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Following the Blueprint—A Husband’s Love - Ephesians 5:25-32

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To live in a Smart Home, occupants must follow the architect’s blueprint. God, the inventor of marriage, has given roles to husbands and wives so they can live together in harmony and joy. The basic role of a husband is to love his wife. This love is explained and described by the architect in the building documents found in Ephesians 5. This kind of love that a husband lavishes on his wife will enable her to fulfill her role with greater ease and deeper contentment.

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8/19/2018
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Following the Blueprint—A Husband’s Love
Ephesians 5:25-32
Skip Heitzig
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To live in a Smart Home, occupants must follow the architect’s blueprint. God, the inventor of marriage, has given roles to husbands and wives so they can live together in harmony and joy. The basic role of a husband is to love his wife. This love is explained and described by the architect in the building documents found in Ephesians 5. This kind of love that a husband lavishes on his wife will enable her to fulfill her role with greater ease and deeper contentment.
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Smart Home

Smart Home

Stop imagining a better home life and start building it. Whether you're single and just surveying the landscape, married and mediating the man cave versus the she shed, or rebuilding your home (and heart) after significant loss, God has a blueprint for you. No home is beyond repair, so join Skip Heitzig for Smart Home and start building the home of your future today.

Outline

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  1. A Singular Love (v. 25a)

  2. A Sacrificial Love (v. 25b)

  3. A Sanctifying Love (vv. 26-27)

  4. A Sensitive Love (vv. 28-30)

  5. A Shatterproof Love (v. 31)

  6. A Showcase Love (v. 32)


Study Guide

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Connect Recap Notes: August 19, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Following the Blueprint—A Husband's Love"
Text: Ephesians 5:25-32

Path

To live in a Smart Home, occupants must follow the architect's blueprint. God,
the inventor of marriage, has given roles to husbands and wives so they can live together in harmony and joy. The basic role of a husband is to love his wife. This love is explained and described by the architect in the building documents found in Ephesians 5. This kind of love that a husband lavishes on his wife will enable her to fulfill her role with greater ease and deeper contentment.
  1. A Singular Love (v. 25a)
  2. A Sacrificial Love (v. 25b)
  3. A Sanctifying Love (vv. 26-27)
  4. A Sensitive Love (vv. 28-30)
  5. A Shatterproof Love (v. 31)
  6. A Showcase Love (v. 32)
Points

A Singular Love
  • Marriage has become uncertain—a farce, even—in the world. But biblically, marriage is a lifelong commitment and the husband's primary role is one of love.
  • The word husband means cultivator or one who tills the ground. A husband cultivates the marriage relationship, nurturing his wife in the soil of love (see Colossians 3:19).
  • Paul used the verb form of agape—the strongest, most intimate word for love in the Bible—commanding husbands to "go all out in your love for your wives." Wives are not commanded to love husbands; husbands are commanded to love wives.
  • Without love, the husband's role degenerates into petty tyranny. Authority must be tempered with affection.
  • Notice the words "just as." Just as who? Christ. He is the model of love, and the greatest act of selfless love was the cross.
A Sacrificial Love
  • Paul emphasized sacrificial love. Because of God's great love, Jesus left heaven, took on human form and gave His life for us. When husbands love like Jesus, they sacrifice, putting their wives' highest good first.
  • Sacrificial love is not based on emotion but volition—the active choice to love.
  • A happy man marries the girl he loves. A happier man loves the girl he married.
A Sanctifying Love
  • Sanctify means to set something apart for a particular purpose. Husbands are to sanctify their wives with their love, helping them realize God's purpose for them.
  • When Jesus enters our life, He both cleanses us immediately and sanctifies us continually (see Isaiah 1:18).
    • As we walk through this world, we get dirty. We need daily cleansing.
    • Likewise, a man takes his wife out of the world setting her apart for himself and God. He forgives her past and is a purifying influence.
  • Marriage is the joining of two sinners. A happy marriage is the joining of two forgivers.
A Sensitive Love
  • A man's wife is the extension of himself, He should care for her as he would care for his own body, so she feels secure.
    • When we take care of our bodies, we develop a sense of well-being. When a husband takes care of his wife's needs, he gives her a sense of well-being.
  • Gary Smalley found one consistent plea among wives and daughters: they need fathers and husband to be comforting instead of lecturing and criticizing. Husbands must learn sensitivity.
A Shatterproof Love
  • Verse 31 quotes Genesis 2:24. What God said in Genesis and Paul quoted 1,450 years later is true today. The divine standard does not change.
    • The word cleave means to stick to, to be glued. By becoming one flesh, two people are inseparable.
  • Many men stop romancing their wives after they get married, but sanctifying your wife means the romance should continue.
A Showcase Love
  • Marriage is a horizontal (human) microcosm of a vertical (divine) relationship.
    • A good Christian marriage is a good witness; it makes redemption visible in the world.
    • A husband who loves sacrificially, cultivating and nurturing his wife, and a wife who responses submissively are a picture of Christ's love for the church.
  • Today men are under attack. Satan desires to ruin the church, destroy pastors, devastate families, and hold their leaders—men—hostage.
    • Christian men must fight back by becoming strong, tender leaders.
    • Christian husbands must love their wives, cleanse them, nourish them, and cherish them.
  • Roberta Flack said, "Getting married is easy. Staying married more difficult. Staying happily married for a lifetime should rank among the fine arts."
Practice

