Text: Ephesians 5:22-33 (NKJV)
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
Intro: A marriage, especially a Christian one is supposed to be a thing of intense beauty, love and joy. However, too often, this is just not the case, sadly, many marriages, even those where both partners are believers are in serious turmoil. For a while they are wonderfully happy. Then, after the dust settles and they get used to being together, it seems that the old flame that burned so brightly is now just a smoldering ember. Sooner or later the honey moon is over! Most of the married folk in this room know what I am talking about.
Being realistic, what are married couples to do when wedlock turns into dreadlock? Is there hope for a marriage that seems to have gone sour? Is there a way to rekindle the old flame? Yes! But, don't look for magic formulas. Don't expect sudden breakthroughs that change everything radically and permanently. If you are going to turn dreadlock into wedlock You are going to have to work at it. It will require effort, humility, a deep commitment to the relationship and above all, a willingness to do everything God's way. There are certain guidelines clearly laid out in the Bible, that if followed will make a difference in our marriages. God wants each of us to know that there is hope for the home and that this hope will be found in our applying God's principles for living. When we do, we can turn dreadlock into wedlock.
1. God's Plan for the Christian Home: vs. 23-24
“For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”
The first requirement for a godly Christian home is that the husband and the wife both be brought under the headship of Jesus Christ. Before there can ever be unity as a couple, there must first be a growing relationship with Christ as individuals. The primary step in rekindling the old flame is strengthening our own fellowship with God.
There are four main areas that need our attention:
A) Be Certain of Your Salvation:
It is absolutely vital that both partners in the marriage covenant be believers. An unequal yoke produces a relationship that is totally out of balance: “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT)
Without the presence of Christ dwelling in both hearts, the marriage is doomed for trouble from the start. However, in a home where both spouses are saved and striving to serve the Lord, the Holy Spirit dwells in them both and is able to equip them to handle their problems and is able to love the other through them. There are rare cases where a believer and a non-believer have had a good marriage, but they are the exception and not the rule. More often than not, the unbeliever will eventually drag the believer down to their standard of living. Don't have the attitude, “Well, I can change them.” First, if you really love someone, you shouldn't want to change them. Second, God, not you, is in control of salvation.
B) Be Clean From All Sin:
Sin should be confessed as far as it is known: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV) People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. Be sure that all sin has been dealt with before the Savior, and where necessary, before your spouse: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16
C) Be Committed to Your Savior:
Be sure that in every area of life, Jesus possesses complete control.
1. In Your Worship Life
2. In Your Work Life
3. In Your War Life (Armor of God)
4. In You Wedded Life
This requires the command of: “be filled with the Holy Spirit.” This should be carried out in the lives of both spouses. If we expect to be all that God wants us to be both in and out of the home, then we must be walking under the power of His Spirit. We must be Spirit filled or it will show in all of these areas.
D) Be Committed to Your Spouse:
"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." Vs. 31
Ephesians 5:31 repeats the mandate spoken by Adam. Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
All marriages stand a better chance for survival when there is a measure of independence from one's parents and in-laws. This would refer to physical, emotional and financial independence. That covers leaving, but there must also be a great amount of cleaving. Simply put, your marriage will never work until you reach the place where you are totally committed to your spouse. In other words, you must come to the place where your love for him/her surpasses your love for anyone, or anything except the Lord Jesus Christ. This would include one's birth family, one's friends, one's money, one's hobbies…
Conclusion: No Christian home will be successful without an ever-deepening relationship with God on the part of both spouses. I say both, because there will also be problems when one is seeking after the Lord and the other is at a standstill in there Christian walk. There will be a differing set of family goals and priorities when Jesus isn't the focus of both lives. It all rises or falls on your relationships with God.
In : Sermon
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