take you ________
to be my lawfully wedded wife,  
I promise to love & honor you,     
comfort, and cherish you         
in sickness and in health,     
in poverty and in wealth,
forsaking all others
keeping only unto you, 
so long as we both shall live!

Men, do you remember this moment where your wife stood next to you and you promised to do all these things.  You promised to commit yourself to her.  To be faithful to her.  Even if you dropped the ball of purity before you were married, you promised that you would be faithful to her and to her alone.  

This is perhaps the most important contract that you will ever sign.  It is the most important contract that you will ever agree to.  It is in this spiritual union and contract that you discover your richest source of joy and fulfillment.  

Point:
So men, being a husband is more than just making a promise, it is about keeping a promise.  Being a husband says a lot about who you are and about the person that you desire to be.  Remember, God wants you to be faithful and true to your wife. 

So, the first rule for husbands is faithfulness to the commitment that we have made to our wives. We are faithful to our wives because there is a storehouse of blessing waiting for us. 

Proverbs 5:18-19
Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe.

3 Simple Rules For Husbands

I. Remember the Contract 
II. Remember to Connect
“love your wives”

Illustration:
A reporter asked Henry Ford when he celebrated his golden wedding anniversary: "To what do you attribute your fifty years of successful married life?" Ford replied, "The formula is the same I've used in the making of cars, stick to one model!"

Illustration:
Only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. The first is to let her think she's having her own way. The second is to let her have it. -Lyndon B. Johnson

Point: 
Remember the Greek word for husband?  It also has other meanings.  It also means brethren or friend and gentlemen.  So, Paul is saying, “friends, gentlemen, love your wives”.  

Point:
Husbands, it is really important that we connect to our wives.  Trust me, if we don’t connect to our wives, it will cost us.  

Point:
So, how do we connect with them?  Paul tells us that we are to love them.  We are to love our wives.  What does it mean to be loved?  It means that as men that we are to cherish our spouses.  We are to prize them.  We are to protect them.  We are to serve them.  

That’s right, serve them.  I have been around to many men that treated their wives more like their servants than their spouses.  They expect them to do all the work while we either do nothing or play.  Guys, we are to be gentlemen.  We are to serve our wives.  This means that we are proactive.  

Illustration:
Do you know I have discovered my wife’s love language?  I have.  Nope, it’s not jewelry, although I am sure that she would like some.  No, it’s not clothing although she likes that as well.  My wife’s love language is a clean house.  There is nothing that my wife responds to in a more positive manner than when she comes home from work and I have cleaned house.  I scrub toilets.  I clean showers.  I make beds.  I dust.  I clean the kitchen and take out all the trash.  My wife also loves a clean car.  So about every 2 weeks I take her car to get it cleaned.  Not because I enjoy doing it, I do it because it makes her happy.  

Gentlemen, your wives are like banks.  The more you invest the more you can get out.  Many men are frustrated in their marriages and the love has seemingly grown state between husband and wife.  I generally ask, how are you investing in your wife?  If you are investing nothing, then it is only human that she will give you nothing.  However, if both husband and wife are investing in each other, imagine the productivity.  

Point:
Men, Answer This Question…Do You Know Your Wife’s Love Language?

If you want to see real connection between you and your wife, figure out her love language and start to speak it.  I promise you, it will be a wise investment.  

Point:
Back to Paul, he tells us to love our wives.  You know that perspective is everything.  It has been fascinating the conversations that this series has generated with some of our membership.  On one occasion, I had a church member who was concerned that my first message in this series was encouraging women who were being abused in their marriage to stand down and stay put.  Just press on in that physically, mentally, emotionally abusive relationship.  That’s what she thought.  

NOT TRUE!

Ladies, a Biblical husband, a friend and a gentlemen is not going to beat you or abuse you.  Paul would never stand for anyone, male or female stay in an abusive relationship.  However, I am also not a fan of divorce.  The Bible gives specific instructions not to divorce.  Those who have been divorced know the pain and suffering it causes.  Saying this, there is not one instance of Jesus abusing a woman.  Not one.  There is not one piece of Scripture that would indicate that abuse of any person is good, natural or tolerated.  

