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1460. God’s Marriage Manual

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
March 7, 2023 11:05 pm

1460. God’s Marriage Manual

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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March 7, 2023 11:05 pm

Dr. John Lehman preaches the second of a two-part series about marriage from I Peter 3.

The post 1460. God’s Marriage Manual appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

What's Right What's Left
Pastor Ernie Sanders
Kerwin Baptist
Kerwin Baptist Church

Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.

Today on The Daily Platform, we're continuing a series on marriage. Today, we'll be hearing from Dr. John Layman, pastor of member care at Hampton Park Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina. Dr. Alan Benson will introduce him. God has used John and Susie to touch countless lives. He handles the word of God really well when he comes to the pulpit, but I would say that God has gifted him with unique gifts for personally touching people's lives. He's written several books, two of which, one is on marriage and the other is on encouragement. And I know as he comes today to speak on the topic of marriage that you will leave today incredibly encouraged. And so give a warm EJU welcome to Pastor John Layman as he comes to bring us the word.

Well thank you Dr. Benson. You always were a Barnabas in my life and you have not failed to do the same today and even yesterday. It's a privilege to be with you all. We as a young couple enjoyed sitting in these same seats you did. We met here at Bob Jones University and married and then all four of our children came through here and they met their spouses here as well. So I'm not sure exactly what state and status you are in that regard but we just trust the Lord will use you.

We are so blessed to be students here. I enjoyed being with you all yesterday from the start with your theme of marriage and I'm always intrigued that God tells us in Genesis 2 24 that a man shall leave his father and mother, cling to his wife and they should become one flesh. And yet we never hear about their mom and dad do we?

He started it out with this perfect formula. Adam and Eve had no parents. So how many of you today are married? Would you please stand up? And how many of you are engaged? Would you please stand? And how many of you, keep standing, keep standing. And how many of you are in, I'm sorry, are dating someone?

Yes. All right. And then how many of you today are prospective husbands or wives? Would you please stand? Well, you all should actually be standing because Dr. Bob got married again when he was 80.

Thanks and you may be seated. Susie and I met in 1977, seven months after we graduated from high school. We were married three and a half years later and we then moved to minister and serve at Calvary Baptist Church and schools in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Five years after we arrived, high schooler Ridge came to Calvary where she was one of my students, a cheerleader and a pioneer for girls basketball.

Collegian Benson came to Calvary four years after that as a summer preacher boy. Through our mutual love of sports, as well as a joy for serving the church family, I came to find out he really wanted to visit his parents in Nova Scotia prior to coming back here to Bob Jones University. We had a Dodge Aries and I told him he could borrow it for his 2000 mile round trip with one caveat. The car only had an AM FM radio and I thought it would be cool for him to have a cassette player to use for his trip and I thought it would be helpful to use for our foreseeable family's future. So without Google or YouTube, the two of us figured out how to wire this for future listening pleasure and he was able to enjoy it for his trip to and from visiting with his parents and we were able to enjoy it for years as a family as well. During that summer, it was evident that he was interested in Miss Ridge and I wasn't so sure which was his ultimate goal, preparing for ministry or preparing to have a wife.

I'm just glad he has succeeded in both and as you know, I was there on June the 12th of 1993. God's word is our resource for all things and since not a lot of scripture speaks specifically to marriage, we need to pay extra close attention when and where it does. Jesus died in the early 30s A.D. and then Peter was inspired to write this in the early 60s. There were undoubtedly many in the Palestinian country who were unbelievers.

Of course, since Jesus ascended into heaven, many disciples, apostles and converts were continually helping folks come to Jesus. In the first century, marriages were arranged. Most young men who married were in their early to mid 20s and young ladies were in their mid to late teens. You can imagine that there was often no love in these arranged marriages. His mantra was simply, care for my household and my personal needs and hers was I'll do whatever I have to so that I have food, shelter and some semblance of a normal life. When it came to working together, he demanded and she was dutiful. It was in this context that a young wife or young husband came into a personal relationship with Jesus while their spouse probably had not.

