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R392 Husbands and Wives

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
July 7, 2021 8:00 am

R392 Husbands and Wives

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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God has an encouraging word for you You can do that on our phone line. We'd love to pray with you and for you anytime day or night at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673 or meet us online at www.tewonline.org.

That's www.tewonline.org. And now today's great teaching on husbands and wives from Ephesians chapter 5 with Dr. Don Wilson. Going to ask you to turn in your Bibles with me this morning to Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus chapter 5, Ephesians chapter 5. Here in Ephesians chapter 5, Paul is talking about relationships and he begins Ephesians chapter 5 in verse 21 by providing us with perhaps the most fundamental statement that can be made with regard to our relationships. He says, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Here we have the absolute fulcrum or the pivotal point of all of our relationships. Here's what God is trying to say to us. God is trying to say to us that if our relationship with God is what it ought to be, if we are living lives which are well pleasing to Him, then our relationships with one another are going to fall in line with God's master plan for how we should live. God doesn't say to us, listen, I've created you and I'm going to leave you to lead your own lives exactly the way you want to lead them. God says, I have a master plan.

I've got a purpose for you, for man, for women, for boys and for girls, for employers, for employees. And in fact, here in chapter 5, the latter verses, and in chapter 6, the first few verses, Paul uses three illustrations to illustrate the intricate nature of the relationships that we have with one another under the lordship of Jesus Christ. He talks about husbands and wives and how they should conduct themselves. He talks about boys and girls. He talks about children and about how they should conduct themselves. And then he talks about slaves and masters here in the context of the New Testament. He talks about employers and employees. He talks about the workplace and how we should relate to one another from Monday through to Friday in our interaction with one another.

Let's look first of all this morning at husbands and wives. Briefly, I want to read this passage again. I hope I get the opportunity to read and study this passage a thousand times over in my ministry. It's a vital passage of Scripture.

Don't ever get tired of reading it. Husbands, I would encourage you to read this in your homes from time to time. Verse 21, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, his body of which he is the Savior. Now, as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it just as Christ does the church, for we are members of his body. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I'm talking about Christ in the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself and the wife must respect her husband. May the Lord write his word upon our hearts. I'm going to say to you, according to God's word, that the absolute fundamental basis of any society is the family. Paul here is putting it into perspective.

I'm going to make an announcement to you this morning. Most marriages begin well. I'm in the business of premarital counseling as I know many others are, and I'm going to say to you that perhaps with a few exceptions, most marriages begin well.

In fact, if you ever wondered a definition of good intentions, just go and look at a couple who are about to be married. But many times things go wrong. Divorce results, families are broken apart, relationships become strained, and we ask questions. We say, what can we do? The Bible has some very distinctive answers. God has an order, his master plan for the family. And I want to begin today by starting with some practical ideas.

Now there are at least 175 of these when I last stopped counting. I'm going to share with you 12 practical, practical suggestions with regard to some of the axioms that are available to us in our marriages. Now you might say to me, well, pastor, that eliminates me. I've been 40, been married for 40 years. Why don't you turn to your wife right now and tell her, honey, we've been married for 40 years. I'm not interested in a happy marriage anymore.

Huh? You've been married for seven years already, have you? Why don't you turn to your husband and say to him, husband, we've been married for seven years. We've been there, done that. I'm not interested in a happy marriage anymore.

I'm not interested in a happy home. Let me make some suggestions to you. Some of you need to write these down. So bring those pens out this morning. Gentlemen, start your pens, get them out. These are very important.

They are suggestions. And then we're going to dive into the Word of God. Number one, vocally and frequently declare your love to your spouse. Vocally and frequently declare your love to one another. That means, when lost, did you tell your wife or your husband that you loved him or her? You say, now, wait a minute, pastor, we don't actually need to say it, do we? Well, my understanding is, yes, you do. Both husbands and wives, husbands particularly, are very poor at this. And I know that counselors and those of us who have been married for a number of years, we know that saying you love one another has different significance for the husband and for the wife.

It's no different in my home. I remember one time leaving my home in a great hurry. I was in a rush. I had a very important meeting.

It was absolutely critical. My life depended upon it. And as I went out of the door, my wife said to me, you didn't tell me that you loved me.

