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Relationship Goals // Marriage Goals // Pastor Josh Evans

Union Grove Baptist Church / Pastor Josh Evans
The Truth Network Radio
February 28, 2024 1:12 pm

Relationship Goals // Marriage Goals // Pastor Josh Evans

Union Grove Baptist Church / Pastor Josh Evans

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February 28, 2024 1:12 pm

Pastor Josh continues his series on relationships as he looks at the marriage relationship from Ephesians 5.

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And what a tremendous, tremendous worship and time of worship together. And I always appreciate Bob and his team and the choir and everybody that put so much into leading us to the throne room each and every week. And I appreciate each one of them. Well, listen, I appreciate you being here today and it is a rainy, rainy Sunday. And typically the Lord likes to test my patience on Sunday to see who's going to come to church on a rainy Sunday. And I'm glad that you are here and I appreciate your faithfulness and you being here on a very rainy, rainy Sunday morning. Also, if you're tuning in online, I want to thank you for jumping in on this or if you're tuning on Truth Network, we appreciate you being here.

We don't always welcome them, but it's glad that they are part of our service as well, even if it's from a distance. Well, if you have your Bible, go to Ephesians Chapter number five today. Last week, we kicked off a brand new series here at Union Grove and it was called Relationship Goals.

In fact, let's all say that together. Relationship goals. And these are just as we approach any time you approach the month of February, you think about relationships and different things.

I know typically this is like the love month, so you always go to kind of that marriage relationship and that kind of thing. But this series, we are looking at Ephesians Chapter five and Ephesians Chapter six on some very important relationships that all of us have. In fact, last week we looked at relationships at at your work and your career. All of us who work or have worked or going to work, you're going to have relationships with people that maybe you don't agree with all the time and different things like that. And what does the scripture say and how we are to relate to each one of those? And the reason for this series is because I feel like we a lot of times allow culture and our flesh to determine what our relationships look like.

A lot of times we allow culture and what's around us to determine what our relationships look like at work, in our marriages, with our children and things like that. And I want you to know that the scripture gives us some very specific things about all of those different relationships and how we should relate to people. And here's the goal. Here's the big idea for the series.

Series in a nutshell is this. The goal of all relationships is Christ's likeness. In fact, let's say that together. The goal of all relationships is Christ's likeness. In fact, that's the goal of life. That's the goal that that you should have is to bring him glory and to reflect him and everything that you do. But in this series, that's the goal for all of your relationships.

Do your relationships at work and how you relate, whether that be like we looked at last week, how that relates to how you treat your boss or the people below you. You should reflect Christ in your relationships. And then today we are going to be looking at the marriage relationship. We're going to look at marriage relationships as we approach this week. I appreciate the reminder, Bob, about Valentine's Day that is happening this week.

So, guys, don't be on Amazon during the next few moments kind of searching for something to get. Don't be Googling top 20 gifts to give your wife at Valentine's this year. And not saying I've never done that, but but just understand we'll be talking about marriage relationship. I understand any time we talk about marriage, there's a group of people in here that aren't married.

Maybe you have been married or are you just marriage is not even in your foreseeable future. And I want you to know we can all learn something from this. So I don't want you to just kind of completely say, hey, I'm tuning out, especially if you're young in here today.

I know you're thinking, you know, like my kids, they're not thinking about this at all. So this is kind of a Sunday that they can just kind of turn out or tune out. And I want you to know if you're young in here today, that this is something that will impact you one day. And so it's important that you learn these lessons and really see this for what scripture has to say about the marriage relationship. And this is probably as important as any week of this whole series. And you say, why?

Why is that? And here's why I truly believe this as a pastor, that the health of our church, the health of Union Grove Baptist Church is going to be determined by the health of the families that are represented in this room. I truly believe that. I believe that if you want a healthy church, if we want a healthy Union Grove Baptist Church, and I think every single one of us do, then here's what that is going to require of us. It's going to require that all of us learn how we are to live and model the relationships in our homes that should reflect Christ in everything. And that's what's going to determine the health of a church. And so it's a super important.

