Marriage Matters Series Sermon 3
~ Husbands ~
Tyson Graber, Herscher Christian Church
June 19, 2011, Fathers’ Day
1 Peter 3:7
Three boys were bragging about who had the better father. The first boy says, "My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, and they give him $100." The second boy says, "That’s nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, and they give him $1000." The third boy says, "My Dad is even better than that. He scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, calls it a sermon, and it takes six men just to collect all the money!"
Have you ever noticed that children, for whatever reason, will work extremely hard at building up their fathers? If you listen closely, children can often be heard telling others about how great their fathers are.
By the way, did you know my dad, Gordon Graber, is here with us today? And from what I can tell he is the fastest, the strongest and the bravest of all the fathers I have ever seen!!!
It may be hard to admit, but for most of us we desire our dads to be the men God has designed them to be. But the fear of many children and wives is that we, as dads, won’t ever become the Fathers and Husbands God intends us to be.
Factors of Freedom from Fear
We ended last week’s message looking at the fear of most wives. Peter commands wives not to live in fear. I believe that fear is that if the wife invests completely in her husband, if she submits to him according to God’s perfect design for marriage and the family, then when he messes up and doesn’t lead as God desires, she will be mistreated. Maybe even worse, she may be misused or abused because her husband is not leading and loving like Jesus.
Men, husbands, this is a real concern for our wives and our children. The world is full of wives and children that are fearful that we will fail them. Why? Because many of us have. Too many men are not acting like real men of God, too many men have been acting like little spoiled brats for too long.
Instead of husbands leading with love, we often fall to one of two extremes that Satan tries to pull us into because they do not honor God or their wives.
Let me explain the two. Many men become Passive and still others become Abusive. Husbands, it makes me so upset at times to see some of you go to these extremes as you become pushovers and/or pigs - depending on the day and your selfish behavior.
Why does this happen? Why do so many of us men miss the mark and fail our families and our wives? SIN! From the beginning, Satan has been trying to kill the relationship between the husband and the wife and divide us through sin, and too many of us men are just sitting back and allowing it to happen.
NO MORE, MEN! It must change right now if we are going to save our families.
Here is where it all went wrong. From the beginning, God created both male and female in His image and he made the first wife to be the helpmate for Adam. But in Adam’s failing, passive nature he allowed Eve to pursue and partake in what was sin against God and he chose to also sin Himself in partaking in forbidden fruit.
Sure, Eve was led astray in her selfishness and curiosity for more, but Adam was a pushover and passively allowed it all to take place. From that moment, sin entered into the world in the garden and mankind fell from the perfect design God had laid out ..., and the ‘gender wars’ had begun. God told Eve her desire will be for her husband and he will rule over you.
But, Men, too many times we are like Adam .., the coward ..., not standing up for what is right. We allow our wives and families to do as they please, even when it is against God’s will, in hopes to just get through the day. At other times, we push back too much when things go bad, and we become ..., the unrealistic male dictator ..., that rules by fear.
Remember, God created the husband and wife to be one. But, from this moment on there begins this struggle, the wife wanting what she wants for the husband and the marriage, and the husband drawn to rule over the wife in a way that is unhealthy for all.
Because of this, men are often prone to go in one of those two directions, often times not having a clue to what it means to lead as a man in general, or how to be a Godly husband in marriage in particular.
Sometimes men become cowards, like Adam, becoming passive and offering no leadership. They avoid responsibility, they avoid conflict. These men are always just hoping for things to work out instead of taking responsibility for their actions and the actions of their family.
There are also men who don’t want to be like Adam at all. They don’t want anyone to tell them what to do especially ..., their wife. They don’t want to be passive, silent, worthless cowards, but they over-compensate and become chauvinistic pigs. They become bullies, thugs, jerks ..., the bad boys that think they are cool for running a house with fear, when what it needs is Godly love.
So, without God’s guidance, sin corrupts men today to the point that they don’t know what being a real man of God truly is. Most men, without God’s leading, become either cowards ..., or chauvinistic. They are either too little, or too much of a good thing.
So, instead of wives responding with love, respect, and a submissive spirit towards her husband because of our great love for them we often lead our wives to fear our failure to properly lead as God has designed ..., and they rebel.
All of this sin wrecks our families. The problems in our hearts become problems in the home.
How is your home today? Guys what kind of man have you become? Where is your marriage today? God is guiding Husbands to live out their love for Jesus by Loving their wives.
Since we are here today to deal primarily with the husband’s responsibilities, we must re-emphasize these points:
Maybe you are not a father or even a husband today. I will admit, this message is primarily meant to convict, encourage, and to change cowards and chauvinists into Christlike loving leaders of their families and this church. So, if this doesn’t really naturally apply to you, I ask that you at least use this message outline to pray for the husbands of this church and for those husbands you know from your own extended family.
