Husbands and Wives

November 19, 2023 Preacher: Michael Clary Series: First Peter

Scripture: 1 Peter 3:1–7


 Good morning church It is great seeing all of you here today. My name is Michael. I am the lead pastor here and we are going through a series in the book of first Peter and the, the theme of the, the, the book is hope in the midst of the last few weeks we've been doing kind of a miniseries of. Areas of authority and submission. So, we've been talking about, government authority and authority in the workplace and that sort of thing. And all of this is because God is a God of order, right? God is a God of order and not chaos.

He has ordered the world with authority structures in place and an orderly society. is maintained by respecting these authority structures in the government, in the workplace, in the church. And then today we're going to look at authority in the home. The thing is, is that this is the world God made. God made the world one way.

And the way God made the world is the way that we're, we've been talking about the last couple of weeks and the way that we'll continue talking about today. But men and women thrive as we move with the grain of God's order and not against it. And so, God loves us. He knows what's best for us and he tells us in his word how to order our homes for our good.

This is how we thrive. This is how we flourish as men and women. as we get into this, let me just recommend to you a couple of resources. this little booklet on the bookcase back there, this is free. So, grab one of these on your way out if you'd like, we, we keep them in stock. So, take them all today and we'll replenish.

So, this is how should men lead their families? That's one resource. Another resource is book I've written, and it's not a plug for you to buy it. We have them in the library, and there are four copies, and you can check it out for free from the library. And, or, if you are a Kindle type person, it's available on the Hoopla app.

So, if you have Hoopla, and you can link it to the Cincinnati Public Library, if you have an account there, you can read this for free. But what I want to talk about is a condensed version of what I flesh out in this book. Okay, so let's dig in. First Peter three. Oh, one other thing. This is a marriage sermon today, by the way.

So, if you're not married yet, don't fall asleep because I think that this will be helpful for everyone. but I am, aiming my comments, mostly to, those men and women who are married today. Okay. we are in first Peter chapter three, and we will look at the text here starting in verse one.

Are we? Let me unplug it and I'll replug it. Sometimes this works. Sometimes we have trouble, but, okay, there we go. Likewise, wives be subject to your own husbands so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be one without a word by the conduct of their wives. When they see your respectful and pure conduct, we'll pause here for a second.

The word “likewise”, that refers to the sections preceding it, meaning that there's linkages here. We saw the first week, two weeks ago, submitting to government authority. There's concepts and principles there. Last week we saw submitting to employers, their boss in the workplace. There's concepts and principles there.

Likewise, same concepts, same principles apply in the home. And he says, wives be subject to your own husbands. Now, the one difference between a home and a workplace or a government is that a husband and wife are in a covenant relationship. God has joined them together. And so, the stakes are higher, the stakes are more personal.

And so, it's a covenant relationship that is, that lasts for a lifetime. And so, this is, this is one thing that's different. And so there are instructions for husbands and wives, and we'll get into that. There are other texts in the Bible that are very similar to what 1 Peter says here, so I want to read to you, a parallel text, and this is from Ephesians chapter 5.

Ephesians 5:22-24. Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, his body. And is himself its savior. Now, as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

So, who is the Bible talking about here? The Bible's talking about the covenant marriage relationship between husband and wife. So, Peter does not say, and Paul does not say, all women should submit to all men. That's not what he says. He's talking about a covenant relationship between a husband and wife.

And in that covenant union, the wife, God says in His word here, she is called to submit to her husband. Now, this isn't arbitrary. There is a, there is a purpose for which God joined them together. God did this for a reason, and he joined husband and wife together to accomplish something. There is a goal that God has brought them together.

A biblical household is productive. They're doing something. They're working together. They're on a mission together. They're pursuing a goal together and any productive enterprise where people are working together towards a common goal It needs structure It needs order in order for it to succeed. And so, the husband, he is accountable to God for the success of that mission.

And he has a unique responsibility to see it through. The husband is responsible to accomplish the mission. He will answer to God for the success of that mission. And he has given him a wife that will work with him. And as a team, they pursue that mission together. The point here is that he has a responsibility that she doesn't have.