It's also an important topic today because I think and I want to go ahead and say this. I think marriage and traditional marriage is trying to be redefined by the culture that we're living in. And so this is something that is getting attacked from all angles, from all of the culture, from all of the media, all of the television shows that you watch, all the movies that you see, all of them are attacking marriage for what it is. And for that reason, marriages are falling apart. Marriages are falling apart. Everywhere we turn around, it's not uncommon for marriages to be falling apart. And so this is super important for us to address any time that I speak on marriage. I also want to say a couple more things, just as they're all introductory thoughts and things like that. But I want you to know that Abby and I, as we talk about this, because I know what it's like, you know, when I was not preaching every week and I attended church and I sat kind of like you are, I know what that's like.

You kind of show up to the room and you're just assuming that whatever the person in front of you is talking about has to be an expert on all those things. I want you to know that Abby and I's marriage is not perfect, OK? And so some of you look very surprised. And so, listen, all you got to do if you want to kind of put that to the test, just ask us to go out for an evening one night and you're going to find out real quick that our marriage is not perfect, OK? And so I want you to understand we still have disagreements and everything like that. So everything that I say is what scripture says. I don't always live this the way that I should.

I want you to know that up front. But another thing that I always mention about this, because if this is where you are today, I want you to know this, that I am not a licensed marriage counselor. So if you're in here today and as we look at what the scripture says about the marriage relationship and you're looking at this and you kind of stumbled in here, maybe with your spouse or maybe you're by yourself or something like that, and your marriage is on the rocks and you are nearing the point of divorce, I want you to know something that this right in here might not solve every problem that you have. You might need some extra help from a Christian counselor that we would love. Our pastoral staff would love to help you take that step. OK, so I don't want you to look at this today and be like, wow, all I need to do is have one conversation with Pastor Josh and everything's going to be solved. Maybe you need some extra help and we are here to help you in your marriage relationship.

But that's all by way of introduction. But Ephesians Chapter five, here's what the apostle Paul is saying, is the big idea here is he's talking about how marriages, we are all built differently, right? We are all built differently. How many of you would say I'm married to somebody that is different than me? OK, that's all of us. You know, that's very true with with Abby and myself. You know, one of the ways that I find this to be true actually happened just recently of our differences is this. And this is a regular occurrence.

Women want a lot of details about a lot of things, don't they? And I don't understand that. And so so recently I told I can't say who this is, but recently I told Abby, I said, hey, guess what? So and so is going to have a baby.

OK, that's all the information that I need right there. And, you know, she asked me when I told her, she said, well, when's the baby do? Said, I didn't ask that. She said, is it a boy or girl? I didn't ask that. Well, how did it when did they find out?

When are they due? She asked me all these questions and I was like, listen, I didn't I didn't ask for that. The fact that they're pregnant, all the information that I need to know.

OK. And so, like, that's something that we're always I can talk to my dad for an hour on the phone and we'll be talking about everything under the sun. I get off the off the phone call and she asked me all these questions and I'm just like, we didn't talk about that. We didn't talk about that.

We didn't talk about that. And she's like, what did you talk about for an hour? They want a lot of information and we are different in a lot of ways. Here's one thing that I saw even recently.

We were, you know, out of town the last couple of days. And we see this all the time. And guys, I don't know if you can relate to this, but this is just how we are built differently. One of the things that stresses me out when I'm with my wife more than anything else is trying to find the right parking spot at anywhere that will please her. And here's what I mean.

Here's what I mean. I'm just telling you is that for me, it's like when I go into I seriously struggle with anxiety. I need to be on medication when I go into parking lots. And so. But here's the thing is when I go to into a parking lot is that Abby will always like if I park far away because I just assume all the close spots are gone.

Here's what I have to listen to. Man, look how far away could we not have parked away any further than this. Right. But here's the thing.

If I try to look for a closer parking spot, it always takes me too long to find one. OK. And so here's what I'm saying. We all relate to life differently. And you're no different than your your spouse. You guys are different and you're born different. And the scripture has very specific things about the differences in the marriage relationship.

In fact, I saw a video yesterday and this is actually funny. And because I was studying about this, this happened to show up on my feed on Instagram and and it said this. It was talking about the marriage and how how everything's different. And this guy said he likes to think of men like rivers. We always are heading kind of one direction. And he said, but women are like oceans.

