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God's Pattern for Husbands, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
March 22, 2024 4:00 am

God's Pattern for Husbands, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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March 22, 2024 4:00 am

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The Christian Worldview
David Wheaton
Moody Church Hour
Pastor Phillip Miller
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David Wheaton
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Grace To You
John MacArthur

Gentlemen, it's going to start with you when you love your wife as Christ loved His church.

That's where to rebuild the whole thing. Get back into the Word of God. Get back into living an obedient life. Get your focus where it belongs on Christ and then on that little family that God has given you and put your whole heart there. Welcome to Grace to You with John MacArthur.

I'm your host, Phil Johnson. Scientific research suggests that a woman's brain has more internal nerve connections than a man's, meaning women multitask better than men. Or, as some have put it, women have a Swiss army knife upstairs, while men have a meat cleaver. Well, modern science aside, there's no doubt that God has wired men and women differently, so to speak, and designed them for different roles in the family. How can your family fulfill those distinct roles that God designed for husbands and wives?

Find out now as John MacArthur continues his classic study titled, The Fulfilled Family. Here's John with today's lesson. Ephesians chapter 5, and starting in verse 25, we have direct instruction to husbands. We begin in verse 25 with these words, husbands, love your wives.

That's the beginning. And Paul says, first of all, it is a sacrificial love. Look at it in verse 25. It is as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her. It is a love that knows no tyranny, holy sacrifice. Second, it is a purifying love. Verses 26 and 27, Christ loved the church enough to sanctify her.

Verse 26, to cleanse her by the washing of water with the Word that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and blameless. You are to love your wife in such a way that you work toward her godliness. Thirdly, it is a caring love. It is a caring love. Verse 28, so husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. Fourthly, it is an unbreakable love.

It is an unbreakable love. Verse 31, for this cause, and here is a quote from Genesis 2, 24, also quoted by our Lord in Matthew 19, 5. Here is the quote from Genesis.

This was God's original design before the fall. For this cause, a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a coming together of a man and a woman, leaving their family, creating a new union with a unique identity all its own that is called a one flesh relationship. Now what does it mean, one flesh? The primary reference is to the sexual union, because the sexual union is what yields the most obvious evidence that the two have become one, which is the birth of the child that carries the genetics of both parents.

That child is the true emblem of the oneness of a physical union. Back in 1 Corinthians 6, 16, Paul says, Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? Oh, so that oneness is when you join sexually.

That's right. Then it says in that same verse, 1 Corinthians 6, 16, for he says the two will become one flesh. You become one flesh in the physical relationship. That's where you share life. When the life of the man is shared with the life of the woman, in the intimacy of that physical relationship, that is the one flesh.

Even a man who is joined to a harlot becomes one flesh with her. It's not some mystical marital union. It's not some spiritual emotional union.

It is the union that is on the physical level, first of all. It goes beyond that. It engulfs everything about our life. Emotions certainly come into play. It becomes unique and personal, but it starts with that physical relationship.

So, in Ephesians again, God's design, as indicated back in Genesis, is that a man and a woman leave their respective families and come together clinging to each other and enter into a physical union. They become one flesh, and they cling to each other. This oneness is intimate, unique, and personal. This oneness is special. Individual identity is lost.

Did you get that? Individual identity is lost. You become really a new person commingled with your life partner. And what God has joined together, let not man put asunder. That's why God hates divorce, because divorce severs that indissoluble, indivisible relationship. Would you notice the word leave in verse 31? It's a very intense word. It's another one of those verbs with a preposition on the front of it, kata lepo. It means to leave behind. It means to abandon, literally leave. And of course, we have to give advice about that lots of times to young couples who have started to cleave but forgotten to leave, which is very helpful. The word leave means to be glued to. You come together to stick. Oneness of physical union, which incorporates oneness of mind, oneness of purpose, oneness of heart, oneness of emotion, and you enter into this most private, magnificent, intimate, personal relationship. It even appalls me all these books that are written about how to express your physical relationship. Certainly somewhere along the line, enough information has circulated.

And if it hasn't, you can certainly find out rather quickly what ought to happen in the physical dimension. And when you sort of blatantly parade all of this stuff, you cheapen it. The magnificent beauty of intimacy belongs in the marriage bed. Hebrews 13 2 is so, so beautiful. Hebrews 13 4, rather, it says, let marriage be held in honor among all and let the marriage bed be undefiled.

