Husbands and Wives

The Purpose Of Christian Marriage Is To Illustrate Jesus' Love For The Church

Dan Franklin
Jan 8, 2023    45m
Have you ever wondered about the purpose of Christian Marriage? Join us as we learn that Christian marriage was designed from the very beginning to be a beautiful picture of Jesus' love for His bride, the church. Video recorded at Upland, California.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Intro: [00:00:00] Hey there. Thanks so much for checking out one of our messages here at Life Bible Fellowship Church. And we know there are two great ways you can connect with us. You can visit our website at to learn more about all of our ministries and what we believe. And also, you can subscribe to us on YouTube to make sure that you don't miss one of our future videos.

Dan Franklin: [00:00:18] This morning, and a week from now, next Sunday, we're going to be in a two-week series that we're calling My Family, God's Glory. And let me just walk you through what the series is going to be like, this series fits into something that we've had for as an all-church goal from 2022 to 2023, where we've said we want to help create a culture here. There's obviously stuff we've already done related to this, but we really want to create a culture here at this church where we figure out what it looks like for Jesus to be at the center of our family life. And as we talk about that, I think we can sometimes get this a little bit backward and we can think, all right, I've got this marriage or I want to get married, or we have these kids and we have sort of goals and certain dreams, and so we have this agenda and we have an idea of what we want our families to be like, and we want God to come alongside and help us accomplish those goals. God, come alongside and help my marriage be all that I dream for it to be. And God, come alongside and help our kids and our family and our home life be all that we dreamed that it would be. And that's actually getting things a little bit backward. We start with the realization, we've just sung about this, we start with the realization that we belong to God, that we are His, that we are blood bought by the sacrifice of Jesus, that He is supreme, and that we are his people. And so instead of starting and saying, hey, I've got these goals for my family, God help me accomplish them. We start by saying we all belong to God, and his purposes for our families are what we want to see bring into fruition. We want to see what life looks like with Jesus at the center of our family.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:04] And so this Sunday, today, we're going to talk about husbands and wives. Next Sunday, we're going to talk about children and parents. I really apologize, I'm not sure what happened. But, Emelia, we gave you the wrong passage, the passage that you heard is a great passage in the Bible, it's not the one we're going to go through today. So this is one of the great things about being part of the first service, you're like, oh, something goes a little bit wrong. It's not her fault we gave her the wrong passage.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:26] We're going to go through Ephesians chapter five verses twenty-two through thirty-three. So if you have a Bible and you want to turn there, just wanted to give you a heads-up about that. But something that I want to say on the front side, you know, first of all, today is going to be about husbands and wives. If you're sitting here and you're like, I'm not married, I'm not a husband or a wife, this message is still for you for a couple of reasons. First of all, some of you who are a little bit younger and are not currently a husband or wife, you will be one day, you're going to want to listen. You're going to want to listen to what God says about this. And some of you, some of us are going to be married, some of us are going to be single for an extended period of time or maybe even our whole lives. One of the beautiful things that we're going to get to see in this is that the things that are talked about, the things that the Apostle Paul talks about in this passage, are, first of all, broadly applicable in a beautiful way for how we, as men and women interact, it is most intensely in marriage, but there's a broad application. And also behind all of this, there's a picture that we all are meant to get. This message is not primarily going to be about husbands and wives, this message is going to be primarily about Jesus because that's what marriage is primarily about.