Connect Up: What are some reasons you think God created marriage? The Bible offers several: to not be alone, for procreation, and to provide a picture of Christ's love for the Church. What are some other reasons? Consider how marriage makes each spouse more like Christ. Using 1 Corinthians 13, discuss love's Christ-like qualities in the context of marriage: patient, longsuffering, kind, does not envy, rejoices in the truth, etc.

Connect In: Research shows that fifty-three percent of very happy couples agree with the statement: "God is at the center of our marriage."1 Discuss ways Christian couples can keep Christ at the center of their lives. If you have a healthy marriage, share the habits/reasons behind its success. If you have an unhealthy marriage, share how you might improve.

Connect Out: How do we reach out to and encourage people with troubled marriages? Consider these ten insights from Christianity Today:2
  • Marriage is worth the investment.
  • You have to invest in a marriage for it to be worth the investment.
  • Choosing your marriage partner is the most important human decision you will ever make.
  • Most fights are over stupid things that don't matter.
  • Most arguments are resolved when both people are more concerned with being in a relationship than with being right.
  • Sex is essential to a marriage relationship.
  • Practices (like date nights, long conversations, and trips together) make your marriage stronger.
  • Kids are awesome, but stress your marriage.
  • Never go to bed angry.
  • You need Jesus.
Do you agree with these? What would you add or delete?


1 Ed Stetzer, "Marriage, Divorce, and the Church: What do the stats say, and can marriage be happy?," February 14, 2014, https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/february/marriage-divorce-and-body-of-christ-what-do-stats-say-and-c.html, accessed 8/19/18.
2 Ed Stetzer, "10 Things I've Learned After 26 Years of Marriage," August 15, 2013, https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2013/august/ten-things-ive-learned-after-26-years-of-marriage.html, accessed 8/19/18.

Transcript

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Following the Blueprint—A Husband’s Love - Ephesians 5:25-32 - Skip Heitzig

Start building a home of your future today, Smart Home.

Welcome to Smart Home. Would you turn in your Bibles-- did I already say that-- to Ephesians chapter 5-- Ephesians chapter 5. Four centuries before Christ, Socrates, that great philosopher in Athens, said to his young male students, by all means, get married. If you find a good wife, you'll be very happy. If you find a bad wife, you'll become a philosopher.

[LAUGHTER]

I know men who have become philosophers, and it's not because they found a bad wife. It's that they love philosophy more than they love their wives. And I want to talk about roles in the next couple of weeks in a marriage according to Ephesians chapter 5. In our culture, marriage has become an uncertain institution, where people are reticent, hesitant, to enter into marriage because they're just not sure it's going to last or it's going to work. It's not going to be permanent. They're afraid of that, understandably so.

But the world in response to the uncertainty seeks to find ways to guarantee an iron-clad success in a marriage relationship. And one of the things they have resorted to over the years is called a prenuptial agreement. We're going to sign a contract in advance. Now, usually prenuptials are done by people of great wealth or fame.

Rich and famous people have to do this all the time because they feel like if their marriage dissolves, then the partner who's sort of coming into the wealth that they've earned are going to walk away with that. So they come up with an agreement. Now, I can't tell you who the people are who made these agreements I'm about to read to you. They're confidential. There's a confidentiality clause that lawyers know about. They can't divulge that.

But they have divulged the particular phrases in the prenuptials that you may find interesting. So for example, one prenuptial agreement limits the husband to watching one Sunday football game with his friends per week.

[LAUGHTER]

So that would just shut down some men like right away. Another prenup bars the mother-in-law from sleepover visits.

[LAUGHTER]

I'm kind of liking this prenup thing.

[LAUGHTER]

No, just kidding-- or not.

[LAUGHTER]

Another prenuptial agreement tells the husband that if he makes rude comments to his wife's parents, he will be fined $10,000 per comment.

[LAUGHTER]

You can see we can't relate to this. This is for the rich and whoever. One wife's prenup limits her weight to 120 pounds. If she exceeds that, there's a penalty of up to $100,000 of her separate property. Come on. Is this insane? Yeah.

Another fines a wife $500-- or it might be wife and husband. But the fine is $500 for each pound gained. So two pounds over, it's $1,000. Another requires random drug testing.

[LAUGHTER]

And that person is fined if positive. I mean, come on. That's how we guarantee a rock-solid marriage. You've failed already. You've set yourself up for it.