She will not answer to God in the same way that he will. So, God gave him an authority that corresponds to the responsibility that he has to see this mission succeed. The text goes on here in verse three, do not let your adorning be external. So, he's still speaking to wives here. Do not let your adorning be external.

The braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry or the clothing you wear, but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart. With the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands.

As Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord. And you are her children, if you do good, and do not fear anything that is frightening. We'll pause here again. Ladies, your feminine beauty and your sexual desirability is a God given gift, and it's a good thing. But it can become sinful. Women love beauty, and women love being beautiful.

God made you that way, and that's a good thing. That's not a bad thing. Peter is not telling you to make yourself look unattractive. He's not saying make yourself look ugly. Rather, he's saying focus on the right kind of beauty. Focus on the inner beauty that is within. The inner beauty of character.

Worldly women, they focus on outer beauty. And they know men will desire them based on their looks alone. But that's a ruse. Outer beauty fades with time. It's a perishable beauty. So, he's saying here, let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with an imperishable beauty that's different from the external beauty which fades with time.

Also, outer beauty is deceitful. Some women will be beautiful on the outside, but ugly on the inside. Proverbs 11:22, look at this. Proverbs 11:22 says, like a gold ring in a pig's snout, Is a beautiful woman without discretion. That's a woman who's beautiful on the outside, but she's ugly on the inside. And so, here's the thing.

Beauty is power. A beautiful woman of low character, she's still going to get noticed. And she will still be desired. Attractive women have an unfair advantage. It's the way the world is. And so, women will be tempted to focus on that sort of beauty. To adorn themselves externally in order to gain that unfair advantage.

And they'll be tempted to focus on that to the neglect of their inner character, their inner beauty. And also, a smart, confident, capable, sharp man can ruin his life by falling for a low character but beautiful woman. This happens all the time.

Women are tempted to settle for lesser beauty because it's easier and because it works. People notice beauty. It's easier to... You know, put on your makeup, and make your hair look perfect and to put on a cute outfit. That's a lot easier to do and get noticed than for you to do the hard work of discipleship, of walking with Christ, of repenting of sin, of obeying Jesus.

Outer beauty will get you noticed. It'll get you far. It's an unfair advantage. And it, you don't, you don't get the, the immediate payoff from inner beauty the way you get from outer beauty. And so, it's always a temptation for women to, to settle for this lesser beauty. And to take the advantages that they gain from doing so as, you know, to be content with that rather than the, the greater eternal advantages of inner beauty that God finds precious.

Godly women focus on inner beauty. It's a spiritual beauty. It's the fruit of a feminine faith out of her obedience to God and her love for Christ. So, women, there's these two ways that you can adorn yourself. You've got these two different ways that you can make yourself beautiful. Two kinds of adorning.

There's the outer beauty, it's deceptive, it's temporary, it fades with time. And that can be used and pursued to mask an ugliness in your soul. Or you can pursue the inner beauty. And that's true beauty that lasts forever. That's the kind of beauty that God notices. And that is the fruit of humility and faith and love.

And Peter says here, notice the words that Peter uses in verse two, he says, the feminine beauty, it's respectful. It is pure conduct. And in verse three, he says, a woman's spirit is precious as a gentle and quiet spirit. And those things are precious, very precious in God's sight. That's the kind of beauty that God would call women to pursue.

Verse seven, likewise husbands. Live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. Healthy marriages require reciprocity. between a husband and wife. Husband and wife both have duties to fulfill.

They both have obligations to one another and to God for one another. The Apostle Paul in a parallel text, Ephesians 5:25, he says, Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. So, husbands, as the covenant head of your family, you are responsible for the mission of your household and God gave you a wife to help you succeed.

She's not your slave. She's your sister in Christ. Ephesians 5 says love her. 1st Peter says be understanding with her. Understand what? What is there to understand? Well verse 6 and 1st Peter going back to 1 Peter 6:6 is that he was speaking about Sarah, he said, she obeyed, she obeyed her husband, and she did good, not fearing anything that is frightening.