Dan Franklin: [00:03:38] And as we talk about this, I want to just talk for a minute about the whole idea that sometimes when we think about marriage, we're all running to the tools. We're all saying, all right, give me the principles, give me the ideas, give me the, all right, what are the four things’ husbands are supposed to do to make their wives happy? Like, we just want to figure that out, what are those things? What are the things that we do together as a couple to have good communication, or to figure out how we get on the same page as far as finances or to have a healthy sex life? Like, how do we do this? How do we get these tools? And tools are significant, tools are helpful when you say all right, we need some of the practical how-to’s.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:15] In fact, just to show you that I think tools are very helpful, I brought a couple up here that I'll talk to you about right now. Two books I'm going to recommend right now if you're saying I want some help with tools. The first one is called Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. Has Anybody read this one? All right, this is a great book, it's really wonderful and biblically steeped in talking about how we live out love and respect to one another. And the other one I have, there should be two here, but they're called For Men Only, and For Women Only. I have the men's one because I'm not allowed to read the women's one, it's for women only, that's just how it works. But it's by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn. And again, if this is too quick, afterward, you can come up and I can show you these books. But these are great, they're research-based and they're also biblically based, just talking about how we as men and women engage with one another in a healthy way. So I'm going to set these off to the side for a second.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:08] But tools are helpful, sometimes you do need help. Your heart is in the right place and you're saying, I just need the tools. But sometimes we also need to take a step back and say the tools aren't what we're lacking, but the framework is what we're lacking. If you went and bought something from IKEA and it's supposed to be a coffee table, but you take it and you try to make it into a doghouse, I don't care how many Allen wrenches you have, and at our house, we have a lot. I don't care how many Allen wrenches you have; it's not going to work because you're building the wrong thing. I think part of our trouble is that sometimes we do run into problems and we say we're trying to relate well as husbands and wives, but we just need some help with the tools. Sometimes we need to step back and say we're actually trying to build something wrong here, we're actually not trying to build what God wants us to build in this marriage.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:02] And so here's how we're going to walk through this passage in Ephesians five. We're going to walk through verses twenty-two through thirty-three, we're actually going to do it not in precise order. We're going to start by talking about what the purpose of marriage is, and then we're going to move into the practice of marriage. We're going to start with the real big picture, and then we're going to get into the practical instructions that the Apostle Paul gives us.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:26] So we start with the purpose of marriage, and here, if you have your Bible open to Ephesians five, I'm going to start reading in verse twenty-eight. And in verse twenty-eight, you're going to see there are instructions to wives and instructions to husbands, this is sort of the tail end of the instructions that Paul is giving to husbands. So starting in verse twenty-eight he says, "In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body.".

Dan Franklin: [00:07:03] Now, just a quick pause for this, so this has given away the main command that Paul gives to husbands when he gives instructions to husbands is, husbands, love your wives. And you can see him picking up on this, and he even says husbands, and this is important for all of us as husbands just to hear. He says, husbands, when you're loving your wife, you're actually doing something not only good for her but good for yourself, because the two become one, in marriage, the two become one. So when you're loving your wife in a way, you're loving yourself because you're one. And then Paul uses this to go into a quotation from all the way back in Genesis, from page two in the Bible, Genesis chapter two, verse twenty-four, to quote the verse that is the first verse in the Bible about marriage. And not only is it about Adam and Eve, but it's sort of setting up what marriage is. So in verse thirty-one, he gives that quote, it says, “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” It's a quotation when God brings Adam and Eve together, the first man in the woman; and then just broadly speaking, this is what happens in marriage. A man will leave his father and mother, and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:13] Now look at verse thirty-two and look at Paul's interpretation of this passage. He says, "This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church." And it might be at this point that we're like, no, Paul, you're talking about Adam and Eve, you're talking about husbands and wives, you're talking about marriage. What do you mean you're talking about Christ and the church? Paul says, When I'm quoting Genesis 2:24, when I'm talking about the very center of what marriage is, we're actually not talking about Adam and Eve, we're actually not talking about husbands and wives, from the very, very beginning, marriage has been about the Gospel. Marriage has been not about us, but about a picture of Christ in the church. So when we start this, we start with that idea. Marriage at its center is bigger than you, and it's bigger than me, it's a picture of the Gospel.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:13] And before moving on, let's just talk about this for a second. When we talk about a man leaving his father and mother and being united to his wife and becoming one flesh, we get to live in the reality that there was the eternal Son of God who left his father, and through great sacrifice that he suffered, is united now to his bride, and we are united to him. That is the foundational reality, as a church, as life, Bible Fellowship Church, our big proclamation to the world is not marriage is great, you should get married. No,

Dan Franklin: [00:09:50] we think marriage is wonderful, but our main proclamation to the world is that Jesus saves sinners and marriage is a picture of the Gospel. God puts us on display as husbands and wives to live out the Gospel before other people and to show them the picture of a man who left behind his father to be united to his bride so that they could be one flesh.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:18] One of the reasons that this is really important is because even as Christians, this isn't frequently the first thing that comes to our mind when we think about marriage. We have a lot of ways that we talk about marriage, we talk about marriage in terms of like all right, if you looked at sort of popular culture, you might say, all right, it's sort of you find your best friend and you find your best friend, and then you marry your best friend so that you can be best friends forever with some extra stuff that best friends don't normally do. But still, it's sort of like your best friends together forever. Marriage is much deeper than friendship. Friendship is a wonderful component of marriage, you even see it in the Book of Song of Songs, when the bride talks about the idea of her husband being her friend also. Friendship is wonderful, it's not at the center of marriage.