Well, because of things like that, marriage, the idea of a lifelong commitment, has become, in many cases, an absolute farce for people, so much so that it gets so bizarre. What I'm about to share with you are actual things that have happened, actual recorded marriages. In 2007, Liu Ye of China decided to marry himself.

[LAUGHTER]

I didn't know it was possible. He actually went through a marriage ceremony using a foam board cut-out of himself.

[LAUGHTER]

He admits to being narcissistic. Ya think?

[LAUGHTER]

But he says of his nuptials, "there are many reasons for marrying myself, but mainly to express my dissatisfaction with reality." So at least he's honest enough to say he's not living in the real world. Then there was a San Francisco woman who claimed that she fell in love with the Eiffel Tower and wanted to marry it. You're go, well, that's somebody from San Francisco.

[LAUGHTER]

In 2008, this woman went through a marriage ceremony and went so far as to change her legal name to Erica La Tour Eiffel. She named herself after the Eiffel Tower. And then this one takes the cake in my opinion. There's a guy who was playing a dating game on a Nintendo DS video console. And there's a game, I guess, called Love Plus. I'm not going to ask if any of you play it or have heard of it.

But there's this game, a dating game. He fell in love with one of the animated characters in the game and in 2009, married her. Now that's bizarre. Still, apart from all this, still most American adults eventually get married. Well over half, up to 80% even, will say I do.

The unfortunate part is many of them will eventually say I don't. Ben Franklin once said, keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut after marriage.

[LAUGHTER]

What I'd like us to do is open our eyes fully in the next couple of weeks to the roles that are given to the husband and to the wife in a marriage relationship. To do that, we have chosen the text that everybody chooses, Ephesians chapter 5 because it is the most complete. I want you to think of the Ephesians 5 like it's the Home Depot of the Smart Home.

It will give you the tools to plan, to build, and to strengthen your marriage relationship. Now, the roles, if you look at chapter 5 of the Ephesians, the roles begin in verse 22, addressed to the wives and to the husbands in verse 25. But before he gets into those roles that most of us know about, he begins with some prerequisites that are necessary to build a home.

For example, in verse 18, you're to be filled with the Holy Spirit. That is dominated by the spirit, controlled by the spirit. And I think you've figured out by now if you've been married for any length of time, that the role of a husband and wife cannot be done successfully without the Lord. You need Him to fill your life, control your thinking, your temperament, your tongue. So that's the first prerequisite.

There's another one in verse 20 of chapter 5. And that is being thankful. We can lose that quickly in a relationship, can't we, to thank the Lord for our lives, for our spouses, even for the positions and conditions we find ourselves in. And then another prerequisite in verse 21, which we'll save for a separate study, is mutual submission. Paul says, submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Most of us think submission is a one-way street. Paul says it's a two-way street. You submit by fulfilling your roles, thus submitting one to another. But today what I want to do is consider the role of the husband.

Now, I know wives are mentioned first and then husbands second. I'm going to mention husbands first and wives second. Here's one of the reasons. I want you to look at the text. And I want you to just notice that in verse 22 the first word is what? Wives. And then verse 22, 23, and 24, three verses, are Paul giving instructions to a wife in fulfilling her role in the relationship.

But now look at verse 25. What is the first word there? Husbands. Now, watch this. Verse 25, verse 26, verse 27, verse 28, verse 29, verse 30, verse 31, verse 32, verse 33 all addressed to the husband. So in terms of verbal real estate, Paul gives three times more stuff to men than to women. I don't know why. But it's interesting to me.

Maybe he knows men. Maybe he knows we're going to go, well, what do you mean exactly by that? Well, kind of spell it out for me. So he goes, OK. Or maybe he just knows we need the repetition. But three times more is given to the men than to the women.

There's a basic role. And we're going to begin with this. The basic role outlined in scripture for a husband in a relationship can be summed up by a single word, and that is love-- love. Love sums up what the basic role is of a husband to his wife.

Yes, he is the leader of the home. But this is a leadership of love. It is a servant leadership. I've been married-- I was counting this yesterday. And sometimes I lose track of it. I have to sort of even count like this. You ever find yourself doing that? How many years have I been married? 37 years I've been married to my wife, Linda.

[APPLAUSE]

I would say 37 happy years. I hope she agrees.

[LAUGHTER]

37 years-- so I have had the privilege of counseling people before and after they get married. And I've come to believe something. I've come to believe that every single person is incompatible with every other person in the world, every one of us. It's just a matter of time until you discover that incompatibility. That's all it is.

Everybody's incompatible with everybody because we're fallen creatures. We have a sinful nature. Give it a few weeks, months, years, you'll figure it out. You'll see that. We're incompatible.

As one person put it-- Robert Anderson-- in any marriage more than a week old there are grounds for divorce.

[LAUGHTER]

The trick is to find and continue to find grounds for marriage. I like that. So I'm going to give you grounds for a happy, healthy, satisfying marriage beginning with husbands. The role-- what's the word? Love. Husbands love.

