Ephesians 5:25-31      Husbands of Courage

Rev. David Holwick   ZH                              Men of Courage, #2

First Baptist Church

Ledgewood, New Jersey

November 3, 2013

Ephesians 5:25-31


  I. We have become hooked on marriage.

      A. We are emotionally close to fewer and fewer people.

          1) A study at the University of Arizona and Duke University

                found that the number of people who discuss meaningful

                   matters ONLY with their spouse, doubled in 20 years.

             Even worse, the number of people who didn't have anyone

                they confided in, tripled over that period.


          2) I guess it is good that many people can confide in their


             The downside is that as we become more dependent on romantic

                relationships for intimacy and deep communication, the

                   more vulnerable we are when that relationship breaks


          3) And for many couples, communication never gets that deep.

              a) Typical conversations:

                  1> Did you take out the trash?

                  2> Which of us is going to the kid's soccer game?

              b) We are sharing grocery lists rather than the deeper

                    things of life.

          4) I tried digging deeper with Celeste this week.

              a) I knew I was preaching on this, so to cover myself I

                    asked her how I could be better as a husband.

              b) She said this must be an act of projection because I

                    was dissatisfied with her as a wife and she wouldn't

                       answer me.

                  1> My next sentence in this sermon said, "I can't win."

                     However, Celeste found the manuscript on the kitchen

                        counter, crossed this out, and wrote, "I must be

                           the perfect husband."

      B. Marriage matters.  A lot.

          1) We have all seen how painful it is when a couple breaks up.

          2) But we have also seen couples who truly find fulfillment

                in each other and enjoy one another's company.

          3) If you are a Christian man, how can you build that kind

                of marriage?

II. The Courageous Resolution challenges men to be better husbands.

      A. Next Sunday night is our commitment ceremony.

          1) We are asking men, and their families to come at 6:00

                in the evening.

          2) Put on a tie, wash up the kids.

          3) But first, consider what you will be signing and affirming.

      B. The portion that focuses on being a husband.

         I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility

            for myself, my wife, and my children.

         I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the

            Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.

         I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be

            willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did

               for me.

         I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.

         I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with

            those I have wronged.

III. The Bible's duty for husbands.

      A. The chief command, in several passages, is that they love.

          1) Wives are not told to love but husbands are.

          2) In verse 25, Paul says the standard of their love is

                the love Jesus has for us.

              a) He gave himself for her by dying on a cross.

              b) That is why the Resolution says husbands should be

                    willing to lay down their lives for their spouse.

                  1> Most men would say that they would do this.

                  2> They won't give up Monday Night Football for them,

                        or do the laundry, or clean up after this kids,

                           but they will lay down their life --

                        because they never expect that to be necessary.

      B. Sacrificial love is a cherishing love.

          1) Paul uses the language of a wedding ceremony, specifically

                of the beauty of a bride.

          2) Most married men always remember the sight of his bride

                walking down the aisle.

              a) His bride is radiant.

              b) Do you actually treat her that way?

          A friend of Stuart Briscoe's is a professor of New Testament.

          The professor was writing a commentary on Paul's letter to

             the Ephesians and was working on this passage of Scripture.

          It is not an easy passage because Paul talks about husbands

             and wives, and then he uses the analogy of Christ and the

                Church, and then you can't tell whether he is talking

                   about husbands or the church.

          Paul's conclusion is, "It's a great mystery," and he is right.

          But Briscoe's friend was a serious New Testament scholar, so

             he was exegeting this passage.

          As he was working on it, it suddenly struck him that Christ

             was working with the Church that it might eventually be a

                radiant Church.

          He turned away from his computer, and he called to his wife,

             who was in another part of the house, and he said, "Honey,

                can I ask you a question?  Do I make you 'radiant'?"

          There was silence, and then she said, "What did you say?"

             He said, "I asked you, do I make you radiant?"

          She said, "Why are you asking me that?"

             So he explained.

          She said, "Do you really want me to answer that?"

             He said, "Yes, I do, I need to know!"

          She said, "All right I'll tell you.

             Frankly, no you don't."

          He said, "Why not?"

          She said, "Well, we've been married all these years.

             We're married, we'll stay married, we're together.

          But for years our marriage has run on parallel tracks - you

             do your thing, and I do my thing.

          The reason I'm doing my thing is I know you're going to do

             your thing.

          What happens is this marriage operates basically on the

             basis of what you want, and I just fit in.

          I'm rarely consulted, and if I do express an opinion, it's

             usually overridden or ignored.

          I find, therefore, that the easiest thing to do is say

             nothing, and just go along with what you want to do."

          She continued, "You are incredibly self-centered.

             You simply run the show, and I am simply subservient.

          The result is that I live a life of frustration, a sense of

             being unfulfilled, bordering on resentment."

          The professor told Briscoe, "I had a wake-up call."

          Men, this is your wake-up call from the Lord!


      C. Sacrificial love must be an exclusive love.

          1) 90% of divorces in long-standing marriages are due to

                unfaithfulness.                                    #31281

          2) Proverbs 20:6 is especially poignant:

             "Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful

                 man who can find?"

