The Love of the Christian Husband
July 22, 2018 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Nehemiah 4:10-14)
“Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight FOR your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”
A. As I have said three weeks in a row now, We Need to Fight FOR our families
1. You may think your wife, or husband, or children are the problem, but just remember, we have an enemy that uses the people closest to us, to destroy everything good.
2. Our enemy, Satan is warring against everything that God loves
a. And that includes every family here – no wonder the very ideal of a Christian home is under constant attack and mockery, and in distress
b. Too many homes / if not MOST families have been destroyed by Satan’s lies, and pressures, and temptations and sorrows – become just another statistic
c. Our homes need saving Gentlemen!
3. It starts in a very powerful way…
B. It Starts with Loving your Wife, Gentlemen
1. Probably THE most important thing you need to do well
a. NOT that you ignore loving your children
b. NOT that you fully understand your wife either
c. But that if you do THIS well, most problems in a home will greatly improve!
2. Men believe they already DO love their wives… enough
3. And we believe that the LAST thing we need is ADVICE on how to be a husband
4. But the truth is… we DON’T love like we should
a. We have believed and followed Hollywood’s style of love and attraction – using alcohol, and chocolates, and flowers, and just constantly giving in
b. Only to find that our efforts are based on a very selfish and destructive kind of love and lust
c. The truth is, We don’t love well
d. Not when we compare our efforts to love like Christ loves us!
C. Don’t think this doesn’t relate to YOU because you are a teenager, or not married, or that your marriage is already “nearly perfect”
1. You either will be married one day and this will help prepare you and give you the right perspectives on how YOU need to act
2. Or this will help you to understand Christ’s perfect love for the likes of messed up people like you and me
D. Understanding God’s view of marriage, and how to make it work, profoundly helps us understand God’s love for each of us, and all that Jesus does for US even though we don’t deserve it (Eph 5:31-32)
E. By-the-way. Have you ever thought about the fact that we husbands do so many things FOR love, and so little TO love? Ephesians 5 changes that!
II. Preview - What a Husband’s Love Should Look Like
A. In simple words, a Christian husband’s love life should look like Christ’s love for us
B. Does YOUR love for your wife look like that?
C. On a scale of 1 to 10, Let’s mark how well we think we are loving our wives
D. And at the end of this message, let’s see if we have been honest
III. So Far… What a Husband’s Love Should Look Like – Parts 1 & 2 (Ephesians 5)
A. A Husband’s Love is a Result of Being Spirit Filled (5:18; Gal 5:22)
1. A Christian man is NOT just one who is saved – believes in Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection in their place - but someone who is controlled by the Holy Spirit of God!
2. But being constantly FILLED with the Holy Spirit of God
a. We men forget this
b. We try everything else to fix things in our homes, besides trying to get right with God, and be open to His holy Spirit working in our hearts and thinking
c. Gentlemen, you NEED to be filled with the Holy Spirit instead of:
1) Filled with Drink – like too many married men turn to a can or bottle instead of God when they have problems at home
2) Or Sports – wrapped up in in it like an addict sometimes instead of their home
3) Or your Work and Career
4) Or just full of yourselves
d. DO YOU HAVE a walk with God, daily?
e. How many Men, and especially HUSBANDS in this room ACTUALLY ARE READING THROUGH THEIR BIBLE, every day, or at least almost every day?
f. How many of us are making the time to DAILY, fall on OUR knees, and cry out to God for wisdom, and help, and strength, and guidance, and love, and for the filling of the Holy Spirit in us?
3. Do you want to truly know how to love your wife?
4. Start with this Bible, and ask God’s Holy Spirit to help you obey it!
5. The source of a Christian man’s greatest love is not in any of us. Look again at Gal 5:22! God’s Holy Spirit is the SOURCE of a man’s best love
B. A Husband’s Love Submits to God and Others (Eph 5:21; 1Cor 7:3,4)
1. A Bible believing, born again Christian husband is indeed the head of his home (23)
2. But HE is subject to (under) two great powers over his life:
a. The Lordship of Jesus Christ (1Cor 11:3)
b. And the Needs of his Family (Eph 5:21)
c. Those two great powers govern your life now gentlemen! Or at least they should!
d. You are not your own boss anymore – you do not have the power to just do as YOU please – NOT if you are married!