Dan Franklin: [00:11:08] Now, other times we might think of marriage as marriage is you're looking for the one, the one person out there for you that sort of stirs your heart, and the one person out there that gets you, you're looking for the one. And we even use that terminology, we're like, do you think that she's the one? Do you think that she's the right one for you? Do you think that she's the one that you've been waiting for? I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, none of that is in the Bible anywhere. There is no talk of the one, there's no talk of any man in the Bible finding a wife and saying, I really think she's the one. Or any woman finding any man and saying, I really think that he's the one, this is not biblical terminology. Soulmates is not biblical terminology. It's something that we've created, and this is the reason why this matters, if your marriage is about finding the one and you get married and it's not going so great, what do you start to think? No, he's not the one, she's not the one, so I've got to divorce them and get out there because the one is still somewhere out there, and who knows? They might be in Mongolia, they might be in Madagascar, one person in the whole world, I've got to go out and find that one person. If we're going to somehow appropriate this terminology, if you have a wife, she is the one. If you have a husband, he is the one, this is not the way we're meant to look at marriage. Marriage is bigger than us, this is why I love getting to do weddings, it's always a huge privilege when I get to officiate weddings. And when I do, I always say this to the couple right before we're going to do vows, I say, all right, here's a deal, you're about to make promises to each other. but really, the first person you're making the promises to is not each other. I talk to the groom first, you're making promises to your bride, but before that, you are making promises to God about what you're going to do. Brides, you are making promises to God about what you're going to do. God is the most important person in any marriage. And our first commitment is not even to our spouse, our first commitment is to one another. Marriage is a picture of the Gospel.

Dan Franklin: [00:13:22] And we're going to get in, just so you know, we're going to get into the idea that Paul, as he talks about marriage, and this is not just Paul, this is throughout the Bible, there's a picture of us fitting together and there's a different calling for husbands and a different calling for wives. When we get into that, some of you are going to be rankled by it. Some of you are going to be like, I'm not so sure I like this, that there are different roles within marriage of how we play out this picture of Christ in the church.

