These notes were taken by me from the Marriage Sermon Series at Sojourn Church. You can find the vodcast here under Ephesians 5:25-32: http://www.sojournwr.org/vodcast/ . I highly recommend that you watch the video first and only use these notes so that you can follow along:
Marriage Sermon Series – Husbands, Ephesians 5:25-32
Think about this, when a couple gets married, a father will give his daughter away to a man charged by God to care for her and love her well.
Because of sin, we naturally struggle to be godly husbands. Generally, there are two ways that men act like because of the fall:
(a) Tough but not tender -> mean, arrogant, rude, harsh, violent, overbearing, scary, quick to blame, family walks on eggshells.
(b) Tender but not tough -> just like Adam – weak and passive, don’t take initiative, standby and watch, happy to let wife take the reigns, silent presence.
Husbands are to love your wives as Christ loves the Church. This is a command and there should be a weight that you feel. How do husbands do this? Here are 4 points:
1) Husbands should love sacrificially -> “…and gave Himself up for her“.
- Requires initiative & intentionality. Jesus chose to love and give Himself for the Church. The church did not ask for Him to love us like that, He did it & took the initiative. He chose to love us this way. Practically, whether or not you think your wife deserves it or wants it, you should love your wife this way. How did jesus love the Church? When we were not seeking after Him, when we were in rebellion against Him, when we did not want anything to do with Him, He loved us anyway and pursued us. Some men say that they are willing to take a bullet for their wives, but they won’t forego a bowling night or fishing trip so that their wives can do something they enjoy. Can men have fun? Of course, but living sacrificially requires us to go the extra mile for our wives, even at our own expense.
2) 4 Categories in which husbands should love their wives and ensure they are taken care of:
- Spiritually -> Are you helping your wife grow in Jesus? Are you being an example to her in your actions, pointing her back to Christ (not self-righteously but lovingly).
- Physically -> Being sensitive to her needs and wants, being gentle and wise.
- Emotionally -> Being sensitive to who your wife is and how she ticks. Just like how guys like to get into a new thing, study it, absorb it, find out how it works and why. Just like how boys like to take things apart to learn how things work. Study your wife like you study all that other stuff so that you understand how she works, how she thinks, what is it that makes her feel loved and what is it that makes her feel unloved. By her body language and the way she’s talking, what does it tell you where she’s at Spiritually and otherwise. Know your wives.
- Financially -> Know that she knows that you’ll do whatever it takes within your ability to make sure that she’s taken care of and that you’re committed to that.
3) Nourishing and Cherishing our wives -> The husband is a caring provider who meets the family’s needs but also tender and a safe place for them to run to. The wife should know that We love them, we desire their goodwill, and we would willfully give ourselves for their wellbeing.
4) As a husband, you should recognize that the way you treat your wife says something about Jesus, whether you are right or wrong in your actions. To a watching world around us, how a husband treats his wife is how Jesus relates to His Church. Marriage is intended to reflect the Gospel, and husbands are intended by God to be reflections of Jesus.
- We are affected by the Fall, with sin in our lives.
- The Gospel does transform us but God is not impressed with you. – He loves you, but there is no “I’m okay”, or “At least I’m better than that guy over there” – You are not always a great husband and you desperately need Jesus to change you heart and your life. Men need to admit that we need something outside of ourselves in order to be the men that Jesus wants us to be. “Jesus, help me, because I can’t do it in my own power.”
- Lead you family Spiritually at home. Pray with your wife, have spiritual conversations with her, read/teach/ask questions about the bible to your kids. A good resource for kids is found here: http://www.newcitycatechism.com/q-child/q1.php?verse=esv&show=false For your wives ask “What was the best part of your day?”, “What was the worst part of your day?”, “Give me like one or two things for me to pray about for you.”
- Lead your family in involvement in the local church. Lead them into church on Sundays, and in small groups during the week.
- Be accountable to other men who are also seeking to be Jesus honoring husbands. Men, you need other men around you who will hold you accountable. You need men who will speak into your life and say “Man, you’re not leading well”.
- Allow your wife to lovingly evaluate your leadership. Seek to understand, be willing to be wrong, don’t be defensive – changes are necessary. The truth is, is that most of us men are blind to where we don’t lead well and the best person to help us understand where we can improve is the person we are trying to love – our wives.
- Intentionally praise your wife and build her up, especially if you have children. Let your wife know regularly of your affection for her and of your undying commitment to her. If you have children, one of the best lessons is to let your kids see how you build up your wife, how you love her, and how you praise her in practical ways – it will go a long way and have a deeper, more lasting impact far beyond what you may think.