So, Peter cites Sarah as an example, Sarah and Abraham. This is from the book of Genesis where Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham. She even called him Lord, even though she was frightened. So, if you're not familiar with that story, I'll tell you how that story went. This is back in Genesis chapter 20. Abraham had and his wife, Sarah.

Now, Sarah was a knockout. She was absolutely gorgeous. It says this all over the book of Genesis. She was a very, very beautiful woman. And so, as they were traveling around, Abraham, passed through the land and Abimelech was the king. And Abimelech saw his wife and he was like, this woman is gorgeous. And he wanted her, potentially for himself.

And so, when Abraham passed through the land, he didn't say, she's my wife. He said, she's my sister. If she were his wife, then Abimelech could kill Abraham, she'd be a widow, then he could marry her. But if he says, she's my sister, then that changes the relationship. He's like, Oh, okay.

Well, if he wants to take Sarah as his own, then he could, he could, he could, talk to her brother as, you know, somebody that would be responsible for, for overseeing her.

And then he could. Abraham could enrich himself, by, you know, by bartering a deal. At least it was a way, it was a way that Abraham protected himself by lying. And Abimelech actually took her into his harem, but he did not touch her. And that was by God's grace that he didn't, but he could have. So, Sarah was a very beautiful woman.

Abimelech could have killed Abraham to take Sarah as his wife. Abraham, knowing this, said, she's my sister, which meant she's single, she's available. How would Sarah have felt in that situation? She would have been terrified, right? Who wouldn't be? She was at the mercy of these men. She was at the mercy of her, of her husband, and this king and he wanted her.

So that was a frightening situation. And yet, what does Peter say? Peter said she trusted God and she obeyed her husband. She even called him Lord, and she did not fear anything that was frightening. So, it was a scary situation, but she did not give into that fear. Rather she followed her husband's lead and trusted God in doing so.

So, the point here is that husbands, you need to recognize that your, that, her duty to submit to a sinful man is frightening. A wife's fear in this, in a marriage can come from two places. She's the weaker vessel and she's having to submit to a sinful man. There's two, she's doubly vulnerable, right?

So, the weaker vessel, I mean, that's, I'm not going to Disney movie this and say, no, women are strong, independent, and just as strong as a man. No, women are weaker than men and their women have their own strength. But in the ways that we usually measure strength, women are. Not as strong as men, emotionally, physically, and women tend to be more fearful than men.

Women are more risk averse. And that's something that husbands need to understand about their wives. If a husband doesn't understand this fact that she's in a vulnerable position, both as the weaker vessel and as the one who is subject to her sinful husband, then he could add to her fears. He could inflame her fears because he's not understanding her.

He doesn't know what she's feeling. And so, he needs to lead her gently. And how does he do that? Well, it, he does so by honoring her as the weaker vessel, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel. So, he honors her.

What that means is you don't treat her like a man. You didn't marry a man. Thank God. We don't do that. You don't treat her like a man. You treat her like a woman. You treat her with the sort of gentleness and care that you would treat someone who is, who is weaker than you and who is depending on you for protection.

So, you honor her as a woman. Honor her in the way that women would be honored. And you got to recognize and understand that she, she's got Bible verses telling her to follow your lead.

That means you're accountable to God for, for, for how you lead her. So, she's got to follow the lead of a sinful man. That means you need to have some humility.

You lead her gently, carefully. You treat her as an equal. The equal part here is, since they, this is a message to husbands here, they, this is referring to the wives. Wives are heirs with you of the grace of life. She's equal to you. She's just as saved as you are. The blood of Jesus cost just as much to save her as it did to save you.

You're not above her. You have an authority. There's a, there's a, a relationship of hierarchy here. But. But you are equals. She's not beneath you or inferior. Her value to God is equal as a co heir. Okay. We've been, we've gone through the seven verses of the text. I want to talk some application. And I've got eight points of application for us today.

Eight points of application. And I'm gonna alternate husbands and wives, so that way everybody feels like you're getting beat up equally- cause we're equal.

Alright, now here's the first point. Every marriage is on a divine mission. And that mission is to raise up a godly seed, for the next generation. A godly seed that will last for generations. But if you know, in the book of Genesis, God brought man and woman together for a purpose to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth.