Dan Franklin: [00:13:47] So I want to just say a couple of things. The first thing I want to say is, first of all, remember, this is a picture that we're playing out. God has cast the parts of husband and wife for the husband to represent Christ, and for the wife to represent the church. This is bigger than us, and so because it's bigger than us, we look to God and we trust him. And here's the second thing that I want to say, the calling that God gives us as husbands and wives, they're difficult, but I think God is wise enough to give us roles within marriage that are all so fitting. God made men; he understands men. God made women; he understands women. It doesn't mean what we're going to talk about is easy for any of us, but what it is going to mean is maybe we could give just a little bit more confidence in God's divine word that he knows what he's doing. We approach this as a picture that we all get to be a part of.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:48] And here's part of how this plays in also, sometimes we can start to think, like, if my marriage is meant to be this wonderful thing that shows off the Gospel to the world, if I'm the man and I'm married to a difficult woman, then that's not doing anybody any good. Like, how is that helping anyone, if I'm a man who's married to a difficult woman? I'll tell you how it might be doing somebody good. If you are married to a difficult woman, you get to show the divine love of Jesus who loves, let's be honest, a difficult bride. We are not an easy bride to love, we're not always obedient to him, and we're not always responsive to him. If you are a man and you're like, what good is it doing to the world if I'm loving this wife who's difficult? You are showing off a picture of Jesus's unconditional love in a beautiful way. And if you're a wife and you're like, I'm married to this difficult husband, who is this helping? Wives, you get to be a part of what I think in the Bible is called the much more idea, you get to point to something even greater. Which means this, if you are being supportive and faithful to a difficult man, people will get to see beauty in that and they'll get to see a hint of just how much beauty there would be if that man wasn't a difficult man but was a loving man, and they get to see a picture of Christ and the church.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:13] Some of you are in challenging marriages right now. Now, let's be real before we get into things, most of us are going to be in the mainstream. I know in the United States, we all think we're the exception to the rule. We're going to read these passages later, and it's going to be like, husbands love your wives and you're going to be like, yeah, you don't know my wife. Like, it's probably true of most husbands, but you don't understand, it's not true of me. Wives, submit to your husbands. Yeah, maybe most wives, but you don't know my situation. Most of us are not the exception to the rule, and we've got to embrace that God has given us a calling.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:46] But I do want to talk for a minute before we get into the instructions to husbands and wives, just to talk about the fact that some of you might be in a situation that calls for more extreme action. Where it's not just the normal bumps and bruises and challenges of marriage, there's something more extreme going on that means you need some extra help, either some professional counseling or some kind of intervention. By the way, after the service, we're going to have some pastors and elders up on either side of the stage. There's going to be an opportunity if you feel like, yeah, maybe what's going on with us is a little bit more, we need a little more help. And so I'll give you a real quick three scenarios where it would be a signal you need a little bit more help.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:25] The first is this, if there has been adultery. Now, if there has been adultery, the direction in scripture is not to rush out and get a divorce. God can bring healing and redemption, and God does bring healing and redemption in an amazing array of situations. But if you're dealing with adultery, you're not dealing with the normal bumps and bruises of marriage, and you need help. You need people around you, you need support, you probably need counseling and help. So if you're in a situation where you're like, all right, we're trying to work this through, but there's been infidelity and we're trying to figure it out, get some extra help.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:58] The second situation is if your spouse is doing something illegal. You're sort of like this is putting the whole family in danger with the law, with finances, possibly with violence and physical safety. If you're in that situation, that's not normal. That's not just sort of like, yeah, this is normal, every married couple has their problems. That's not normal, you need some extra help, and you need to bring people into that situation.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:23] And the third is if there is physical abuse going on. That is not the normal bumps and bruises of marriage, that's not sort of that is just how men act, that's just how these things work. If you are dealing with physical violence or physical abuse in your marriage, that is not normal, and we as a church want to provide help, we want to be sensitive. In fact, one of the things, I'll just put this up real quick.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:45] Afterward, we have a counseling referral list that we give to people who are looking for counseling in life and then in marriage. We also have, if you're looking at this and you're like, I need some extra help, but now is not necessarily the appropriate time to go and talk to somebody. You can either email one of us during the week, or you can just go to our website, and we have our list for support. Whatever you're going through, we want to help you get to the next step because sometimes people are going through something and it's like, this is not just sort of the normal stuff that, hey, we just need that marriage book to get some tools, we need some extra help. So if you need some extra help, we as a church, we promise you, we don't want there to be shame, we don't want there to be embarrassment, we just want to help get you to the next appropriate step.

[00:19:28] There are situations that are outside the mainstream. But the way that I'm going to approach the remainder of this time is really speaking to the mainstream, really speaking to those of us who are husbands and wives trying to figure this out and muddling through it. And so we're going to move from the purpose of marriage, and we're going to talk about the practice of marriage. So once again, if you have your Bible, is going to be in Ephesians chapter five verses twenty-two through twenty-seven, Paul starts and gives instructions to wives and verses twenty-two through twenty-four, and then instructions to husbands and verses twenty-five through twenty-seven.

Dan Franklin: [00:20:02] And so we'll go through them in that order, we'll start with the instructions to the wives, and I'll just read these verses for us as we get going, "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." All right, everybody, breathe in; Everybody breathe out. So I don't want to spend so much time talking about how this is shocking to us that we don't actually talk about what's said. But I feel like it's important to pause here, because some of you are sitting out there and you're like, does he know what he just said? Like, does he know that this does not fly in our culture right now? Some of you are like, I thought that part of the Bible was taken out at some point. Like, is this really still in there? So I want to say two things, the first thing I want to say is if you heard me read that or you're reading along and you're sort of like alarm bells are going off in your head, you're deeply concerned, you're troubled, the first thing that I want to say is, first of all, this I want to say I get it, I understand that this is totally countercultural right now. I totally understand that. I want to ask and just plead, if I could, for you to hang in there and listen to where this all goes before you make a final judgment on what's being said here.