You can also translate that in an indicative mode. The marriage bed is undefiled. But fornicators and adulterers, God will judge. There's something wonderful about that marriage bed, about that union, something personal and intimate and private and magnificent as two people come together in a relationship that in and of itself is God's perfect and private and special union that they share.

It is an unbreakable union. That's why the Bible condemns divorce. That's why in Malachi it says God spoke and said, I hate divorce. Malachi 2 16, the Lord the God of Israel says He hates divorce. God hates anything that breaks up this union. And what is it that assaults this union? Sin?

Sure. You say, well, I want to keep my marriage together, but boy, He's a bear to live with, this guy. Or a man might say, I'd like to keep this marriage together too, but I don't know if I can live with this woman. I've actually had men say to me, and not just a few, but quite a number, what would happen if I divorced my wife without biblical cause?

Well, my answer has always been, I don't know. I know you're in direct violation of Scripture, and I know God will not bless that. And there's a reasonable assumption that God will chasten that, and you may come under serious chastening from God. And I've had men say to me, on not a few occasions, okay, I'll take it. I would much rather put myself under the chastening of God than live with this woman. Really?

Say that. You know what that indicates to me? They have reached a point where they are either so sinful in their own lives that they themselves are at fault and have alienated that woman, or perhaps more likely, they have ceased to understand how to forgive. You know what happens? It doesn't take a lot of stuff to get to that point. It just takes a continual pattern of unforgiveness, and it just accumulates.

It just accumulates. How many times does the Lord forgive you? All day every day? And His love never changes, and His love never wanes, and you're still His chosen bride, and He's still going to bring you to glory? How many times are we to forgive each other?

Peter asked that, didn't he, in Matthew 18? How many times shall I forgive? Seven times Jesus said seventy times seven.

Seventy times seven. So you love your wife with a sacrificial love. You love your wife with a purifying love. You love your wife with a caring love that nourishes her and cherishes her. You love your wife with an unbreakable love that just keeps forgiving and forgiving and forgiving and forgiving. Can a man cast off his wife? I can answer that question with a question.

Can Christ cast off His church? And at this point it would be appropriate to give a warning to you young people. Pick carefully. It's for life. Pick wisely.

It's for life. You say, oh boy, it makes me nervous. It ought to make you nervous. You say, well, what's the key to picking wisely? Simple. Be filled with the Spirit walking in a godly way so that your mind is tuned to the will of God. That's why when young couples come in for counseling here, the first thing we ask them when they want to get married, they come in for premarital counseling is, are you involved with each other physically? Because if they are, they're in a sinful condition, and people in a sinful condition can't discern the will of God, right?

So you have to separate and live a godly life so that you can understand the mind of the Spirit and the will of God can be expressed through your life. Then you'll know. I always tell young people, don't worry about finding the right person. Worry about being the right person. And if you're the right person, then the person God has for you will recognize you. Now, what do you look for? Let me give you some suggestions.

This is for those of you who aren't married and you know it's for life. First of all, find out someone's reputation. Proverbs 22, 1 says, a good name is better than riches.

Find out someone's reputation. A good name is better than riches. Try to avoid a reclamation project and wait until the Spirit of God has done that. Hey, we're all reclamation projects, aren't we? But let the Spirit of God do that before you jump in at square one. The idea of marriage is not so that you can lead her to Christ.

I think that's what I'm saying. Secondly, favor is deceitful. Beauty is vain. But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Find someone who worships the Lord from the heart.

Look for reputation. Look for a worshiping heart. Listen to what they say, because out of the abundance of the heart, what? The mouth speaks. What's the conversation like?

You can check out companions. What kind of people do they run with? Shallow people, deep people, godly people.

1 Corinthians 15, 33 says, evil company corrupts good morals. And check out their wardrobe. You say, really?

Absolutely. Check out their wardrobe, because godly women are not so much concerned with the outward adornment of the body as they are the inward adornment. And when they do call attention to themselves, they call attention to their virtue.

Well, enough said at that point. The manner of love in our passage here, sacrificial, purifying, caring, and unbreakable. Let's talk about the motive. What should motivate us to love like this?

Verse 32, this mystery is great, but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Why should I love this woman like this? Why should I love her sacrificially? Why should I love her to the degree that I lead her to holiness, that I care for her? Why should I commit myself to an unbreakable love, which means I relentlessly forgive her and never become embittered?

