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February 14, 2019 3:00 am
We have been bombarded by the secular media and by the secular culture about ideas and concepts in marriage. That is totally foreign to the word of God and the problem with Christians is that we get brainwashed. Just like the rest of the world, and therefore, when we come in here the word of God spoken and presented to us as the blueprint the design of God for marriage. We bristle you see when it comes to the issue of what is the ideal marital relationship. There are many conflicting voices. They really are. And we don't have to tell you I'm honestly convinced in my own heart as an analyst and as a sociologist, other than just a preacher is that it really is a miracle of God that we not in more mass and we are in because of these conflicting voices that are constantly bombarding us from the secular world and the secular media. The human wisdom of the human logic that is constantly thrown at us. There are so many opposing views and in many conflicting arguments and the consequences is we have broken hearts and broken lives and broken homes. As a result, there are so many advisors and counselors and so-called experts who often argue from a bad experience to the work a happy marriage should look like they're causing more harm than good. And I think in the midst of this mayhem. I believe our design maker, our creator holds up to us the blueprints.
The design for a happy, contented, joyous marriage and for us to reject it is to our detriment. Sometimes I try to visualize what's going on like this in our society particular in this issue and I really have a vivid imagination as most of you know, and I try to imagine a group of day laborers decide to build a skyscraper without an architectural input. Just try to imagine how things be falling apart is that with a place that's exactly what is happening. Have you noticed how some of these movie stars and television stars who have half a dozen failed marriages go on television and give you advice on marriage and all of a sudden they become experts in the world. Have you ever heard of a medical student after failing the boards six times become a medical expert.
Have you ever heard of a law school graduate who filed his board examinations six times and then I go to become. He is a great a forest is a great authority and jurisprudence not not seeing that.
But somehow Hollywood's chewing gum heads you know that they are experts.
Marriage and unfortunately they sweep even church people off the street. I discovered that Broglie Dangerfield is an honest man when it comes to that issue in my not disrespect but I tell you what he did what he said about his marriage thought about his wife. He said you know we need to part with accepted locations. We never see each other.
We are doing everything we can to keep the marriage together. I read not so long ago, two-story about a marriage counselor considered to be one of the great experts he was listening to a couple in his office.
Counseling them and in the midst of their after he listened to them for a while. He attempted to kind of bring hope into what seemed to be kind of irreconcilable differences and and so he leaned forward in and he interjected and he said you know is of the problems that you seem to be having is that you both are concentrating on and reacting to minor problems in life is that I know how you feel that because I had the same problem with my fifth wife, a true story not only invite you to go with me to the blueprints to the design is God.
To see what God's word had to say about a contented, joyous and happy marriage. Turn with the priest first Peter chapter 3 beginning verse one to verse seven. Whenever you get to the Scripture but me repeat what I been saying I'll always say that because I have seen with those eyes. How heresies of started and how people went off the rails when they tried to interpret the Scripture not in context not only historical but theological context and then apply it to today's life. So let's put this passage of first Peter chapter 3 verses 1 to 7 in its historical context.
In fact, somebody told me years ago asked me some years ago. Is that how come that of those seven verses, Peter spends six of his seven verses talking to wives and only one verse.
The husband's while tell you what I said back then at their full responsibility for my answer is not biblical but is my thought that said man's attention span can only take one verse there was a flying but actually there is truth biblical truth as to why six verses of focus on Christian lives in only one verse the Christian husbands. I wanted to listen carefully from going to tell you, in historical context as to why. In Roman society to whom the apostle Peter is writing at the time it was the accepted thing that I why should always follow and have the same religion as her husband saw in the book of acts with a B Cornelius order be the Philippian jailer when the head of the household made a decision to follow Christ the entire household followed him.
So it was a normal practice when the husband becomes a Christian the whole family become a Christian and the wife became a Christian. That was a common practice but is a problem. Dealing with.
If the wife becomes a Christian and the husband remain as a pagan that created a huge problem in society really huge Avenue. It would take me long time to explain to you the upheaval that was created in society of the time now because government's temperament would surely have hasn't changed very much from those early days, husband when he saw his wife changed and became a believer became a Christian when she changed her religion.
If you like another kind of concept. The husband saw that as an incredible challenge to their manhood. They saw that as a challenge to their authority as the heads of the household.