[00:21:36] And the second thing I want to say is this, I get that this is shocking in our culture right now to say this. At Life Bible Fellowship Church, though, here are a couple of things we will never do. We will never apologize for, or act embarrassed about something that God has said. We're never going to read the Bible and sort of be like, gosh, it's in there, I'm really sorry, don't blame me, I didn't write it. If I had written it, it would have been different, but we got to do what God says because God says it's in there. We are not going to do that, we think God is way wiser than we are, and so we're going to approach God's Word and say, hey, if we feel like we disagree, the problem is not God, the problem is us. So we're going to take this seriously as God's guidance within marriage and God's instructions to wives. And as you can see, there's going to be a keyword for husbands later on, the keyword will be love. And there's a keyword for wives in these verses and that keyword is submit. And that sort of is the triggering word, that's the word that we're not quite sure what to do with.

[00:22:32] And so a couple of things to make sure we understand what's actually being said here. First of all, the word submit shows up a lot in the New Testament and not just in relationship to husbands and wives. Although, at least three times very overtly, Paul and Peter talk about this as appropriate in relationships with husbands and wives. This isn't just one isolated passage where Paul talks about this, this is the consistent New Testament teaching. But submit is used in all kinds of relationships, any kind of relationship where there's an appropriate sense of responding to authority. So it's used in work relationships, it's used in government relationships, it's used with children, with parents, it's used in all kinds of relationships. So the word does definitely imply not that men are superior to women, but that within the marriage relationship, there is an authority difference. It talks about the husband being the head of the wife, so that is there, that's 100% there. People try to explain it away and find a way for it not to be there, it is there, it's the consistent teaching of the Bible.

[00:23:33] But what submission means is not sort of you are inferior, what submission simply means is to order yourself appropriately under the person in authority. In fact, the word relates to a military idea of sort of different factions and different troops ordering themselves under the one in authority. So it's not a weak word, it's not a passive word, it's a very active word, but it's a word of bringing. Not only yielding your will to the one in authority, but of active support for the one in authority. To be clear, to submit does not mean you never say anything, you're a bad follower in any situation if you never say anything, you're not helpful at all. So Paul's not saying, hey, wives, just stand there, don't say anything. Submission is also not passive, it's not the idea of saying, all right, you just sit there, your husband is going to take care of everything, you just sit there and let him do what he's going to do. That is not what's being envisioned here. What's being envisioned here is a beautiful partnership of husband and wife working together, of the husband in a godly way, taking the initiative and taking the responsibility and the lead, and the wife bringing wise, godly, helpful support to him along the way. The best kind of submission, if you're a wife and you're listening to this and you're like, how would I live this out? The way that you would live this out is not by saying, I'm just going to stand back and not do anything, but of you saying, how can I bring active help and support to my husband when he's looking to lead in a godly way?

[00:25:13] Now Karina and I have been married for over 20 years, and I really appreciate there are some ways that she does this that I so appreciate about her, and I'll give two examples. The first example is Karina is way better than I am when it comes to how we handle our finances and how we track our finances. She is really, really good at it, she's very diligent about it, and that's hugely helpful to our family. So there have been times where I've come and I've said, all right, I want to take the initiative on something, and maybe it's that, hey, we want to give some money, we want to give money outside of the budget to Assure Pregnancy Clinic because we feel called to do that. Or lately, we've talked about that there's a trip that we want to save for that's going to take us a couple of years to save for, and it's going to take some creativity out of the budget. So I have talked to Karina and said, like, all right, we've agreed together, we want to do these things, she is the one implementing all of the strategies that are going to make these a reality. Thank God when I came to her about this, she wasn't like, all right, figure it out. She's way better at figuring it out. And this is one of the beautiful things about how this can work, that she comes and she's like, all right, I've got these five ideas, I think we can do this and this and this, and I think if we move some money over here, and we're creating here, and we save a little bit over here, we can make this a reality. That is a beautiful picture of support and submission within marriage. It's not at all her undercutting me by coming up with great ideas of how we accomplish what we've agreed on together.