Now, let's begin by reading verse 22 down to verse 33, which is all the roles, both of them combined. "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church. And he is the Savior of the body. Therefore just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 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. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery. But I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you, in particular, so love his own wife as himself and let the wife see that she respects or reverences her husband."

So the basic role he says it over and over again, is to love. But we need to drill down to explore what that means. And it means six things at least. I'll spare you and just give you six.

First of all, it has to be a singular love. Husbands, love your wives. Love your wives. Not anybody else's, love your wife. It is to be a singular love.

Did you know that the original word husband in our language means a farmer? It's one who tills the ground, cultivates. Back in John 15, remember when Jesus said, I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser? In the King James version, it says, my Father is the true vine, or I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman-- husbandman, farmer, cultivator, tiller of the ground.

So a husband then is a cultivator. And in this case in particular, he cultivates the marriage relationship. How? By placing it in a soil of his love-- singular love for his wife. Husbands, love your wives.

He repeats that when he writes to the Colossians, Colossians 3 verse 18, husbands love your wives, he continues, and do not be harsh toward them or embittered toward them or let them become embittered toward you. It's rendered a few different ways. So a happy man marries the girl he loves. A happier man loves the girl he marries. That's a commitment, love, singular love.

Now, I bet you know this. I bet most all of you, at least 90% of this crowd knows that the Greek word here for love-- if you know it, shout it out. What do you think it is? Agape. Agape-- you know that. It is a word that you probably know is the most far-reaching, highest or deepest, however you want to look at it, a most intimate highest quality of love in the Greek New Testament. And it's put in the present active imperative. Agapate, he says. I'll get back to that in a minute.

But one translation puts it this way. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives. Now, can you imagine what our homes would look like if just that happened? Husbands, go all out. What does "go all out" mean to us? You can fill in those blanks.

[LAUGHTER]

Husbands go all out in your love for your wives. Now, here's what's interesting. I mentioned that husbands-- and it says so here-- are given a command to love. Interestingly, wives are not commanded to love their husbands. No. They should, and they will. They will naturally respond to the kind of singular love like this that a husband provides. And they will respond, as Paul said, with a willing submission.

But he says, husbands, love your wives. Not husbands, rule over your wives. Husbands, dominate your wives. Husbands, control your wives, commandeer your wives. But husbands, love your wives.

There's this guy. One night he was reading through a book on leadership in the home. And he closed the book and said, honey, I just discovered I'm in charge.

[LAUGHTER]

He said, I want you to make me a nice dinner. You know what I like to eat. I want it prepared just right. Then I'd like you to make me a lavish dessert. Impress me. Then after all that, I want you to draw my bath for me. And as I get in the tub, you can massage my shoulders and my neck. Then when I get out, I'd like you to fetch my slippers and my robe, put that on me when I get out. And guess who gets to comb my hair?

[LAUGHTER]

She said, uh, the undertaker?

[LAUGHTER]

Yeah, you bet.

[LAUGHTER]

Yes, the husband is the head of the home, verse 23. But if love is lost, then it degenerates to a petty tyranny of one controlling and subduing instead of loving. So authority must be mixed with affection. And a wife will respond, naturally respond to that.

You know what it's like? It's like when you take a magnet, and you put iron up to magnet. You know what happens to the iron? It magnetizes. So you keep it there close. And if you rub iron on a magnet, and the iron itself becomes magnetized. Love is like that.

Love is not caught-- or not taught. It is caught. You don't teach it. You don't say, do it this way. You don't enforce it. It is caught. One burning heart will ignite another heart on fire.

When a husband so goes all out to show love to his wife, she's going to feel so secure in that love, she's going to respond. So then a husband is to be a leader but a lover. That's the balance, leader-lover. If he's all leader and not lover, he's a tyrant. If he's all a lover and not leader, he's a mushy sap.

[LAUGHTER]

So he needs to be a tender warrior, a tender leader, a servant leader. Husbands, love your wives. Now, please look at that text again, verse 25, husbands, love your wives. Tell me. Tell me what are the next two words after that? Just as. You know what that is? That's called a simile in English. Sorry to stir up those high school English class memories.

But a simile is an obvious comparison. It's an obvious comparison. So husbands, love your wives, just as or just like Christ loved the church. One comparison is made to another. One thing is to be like another.

Now, if Paul would have just said, husbands, love your wives, period, you know what would happen? Us guys would walk away and say, I'm OK. I do that. I love my wife. I told her 20 years ago on our wedding day that I loved her. I'm a man of my word. I don't need to tell her any time after that.

Or we'd say, I love my wife. I kiss her goodbye every morning before I go to work. Or I love my wife. I'm there every day faithfully at dinner time. I love my wife.

But Paul didn't let us get away with that. He says, husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. Love your wife like that, dude. So all of us guys go, gulp, because the cross of Christ, the life of Christ, is the most selfless act of love ever in history.