Why? Because we need it. Most men are more comfortable at taking the initiative out in the world than they are in the home. On the job, men develop mission statements, set goals, solve problems, coordinate staff meetings, establish new strategies, and create. They move! But at home ..., to often they freeze. There is a male leadership vacuum in many of our homes and in many churches today, and its killing our marriages, families, and even many of our churches.
Leading And Loving by God's Design
With that said, there are a good number of Godly men among us here at HCC, and I am thankful for each of you. But let us all realize we are to lead as Christ leads the church. We are to love as Jesus loves the church. Even our greatest leaders on earth, and in this church don’t always look like Jesus. We need to commit to doing better.
Time and time again, when I speak to women who say they are in a bad marriage, and I ask them to commit to following their husbands leadership as we follow the leadership of Christ to gain a blessing in the marriage, they often say something like this:
“I would follow my husband in the marriage if he would actually lead and loved like Jesus.”
So men how can we better lead and love like Jesus?
I Peter 3:7 gives us some great insight.
Howard Hendricks, a famous pastor and speaker from the Promise Keepers movement, once said to a group of men:
“If your faith doesn’t work at home, it doesn’t work."
Husbands, I believe your faith will work out better at home when you live out loving Jesus. Some of you have got to stop just pretending to be followers of Christ here at church, You must start living, loving, and leading like Christ in your home and in your marriage.
How? Husbands live out your love for Jesus —
1. Live With an unbroken commitment to live with your wife … live with your wives…
It may seem too simple, but I want to emphasize these 4, four letter words in this passage.
LIVE WITH YOUR WIFE
Hebrews 13:4 (NIV)
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Let’s focus for a moment on just one of these words, “live.”
Live with your wife…
The word translated “live” here occurs just one time in the Bible. Literally, it means “to house with.” We use the term housewife, but not house-husband. But in a very real sense, that’s the term used here. Be house-husbands. Live in the house ... together ... with your wife. Make your home and your family a priority.
You tell me, “Oh, but I DO!” REALLY? How much time do you spend at home?
Don’t say, “It’s not the quantity of time, it’s the quality of time.” Too many husbands spend too much time at the office or on the job, not because they have to, but because it’s easier work than the work at home!
[Story of the man with marital problems a couple of weeks ago.]
A man called me to tell me a friend had suggested he call me, and he just had to talk to someone.. I asked, “Is this about a marital problem?” “Yes, yes it is.”
“Are you a member here?” “No, but I really need to talk to someone, my wife is driving me crazy! I need to talk this out.”
So we set about trying to set a convenient meeting time, and found most of his time was interfered with by, “Well, I’ll be working then.” “You work some strange hours!”
“Well, I’ll be at work then, but I really don’t have anything much to do.”
He was admitting to me that he really didn’t HAVE to be at work, it was just where he’d be because it was easier than going home to work out the problems in him marriage with his wife! I said, “You NEED to GO HOME to be with your wife!”
Many of us see the home as a place for us to retreat, to refuel, and to relaunch. Men, we think it’s for us to help just get ready to go back out into the world. But God wants you to impact your wife and your kids more than anyone. Be a house husband above all other things of this world.
We are to be Committed to Our Wives
Proverbs 18:22 (NIV)
“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.”
We are to be house-husbands but even more than that we are to be committed to our wives in marriage above all else other than the commitment of our faith in the Lord as long as we live. Sure, the culture of that day tolerated and even promoted divorce, but God is instructing Christ-following husbands to remain in their marriage. Live with your wife.
Its not about the house, its not about the marriage according to the state, they have messed all that union up and will continue to do so. God is calling you husbands to be completely committed to your wives.
Husbands, you must be the lead in insisting to take divorce off the table. I have seen too many men over the years, day after day, entertain the concept of divorce, threaten with the possibility of divorce, then they are shocked when push comes to shove and wife has enough of your passive aggressive cowardly actions or of your evil male chauvinistic hurtful behavior that she gives you what you have been talking about for so long and divorces them.
How dare you call yourself a Christian man and ever threaten your wife with the fear of leaving her and divorcing her for anything less than marital unfaithfulness! You are to live with her! You married her!
Don’t tell me that you don’t really know her, she acts all Christian like at church but she is annoying, she can’t cook, she spends way too much money on stupid things and so on and so on. That all might be true but I don’t want to hear your excuses about why you don’t love her, why your friends say you should get a divorce. You married her, start leading her with love and commit to her for ever.
A man came to visit a counselor and said, “I just don’t love my wife any more. I used to love everything about her but now I hate what she’s become.” The counselor asked him, “How long have you been married?” The man answered, “Fifteen years.” The counselor continued, “And you hate what your wife has become over the past fifteen years?” The man folded his arms and said, “Yea, that’s right.” "Just one more question then," said the counselor, “Who has been the biggest influence on your wife since you got married?”