We are to love our wives gentlemen.  This means that we are to speak kindly to them, encourage them, highlight their strengths and help with their weaknesses.  We are to guard them because they are a part of us.  When you are married, you are now one person.  One flesh.  

Quote:
Chad Brand, in his paper entitled Christ-Centered Marriages: Husbands and Wives Complementing One Another says it like this…

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church" (verse 25). Paul does not say to the husbands, "Be the head over your wife." Rather he tells them to love their wives. Paul says three simple things about this love. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (verses 25-27), as his own body (28-30), and with a passion transcending all other commitments (31-33).

He urges the husband to set the tone of spiritual leadership in the home. "At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for, and protect women in ways appropriate to a man's differing relationships." A husband needs to assume a certain responsibility for the spiritual growth of his wife. In order to do that, though, husbands must "give themselves" for their wives (verse 25) by laying aside many of their own personal desires and conveniences in order to fulfill a higher and prior call.

Point:
Gentlemen, when we refuse to connect with our wives by not loving them, by abusing them we are really hurting ourselves in powerful spiritual ways.  In my sermon study I ran across I Peter 3:7.

I 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.

Did you catch that?  We we dishonor our wives, we disconnect from God.  Our prayers are hindered.  I am not saying that anyone has lost their salvation, but I am saying that we can break fellowship.  Remember, our earthly marital fellowship has a lot to say about our spiritual fellowship.  

3 Simple Rules For Husbands

I. Remember the Contract 
II. Remember to Connect
III. Remember the Call 
“as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”

Illustration:
Two women went to the police station to report that one of their husband’s was missing. The policeman asked for a description. She said, "He's 35 years old, 6 foot 4, has dark eyes, dark wavy hair, an athletic build, weighs 185 pounds, is soft-spoken, and is good to the children." The next- door neighbor protested, "Your husband is 5 foot 4, chubby, bald, has a big mouth, and is mean to your children." The wife replied, "Yes, but who wants HIM back?"

Point:
So true.  We all have our faults don’t we? We all have our struggles.  We all need some help.  

Point:
The greatest help that we have is Jesus.  Paul gives a beautiful description on the depth of love we are to have for our wives. Gentlemen, we are to love our wives as Christ loved the church.  This means that we are to be prepared to lay down our lives for the cost of our wives.  That’s right, we should be prepared to die for her if necessary.  

Ladies, here is a point for you.  No where in the Bible does it tell women to be prepared to die for their husbands.  This action is one prescribed to men.  Not women.  

Husbands, when is the last time you sacrificed something for your wife?  When is the last time you showed her how much she meant to you?  

No I am not talking about trinkets and stuff.  When is the last time spoke her love language, took off early for work, and just spent time with your spouse? 

Brothers, I am here today telling you that more than anything else, your wives need, even deserve your time.  The Bible demands it and most men dismiss it.  

Guys, do you know how to spell LOVE?  Believe it or not, it is not spelled LOVE, it is spelled TIME!  Give her your time and I promise you that it will not return void.  

Point:
For those of you who are married, men I want you to look at your wife right now.  I want you to connect to her by looking in her eyes, I want to you say these words after me…”I would die for you”.  

Men, do you mean it?  Would you lay your life down for her as Jesus did for the church?

Practical Application:
So, here is your homework this morning guys.  I am going to bring this up next week so I hope that you take this call serious.  

1. Renew.  Guys, take some time this week and renew your vows.  No, you do not have make a big deal about it.  It can be just a simple, honey I love you.  Let your wife know that she is cared for and loved.

2. Reinvest.  Guys, I want you to learn your wife’s love language this week.  What is the one thing that you can do that would brighten her day?  What is the one area that you can invest that might reinvigorate your marriage?

3. Recall. That’s right, recall that you are spiritual leader of your home.  Your wife is following you lead.  If you are frustrated that you feel that she is not serving you, chances are she is seeing your example of service to the Lord.  Remember, if you are not serving God, it will be hard for her to want to serve you.  

Remember Paul’s words captured in Ephesians 5:28.

Ephesians 5:28 ESV
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.


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