So, to fill the earth with worshipers. So, every, every marriage has that as its core function. And that is as Christians to fill the earth with a godly seed. And so, your mission in your marriage is to raise up the next generation. And God ordained the husband's headship and the wife's submission to accomplish this together.

So, there is a structure that is in place to help that purpose succeed. I've got some friends that own a sailboat, their names are Jeff and Liz. And they take, young people typically, but they'll take groups of people out on sailing adventures in the Bahamas. and on this boat, Jeff is the captain. And he knows that, he's like, I'm responsible for everything that happens on this boat.

Even decisions he didn't make, he's still responsible because he's the captain. And so, if the boat runs aground, he's responsible for it. Even if somebody else happens to be behind the wheel at the time, he's responsible for everything happens. No matter what his wife, Liz, she's the first mate. Now that doesn't mean she's lesser than him.

That doesn't mean she's less important than him. That means she has a different responsibility. They can't both be the captain. They can't both be the first mate. There has to be some division of labor and that division of labor needs to be clear enough to where there's responsibilities are understandable to everyone.

So, she submits to the directives of her captain, and she works hard using her own responsibilities and gifts and, and duties that she has on the boat to make sure that mission succeeds. And the mission that they have is clear. It's an important mission because they don't want to all die at sea, right? So, they want to go out in the ocean and want to come back safely, so it's an important mission and the success of that mission requires some clarity, some chain of command.

Marriage is the same way. Your mission is important, and the success of your mission requires a chain of command, and that mission is to raise up a godly household. Because your marriage was invented, we see it patterned from Genesis one. That's point number one. Point number two. Husbands, take responsibility to lead your wife on this mission.

God's gonna, whenever you get to heaven someday, you'll, you'll give an account for your marriage to God. So, you gotta take responsibility to lead your wife on this mission. This is where it all begins. It begins with you, husbands. If she's gonna follow your lead, then she needs to know where you're going.

So where are you going? Do you know where you're going? Do you know where you're trying to lead her? A lot of, a lot of Christian husbands, they know that they want to lead, they don't know where they want to lead. And she, she, it's harder for her to follow you if she doesn't know where you're leading her.

Where, what are you trying to do? What is the thing that you need her to submit to? You've got a purpose, you've got a goal that you're pursuing together, and so you're responsible for that overall mission of your household. And whenever we say a wife is called to submit to her husband's, that submission implies a mission, a prior mission that she submits to.

It means there is a mission over that household. The husband is responsible for the mission and the wife is responsible for her sub mission within that mission. But you're pursuing it together as co-equal, heirs with God, but there's a division of labor. So, God ordained, the God ordained mission of your household is to raise up this legacy of fully committed disciples.

So, when you think of this, think grandchildren, think great grandchildren. So, if you're thinking right now, let's say you're in your 20s, maybe you're single or maybe you're newly married and you've got a kid or two. I want you thinking, alright, I want to have great grandchildren that know Jesus. And I want their spouses to know Jesus, and I want this legacy to continue.

And then, if you think, I want all of my great grandchildren to know Christ and be a fully committed disciple now. reverse engineer. What is it going to take? How are you going to get from where we are today in 2023 to having great grandchildren that know Jesus Christ? We're going to need to have a spouse, you'll need a wife, and you'll need to have children.

So that'll need to be part of your dating and, you know, conversations like here's what I'm all about. I want to have a family and I want to raise up godly kids. So, you'll need a wife, you'll need to have children and then you'll need to train your children in the Christian faith, won't you?

Deuteronomy 6, educate your children. They'll need to be a part of a solid church where all of you together are being built up in the faith and your faith is being nourished. But then there's going to need to be some division of labor. Well, first of all, husband, you can't have the children yourself.

You're going to need help, right? So, you'll need a helper. Well, praise the Lord, He gave you a helper. That's, that's the primary help that the wife offers. She is the one that can bear life. So, she helps in that regard. So now, and as you divide up the labor, you're thinking, okay, what responsibilities do you have?