          3) God wants you to be a faithful man.

              a) Your wife wants you to be a faithful man.

              b) So be a faithful man.

      D. Sacrificial love is a forgiving love.

          1) There are wrongs in every marriage.

              a) You will do some, they will do some.

              b) Don't count up who does more wrongs.

                  1> As 1 Corinthians 13 says, love keeps no record of


          2) Forgive thoroughly, and quickly.

              a) Don't let the sun go down before you straighten things


              b) Don't play psychological games like the silent treatment.

          3) Reconcile when necessary.

              a) When the relationship breaks down, try to bring it back


              b) Do not wait for the other person to make the first step.

IV. Two can become one.

      A. Good marriages are a special unity.

          1) We use expressions like "finding your soul mate."

              a) The implication is that there is one unique person you

                    have to find to have the perfect marriage.

              b) I don't think this is what the Bible is talking about.

          2) Any man and woman can "become one" if they work at that

                commitment with God's help.

      B. The key is commitment more than negotiation.

          1) Marriage requires thinking of someone other than yourself.

          2) It is not 50-50 but 100-100.

             Dr. Paul Popenoe was a well-known marriage counselor.

             In one counseling session he was talking to a young husband

                who had been openly critical of his wife.

             Dr. Popenoe was explaining how two become one in marriage.

                In a smart reply the husband said, "Yes, but which one?"

             The counselor said, "A little of each."

             Then he went on to explain that in marriage you have to

                develop "we-psychology."

             You have to think of yourself in terms of a pair rather

                than as an individual.

             Ideally, when "two become one" it means that each one is

                doubled, but not duplicated.

             You still retain your individual identity, but you add to

                yourself the identity of the other.

             The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

             A wise person once said: "A marriage consists of one master,

                one mistress, and two slaves; making, in total, one."

             That may be strange arithmetic, but it is good theology.


  V. Love her enough to lead her.

      A. Every man should be the spiritual leader of the home.

          1) By "leader" I don't mean you give your wife a lot of

                commands, I mean you set the spiritual tone.

          2) Many men fall short here and make their wife carry that


          3) They want help.  They want you to be a spiritual rock.

      B. Tell your family what you believe.

           It was mealtime at the annual family reunion and the entire

              family was present for the traditional time of fellowship,

                 reminiscing ... and food.

           Little did they know that they were in store for one of the

              most moving and memorable moments in their lives.

           Their father stood awkwardly at the head of the table,

              cleared his throat and asked for their attention.

           "You know," he began, "I have always said there are two

              things I will not discuss - religion and politics.

           And, about religion, I have always said that it is a personal


           Well, I still believe that religion is personal.

           But lately I have come to understand that it was never meant

              to be private.

           He continued, "On this sheet of paper I have written the

              testimony of my faith in Christ.

           I will admit that, until recently, I didn't have a testimony.

           That's why I didn't want to discuss it.

           But, a few days ago, all that changed and I want you to know

              about it.

           I'm a little new at this, so if you don't mind, I'd just like

              to read this to you."

           A hush fell over the room as the father humbly read his

              testimony to his family.

           He stumbled through the brief statement of his faith in


           When he looked up he was amazed at what was happening.

           His sons had tears welling up in their eyes and his wife

              and daughters were openly crying.

           His grandchildren were looking curiously at their parents

              to figure out just what was happening.

           That father was setting in motion a series of events that

              would ultimately see all his family members come to Christ.

           It would be a legacy of faith that would be passed down for

              generations to come.

           And little did the family or the father know that they would

              all gather again only a few weeks later.

           And this time it would be at a graveside where his earthly

              remains would be deposited, along with the clear assurance

                 that he was with God.

           Fathers, have you shared your faith with your family?

           The Bible clearly states that one of the evidences of genuine

              salvation is a willingness to testify to that fact.

           Has your family heard your testimony of faith in Christ?




#22578  Has Your Family Heard Your Testimony? Tom Elliff, Baptist Press,

           http://www.baptistpress.org, January 10, 2003.  This illustration

           is excerpted from the book, In Their Own Words, by Tom Elliff

           and Robert Witty.

#31281  Semper Fi, Preaching Now internet newsletter, www.preaching.com,

           June 27, 2006.

#33593  Too Close For Comfort, Stephanie Coontz, New York Times Online,

           November 11, 2006.

#34123  Strange Arithmetic, Donald B. Strobe, COLLECTED WORDS,

           www.eSermons.com; quoted in Rev. Brett Blair's Illustrations by

           Email, www.sermonillustrations.com.

#64282  Do I Make You Radiant? Rev. Stuart Briscoe, Kerux Sermon #26657.

These and 35,000 others are part of the Kerux database that can be

downloaded, absolutely free, at http://www.holwick.com/database.html


Courageous Resolution

I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for

    myself, my wife, and my children.

I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the

    Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.

I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing

    to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.

I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their

    hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.

I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.

I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.

I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and


I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.

I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those

    I have wronged.

I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with

    integrity as a man answerable to God.

I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word,

    and do His will.

I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill

    this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. -Joshua 24:15?

Copyright 2017 by Rev. David Holwick

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