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This morning we’re in the third week of a four part series together called Once Upon a marriage. And if you’ve got a Bible with you, I want to invite you to turn to Ephesians chapter five. We’re going to deal with this passage of Scripture starting in verse 21 and 22, as it deals with marriage and the family. And we set this idea out as we started in this journey together, that when God created marriage and you read about it in the book of Genesis, it gives this appeal of this, this storybook, fairy tale, beautiful, loving, united relationship. God creates Adam and he says, it’s not good for you to be alone. And every man that has been created knows that we smell bad. We grow hair in weird places, we sweat and and in comparison to the lady, they smell much better. Basically, we’re really good at picking up heavier things and opening up pickle jars. Right? And the beauty of a wife, Adam, in the beginning of Genesis, saw that very clearly. His his encounter when he began to, uh, interact with her for the first time was to sing a song in celebration of her being God’s gift to him. And when he sang that song, he knew nothing about Eve. He didn’t know what she was capable of. He didn’t know what she would bring to the marriage. All he knew was that she was God’s gift to him. And therefore, in honoring that, Adam sings and loves her.

And the Bible tells us that in marriage to are to become one flesh. Genesis chapter two ends the picture of God creating what marriages are describing that for us. And we enter into Genesis chapter three and quickly find out that as sin comes, one of the first things that happens in sin in those relationships is disunity. Sin produces disunity. And from Genesis three on, if you look for beautiful pictures of marriage within the Bible, it’s difficult to find. You see a lot of struggle in relationships. And so there is the ideal for which God has created marriage. And there’s also the reel that we deal with from from day to day and what those what those do and seeing the ideal of what God has created for us and handling the relationships from from day to day in marriage and the family, as we recognize that the ideal isn’t always lived out in the real. And that creates for us a tension. And in the first week together, what we looked at and discovered is that we want to use that tension to work for us in our relationships. Sometimes we look at the difficulty of relationships, and we look at what God desires for relationships. When we get to a place where we we, we desire to give up. And there are other times that rather than hold the goal that that God has for us in those relationships, we just live with nothing but but grace.

And we don’t even look at the ideals or the picture of what God desires for relationship. And it’s just kind of this free for all of individuals living together under the same roof. But but what God desires is to present both grace and truth in those relationships that we still hold the ideal. And we live in the real, and the grace of God helps us to bridge the in-between. And that tension is a is a wonderful thing in relationships when we let it work for us rather than against us. And we discuss that in the first section together. And we talked about Ephesians chapter five, just set the precedent out for what Ephesians five discusses for us. It’s mirrored in Colossians chapter three from about verse 16 to verse 19. And the four points that we came up with in this passage of Scripture was this husbands, love your wife. Wives, submit to your husband. Uh, children, obey your parents, and dads don’t crush your kids. Right? Last week, we talked about what it means for the husband to to love within the family. And today we’re going to talk about the most popular one out of all of these, right? The one that as soon as you read this list, there’s something inside of you that just cringes over the over the thought that’s mentioned here. And and that’s what we get to deal with today. We’re going to talk about this second point in this series of Ephesians chapter five.

Wives or wives, submit to your husband. What what does that mean? Well, if you read it in Ephesians chapter five and verse 22, it says it like this wives, be subject to your own husbands. The word submit is in certain translations as to the Lord. Now to start off a section of Scripture like this, let me just help us out in going on this journey together by by saying husbands or men, who is this verse written to? I can tell you when I when I hear this verse quoted, more often than not, it tends to come from the male mouth more than the female mouth. But when you look at the way Paul writes this passage of Scripture, he makes it very clear in the beginning who he is identifying with as the most prominent person in understanding this position in Scripture. Right? Wives. So, husbands. Back off. Take a chill pill on this verse for a minute. And let me just let me just talk to the wives and we’ll jump in this together. Ladies, this, this passage of Scripture says, wives, be subject to your husband as unto the unto the Lord. Now I want to say when we talk about this verse, I actually heard this verse mentioned on the news. Within the last couple of weeks. I was watching a famous, a popular news channel, and they quoted this verse as a way to mock Christianity. Right? Wives, be subject to your own husbands.

