War In Marriage
- Jake Chambers
- Aug 22, 2010
- Series: Ephesians
Ephesians 5:15-33 War in Marriage
Today’s topic is war in marriage. We are going to look very carefully at marriage and the war that is waging for a gospel marriage. The next month is about war: the context of war, and then equipping for war. If you are here and you are single, now is not the time to tune out. We will be talking to the wives, husbands and to the singles throughout this text. If you ever want to be married, then women, you need to become the type of woman described in this text; men you need to work on becoming the man described in this text. Then you will be better prepped for marriage.
We start by looking carefully at passages 15-21, as this sets the stage for gospel marriage. We see a pattern of three contrasts, three commands that are then lived out in three contexts – marriage, family and work.
1.Walking in wisdom and stewarding time well – this applies to marriage. Much of marriage is putting down the video game controller and doing dishes. Putting away the credit card and cooking dinner.
2.Don’t be foolish but understand what the will of Lord is. This is huge in marriage and preparing to marry. So much of marriage is just not being a total idiot. How many of us in relationships intentionally do things to bug, frustrate or set off others? We do things we know will anger each other. “Knows how to push buttons.” The will of the Lord is to love, not annoy, not be a fool.
3. Be filled with the Spirit, not drunk. Don’t get drunk on anything but be filled with Spirit. Spirit filled, Spirit led, Spirit empowered. It will take a filling and listening to the Spirit to live out the gospel in any context. Especially in your marriage.
1. Sing songs. This is a command. Singing to Jesus is a command. How awesome is that. Sing to the Lord in your marriage, home and work. This seems to be good.
2.Thankfullness. We are to give thanksgiving. “Evidences of God’s grace.” This makes sense, as when we are thanking the Lord for all he has given us, including marriage, it is tough to be bitter, resentful, frustrated or angry. It’s tough to be bitter towards your spouse when you are praising the Lord for a spouse, same with children and job.
3. Submission. And submission is out of reverence to Christ. We embrace biblical submission because we revere and submit to Christ. If you do not submit to your King and Head, Jesus, you will not want to submit to anyone. If you do submit to King Jesus as Lord, you see, know, and experience the joy of submission and are eager to submit to others the King would have you submit to. Submission is always a Jesus/gospel issue. If you hate submission you do not understand Jesus and are not believing the gospel. Jesus not only submits willingly to the Father but is the King we are to submit to.
We misunderstand submission so greatly that we create cults to deal with it. But submission is not about value or equality - it is about roles. Sergeant salutes lieutenant even if the sergeant is a battle worn, tested faithful hero and the lieutenant is a rookie. Not a value issue but a roles issue. Marriage will always have issues unless we embrace that there are roles in marriage.
Ephesians 5:31: An appeal to the garden. Open to Genesis 2 and Genesis 3. Let’s visit the garden. What do we see that is unique about Adam? He’s created first, he names the animals, he names Eve. Adam is given dominion and headship. Adam is the head of his wife as Christ is head of church. What do we see that is unique with Eve? She comes from Adam’s side. She’s called a helper. They have clear roles!
What happens with the Fall? Adam abdicates and gives up his role. This led to the Fall. Man is still abdicating his role. Eve steps in the gap. Doesn’t help/encourage Adam but fills role.
What happens with the curse? Pain in childbirth, both roles will be jacked up. Women will have desires for the man’s role – feminism. Man will abuse/twist headship and working providing will become a curse and an idol and not a joy - chauvinism.
Cursed is the one who hung on a tree. Jesus came to reverse this curse. Back to the garden in marriage. Back to the garden in family. Back to the garden in workplace. Unbelievable! Ephesians 5/6 is pointing us to the gospel so we can go back to the garden. Back to the way things were created to be. Woman back at man’s side – complementary. So let’s talk about that.
Who is the Holy Spirit? Is he equal? What is his role? What is he called? He is a counseler, equipper, encourager, empower. He is called a helper. The Holy Spirit empowers and helps the church. Wives through encouragement you have been given the amazing gift to empower your husbands. You are to love being a helper. Mothers, this role moves into the family as well. You can empower you husbands and children for mission, for labor. You can lift them up. You are the gentle ear and the word of love and counsel. Nobody can fill the role of a wife or mom. Just as there is no replacement for the help of the Spirit there is no replacement for the love of a wife. You were created uniquely, beautifully and specifically to love and help your husband or future husband in a way that no one else on the planet can. Embrace your role.