Consider this context. Their coming to faith in Jesus had many ramifications, one of which was living in an arranged marriage union. The only means and ways young couples knew how to live was in their culture and up to this point, it was in a hedonistic society where the world centers around personal pleasure and sensual self-indulgence. Now Peter tells them they must live counter to that culture. Peter begins by saying, likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives. His using the word likewise refers back to the last part of chapter two which tells people to submit to the government and servants to be subject to their masters with all respect. And remember, the Romans ruled Palestine at this time as well as much of the known world and Peter tells them they were all supposed to submit to this tyrannical rule. So even if a wife would be in subjection to her husband and would suffer for it, she would be doing so just like Jesus suffered for us. She would have the previous example of doing right because it was right to do right.

You've probably seen something like that in one of your classrooms. Submission means accepting or yielding to the will or authority of another. That wasn't normal. It certainly wasn't and isn't easy.

It definitely wasn't the practice of the day. What would submission look like in the first century? The wife was literally to do what her husband asked, plain and simple. In an agricultural and farming society, she was to be a diligent worker for her husband.

So whether farming or caring for the animals, she was to work hard and uncomplaining. But notice why Peter says to be submissive so that this newly converted wife without a word, without telling him how he should be acting would influence him into becoming a Christian. The verses continue while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

He continues on with his instruction. Chase conversation means pure and wholesome living and like in verse one, conversation means lifestyle and with it is fear, reverence and respect. A wife was to be more concerned about how she lived than what she said. So Peter wants wives to also live in such a manner that their husbands will notice something different about them.

Their lives speak about Jesus, not their words. By having such a wholesome manner toward him, he would see the difference like never before. By being respectful and pure in conduct, Peter is continuing the thought that not just submitting to him would they notice something different, but the attitude in which she submitted would really make him notice. Up to now, you would assume that she may have submitted to him by literally doing what he said, but it would undoubtedly be with a terrible and an angry attitude.

Now she's supposed to respect whatever he said and not have any snide or sarcastic attitudes or words for him. So as she was asked to perform menial and difficult tasks, she was to respect her husband and accept her responsibilities graciously. So whether in the first or 21st century, a wife look willingly following her authority spoke volumes of her relationship to Jesus. Who's adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair and of wearing of gold or of putting on of apparel, but let it be the hidden man of the heart in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. In the New Testament, just like today, dressing up and looking nice was a sign of respect for others, as well as taking a personal pride in one's own appearance to look and be your best.

Especially did and do, women take time to look much better than men ever could. So it's not the hairstyle or jewelry or clothes, but the spirit that would outshine all appearance. So Peter is continuing the thought that wives should also make sure that their inner being matches their outer appearance. Peter goes on to make sure she contrasts the outward appearance by being even more beautiful inside.

Yes, fix your hair, wear jewelry and nice clothes, but reveal such an inner beauty that your husband takes notice. So when given her requirements for the day, her attitude and response would be gentle and kind. So up to now a wife knows her place. She's been dutiful in her actions to her husband. He demands and she fulfills her duty. However, now when she is asked to do something, she says, sure, I'd be glad to, and doesn't worry about anything being fair or not. When she's required to fulfill a certain task, she would use endearing words and show respect to her husband and not show any disgruntledness. She would constantly seek to be more beautiful in her responses and lifestyle than even her outward appearance. You can imagine after a while, her husband who has become accustomed to her lack of fulfilling her role simply with duty and not delight, begins to see someone who willingly respects and shows purity in her motives and is noticeably different by not being demanding, but gentle and quiet in her responses to him.

I can just hear him after observing this contrast for a while saying, so what got into you? And she could easily say, I'm glad you asked. Jesus did.

And let me tell you about him. So if Peter is telling people who may have never heard about Jesus, what their proper response in marriage should be, then what is he telling wives and prospective wives today? Simply followings on authority without complaint or a bad attitude, respectfully and purely fulfilling one's responsibilities and being beautiful by being more concerned about gentleness and calmness. This can be practiced in your relationships today, whether married or not, so that when you are married or are advanced in your years of marriage, your life will continue to speak of first century holiness lived out in the 21st century. Likewise, he husbands dwell with them according to knowledge kind of shifts gears here. Now let's look at what he has to say to husbands.