When Jesus was asked about marriage and divorce He quoted Genesis and said, “A man will leave his own father and mother. He marries a woman, and the two of them become one.” Jesus carries this on to say, 'What God has joined together let no man separate.' Not even the husband ..., no man!
Husbands, your faith will work out at home if you live with your wife with an unbroken commitment.
Husbands your love for Jesus will also show -
2. when you live in complete consideration of your wife
Peter says 'be considerate'. The key concepts here are thoughtfulness and unselfish. A husband who is living with his wife in an understanding way is thoughtful, concerned with her needs and her best interests as if they were his own interest. He does what he can to relieve his wife of unnecessary stress. He learns what causes her to worry and he avoids putting her in those situations.
It goes back to what my grandfather told me once. He was a hog farmer, and when it was lunch time, we’d get in the truck and drive the mile back to the house, and Grammy always insisted we get out of all our work clothes before setting foot in the house... One day, Grammy went in to town, so when we came in for lunch, my grandpa and I still ended up stripping down before going into the house. When I asked him why he and I had to strip down to our underwear before we could go into the house for lunch after working with the hogs on his farm when Grammy wasn’t even there.
He said, ‘Because you will learn if mama aint happy ain’t nobody happy.
Husbands, Stop! Look, and listen. Be considerate of what she desires and needs. Many wives would say that their husbands are blind and deaf when it comes to understanding their needs and desires.
Some days she’ll be down and need an extra dose of tenderness. Some days she’ll be fed up with the kids and need you to give her some relief. Some days she’ll feel lonely and need a little extra time with you.
I heard about a husband who didn’t care at all about shopping for furniture But he had a wife who loved antiques. So one year he took his wife to as many antique stores as he could. It cost him a great deal of both time and money, but proved to be a strong bonding experience for his wife and him.
One of his friends noticed how much time he was spending shopping and asked him, “Do you like antiques that much?” He said, “No, but I like my wife that much!”
The idea is “be an intelligent husband.” Do you know your wife? Do you understand your wife? Are you a student of your wife? Her moods. Her facial expressions. Her body language. Her tone of voice.
Husbands, your faith will work at home when you are considerate of your wife.
Husbands your faith will work at home when you are tender toward your wife.
3. Husbands, we need to show an undeniable tenderness for our Wives.
… treat her with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life…
Many Christians often struggle with this "weaker partner" passage from Peter. But think about it this way. Denim is a tough, course fabric. Silk isn’t as tough, but is soft and sleek. It is a "more fragile fabric." But that doesn’t diminish the silk in any way by making that claim. In fact, silk is more valuable than denim. You must treat silk with greater care than denim. In the same way, we have to treat our wives with greater care - an undeniable tenderness.
I think that is why Peter says,
"… respect her as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life…,"
because there is an eternal effect that our marriage can have on our spouses and their relationship with the Lord.
Men, our wives are equals in spiritual privilege and eternal importance. Husbands, it is our responsibility to lead and to do everything we can to make sure our wives and families meet Christ through salvation in Him clothed in the beauty of holiness.
While on earth, the wife is to be submissive to her husband in his leadership. But in eternity it won’t be that way; heaven will not simply be a continuation of things the way they have been on earth. Men, remember, the husband-wife relationship is temporal, not eternal.
Jesus Christ is the groom of all Christians, and together we are the bride of Christ, and in heaven he will provide for us forever!
Christ has allowed us to lead and love our wives and God has commanded us to love them as Christ loves us ..., so treat her with honor.
Husbands, Some of you need to stop being cowards and start loving to lead your wives. Others of you need to stop being chauvinistic jerks and loving lead your wives.
Proverbs 5:18 (NLT)
"Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth."
[Introduce Gordon Graber, my Father]
This month they will have been married 36 years! Ive invite my dad up here to answer some questions as an experienced, and devoted husband of may years to help younger husbands and fathers understand a little better what marriage is all about, and what it takes to succeed.
1. Tyson: Dad what is the greatest piece of advice you can give other fathers as they strive to be Godly Fathers for our children?
Gordon: What I would say to fathers who want their children to see a Godly father? Love Jesus and love their moms.
2. Tyson: Dad how would you encourage husbands to live with their wife as God designed and make house with them?
Gordon: As Tyson said in his sermon… live with your wives… I tried to take work that allowed me to come home at nights and be at home most weekends.
3. Tyson: Dad what are some practical things husbands can do to show we are considerate of our wives?
Gordon: ... Be considerate . . . Listen to them, respond to what they communicate to you.
"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." James 1:19
4. Tyson: Dad how do you know when you need to treat mom with some extra tenderness or respect?
Gordon: ...Treat your wives with respect as the weaker partner . . . Women are just different than we are. They think and act different. And it’s sometimes hard to learn, but you come to know the signs as you come come closer in spirit to them. And you try to meet that need if you respect her.
Husbands and Fathers, I offer you a challenge to love Jesus, love your wives and love your children.
Its time to 'man up', men, and lead like Jesus.