God’s Pattern for a Home – Part 2

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

Ephesians 5:21-33

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

18 July, 2010   AM

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Psalm 127:1-5)


A.     This month, I am laying out God’s plan for the Christian home.

B.     God’s plan is different than anything you have ever seen before!

C.     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! Let Him build or REBUILD 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!

F.      Some of these truths are going to seem contradictory, but when taken together, they make a HOME!


II.     Review - Fulfilling The Function of a Wife (5:25-33)


A.     Key words: Submission and Respect

B.     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!


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

2.      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!

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

4.      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!


C.     What Does a Husband Need?


1.      Most men need respect more than love.


a.       Look at verse 23 – “the husband is the head of the wife”

b.      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.


2.      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!

3.      I gave you plenty of Examples of Submission and Respect by a wife


III. Main Message – Part 2 – The Responsibility of the Husband


A.     The Main Responsibility of a Husband (5:25-32) – Love


1.      Many husbands simply refuse to take their God-ordained place – they refuse to be home anymore, to take part in raising the children, or to love and nurture their wives.


a.       Maybe they don’t feel welcome at home.

b.      Maybe they don’t feel loved at home, but that doesn’t matter!

c.       Many don’t care about their home – they are too proud to be thinking about their wife, or their kids (Hab 2:5)

d.      Gentlemen! You are the head of your home… take the lead! Wisely, steadily.

e.       And take it as the lover of your home!

f.       ILLUSTRATION: The family are in a car travelling 120km/hour down the motorway. God put the wheel in your hands, and expects you to have a very good grip on it. He put YOU in charge of the break and the accelerator! Become responsible!


2.      We may be tempted to think the calling of the husband is to "Rule your wife."


a.       Over and over the Bible calls women to submit to their husbands. It would seem, then, that the husband's calling is, "Rule." But this is not the case.

b.      But the Bible says, "Husbands, love your wives." So the husband who is always telling his wife, "Submit, submit, submit" is a foolish husband. He does not know how to be the head of the wife because he does not know how to love her. God's Word says, "Love your wife. This is how you rule her."


3.      The Cross is the great pattern for our marriages.


a.       Let's not forget the comparison that the Bible makes between the husband/wife relationship and the Christ/Church relationship. So the question becomes, "How does Christ rule the church?" The answer is, "By the sweet, pressure of His grace, through His Word and His Holy Spirit." That is, by love! (Psalm 110:3)

b.      The idea of "love" has been so defiled that we hardly know what it means anymore. Sometimes we think that love is something that "gets you," or that you "fall into" and "fall out of," or that it is simply "animal passion" that you act out on somebody’s body!

c.       The Bible says, "God is love." And that "love is of God" (1 John 4:7-16).

1)      God's love is His almighty arms embracing, binding, and holding us to Himself through His Son Jesus.

2)      Between a man and a woman there is no real love if they do not love in Christ.

3)      There may be concern, passion, even a desire for the other's good; but there is no love.

4)      For husbands, the Word of God says this: "Exercise towards your wife an thoughtful, purposeful affection, that joyfully wills and seeks her spiritual good, even at a great cost to you.” Isn’t this the love of God's Son for you? It is also the love you must have towards your wife!


4.      In Islam, women who do not obey their husbands should be beaten; end of story.


a.       "Good women are obedient.... As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them." (Koran 4:34)

b.      Not so with Jesus! Eph 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Col 3:19 says, “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”

c.       Love them, no matter what they do to you! What a COMMAND!


B.     How to Love Your Wife
Comparing our love with Christ's, we may say that the characteristics of a husband's love must be:


1.      Sacrificially - With Sacrificial Love (Eph 5:25; Gen 2:24)


a.       "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."