They're dangerous. There are all sorts of things he tried to think about that. And I was like, hey, that fits it perfectly.

Probably shouldn't have said that. And if you're looking for another church, I can recommend a few good ones to you after this. But here's the here's the thing is we are all different in Ephesians Chapter five.

Talk specifically about the differences in the marriage relationship. I mentioned this last week, and this is so important for you to understand as we look at the exposition of Ephesians Chapter five. It's important that you understand the the context of the Book of Ephesians and how it was written. The apostle Paul was writing to a real church. He's writing to a church like this one.

Right. And he's writing to this church at Ephesus. And they were struggling with a lot of different things. A lot of the Ephesus was kind of like a port city. And so there was a lot of people coming and going in the city of Ephesus. And what was happening is a lot of the pagan culture of these other cultures was kind of making its way into the city of Ephesus because there were so many people coming and going. And so if you go in Ephesus, there's a lot of different or they were known for a lot of different places with temple, different worships of different gods and different things like that. And so what was happening is a lot of that was infiltrating itself into the church at Ephesus. So there was a lot of people who would profess to know Jesus. They called this their home church.

But they were starting to drift away from that and starting to allow some of these other pagan cultures to influence them. So Paul is writing specifically about that. And he's writing to them. And then in the first three chapters, chapters one, two and three, he talks all about your identity in Christ. He talks all about who you are in Christ. He talks about the gospel. And he gives a deep dive into what the gospel is and how the gospel has the power to change your life. Chapter four, we see a transition and in chapters four, five and six, we see the apostle Paul changing to our behaviors. His point and why he wrote it this way is he wanted all of us to understand that the gospel is the foundation that can change your life and give you the supernatural power inside of you to live out what he's going to tell you to live out in your marriage relationships.

In your work relationships and your parent child relationships. So it's the gospel that is the power in you that can help you live out the things that he's saying here. So in Ephesians chapter five, we're going to jump in verse number 21 says this. Verse number 21 says, submitting yourselves, that's one another, both of you, one to another in the fear of God.

Here's what I want you to understand. When he's talking about submission, he's talking about both. He's talking about the marriage.

He's talking about your life with your husband or with your wife. The fear of God is the motive for submission. The fear of God is the motive of submission. And then he jumps down in verse number 22 and he gets very specific about the wife and he gets very specific about the husband. Here's what he said in verse number 22. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord. OK, now, women, I know that this is probably your life verse and I get it.

And that's a joke. And so but here's the thing. You know, if you go into places, my wife loves this kind of stuff. If you go into places like Hobby Lobby and places like that, you know, when you go into the decorative section and they have like all these pillows with verses and all this stuff. It is well with my soul and things like that. When you see all that, here's what I've never gone on those aisles and seen wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands. It's not there.

It wouldn't be it wouldn't be sold and nobody would be would be buying it. But he said wives submit or you could say it yield yourselves unto your husbands as unto the Lord. We're going to do a deep dive into what that means here in a moment. But then he goes on first number 23 and he gives the why for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. And he is the savior of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

OK, verse number 25. Husbands love your wives. And then he gives us the reason how even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. This is the design and really the goal of your marriage.

When your marriage is functioning and your marriage relationship is functioning the way that God has intended it from Ephesians Chapter five. Here's the goal that he might sanctify that set it apart. He might cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. Verse number 27, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So all men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself for no man ever yet hateth his own flesh. So as Paul is writing this, he's talking, you know, he gives very specific instruction to women and how they are to treat the man of the house. And then he gives very specific instruction to how the husband should treat the wife. And he says that you should love their wife as their own bodies.

In other words, what he's saying is this. And he goes on in verse number 29, no man ever yet hateth his own flesh. His point is this, is that men, we all love ourselves, right? We do.

Every single one of you, you do. And you want what's best for you. That's kind of how all of us are built. And the point is what Paul is saying here is that we should love our spouse the same way that we love ourselves. In fact, we should love our spouse as strongly as we love our own self. So he says, verse number 29 again, but nourisheth and cherish it that even as the Lord, the church, you see that mentioned in all these relationships. And that's why the goal of all these relationships, it's Christ's likeness, because you see over and over and over and over again, whether it be the work relationship, whether it be the marriage relationship, whether it be parents and children, here's the thing.