[00:26:40] The second example and this example is to show that just because you're called to submit doesn't mean you always have to agree. So this was a bunch of years ago, we were still living in Oregon, and Karina and I were attending a wedding together. I don't know for sure that you'll remember this, although you might. We were attending a wedding, I was feeling under the weather, and I tried to get better at this, but at the time I was not feeling very well, and I didn't see any reason why anybody should not know that I wasn't feeling well. I was just sort of like not feeling well, I'm kind of in a lousy mood, I think there might have even been something else that was bothering me. So we're driving into the church parking lot to go to this wedding, and I'm just gloomy the entire time. So before we get out of the car, Karina says, all right, here's what you need to do. She said we're about to go into the wedding, we're about to see a bunch of people, and you are important to them. Like you're one of their pastors, you are important to them. If you go in all gloomy and downcast, it's going to affect relationships with people. So you need, I don't think these were her exact words, but it was sort of like, you need to pull yourself together. Like you need to put on a happy face and actually be there for other people. Now, she was, I didn't like hearing it, she was 100% right, she was absolutely right. And I did, you know, I manned up and I handled it and got myself together with all of it. But her doing that was not just Karina saying, hey, you're annoying me right now, even though no doubt I was, and it was understandable that she was annoyed with me. She was looking out for me and saying, you're a pastor at this church, your relationships are going to be negatively affected if you behave this way. She was not just looking out for her, she was not just looking out for the people whose wedding it was, she was looking out for me. That is good.

Dan Franklin: [00:28:29] healthy support within marriage. Submission is not passive, submission is active, and is beautiful when it's lived out in that sort of way.

Dan Franklin: [00:28:40] Now I want to show you something else before we move on to the instructions to husbands. Verse thirty-three of this passage, I read verses twenty-eight through thirty-two earlier. Verse thirty-three is sort of the summary statement at the end, where Paul sums everything up, and I want you to look at what he says. He says, "However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." And here's the reason why I'm bringing this up, he gives sort of the summary command, husbands do this, wives do this. With the husband's command, it's the same command that he gives in the main passage to the husbands, love your wife. With the command that he gives to the wives, the main command he gave earlier was submit, but now he says respect. And here's what I think is going on here, I think Paul is talking about this because he's presenting respect as the posture behind submission, as sort of the posture and attitude that's behind the activity of submission, that there would be a posture and an attitude of respect.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:43] And this is one of the reasons why I believe so deeply in God's divine wisdom in this, men thrive on respect. Men thrive, and I heard somebody say this, and I found it to be true for me and true for most men that I've interacted with on this. But what the guy was saying was he was saying, if I had to choose between the rest of my marriage, my wife never again saying I love you or never again saying I respect you, he said I could live without ever hearing again, I love you. Because that's how powerful respect is to us as men. Now, wives, you don't have to choose. You're like, great, never saying I love you again, that's not the purpose, but the idea here is this is something that is so deeply powerful. And I know as men, a lot of times we try to live as if we don't need anything and as if we're completely okay. But the fact is, most of us are incredibly fragile on this point. Most of us feel like we're constantly going through life being like, I don't totally know what I'm doing, I don't totally know, I want to believe that I'm respectable, I want to believe that somebody would follow my lead, but I don't know that. Wives, I'm not saying it's your job to fix what's broken in us, only God can do that. But wives, you have such power here that some of you probably aren't even aware of how profound it is. Where if you, in deep ways, express respect to your husband, express admiration to your husband, doesn't mean that you have to go to whitewash it and pretend everything's okay, but if you express this, you will be empowering a man that can go out and live for Christ in a way that he wouldn't be able to without your support and your respect. Wives, please take this seriously, you don't recognize the power that you have to empower the man that God has given you.

Dan Franklin: [00:31:48] So God gives these instructions to wives, and now he moves on to the instructions to the husbands in verses twenty-five through twenty-seven, "Husbands, love your wives." By the way, nobody's going to be triggered by this one. Like, nobody considers this part controversial. We look back and verses twenty-two through twenty-four and we're like, should that still be in the Bible? We look at these, and we're like that's good, we're into this, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing b her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." The key command he gives to wise is submit, and the big broad sense behind that is respect. The main command that he gives to husbands, and did you notice those guys? He doesn't say wives submit to husbands, husbands, make sure your wife submits to you, he says husbands love your wives. It is not your job to make sure that your wife submits to you, it's your job to love your wife, and love your wife in a way that you are playing the part of Jesus Christ and the way that He responds to his bride.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:04] The call, in verses twenty-two through twenty-four, the call for wives to submit, that's a hard call. Absolutely, that is a hard call, it is neither easier nor harder than the call given to men to love their wives. Guys, this is a profound call that we've been given because love is not simply saying have affection for your wife, it's not saying how the feeling that stirs up inside of you when you see your wife. That's why it's so silly when we say, well, I used to love her, but I don't love her anymore, as if that's something that happens to us. That's not love in the Bible, Love is actively making a choice to put her before yourself.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:45] And so let's do this, if a husband's supposed to love his wife, what kind of love does Jesus give to his bride? Yeah, some of you are already talking, I wasn't even planning on that. He sacrifices for his bride, and on a practical level, let me give you a couple of examples of the way that thank God that Jesus loves us as his bride.

