God’s Pattern for a Home – Part 1

Taking a Good Look at God’s Blueprint for a Blessed Home

Ephesians 5:21-33

Audio MP3

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

11 July, 2010   AM

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Psalm 127:1-5)


A.     We are a “homeless” generation! Fifty years ago it would have been impossible to conceive of the devastation to family life that is spreading throughout the world. One magazine article stated, “We are fast becoming a homeless race. We are born in hospitals, raised in daycares, taught in schools, married in churches, we vacation in resorts, we entertain our friends in restaurants, we die in hospitals, and are buried via funeral parlours. To most families, home is a dull place that family members resort to for the minimum of sleep, a rushed meal, or to wait for the return of the family car before heading out again!

B.     The homes that we do have, that we live in, are crumbling under the weights of sin, and human failures!

C.     This morning, I am going to lay out the first part of God’s plan for the Christian home. It’s not only the best plan, it is the ONLY plan that works! Everything else that our modern world has come up with is a joke!


1.      We all need to know God’s design for a family, inside and out, and just follow that plan – it’s called FAITH!

2.      When we don’t follow it, we are mocking God – and believe me, God is not mocked! It will be YOU weeping, and wailing, and broken, when your world falls apart because you thought you knew better than God!


D.     Instead, like Psalm 127 says, Get GOD to build your home!

E.      Don’t be afraid, or discouraged! Please don’t feel that I am preaching to crush anyone here. Don’t let the things said discourage you. Let the words of this Book, and the encouragement of this preacher be the rally cry for you to get back onto the narrow way, and live the Christian life – both outside of the home, and more importantly INSIDE!


II.    Background Information (Eccl 4:9) – Two Are Better Than One!


A.     God Laid the Foundation of the Family


1.      All God’s expectations are connected with Jesus Christ in your life!

2.      Jesus Christ is our foundation (5:2; 1Cor 3:11) there is NO other foundation to build your life or your marriage on!


B.     God Loves the Family.


1.      “Adam? Meet Eve!”

2.      Isaac, meet Rebekah!

3.      The fruit of the womb is His reward – not a curse or an inconvienence!

4.      God created us all to be a part of a family – always!

5.      Heb 13:4; Prov 18:22; Ps 127:3,4

6.      Remember, Whatever God loves, Satan hates, and will seek to destroy – no matter how long it takes! That’s why it is hard having a godly family, but believe me, it is worth it!


C.     God Designed the Family (Psam 127:1,2)


1.      Designed how it looked – One Man, One Woman, and One bunch of kids!

2.      Designed how it works – serving one another and meeting each other’s needs

3.      He built success into it – strengths that are only found in a family unit – not in a homosexual or lesbian, or just brother sister relationship – but a HOME!

4.      There is NO room for adjustments - you don’t fudge, or adjust God’s plan – you follow it!


D.     God Has Expectations of Every Family (1Thes 2:12)


1.      God Expects us To Follow Him


a.       Follow His example - He Gave Us Plenty of Examples of a Family


1)      Himself – The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

2)      His people – hundreds of examples of godly (yet imperfect) families in the Bible

3)      And then you have Satan’s family (John 8:44) just for comparison!


b.      Follow As Children - not leaders, not rebels


2.      God Expects Us To Walk in Love – as Christ loved us


a.       Sacrificial love

b.      Sweetsmelling love

c.       Saturated love – not spotty or on occasion, but just like when you were pursuing each other – walking “in love!”


3.      God Expects Us To be Filled with the Holy Spirit (5:18)


a.       Not do what comes natural

b.      But be filled with God’s Holy Spirit

c.       Hungering, Yielding, giving in to His leadings


4.      Get these things right, and the rest will come easy!


E.      Be in the Right Fight! The Fight for the Family (Eph 5:3-12)


1.      Against anything that would dilute and destroy the gift of your home


a.       Fornication – whomremongery, pornography

b.      All uncleanness - unholiness

c.       Covetousness – idolatry – worship of things

d.      Filthiness


1)      Filthy words


a)      Foolish talking – like Job’s wife

b)      Jesting – men making fun of people, and of how people look

c)      Vain, deceiving words


2)      Filthy thoughts

3)      Filthy actions

4)      Filthy habits


e.       They all have to go! There is no freedom in holding onto what is destroying you and your home!


