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 in to this message, titled Respectable Men, from the series Live as People Who are Free.
This is the second part of the sermon, first preached on November 6, 2022. Dwell with your wives. Don't be a wanderer. Don't let your eyes wander. Don't let your ears wander. Don't let your minds wander. We can be wandering in a lot of ways. But this is why Peter said, Men, husbands, dwell with your wives. I think this is one of the reasons why this wandering and men expecting women to do what they ought to do for the men has led to the Western feminism that we're experiencing today, has been going on for several decades now, because there's a cultural disparity. And I've seen it.
I've been to other countries in the world. We're doing everything we can to make male and female equal here, and equal is a good thing. Equal doesn't mean the same, though. Let's make that distinction. Male and female are equal, but we are not the same. That's a different topic for a different Sunday night seminar, okay? We've already covered some of that. But I've seen cultural disparity.
Like, for example, I go over to visit India. And over in India, they have ancient cultures where, you know, they have arranged marriages, and the husband, it ends up being that the husband pretty much owns his wife, and she uses property. They would never actually say that, but their behavior communicates that. And unfortunately, it still even exists among many Christians, that kind of marital arrangement. What are we to do, man? We are to overcome human brokenness by rising up to follow Christ. Rising up to follow Christ. For our good, for our good, what I'm speaking of is the marriage unit, because what Peter is talking about here is specifically the marriage unit.
Let me make this abundantly clear. There is nothing in this text that says women in general need to submit to men in general. That is not biblical. This is speaking specifically of the order of the marriage unit.
It is an entity that must have only one head. And so, as we follow Christ, it is for the good of our marriage and for the human community, because when the marriage thrives, the family thrives, the community thrives, and the society thrives. And it is for the purposes of pointing to God, and we get that clearly indicated in this text. Let me wrap this section up just by saying, here's another striking statement, okay? You guys, you ready for this? One of the greatest obstacles to human flourishing is men who check out of their marriage or home because they want to play. And you know, they could be playing in the home, they could be playing out of the home, but they've checked out. They've checked out of their marriage, they've checked out of their relationship with their wife, they've checked out of their relationship with their children, their absent daughters.
Why? Because they want to play. And that play could be just, for some people, working 60 hours a week is their play. Gentlemen, listen to me. This is one of the biggest plights of our culture today, and it has to do with men. Men who've checked out of their marriage and their home because they want to play.
I call it boys in men's bodies. Christina Hoff Summers of the American Enterprise Institute says, male underachievement is everyone's concern. And it can come in extremes, and often does, which is why we see so much dysfunction in family units and in our culture today.
The two extremes are this. Male underachievement, one of the extremes is the male grows up and he's just passive and irresponsible. I have often contended that one thing women loathe is a passive man.
I might get some emails on that one. Men, God didn't create you to be passive. He created you to lead, to be an initiator. Passive, irresponsible men are guys who end up marrying a woman so that she becomes like a mom to him. He needs her to do everything for him. Shame on you.
Or sometimes a grown-up man can live in his mom's basement. We need those guys for the internet. No, I'm just kidding. I'm going to get an email on that one.
Just kidding. The other extreme is of underachieving males is that they become overbearing and abusive, and they need servants. I need you to serve me because I have an agenda and I will get done what I want done.
That's an abuse. And instead of these extremes, men, what we need is to be a band of brothers to follow Christ. We have a leader. We need to be a band of brothers to follow Christ because he is the perfect man. So as I've said before, paramount in all of this discussion is your walk with God. Are you following Christ? We can be so bent on, here's what I need to do.
I want to do this and this and this and this. Yes, but are you following Christ? Because Peter touches on that at the end of this verse. Now, we've taken a little bit of time to understand and let's understand her now because Peter helps us with that. All of this packed in not only this verse, but the preceding six verses, but there's a lot about women in verse seven. So understanding her. If a man is rugged, I would call her refined.
Not that they've gone to finishing school or anything, but I would call her refined. There's a contrast between men and women, and this has been sociologically demonstrated. There are statistics to show this that women generally tend to think about people.
Men generally tend to think about things. With that understanding, here's the first thing that we need to understand. Men, here's the first thing you need to understand about your wife. She is not a thing for you to manipulate for your pleasure and ambition. She's not a thing for you to manipulate. Peter says, dwell with her, live with her in an understanding way, honor her.
You are heirs together of the grace of life. That's not a thing. We men can tend to treat women like things.
Why? Because we're stronger, and we tend to think about things and projects and things that need to get done. She is not a thing for you to manipulate. Secondly, she is an image-bearing instrument in God's hands. She is an image-bearing instrument in God's hands. She is a catalyst for the purposes of God. It says here that she is a weaker vessel. He says in verse 7, that word vessel is also, Paul, Luke used it in writing Acts chapter 9 verse 15, where God called Saul to become the apostle Paul. And he says he is a chosen vessel. Same word.
That's an instrument with which something is accomplished. Having said that, let me make something abundantly here clear. I got that mixed up. Something clear here.
Men. She does not belong to you. She belongs to someone else.
And that someone else is the benevolent sovereign. You can't take his place. She does not belong to you. God has instructed her to get behind you as the point man in the marriage.
That's verses 1 to 6. Be one. She can joyfully get behind. You see, men, I'm putting this on your shoulders.
Be one. She can joyfully get behind in her God-given role. If it gets to the point in your Christian marriage that you demand that your wife submit to you, there's only one reason you've gotten there.
It's because you have failed to lead. I recognize as we sit here this morning and we listen to this and we're bringing the Word of God to bear upon our lives that there are some occasions, even in this congregation and even in this audience this morning, where the woman has been disobedient to God. I get that.
I understand that. And in that case, we need to go back to look again at verse 1 and what is it that's going to win the wife for Christ. It's not going to be by controlling her. No one is ever controlled into the kingdom of God. No one has ever coerced into the kingdom of God. Ever.
Doesn't work that way. And husbands, you can't do that to your wives. But if she looks at you and she sees your life of humble submission before Christ, following Christ, it might just get her attention. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-17 14:14:12 / 2023-05-17 14:18:26 / 4