We should treat them as unto the Lord. Then he says in verse number 30, for we are members of his body, of his flesh, of his bones. For this call shall man leave his father and mother, Genesis 2 24, and shall be joined unto his wife. And they too shall be one flesh.

In Genesis chapter two, it mentions the word cleave. In other words, you leave your father and mother and you are to cleave. You're supposed to become one with your spouse. And so here he's talking about the marriage relationship. And I know there's a ton and we're going to unpack all this together because this can be taken out of context in a lot of different ways. And so I want to be as very biblical and specific as we possibly can here today.

But the big idea that I want you to understand is this. Depending on where you're at, a healthy marriage can be experienced when the husband and wife embrace their God-given roles. All of us want health in a marriage, right? If you're married in here today, that's what you want. If you're young in here today and potentially you're going to get married one day, here's the thing. Nobody sets out to have a marriage that fails.

Nobody does. That's not the goal. I've never seen anybody, you know, give those vows at the altar, right? No, everybody says the same thing for better or for worse. That's the goal, you know, and we're going to do this. And I've done numerous weddings and that's always the same goal in mind, but that's not always what happens. And here's why a healthy marriage, it can be experienced. In fact, every single one of you can experience a healthy marriage today.

If you're in here and you're like, man, my marriage is struggling. Here's really the big idea and the ticket behind it is this. The husband and wife have to embrace their God-given roles in order for a healthy marriage to be experienced.

That's the idea. And that's what you find here in Ephesians Chapter five. He's talking about these specific roles. And so let's look first at this, the nature of the God-appointed roles in marriage. I want to look at what do these roles look like? What do these roles mean?

And I want you to, I'm going to tell you this up front. God designed us differently. He designed us specifically different according to his perfect design. And so as we look at the differences of these two roles between a husband and a wife and how they are to work together to present the image of Christ to everybody that they come in contact with, I want you to know that these are not roles that were created by me. These were not roles that were created by culture. These were not roles that were created by any other thing. These were roles that were created by the creator himself. So don't get upset about the way that these roles work.

This is what God designed for all these things to have. And so here's what I want you to know as we think about roles is this idea. Equal value, different roles. So what I always mention when I do premarital counseling, here's what I try to always tell them. Equal value, different roles.

And it's super important that you understand that because here's the danger. When we talk about roles being different, when we talk about our roles in a marriage being different, we tend to place the value as a rank. We tend to place the role that we're going to look at as a rank.

And here's the point. We have equal value. The husband and wife, I want you to know that depending on your upbringing, church background, things like that, listen, you have equal value. Every woman, you have equal value.

Man, you have equal value. But the scripture says you have different roles. The scripture is clear that you have different roles.

You say, what are these roles and what do they look like? The first thing, we'll start with the husband. So husbands, if you've kind of tuned me out here, tune back in for just a moment and everything and tune in. And I know this is the wife's favorite part of the whole message right here.

OK, the next few moments that we have. And but here's what I want you to know. The husband's primary role is this. It's to lead.

And you could say it this way. It's to lovingly lead his wife. Here's what you see here in verse number 23, 25.

It's clear as day. Verse number 23, for the husband is what is the what? For the husband is the head.

In fact, let's do this, because a lot of a lot of people have said that was women. And so here's the thing. All the men for the husband is the head. Here's the point. You see it in verse number 23.

And then you also see it in verse number 25. Husbands love your wife, even as Christ also loved the church and he gave himself for it. Here's the point of what the husband's role in a marriage relationship should look like. It's in one word. Headship. It's in headship.

That's the point. It's being the leader. And here it gives us the specific. You can't get more clear than that. It gives us the model of what headship should look like.

Being the leader. And here's the model. Men, I want you to get this. The way that this looks and the way that you should function is the way that Christ loved the church. The way that Christ treated us is the way that we should treat our spouse. That's the point.

That's the model. That's the expectation. Now, if you've grown up in church your whole life, now I have. I've been in church my whole life, so I've heard this a thousand times. And I've kind of heard these verses a hundred times and things like that. And so I get it.