I said, what? I beg your pardon. Our marriage was about to reach an all time low.

What do you mean? I don't love you. You know I love you. Besides, you were privileged to marry me.

What is this? She said, you need to tell me. I said, listen, just think about all the things. I washed the dishes last night.

I mean, I burned the chicken on the barbecue. I mean, we did this and she said, but you didn't tell me. I said, listen, now wait a minute. I've got a very important meeting.

I tee off in five minutes and I'm going to be late. And you know that I need to be there. And she says, but you didn't tell me that you love me. So I say to her, OK, I love you.

She says, no, you don't. You see, friends, I think we understand that love is not just a word. It's something that comes from our very beings. Number one, vocally and frequently declare your love for one another. Say it. Kiss one another in public. Hold hands.

Show open affection. I can never understand why couples get married. They hang all over each other. And the moment they get married, something happens. They don't touch each other. Wouldn't hold hands. Don't do anything. I mean, they just they all of a sudden something happens.

There's a kind of a disease that gets in there. May I submit to you today, friends, listen to me. The greatest gift you and I can give our children is to show them that we love one another. To show them that we love one another.

And that covers such a wide perspective. I'm not reducing that to holding hands. It is what we do.

And our children see through these things so easily. Number two, make your spouse happy. Make your spouse happy. I'm not trying to connect a passage of scripture here, but you know, Jesus said in Matthew 28 in the Great Commission, he said, go and make disciples. It is God's imperative. He doesn't say think about it. He says, make disciples. He says, do it. May I submit to you today? Make your spouse happy.

Do it. It is more important than your job. And I'm going to drop a bomb here today, folks. Making your spouse happy is more important than your children. I know of some couples that have wonderful children. They have given so much attention to their children that they've neglected one another. And one day those children grow up and they graduate and they leave and there's the empty nest syndrome. And one day, mom and dad are left sitting there at the breakfast table, looking at one another saying, who are you?

And who are you? Many marriages become very strained at the edges when children leave home. You see, you have no foundation upon which to stand.

From the time you get married, make it your business to make your spouse happy. Number three, write this down. Don't have a roving eye. Don't have a roving eye.

Do you know what that is? It means, my friends, that when God calls you and when God sets aside that spouse for you, God says to you, you have eyes for one another only. I'm going to say to you with all the love in my heart, if you have a roving eye and a flirtatious attitude, it is going to do harm to your marriage.

And if you continue to do it and you don't repent of it and you don't stop it, it will do irreparable harm to your marriage. And I'm going to say to you, my friends, if you begin to look upon that man or that woman and you have a roving eye, you are going to become a prime candidate to fall into the lustful temptation. You're going to follow your eyes where they look.

Don't do it. Set standards. Make that a principle. Talk to one another about it. And if I can say to you, friends, if you want to safeguard against fleeing temptation, don't have a roving eye. Don't be flirtatious in the workplace with all those secretaries, with all those business associates that you work with. Don't make it your business to constantly be going out and having private little lunch meetings. Be very careful.

Set parameters for yourself. And whatever you do, keep your spouse immersed in love so that he or she is not going to find the necessity to want to look around elsewhere. Number four, never do anything you think will be fun without including your spouse in it.

Oh, we do a lot of fun things, don't we? Don't leave one another out of the grand picture. You know, surely the greatest fulfillment that we have in marriage is that our spouse is our best friend.

Allow your spouse to be your best friend. What a great reminder from Dr. Wilton. You're listening to The Encouraging Word with our speaker, Dr. Don Wilton.

He'll be back with the rest of today's message in just a moment. But he insists I interrupt to remind you that maybe there's something going on in your relationship that would be best be addressed by prayer. Let us pray with you and for you anytime at 866-899-WORD, that's 866-899-9673.

Or meet us online at www.tewonline.org, that's www.tewonline.org, where you'll discover great resources like this. Are you spiritually dressed for today's battles? As Christians, the Word of God equips us on how to prepare and fight spiritual battles.

The Apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6-12 that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, spiritual forces of evil and heavenly places. Join Dr. Wilton as he unpacks Fortified, a powerful four-message series to help you understand the spiritual battle we are in and teach you how to put your spiritual armor on. Call us to further equip you, you will receive the bonus book, The Strategies of Satan, How to Detect and Defeat Him by Warren Wiersbeek. Call us at 866-899-WORD, that's 866-899-9673 and request Fortified and The Strategies of Satan for a gift of $25. Thank you for supporting The Encouraging Word as we continue to proclaim the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton here on The Encouraging Word. And just a word here.

