What God Expects of a Married Woman Living in the Real World
Part of the “Bow the Knee” Series
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
DATE: 24 Feb, 2008 PM
PLACE: BBC Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Mark 3:25; 2Cor 2:11)
A. In spite of what you may feel and think, the HOME was originally created perfect - wonderful - a heaven on earth!
B. But Satan hates the home! He hates it the most! It was the FIRST thing he attacked in the garden, and he won’t stop until he is finally cast into the lake of fire! And he seeks to destroy it, devour it by division WITHIN the home!
C. Jesus told us that a house divided against itself will fall. How true that is! Many homes are broken homes because there was one too many people trying to be the leader in that home.
D. This month we are attempting to repair some divisions
E. This morning we looked at two of the Eight Priorities of a Real-World-Wife!
F. There are several privileges that belong to the wife. For instance:
1. She is to be loved like Christ loved the church as commanded in Ephesians 5:25. That is a TALL order!
2. According to 1Peter 3:7, she is to be honoured as none other is honoured in your life!
3. According to Prov 31:28, she is to be praised by her family most of all!
G. But there are some Priorities for a wife in the Bible – some things that she HAS to keep her focus on
1. In Titus 2:3-5 we read a list of the responsibilities of the wife.
2. All of these are important and vital for a home not only to survive, but to THRIVE!
3. But believe me, none will be easy without the wife having very bended knees, a very humble heart, and a very yielded spirit to the word of God, and to the Lordship of Jesus Christ!
H. What are God's priorities for women? Eight priorities of a godly wife are spelled out in Titus 2:3-5 where Paul exhorts the older women to teach young women…
1. to be sober
2. to love their husbands
3. to love their children
4. to be discreet
6. keepers at home
8. obedient to their own husbands
I. These are for real wives, living in the real world, NOT in a fairy-tale kind of world, but in the world that the Bible was written for - a world that doesn’t make sense, doesn’t work right, and is constantly falling apart and letting us down. That is the kind of world that God calls godly wives to shine in!
J. Did you notice the end of verse 5? Failure to live according to these eight priorities will cause the Word of God to be blasphemed (i.e., abused, dishonoured, damned). But…, a wife who orders her life according to these priorities will honour God's Word, and will herself be honoured!
II. Review - Eight Priorities of A Godly Wife (Part 1)
A. First, wives are commanded to be Sober – sensible!
1. God starts with the mind! This is the FIRST thing that God wants worked on in you – and that is your mind – why?
a. Because our adversary, the devil takes advantage of you being unaware of his tactics (1Peter 5:8)
b. Because it is with our minds that we make decisions
c. When our HEARTS are allowed to guide us, we crash (Jer 17:9)
2. So, what does it mean to be sober?
a. Sober means to be mentally stable; to bring someone to his senses, Thoughtful, Wise, Not Ignorant but Well aware of what you are doing, how you are doing it, and where you are headed
b. It is the same quality that should characterize a pastor (1:7,8), all older men (2:2), and, in fact, all believers (2:11,12).
c. A young married woman has great pressures of married life and exhausting work in modern child rearing. There is great opportunity for depression and bitterness to creep in. The older woman's counsel enables the young woman to be occupied with a relationship with Jesus Christ, to see life "with eternity's values in view", to make decisions from the wisdom of God's viewpoint.
d. The opposite of sobriety is flippant, carelessness, frivolity, simpleton
e. Too many women are trading in this Bible for the amusement of this world, and of the pleasures of self
B. Secondly, Wives Are To Love Their Husbands.
1. A plain and simple command.
2. There are no conditions or exceptions given. Go on, take a look for your self, and see if God says, “if” or “but” or “except in such and such a case”
3. Ladies, loving your husband is no great accomplishment – but not loving them is a sin!
4. Even unlovable, uncaring, unfaithful, and ungrateful husbands are to be loved. Hmmmm. Have I lost some of you? You see, this is where we live – in the real world, filled with very imperfect men that are hard to love… and yet Christ commands a wife to love her man!
5. We talked about what it means (get the DVD)
III. Message - Eight Priorities of A Godly Wife (Part 2)
A. Thirdly, Wives Are To Love Their Children.
1. What a strange command! "To love their children."
a. Most women really believe they are loving their children – and they are very offended if someone even INFERS that they might not be
b. Most men actually think they are loving their wife well – and they are greatly offended if someone hints that they really aren’t – that they really are just being selfish!
c. Wouldn’t it be good to just drop our guard and listen to God’s viewpoint?
2. A well known psychologists wrote, "The point at which many marriages fail is in OVER-investing in the children and UNDER-investing in the marriage." I find this to be very often true!
3. An example:
a. We KNOW that is it wicked and wrong for a woman to ignore her children, and refuse to meet their needs, don’t we? We call it negligence
b. Let me say, that it is just as wicked to abandon your husband ladies, to refuse to honour and bless him! Think about it that way, and your husband will take on a different value!
4. Wrong Order of love today! The world has changed this order around. Most women love their children more than they do their husbands. Don’t you find that odd? They didn’t marry their children… something happened that cause them to think that loving their children would bring them better rewards… wrong! It usually causes you to lose BOTH your husband AND your children!