You might say, what exactly does that look like? Does that mean dominance? Does that mean that the man gets his way no matter what? Does that mean, and let Max be quiet, OK? Does that mean just pure dominance in the home? Because here's the thing. There's a lot of people that would interpret that that way. And that might be, I don't know what your upbringing was, that might be what you have seen.

And I want to give you some specifics of this and practical things about what I think that looks like. The first thing that I think scripture is clear on about how we lead in the home. Men, I want you to get this.

If you don't ever take notes, this might not be a bad time for you to throw this in your phone or something. The first way that we lead is this. We lead her by providing for her provision.

Now, I think that the scripture is very clear if you go back to the very beginning when creation had happened. You know what God gave the man before he gave him a spouse? A job.

I'm not saying that to be funny. He did in the garden. You know what the man's role was before the woman even came? To look after the garden. That was his job. And so the point is, I believe that there's a scriptural principle here that for men, you should provide.

You should be providing because you see the picture here. That's a way that you lovingly lead. It's through the way that you get up and you go to work and you provide for your family. The second thing that I think you see here in scripture is this.

You're supposed to lead her spiritually. Now, for me, this is not what this means because I have heard this from time to time. I'm a pastor and so I hear this from time to time in my home. Don't preach to me. Men, how many of you have ever heard that before?

Any of you? OK, I've heard that. Hey, don't preach to me. Right. And so here's what this is not. This doesn't mean that I go home and I'm like, hey, family, sit down and let me teach you for a little bit. OK, that's not what that means. But there is a scriptural principle here that you do not need to miss.

Men are to lead their homes spiritually. I don't want you to miss that. And here's the thing. I think we have gone so far away from that in our culture.

Here's why I know that. You look at most TV shows, you look at most movies and different things like that. What culture has done is it's completely demeaned headship in the man in the home altogether. You see that in our culture. And not only that, I'll go a step further because culture, most of them are unbelievers. So what do we expect?

Right. Let's go inside our church for a moment and see how this is actually something that has infiltrated itself into here. You see, that was happening in the church at Ephesus. I think it's a problem when we can't have enough ladies Bible studies in our churches. But we say a men's Bible study and we hardly get many signed up for it.

Got real quiet, didn't it? The point is, is I think our culture has shifted so far away from this. And by the way, ladies, I'm not demeaning you at all. Like, I think it's phenomenal that you guys are having Bible studies. You should. I think it's great that you are a spiritual leader.

I think those things are all phenomenal. And I think you should be doing those. God has gifted you in incredible ways and those things are important. But the point is, is that men, I want you to know something that you, if you forget anything that I say when you leave here. Here's what I want you to remember.

You were called by God to lead your home. That's the point. Don't forget it.

Don't miss it. Don't sacrifice it. That's your job. And you say, how in the world should I do that? Because if you're out there, you're probably like, I'm no pastor.

Like, how am I supposed to do that? He mentions it very simply. Verse number 26. I think this is a practical application for you. He says that he might, that's God, sanctify, cleanse it, your marriage with the washing of water by the word.

Here's the point. If you're like, man, I have no idea where to start to lead my home in a spiritual direction. Here's what I'd encourage you to start doing. I'd encourage you to start letting the word of God be implemented into your home.

Say, what does that even mean? When was the last time that you initiated in your house reading the Bible as a family together? When was the last time that happened? You say, oh, man, no, that never happens.

Or perhaps maybe my wife does that. Right. The point is, is that these are opportunities for you to allow the word of God to be inside of your home. And by the way, it's probably a better way to start is start reading it on your own in your personal life and then take that into your family to lead them, to lead your children, to lead your family in the direction that you feel God leading you to go.

It's the word of God. Another way that we lead is that we prioritize the gathering of the local church. Men, this should be something for you. Right. This should be something that you should prioritize your family to be involved in.

Right. I mean, I grew up in church my whole life. My dad, this was a huge thing for him and he led this way. I saw my dad reading his Bible every single night before bed. I'll never forget it. I remember watching that. And my dad was the one who we never miss church for nothing.

And he was I mean, and here's how hardcore he took it. I mean, it could be like, you know, eight inches of snow outside. Right. My dad's like, we're going. Oh, we might die on the way.

