Ephesians 5 21-33
21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Our online bible study continues this week with the 3rd sermon from the Series on marriage by Tim Keller. Below is a summary of the second part of the nine part audio teaching which I recommend you listen to at your own pace. It’s the all-time bestselling sermon series from Redeemer Presbyterian Church, preached in 1991, and the basis for the bestselling book “The Meaning of Marriage” in 2011.You can purchase them HERE for only $2.50 per session. I am in no way affiliated with the Redeemers Presbytarian Church.
In the last couple of weeks we have looked at the Power and the Definition of marriage. Tim Keller says a marriage runs on these three things which are the characteristics of a servant heart:
1) The ability to hear criticism without be crushed ( a lack of self defensiveness)
2) Give criticism without crushing
3) The ability to forgive with out residue
He says to ‘Take your mind of yourself’. With a servant heart, the spirit of God is illuminating your heart and making christ love for you very real. This gives you the ability to submit to one another because christ is so real to you and you are in awe of him. You think ‘Jesus is my king, he loves me, he cares about me, he has redeemed me…so I can handle this criticism and when criticising you think ‘Jesus has gently and patiently cared for me, so how can I be harsh in my criticism?’ It takes time to develop this servant heart…so start now. Let God’s word get down so deep in you that it becomes instinctive to you. You can then say to yourself, ‘Jesus’s opinion matters more, this is not the end of the world!’ Tim emphasises that this kind of thinking can only be achieved through prayer, bible study, reflection and meditation and this is what becomes the power behind your marriage.
Tim Keller also talked about the definition of marriage, which is a permanent, exclusive, public, legal commitment. Marriage is a commitment and biblical love is a choice. If you love people you will come to like them. The more you invest in someone, the more they get rooted in your heart and if you love them, you will come to like them and they will get more and more lovely to you. You will fall out of like with who you marry even before you marry them. The reason?Emotions come and go. If the essence of marriage is a commitment, your emotions will come and go.
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:21
Tim goes on to say that unless you make and investment in that person you won’t get past the dry times. Invest in them! Give to them, love them, be tender, cherish them, serve them. That’s what gets you through dry times and eventually they even start to be eliminated. We have to make that decision to love!
This week we are going on to discuss the Priority of Marriage.
And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ‘? “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6
Tim Keller says your primary person has to be your spouse. When you are married, marriage is the vortex, the centre of your life. If every thing round u is weak but your marriage is strong, you move out into the world in strength but if you marriage is weak, you move out into the world in weakness.
He goes on to say that nothing should come before your marriage or the result will be pathology. Not your father and mother, not your career, and not your children. If you love ur children and get more love out of that bond that your spouse, it breaks the biblical principles. If friends come before spouse you are in trouble. The hardest thing to leave behind is family patterns. Marriage is a fresh start, we should leave behind old patterns and create new ones which work for us as a new family unit. You also fail to leave your parents if you hate them because it means you are still controlled by them.
Finally he ends on this note. Marriage is fresh start, its a vehicle of redemption and helps you to understand salvation… all things are passed away the new has come. It has the power to tear you down and then build you up. Marriage is not a human invention to make you happy, it was created by God to sanctify you. It positions you to see the depths of your sin. You have to come to grips with your flaws, you selfishness, your prejudices, biases etc. And when you confront yourself God says “if you are willing to come to me and let Jesus be your saviour, wait and see what will happen!
Heavenly father help us to make our spouses our priority. Reveal to us where we are not being loving and where he have not ‘left’ and bind us together in love so that our marriages will be strong so that we can move into the world to complete our assignments in strength! In Jesus Name. Amen
Don’t forget to join our bible study this evening at 8.30 PM GMT +1 / 7.30 PM in London. It’s an interactive online bible study HERE ON FACEBOOK. I look forward to fellowshipping and praying with you for our marriages.
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