Notice the likewise refers again back to verse one, which of course refers back to chapter two. So basically living for God's glory and according to his word was to be used by husbands to win their wives to the Lord as well. First, they're supposed to know their wife well enough to understand her emotions. Knowledge is just not knowing their name and what they could do for him.

Knowledge would be understanding the physical wellbeing and emotional state of what is being required by being able to completely comprehend all of their life would be huge. What a contrast from simply demanding a wife to perform a certain task to making sure they were able to. Here Peter is telling husbands to understand their wives. In the first century, the husbands didn't care one bit about what a wife felt like.

They only were concerned about what they felt like. They undoubtedly had certain protocol they wanted to fulfill and their wife was part of the equation to have that met. She may have been told what to do, but never had any explanation given to her or she may have felt a certain way, but no care or concern was ever offered her.

That had to change. He needed to make sure he asked for questions of interest and with the desire to help her by knowing how she felt and what would please her. Before demanding a task to be performed, he would want to know how she felt about what was being done. Could she fulfill it and how could he help her with this requirement? Giving honor under the wife as the weaker vessel. The husband also was to give honor to his wife as one who was much weaker than he. Up to now the husband was demanding and able to require whatever he wanted. Suddenly this landowner was being told to treat his wife as if she were weaker than he. Up to now he more than likely demanded her to perform feats of strength like fetching water, working in the fields and preparing his meals. To be honoring would require a mindset of putting his wife ahead of him.

Up to now life in this marriage had been all about him. What he wants, he demands. Now he is to begin wanting to know what his wife wants and provide that for her. He must begin helping her in every one of her responsibilities. So when she is to work, he is to still help her by noting that she is weaker than he.

He should help her with the sheep or the crops. He is to seek to treat her like a queen and not treat her like a slave. This could look like him wanting to explain to her why he did certain things and what times he did them. It would also look like him helping her in the demands he might have given her.

Could you imagine when he needed water or his meals that he would instead seek to help her and let her sit down and be still or cared for? As being heirs together of the grace of life. Finally, he is to treat her as his equal.

Up to now as the husband he was the boss, the head of the home. He was to begin treating her like someone who was equal with him in the status before God and others. He is told to treat her exactly like Christ treated all of us, which is equal.

No one was better than the other. In fact, Jesus shared that clearly when he said he came to earth to serve and not to be served. In this societal time he needed to let her eat with him, walk beside him, compliment her publicly and let others know how important she was to him. So when the Palestinian world noted a husband they would always consider him to be demanding and insensitive because he had a lot to get done.

And it was his right to do it any way he wanted to. Suddenly Peter shares that husbands instead of being demanding and harsh are to begin treating their wives with understanding and honor and as an equal. Notice that in verse seven Peter actually uses the same word likewise as he did in verse one. The thought here is that the husband came to understand and follow Jesus while his wife did not yet know him. The husband begins seeking to understand his wife and explain things to her. He begins to honor her by helping her and doing what he can to serve her and then he always treats her as an equal and says, walk beside me, not behind me. I can now hear the husband's wife say, so what got into you? And he's able to say, I am glad you asked.

Jesus did and I'd like to tell you about him. So if Peter is telling people who may have never heard about Jesus what their proper response in marriage should be, then what is he telling you and I in the 21st century? Well, to be understanding of your wife so that you emotionally help her, honoring her in such a way that she knows she's the most important person in your life, and finally treating her as an equal so she knows that you do love her like you love yourself. That your prayers be not hindered. He then makes one statement to husbands that he never makes to wives.

He said, do these things, act these ways, be this type of person so that you're able to have your prayers answered. I don't know of any husband who would get married and not desire God's blessing upon him and his marriage. And I know that husbands know that it's right to pray and seek God's face and help. How futile though to be praying, but not fulfilling God's expectation of being a godly husband. God wanted these men to be sure their living was matching up to his expectations. Otherwise their prayers wouldn't be heard. It's great to pray, but if you are not being understanding, honoring, or esteeming of your wife as your equal, then you might as well stop praying.