So Paul takes the highest human relationship, a marriage between a husband and a wife, and compares it to the highest act of love in history, what Jesus did on the cross. So that takes us to the second manifestation of love. It is a singular love, but it is also a sacrificial love, as Christ loved the church.

So now he shows us the manner in which this singular love is to be expressed. I always love listening to kids talk about the world, how they understand their world to be. And it's always fun to watch them describe things about their parents, especially love.

So a group of kids was asked what does love mean? What does love mean? Carl, age 5, said, it's when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne. And they go out, and they smell each other.

[LAUGHTER]

He must have seen mom and dad do that, right? One boy said, love is what's on Valentine cards. It's the stuff you'd like to say, but you wouldn't be caught dead saying it.

[LAUGHTER]

Now, that's a boy. Six-year-old Mark said, love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet, and she doesn't think it's gross.

[LAUGHTER]

I have no response for that.

[LAUGHTER]

But here's what I wanted you to hear, Rebecca, age eight, she nailed-- she nails what I think biblical love is. Rebecca said, when my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and pain her toenails anymore. So my grandpa does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That, she says, that-- that's love. She nailed it.

Husbands, love your wives, a singular love. But it's sacrificial love. And that's the point of this. Paul emphasizes the sacrificial nature of the love when he says, as Christ loved the church and gave himself for hers. What motivated Jesus to leave heaven, come to Earth, suffer like He suffered, and take my sin and your sins upon Himself? Sacrificial love. Sacrificial love. That's the key idea here is sacrifice.

Some guys-- I've heard this before. Some guys will say, well, I'd take a bullet for my wife. It just sounds so manly, right? So much-- I'd take a bullet for my wife. Like, wow, dude, you're awesome.

[LAUGHTER]

Man. So here's the natural response. If you're willing to take a bullet for your wife-- that's the ultimate sacrifice-- you then should be willing to make every other sacrifice, short of taking a bullet for your wife. How about just take the trash out for your wife? How about just do the dishes for your wife? How about just sit and get into her orbit and listen to what she wants to tell you and just listen to her world and help her be all that God wants her to be? That's sacrificial love.

You might want to ask yourself, when is the last time you sacrificed for your wife? And you need to know something. This kind of love is not emotional love. It's volitional love. It's an active choice.

Do you think Jesus got emotional, got all happy and warm fuzzies thinking, oh, goody, I get to leave heaven and come to Earth and die? No, it wasn't an emotional choice. It was volitional. It was an active choice. It was love that was motivated by what He knew was right. And see, that's the difference between worldly love and Christian love and a Christian marriage that requires us being filled with the Holy Spirit.

The world says, let's love each other until our feelings stop. That's about all they can do. So they'll do anything just to prop up those feelings, prop up that, rev of the engine as long as they can. It's as if their vows are I promise to love you until feelings do us part.

But if you get ugly or when I get ugly, and we have differences of opinion, adios, baby. Biblical love is not a flush of emotion. It's not a patter of the heart. It's not a goosebump. It's not a shot of adrenaline. A good Mexican meal will give you that.

[LAUGHTER]

Love is deeper. It is singular love. It is sacrificial love. Third, it is sanctifying love. Please look at verse 26. Paul further explains to men that He, Christ, might "sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word that He might presenter to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish."

OK, that little word sanctify, we think that's a religious word. I mean, you probably don't use that in your-- at Starbucks, when's the last time you said, are you sanctified?

[LAUGHTER]

I want a sanctified latte.

[LAUGHTER]

It's not a common term. It's a Bible word. But originally it was not a religious word. It was a secular word. It simply means to take something and set it apart for a particular use. That's the idea of holiness. You take something, and you set it apart for a particular use. That's what sanctify means.

So when you came to Christ, He forgave you immediately. And He sanctifies you continually. He sets you apart continually, cleansing you for His purpose. Isaiah 1:18 says, "though your sins be a scarlet, they will be white as snow." That's forgiveness. Forgiveness-- that's what happens when you come to Christ. It's forgiven.

Question, do you ever need forgiveness after that? Every day. Or put it another way, you come to Christ. Do you ever sin anymore? You don't? Yeah, you do.

[LAUGHTER]

I think we've got to talk afterwards,

[LAUGHTER]

Yeah, we do. We do. We sin every day. So this is what Jesus said. You remember this, upper room, He got up from their table and started doing something the disciples didn't think he would do or expect Him to do. He started washing their feet. And they go, what are you doing washing our feet?

Even Peter said, you're not going to wash my feet. Jesus said, if I don't wash your feet, Peter, you have nothing to do with me. I have nothing to do with you. Then Peter said, give me a bath. Give me a shower. I want it all over. And Jesus said to him, Peter, he that is cleansed needs only to wash his feet.