1)      This is the gospel: The Son of God gave Himself, even to death, to bear the burden of His bride’s punishment, so that she might live. That’s love!


b.      Love is a lot of things: It is a feeling, a choice, a way of thinking, an attitude, an act

c.       But mostly, love is a sacrifice – a trade – it costs you


1)      A married man needs to be always willing to lose the following things in order to build his home…


a)      His childishness – time to grow up – put away childish things (like his dependency upon his family, the government, his buddies, etc). And your seeking of only pleasures

b)      His livelihood – real love will cause a man to forfeit even the throne in order to obtain that one whom he now loves!

c)      Your pride and ego!

d)      His life itself – Love begins not with getting, but giving, and that act of giving only naturally extends to trading your own life so that the one you love continues on


2)      Gentlemen, You married your wife because you loved her. But from this day forward you must love your wife because you married her! Do you understand that? Love means sacrifice.


d.      Are you MAN ENOUGH to sacrifice some things to save your home!


2.      Satisfied - With Satisfied Love (Prov 5:19,20).


a.       Gentlemen, I don’t know what you were like before you got married, but your eyes belong ONLY on your wife, and your thoughts ONLY about her, and your love is ONLY “FOR” her!

b.      Your wife needs to know you ARE satisfied, blessed, thankful for who she is. It is a CHOICE you make not a feeling you follow! Are you MAN enough to make that choice today?

c.       If your wife “does not please you” then realise that God will NOT forget you and leave you to your own devices, but will with trials, forge the two of you into a blessed home, if you will just trust Him, and let him work on you!

d.      Gentlemen, remember that Solomon was NEVER satisfied (1Kgs 11:1-4)!

e.       Are you MAN ENOUGH to stay satisfied?!


3.      Steady Love (1Peter 3:7) – DWELL WITH HER


a.       An error every husband may fall into is to think that he loves his wife because he provides well for her, but is rarely home with her. He thinks that because he gives her money, a car, a holiday, that he is loving her! No!

b.      Steady love is Unconditional.


1)      Christ's love for the Church was not based on some foreseen goodness, nor does it depend on a loveliness that She can present to Him on Her own.

2)      Christ's love was and is unconditional (See Ezekiel 16).

3)      It means that the husband, after marriage, may never say, "She is not lovely anymore; I will not love her."


c.       Steady love is Patient love


1)      Usually, it means you will be doing a lot of patient waiting on your wife – to get ready, to get dressed, to get packed, to come out of the shops, etc!

2)      But it means more about being full of faith, trusting that the Lord will change your wife! You want your wife to let God change YOU!


d.      Steady love is Close Love.


1)      Love sits close to and dwells with the wife. 1 Peter 3:7 calls husbands to dwell with their wives. Christ comes close to His Bride. He speaks to us, often. He loves us! He dwells in us! He sticks with us!

2)      Every married couple in this room needs to act like there are married! The world has it reversed! All the teens act like they are in love while the married couples act like they are in court!


e.       The way you loved your wife at the first must remain the way you love her now! The way you loved her then is what attracted her to you in the first place!

f.       Are you man enough to get back to the way you used to love, and stay that way?!


4.      Strong Love – Masculine (Eph 1:22;,23; Gen 3:16; Col 1:18)


a.       Your wife needs to know she married a MAN

b.      So be a MAN! Like Jesus was! She may not like it at first, but she will respect it when it is done with the right spirit, and when you act like Jesus who is pattern!

c.       There is never a time to be a tyrant (1Peter 5:2,3)

d.      But there is a time to be sharp and final (2Cor 13:10; 10:8)

e.       And, there is always time to be the leader in your home (Tit 1:12,13; 1Tim 3:4,5,12)

f.       Are you MAN ENOUGH to be the Man in the home, or are you willing to let your wife be the man instead?


5.      Sensitive Love (Ephesians 5:25-29)  – TENDER


a.       Ephesians 5:29 teaches the husband to "cherish" his wife. The love of Christ for the church is a tender, gentle, love.

b.      We have been given a GIFT!


1)      If we men can just grasp the great gift that we have been given in our wives, it will go a long way toward understanding how God desires us to relate to our wives. It doesn't take the average man much time to understand and appreciate the wonderful, beautiful characteristics that God has created a woman with. Truly, He created woman to be beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside.