Yes, we might. But we are going right. That was how it was. And here's what that was like.

And I know here in today's culture, you know, it's OK to kind of go online if there's a blizzard out, because some of you really I don't want you to get hurt on the way here. But here's what's funny. It's like we get there and it was just us in the pastor. And the pastor, you know, it's just us. And so, I mean, did we have church?

Yes, we did. You know, I sat right on that front row along with my parents and there we were. You know, he preached right to me the entire time.

And I'm like, as a kid, you're thinking, man, I should be out playing in the snow right now. And here I am on a Sunday morning in a snowed in church. And the only other person there is the pastor. And the reason why he's there is he lived on the property.

He didn't have to go anywhere. Just walk. Right. But here's what I'll tell you today. I'm 38 years old. Church is a priority for me. You say, why is that? Perhaps it could be because I had a dad who led me that way. And so for you dads, this is your responsibility. Remember, it's not talking about rank. That we interpret headship as, man, we're the macho of the house. We're the leader. Right.

No, it's not about rank. It's about responsibility. It's about your responsibility to lead by providing to lead her spiritually. And then here's another way that we lead. And here's where we see it with Christ in the church. We're supposed to lead her sacrificially. Sacrificially. He mentions, as Christ loved the church.

That's the picture. What did Christ do for the church? He gave his life.

He gave his life for the church. That's the way that we are to lead our spouse. And you say, what does that mean? I thought we make all the decisions.

Right. One time we were driving, we were on a road trip and we could not decide. We're on a road trip, so we're trying to do food quick at a fast food spot.

And we're the type, like when I'm going, I'm ready to get there. And so I didn't want to stop and spend much time. So I'm trying to make this decision, you know, and I don't know if you're like this on a road trip, but we really can never agree to where we need to stop and get food ever. And I remember this been, you know, a year or so ago, I got in trouble for this, but I said because I was so frustrated because nobody could agree.

I was reading every sign and I was like, look, this place has 10 places. Surely we can agree because I don't want to stop in a lot of different places. And here's what I eventually said to my to my family. And this is I want you to know, this is not what this verse means. OK, here's what I said.

I am the leader of this house. I will make this decision. It's what I said. I was not happy.

I was mad. OK. And here's what I'm telling you. This is not what this means to lead her sacrificially. That's not what that means.

Like, here's the thing. It doesn't mean that you run around and that you get to choose everything that you want. And by the way, I have my own desires. I want to eat where I want to eat. I want to go where I want to go. I want to watch what I want to watch. I want to take out the trash when I want to take out the trash.

I have all the same desires, but here's the point. As we lead and we take up the responsibility and the role of headship, here's what that means. It is that many times we defer and we put the needs of our spouse above our own. That means that I'm going to lose most arguments about where we're going to eat. It means that I, as the leader, am going to lose most arguments about what channel the TV is on.

It means that I am going to lose most of those things. And then there's going to be a few things that are spiritual decisions that are my responsibility that I have to step up and I have to lovingly lead my family. You see, men, here's your responsibility in the home.

It's to lead. Wife, if you tune me out, or maybe you said amen ten times in the last five minutes, here's the thing. Here's your responsibility in the home. It's the wife's primary role is that of a helper. You see it in scripture. In fact, the scripture mentions it, this word, the word helpmeet. Here's what that word actually is, it's the same word that's used of God when scripture says in the book of Psalms that he is our help.

Isn't that interesting? And remember this, it's equal value, different role. It does not mean that you are less than, it does not mean that you are less important than him. It just means that your role is different. It does not mean the dominance of the man or that you are lesser.

It just means that your role is a tad bit different. Here's what I like to think about when we think of roles. For example, on our pastoral staff, we have three pastors. Myself, we have Pastor David, and we have Pastor Bailey.

And we got all three pastors. Here's what I want you guys to understand. And I hope that I treat them this way, and I hope that you feel this from me. We all have different roles. We all have different responsibilities. You know what my title is? Senior Pastor. You know who kind of has the final vote in a lot of things?

It's me. But here's what I want you to understand. My role is different, but my value, all three of us, we're equally valuable.

