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What God Wants Husbands To Know Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
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September 7, 2023 1:00 am

What God Wants Husbands To Know Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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September 7, 2023 1:00 am

Christian men have a high calling when it comes to their wives: to love them as Christ loves the church. Husbands illustrate God’s relationship with his bride. In this message from Ephesians 5, Pastor Lutzer conveys how husbands are to love with their heads, hearts, and hands. How does Paul’s teaching about male headship work in today’s culture?

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Christian men have a high calling when it comes to their wives. They are to love them as Christ loves the church. If we men do that, our wives will have no problem submitting to that kind of leadership. That's the teaching of Paul in Ephesians chapter five.

Stay with us. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, how does Paul's teaching about male headship work in a culture that demands complete equality of the sexes? Dave, when we read in Genesis chapter one, verse 26, that God created male and female in his image, what he was saying is that both men and women have equality in value. They have equality within the kingdom.

But of course, the rest of the Bible explains that they have different roles. But let me raise another issue when it comes to marriage. What would you say to a couple who said their vows privately so that they could be intimate before marriage, saying that God saw their vows and those vows are legitimate, but then later on their marriage begins to fall apart?

Why do I mention that? Well, that's a discussion I have in my book entitled Making the Best of a Bad Decision. I'm looking at a chapter entitled When You Have Married Trouble. As a pastor, it is my great desire to help people to think clearly through the dilemmas of life and the bad decisions they have made. For a gift of any amount, this book can be yours. Here's what you do. Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Ask for the book entitled Making the Best of a Bad Decision. But now we look at the scripture and see the responsibilities of men and women in marriage. It says in verse 25, 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.

Do you see the parallel all the way through? To lead with our heads, to love with our hearts. Now we'll discuss this next week, but so often men who know very little about the Bible know that the Bible does talk about submission. That much they do know. They may not know what chapter it's in. They may not know whether it's New Testament or Old Testament. They may not know John 3.16, but they do remember that the wife is to submit. And that verse has oftentimes been taken so severely out of context. But I want you to notice what the responsibility of the husband is to love with the heart. What does that mean? It means to love sacrificially, to love sacrificially.

That's what the text says. Jesus Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to love with sacrifice. You know, one of the things that marriage is that I'm sure Rebecca and I would both confess to is it is a mirror that makes you see yourself. And there are certain character traits and certain things within the heart that you would never know about were it not for marriage. And it is marriage, you know, that makes it all come out and it is marriage that reveals our intense inborn selfishness. And how often it is that we as husbands, we override the desires of our wives because of our own agendas.

Maybe it's because of sports or fixing cars or friends or a career. And then this becomes the overriding, overshadowing, consuming desire. And the wife seems to be left here on the side. You know, the Bible says that we should love sacrificially. You know, we all like to say that, oh, if it were a choice between my life or my wife's life, I would love her onto death. I would be the one to die.

Most women are content with a whole lot less than that. It's so interesting that we can be so heroic when it comes to dying and so selfish when it comes to living. So we should love sacrificially, making tough decisions in her favor. We should love obviously spiritually. Notice what it says in verses 26 and 27, and let's not lose sight of the parallel. It says, for example, and to present her the washing of water through the word, that's what we should be doing for our wives.

Remember, that's our responsibility. To make her holy, cleansing her by the washing of water through the word. To present her, this is now the church, to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle, and this should be now a commentary on our wives, or any other blemish but holy and blameless. What the Apostle Paul is saying is it is Christ's intention, you remember, to have this church and to take the church and to purify it and to wash it through the word of God and to cleanse it, that he might be able to present it holy and blameless in his sight. Do you understand that this is God's intention? And this, of course, becomes the motivation for us to live holy lives. It is because we belong to Christ and because we are his bride, and we don't want to be messing with other lovers, do we? And when it says without stain or wrinkle, it means that it is a pure church.

Without wrinkle means it is not old and musty, but fresh and vibrant and alive and exciting. That is God's intention. That's what he's working toward. But you see, the parallel is also there in terms of our wives. That's the leadership responsibility that God has given to us to love just like that.

To love like that. To not expose our wives to situations where she might be led into a sinful environment or a sinful situation because we are the protector of our wives and are going to be held accountable to God for the way in which we treated them. You know, 1 Peter gives a reason why sometimes our prayers are not answered. It says, likewise, you men, dwell husbands, dwell with your wives in an understanding way, now catch this, as being an heir together.

There you have Genesis 1.26 all over again. As being an heir together of the grace of life that your prayers be not hindered. And it is that sense of companionship and being heirs together that is so very important in the marriage relationship. Well, we've said that you should lead with your head, you should love with your heart, and you should serve with your hands.

Serve with your hands. Notice what it says in verse 28. To present to himself a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

No one ever hated his body but feeds and cares for it. You feed and you care for your own body, you feed and you care for your own wife. Now, Jesus here is our model. Remember you who are married or who young men who think that someday you will be or you might be planning to, remember that Jesus here is the model. And the scripture says that Jesus did not come to be served but he came to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.