Look at this. This is archaic, they would go on to say, and they mocked what Christianity is. And then I’ve even heard the other side of that. I’ve heard some some individuals who claim to follow Jesus take this verse as a way to just get their life or their wife excuse me in line to whatever it is they desire. So they have they have not necessarily Jesus’s dream for their family, but they have a desire for their family. And their family’s job is to get in line with what their image of the family should be, not necessarily what Jesus’s picture of the family would be. You see this a lot in the area of the world that I was from, right? This is the verse that you would quote when you want to say, hey, take off your shoes and get in the kitchen and and listen to what I say. And I just want to say for us in this passage of Scripture, if you approach this passage of Scripture with a heart that’s reserved, especially ladies, this morning, if you look at this verse and there’s something in you that just stops, hesitates, doesn’t want to embrace it, here’s my goal this morning that we don’t look at this verse like the news presents it. And we don’t look at this verse as a presentation of men who might want to dominate over women, to force them to do what it is their dream is.

But we look at this verse as Jesus desires to communicate it to us. Because when you take a step back from just this verse and this is one of those verses that if you just cherry pick this out of Scripture, it’s dangerous and it’s abusive. But when you take a step back and you look at what is surrounding this passage of Scripture, it’s beautiful in what Paul is trying to communicate to us. If you look at just the very verse, just just above it, it says in verse 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. And then Paul goes on and gives an example. What Paul is doing in verse 22 is going to carry a theme throughout this entire passage based on verse 21. See, Paul has just presented an overarching idea in verse 21. And now in verse 22, he’s giving us a practical application to this. Verse 21, he’s stating the idea of function within relationships. And now he’s about to get specific into the marital relationship. And so the first example he gives is to that of a wife. But I could say to all of us in this room, this verse is applicable to all of us in our lives. Because verse 21 is the overarching idea for the way that we function in all of our relationships. And it says, and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands as unto the Lord.

So here’s the overarching principle. And now here’s the practical example. Why would Paul do this? I think our tendency sometimes in life is when we live under a particular system for so long, when it begins to get challenged, the system of thinking, we slam the pendulum hard the other direction. Women have grown up in a culture and society where they have been degraded and treated as property. And for the first time, Jesus has come into culture and he’s shown the worth of women and children. And we talked about this a couple of weeks ago. Jesus was the one that when young kids would come around him, the people would try to push them away. They in that culture, in day and time, sometimes they didn’t even begin to name their children until they’re a few years old, because the mortality rate was so high and children were viewed as property more as people, they didn’t have value. What what determined rule in that day was might made right. And whoever was the strongest was the dog that led the pack. And when it came to the home, that was the dad. And so dad ruled. And so everyone else was looked at as beneath him. And now Jesus comes and he elevates the position of everyone women, children. He says, don’t hinder these children from coming to me. He who wants to receive my kingdom must do so as one of these children. The first ones to the tomb to profess to the resurrection of Christ were the women.

At a time when the testimony of women wouldn’t even uphold in the court of law, and God has elevated women. And so here’s here, this could be just speculation. But Paul, as he’s thinking about the beauty of the family and serving as God has created, what is the ideal in his mind? He is looking at a generation of men who have mistreated women and children, or have looked at them as less than equal to them. And he’s now concerned that maybe, maybe the women might respond similar to the way that men have been treating women. And so we reminds us of this verse. That God has called us in service to one another. And in case the pendulum gets duplicated or replicated in the life of a lady as she was elevated in her position compared to that of her husband, who has lived this out in his culture. Let’s just start in this conversation and say, and why is this is the way it looks that we continue to to subject or serve in those relationships that God has called us to. So create this idea within your mind. Paul gives us an overarching idea in verse 21, all of us in relationships. Specific example in verse 22, in relating to that of a woman. And this is why it’s beautiful for us. Because verse 21 mimics exactly the life of Jesus. If you were to read in John chapter 13, you’d see one of the famous stories within Scripture.

Jesus goes into the upper room with his disciples. He participates in the Passover dinner. They partake of communion together. This communion is symbolic of the life that Jesus would give now becoming the Passover Lamb. But something within this dinner happens that is, that is significant and shocking to the life of Peter and the rest of the disciples. Not just the communion, but there’s also this period of time in which Jesus steps down from the table. He girds himself. He kneels before his disciples and washes their feet. Why is that important? Because if you look in chapter 12, just before you get to chapter 13, when Jesus enters into Jerusalem, in John chapter 12, the people of this nation are gathering around him as he walks into the streets shouting, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. They’re declaring Jesus as king and asking their king to save him or save them. And as a king, as God coming to this earth, Jesus takes the second position behind us, that he, through his ability and strength, could serve us in our need, that we could come to know him and reflect his beauty in this world. Can I say? Wives, or maybe to all of us in general. I know sometimes we serve. Because we feel like we’re less than other people. Sometimes we struggle with image and who we are and our identity and feeling worthy.