1) You don’t choose what to do with your money anymore – it is not YOURS – it is your family’s, and THEY come first, not YOUR wants
2) You don’t choose what to do with your time – your time is owned by your family
3) You don’t choose what to do with your life and career plans -
e. 1Cor 7:3,4 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence (DUE SUBMISSION to THEIR NEEDS): and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of HER OWN BODY, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of HIS OWN BODY, but the wife.
f. Let that sink in!
C. A Husband’s Love Sacrifices Himself (Ephesians 5:25)
Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it
1. Jesus Christ loved us at LOSS to Himself – sacrificially
2. John 10:15,17,18 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep... Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
3. To “give yourself” means two things:
a. Be the Lover of your wife, not just “the husband” or “the man in your home” “Husbands, love your wives …”
b. Become the Loser for the sake of your wife. - Love your wife at a loss
1) Jesus LOST everything, just to love us
2) What will it cost YOU to be a Spirit Filled, Submitted-to-God kind of Husband?
3) It will cost you JUST about everything
a) Love almost always costs everything we have
b) And if you love your wife, you really won’t mind it!
4) Real love, and real lives are built not on happy times, or perfection or ease, but on SUFFERING and LOSS
c. So, Put her needs above your own
1) Treat her as More Important
2) Love your wife like Christ loves YOU
3) Love your wife BETTER than she deserves, give up yourself, your needs, your demands, your honour, and your riches, FOR her betterment
4) Even to the point of loss, and hurt, and ruin
5) It completely RUINED Jesus Christ’s life just to love this world!
4. Amazingly, surprisingly, miraculously, you will never be happier!
E. A Husband’s Love Sanctifies His Wife and Family (Ephesians 5:26,27)
1. What does it mean to Sanctify my wife?
2. It means to clean, to purify, to protect your wife from things that defile her
3. According to Ephesians 5, a HUSBAND can actually sanctify his wife and family – you can love you wife so powerfully by cleansing her past, her hurts, her fears and her weaknesses
1) Wash out the spots, and soiled places in their past with the GREAT PROMISES of God – like Romans 8:28
2) Iron out the wrinkles – not in skin, but in her thinking and feelings
3) Help your wife to be beautiful on the inside – and your daughters
4) It is how Christ Jesus works on US, making us beautiful, like a Bride prepares for her wedding without ANY wrinkle or spot on her dress
4. Gentlemen, one of the great gifts we can give back to God, are our wives and our children, clean, and strong, and prepared for Him to use and bless!
5. THAT is how a husband loves
IV.Message - Final Three Thoughts from Ephesians 5
A. A Husband’s Love Satisfies His Wife (Ephesians 5:28-20; 1Cor 7:32,33) - works to please HER
1. “Love your wife as much as you love YOURSELF”
2. What? Is that even possible?
3. Fact #1 Gentlemen, you will never make your wife perfectly happy
4. Fact #2 That is Christ’s job. Ladies, you had better learn this! Jesus must be your joy!
a. Getting married will NOT make you happy ladies
b. Having a perfect husband will not make you happy
c. Having a baby won’t make you happy
d. Getting a new house won’t make you happy
e. Only your own personal relationship and faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ every day will make you happy and joyful and contented, and fulfilled!
f. Everything else is cream on top!
5. Fact #3 But we husbands CAN and MUST seek to make them as happy as possible – more than we do normally
6. Here are God’s ideas…
a. Ditch the flowers and cards and chocolates… (at least for a little while)…
b. Determine to love your wife just as much as you love yourself!!! We already talked about this, but let’s review…
1) You probably keep yourself pretty content, and happy don’t you?
a) If you were left to yourself, and could do anything you wanted, you would probably do things that YOU want to do, right?
b) Well, there are now two you’s in you to keep happy.
2) The truth is,
a) You care for YOUR stomach far more than you do your wife I bet
b) You care about what pleases YOU more than what actually delights your wife
3) Try loving your wife in the exact same amount as you do yourself… or maybe even a bit more! It will be HARD
4) You will find it impossible at first, and frustrating, because… she doesn’t like what you like and has her own ideas about what makes for a great evening!
5) And you will have to start sacrificing a lot of the attention YOU normally spend on yourself, and on your sports, and on your favourite TV programs, and on your projects, and your job, and your needs… should I go on?