I don't know if you've noticed but I certainly have that it is so much easier to be served than to serve. And yet our responsibility is to serve our wives. Our responsibility is to have that sense of priority that if there is enough money for one suit of clothes, it is she that gets it because what we are doing is we are nourishing and we are cherishing the wife that God has given us. This is our God-given responsibility.

Do you know what our agenda is, gentlemen? It is so to love our wives and to create an atmosphere in which she can submit without fear, that she can submit without thinking that we're going to take advantage of that submission, that she can submit because she can trust us to do what is right. And the submission of course is not the kind of lording it over people. The Bible forbids that but rather a sense of loyalty and partnership where she becomes a part of the decisions that we are making and yet knowing that God is the one who holds us responsible for the outcome wherever that may lead. And then you'll notice what the Bible says.

It goes on to give this admonition. Verse 31, for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh. I can't even begin to tell you about all the marriages that have gone down the tubes for one reason and that is the man never did leave his father and his mother. He may have left physically. He may live on the other side of town but he's calling his mother every day or his father and if not every day then at least a couple of times a week or several times a day as I've heard and pretty soon the wife feels as if she's left out here and she's on the sidelines and all that he is doing is spending his time somehow still with those unhealthy emotional bonds to mommy and daddy.

He has not left and he has not cleft. He has not left his father and his mother and he has not cleaved to his wife and the cleaving has no glue and the cleaving begins to crumble because emotionally he is still tied to his parents. It's an unhealthy bond.

You need to confess it, repent of it, get rid of it. You need to be able to understand that you honor your father and your mother but you also draw lines because the Bible says now you are one flesh with your wife. Now I know that we've come, covered quite a bit of territory today but I want us to just think now for a few moments about the implications. Do you understand by the way why it is so important that you marry a Christian? It is because God's intention you know is that we mirror this love relationship between Jesus Christ and the church. The man that you are marrying is playing the role of Jesus.

The wife whom you are marrying is playing the part of the church and it's God's intention that marriage model that. Do you understand also why divorce now is so serious? You know we talk about the difficulties of divorce because of what it does to the children and the failure that people go through and we understand all that and we are a redemptive church. We have a divorce recovery seminar beginning here I believe perhaps this coming week.

You can check the bulletin for the details but I know that we're on the threshold of that because we understand the realities and the difficulties but we also recognize the fact that divorce is serious business not just because it affects the children, not just because of the fact that it creates all these internal problems of redirecting one's life and the grief that is associated. It's a serious matter because it shatters God's blueprint. It ruins the representation of his story. That's why it's such a big issue. There are two things that should never be done prematurely. One is embalming and the other is divorce.

Very, very important. This also explains, are you still with me here? It also explains why adultery is such a serious sin. It's not just the fact that a vow has been broken. A vow has been broken but it's more serious than that. It has smashed the image because Jesus would never commit adultery on us.

It is unthinkable. The church sometimes wanders off to other lovers and this grieves the heart of the one who loves us so deeply and so completely and therefore our Father in heaven is grieved and the Son is grieved. But do you see now how the whole image that God intended for marriage to convey has been broken because the marriage bond has been broken? I told you a few moments ago that if you listen carefully, there would be something in this message for everyone, including those of you who are not married. Will you remember that all of us, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you've received him as Savior, you're a member of his family, all of us are engaged to be married. So young ladies, you can say today confidently, I'm engaged.

Young men, you can say I'm engaged with nobody on the horizon that you can see with your eyes but you're engaged. And the Bible teaches that to be engaged to Christ, to be betrothed as the Scripture says, is regarded as certain and as confidently as marriage itself is certain. And someday we shall see the Lord Jesus Christ and then we shall be married. In the 19th chapter of the book of Revelation, it talks about the marriage supper of the Lamb and it says that the bride made herself ready and you remember it says that she comes clothed in linen and the white linen is not the righteousness of Jesus Christ by which we have to enter into heaven. There are two garments that you need for the marriage supper. There's the righteousness of Jesus Christ and then it says that the white linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And so today what we are doing, we are spending time making sure that we will have something to wear at the marriage supper of the Lamb where we shall come as the bride of Christ and he shall present us pure and spotless and without wrinkle, having cleansed us and purged us and brought us safely all the way to heaven. And my marriage and your marriage represents that here on earth. I speak to those of you today who may not know Christ as Savior and you might say, you know, there's so much bitterness in our marriage and there's so much heartache and there's been unfaithfulness and the whole host of problems and after a while you begin to hear about all the problems and we know how hurtful and painful those problems are.