If you are hounded out of the house every time you leave the house, whether it's to play golf or whether it's to go to the shopping mall or whether it's to do whatever, and your spouse hounds you out of the house and you have to apologize and ask for permission every time you do something, maybe, just maybe your spouse is trying to tell you that he or she has been left out of the fun side of your life. Think about it. Why not include them? Why not make it us instead of me? Number five, plan and do unexpected things together.

Make that a point. I don't mind telling you and you'll forgive me, but it's the only relationship in marriage that I know. My wife and I love to do and plan unexpected things together. We get great joy from that.

I can tell you, dear friends, as your pastor, that there is no one that I would rather do things with than my wife. And sometimes it means that you have to say no to other people. Sometimes it means that you cannot always go with the crowd. Sometimes it means that you have to turn things down.

Sometimes it means that your neighborliness needs to suffer a little bit. Do things together. Plan them. Strategize. Number six. Number six, when you're away from home, contact your spouse every day.

There are many business people in our congregation who do a lot of traveling. Contact your spouse every day. It's an axiom for a happy marriage. I've been there. Make it a point. It doesn't matter what it costs. It's worth the price. And it's not the length of the phone call.

It's the contact that is made. Pick up the phone. Check in. Find out what's going on. Just checking in to see how you are. How's your day been? Let me tell you what I'm doing.

Here I am in Chicago. Let me tell you something, folks. One of the things that that will do for you, it will help you to flee and resist temptation because you will be retaining the order and the priority that God has given to you. And when you're away from home on a business trip, wherever it might be, always make a point of calling home. By the way, young people, when you go to college, don't sign off, please. Call home. Your mom and dad want to hear from you. Don't be one of these silent people who vanish and go off to college and mom and dad pay all your expenses and fill the motor car with gas and do everything for you and you just vanish. Call home.

Your mom and dad want to hear from you. That's just by the way. Number seven, don't criticize your spouse. Don't criticize your spouse. Be very careful about criticizing one another.

We ought to be the greatest champions of one another. That's how we got married for better or for worse, richer or for poorer. Listen, folks, people lose their jobs. People suffer physically.

Listen, it's a hard life that we live and there's some very real things we smile about it. Men sometimes don't stop and think about what having babies does to a woman's body. We expect our wives always to be misuniverse but then we expect them to do everything under the sun and we forget what our vows are all about and we may smile about it and we may make jokes about it but this is what God expects of us. Marriage is not a convenience.

God says submit to one another out of reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ. Number eight, shun gossip and unilateral advice. You and your spouse make a point of not being the subject or the focal point of gossip and advice from ungodly people. Now, I've had some people say to me from time to time, but listen, Don, I can't help it, people always come to me. People always want to come to me.

Basically, they're saying, listen, I'm God's personal gift to the church and to the community. Everybody who's got a complaint, any rumour, any gossip, they come to me. Watch out, my friend, birds of a feather flock together. Gossipers will go to gossipers, rumour mongers will go to rumour mongers and if you say people always come to you, you better be careful because it means you're one of them and the reason they're coming to you is because they know they've got an ear.

They know they've got a channel to sow seeds of destruction. Make a point as a couple. You're going to shun gossip and unilateral advice. Listen only to each other, to God and to godly friends.

Number nine, plan time alone together. Spend weekends together, get away, go to the beach, go to Asheville and check into... Have you noticed what a beautiful place we live in, folks, by the way? Have you been to Tryon and Landrum and up into the mountains and Brevard and Henderson? Have you been to Hendersonville? Have you been up to Asheville and Black Mountain? Have you been down to Columbia and Lake Murray? Have you been down to Charleston, down to the Low Country and Buford? Have you been?

Have you opened your eyes? We've got Atlanta this way and Charlotte this way and mountains and rivers and streams and cottages and inns and motels behind every bush. When lost, did you take your spouse and go to some little inn up in the mountains and get away and stay in bed until 11 o'clock in the morning and have breakfast in bed and order everything in between? When lost, did you do that?

