just here for the puppies?
If you missed being with us this past Sunday, you missed the Puppy Bowl (major bummer, they were really cute). The significant events of this past week and the week to come provide a really unique window to give a day each to the fellas and the ladies. This past Sunday was the Super Bowl, and this coming Sunday is Valentines Day. What great bookends within which to consider the “equal but different” fundamental truths of God’s design for men and women. During these two weeks, we want to celebrate that God made men and women separate and unique. And listen carefully to what God says about, and to, each of us.
you really need to watch
This text companion to the sermon video above will be deliberately short this week and next. I’ll hit the high points here, but you really need to watch. We really need to get this as men and women, and husbands and wives. God meant for men and women to be equal, but He also made us different. We are designed for unique things, and with unique selves. When respect and relationships exist according to God’s design, all is right with the world, and we can accomplish amazing things together. But when things are out-of-place and in conflict with that design, the results can be catastrophic. Women … wives … this is your time to pay special attention.
R . E . S . P . E . C. T
… and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:33b (the wife half)
A unique truth about men is that they value respect above almost anything else. If this is not #1 on a specific man’s list, it is a ridiculously close second. Respect is VERY important to a man. God gives this specific command through the apostle Paul because He knows the nature of the male creation made in His image. As boys, men don’t dream about romance, their wedding day, or being swept off their feet. Boys dream about being football players, superheros and soldiers. Their desire is for strength and courage … and respect. These are God-given desires. They are not always desired and pursued in godly ways, but they are God-given.
Ladies … please watch the video for more detail (and fun illustrations), but here are four essential things you need to know and ask God for the strength to do and be in your husband’s life (or if you’re not married but have or desire a committed, God-honoring relationship with a man).
- Never treat him like a child (Romans 13:6-7)
- Never tear him down (Proverbs 31:10-12, James 3:9-12)
- Always build him up to others (Ephesians 4:29)
- Always recognize his unique contribution as a man (Ephesians 5:22-24)
And here are some questions to dwell on as you consider these essential things about your man …
Do you want him to pursue God’s will or yours?
Are you manipulating your husband or supporting him?
Are you building him up or tearing him down?
There’s a cycle that happens far too often these days (secret: it’s been true since the beginning of time and will be until God comes and destroys this world and makes it new again, the way this one was intended to be). Maybe it’s true (or has been true) of your marriage, or maybe you’ve witnessed it in others … but you’ve seen or experienced it. Things start out great and then something “breaks.” The husband doesn’t love his wife as he has been. The wife responds with not respecting her husband. Her husband loves her a little bit less, and she respects him a little less. It’s a cycle of rinse and repeat that ultimately looks like a spiral of rinse water descending into a drain. Wives … regardless of how your husband is or acts, you aren’t in control of him, you’re not in charge of him, you’re not responsible for him. You are only responsible for yourself and your actions. God has asked you — He’s commanded you — to respect your husband; to build him up, support him and be there for him. Commit to this. Commit with the full force of your vows … that you made to God. This is what He has asked you to do.