What responsibilities does she have? And then how can you both tackle this mission together? How can you pursue it together? And when you're both clear eyed and on the same page, and we're thinking great grandchildren, grandchildren. Now, that, that infuses meaning into all the little parenting things that you have to do when they're two years old.

You're not thinking, how do I get this two-year-old to do what I want? You're thinking what this two-year-old is acting like doesn't scale well as a teenager. They're going to have to grow up. They're going to have to mature. And so, you instill in them the things when they're little that they will need as they grow old.

And then you pass that down through the, like you pass the faith to them. So, husbands, the sort of attitude that you want to bring to your marriage is to let her know, I am going to provide as best I can. That's, that's something that, that is part of every husband's calling. Is I want to provide as best I can in order to free you to succeed at home.

The point here is that you, you want to have something big that you are pursuing and that you are leading her to pursue together. You want to give her a grand and glorious vision that you're giving your life to. And you're asking her, you're leading her to give her life to that same vision. And if you give her a clear sense of mission and you say, I want to do this with you.

You're my wife. I want us to raise this up together. I want, I want to provide for you. And I want to have lots and lots of children and lots and lots of grandchildren that love Jesus. And we're going to do everything we can to see that through. Give her that vision. She'll be much more likely to follow you.

Because she knows where you're going, not just that you're leading. Number three, wives, submit to him in that mission. Peter says it. Paul says it. And what this means is that you're his helper, you're not his competitor. And this, this is what happens in a lot of marriages is you have husband and wife both competing for the same position in the, in the household.

So as his helper, you need to do everything in your strength to help him accomplish your household mission, to support him, to help him as he's leading and to help see it through. And so, what this means, wives, is that your home needs to be your first priority. That's your domain. You're the queen over your domain.

So, make it productive. You want to take the resources that he provides, and you want to optimize them and expand them and multiply them. And women are great at doing this. That's what pregnancy is. Women takes a single seed from a man, and she builds and expands and knits it together as a new life in her womb and women continue to do this because God has optimized and designed women to be able to take small things and build them and expand them.

And so, you can help him by advising him, problem solving with him, serving him, easing his burden. And here's another thing, use your voice. You are his closest and most trusted advisor. He would be a fool to not listen to you. So, share your ideas with him. And that means tell him when you disagree. A lot of, a lot of ladies, I think, struggle with the idea that submission means, well, I guess I just have to do everything he says all the time.

And I don't really get to disagree, or I don't really say anything. No, that, that's not what submission means. Submission is like you're contributing everything you've got, you're fully on board, and that means share your ideas, tell him where he's wrong. If he needs correction, then you offer that. But it doesn't mean that you just sit quiet and do nothing and just let him boss you around.

You're waiting for your next command. No, it means like you have a domain, you have a submission, you have something that you're in charge of and what you are in charge of is the home. That is your primary domain. That means rule it. You're the queen of your domain. And personally, I believe that husbands, you want to defer in matters of the home.

You want to defer to your wife because she, she is the one that is, that is designed for this and that is her primary focus. So don't compete with one another. You divide labor so that you are able to be more efficient. So, submission ladies, that doesn't make you deaf mute. Speak up. He needs your input.

Tell him your thoughts and make sure that he knows that you're committed and that you want to help him and that you want to do everything you can to see your household mission succeed. Number four, husbands understand that your wives leading your wife doesn't mean excluding her from decisions. You understand her, you consult with her, you, you get input.

And you know, after you make decisions together, a lot of the times, but if you exclude her from decisions, that's going to ramp up her fear. It's not, it's not good or healthy to exclude her. And that doesn't build trust. She will trust you more if you talk decisions through with her. If you get her on board, God requires her to submit to you and God has entrusted his daughter to you.

So, it's not just your wife as though she's your property. She is God's daughter. So, treat her that way. Understand her. Take care of her. You want to pay attention to her fears. You don't want to dismiss them. You want to lead through them. And you want to convince her, in any place where there's fear, that she is being considered.

That her needs, her fears, her concerns are being heard and considered. It's not something that I always did. I mean, there are decisions I made. I mean, it's a story Laura and I laugh about now, but I bought a car once without telling her. That didn't go well. But through that, I learned, oh, you know what? I need to talk through these decisions with her because we're a team.