I wife at any time in the Roman Empire would add 12345 God's as many guards as she wants to do the household gods and that was fine by the husband that was no problem with him. In fact, is that the more the merrier. We need more God's not less, because I felt that the more guards they have, the more protective the more blessed and all the rest of it. But the problem has arisen. When an island believing Roman husband looks at his wife and she says guess what, there's only one God and his name is Jesus.
What what do you mean you are abandoning all of the gods that we have been worshiping and sticking just to worshiping one God. What do you mean you are you are doing away with all the other gods, and that we will have only one God. We need more God's not less gods in the unbelieving Roman husband like the unbelieving Western husband does not understand when his wife comes home and says Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the father but by me. He could not understand.
So because of the very specific problem that had arisen among the believing wives in the Roman Empire who had married to unbelieving husband's Peter spends six verses talking to believing wives and one verse to believing husband's. In fact, to believing has been ongoing. But later on, but the unbelieving husband.
Basically, Peter has a very simple message really is very simple. Just for simple give away the store. Okay that's all you say verse seven. I'm going to come back to it is really saying is that your husband you need to be thoughtful, caring, giving, supportive, nurturing, sensitive understanding and considerate and on and on and on your boiler Stardust lycée.
The very simple thing said not done like a newspaper cartoon I saw that so long ago of a wife and a folding her arms like this. Looking at her husband Jennifer was one of those superior expressions upon her face.
You know what I mean guys you understand what that looking in, and he was his what she was saying. She said a good husband needs to be strong, caring and sensitive. You have all but three of these qualities as telling imminent and unknown pallet in these words. Words of wisdom for husband to help you out. You guys listen to keep a marriage brimming with love and the love When ever you are wrong admitted whenever you are right showed up. What Peter actually does here is give more responsibility to the Christian husband and one verse, then to the Christian life in six is the truth.
Read it when you go home.
So now you understand why he spends six verses talking to Christian wives and one verse to a Christian husband. What is the word of God and say to a believing wife, who is has an unbelieving husband and by implication the word of God doesn't say that, but is by implication, what is the Scripture say to a believing spouse who was married to an unbelieving spouse. Nothing that stood by implication more than anything else. First of all, he is saying you don't have to use words in order to witness your faith. Secondly, he is saying that your inner beauty of character is your greatest asset.
Thirdly, here saying your submission to God will liberate you from all fears falsely and finally his. What is saying in verse seven is saying learn to live in harmony is talking to husbands and wives now is saying learn to live in harmony together for this is how you are going to get your prayers answered. Now some practice together. First of all, he's saying you don't have to use words in your witnessing.
Likewise, wives submit your husbands so that if any of them is not a believer would be one over without a word being said, I was talking to a very precious friend of mine just this week, and she said to me she said you know how hard that is.
I said, not from experience, but I can understand. I can understand emasculate is the really want to know what Peter saying here you really want to know you do. Okay then not so far, I'm going to tell you. You asked for. This is what Peter really say Peter knew and understood that when a wife particularly becomes a Christian, or husband for that matter, because addressing wives when they become a Christian, you know, when you come to the Lord and you know the joy of walking with the Lord, you know, the excitement of walking with the Lord, you know what it is the fellowship with God and all of a sudden to know that your sins are forgiven and you are free in Christ, and that you going to heaven and you of little enthusiasm. You're full of vim and vigor and you're excited about your new found faith in all you want to do is socket your husband say you do need to come with me and become a Christian, what happens to a new Christian woman is that she does not. Basically, yet has grown to understand the depth of the Scripture or new Christian of any kind that conversion is the work of God is going to happen in God's timing, not yours or mine to my chagrin I wish it is up to me, but it is the work of God, and Peter understands that anything will be patient because in due course, God is going to work in his life and is going to bring into the kingdom.
Guess you pray for him. You exercise love toward your husband and you going to see that God is going to do his work in his life. That's what he saying here and he saying don't nag him about Christ. Don't nag him about Christ that is going to turn them off is going to be counterproductive. You just be a witness to Peter is not saying ignore him is not saying, given the cold shoulder is not saying when he asks you questions about the faith don't respond, no, no, no, no, but rather he is saying demonstrate the character of Christ, and Peter saying when you have a relationship with Jesus Christ is going to be easier for you to follow the example of Christ because he's going to give you the power to follow the example of Christ and therefore he is saying in this passage.
Follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ model him in your life follow him and that is why I have entitled this message develop your glasses characteristic. This is this is the one who blessed you and this is his characteristics and you need to develop it. Men and women now for those of you single people. Not saying anything here to you, but I can tell you, the apostle Paul in chapter 6, verse 14 of first Corinthians is is saying don't get unequally yoked is saying for Christian single person, don't marry a nonbeliever that's a word from the Scripture for you and don't ever fall in the temptations of man, you know, I'll marry him marry her and then converting converter.
Now God might do that.
I'm not going to second-guess God, but what you doing you attempting God when you break the injunction. An old Puritan gave the following advice.
If you marry a child of the devil. You can expect to have trouble with your father-in-law he see Peter speaking to the spouse who became a Christian after they were married. But this scripture has other things to say to singles elsewhere. So he saying what you don't have to use words when you are witnessing your spouse. Secondly he saying you are in beauty is the beauty of your character. Let the beauty of your character manifest itself. Let the beauty of your character which is your greatest asset speak for you in every culture and every generation. People have different concepts of what beauty is really is our society so mixed up right now our culture so messed up right now society's idea of beauty. Today somebody has so Cindy can see the lights are illumined. You know where size to ruin and size 15 confidence Armenian a week that we put so much pressure on women.
It is absolutely wicked but every society and every culture and every time there is a concept of beauty and that's always changing culture is never static. Culture is always dynamic. Things are changing. I pray to God that the people of God be able to change this culture so we don't have those kinds of expectation in Peter's day there idea of a woman's beauty.
It was in spending of hours upon hours upon hours in grading the hay really that's an ideal beauty and then once a guttural brilliant they stick as much silver and gold in the hair as they can afford that that was their idea of beauty. At that time the apostle Peter saying look, there is a principal here about beauty that you might not have thought about someone is that principal the principle is this modest dress and modest appearance that would not attract attention to yourself is a principal here shortly. The apostle Paul deals with those issues, both to the Corinthians and when he writes to Timothy, and he deals with a woman's dress, particularly in worship in the church and the point apostle Paul makes and those are nothing.
Peter extended here is that ladies don't dress provocatively as we say he is saying be modest in your address why because the focus of worship should be on God and not you. Peter is saying that there is a form of beauty that is more precious that is more impacting that is more powerful. That is more everlasting and that is the beauty of your godly character, Peter is not saying go around looking haggard is not saying that absolutely $1 million a don't outside say will Michael said and I can look back at no no no, I'm not saying that Peter saying look nice but be sure that your inner beauty of character shines through in your life is what he said he someone said the beautiful young person is an accident but a beautiful older person is a work of art lover the inner beauty of a gentle spirit cannot I spend hours trying to find out the real biblical definition. When the Scripture mean what it Peter mean the beauty of a gentle spirit was at mean it means ladies that you not critical.
It means that you are not pushy or aggressive or assertive. It means that you are not whining all the time. It means that you are not a spokesman on every subject every time and everywhere, but rather the beauty of in a character that speaks words of encouragement speaks words of wisdom speaks words of uplifting people and encouraging people's speaks words of wise counsel when the need arises. That's what the beauty of the Internet character mean you don't have to use words to witness to unbelieving spouse. Your inner beauty is your greatest asset and will speak volumes. And thirdly, the apostle Peter said your submission to God will liberate you from all forms of fear.
Look at the second part of verse six is right there with Peter's trying to tell us is that there are different levels of submission is saying that your submission to God must be first and foremost than other submissions to other human authorities. And here he says the wives that you submission to God should be above your submission to your husband. Look at the second part of verse six. He said if you do right then left. Nothing terrifies you is only saying he is saying that to unbelieving wife in the Roman culture and due to our culture that if you fear God, and not your husband you will find joy in ministering to unbelieving husband.
If You Pl., God in his rightful place in your marriage and your life. Your unbelieving husband will be a great blessing to you that if you honor God and his word above all else in life you will have confidence and inner peace that the world can never understand.
Verse six is saying that because you fear God, you have nothing and no one else to fear is what he saying here. You don't have to use words in your witnessing your inner beauty is your greatest asset.