2.      Things you must get into the forced habit of


a.       Giving thanks (5:4, 20) – to God, AND to one another!

b.      Fearing God (5:5,6)

c.       Breaking away from bad influences in your life (5:7)

d.      Living like a child of the light (5:11,12)

e.       Walk circumspectly – very aware of your enemy’s attack (5:15,16)

f.       Stay on course – knowing God’s will, and fulfilling it (5:17)

g.       Meditating on the word of God (5:19; Josh 1:8; John 1:1-3)

h.      Making melody in your heart to the Lord (5:19)


F.      Fulfil Your Function in Your Family (Eph 5:21-33; 6:1-4)


1.      The Wife has a very powerful function

2.      The Husband

3.      The Children

4.      The Parents

5.      This week, we will just look at the first one – the Wife


III. Message - Error! Style not defined. (Ephesians 5:21-33)


A.     Fulfilling Your Function As a Wife (5:21-24,33) – God starts with the wife!


1.      Key words: Submission and Respect

2.      Most Women Don’t Care


a.       Millions of “christian” wives either don’t know how to love their husbands wisely and well, or they’re too self-centred to see it as important.

b.      This is because of forty years of feminist philosophy, with its condemnation of just about everything male as evil, stupid, and oppressive, and the removal of female and male roles in families.

c.       But the core reason is because of all of our sinful self-centeredness, just as the Bible says.

d.      God instructs older women to train younger women in Titus 2:4,5:


1)      To love their husband and children – it doesn’t come naturally

2)      To be discrete (careful in how they talk and dress)

3)      To be chaste (under control)

4)      To be mainly busy at home, instead of everywhere else!

5)      To be good and kind – and not angry and harsh

6)      And to be obedient to their husbands, so that no one will blaspheme and make fun of the word of God.


e.       Do modern Christian women excitedly submit themselves to their own husbands? Not most!

f.       Remember, the divorce rate among “Christians” is the same as the unsaved today!


3.      If a woman is married, and claims to be a born again child of God, she is to be subject unto her husband in the same way that the Church is yielded to Christ. That’s Bible!


a.       Most churches today wouldn’t touch what I am about to preach with a ten foot pole. I wonder why?

b.      From what I can see, the general body of believers are NOT subject unto Christ – 99% of all Christians simply are doing their own thing!

c.       The same is true in Christian homes! Most Christian wives are not subject unto their own husbands. No way!

d.      According to that Book in your hands, God places a man in the life of a woman, and asks her to love him and submit to him as she would to Jesus!

e.       Most people marry for all the wrong reasons

f.       Most can’t stand each other after only six months!


1)      That’s why everybody is away from their homes

2)      Men working over-time or staying out at the pub

3)      Woman getting jobs away from their homes and families


g.       And they ALL without exception blame MARRIAGE at the end of the day, and say, “it just doesn’t work!” Well, THAT’S a LIE! It’s like saying Honda made a car that wouldn’t stay on the road when it was YOU who didn’t keep your eyes on the road!


4.      Wife – do you love the Lord Jesus? This is often the most stabbing question! Do you not belong to Him? Did He not purchase you with His own blood?


a.       The test of whether you are submitted to Him (your Saviour) is when you determine to stay submitted to “him” (your husband)!

b.      The wives in this room need to do the following things:


1)      Repent of being constantly angry at your husbands – for anything they may have done!

2)      Humble yourselves and say, I love you Lord, and by your grace, I am going to love that man you gave to me!

3)      I want to learn today HOW to best honour YOU by honouring my husband


5.      What Does a Husband Need?


a.       I know, we all think he needs FOOD, a FAST CAR and a FINGER CONTROLLED REMOTE for the big screen TV! Wrong!

b.      Most men need respect more than love.


1)      Look at verse 23 – “the husband is the head of the wife”

2)      Now look at verse 33, “the wife see that she reverence her husband”


c.       God’s commands to husbands and wives in Ephesians 5:33 reflects each one’s deepest needs: “every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

d.      Reverence (5:33) is a lonely word today!

e.       These Scriptures commands a husband to love his wife. Why? Because she needs love like she needs air to breathe.

f.       This same verse commands a wife to respect her husband. Why? Because he needs respect like he needs air to breathe.


6.      Respect means: To value, to esteem of great worth, to give your attention to, to honour your husband above yourself – BOY THAT IS ANTI-TODAY!

7.      Examples of Submission and Respect by a wife:


a.       To Submit to your husband means to Let Him LEAD (Eph 5:23; 1Cor 11:3)


1)      The husband IS the head, the leader of the wife

2)      It is part of the curse, yes, but also part of the protection from Satan (Gen 3:16)

3)      It also is God’s way of changing your husband (1Peter 3:1-6)

4)      Let him be the MAN in your home – not the MAID! Let him make decisions – make them WITH him, but let him choose right, and sometimes choose wrong. Correct him and guide him, but let him be in charge!


a)      An employee makes suggestions, but doesn’t tell the boss what to do or even what you are going to do

b)      You don’t let other people correct you and overrule YOU when you are in charge!

c)      God designed men to lead, to conquer, to defend, and to be the hero!

d)      It’s not that you can’t make right decisions, but that God designed a marriage to have only ONE HEAD – not two! Any two headed animal is a MONSTER


5)      Only a spirit filled woman will do this!