Submission. This is not the other S word but a gift. This is not a call to submit to all men but to your own husband. And always submit to the King first. In every context submit to King Jesus first. Jesus is the head of your husband, boss and family. Everyone is to always submit to him. The order is Jesus and then everybody else. No one ever above Jesus.
Submission in my home. It is a joy and it usually comes out on occasion. “Submit to husbands in everything.” In what? Everything. Not just the things you agree with. Imagine if we only submitted to Jesus in things we liked and agreed with. It is in everything. Again the caveat here is that you submit unless it is causing you to sin.
Alright lets move on to the men.
Fall of Adam. Adam wants relationship, sex, dominion, authority without any of the responsibility of war. He is the one who needs to war off Satan. Fight off the serpent. There is a war going on in marriage and there is a war going on in your future marriage even if you are single. Why? The mystery of the gospel is displayed in marriage. Satan is fighting to mess up marriages way before they even start. He is working to produce lazy, selfish, unfaithful and unrespectable men that will make poor husbands. But the gospel creates real men. The gospel creates something different and that is why our example for marriage is Jesus’ role in the gospel!
Husbands don’t abdicate the role of love, but they lead in love. The husband is the pursuer. Never to stop pursuing your wife. If husband stops pursuing his wife, the enemy will pursue for him. Husbands, ask your wives how you can love her better. Take date nights. Pray with and for your wife. No “nevers,” “always,” and “just likes.” How much do you love your wives? Jesus loved all the way. Loved until death. We invest in what we value. Jesus didn’t say he wanted to die and then lived. He didn’t just “want” to give - he gave his life. We follow our deepest desires. If our deepest desires are lead by the Holy Spirit, we will love like Jesus loved.
He leads in word and loves until she is lovely. Christians, how are we made beautiful? Jesus. Gospel. Jesus is responsible for our beauty. Husbands, your wives are the most beautiful women in the world to you and if you do not believe that, it is your responsibility to make her beautiful. I’m not talking about buying her make up but loving her until she is lovely. You love her with the gospel! You lead in gospeling. You lead in washing her with the word. Yes,, let your wife know how hot she is, but more than that, remind her of how the gospel has made her beautiful. Love her with the gospel. There is responsibility here! A wife not loving Jesus or not believing the gospel is a reflection on the husband.
Leads in intimacy. Selflessness. Love comes before selflessness and sacrifice. Jesus didn’t selflessly sacrifice everything for us so that he would love us, but out of love for us. Because we love we can then selflessly sacrifice. Are you sacrificing time, treasure and talent for Jesus? How about your wife? Sacrificing video game time to some day be a better husband. Did you know movie night is not as intoxicating as it was for you and your college buddies? She might like a night walk on the beach more…
Are you leading in becoming one flesh? Are you selfless sexually, and have you asked? Singles are you leading, or stealing from your future spouse. Do you talk about hot girls and guys, lust, look at porn, date for fun and practice giving your heart away? Are you selflessly preparing for future spouse or stealing from them?
Love and respect. Women are built to desire love. Men built to desire respect. 30 days of giving respect. Crazy cycle and energizing cycle. No one is single. We’re all called to be in community. All called to be living out these roles already. Men are you loving the church, serving it, sacrificing for it? Are you intimate with community? Women do you respect your elders, leaders, women in your life? Are you joyfully submissive? This is how your husband and wife will treat you - How they treat church and Jesus.
5:32 This is all about the gospel. Marriages are attacked and falling apart, and when they love and respect the world asks questions. It is a mystery that is a gospel proclamation. This not primarily about human marriage, but primarily about the gospel. Men and women you were created in these roles and to display gospel. Nothing in the world could give you more value than being uniquely created to display Jesus. Women are not lesser, but created for the specific role to complete the gospel picture in marriage. This is about God and his love for his church! The Father, Son and Spirit’s love for the church. Christ dies for the church. Christ lives for the church. Spirit empowers and helps the church. The Father adopts the church. This is about following Jesus. Jesus, the one who perfectly fills both roles for the church. Women, you will not perfectly submit, but Christ did perfectly submit to the Father. Husbands, you are not the perfect leader or initiator, but Jesus is and was for you. Jesus perfectly fills both roles for the home.
Jesus is the perfect husband. Marry him first. If your marriage is struggling marry Jesus and be faithful to the King first. The gospel and Jesus must be king of your marriage. If you want to be married – marry Jesus first this is the best way to prepare for marriage. If you don’t love Jesus I must tell you that men, he is the Hero and King you were built to cheer for. He is the one worthy of our respect and praise. Women all the love you desire will only be met in Jesus. Jesus alone knows how to perfectly love you.