Can I tell you when when Paul talks about service here? His reason for talking about service isn’t because you’re beneath anybody. And in fact, Jesus communicated the equality of everyone. The reason Paul’s talking about service here is because of the confidence that you can have in your position, because of Jesus’s worth placed upon you. You’re created in the image of God. When you’re confident in who you are and your position that God’s given you. And the gifts that God has gifted you with. Knowing that God has called you a child of him belonging to his kingdom. As you have placed your faith in what Christ has done. That position is never done away with, but in that position now, it gives you the opportunity to use your power and ability to leverage under your family that they may demonstrate the beauty of who God is in their life. This isn’t subtracting to you. This is communicating to you that you are worthy. You are powerful. You are gifted. You have incredible ability in God. And when God made the family in the beginning of Genesis. When he created the the family, he said be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth. God. God had a picture for the family, much bigger than than the family. It extended beyond the family. And so for the family to to radiate the beauty of who God is in this world, it requires the people within the family to understand their position in God, and to get beneath one another and leverage their power and ability for the benefit of the family, not according to their plan, but according to God’s.

In fact, when you work further into this passage, you see Paul using the same thought, not the word serving or submission, but the same thought to that of the husband. Look what he says in verse 28. So husbands ought to also love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. Listen, he’s saying, in the culture, guys, you think, you think within your mind that you are above everyone. And I just want you to know the way that you think that you should love yourself above other people. That is exactly the way I want you to treat your wife. For no one in verse 29. No one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of his body. Listen, husband, you think you’re special, or maybe above and maybe you look at people as property. But I want you to begin to view in verse 29, like Jesus viewed other people. He he leveraged his power. He leveraged his position. He leveraged his authority and his talent, and he got beneath of you so that you could see the beauty of who he is. That is exactly what God calls you to in your family.

You use what God has given you. To elevate your family before the Lord. You know, in our society today, it’s unfortunate that we have lost the identity of the word human being. Rather than human beings. We create. We treat each other as human doings. Meaning according to a biblical standard, who you are, regardless of what you do, is of infinite value because of what Christ has done for you. I mean, Jesus has given his life for you, which says before his eyes how beautiful you are. But in our society today, and I hope it’s not the case within our church body, that we tend to treat people based on how well they serve. Right? And I mean, in our culture today, if you talk about positions and and places where people work, there are certain occupations that people have that, that some people will look down on other people because of that position. You’ve heard maybe even, um, growing up, people used the job of being a trash man as something looked down upon. But can I just say this morning, if if that man goes a week without picking up your trash, guaranteed you’re going to love his job. Your worth isn’t based on what you do. Your worth is based on who you are. When you come to a word like submission and you approach a word like that based on what you do, you’re going to cringe at it. In verse 21, God’s called all of us to it.

But when you come to a work word like submission based on your identity of who you are in light of who he is, it becomes a beautiful verse for us as people in Christ. It’s because in that word you’re reflecting the identity of who Jesus is. Such glory and splendor. Subjecting himself to this earth. At the weight of sin and death, being punished by the worst form of imaginable that he could use his power and ability to leverage for your benefit. This word not only helps your family, but it gives you the opportunity within the realm of your family to really learn what it means to reflect who Jesus is in this world. How can a person ever live life never serving for the benefit of someone else and say they follow Christ? That’s what Jesus did. And no, no better place. Do you have to demonstrate the beauty of who Christ is in the way you serve within your family? I mean, you think about what God says within Scripture. He he creates us in his image. And he made the temple for which he dwelled, where people would go to worship. But when the New Testament happens and Christ is sacrificed, he he rips the veil, demonstrating to us His spirit is no longer there. And he says to you, you are now the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells within you. In first Corinthians 316 and 619. And what he’s saying in this passage of Scripture is literally to you, mom, dad, kids, you are the place where heaven meets earth.

You are the place where God collides, interacts through you in your relationships in this world. You are the way God desires to work. And so when you use your God given ability to leverage your talents, your time, your resources to get beneath your family and serve them, it reflects the beauty of who God is. Heaven and earth collide in you. In fact. Paul says this. An illustration to the husbands. He says in verse 25, husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her. Look, I just want to say. When it comes to loving. This verse isn’t saying to us, love your family as they are worthy of your love. Because the example is Jesus. And what it’s saying to us is that Jesus chose to love us even in our sin. And so, husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her so that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word that he might present to himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that she would be holy and blameless. Paul saying, fathers, husbands, you want to understand how important it is that you leverage your ability to to be there for your family, to influence them the way that God has called you.