6)      Only a follower of God will allow their husband to make decisions that might be wrong

7)      Only a saved woman would trust the Lord to work everything out for good (Rom 8:28)


b.      To Submit to your husband means to Have a LOAD of Grace with him! A lot of “overlooking” (Heb 12:28, 15)


1)      One way to respect your husband is to give grace instead of resenting the things he does that complicate your life

2)      Like leaving drinking glasses in the living room or clothing on a chair.

3)      Ask yourself, “Is he intentionally doing this to bug me? To make my life difficult? If he were to die tomorrow, what wouldn’t I give to have him back leaving these things out?”

4)      This is where bitterness is either born or broken!


c.       To Submit to your husband means to Communicate Better


1)      Ladies, you can improve on communication by doing it less.

2)      God made women verbal creatures, which can frustrate men with the overwhelming amount of your words. Instead of expecting your husband to be a girlfriend (men make wonderful husbands, but not girlfriends), the wise wife gives the bottom line first, and chooses her timing well.

3)      Men make terrible mind readers, so be direct. Dropping subtle hints doesn’t work with most men, and it doesn’t mean a man is insensitive, uncaring, or oblivious if they don’t get what you are hinting at.

4)      Spell out whether you want help and advice, or if you’re just venting your feelings. God made men to want to be your hero, so understand that you can frustrate him if he can’t fix what’s hurting you because all you want is someone to listen.

5)      And take whatever he says at face value. Women tend to overanalyze men when we are just not that complicated.

6)      Most men want to run from their angry, contentious wives – I am sure every word you are saying to him is true, and every feeling you have is justified, but be careful not to destroy what you are trying to fix (Pr 14:1)


d.      To Submit to your husband means to Appreciate Him


1)      Ask any woman what she wants, and near the top of her list she’ll tell you, “I want to be acknowledged and appreciated for the things I do.” Well, men want the same thing!

2)      A man named Evan wrote to Dr. Laura: “My wife feels that if she doesn’t remind me again and again, something won’t get done. But the fact is, it makes me feel like her child and that Mommy needs to check up on me. It’s degrading. I want to be admired. I want to be acknowledged for being the breadwinner and making sure that we are all well taken care of. My greatest pleasure is when I feel like her hero. Like her ‘man.’ Not her boy.”

3)      It doesn’t matter what a husband’s primary love language is, every man wants to be shown appreciation for who he is and what he does.

4)      I love to suggest to young wives and mothers, “Keep a gratitude journal to help you be on the lookout for the things your husband does that you appreciate. Every night, write down three things you noticed. And then tell him the kinds of things that are in your book!”


a)      Thank him for going to work every morning even when he doesn’t feel like it.

b)      Thank him for being faithful to you.

c)      Thank him for loving you.

d)      Thank him for giving you children.

e)      Thank him for taking out the rubbish, and changing the oil in your car, and mowing the garden.

f)       Thank him for bringing home his paycheck and not spending it on gambling or booze or drugs or women.

g)      Find something to thank him for! Men rise to the level of what their wives praise! Most men haven’t been praised except by their crummy friends in primary school! No wonder they got into so much trouble! Praise them about SOMETHING and keep praising them!


5)      The modern wife criticizes, complains, nags, and rarely compliments or expresses appreciation

6)      So her husband finds it difficult to satisfy her, and finds that she basically is not as nice to her husband as she is to a stranger ringing the doorbell at three A.M.!

7)      Don’t be that way!


e.       To Submit to your husband means to Request, Don’t Demand. Demanding is SO rude and disrespectful.


1)      Don’t nag. If you have to ask more than once, ask as if it were the first time you were making the request.

2)      Keep your mouth shut about things that don’t matter. Ask yourself, is this the hill you want to die on?

3)      Don’t be controlling—which is micromanaging. Somebody said, “When women micromanage, their husbands give up trying to please them, and then the wives complain that their men don’t do anything for them.”

4)      Pro 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” (This is truer no place more than in marriage.) Let your words be kind and full of appreciation.

5)      Not argumentative or contentious - Pro 21:19  It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.


f.       To Submit to your husband means to Yield – give into him!


1)      You two may not agree – that will be most of the time!!!

2)      But that is okay. He needs you to disagree sometimes, but not to take over!

3)      As much as he needs YOU, YOU need to yield to HIM. You were not saved to lead, but to have a meek and quiet spirit (1Peter 3:1-5)

4)      Don’t you argue with me! That’s what GOD says!

5)      Make your opinion known, and then back down! Period!

6)      Try and show him where he hasn’t thought something through, and then shut up! Start praying!

