Husbands, Love Your Wives

Posted by on Nov 16, 2011

Husbands, Love Your Wives

“Husbands, Love Your Wives”

MP3 Version: Husbands, Love Your Wives

Scripture Text:  Ephesians 5:25-33

By Pastor Mike Withem
First Baptist Church
Ranson, West Virginia

Introduction:

A. Last Sunday morning I began my message with the following statement, which was meant for the HUSBANDS and FATHERS who were here, I said, “If we are going to win the battle for our families, it is absolutely essential that we step up to the plate, and assume our God-given role as LEADERS of our families.
1. Joshua, of course, was a great example of a man who did just that!
2. Do you remember what He said to all of the elders of Israel in Josh. 24:15? He said, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
3. Notice again the words, “…and my house.”
4. Joshua could speak on behalf of his “house” or his family because he was clearly the LEADER of his family.

B. Not only should we husbands lead our families, but as I also pointed out last Sunday morning, there is a certain WAY in which we should lead.
1. First of all, we should lead CONFIDENTLY. (In other words, we should be strong leaders.)
2. Secondly, we should also lead LOVINGLY. (In other words, we should exhibit love for our wives and children as we lead.)
3. Last of all, our leadership should be EXEMPLARY. (In other words, we should lead by example.)

C. But that was last Sunday.
1. This morning I want to speak to you husbands about HOW to love your wives.
2. Now clearly, the Bible commands husbands to love their wives.
3. In fact, THREE times in our text alone we find this command.
4. Vrs. 25, “Husbands, love your wives,”
5. Vrs. 28, “So ought men to love their wives”
6. Vrs. 33, “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife”
7. And so, clearly, the Bible commands husbands to love their wives, but exactly HOW are they to fulfil this command?

D. First of all, notice that husbands should love their wives…

I. As Christ Also Loved The Church.

A. Notice again Vrs. 25 of our text, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”

B. Now this forces us to answer another question, “How did Christ love the church?”
1. May I say, first of all, that Christ’s love or His church was a SELFLESS love.
2. In other words, it was a love that was far more focused on US and OUR NEEDS than His own.
3. I am reminded of what Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, just before He went to the cross.
4. Being human as He was, there was a part of Him that was NOT looking forward to the pain and suffering that He was about to endure.
5. Notice what He prayed, “…Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:” (Luke 22:42)
6. In other words, “Father, if there is any other way that we can do this, SPARE ME THIS AGONY!”
7. But notice, that was not how He ended His prayer.
8. He went on to pray, “…nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
9. Notice the words, “…not my will.”

C. One of the problems that I see in some marriages today are husbands who are both SELFISH and SELF-CENTERED.
1. In other words, husbands who think that just because God made them the head of the family, they have to have THEIR OWN WAY all of the time.
2. (Illus.- It’s like they are always standing at the counter of Burger King, getting ready to order. You know what the corporate motto of Burger King is, don’t you? It is “Have it your way!” And that is just the way that some husbands want it, all the time, they want it “THEIR WAY!”)
3. Now I realize that when matters of PRINCIPLE are involved, husbands must insist on having the final say, because THEY are the ones who will have to give account to God, one day (and you wives need to understand that).
4. However, when matters of PREFERENCE are involved, a loving husband will say, “Honey, what do YOU want to do?” or “Honey, where do YOU want to go?” or “Honey,  what is YOUR preference?”

D. Not only was Christ’s love for His church a selfless love, it was also a SERVING love.
1. In other words, it was a love that focused far more on serving us, rather than being served Himself.
2. I am reminded of something that happened one evening after Jesus had finished dining with His disciples.
3. The Bible says that He got up from the supper table, took a towel, poured some water into a basin, and began washing His disciples’ feet.
4. When He came to Peter, Peter said, “…Thou shalt never wash my feet.” (John 13:8)
5. Jesus told him, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me,” to which Peter replied, “…Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” (John 13:9)

E. Another problem that I see in some marriages today are husbands who treat their wives like common SERVANTS.
1. In other words, husbands who think that just because God made them the head of the family, it is their wives responsibility to wait on them “hand and foot.”
2. Now I realize that there is nothing improper or demeaning about a wife waiting on her husband (in fact, many wives delight in doing so).
3. However, a loving husband will gladly RECIPROCATE from time to time, as he has the time and opportunity to do so.
4. For example, he will bring his wife coffee in bed, he will wash the dishes, he will clean the house, he will do the laundry, he will cook a meal (or if he can’t cook, he will take his wife out to eat).
5. By the way, this is especially important, guys, if your wife works outside of the home!
6. But someone says, “Wait a minute, pastor, I am the head of the house, and it would be demeaning for me to serve my wife in this fashion!”
7. Let me ask you a question, “Was it demeaning for Jesus to wash His disciples’ feet?” (Of course not!)
8. Listen, it is NOT demeaning for a husband to serve his wife, but rather it is LOVING!