Motive? Because of the sacredness of marriage. That's the issue. Because of the sacredness of marriage. Marriage isn't just marriage. Marriage is a mystery. A marriage among Christians is a picture of Christ and His church.

This mystery is great. And you need to treat marriage with reverence and awe because marriage is a sacred symbol of Christ's relationship to His church. And then one final word, verse 33, just reviews everything. Nevertheless, let each individual among you also love his own wife, even as himself, and let the wife see to it that she respects her husband. It isn't that tough to understand this, but you can't fulfill it apart from being spirit-filled.

You have to go all the way back, don't you? Back all the way in this text to verse 18, filled with the Spirit, a heart filled with song and joy, thankful for everything, an attitude of submission. You see, where the Spirit of God is in control, this can come to pass.

The commitment of two people to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, filled with worship and thanks devoted to submitting to each other in humble love. I'll tell you, that'll bring romance, that'll put springtime in a marriage, and it'll keep it there. A lot of marriages break up after the kids go, have you noticed?

A lot of them. And I suppose I used to wonder what marriage would be like when you weren't chasing them all around, when your whole life wasn't seemingly focused on them in off. In those early years, control is the issue. Just get those kids in control. Obedience, line them up, help them to learn how to think and how to act and how to react and how to submit and how to obey, and you work hard on that. Then they go off to school, and then it's homework for years and years, and you're focused on the homework.

Every night, papers, papers. Daddy, could you please explain this to me? Could you help me draw this? I don't understand this. Or, Daddy, I got a bad grade on this.

Could you talk to the teacher? I don't understand. And your life is just focused all over the place. And then it's little league, and then it's soccer games or whatever, and then it's football games and baseball games, and I tell you, and piano lessons. And then you have to go to some place to buy clothes for all of these kids, and that goes on and on. And you know, your whole life is focused on that. Then they get to the age where they have friends, and they all come over to your house. And now you've got to sort all those friends out and say, you know, I don't think this person is a really good influence.

And the energy expended in just coordinating this to say nothing of the taxi service that goes with it. Your whole life is just focused on all these kids. And they get to the age where they start to think about serious relationships, and then it really gets serious.

I'll tell you. Now, I pretty well had my boys wired by the time they got to the place where they were going to choose. And you know how they knew what to choose? Well, they loved their mother and she was kind of the standard. But the girls, I was protective.

I confess. You know, I mean, you spend your whole life protecting your daughter, right? Just protect her, protect her. And then one day she's going to marry some guy. And you just say, here. And not only did I have to say that, I had to pronounce a man and wife.

I mean, that's a pretty traumatic moment. And then your life is just focused on this. And you want to get them to the right place and get them to the right partner.

And you want to help them as they go through that process of sorting all of that out and lead them into the right study and get them through school. And then all of a sudden, they're gone. And I've seen some pretty apparently noble servants of the Lord, even in ministry, have their whole life collapse in front of them at that point, when the truth of the matter is, you should be on your second honeymoon when they're gone. You should look at each other and say, boy, we've waited a long time for this. I have to tell you, you know, it's the best of times at our house. You know what? was okay when they went, but you know what's happened? They're back. Only they're back with little tiny kids. And we're saying, in the famous words of Yogi Berra, this is déjà vu all over again, you know. It's sad when it kind of declines, isn't it? I read a Saturday Evening Post old article called, The Seven Stages of the Married Cold.

Stage one, first year of marriage. Sugar, I'm so worried about you. You've got a sniffle and there's no telling about such things. I'm going to put you in the hospital today for a general checkup and some rest. I know the food's lousy at the hospital, so I'll have your meals catered.

And I've already arranged it with the floor superintendent, second year. Listen, darling, I just don't like the sound of that cough and I've called Doc Miller to rush over here. Now, you go to bed like a good girl, please. Third year. Maybe you better lie down, honey. Nothing like a little rest when you don't feel well.

Have you got any soup? Fourth year. Look, dear, be sensible.

After you feed the kids and get the dishes washed, you better lay down. Fifth year. Why don't you get yourself a couple of aspirin? Sixth year. For Pete's sake, stop sneezing. You're going to give me pneumonia.