2)      Children are a priceless gift! Your wife is more priceless!

3)      Pro 18:22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

4)      So, when we find a wife, we have obtained favour (blessing) from God. We have been blessed with a priceless gift from above. We need to appreciate the gift God gave us.

5)      Nothing is spoken of a perfect wife without fault. They don’t exist! The fact that we have a wife is a blessing in and of itself. God’s desire is that we enjoy our wives and be blessed with what He has given (Ecclesiastes 9:9; Proverbs 5:18)


c.       Your wife IS a woman! Treat her as one! Not as another “guy!”

d.      So, Give Her Honour


1)      Love her as much as you love yourself. Start THERE!

2)      The goal is to treat her as BETTER than yourself (1Pet 3:7) – Truly honour her!

3)      "Charity seeketh not her own" (1 Corinthians 13). This points out the difference between love and lust.

4)      Too often, a man's wife is the object of dishonour in the form of jokes, loud public rebukes and complaint sessions between men and men. It is time that we give our wives the honour that they should receive. 1 Peter 3:7 says “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

5)      Sometimes husbands complain about "unfeminine" wives. I understand. They don’t make women like they used to! But let me ask you… Husbands, "Are you tender with your wife anyway?" Do you treat her with honour? Do you treat her not as a “buddy” but as a weaker vessel?


e.       Love Without Bitterness (Col 3:18,19)


1)      Be quick to forgive, ready to forgive (Col 3:12,13; Ps 86:5)

2)      Love her even though she bucks you and argues with you and resists your leadership and doesn’t honour and respect you! God does NOT give you permission to start to hate being around your wife, and despise the woman you married anymore than He would give permission for your wife to hate you and become bitter against YOU!

3)      See 1Peter 2:21-23! Wow! What are YOUR marital fights like? You better start fighting like Christ!!! What if instead of Jesus loving us, He was bitter toward us? We know it isn't this way, therefore let us not be this way toward our wives!


f.       Love with Loving kindness (Ps 36:7; 117:2; 63:3), gentleness, not roughness!

g.       Love, Washing, and cleansing your wife’s conscience (Eph 5:25-27) – never scarring or marring them with your words, and your selfishness!

h.      Are you MAN ENOUGH to love her as a WOMAN?


6.      Serious Love (Eph 5:29) - NURTURING.


a.       To nurture is to feed, nourish, nurse, instruct, tend to like a farmer does his fields!


1)      If there is true love in the husband's heart, he will want his wife to be growing, maturing, along with him!

2)      She is "his own flesh" and no man ever yet hated his own flesh, "but nourisheth it and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church" (Ephesians 5:29). A man normally wants to grow up, and mature, succeed, and obtain more! If you are married, you should want the same for your wife

3)      Yes, he will care for her physically – providing food, money, house, car, clothes, holidays

4)      But he will provide for her spiritually too.


a)      He will have the greatest concern for her relationship to God!

b)      Whether she is reading her Bible and growing in her own walk with God!


b.      Have conscious goals in your marriage. Not just for yourself!


1)      The purpose of the love of Christ for the church is the church's perfection. He said, as it were, "I will perfect my church. I will give myself for Her so that She may be cleansed, separated from the world, consecrated to God."

2)      Christ did that by His death on the cross, and now does it by "His Spirit and Word" (Ephesians 5:26). The husband's goal for his wife will be her holiness, her purity, a close relationship to her God!


c.       This is accomplished by the Word of God in your home, and between the two of you.


1)      Husbands, comfort and encourage your wives, by the Word – do you always complain, or do you encourage her with your words?

2)      Teach and instruct them, by the Word. Does she ever learn things, or do you only expect things from her! It sure would be “MANLY” of you to sit down and TALK about the conflicts and listen to her side! She might just listen to your side too!

3)      Challenge them to holiness, with the Word! Let her know how important it is to you for her to have a walk with God, and then HELP her have that time with God!