Dan Franklin: [00:34:09] Number one, he is patient and forgiving with us. Thank God that Jesus is patient and forgiving with his bride, we are not what we are meant to be. We constantly mess up. We constantly fall short. We constantly need God's grace and forgiveness. So husbands, love your wives in a way that is patient and forgiving, recognizing, yes, it's true, she isn't yet what she's meant to be. There's a gap, just like there's a gap with all of us. There's a gap, but your love for her is not meant to be dependent on how well she's holding up her end of the bargain. Can you imagine if Jesus did this with us? Can you imagine if Jesus was like, well, today you don't get my love, you behaved badly yesterday? This is not the way husbands are called, and I think it's important that we even differentiate a little bit. There's patience, which is just bearing with each other, and then there's forgiveness because sometimes there is sin against one another.

Dan Franklin: [00:35:12] One of my favorite things to say to husbands when they're talking to me, and they're annoyed with their wives or frustrated and they're sort of like, this is what I'm dealing with in my home. Sometimes it is a more difficult scenario, but a lot of the times it's something more like, man, she just constantly wants me to talk to her, it's just really tough. And then she wants me to talk to her about my emotions, and then she wants...And they just start naming off stuff, and after they complain for a little while, I say this. So by the way, if you come to see me, you may hear these words from me. I say, so it sounds like you're married to a woman. It's like any woman you married, you would be dealing with this, she's not a weird woman. She's not an unreasonable woman, this is a woman, this is what you signed up for, this is what women are. All right, so you've married a woman, yeah there's going to be annoyances, men and women annoy each other, we mystify each other, we're confused by each other. So, yes, there are going to be things that you just need to be patient and understanding about, and then there are also are going to be times that we sin against each other and we extend forgiveness. Men, be masters at forgiving. And part of the whole idea that Paul talked about earlier, if you're the head, if you're given primary responsibility, then that means that you take the lead with forgiveness and apologies before your wife does. You don't say with arms folded waiting for her, you take the initiative. So that's the first thing.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:37] Here's the second thing, and I think that this is really important when we think about how Jesus loves his church. Jesus was constantly let down by the people around him who should have been doing what he said, who should have been properly responding to him, he had that happen all the time. Here's what you never see from Jesus, and this is such a powerful reality of Jesus. Jesus's sense of who he was, was never threatened by the behavior of people around him. And as men, a lot of times I think that this happens to us. We're like, my wife isn't really respecting me, she's not really listening to me, and she's not taking me seriously. And suddenly our entire identity is at stake, we're like, I don't even know if I'm a real man, I don't even know if I'm capable, I don't know who I am. So you're mad at your wife because she's threatening your very sense of who you are? Men, we need to get the sense of who we are from Jesus, and Jesus alone, don't put that pressure on your wife, she can help with it, but she's not meant to do that for you. People have said this all the time of husbands and wives, a wife is an amazing gift and a really bad god. She is not meant to show you who you are, you need to get that from Jesus. And then that means that when there's going to be times that your wife is having a bad day, or a bad three or four days, I'm just saying, that doesn't undercut your whole sense of who am I as a man in the world? But you're able to respond with sacrificial love.