We work at this together. Now, I still make a decision, but, you know, later on, whenever we've made other big decisions, A lot of times I'll have an idea because I'm a dreamer and I'm an entrepreneurial guy and I've got ideas, but I'll run an idea by her, and I'll gauge her reaction. Some ideas she'd be like, yeah, that sounds good.

And then I'm like, okay, let's roll with it. Other ideas. I'm like, okay, we need time. So, we'll slow it down. We'll talk it through. And I'm like, what are you concerned about? Oh, that's good. I hadn't thought about that. We'll take that into account. Oh, well, I have thought of that other concern and here's, here's how I think we can address it.

But that's understanding. Now, it's like where we are now in our marriage, like we talk through every big decision together and I trust her implicitly. I'm never going to surprise her unless it's like a birthday or something, but I'm not going to surprise her with some big thing that I've done and she's, that doesn't build trust that erodes trust.

And not only that, but I know her strengths and weaknesses, and I know she's great at reading people. And so, if I'm trying to discern somebody, a lot of times she's going to have a really good insight on people. And so, I rely on her wisdom and I'm like, man, that is such a help to me. You all don't know all the different ways that Laura's fingerprints are on this church, in all the good ways, not the bad ways, but, but, but she has helped me and she's influenced me and served me in such a way that even this church as an extension of our own household at home, but it bears her influence because we're a team and we've worked together and that helps me do better.

So, God has uniquely gifted her, and I know where her strengths and weaknesses are. And there are certain places, especially where I lean into her insight. Number five, wives, treat your husbands with respect. And how you speak to him and in how you speak about him.

Verse 2 in 1 Peter 3, Peter talked about her respectful and pure conduct. Now here's a simple fact, men care about respect more than love. Now that may shock women, but dudes generally know what I'm talking about. We care about respect. Ephesians 5:33 Paul says, however, let each one of you love his wife as himself and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

So, between husband and wife, Paul gives both of them the command to give the other what they most need. So, when he's talking to husbands, you need to love your wife. When he's talking to wives. You need to respect your husband. Men are starved for respect. The same way that love is fuel for a woman's soul, respect is fuel for a man's soul.

Now here's another fact. Men like being around people that respect them. And a natural place where a lot of men find it is at work. You wonder why he's working so much. Well, maybe he's getting overtime and maybe he enjoys his work, but there's a good chance that it's feeding him the respect that a man craves.

And men like being around people that respect them. Men like being in environments where they can demonstrate competence at something they're good at and have that recognized. And other people respect them for some skill that they have. And a lot of men, they don't feel respected at home, but they do feel respected at work.

And consequently, work is a more enjoyable place to be. Because you get respect there. When they go home, they feel disrespected. Whenever they go home, they feel like, I feel like, I'm an idiot. I'm treated like I'm an idiot here. Like I can't do anything. Like I'm incompetent. And wives, you have great power there.

You have a great ability to build up your man and he needs that just the way in the same way that you need love. He needs respect. He needs to know that, that you look up to him, that you admire him, even that you respect him. And so, you can make a big difference in your marriage to make sure that home is where he is respected more than anywhere else.

Make sure your kids respect him. Don't tolerate disrespect in your home. So, build him up. Notice what he's good at. Tell him that you believe in him. That will build him up. That will build him up. Try it and you'll see what I mean. And wives, if you do need to correct him, and you do, that's how you help him.

If your husband's out of line, if he's in sin, it is your duty as his wife to help him by rebuking him and correcting him. You have every right to do that as his sister in Christ. So do that. But if you need to correct him, do it privately and do it respectfully. Never run him down to your girlfriends.

Don't criticize him in front of other people. Don't complain about him. When you're talking about him to other people, praise him and build him up. And if you don't have anything to say, to praise him or build him up, then just don't say anything. But never run him down. And here's another side comment.