7)      Gentlemen, the best thing God ever did for you was give you that women sitting next to you trying to help you, trying to make you think and consider everything before you leap! You better learn to listen to her! But women, don’t force it!


g.       To Submit to your husband means to Support Him – serve him!


1)      Men desperately want and need the support of their wives. This is reflected in what God reveals in His Word when He says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” And through the apostle Paul, God instructs wives to relate to their husbands in a way that meets this need when He says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

2)      Submission is basically giving support with a willing, cooperative heart.

3)      A wife’s submission includes knowing her gifts and strengths, and using them to serve her husband and family.


a)      She usually will serve the children, and the in-laws

b)      But serving her husband went out the window after the third fight!


4)      Service has a bad name today, but both husbands and wives are called to serve each other – just as Christ serves us!

5)      So what does support look like?


a)      Believing in your husband. Telling him, “You have what it takes.” Being his #1 fan.

b)      Find a way to cooperate with him and not hinder him and hold him back! Do things that help HIM out, help HIM succeed!

c)      Be generous and openhearted— be willing to use your gifts and strengths to help HIM succeed.

d)      Make him look good: never saying anything negative in public.

e)      Create a home that’s a safe haven from the world and all its fights

f)       Have a warm heart with a positive, cheerful demeanour. Women set the temperature of the home; you are the thermostats, not thermometers, of the family. Pro 27:15 says, A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.

g)      Be always interested in him and his life.  That’s why he married you – because you were interested!


6)      The idea is to treat your husband in a way that builds him up and doesn’t tear him down, never denigrating or attacking him.

7)      Treat him with the dignity he deserves as a MASCULINE person made by God.

8)      Understand that a man’s needs and wants are every bit as valid and important as a woman’s needs and wants.

9)      Never vent your frustrations to others, especially the children. One woman wrote, “No emotional outlet is worth damaging my husband’s reputation.”


8.      To Submit to your husband means Intimacy (1Cor 7:1-5)


a.       I know that it is the last thing on your minds ladies, but God talks a lot about it in His word!

b.      Your husband needs to feel your approval, acceptance that comes from physical intimacy. 


1)      For women, emotional intimacy leads to physical intimacy.

2)      For men, it’s the other way around; physical intimacy is the key to opening their hearts.


c.       What attracts men to women is their femininity, and femininity isn’t only about appearance, it’s also about behaviours. Looking womanly AND behaving sweetly and flirtatiously are gifts wives give to their husbands.

d.      Most women only know how to LOOK feminine – but behave like angry bears!

e.       In the Song of Solomon, Solomon’s bride displays her feminine charms in a holy seduction of her husband, and the way she tells him what she loves about him.

f.       Instead, our culture has things backward


1)      Many unmarried girls and women flaunt their bodies with a total lack of modesty or propriety.

2)      But once they marry, it’s flannel nightgowns, wool socks, and no makeup.


g.       Each one’s body belongs not just to themselves but to each other. God said not to deprive each other for extended periods of time lest we be tempted.


B.     Final Thought for you Ladies


1.      Men are simple creatures who come from a woman, are nurtured and brought up by a woman, and yearn for the continued love, admiration and approval of a woman

2.      Women need to better appreciate the magnitude of their power and influence over men, and not misuse or abuse it. Amen!


IV.  Conclusion


A.     Next Week, HUSBANDS! It gets rougher!

B.     Ladies, don’t get all angry at me because this is so one sided! I will get your man next week!

C.     You just examine your own heart today!

D.     God’s plan for the Christian home. It’s not only the best plan, it is the ONLY plan that works!

E.     By Way of Background Information – Two ARE Better than One!


1.      God Laid the Foundation of Every Family

2.      God Loves the Family.

3.      God Designed the Family

4.      God Has Expectations of Every Family

5.      Be in the Right Fight! The Fight for the Family

6.      Fulfil Your Function in Your Family


F.      God Starts With the Wife


1.      Let Him LEAD

2.      Have LOADS of Grace with him

3.      Communicate Better

4.      Appreciate Him

5.      Request, don’t demand

6.      Yield

7.      Support Him

8.      Intimacy


G.     Do any of you want your home to last? Your marriage? Your future home? Quit believing all the lies the world is pushing and get back to obeying the Bible! Obeying God is the smartest thing you can do – all by faith!

H.     Only a spirit filled woman will do this!

I.        Only a follower of God will allow their husband to make decisions that might be wrong

J.       Only a saved woman would trust the Lord to work everything out for good (Rom 8:28)

K.     Are you really, and truly born again? Does your home life show that you do not know the Lord Jesus as your Saviour?

L.      Maybe you ARE saved, but you definitely are not Holy Spirit filled!

M.    Time for repentance!

N.     Time for starting over!