Dan Franklin: [00:38:18] I'll say something, I didn't plan on saying this, and this might be a little bit risky to say. My experience has told me this, my experience has told me that there are a lot of times that a wife is interacting with her husband, and she sort of knows that she's not easy in that moment, and she's craving for her husband to love her when she knows she's kind of being difficult in this moment. Once again, remember, Jesus loves a difficult bride. Husbands, we have an amazing calling to love our brides, who for most of us, most of the time, are not difficult brides, but there's no way around the fact that at times they are going to be difficult brides because we all are still living in our brokenness before God.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:04] One final thing, and I hope you noticed it in this passage. The goal of how Jesus loves his church is that he would present his church pure to himself. And so husbands, even within this here's part of the deeper calling that we all have, the way that you love your wife is not simply meant to appease her so that she's easier for you to live with. The way that you're meant to love your wife is a way that makes her more in love with Jesus, more pure before Jesus, more worshipful before Jesus, more in joy before all Jesus has done for her, then she was when she first met you.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:42] For you to be able to say, I'm presenting my wife to Jesus, and I've done all that I can to try to help her love Jesus more. One of the things, there are not a ton of things that I pray every day, but one of the things that I pray every day when I'm praying for her, I pray for Karina, and I pray for my boys each day. And one of the things that I always pray for, Karina, which in a way is a prayer request for me, is that I pray for God to empower me to love her in a way that it makes it easy for her to believe that God loves her. Husband, that is part of our unique calling that we would love our wives in a way that they could say, I guess maybe I really could be treasured by the God of the universe because look at how my husband treasures me. It's a high calling for all of us, and the reason why it's a high calling is because marriage is not just about us trying to find a harmonious way to live together, it's not even just about us setting up a great community for our kids to be launched out from. Marriage is about us putting the Gospel on display for the world to see, it's a picture that God has cast us in and that we are playing a part in. And that means even when we're doing this, we get to have the constant reminder, we get to have the constant representation that what we're doing points to a greater reality.

Dan Franklin: [00:41:03] In fact, here's one of my encouragements, if you're married and you pray as husband and wife, you pray together, which you should. If you're not doing that right now, that would be a great application point, just saying, hey, at least once a day in the morning or in the evening, we pray together. One of the things that you can start praying together is, Father, please show off the Gospel to the world, to our kids, to our neighbors, to our church, and to one another, help show off the Gospel to the world by how we relate to one another as husbands and wives.

Dan Franklin: [00:41:37] Let me also say a couple more things about how we might respond to this. For some of us, we need to respond to this, quite frankly, with repentance. Some of you as wives, you've heard this and you're like, I need not just apologize to my husband, I need to repent before God because that, that's not what I've been doing at all, I haven't even been trying to do that. Husbands, for some of us, we need to repent because we're like that, verses twenty-five through twenty-seven, that has not been my goal, my goal has been basically to try to make her as easy as she can be to live with, and to try to make things work for me. I need to repent before God, and I need to apologize to my wife for the way that I've been handling this. Don't underestimate how far, by the way, an apology would go. And if you want to take the next step, this would be a risky next step, you can do this as husbands and wives, you can sit down and have a conversation and guys go first. You can ask the question, as husbands, you can ask the question, how can I love you in a way that it gets through more than it is right now? And wives, for you to respond and ask your husband, how can I respect you in a way that it gets through to your heart more than it does right now? If you create that kind of environment, you're probably going to get a response.

Dan Franklin: [00:42:56] We have a unique opportunity through our marriages, not just to present to the world some idea that Christianity creates better family structure, but that we show the picture of a man who left behind his father to sacrifice gravely to be united to his bride so that they could be one with him and so that he would be one with them. As husbands and wives, as men and women, let's take up the calling that God has given us to live that out in our lives and in our marriages.

Dan Franklin: [00:43:29] Let me pray for us. Father, thank you so much that at the heart of all of this is the story of your great sacrifice through sending your Son. Thank you that you have given us a groom who loves us no matter what. Thank you that you've given us Jesus, who shows us unconditional patience and love and grace and forgiveness. Father, I pray that as we look at our marriages, and others' marriages, that that reality would be constantly reinforced, that we would rejoice in the picture of what marriage is painting and that we get to live in that reality. And, Father, we pray that you empower us as men and women, as husbands and wives, as future wives, and future husbands, as men and women who support others in their marriages. Father, we pray that you would empower us to put on display the Gospel in a way that draws people in, that they will know Jesus through the way that we live out our marriages as wives and as husbands. We pray this in the name of our great savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dan Franklin: [00:44:40] And just as we close, you can see that there are already some folks on either side of the stage. If you want prayer as a couple, as an individual, about something totally unrelated to marriage, we've got people up here to do that. Please take advantage of that. God bless you and may God lead you the rest of this Sunday.

Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848