Men Approved of God

Bible Book: Ephesians  5 : 25-33
Subject: Men; Baptist Men; Father; Husband; Marriage; Wives
Introduction

Christian men are approved not by their works in the Church, but their ways in the home. In this passage we have an examination of the husband as God has designed him to be. We cannot do justice to the Word of God without keeping this passage in the context of v.21. The husband is also to know something about submission in the marriage. The husband submits to the wife in the spirit of v.21 by loving her.

I. Their Chief Example v 25-27

A, Declaration 25a

"love" - the strongest, most intimate, most far - reaching, and most qualitative term for love. There is authority in a marriage and yes, there is one who is the head and one who follows. But, v.25 does not say, "Husbands, rule your wives," or, "Husbands, subject your wives," or, "Husbands, command your wives." No! It says, "love your wives."

Example: Could it be that a lack of love is a spiritual problem? 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 13 - "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. But evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived."

"unloving" - lack of love or natural affection for one's family. Every sin that weakens the individual also weakens the home to some extent; every aspect of ungodliness weakens the relationship between husband and wife, parents and children, and brothers and sisters.

B. Demonstration 25b

Jesus Christ, in His love, gave the greatest gift for the most unworthy people. He is absolutely holy and righteous, untainted and unspotted by sin. Yet this perfect One made the ultimate sacrifice for the worst of sinners. That is how He loved the church.

People seeking to end a marriage often say, "I can't forgive my partner anymore. He or she has done too many things - gone too far." Remember, an absolutely righteous God made the greatest act of sacrifice for the vilest of people. God can command His own kind of love from those who belong to Him because He has given them the capacity to love as He loves (Romans 5:5)

We read in I Thessalonians 4:9 - "But, as touching brotherly love; ye need not that I write unto you; for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another." It seems to be a principle that whatever we choose to love and practice loving, soon becomes attractive to us.

Problem: The world's love is always object-oriented. A person is loved because of physical attractiveness, personality, wit, prestige, or some other such positive characteristic. As soon as a partner looses his or her appeal, love is gone, because the basis for the love is gone. God's love is not of that sort. He loves because it is His nature to love, not because they are attractive or deserve His love.

Loving as Christ loves does not depend in the least on what others are in themselves, but entirely on what we are in Christ. A husband is not commanded to love his wife because of what she is or is  not. He is commanded to love her because it is God's will for him to love her. The world continually tells the man to be macho; to defend himself, assert himself, bring attention to himself, and live totally for himself. But God tells the Christian man to give himself up for others, especially for his wife, just as Christ gave Himself up for the church.

Christ exemplifies sacrificial love. John McArthur has these words on his desk - "When you are forgotten or neglected or purposely set at naught, and you sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ - that is dying to self. When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient loving silence - that is dying to self. When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, or any annoyance, when you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility, and endure it as Jesus endured it - that is dying to self. When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any attitude, any interruption by the will of God - that is dying to self. When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown - that is dying to self. When you see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances - that is dying to self. When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself, can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart - that is dying to self."

C. Definition 26-27

l. Purification 26

Divine love does not simply condemn wrong in those loved but seeks to cleanse them from it. We learn from this a very basic truth: when a man loves someone, that person's purity is his supreme concern. No one loves and wants to defile the one he loves. Only lust can lead to defilement.

Remember, it is the Word of God that keeps us pure. John 15:3 reads, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."

2. Presentation 27

This is how a man must deal with his wife - never doing anything that would lead her into an illicit thought or relationship - never doing anything that would cause her to look to someone else for fulfillment. Fulfilling his love to her so that she is purified, sanctified, and lifted to God - that is a husband's responsibility.

II. Their Cherished Encouragement v 28-30

A. Declaration 28

The Principle of Caring. We care for our bodies and we are to care for our wives. The loving husband seeks to supply all the needs of his wife. Here is a picture of the husband loving his wife with unlimited caring.

B. Demonstration 29

1. Nourish 29a

Remember, the husband is the provider, the protector, and the preserver. We are to care for our wives like we care for our own bodies; like Christ cares for the church. "Nourish" - to feed, to mature; husbands are called to nurture their wives, to help bring them to maturity. I believe this reinforces the principle that the man is to be the breadwinner, the provider. What did you provide for your salvation? Nothing. What resources do you provide to live the Christian life? None. As Christ provides all for the church, so does a husband provide for his wife. With this in mind, the husband's first priority in ministry is to his wife.

2. Cherish 29b

To soften or warm with body heat; it is used to describe a mother bird as she sits on her nest. Husbands are to provide a warm, soft place as a provision for their wives. We are to provide the security, the place of comfort and nourishment.

3. Definition 30

Why all this care and concern? "We are members of His body." He incorporates us into a body, providing all we need. We are one with Christ, and for Him not to provide for us would be not to provide for Himself. And because we are with Him, He will meet our needs. Husbands, your wives are one with you and not to meet their needs is to commit spiritual suicide, because you are "one flesh". People who violate this principle in marriage destroy themselves.

III. Their Compassionate Estimation v 3l-33

This estimation is based on v.32, that is, the relationship of Christ and His church is likened unto the husband and wife.

A. Declaration 3l

Here we see an unbreakable love.

B. Demonstration 32

Romans 8:35ff

Remember men, you are a role model. "Just Like His Dad"

"Well, what are you going to be, my boy When you have reached manhood's years: A doctor, a lawyer, or actor great,

Moving thongs to laughter and tears?" But he shook his head, as he gave reply In the serious way he had:

"I don't think I'd care to be any of them: I want to be like my dad."

He wants to be like his dad! You men, Did you ever think, as you pause,

That the boy who watches your ever move Is building a set of laws?

He's molding a life you're the model for, And whether it's good or bad

Depends on the kind of example set To the boy who'd be like his dad.

Would you have him go everywhere you go? Have him do just the things you do?

And see everything that your eyes behold, And woo all the gods you woo?

When you see the worship that shines in the eyes Of your lovable little lad,

Could you rest content if he gets his wish And grows up to be like his dad?"

- Author unknown

A little boy needs a father. He needs someone to teach him to be strong, gentle, loving, and to be a defender of the right. A little girl needs a father, too. She needs a father to protect her, to counsel her on life's problems, to teach her how to be a woman. Dad, pray for your children and with them. Lay hands on them and invoke God's blessings.

C. Definition 33

When Christian husbands and wives walk in the power of the Spirit, yield to His Word and His control, and are mutually submissive, they are brought much happiness, their children are brought much blessing, and God is brought much honor.