Do you understand that? That's the point of what the home should look like, is that even though the man has different responsibilities, he has a different role, there's equal value that is placed there. And the man's role is to lead.

The wife's role is to help. Biblical submission is something that has gotten out probably of context in a lot of ways of what that looks like. And so when we talk about submission, here's the idea. It's the word yield, is what that means in Greek. It means yield to the leadership and the responsibility of the man of the house.

Prime example, here's probably the best illustration that I can give you of what this means. A few years ago, when I got asked to come back here, we were living in Florida, and we were down there, and all of Abby's family is in Florida. So we're all there. I mean, we go to church with all of our cousins, they go to school together, and everything else. And so this was a very difficult decision.

And I felt strongly right off the jump that this was where God wanted me to be. So obviously, I'm not making that decision without my family. So I mentioned the entire family, and we did not agree right off the bat. Just going to be honest with you.

And it's not because of anything here. It's because, man, we were giving up and losing family and everything else. And for some of you who have been around your family your entire life, that's a huge deal. For us, it was no different. It was like, what is this going to be like with not having family within three hours of us and things like that?

Like, this is difficult, right? We're in kind of a dream setting here. So we began to really pray together and things like that. And here's kind of where my wife eventually got to. She said something to me that I'll never forget. And she said this, this is so important to understanding what this means. She said, and I won't forget it, she told me, she said, listen, you are the leader of this house, and if you feel that this is where God is taking us, we'll go. Now, does that mean that she didn't have a responsibility? She didn't have a voice?

Of course she had a voice. In my own prayer time, you know what I was saying? God, we're not on the same page in this. So you need to really change her heart or you need to change mine. Because I don't want to go and us not be on the same page.

And you know what God did? He allowed her to really show what this means. Because listen, we make decisions together. We're always going to make decisions together. But at the end of the day, the responsibility of a decision like that, it fell upon me and she yielded her life to that.

You see, that's what this means. That's what submission, it doesn't mean that you don't have a voice. Of course you have a voice. And men, if you don't give your spouse a voice, you're forsaking the empowerment that God wants to give her.

Of course she has a voice. Of course she has a responsibility. But our roles can be different. The beauty of the God appointed roles in marriage are this. He mentions in verses 25 through 28, spiritual health. When you as a husband and you as a wife live out your God appointed roles, it becomes a beautiful picture of Christ loving the church.

And he says it right here. He says this, that we will experience spiritual health. We'll experience spiritual health. You see it in the words sanctified, cleansed, and then he talks about the purification of a home. You see, when you guys are functioning, men, you're leading, women, you're helping.

Guess what? When that happens, here's what you experience. Spiritual health. Spiritual health.

The second thing that you see here is in verse number 31. You experience oneness. You experience oneness. He says, for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, shall be joined unto his wife, and they too shall be one flesh. It's this idea of leaving. It's this idea of leaving your homes behind and becoming one with one another. There's a unity here.

Okay? And then the third thing we see is that it reflects the gospel. You see, when you guys live out your God-designed roles for a husband and for a wife, here's what happens. It becomes a beautiful picture and it reflects the gospel to everyone around you. That's the point. That's the point. So when you say, I do, this is the goal. It's the gospel. That's the goal. It is that the way that you guys live and the way that you treat one another, when people look at you, they should be able to see Jesus and the way that he treated the church and the way that he led the church. That should be the picture of what your marriage looks like. That's the picture that he's given us. So you say, okay, I get that, pastor.

How do I do this? Where's the power come from? The power to live out the God-appointed role is simple. And I want you to know this, it's a foundational principle that you have to learn and it's found in chapters one through three. Remember, I said that the book of Ephesians, it was written very specifically, chapters one through three are about the gospel, right?

Chapters four, five and six, practical application. When the gospel comes in and becomes your foundation, it gives you the power, not you, but who's now living inside of you, the power to love your spouse the way that God told you to love your spouse. That's the point. The foundation is the gospel.

And you see it right before he jumps into this relationship. If you look in verse number 18, he says, be not drunk with wine, where in his excess. So he says this, be filled with the spirit, be filled with the spirit. You see, the point is the power for you to live out, whether that be the men lead, whether that be the women help.