Listen to me very carefully. In the book of Ezekiel, the Bible talks about those who have a heart of stone and God says that the time is coming. He says when I will take out that heart of stone and he says I will put within you a heart of flesh. God is saying is I can teach you to love again. I can teach you to not be so selfish and many of us have had to learn that throughout the years. I can teach you to begin to cherish your wives. I can begin to teach you the meaning of the word forgiveness. I can take the pieces and the wreckage of marriage and I can rebuild and I can restore and I can forgive and I can reconcile. God does that and when he does that, that in itself becomes a tremendous witness to the awesome power of God. There's nothing that represents God better than to say that here's a marriage that was on the rocks and God, God put it together and today here at the Moody Church there are many of you who would testify to that. God put it together. What you need to do my friend today is to humble yourself, to look into your life and to say what is there within me that needs to change?

Yes, but for some of you it's a whole conversion. It's a whole heart that God has to give you. A heart that will teach you and enable you to love. So then we'll be able to lead with our head, love with our heart and serve with our hands. That's God's intention and if you agree, let us pray. Our Father today, we thank you so much for Jesus Christ. We thank you that it is his intention that we rule with him. Thank you Lord that he redeemed us not to trample on us. He redeemed us not that we might be able to simply serve him, though we do that gladly.

He redeemed us to exalt us. And now Father we pray for our marriages at Moody Church who are to represent that to the world. Father we speak to those who have gone through a tremendous amount of hurt.

Those Father whose relationships have been ruptured and torn, relationships of betrayal and mistrust and anger and hostility and misuse. Lord, would you somehow begin within us that great miracle that you desire? We pray today Father that you might grant us the ability and the strength to be all that we should be to represent Jesus well in our love for one another. I thank you so much Father for my wife Rebecca. Thank you for her patience and her love and for the opportunity that you gave us to be together for so many years. And I pray Lord that by your grace and strength that you might use us to represent you well in our communities and in our church and do that for every marriage. Everyone who's heard this message we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

Well this is Pastor Lutzer and yes I certainly do thank God for my wife Rebecca. But you know as we go through life we all make decisions, we all have regrets. Sometimes those regrets are great, sometimes they are smaller. But the point is as we go through life we often ask ourselves have we made the right decision? I've written a book that is really a book of hope.

It's entitled Making the Best of a Bad Decision. If you think you might not need this book I can assure you you know someone who does. What they need is hope, they need to understand God's grace, they need to be able to see that Satan can do nothing to stop God from showing his mercy and giving his grace to broken people. For a gift of any amount this book can be yours. Here's what you do go to That's or call us at 1-888-218-9337. If you want a book of hope, encouragement, in the midst of the vicissitudes of life ask for Making the Best of a Bad Decision.

Go to or call us right now at 1-888-218-9337. Again the name of the book Making the Best of a Bad Decision. It's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. For those in broken families the pain never seems to go away. An anonymous listener got in touch with us asking this, how do I get past the pain of being helpless in protecting my two grandsons from the verbal and emotional abuse of their mother who is my ex daughter-in-law? This situation has kept me in the far country in my relationship with the Lord whom I know is sovereign. I can't seem to reconcile this reality with his love. My dear friend thank you so much for connecting with us and I have no easy answer for you.

If you're thinking that I'm going to give you a one, two, three that will solve your problem you're going to be disappointed, but I do want to say this. First of all, God has strategically put you in a position where you can have some influence on your grandchildren in the midst of a chaotic, somewhat abusive situation from their mother, you are there. And the children are going to look back someday and say that in the midst of what we were going through, we always knew that grandma could be dependent upon to be loving, to bring some peace in the midst of this situation that is so destructive.

Second, don't allow this to keep you in the far country. You may be angry with God because God is sovereign indeed. I encourage you to lay that anger down. I encourage you to trust God to believe that the end has not yet been seen. You know, there are all kinds of children who have been brought up in situations like that who later on walk with God. They see abuse for what it is, but they don't follow in their mother or father's footsteps.

They go a different direction. You and I can't see into the future, but I hope that God will indeed be gracious and use your influence so these children will turn out well. Finally, I don't know the situation, but I'm making a suggestion. I think that you need to sit down with your ex daughter-in-law. I think either you or someone else has to and look her in the eye and help her to see her anger and her abuse and how destructive it is.

You might not be the person to do it. I understand that, but somebody has to pray that God will be able to speak some truth into her life. And by the way, the father of the children, where's he? Your son. I hope that he has some input into the lives of his children as well. God will help you seek him seek help beyond the boundaries of your own family.

Somebody needs to intervene. Some compassionate counsel from Dr. Erwin Lutzer. Thank you, Dr. Lutzer. If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our website at and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer or call us at 1-888-218-9337. That's 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60614. Dr. Erwin Lutzer has concluded What God Wants Husbands to Know, the seventeenth message in a series on Between Heaven and Earth, taken from Ephesians. Next time we talk about the better half. Join us for What God Wants Wives to Know. This is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-07 03:49:25 / 2023-09-07 03:58:10 / 9

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