F. Not only was Christ’s love for His church both selfless and serving, it was also a SACRIFICIAL love.
1. Notice again Vrs. 25 of our text, it says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”
2. Notice the words, “…and gave himself for it.”
3. Paul put it like this in Gal. 1:3-4, “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins,”

G. Another problem I see in some marriages today are husbands who have absolutely no problem TAKING (letting their wives make sacrifices for them), however, when it comes to GIVING, they really struggle.
1. In other words, they are ALL take, and NO give!
2. Listen, fellows, if we are going to love our wives as Christ loved His church, then we are going to have to be givers.
3. We are going to have to be willing to give of our TIME, our ENERGY, and our EMOTIONS to our wives.
4. Our time, so that we can truly listen to them.
5. Our energy, so that we can do things with them.
6. Our emotions, so that we can sympathize with them.
7. By the way, fellows, nothing says more about how much we love our wives than the sacrifices that we are willing to make for them!
8. This is why the Bible admonishes us in 1 John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

H. How does Christ love His church?
1. His love for His church is a SELFLESS love.
2. His love for His church is a SERVING love.
3. His love for His church is a SACRIFICIAL love.
4. And so, when the Bible admonishes husbands to love their wives “as Christ loved the church,” it means, fellows, that we are to love our wives with a selfless love, with a serving love, and with a sacrificial love.
5. Is this how you love your wife???

I. But notice also, our text tells us that a husbands should also love their wives…

II. As Their Own Bodies.

A. Notice again Vrs. 28-29 of our text, “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:”

B. Now it is a fact that most men are in love with themselves!
1. It is also a fact that most men know how to nourish and cherish their own bodies.
2. (Illus.- For example, a guy is working in his shop and he accidentally lets a tool slip, resulting in a small cut in his hand. You know what happens then. At the first sign of blood, he dashes off to the medicine cabinet. He carefully washes his wound, cares for it, nourishes and cherishes it. In fact, he will probably spend the next few days nourishing and cherishing his wound.)
3. And so, far more than women, men know how to nourish and cherish their bodies, and they do it quite WELL.

C. The problem is, many of these same men don’t do a very good job when it comes to nourishing and cherishing their wives, and there is really NO EXCUSE for this.
1. Why not?
2. Because all they have to do it treat their wives in exactly the SAME WAY that they treat themselves.
3. By the way, this is a biblical principle that will work well in any kind of relationship.
4. It’s come to be called the GOLDEN RULE.
5. Jesus put it like this, He said, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:” (Matt. 7:12)
6. The apostle Paul stated it like this, he said, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Gal. 5:14)
7. In light of this morning’s text, we could rephrase this verse like this, “Husband, thou shalt love they wife AS THYSELF.”

D. By the way, did you notice what Paul said in the latter part of Vrs. 28 of our text”? He said, “…He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”
1. Do you realize what this means, guys?
2. It means that when you love your wife, you are not just loving her, but you are also loving YOURSELF.
3. When you nourish and cherish your wife, you are also nourishing and cherishing YOURSELF.
4. When you do something that benefits your wife in some way, you are also doing something that benefits YOU.
5. Or as someone once put it, “A HAPPY wife equals a HAPPY husband!”
6. There is another side to this coin, “An UNHAPPY wife equals an UNHAPPY husband.”
6. Do you know why this is true?
7. It’s true because you and your wife are ONE FLESH.
8. Notice again Vrs. 31 of our text, “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.”

Conclusion:

A. Now, let’s go back to our original question, “Clearly, the Bible commands us as husbands to love our wives (three times in our text, alone), but exactly how are we to fulfil this command? How are we to love our wives?”
1. First of all, we are to love them AS CHRIST ALSO LOVED THE CHURCH (with a selfless love, a serving love, and a sacrificial love).
2. Secondly, we are to love them AS OUR OWN BODIES (realizing that when we love our wives, we are also loving ourselves).
3. Fellows, is this how you love our wife?

B. Let me remind you, if you will love your wife as you should, in all probability, she will have no problem submitting to your authority as leader of your family. In fact, she will do so joyfully.

C. (Illus.- A story is told of a tyrannical husband who, immediately after he and his wife were married, gave his wife a list of demands. She was to do certain things for him as his wife, and if she failed, there was absolutely no mercy. Initially, she resented her husbands harsh demands, but in time, she came to hate her husband as much as she hated his list of demands. Then, one day he died. [No, she didn’t kill him. I know that’s what you were thinking.] Some time later, she fell in love with another man and married him. She and her new husband lived on a perpetual honeymoon. Her new husband gave her no list of demands, but instead was committed to her and to her interests. Joyfully, she devoted herself to his happiness and welfare. One day she ran across a copy of her first husband’s list of demands. To her amazement, she found that she was doing for her second husband ALL the things that her first husband had demanded of her, although her new husband had never once even suggested them. It seems that she did them as an expression of her love for him and her desire to please him. You see, he had won her devotion by his demonstration of selfless love.)
1. Fellows, do you want your wife to love you and to be devoted to making you happy.
2. If so, then you love her and you devote yourself to making her happy.
3. You see, that’s how it is supposed to work!

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