This is for free men. It's not a compliment for you to disrespect yourself by saying I'm married up. Do you want your wife thinking that you married up? What does that mean about her? I mean, she married down. And I hear guys say this, and it's a self-deprecating joke, but I don't think it's, I don't think it's good.

it's not funny because you're disrespecting yourself. That's a weak man's joke. And CTK men, we're not weak men. We're strong men. That doesn't mean that there's not weak men among us, but together we are weak, or we are strong and we build one another up. We're not weak. We're strong men. And we want to cultivate that.

So don't, don't, don't put yourself down in order to build her up. Because what is good for her and good for you, is for you to be a man that is respectable. So, let's talk that way. Alright, number six. Husbands. Love your wife more than your job. Love your wife more than your job. She needs to know that your job is not your top priority.

Your job is important, no doubt. Your job is important. Your job is what pays the bills. But you didn't make a covenant before God with your job. You didn't walk down the aisle and make vows to your job. You made a covenant before God with your wife. Till death do you part. Jobs come and go. Careers come and go.

A lot of people change careers. But your wife and your kids, they are who you are working for. That's who you're covenantally, bound to. And it's easy to forget about this, especially if you get something at work that feels good, that, that builds you up, that you're not getting at home. And you have to have the discipline to know that your people at home need you.

Your presence is needed. And so, you don't want to let work take over your life and neglect your family. And a lot of guys will do this, and they'll make the excuse of saying, well, I'm providing. No, you're neglecting with a paycheck, but don't just because you're getting a paycheck. That's not that money is not the only thing you're supposed to provide.

Like you provide yourself, your presence, your presence is needed in the home, your discipline for your children, your leadership, your, your devotions that you would lead your family and your prayers. Those things are needed. Your family needs you present doing those things. And so, your wife needs to know that she is more important than your job.

Your top, your family is your top priority. I mean, think about this, your sons will carry your name. And you want your name to be a respectable, honorable name that they will carry into the future. And you have to be home to, to instill the sort of values in them that they'll need. And your wife is uniquely entitled to your strength and your time and your attention and your devotion, your affection.

Make sure she gets it. Honor the covenant vows that you made and she's going to be the one that's with you for life. Number seven. Wives, don’t be afraid while doing the right thing. Don't be afraid while doing the right thing. Because there will be times... When submitting to your husband will be scary, terrifying, he needs to understand that, but, but Sarah, the example given to us in 1st Peter, she did the same thing, even when in my reading of Genesis, Abraham was making a foolish decision, but even then Sarah trusted God and submitted to her husband in a situation that would have been very frightening for her.

A lot of times whenever there's a, you know, if, if there's like a wife that doesn't want to submit to her husband, she's scared. And the husband is kind of oblivious to that. So, Sarah, she never had a daughter. You know that? She had a son, Isaac, but she never had a daughter. But what Peter says, wives, is that you are her children.

Meaning, you are her daughters. Every time a Christian wife trusts God and follows her husband's lead in something scary, Sarah becomes a mother again. She gets another daughter. She gains a child. Because you are her daughters. You are the ones following in her example. Now, Peter, notice Peter doesn't say this isn't scary.

It may be scary. And the thing is, is that especially early in a marriage, you have two, two independent people that are learning to merge their lives together and they're learning how to negotiate terms and how to, how to work the details out. And there's going to be scary things that happen whenever I bought that car that was early in our marriage.

And I've learned since then, I don't want to do that because, because it scared her. She's like, where's the money going to come from? Have you thought through everything? So whenever, but whenever you do that over time, you do learn. How to lead better and wife learns how to follow better and you learn how to function with this this harmony and in Cohesion, but there will be times when it's scary for you and by all means you want to let him know I'm scared Not this this frightens me and let him know like you're I'm following your lead, but this decision is your decision And it scares me and I, and I'm not in favor of it.

I'm like, you, you have, please make your voice heard. Don't hear me saying anything other, make your voice heard. And then that will weigh on him too. It's, it's easier for a man to make a foolish decision if he thinks, well, we make this decision together, so we're fools together. But if it's like, no, it's, I'm making this decision and it's going to impact my family and I know I'm alone in this and my wife doesn't support me, that makes it weigh more on him and that helps him take his responsibility seriously.

