It’s time to crack open your Strong’s Concordance, or your Online concordance. Look at these 3 verses:
- Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her
- Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.
- Titus 2:4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children
Do you see some common words amongst these three verses? What is the common verb being used? _______________________________________
Now, in English this one word has different meanings and inferences. But in Greek there are four different words that all get translated into our one English word. That is why we often have to modify this word with an adjective.
Notice that Ephesians and Colossians use the word referring to sacrificial love. Honestly, it is hard to fully define this word since it has more use in Scripture than in Greek literature, hence there is not much for us to reference it to. But, look at how the Bible in John 3:16 seems to define this type of love by the description of what Jesus did. Look at how Paul here in Ephesians also defines this love by what Jesus did. This is part of why we believe it means wholehearted sacrifice for another being (and has a greater connotation when you realize that the love of Christ was towards those who in no way even deserved it).
Yet, the word for “love” in Titus comes from the Greek word for brotherly love. Paul here is wanting younger women to be devoted to their husbands because they are supposed to, and because they’ve been commanded to, not because they’ve earned it. This is interesting. The indication here is that women are told to love their husbands no matter what, and out of obedience (submission to God) rather than out of self-sacrifice. A husband could be the biggest, selfish, most rude and crude chauvinist pig and yet the Christian wife is to love him anyway. Whoa! That’s hard to swallow, I know, but that’s what God is saying. Obedience to God is not always an easy pill to swallow, but He provides the means and the grace.
So, why the differences? Because, again, the way we were designed. Adam shouldhave sacrificed himself for Eve and fought off the temptation of Satan against Eve, and even gone to God and accepted responsibility when he failed to do so. That’s what he should have done, but it’s not what he did. However, each of us married men must sacrificially love our wives even if our lives are at stake. We must be willing to sacrifice happiness, hanging out with the guys, watching our favorite ballgame, fishing, golfing, hunting, or whatever, if that is what it takes to love our wives. Now I know thatis hard for many men to swallow, but that is what sacrificial love is all about—you give up your wants and desires if need be for your wife. Jesus did that for us just by coming to earth, and more so when He went to the cross.
And, Eve shouldhave submitted to her husband’s authority (under God), and ultimately to God Himself, but usurped that when she acted out on her own and took the fruit. Now because of her actions, a woman’s sinful desire is for her husband’s position of authority (Genesis 3:16)[i]Hence, Paul is stating that women must fight this urge that finds its source in sin and to love their husbands since that is what God requires. It will ultimately deepen the relationship between the couple, and will honor God.
- Women: Some of you may be married to a phenomenally sacrificial and loving spouse. Unfortunately, there are those of you who are married to an unloving spouse; even an unsaved spouse. What are ways you can personally devote yourself to deepening your friendship and love with your husband regardless of your marital situation? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- I. Peter 3:1- In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
- Should you be married to an unsaved husband, think of ways you can improve your testimony to him by fulfilling the words of Peter in the above verses: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Men: Sacrificial love is the order of the day for our marriages. Even unsaved people can have this love to a certain extent, but it should be natural and more evident in the lives of Christian men. What are ways that you can sacrifice for your wife? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Did you list “watch chick-flicks with her”? That may be crossing the line, but in all reality, what kinds of things that she enjoyscan you sacrifice your interests for? (and I’m not enjoying this myself as I know I have plenty of areas I could be better at, including watching chick-flicks) _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Consider the sacrificial love lyrics in this secular song and how we can be better men than even the world has elevated as ideal:
Grow Old With You—Adam Sandler
I wanna make you smile whenever you’re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I wanna do is grow old with you
I’ll get your medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh, it could be so nice, growing old with you
I’ll miss you
Give you my coat when you are cold
Even let you hold the remote control
So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
Put you to bed when you’ve had too much to drink
Oh, I could be the man who grows old with you
I wanna grow old with you
- Men and Women: We are in a day and age that despises marriage. We hear messages that it is an outdated, manmade convention. We hear that a piece of paper is not needed to love someone. Famous people like Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn claim that “We have done just perfectly without marrying. I already feel devoted and isn’t that what marriage is supposed to do? So as long as my emotional state is in a state of devotion, honesty, caring, and loving, then we’re fine. We have raised our children brilliantly; they are beautiful people. We did a great job there and we didn’t have to get married to do that. I like waking up every day and seeing that he is there and knowing that I have a choice. There is really no reason to marry.”
- What are some biblical reasons for marriage: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- What differentiates the world’s view of marriage and God’s view? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Take time with your spouse and discuss each other’s needs, wants, desires, expectations, and so forth. Talk out what can be done better by each of you. Spend time praising each other for those things that are done well. And then spend time in prayer confessing sins, mistakes, and shortcomings, as well as confessing your desperate need for God to be center in your marriage.
Today’s Suggested Marital Resource: Love & Respect:https://www.loveandrespect.com/Dr. Emerson Eggerichs provides videos and books dealing with getting off the “Crazy Cycle”. You can always see me if you wish to borrow a copy of this book as I have one in my library.
[i]Note: feministic influences in interpreting Scripture have tried to change the meaning of verse 16, yet in the Hebrew this is the identical concept of Genesis 4:7 and Scripture must interpret Scripture. The affects of sin include disharmony in marriage resulting in wives trying to take over the leadership that God delegated to the husbands.