Seventh year. You know, if you'd just gargle, you wouldn't be sitting around barking like a seal. Well, does it have to be that way? Not in God's plan. Billy Sunday said, gentlemen, try praising your wife even if it frightens her.

Worthiness is not the issue. It's not the issue with Christ. He's tender, sensitive, forgiving toward us. We're speaking about a divine ideal and it's not too late for us. No matter what may be the condition of our marriages. And gentlemen, it's going to start with you when you love your wife as Christ loved His church and loves His church.

That's where to rebuild the whole thing. And that's going to happen when you begin to come back to where you need to be in your own spiritual life. Get the garbage out of your life. Get back into the Word of God. Get back into living an obedient life. Get your focus where it belongs on Christ and then on that little family that God has given you as a piece of His kingdom to disciple and put your whole heart there. And watch how God rewards that.

Let's pray. Father, it's so wonderful to be taken back to the Word and have a foundation to build on. And Lord, I know there are many who may feel a certain sadness because we've been speaking about a divine ideal and many perhaps have already lost that.

Some have come from divorces and messed up marriages and some are struggling right now. And Lord, we know it's not an issue of forgiveness. You forgive.

We understand that. You forgive. And sometimes there are men who have tried to do what's right and they thought they married a Christian, but they didn't. And it was Christ against Satan in the home.

Sometimes it was a wife who just decided to live an iniquitous lifestyle, who engaged in sin and shattered the best attempts of husbands. Whatever. We know you forgive.

That's not the issue. But the only issue is, Lord, that wherever we are right now, we get back to being the men you want us to be. Forget the past. Begin now. Lord, we ask for your grace, your strength, your wisdom, that we might be what you want us to be as husbands and wives, that as husbands we might love our wives and the wives respect their husbands. Oh, Lord, give us homes filled with joy because we have followed the pattern laid out for us in your power and by your grace. For the glory of our Savior.

Amen. We're listening to Grace to You with John MacArthur, chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary. John's currently making his way through his most popular study ever, The Fulfilled Family. Well, with what John said today about choosing a spouse, a practical question related to that, maybe you're single and you'd like to be married, but, well, nothing's developing. So, John, are there steps that a Christian who wants to be married can take to find a spouse, things that he or she can do to help make it happen?

You know, there are lots of folks that are asking that question. As in our culture, marriage gets pushed off, pushed off, pushed off to later and later, later years, and really sad to see that happen. In fact, I was telling our congregation that the biggest obstruction to godly families is singleness. Yeah, singleness. And I was looking at all these hundreds and hundreds of young people in our congregation and saying, wait a minute, you have an obstacle to raising a godly family. You're not married. This elevation of singleness, this elevation of independence, this elevation of people chasing careers down a path, this elevation of everybody fulfilling his own desires, and this elevation of superficial beauty that the Hollywood and television perpetrates on our culture, making people think that, oh, I don't want to marry that person, there might be somebody better, there might be somebody more beautiful, somebody more handsome.

All these things paralyze people. And so now you have singles, if they do get married, getting married in their late 20s or early 30s, and by that time they have battled temptation and who knows how many times they've fallen to it. So how do you make this happen?

Simple. You be the person that God wants you to be, and he'll bring the person to you that he wants you to marry. Thanks, John. And of course, friend, being who God wants you to be always starts and ends with the Bible.

Bottom line, you can't honor God, whether you're single or married, if you don't know his word. And with that in mind, let me recommend our flagship resource, the MacArthur Study Bible. It's a great resource for any student of Scripture. Get your copy today.

To order, call our customer service line at 800-55-GRACE or visit our website The MacArthur Study Bible comes in soft cover, hard cover, and genuine leather. And with the English Standard, New King James, and New American Standard versions available, you're sure to find a great option for you or for any student of Scripture that you know. So pick up a MacArthur Study Bible now, call us at 800-55-GRACE or shop online at And while you're at, remember to take advantage of the thousands of free Bible study tools that are available. These include helpful articles from John and the staff on the Grace To You blog, past episodes of this broadcast, and more than 3600 of John's sermons, all free to download in MP3 and transcript format. The website again, Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson. Remember to watch Grace To You television this Sunday on DirecTV channel 378, and then be here next week to consider, are there some parts of your child's training that you just can't hand off to teachers and coaches and even other relatives? Find out Monday with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace To You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-22 05:50:21 / 2024-03-22 06:00:05 / 10

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