4)      Guide and direct your wife by the Word. Learn this book so that you have right answers (1Cor 14:34,35). Quit leaving spirituality to your pastor and to church time only!


d.      In this way, the husband is the spiritual leader in the home.


1)      Do you see to it that the Word of God is read in the home, regularly?

2)      Do you see to it that prayer is offered often?

3)      Do you ensure that their wife learns to pray?

4)      Do you pray with your wife?


e.       Husbands, THIS - this beautifies your wife! This will make her more appealing to you! This is the adornment that is of great price in the sight of God (1 Peter 3:4).


1)      Most women have not been taught how to be of a meek and quiet spirit, so now once you are married it is up to you to help her!

2)      Ladies, allow your husbands to make you more beautiful, by crucifying the flesh that wants to argue and fight, and yield to your husband’s nurturing!


f.       Are you MAN ENOUGH to love her for her betterment, or only YOURS?


7.      Spirit-Filled Love


a.       you will fail to love your wife like she needs, unless you are filled, and I mean FILLED with God’s Holy Spirit

b.      (Eph 5:18; Gal 5:22-25)

c.       Are you MAN ENOUGH to spend sufficient time with God every morning so that you act and react as an holy spirit filled husband, or will you remain a demon possessed husband?


8.      Secondary Love (Luke 14:26,27; 1Cor 11:3) - the most important truth!


a.       Are you man enough to put Jesus Christ and His word first in your life – even above your children, and your wife, and your own life?

b.      THEN you will be able to love your wife and your children the best!


IV.  Conclusion


A.     Folks, just as Christ loved the church, SO OUGHT WE MEN TO LOVE OUR WIVES (Eph 5:33)


1.      We desired to marry - amen! That was easy!

2.      We sacrificed much to obtain them! Ok, so that got a little harder

3.      We need to continue the act of love


a.       It ought to be a delight and pleasure to be with our wives

b.      Showing respect and giving the highest honour to them

c.       Seeking their satisfaction – to a limit though

d.      Providing all necessary things for them

e.       Concealing their faults – not always pointing them out

f.       Promoting their spiritual growth - not hindering it

g.       Our love should be shown in private as well as public ***

h.      It should exceed all other love towards neighbours, friends, church members, and the family

i.        It should be equal to that shown to ourselves


4.      Summarized in three ways:


a.       Protecting our wives physically, emotionally, and spiritually

b.      Cleansing our wives – get them in the Bible with you, have family devotions in the Bible, and BE IN CHURCH and Bible Study

c.       Presenting our wives to the Lord, to our children, and to the world!


5.      One last thought gentlemen: Our wives ought to be more beautiful, and more perfect every day of every year of our marriage because of us, instead of in spite of us! That’s loving our wives!


B.     Husbands, how do we fare? Wives… how are we doing? If your wife were allowed to speak freely, and express how she thinks about our “love”, what would she say?


1.      Is our love a selfless love, an understanding love, a gentle love?

2.      Is our goal a holy wife, nurtured up in the knowledge of God and comfort of Jesus Christ?

3.      When we measure ourselves up to the standard of Christ, we are weak, poor, husbands. Yet that is the standard. "Love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25).

4.      Can you do anything but confess, "God, I am a sinful husband: be merciful to me and help me"?


C.     The possibility of being a good husband is only through obedient faith in Jesus Christ. Looking to Christ, the husband of the Church, and trusting in His work on the cross, is our salvation for all our failures as husbands, for all our miserable dealings with our wives.

D.     The bottom line is this.


1.      We each have individual responsibilities in marriage.

2.      Why do we wait on the other, before we are willing to step out in obedience, and wait on God to work change in the other mate?

3.      That is the issue, in all troubled marriages.

4.      Husband, will you "love" sacrificially, or show "bitterness?" Which will it be for you?




Craig Ledbetter |  Pastor  |  Bible Baptist Church  |  021-4871234  +353-21-4871234  |  biblebc@gmail.com  www.biblebc.com