In other words, once you come to Christ, you are cleansed. You are forgiven instantly, immediately. However, you and I walk every single day through the muck and the mire and the dust of the world. We get our feet dirty, so to speak. It's awfully helpful when somebody will wash our feet to sanctify us. We need forgiveness for it everyday.

So in this analogy of a husband and wife, the husband, so to speak, takes his wife, his partner, out of the world, forgives her of her past, never brings it up again, never drudges up that old infraction. By the way, one thing that will ruin a marriage quicker than anything else is unforgiveness.. He is willing to forgive and then sanctify her, present her to the Lord and to himself.

She is set apart for a particular purpose. I love the story about husband and wife are sitting in a waiting room. And she's filling out a form. And when it gets to occupation, she writes housewife. And her husband looking over her shoulders said, oh, honey, you're not a housewife. You're my wife.

I like it. You're not just a housewife. You're my wife. You are set apart for this purpose. So a marriage is like that because a marriage is simply the union of two sinners. Do I get an amen on that one? Is your wife a sinner, husbands? Look, he won't even talk.

[LAUGHTER]

OK, let me try this. Women, get honest with me. Is your husband a sinner?

Yes!

See? If you didn't know, guys, now you know.

[LAUGHTER]

So a marriage is a union between two sinners. Therefore, a good marriage is a union between two forgivers-- two forgivers. We forgive each other. And by the way, I will say this because it's in the context, husbands, you set the temperature of your home. You set the temperature of your home.

I don't mean going up to the thermostat. I mean the temperature of forgiveness and love and sanctification. You set that tone. You're responsible. So then a love is to be a singular love, sacrificial love, sanctifying love.

Let me give you a fourth. It is to be a sensitive love. And women, all women like this, verse 28. So "husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church."

Simply put, a man's wife is an extension of himself. Thus he should care for her like he cares for himself. That will make her feel secure. When she feels secure, she's going to respond with love and submission and all sorts of wonderful things. She's an extension of him.

Genesis 2, after God created the woman and brought the woman to the man, remember what Adam said? This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She will be called woman because she was taken out of man.

Now, a lot of us, probably most of us, spend time-- we all do-- nourishing our flesh. We eat. We exercise. We eat vitamins. We put clothes on that we think are flattering to our body type. Some of us go to the gym. And when we do that, there's a sense of well-being.

When I go to the gym, I watch, and there's mirrors in the gym. You know why there are mirrors in the gym? Well, they say it's good so you can see if you're doing the exercise right. But they're really there so you can check your own self out. And what I notice is that is that girls, while they'll work out in the gym, they won't really spend much time looking at the mirror. But guys, on the other hand, will do their reps and then kind of like check themselves out like, uh-huh.

[LAUGHTER]

By the way, true story, I just read it this week. A study was done in Yorkshire, England. They discovered that between men and women and times of day that they spend looking in the mirror, guess who looks at themselves in the mirror more a day? Men do-- 23 times a day for men, 16 times a day for women. True. I've read several articles.

Now, I don't know the length of look. That could be a whole different study and issue. But here's the point. When you take care of your body, you know how that feels. it feels so good. It's a sense of well-being that comes over you.

Likewise, when you take care of your wife's needs, you give her a sense of well-being. Gary Smalley, who wrote lots of books on marriage and relationships, said after interviewing hundreds of wives and daughters, there is one consistent plea that is commonly asked by all these women of their fathers and husbands. And it is this, please be comforting instead of lecturing and criticizing.

I think every woman's heart here just skipped a beat in hearing that. It's like, yes. Don't lecture me. Don't analyze me. Don't fix me. Listen to me. It's so important, says Smalley, that women's eyes light up with just the thought of their husbands learning this responsibility. And I guarantee you every one of your wives will wonder as you leave today from this message what did my husband think about this? Oh, how does he feel about this? Oh, this would be so wonderful if this happened.

You know, I know some men who find it hard to even say the words to their wives frequently, I love you. I love you. It's like, I l-- I lo-- they can't even get it out--

[LAUGHTER]

--until it's like 10:30 at night, and it's like, oh, honey baby, honey honey.

[LAUGHTER]

They're all over them.

[LAUGHTER]

This is to be a sensitive love. Here's the fifth quality. It is to be a shatterproof love, permanent love, forever love. Verse 31, I want you to notice this one verse. "For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. And the two shall become one flesh."

Now I want you to notice something in your Bible. Look down at verse 31. In my Bible, there's quotes on either side of it. See that? Is it in your Bible? Say quote, "for this reason," unquote? You know why that is? Because he's quoting. I know you depend on me for these terrific insights, right?

[LAUGHTER]

Paul is quoting a text of scripture from the book of Genesis, chapter 2 verse 24, which reads-- that's why quote-- "for this reason, a man will leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife. And the two shall become one flesh," close quote. That was written in Genesis 1,450 years before Paul wrote it into Ephesians.

You know why that's important? Paul is saying, what was true 1,450 years ago is still true, hasn't changed. You know, Paul didn't come on and say, well, that was then. Times have changed. Cultures have changed. You can't rely on an Old Testament biblical culture in a New Testament environment.