When lost, did you hold hands and walk around the neighborhood? Do these things, go on vacation together. One word of advice, avoid separate vacations.

It'll get to you. I've met couples who go on separate vacations. She goes and he goes. I've met couples who go to their point of origin. They go to where they grew up. When they arrive there, he goes to his parents, she goes to her parents.

At the end of vacation, they come together. Don't do it. Don't cultivate separateness in your family. Number 10, wish I could spend a lot of time on this, beware of money problems.

Have a plan and a program. Don't talk about my money and your money. My wife won't mind me sharing this because I think it's a beautiful illustration. We were married in 1976 and as we got into the motor car to go on our honeymoon on that Saturday afternoon, we were driving down the highway and my wife turned to me and she said to me, she got out her checkbook with all her money and she said to me, Don, God has given you to be my husband.

You are the head of our home and everything that I have, I give to you, I submit to you. She handed me her checkbook with all her money in it. Do you know what I did? I turned back to her, took that.

I probably, I hope I said a whole lot of nice things. I took that checkbook and I looked back at her and I said to her, God has given you to be my wife and I love you for what you've done and I give this back to you because what is mine is yours and I gave it back to her. Are you listening folks?

Are you listening today? You cultivate separate bank accounts and a his and hers policy in your lives, you're going to have a his and hers life. You're going to destroy, you're going to mar the oneness that God has given to you. Number 11, never compete with your spouse.

Never compete with your spouse. Delight in one another. Number 12, go to the same church. Whatever you do, worship God together. Now how does this match up with God's word? The biblical announcement here in verse 31, leave, cleave and become one flesh. God says you must submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

How do you do this? By leaving, leaving who? Your father and mother. What is Paul saying? Paul is saying leave your grown up years behind you. That's what he's saying. He is not saying concerning your parents, discard them, throw them away, be ugly to them, disrespect them, reject them. He's not saying that at all. He's saying but when God gives to you your spouse, you need to begin to behave like a married person ought to behave.

That's what Paul is saying. He's saying you have a new responsibility. You have a new home. You have a new love.

You have a new focus and you have a new discipline. He says not only leave but cleave. That means to cling.

He says if you want to understand what it means to cling, you've got to understand the first point. Leave your kinship for clingship. Leave your kinship for clingship.

Leave all these things and cling to your wife and your husband. But then you must become one flesh. You must serve and love God. You must love one another. You must love his church. You must love godly friends and thereby you will become one in Christ Jesus.

Physically and emotionally and spiritually and in everything that you do. Paul says listen, listen, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Tremendous insight from Paul today and from God's Word.

Are we ready to submit to one another in reverence to Christ? Perhaps we can pray with you about your relationship right now. We'd love to communicate any way you'd be more comfortable, whether it's online at tewonline.org. But in this day and age of mostly texting and typing, sometimes the opportunity to speak with someone, to have someone pray with you and for you is a powerful resource. And I pray you'll jot this number down or store it in your saddle to connect to one of us 24 hours a day at 866-899-WORD.

That's 866-899-9673. And now we've heard tremendous teaching from Dr. Wilton from the pulpit, but as he steps into the studio, I pray you'd open your heart to what Dr. Don wants to share next. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Why don't you pray this prayer with me right now? Dear God, I know that I'm a sinner and I know that Jesus died for me on the cross. Today I repent of my sin and by faith I receive you into my heart. In Jesus' name. My friend, I welcome you today into the family of God.

This is exciting news. Perhaps moments ago you were praying along with the pastor to give your life to Christ or rededicate your life to Jesus. And as Dr. Don mentions often, it's not the words that'll save you, but it's the attitude of the heart.

And if you are ready for a new beginning, oh, how we are ready to walk alongside you and encourage you in that. Why don't you give us a call? Dr. Don has resources he wants you to have absolutely free if you'll call us. At 866-899-WORD, that's 866-899-9673. You can meet us online as well. Our website is www.tewonline.org. That's www.tewonline.org. And I pray that while you're there, you'll sign up for the daily encouraging word email devotional from Dr. Don. It comes into our emails about 6 o'clock Eastern every morning and launches our day in God's Word. Go online at tewonline.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-24 06:56:03 / 2023-09-24 07:06:26 / 10

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