This is how important it is. It’s so important that in sin, even if you choose to love them, you begin to sanctify them. And the beauty of who God is begins to be reflected into their lives and lived out through them because of your willingness to love them even when they’re unlovable. Most like Jesus. Maybe I could stop and say. The family in those relationships is the greatest step to your sanctification in Christ. The way you choose to lay that down for them. As a father and as a. A husband. Going a week without my wife this week. It’s a wonderful time for me as a as a father, to look at the the value of who she is and what she does to the family. The truth is, guys, verses like verse 22 within this Bible have been used far too long in Christian circles to beat up on women. Out of context and abused. But what an important text to look at within the context, to see the value of who she is and what she does within the family and what what an important verse for you as guys to look at, and especially at the one on the screen to to see how God views your position in being subjected to your family for their benefit. And what better way to understand what God has done in you and through you, uh, and how he’s lived out his life for you, than to live out your life in a way that reflects him.

And sometimes people may ask the question, well, what do I do if my family isn’t a believing family or I’m the only one that follows Jesus and my family? Will Paul answer that as well? In first Corinthians seven, he he just says the believing husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband. Meaning. Wife or husband or children may be in that type of setting like that may maybe it values your position even more. So being in an environment where those those around you may not know Jesus. And how much more important is it for you to leverage your ability for their benefit that may come to know the Christ that you know? God has given you the opportunity to to to use your position to demonstrate who he is. And in all cases, whether your family is believing or not. I would encourage you this way pray for them. Pray for them and and their desire to to grow in the Lord. Verse 22. Let me read this. Wives. Be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord. You know what I think Paul is saying in verse 22? Is the way that you use your resources to elevate your family before God. The scene is an act of worship to him. Wives. Be subject to your own families as unto the Lord, or to your husbands as unto the Lord.

God looks at the way you interact in your relationships. And God sees the way that you interact with your family, and he knows the position and value he has placed upon you. And he knows what he’s called you to in this world. And looking at this passage of Scripture together, we do too. And the way that you choose from that step to interact with your family is seen as an act of worship before your God. To mothers and wives on Father’s Day. Can I tell you? You’re a gift to your family. You have the opportunity to make a tremendous impact in their lives, probably more than anyone in the lives of your children and spouse. Husbands the same. And the truth is, you probably don’t feel that way all the time, and you’re probably not told that enough. And your value isn’t based on what you do, but it’s based on who you are. But any time you use your position for the benefit of your family, it is an act of grace that God uses through you for their gain. I know what that’s like from the child to mother perspective. I think it took me about 19 or 20 years old before I was calling my mom back on the phone and being like, mom, you were right. Everything you said made sense. In the midst of those battles. Don’t underestimate what God is using you for.

There’s the ideal and there’s the real and let that tension work for you. Because in that tension, when moments seem difficult, that truly is where the beauty of God’s light is shown. It’s in the midst of darkness that lights burn the brightest. So for all of us this morning, when you come to a text like this, I think this is the question it desires for us to ask. How can I use my time, my talents, my resources, my ability for your benefit in the Lord? Or set a different way. How can I help? And if we walked out this morning in our family relationships and just lived life with that question for each other, it communicates I care about you, and I desire to help you as as Christ desires for me to use my ability to elevate you before him. How can I help? And kids even even though I’m saying this this morning, if if you go home and ask your parents that question, I promise that after about five minutes, when they get up off the floor, they’re going to love it, right? What can I do to help? If you ask that in front of your parents friends, your parents friends will be like you. Teach us. What did you get your kid to do? How did you get him to do that? Or or husband? If, if, if you ask that to your wife or wife, you ask that to to to your husband.

It gives you the opportunity to communicate. I care about what God desires to do in your life, and I want to leverage my time, my resources, my ability to serve you. What can I do to help? And that question gives us the opportunity to lean in to the family, rather than be just a bunch of individuals under a roof. It gives us the opportunity to engage in one another’s lives. And can I tell you, when it comes to serving as God has called all of us to serve in Ephesians five, chapter 1 or 21, when we asked that question, how can I help the time in your life? You probably need to ask it the most is when you want to ask it the least. It’s the time in your relationship where you feel such tension that you want to step away. That you want to go by yourself and you want to be an individual rather than a family. What can I do to help? I hope this morning your heart is encouraged. I hope this morning when you leave, you don’t allow people to come before you and use Ephesians chapter five and verse 22 as a way to abuse someone before the Lord. But you can take the opportunity to communicate to others what God has said in this passage of Scripture by recognizing in verse 21 that God has called us all to serve. But most importantly, when we choose to live a verse like this, we live reflecting the beauty of who Christ is in our lives.

The Dance

Parents and Children