We live in Greco-Roman Times. Roman see their wives and women differently. And the Greek culture-- he does not accommodate to the culture. He basically says, what God once said, God still says. And time has not changed the divine standard at all.

Amen.

And what was true for Paul is true for us. It's true 3,500 years later for this reason, a man shall leave father and mother, sever one relationship with dependence and cleave or be joined unto his wife. The word [NON-ENGLISH] means "to stick to." That's what joined means or cleave, to stick to something or to be glued, to stick to something. You go, well, I feel stuck.

[LAUGHTER]

You are. It means to be glued inseparably. In fact-- listen up. In fact, it is so permanent that God says the two shall become what? One flesh. That's how permanent it is in God's head, in His heart. The two shall become one flesh. It's so permanent that Jesus quoted this verse and added a PS to it. He said, therefore what God has joined together, glued, let not man separate. That's how permanent it is.

Now, I mentioned something to you, and we breezed by it. Look at verse 25. "Husbands, love your wives." Remember I said that was an imperative, present active imperative, agapate? Let me rem translate that in an easier way to understand. Husbands, be constantly, unwaveringly, unstoppingly, actively, presently loving your wives. It's an ongoing thing.

It's not just a one-time deal. It's to be actively repetitively doing something without stopping it. To some men that I have met, dating is like going hunting. It's all about the conquest. Or fishing-- it's all about the lure and the reel it in. So it's like, I am the hunter. I'm in camouflage. I won't reveal who I really am.

But I'm after the prey. And I stalk the prey. And I kill the prey. And I bring the prey in. Or I throw the lure out and reel it in. And now I got my fish. And to them it's like conquest over. And what happens is once they say I do, once they're married, he stops romancing her. And because he does, the fire subsides.

So it is a shatterproof love. What God has joined, let no man separate. Leave and become one flesh. Finally, and I'll move quickly, so this is the last one, it is to be a showcase love. And what Paul does in verse 32 is he gives us the why after the what.

So he says your love should be singular. It should be sacrificial. It should be sanctifying. It should be all these things. That's what love is. That's husbands' love. That's your role.

But you need to know why I'm telling you this. Here's the reason. Here's the motive for it, verse 32. "This is a great mystery. But I speak concerning Christ and the church." In other words, here is an illustration of how Jesus and His church are one. This is how Jesus loves His church. Our marriage should be like that.

So marriage is to be, should be, ought to be a horizontal microcosm of a vertical reality, a vertical relationship. What happens between us and God, that unconditional love, ought to spread on a horizontal level. Therefore a good Christian marriage is a good Christian witness. It makes redemption visible.

When you have a husband who lovingly leads by sacrificing, cultivating, and nurturing his wife, and you have a wife who responds by submitting to her husband's needs lovingly in response, that is a good witness to the world. So if that's true-- I'm guessing it is. I believe it is. I've always operated that what I just read from the Bible is true.

What it ought to mean is when people ask me, so you keep saying God loves me. God loves you. What is that love like? I should be able to say, it's just like I love my wife. It's like our marriage. Our marriage isn't perfect. But in an imperfect sense, it's a reflection of the kind of love that God has for his people.

Jack Roeda, a Christian counselor and pastor, said "a Christian marriage serves a threefold purpose, to enrich the lives of a man and a woman, to create a family, and third, to further the Kingdom of God." It enables our witness to be stronger and bolder. Now, I want to close by saying men, now, man to man, husband to husband, we're being attacked.

The role of a husband in our culture is under attack. Look at any lame television sitcom or any stupid cartoon about the family. And the husband is the dork, the oath, the sideline idiot who just looks for the TV remote, scratches his head. Nothing more does he contribute than that. He is portrayed that way.

What you need to know-- you need to understand there's a strategy behind that. It's a demonic strategy. To neutralize an army, you get the commander. To ruin a nation's morale, kill the king or the queen. To ruin a church, destroy the pastor. To devastate a family, take out the leader. That's the strategy.

The enemy of our soul, Satan, would love to create a whole generation of men who are passive in their families. He would love that. He would love us just sort of sitting around letting things happen, never inserting ourselves, never being intentional, never nurturing, never cultivating, never loving. He would love that.

So let's give him a black eye. Let's decide we're not going to be like the culture. We're going to be strong, tender, leaders who love our wives. That's what we're called to do.

[APPLAUSE]

Men, we need to rise up and tick the devil off. There was a young man who said that he loved a woman, and he wrote her letters. But he never came by. In fact, he wrote her six to seven letters every week. That's one a day. But he never came by.

He then started upping the writing schedule. He increased it to 3 letters every 24 hours. And that's a lot of writing. That's a lot of words, love poured out. But he never showed up. All total, this young man wrote 700 letters to that one girl. But he never once came by.

You know happened? She married the mailman.