All of God's word is intended for us to live and obey, not just where we pick and choose, what we will obey like a buffet line in a restaurant. Next, Peter emphasized the importance of the joint marriage relationship. In the last section, we looked at the importance of the wife's and husband's specific duties. Now we're to look at the responsibilities of the couple together. Finally, be all of one mind. First, and not necessarily in this order, these next responsibilities all must be part of the equation. The first one mentioned is to be like-minded. Since God has uniquely and fearfully and wonderfully created the men and women who have become husbands and wives, they're responsible then to capture their differences and still think and be like-minded.

That will take a lot of work, but will produce great rewards. In the first century, that would look like the husband requiring something or the wife having a question about another, and they are to sit down and be one-minded with the outcome. That would be counterculture. Instead of the husband demanding or the wife pouting, they are to work toward a solution that pleases them both. Being unified does not require being the same. It means taking your unique set of talents and personality and bring them together so that jointly you are much stronger than you would be as two individuals.

If that could work in the first century, it can work today. Having compassion one of another. I don't know of anybody that doesn't appreciate people sympathizing with them. The first century saw two married individuals with different backgrounds having to navigate a marriage that was not their choice. To do so would require seeking to feel the other person's pains and experience their joys. Trying to know and feel like your spouse takes work but also yields high returns in the love bank. It is hard to look out for the other person's needs because we all love ourselves.

Sympathy is literally being able to feel and sense and know the emotions of the other individual. In this time frame, a husband and wife were to look at their responsibilities from the other person's point of view and seek to really understand what their spouse is feeling at any moment. Whether caring for the animals or making decisions about the house, they were to know what their spouse was not only doing but feeling about what they were doing.

Sounds like something we all can be working on and if so, we're fulfilling or preparing being the right type of spouse. Love as brethren. Brotherly love is the same emotion that you had with your original familial relationships. Each of these individuals, although arranged in their marriage union, were to seek to love each other as much as they did their original brothers, sisters, and parents. One of everyone's highlights of childhood is their relaxed atmosphere where there was not a care in the world. It's hard to imagine exactly what it was like in the first century.

There were Roman soldiers marching around all the time and there was always fear of the requirements of the various Caesars. Yet, family had to be a haven of rest. These new Christians were to love each other in their spousal relationship in such a way that they created their own family. When God says to love your neighbor as yourself, there is no neighbor in a marriage that is closer than your spouse. I love though how Christ doesn't say love yourself less. He intently says love your neighbor as yourself because we all love ourselves. So just love your neighbor and in this case your spouse like you love you.

Whether in the first century or today, it is really simple and it is really hard but it is tremendously rewarding. Be pitiful. Peter continues telling a couple how important it is to have pity one for another. It is so important to have that tender side of love. Tenderness would be a side of each couple that they probably always wanted from someone else but may have never experienced it. Too often it is easy to think that one of the spousal partners is more tender than the other. That may be true, so all it means is that the one who is not quite as tender needs to ramp up their game. If being tender is God commanded, then everyone in here who is desiring to live and serve the world by showing a godly marriage will do all they can to gently love and encourage their spouse.

Tenderness was not something that was paramount in Palestinian society. Getting one's way was. Sounds like today, doesn't it? So to reach out and reveal tenderness was going to speak volumes. As it did then, so should it today. You can practice this any time. Be courteous. It is also extremely important to be courteous. Be kind to one another as such a consistent command.

Outdo one another in showing honor. When one is courteous or humble, they put the other person's needs ahead of their own. That humility is such a Christ-like characteristic. I love how the Galatians' fruits of the Spirit and 1 Corinthians 13 display of love were written before the marriage manual found in 1 Peter 3. Humility may be one of your top three abilities, or it may be one of your bottom three, but nonetheless you and I, to be most Christ-like, must be humble. So now Peter is saying that being unified, sympathetic, loving, tender, and humble makes a forced marriage relationship into a harmonious one.

And then he continues the thought. Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrary-wise blessing. Knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. So don't repay evil for evil, but be a blessing to those who wrong you.

Notice he says contrary-wise, or on the contrary, or opposite. Everyone wants to be blessed. Don't negate receiving a blessing by sinning against your spouse. One of the easiest places to display selfishness is in a spousal relationship. These couples in the first century were being told to unselfishly respond to each other. What the other person wants or feels should be their top priority.