6) Do it gentlemen. Sacrifice all that so that you can bless and help and delight your wife, simply because Jesus commanded you to.
c. Just Do things as a gift to her – no strings attached
1) Actually doing things THEY like doing – ugh
a) Doing things THEY want done around the house, in a timely fashion – not 6 months after they ask “Ladies, if your husband says he fix it, he will. There is no need to remind him every six month about it!”
b) By hoovering, washing the ware, rubbing her feet, massaging her neck and back
c) Okay I just lost 90% of you older guys!
2) Do you even KNOW what SHE likes for you to do? What thrills HER?
a) Not just what restaurants she likes to eat at, or what TV shows she likes to watch
b) But what makes HER happy! What delights HER?
3) Pleasing our wives is supposed to be a part of our normal daily routine (1Cor 7:32,33)
4) Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Lord of heaven, does a lot of things just to please us – every good thing in our life is called a GIFT from God, simply given to please us (James 1:17)!
5) Find out what she likes you to do, and do it just for her – not all the time, but from time to time!
6) THAT’S loving your wife
d. God calls it, Cherishing her – wonderful word! It means to care about deeply – to value her more than anything else – to make her feel loved… (5:29)
1) Here is the definition of Cherish
a) To treat with tenderness and affection; to give warmth, ease or comfort to.
b) To hold as dear; to embrace with affection; to foster, and encourage.
c) To treat in a manner that encourages growth, by protection, aid, attendance, or supplying nourishment; as when cherishing tender plants or new-born animals.
2) 1 Th 2:7 We were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children.
3) Philp 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4) That means VALUE your wife more than you do YOURSELF or others
5) We are NOT given the OPTION of whether to do this – we are commanded
e. And also Nourish her – like you already do yourself
1) THAT means to supply what SHE needs to grow
2) How do you nourish your children?
a) By feeding them with healthy food
b) By giving them your attention and time
c) By feeding their minds and hearts
3) How do you nourish plants in the garden?
a) Making sure they are weeded, and watered, and fed, and in good sunlight
4) How do you nourish a retirement plan?
a) By putting into a regular amount of money – investing
b) NOT by constantly TAKING out of it
c) The truth is, we men TAKE so much from our wives with very little investment in them – very little nourishing!
5) It is up to us husbands to make sure that our wife what she needs to develop into the woman God designed her to be
6) So, DON’T ignore her needs, but meet those needs as best as you can, like you do your children’s needs without question! Like you do your business’ needs
f. Delight in her
1) Be satisfied with her alone. Proverbs 5:18,19 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
2) I have some news for you gentlemen
a) Your wife is NOT from Venus
b) She is and always has been a GIFT from God! (Mark 10:7-9) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
c) So, Love your wife as the gift that she is – no matter who she is…
1. Whether she is spiritual, or carnal
2. Whether she is saved, or lost
3. Whether she loves you well, or poorly
4. Just keep loving her
3) You had better guard your heart men – the scourge of today is pornography
4) Young or old, you can only allow yourself to love one woman now
5) Love her well!
g. Lastly, Make her laugh, and make her smile!
1) That IS our job gentlemen!
2) How often do you try and do that?
3) Ladies… how often do you LET your husband just try and make you smile WITHOUT all the history and attitudes being brought up?
7. THAT is what a Christian Husband’s Love looks like! It makes our wife SMILE!
B. A Husband’s Love Is Sorry for Failures (Colossians 3:19; Eph 4:31,32)
1. Jesus has never had to say sorry to us for anything He has ever done or not done
a. His ways are PERFECT Psalm 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect
b. But OUR ways, and our habits, are NOT perfect – listen to Psalm 38 & Luke 15
1) Psa 38:18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
2) Luke 15:18,19 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
2. But all husbands do!
a. I wish all our homes were just success stories – but they are not
b. A husband’s love is never perfect
c. ALL husbands throughout history have HAD to say sorry for things they HAVE done, and have NOT done, and should say it a lot more than we do
d. Two great commands:
1) Eph 4:31,32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
2) And Col 3:19 “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
3. A husband’s bitterness shows itself when we are…
a. Using harsh words
b. Allowing frustration to dictate how we treat our wife
c. Refusing to work out things between you and your wife because you are offended
d. Rejecting the work of God THROUGH your wife’s flaws
e. This is so common of a problem
4. When WE listen to how we have hurt our wives, and say SORRY…
a. It actually makes us Human – only God has no reason to apologise
b. It makes us Humble – brings us DOWN to the level of the person we have hurt
c. And it forces us to HEAR and become aware of what we have actually been doing without even knowing it… Gentlemen, take time to find out if you have done something wrong, and then be quick to apologise
5. So it will need to express sorrow for faults often. It is right to do men! James 5:16 says, Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
6. THAT will show great love
C. Lastly, A Husband’s Love is Steadfast (Eph 5:31; Jer 31:3; John 13:1)
1. Gentlemen, a husband loves constantly – no matter what
a. What good is love if it is not forever?
b. Eph 5:33 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
c. This effort of us loving our wife is not a once off thing
d. It MUST be steadfast – Constant – Resolute – Faithful – Consistent – Persistent – Firm – unchanging by the help of God
e. Not a kind of love that OCCASIONALLY is active and passionate, but constantly faithful and evident and active and passionate
f. How much of our time at home is spent being distracted, too busy, and uncaring?
g. Our wives need a love that is thick-skinned and able to put up with her UP’s and DOWN’s
2. I am sure you try hard to stay consistent, but…
a. Women change - Most of us men had no idea how changeable you women would be when we got married
b. We are ill-equipped - We were ill-equipped going into marriage to handle your fears and sensitivities, and your fears and worries
c. But that does not matter!!!
3. God still commands us to Love you, just like Christ loves us
a. An Unwavering. Christ’s love never changes (Jer 31:3) – neither should OURS!
1) Go read the book of the prophet Hosea
2) God commanded a godly prophet named Hosea to love an unfaithful woman, to show that THAT is what GOD has had to towards us!
3) Our Christian marriages should actually last “until death do us part”
b. Love to the end (John 13:1)
1) John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
2) Knowing full well how self-centred His disciples were
3) How they would soon abandon Him
4) And even curse His name
5) He loved them anyway, all the way to the very end!
6) That’s why the marriage vow says, “Till Death do us part”
4. Does THAT describe your love towards your wife? It ought to! It can!
5. Don’t let your marriage become another statistic against the Christian home
A. What Should a Husband’s Love Look Like? Let’s compare ourselves with Christ’s…
1. It will look Spirit-Filled instead of ME filled, and WORLD filled
2. Submitted / Yielded to God and Others.
a. Submitted to The Lordship of Jesus Christ
b. And submitted to the Needs of our Family
3. Sacrificing Ourselves – often losing out
4. Sanctifying Our Wife and Family – keeping her clean and washed
5. Satisfying Our Wife – being a blessing to her
6. Being Sorry for Failures – being soft and taking responsibility for the hurts we cause
7. Steadfast and even growing through the years
B. How does YOUR love life look, gentlemen?
C. On a scale of 1 to 10, NOW mark how well we think we are loving our wives?
1. As a Spirit filled man?
2. As a Submitted man – to God and to the needs of your family?
3. As someone who sacrifices himself in honour of your wife?
4. As someone who Sanctifies His Wife and Family?
5. How well do you think you Satisfy your Wife?
6. How easy do you find it to be Sorry for Failures?
7. Is your love Steadfast or on again, off again?
D. I know most of you will not even try to work on ANY of this.
1. Modern, western men are just too stubborn, hard-headed, arrogant, carnal, heartless
2. We are such foolish men to demand of our wives what we will not do for Christ!
E. But don’t you think we SHOULD?
F. Don’t you think your wife deserves a better kind of love than we currently are showing?
G. Don’t you think WE need Revival in OUR HEARTS gentlemen? – a powerful change in us that drives us to actually love our wives like Christ loved us
1. It won’t happen without MEN getting saved, and then living for the filling of the Holy Spirit of God
a. Are YOU born again gentlemen? Do you even know what that means?
b. Are you FILLED, or at least SEEKING to be filled with the Spirit of God?
2. If you are, it will show by your efforts to read through your Bible, day after day, and pray with a prayer list for your wife and family, and pastor and church and all the people who do not know Christ!
3. And it will show on the face of your wife – if you really love her!