Your submission to God will liberate you from fear, forcefully and finally Peter is saying to the Christian husband that you must know everything that is to be known about your wife is saying get a doctoral degree in studying her do whatever it takes to live with her. According to knowledge is what it means you cannot love, serve and minister to wives until you really know your wives as what is saying here. I told her. There's more responsibility. The Christian husband in one verse and six verses the Christian lives, and I wanted to just think about this. Just think about what he saying here. That's a loaded verse architect several sermons another verse alone is a loaded verse think about.
He saying you got to know your wives men, even Freud, the great psychologist, psychiatrist, well he was.
He said you know women who can understands them.
But let that not be an excuse for you.
Because Freud is a fraud that should not be an excuse to know your wife to live with her. According to knowledge, you must know what brings her joy and what pains her, you must know what encourages her and lifts her up and what discourages her, you must study her and know what blesses her and what causes her grief and and and dread here saying live with your wives according to knowledge. What is at me. It means that you have got to understand when your wife wants to talk to you and be ready to talk to her guys would return something that often is in the middle of your favorite news program or sports program so learning what your life according to knowledge means that you need to be ready.
Watching your favorite news or sports program but your finger is on the mute button as a living according I'm giving it to write down practical inner life now okay listen in the past 30 years. I met my fair share of mistakes.
God knows and my wife knows I'm trying living with your wives according to knowledge.
Listen to me please him I'm coming to probably the very heart of this passage.
The most important part living with your wives always your husband for that matter. According to knowledge does not mean you pander to your life or give into your wife.
That is not what Peter say that I am convinced is the opposite of what Peter say why, why is he saying that because he knows that sooner or later, pandering and giving in.
Just because you could not take the time and energy and effort to know your wife giving in is going to backfire is going to cause more harm than good pandering and giving in is not the same as being in unitary, which is he's asking us to do right here being in agreement is very different from just giving in being in harmony is very different when just say okay keep the peace. No pandering and giving in will not get your prayers answered. But being united together in the soul, body and spirit being united together in purpose and in prayer will answer your prayers. That is a very secret for and support you don't have discernment. I wanted to look at verse seven it doesn't say pandering or giving unit so that your prayers might be answered. No no no no is saying be in agreement. He saying, be united in heart, spirit and soul so that your prayers may be answered or some of the translation probably have it so that your prayers will not be hindered.
Same thing from the book of Amos can two walk together, unless they agree to Jesus in Matthew 18 when two of you agree on something and ask heavenly father.
He will answer. Peter comes in here. He heard the Lord Jesus say these things he heard and teach these important very important principles for spiritual growth and Peter comes in and is as you know, the microcosm for answered prayer is the unity between husband and wife. I am personally convicted and I'm personally convinced that the one thing that will bless you and bring answers to prayer is unity of the spirit will be in the home, the church, an institution that fears God unity of spirit. And guess who knows that the devil he knows that as much as you know more than you do. He knows that this is a source of spiritual power in your life. He knows as a social spiritual strength in your life. So what does he do he goes around inviting people to go around dividing husbands and wives, Peter N dividing families because I'm dividing Georgia and the secret to prayer and to answer prayer, says the apostle Peter is one husband and wife are in total agreement. Someone might say will wait a minute what what if we don't agree what we can't agree wait until you do, because getting in is not going to bless you. What's the rush, wait until you do.
I want to tell you something, I told you earlier how is the secular society we try to use human logic of worldly wisdom to solve our problems and get on with life, but only tell you something. You, the people of God is not supposed to think that way when not supposed to think that way we supposed to be expecting to walk in faith where expected to see supernatural works of God in our lives we supposed to see medicals in our lives. Not just once or twice whatever single day and if you believe God and you come to God in prayer and unity. God will change hearts. God will perform miracles. God is going to be great and mighty things that you could ever imagine my my wife will testify to you to the experiential truth of this promise. We have claimed the promise literally more than a dozen times in our lives. We have claimed the promise of God. When we came together in agreement, and God answered our prayers. Time and time and time again. It will be impossible for me to doubt it because God promised it and God always keeps his promises. And God not only answered our prayers beyond our expectations.
I know he wants to answer your prayer.
Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org@LTW.org