[LAUGHTER]

He came by a lot. So men, let's get our head in the game. Let's love our wives, cleanse our wives, nourish our wives in the word, cherish our wives in the word.

Father, strengthen us as men. Lord, we said really no more than what your word says to men. These principles, Lord, are life changing, can only be done as you, the Holy Spirit of God, fills our hearts, fills our lives, controls and dominates our behavior and our thinking. And we, by acts of will, not emotion but acts of will, humble ourselves to care for tenderly, lead, lavish love upon our spouse. We pray that you would help us do that in Jesus' name. Amen.

We hope you enjoyed this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Church. How will you put the truths that you learned into action in your life? Let us know. Email us at mystory@calvarynm.church. And just a reminder, you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynm.church/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.

Additional Messages in this Series

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7/29/2018
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Meet the Architect
Psalm 127
Skip Heitzig
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In this first message of our Smart Home series, we focus on the foundational elements. Let’s meet the Architect of the home and the family—God Himself. His blueprints for the people He creates include satisfying relationships and integrated operation. We should make sure to build alongside of Him so that our homes become satisfying places of refuge, palaces of joy, and platforms for worship. Let’s take a fresh look at Solomon’s instruction.
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8/5/2018
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Get Prequalified—Finding a Mate
Genesis 24; Genesis 29
Skip Heitzig
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Dating can be exciting. It can also get weird and end poorly. I like the common sense of one who quipped, "Some people are unmarried for the same reason that some drivers run out of gas. They pass too many filling stations looking for their favorite brand!" Though dating was unknown in biblical times, let’s look at five principles in budding relationships to help you prequalify to build a solid, long-lasting, and satisfying Smart Home.
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8/12/2018
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Get Prequalified—The Minimalist Home
1 Corinthians 7; Matthew 19
Skip Heitzig
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Should the top priority of a single person be to get married? Can a Smart Home also be a minimalistic home—with just one occupant? Why is it that singleness is sometimes considered less acceptable than marriage? Can the single life be a full, enriching, and positive experience? Perhaps you’ve lost your mate or you’re still waiting to find one. Or maybe you’re happy to stay single. Today let’s consider singleness and celibacy in light of Scripture.
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8/26/2018
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Following the Blueprint—A Wife’s Submission
Ephesians 5:22-24
Skip Heitzig
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When it comes to a family’s roles within the home, the “S” word (submission) can generate controversy. To modern ears, God’s standards can seem out-of-date and even distasteful to some. But I am suggesting that the quickest way to fulfillment for a married woman is to discover the freedom of her role as properly understood in Scripture. So let’s jump in and unpack this role and see how it is meant to correspond to a husband’s loving leadership.
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9/2/2018
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Building Your Future Home with Care
Ephesians 5:15-21
Skip Heitzig
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The construction of a house is no small undertaking. After the blueprints have been drawn up and approved, there are a series of steps to take to ensure the building is strong and durable. The verses we are considering today give us the preliminary features necessary to live peacefully with another person. Before the roles of family members can ever be exercised successfully, these considerations come first.
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9/9/2018
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Till Death Do Us Part—What You Need to Know to Make Marriage Last
Genesis 2; Mark 10
Skip Heitzig
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Is a lifetime commitment to a spouse even reasonable? Does permanence have to become a goal if it means a couple just has to grin and bear it? What if a marriage hinders one’s personal growth and self-fulfillment? Today I want to make a case not just for getting married but also for staying married. Let’s go back to the divine architect’s original prototype to understand what He had in mind when coming up with this idea of marriage.
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9/16/2018
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The Master Bedroom: Components of Marital Intimacy
Proverbs 5:15-21
Skip Heitzig
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Being intimate with your spouse involves more than just sex (though it certainly includes that). Intimacy is a sense of caring and affection in which one can be totally vulnerable with someone without the fear of being hurt or misunderstood. The physical/sexual factor should only enhance that. Intimacy is essential if a marriage is going to thrive. Let’s recover four components of marital intimacy.
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9/30/2018
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Communication Breakdown
Nate Heitzig
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10/7/2018
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A Smart Home...with In-Laws?
Genesis 28-31
Skip Heitzig
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Every wedding creates a blended family. Marriage not only joins a man and a woman, it blends the extended family of mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and brothers-in-law. The odds for dysfunction run pretty high. Today we consider the roles of God, parents, in-laws, and married children doing life together. How can in-laws be prevented from becoming outlaws? Four principles apply:
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10/21/2018
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Money Matters for the Smart Home
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Skip Heitzig
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The issue of money in a marriage is a primary source of conflict and worry, so much so that this conflict often leads to collapse. How can a married couple handle their finances so the marriage relationship isn’t damaged? Using an example of the apostle Paul’s plan to raise funds for the Jerusalem church, let’s get some solid pointers on the believer’s (and hence believing couples’) relationship to finances. Like it or not, money matters.
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There are 10 additional messages in this series.