That was definitely counterculture. A hedonistic society was only concerned about themselves. If you don't repay blessing for difficulty, and are hurtful instead of helpful, you don't only negatively affect your partner, you negatively affect you too. For evil that will love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Those who want to love life and enjoy their days, quit being upsetting, and speaking harshly. If one hurts the other, then it begins to be retaliatory.

Everyone in this first century knew what it was like to have to follow demands. The country was filled with demands, yet God through Peter says that counterculture living is to seek peace. Christ wants us to be the opposite of what the world is known for. That is getting your own way, or being antagonistic when you don't. Being kind means completely changing the course of a relationship. It is so easy to be kind to those who are kind to you. Christ says the truly kind person is the one who is kind when no one is kind to them.

That spoke volumes in the first century, and it does today. Let him eschew evil and do good, let him seek peace and ensue it. This verse tells us to turn away from evil.

Don't be bad, be good. And one way to do that is to be a peacemaker. We each know what our own opinion is, and every time we think of our own opinion, we think it's the best.

As Dr. Mazek says so eloquently, we need to have a low opinion of our own opinion. There is no way to pursue peace while pursuing rivalry. They are mutually exclusive. To pursue peace is to seek to find what's best for the situation, or you as a couple, and not necessarily what's best for each individual separately. The difficulty and blessing is that couples in the early church era had to pursue it together.

We get to. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and his ears are open under their prayers, but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. It is interesting that at the conclusion of this section, we are again reminded that God will not shine his favor upon us if we do wrong. The eyes of the Lord are on those who do right and his answer to prayer to those who live righteously. The eyes of the Lord are also on those who do wrong and he judges them accordingly. Peter, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, reminds us that Christ expects our obedience. God observes us doing rightly and hears our prayers as we do. The opposite is that if we are not doing right, he is actually against us. Just like the prayers of the husband will be hindered if he does not obey, so too will hinder the prayers of the couple if they are not obeying.

As I said earlier, it is easy and it is hard. We all know what it's like to know what's right and we all know what it's like to pursue doing right, but we also know what it's like to pursue doing right and then be wronged and then we turn away from doing what we know we should be doing. And finally, to live in harmony, couples must individually and jointly decide they will return blessings for hurt, be kind even when receiving unkindness, pursue peace even if life isn't peaceful, and as a result receive God's blessing as they obey him completely. Decide what you want your married life to be like, then invest in it that way. If life is all about you, then you will sow sparingly and reap accordingly. Be unsubmissive, harsh, selfish, dishonoring, uncaring, and proud. Seek your own way, be unforgiving and unhelpful, and never want what's best for each other and your married life will be a graveyard.

Or, decide it's about others, and in this case your spouse. If you want abundant joy and bountiful blessing, sow seeds of love and your harvest will be overflowing. It really is a determination to live as God says to. So whatever and wherever you are in the marriage continuum, begin right now by living God's word and you'll do the same while or when you get married.

Willingly follow God's headship, having an internal beauty revealed by the kindness of responses, the honoring, understanding, and loving. You'll be amazed at the goodness of your relationship as you enjoy the goodness of God's blessing upon you. Before I pray, let's take a Selah moment to think about what was said. How are you doing in your relationship as a husband or wife? Or how are you doing in your pursuit of one day being a Godly husband or wife? Do your present relationships reveal you to be a man or a woman who would easily live as Christ wants you to in your future marriage?

Or do you need to make some adjustments? Ask the Lord right now in this quiet moment to either help you continue being all you are presently trying to be or to change to be more conformed to His will in this regard. We'll take our quiet Selah moment right now and then please join your hearts with me as I close in prayer audibly. Let's pray. Father, thank you for telling us to live our marriages like you designed the church and your son to relate one to another. Help us to pursue first century commands so that we can enjoy 21st century blessings because of and through your son's power. Amen. You've been listening to a message preached by Dr. John Layman, pastor of member care at Hampton Park Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina. Join us again next time as we'll hear another sermon from the Bob Jones University Chapel platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-08 01:17:54 / 2023-03-08 01:28:58 / 11

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