Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Today, Pastor Rich unpacks God's call on men within a marriage relationship. 1 Peter 3 7 says, 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 will not be hindered. A man faithfully following Jesus with a tender heart toward his Savior is a gift to his family.
Let's listen into this message titled Respectable Men, from the series Live as People Who are Free. 1 Peter chapter 3, our text today is verse 7. As we continue through this letter of the Apostle Peter to a dispersed people, Christians, we come upon verse 7. Last week we covered verses 1 to 6 of chapter 3. Today we're going to focus on verse 7.
The title of this series, this sub-series, is 12 Characteristics of People Who are Free. And we're on the eighth one now. The eighth one is Respectable Men.
The seventh was Admirable Women. And now we're on Respectable Men, verse 7. And he says in verse, just like he began verse 1, Likewise, wives. And then he begins verse 7, Likewise, husbands. What's the likewise about? You go back to chapter 2 in verse 17.
Honor everyone, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the emperor. And as has been pointed out already twice this morning in the living picture and the prayer, this is anchored in the cross. This is anchored in who Jesus is. Imitation is implied through this. It's inherent in what Peter is saying here.
Imitation. We do this by following Christ. He says that very thing, verse 21, for to this you have been called, chapter 2, verse 21, to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you might follow his steps. Everything that was said last week, this week, today, all of it is through our following Christ, the steps of Christ. God gave us a man to follow.
So let's remember that. And so he says, verse 7, chapter 3, Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way. We are studying the freedom of those who are in Christ, freedom in submission to God's ordered design in relationships. When we follow Christ, there is a freedom there that those who do not follow Christ, it is a freedom that they know not of. We are free through our submission to Christ. The world doesn't understand, it doesn't make sense to unbelievers.
But that's how it works in God's, in the economy of God's kingdom. I want you to notice something. Look what he says at the very end of verse 6. He's talking to the women, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening, likewise, husbands. Notice how close he puts husbands to frightening. Some of you guys are pretty scary. One thing I said last week, it is I am utterly amazed at what women can endure. And by that, I mean us guys. Okay, I mean that in all sincerity. Husbands can be pretty frightening in multiple ways.
Unfortunately, history shows that in its ugliest fashion. So, we're going to unpack this, live with your wife in an understanding way. Live with your wife according to knowledge, in an understanding way. There are implications here that affect common areas of abuse that require our understanding. Implications in terms of the physical relationship, implications in terms of the psychological relationship, the emotional element, and implications with regard to the spiritual relationship, the spiritual intimacy that is there that ought to be there between husband and wife.
The physical part, first of all, physical intimacy. There is something here that's, I think, implied in this. Husbands, dwell with your wife. Interesting that he says that. Husbands, live with your wives.
Why would Peter say that if it didn't need to be said? Remember, this is under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. But also, with the understanding that men are generally stronger than women. We understand that. And so, in the physical relationship, there can be abuse of overpowering. There can be abuse of violence. And let me just put this, I'm going to say some pretty blunt things through this sermon, okay? Somebody last week said, I'm going to issue flak jackets next week.
I expected some guys to come in with helmets this morning. Any man who gets his way in a marriage just because he's bigger and stronger is just being a jerk, okay? I'm just putting that out there. Any man who gets his way in a marriage because he's bigger and stronger is just being a jerk. You could even be a Christian jerk.
The psychological element. Are there emotional put-downs? I've seen it happen so much. Gaslighting, criticism. Do you have to win the argument with your wife?
You might win the argument, but you've crushed her. Childish tantrums. Oh, I've seen that a lot.
I just look in the mirror sometimes, right? Childish tantrums. This could be something that causes her fear. But the psychological element, we're going to talk about this, okay? It's the spiritual element. In your spiritual relationship, do you adhere to, sometimes based on these verses, do you adhere to unbiblical mandates for your wife? Are you oppressive to your wife? And you use these verses as a justification. It could be that your relationship is a legalistic one like the Pharisees, and we all know they were so delightful, right? Paul gives us a very high bar in terms of one to follow.
Who is our pattern? In Ephesians chapter 5, husbands love your wives as what? Christ loved the church. What did he do for the church?
He laid down his life, all right? Men, begin there, okay? Begin there. You've got someone to follow. And everything that's said today, if you take anything home today, I want you to take this home, and that is my primary responsibility to be a godly husband is to follow Christ, period.
It's got to be there. What did Christ do for the church? He nourishes and cherishes the church. Not that she needs him to feed her.
That's not the point there. But it's not about Christ's tender, loving care for the church, his sacrificial love for the church. We need to, with our wives, we need to lovingly, sacrificially, walk with her in a God-ward direction. Husband and wife walking together in a God-ward direction, and husbands, you are the point man. God has laid that squarely on your shoulders.
That is a very, very clear statement that absolutely rubs against the culture we live in today. But I want you to hear me. Husbands and wives are designed to walk together in a God-ward direction, and men, listen to me, you are the point man. And I call you to that this morning. You are the point man. And I call you to that this morning.
Live with your wife in an understanding way. So to do this, why did Peter write this? We have to understand him, okay? Understanding the guy.
Guys are rugged. That's not a bad thing. God made us that way. We are born barbarians, okay? Getting a lot of amens from women, I get it, okay?
It's not a bad thing, but listen, that has been impacted by sin, right? We're rugged. Boys, we know, and I've heard of somebody said this in a public arena, boys are disorganized, restless, and hard to manage. They are wildlife. Our daughter, Lindsay's Pinterest board, she saw this one as a t-shirt. It says, support wildlife, raise boys. She's got three boys.
My wife's good doing this sort of thing. She made her that t-shirt. It's hunter green, forest green, I should say, support wildlife, raise boys. And then she made three t-shirts for the boys, wildlife. Like thing one, thing two, right? And they are.
They are wildlife. And it's, you know, God made us with ruggedness, with a built-in ruggedness. And this is why Peter needs to write this. Husbands, live with your, let's just leave it there. Let's leave out the understanding part right now. Husbands, live with your wives, dwell with your wives.
Why would Peter need to write this? Because guys tend to be unsettled and rugged individualists, and guys tend to wander. It is a common statement today in the culture that wants to affirm all sorts of forms of love, as they call it, and they like to say that men are not naturally monogamous. Okay, let's say that's true.
Does that make it okay? Men are not naturally monogamous, and others, men are wanderers. And I think we are. But that's, we need to make sure, just like Nathan said, it's not just falling in line with a culture. It's bringing our lives up to the standard of God's word through the example of Jesus Christ and the work of Jesus Christ to follow in his steps. Look at the faithfulness of Christ through the deep, agonizing hardship. And look at his faithfulness. Men, let's walk in his steps.
Be a man and walk in the steps of Christ. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
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