5. What kind of love should it be?
a. This love is just like the love of the spouses is supposed to be for each other – it should be selfless and sacrificial.
b. Your love towards your children cannot be based on their personality, intelligence, attractiveness or worthiness, but on their need.
1) What is their greatest need? We know it is LOVE, but WHO’S love?
2) Too many parents think THEIR love is all their kids need!
3) But a child’s heart was fashioned by God to know and enjoy the love of God!
4) So, the most important responsibility of love for believing parents is to lead their children to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Showing them God’s love and patience, and His ways in your home!
5) Mothers are to love their children in every way - practical, physical, social, moral, and spiritual - with a love that has no conditions and no limits. This kind of love, to be fully expressed, is extremely demanding as the mother seeks to fulfil her obligation to raise godly children (see 1 Timothy 2:15).
6. You wonder why a young woman has to be taught to love her own children. But for Christians, due parental concern goes far beyond natural “maternal love” (which does not usually have to be taught). What God is asking a Mom to to is love them to Christ - bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4).
a. This includes Biblical child training, Christian education, teaching manners and dress, respect for privacy and property, respect for authority, especially the authority of God, their dependence on God, their love for the Lord Jesus Christ and for the Word of God.
b. A child must learn as early in possible the means of having victory over sin, from the standpoint of staying in fellowship with God and in developing freedom from chronic, fear, worry, cruelty, bitterness, envy, hatred, maligning, gossiping, judging, revenge seeking, and so forth. Along with this is the freedom from the need to sublimate through alcohol, drugs, or fornication.
c. The result of victory over sin patterns in the life is the freedom from divine discipline and from the self-induced misery caused by sin with and the accompanying neuroses and psychoses brought on by chronic sin.
d. In all phases of life, your child should develop a set of Bible standards by which to make decisions which come from divine viewpoint. They get those standards easiest from their parents!!!
e. That’s a lot to teach our children – she needs her husband’s help!
7. True Parental love is…
a. Not permissive, but firm (Prov 29:15; 1Sam 3:13)
b. Not only practical, but moral and pure (Deut 6:6,7)
c. Not scheduled, but both spontaneous and consistent – kids need lots of love-surprises
d. Not based on feelings only, but on your choice
e. Not airy-fairy, but focused on the goal of godliness in them (2Tim 1:5; Acts 16:1)
8. All of you ladies probably love your children, but if the truth be known, you would probably wish to know how to love them better. Well good then! That’s the right start!
9. To love your children well – that is the goal! To affect them for good, and to save them from the scars and stupidities of our selfishness!
B. Fourth, Wives Are To Be Discreet. Careful
1. A Mother, especially a young mother needs to be careful of the following things:
a. Of ignoring modesty – not careful in how she dresses
b. Of rejecting shamefacedness – of not feeling any shame
c. Of not being feminine – God made you feminine, be what God designed you to be!
d. Of your words
e. How you sit! Guys don’t really have to worry, but ladies do!
f. How you walk – are you attracting too many looks? You should have TWO ways of dressing, walking, and talking
1) One to those outside the bedroom
2) And another inside the bedroom!
g. Both men and women have to be taught about sin, about true love and marriage, about proper behaviour between sexes, so that they can avoid sin and experience God's blessings in life to the maximum.
h. Young ladies need to be taught about touching, and fondling , and young men need to be taught about looking, and learning things that are for later (1Cor 7:1,2)
2. "Discreetly" refers to moral control, to keeping passions, especially sexual passions, under control until married. 1Peter 3:3-6 gives similar instruction to women.
3. All Christian women, and especially young wives are to "adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works." (1 Tim. 2:9-10).
4. "Modesty" refers to a healthy sense of shame at saying anything, doing anything, or dressing in any way that would cause a man to lust.
a. Are you careful how you talk to your husband? Remember Vashti
b. Are you careful about how you talk to your children?
c. Are you careful how you dress and carry yourself?
d. Are you careful to show preference to your husband when he is around?
6. The older ladies in this church are SO NEEDED for our current generation! NO ONE IS useless in Bible Christianity!
C. Fifth, Wives Are To Be Chaste. Pure
1. This goes hand-in-hand with the previous word, DISCREET
2. Meaning: "Pure, modest, innocent, blameless, restrained"
3. This refers to moral purity, and, especially in this context, to sexual purity and marital faithfulness.
4. It includes the idea that her mind and heart needs to be clear of bitterness, and unforgiveness, and hatred, and wrath – all of which defile, dirty up the life, and the entire HOME (Heb 12:15)
D. Sixth, Wives are to be Keepers at Home. Home-Makers
1. One of the hardest things for many contemporary wives to do is be satisfied with being a homemaker. Part of the reason is that our modern world ethos produces boredom, dissatisfaction, and often increased temptations.
a. It used to be that survival of a home required immense amount of work by everyone, especially the Dad and Mom
b. But today, modern appliances, and smaller families have made it so that women have gone searching for a “piece of the action”
c. Women who have no children or whose children are grown obviously have fewer obligations in the home and therefore much more time available, and the point is not so much that a woman's place is in the home as that her responsibility is for the home. She may have a reasonable outside job or choose to work in the church or to help in a Christian organization, a hospital, a school, or many other ways. But the home is a wife's special domain and always should be her highest priority. That is where she is able to offer the most encouragement and support to her husband and is the best place for extending hospitality to Christian friends, to unbelieving neighbours, and to visiting missionaries or other Christian workers.