And as he does that over time, that weight will strengthen him. He will be a wiser, more sober minded man as he leads his home. So don't fear those frightening things, even though they are frightening. Trust God in them. Number eight. Husbands and wives, expect conflict and growth as you implement God's design for your household.

You would expect conflict and growth. So, men, you need to trust God to give you the faith to give your wife direction and even correct her as needed. And women, you need to trust God to give you the faith to receive direction while speaking your mind. Men don't use the love and understand your wife as an excuse to avoid hard conversations.

You got to talk things through. So, if you think, well, I'm going to love her or I need to be understanding with her, don't let that be the excuse that you use. To avoid talking about difficult things and having conflict is needed. Likewise, women don't use the, well, I got to submit to my husband. Don't use that as an excuse to avoid having hard conversations with him.

The conflict is, is necessary to strengthen the relationship, and that is how you learn one another better, and how you grow in this dance of, division of labor in your household. But if you avoid the hard conversations, and if you're not rebuking one another for sin, your marriage will suffer. It won't be as strong.

The point is that there will be conflict, but that conflict will help mature and grow your marriage. Well, I've tried to show you this morning that this is God's design for Christian marriage, and we need to move with the grain of it. The world is going in the opposite direction. The world would say, everything I've said this morning is, I don't know, misogynist and something.

They would complain about how awful it is, but I mean, what I've told you is like straight out of scripture. Like, this is God's design for our marriage. And so, we want to move with the grain of God's design, even in the areas that are foreign to us, that feel strange. God knows what's best for you. And not only that, God wants what's best for you, and he tells us what that is in his word, and this is how we thrive.

There may be some aspects of it. You're like, I don't get that. I don't understand. That's weird. Whatever, like, but if you trust it and move with the grain, this is how, this is how marriages thrive. Don't believe the hype that we get and from secular media about how evil patriarchy is or something like that.

It's like, no, this is, this is God's design and godly men who take the responsibility seriously. Have healthy, strong marriages. They do thrive. They learn to thrive. It doesn't mean it's perfect or pain free, but that is how they thrive. And this is how we accomplish our mission. The world's doing the opposite.

The world is promoting domineering, bossy women and weak, effeminate men. And saying, that's how you, that's how marriage should be. Let me tell you, they're miserable. Look at how marriage is going in the world. And that'll tell you exactly the report card of that message. But as Christian men and women, there's certain, there's studies that have, that have shown this people that follow conservative, traditional marriage, marriage, understanding, and gender roles in marriage.

They tend to be the happiest people. This is, this is good. We thrive in this. The healthiest, happiest marriages on planet Earth follow this general pattern because they're not rebelling against God's design and going against the grain. So, my, my challenge here is, if you don't agree, if you have a problem with this, like if, look at God's word and trust God, this takes faith to do.

This takes faith to implement. And that may be uncomfortable because we've been hearing our whole lives messaging that tells us to do the opposite. And what I'm telling you is like, this is what God says is for the best, and this is what is good. And this will make your marriages stronger and better, and you will be happier.

Generally speaking, you will be happier by following God's design than going against it. So don't resist it. Receive it. It's good for you. So, I pray that you'll trust God and put it into practice. Well, let's pray. We thank you, Lord, for the gift of marriage. thank you for the design of marriage and how you have spoken to us in your word about how to follow your design.

And I pray Lord that you will help us to put it into practice. Give us faith Lord, give us faith to do things that we've, that, that you say in your word that we should do and way we should approach marriage and think about it and the world tells us the exact opposite. Give us faith to believe what your word says and to tune out the messaging that is deceitful.

Help us, Lord. And Father, I pray for those in this room who are not married yet and want to be. I ask you, God, that you will give them grace through the difficulty and trial of, of desiring something that they're having to be patient for. And Lord, I pray that you will, in your time and in your way, produce healthy, thriving marriages, out of everyone, everyone here.

And I pray, Lord, also for the children that you've entrusted to us, the, the people that are the mission. I ask you, God, that you will give us generations of faithful disciples that come from the marriages in this church. We trust you for it. We thank you, Jesus, that you are the picture of marriage and your love for the church and our submission to you.

And so, we give you all praise and worship in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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