Here's the point. The power for you to do that is not in you. If you leave here and you're just like, man, I'm going to try harder, do my very best, you're going to fall short every time. But if you leave here with a deeper understanding of what Christ has done for you, it will give you the power, not because of you, but because of who's living inside of you. That power will be unleashed in the way that you treat your spouse.

And here's why. The success of your horizontal relationship in marriage between your spouse is directly related to the success of your vertical relationship. You want to know what I found a lot of times when I talk to people that are maybe struggling in their marriage and things like that. Here's what's amazing to me is that we always think that the problems are with one another. Right, like you go through a problem, it's clearly because of this person.

Right. In my experience, you know where the problem usually lies? It's not because you've fallen out of love with your spouse. It's not because possibly they've fallen out of love with you.

You know what the problem a lot of times is? It's because we've lost sight of him. We've lost sight of him. He's not become the central point of our relationships. And for you that are in here, if you want a healthy marriage, listen, it starts with your relationship with God. That's where it starts. That's where it ends.

That is what makes the difference. It's your relationship with him. So I ask you this today. Where's your foundation?

Maybe you're married in here. Where's your foundation? Is your foundation on happiness? Is your foundation on the person next to you? Where's your foundation?

Because here's the thing. You have to build your life on a firm foundation. So when difficult times come, the foundation can stand secure.

That's the point. So like, where's your foundation? If you're in here today and you say, Pastor, my marriage is struggling. It's not what it it's not what it should be.

It's not what it should be. And I need some help. Here's the very best thing for you to do.

The help comes from him first. You need to get your life right with God. Maybe it's salvation. Maybe you're in here and you've been trying to do marriage without trusting Jesus as savior.

Listen, that is the foundation. The gospel is the empowerment of what you need. Maybe you need to come and give your life to Christ today. Maybe you need to come and say, I'm trying to do this in my own power and I can't do it.

I'm trying to love the people around me, my kids, my work relationships, all these different things, my marriage. I can't do this alone. I need the power. The power is not in me. It's not in my word. It's in him and his word. And his power can change your life and give you everything you need to love the people and treat them the way that Ephesians five and six tells us to. And that is unto the Lord. Can you bow your heads with me and let's all stand? This is what we call here an invitation time. It's just a time that we can respond to what what the word of God has told us. And if you're in here today, listen, nobody's judging you.

I promise you that that we are we do not intend to judge anybody. We don't always get that right. But here's the thing is if you're in here today and you say, Pastor, my foundation is not on the gospel. I'm in here today and maybe you don't know Jesus as your savior.

Maybe you've kind of slipped in here and you've been trying to, you know, work out your relationships on your own. And you say, Pastor, I don't know Jesus as my savior today. I'm lost.

I don't know him. If that's where you are today, I want you to be honest before me, before God here today. I'm not going to embarrass you. But if that's where you are, would you please slip up your hand?

High enough for me to see it long enough for me to recognize it. Anybody anywhere. Just say my foundation is not built upon him.

Anybody anywhere. Looks like we're talking primarily to a lot of Christians in here. Then listen, Christian, is your marriage relationship reflecting the gospel?

That's only a question that you can ask. You say, Pastor, it's not. Listen, then then make a decision today. I pray for God's courage to really to fill your heart today. Maybe today, if you're a dad in here, maybe you need to come forward and say, I have forsaken my responsibility and role in this marriage to lead spiritually.

And I'm going to start that this week. And if you're in here and you say, that's where I'm at here today, maybe you need to come pray. Women, maybe you've kind of forsaken some of your responsibilities and your roles. Listen, maybe you need to come. Couples, maybe you need to come together and pray that your lives together would reflect the gospel and be a picture of the way that Christ has loved you. I'm going to pray. And then if God spoke to you about anything, this this altar is open. It's a place for us to do business with God. It's a place for us to to pray.

It's a place for us to do any of those things. However, God spoke to you after I pray you can come. Father, God, give us the courage to make decisions. Give us the courage to respond to the word of God that was preached. Give us courage to respond to the Holy Spirit in leading. For it's in your name we pray. Amen. If God speaks to you, come. The altar is open. You can do business right there where you are as well.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-28 15:37:19 / 2024-02-28 15:56:39 / 19

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