2. The feminists, in trying to live in a man's world, have taken the role of women lower then they have ever been.
a. Could it be that it is women who have started the moral decline in “Christian” Europe?
b. Not only is it a departure of God's design for the home for women to work, but it also affects the work of the Lord.
c. When a married woman works in the work force and someone else is taking care of her children, when the laundry is not done, the house uncleaned, the family fed unhealthy foods, when bringing in part of the income develops a woman’s spirit of independence, then the Word of God is being blasphemed!!!
3. Women are not "non-persons" when they stay at home, they are fulfilling one of their God-given ministries.
4. So what happens if you need the money?
a. It is the husbands responsibility to provide for the family's financial needs.
b. If you are living "outside" of your income, then you need to make sacrifices in order to live within it.
c. If the husband demands that you work, then you should submit to that UNLESS you can show him that you would be sinning in doing so--What I mean there is that if YOU go out to work, allowing your husband to be irresponsible or lazy, then you are sinning against God. It normally costs more for a woman to work then it does for her to stay home--in regard to "day care, hurried meals or fast food, gasoline, time spent with husband/children" She comes home exhausted and unable to care for her household, children, husband and most other responsibilities.
d. STAYING HOME does not mean you can sit around and watch "soap operas" all day. You are to be a "worker" and that means keeping the household in order, children in order, taking care of your husbands needs. There is TOO much to list here that a woman's work involves!!
5. In regard to being workers at home, young Christian wives today must take special care to consult with their husbands deciding how much time can be spent in activities outside the home, whether at a paying job or in some form of service. When they have a genuine desire to obey and honour the Lord in all things and to conscientiously seek guidance from His Word and in prayer, they can be assured that He will provide the necessary wisdom and resolution.
6. Whether or not a woman works outside the home, God's primary calling is for her to manage the home.
a. That is the most exalted place for a wife.
b. The world is calling many modern women out of the home, but not the Lord. His Word portrays the woman's role as one preoccupied with domestic duties. It is a high calling, far more crucial to the future of a woman's children than anything she might do in an outside job.
7. There is nothing in Scripture that specifically forbids a woman from working outside the home as long as she is fulfilling her priorities in the home
8. The Proverbs 31 woman…
a. Is making clothes and selling them
b. Buying and selling property
c. She has her own garden that she manages and sells the produce from it
d. She is one busy women, and LOVES it
e. But the key to notice is that her life is linked to her home
f. A man’s life is linked to his work, to his career
9. The ultimate decision is a personal one that each woman must make in submission to her husband's authority.
10. Obviously, a single woman would be free to work and pursue outside employment.
11. A married woman with no children is perhaps a little more restricted in the amount of time and energy she can devote to an outside job.
12. A woman who is a mother obviously has primary responsibility in the home and would therefore not be free to pursue outside employment to the detriment of the home. In fact, from a parental perspective it is difficult to see how a mother could possibly do all that needs to be done in the home with the upbringing of children, hospitality, care of the needy, and work for the Lord (cf. 1 Timothy 5:3-14) and still work in an outside job.
13. Indeed, any wife who fulfils God's priorities in her life and home will be a busy lady. However, her children and her husband will rise up and call her blessed, and a woman who fears the LORD shall be praised (Proverbs 31:28,30).
E. Seventh, Wives are to be Good – Good through and through
1. The meaning of which is obvious.
2. They are to be gentle, considerate, amiable, congenial, and sympathetic, even with those who are undeserving and unkind to them.
3. To be like God is, "for [God] Himself," Jesus said, "is kind to ungrateful and evil men" (Luke 6:35; Ps 145:9).
4. Listen to Proverbs 31:12, and 1Cor 13:4-6
A. Oh there is so much more… a lifetime of growing and developing as a wife
B. Jesus told us that a house divided against itself will fall. How true that is! And he seeks to destroy it, devour it by division WITHIN the home!
C. This month we are attempting to repair some divisions
1. I have showed you some things the husband has to make as priorities
2. This morning we have looked at just three things a wife has to make as priority
D. There are several privileges that belong to the wife
E. But there are some Priorities for a wife in the Bible – some things that she HAS to keep her focus on
F. These things are not pie-in-the-sky talk. This is not to lay a guilt-trip on anybody! These are for real wives, living in the real world, who don’t want the devil to ruin another home – their home!
G. We only looked at the first seven
1. to be sober
2. to love their husbands
3. to love their children
4. to be discreet
6. keepers at home
H. There is one more to come next Sunday evening at 7pm. Stay tuned for the hardest part yet!
I. Look to Jesus Christ and get the life he offers to everyone in this room!