Men we come down now to the last portion of our duties to our wife. To summarize the first two messages: as men it is our God given task and privilege to reflect His nature and character in our family by both Leading and Sacrificially Loving our wives. This morning I want to give you two more main categories where we are taught specifically in Scripture how we are supposed to function in relationship with our wife.
Live With Her With Respect & Honor.
One of the first things to break down after the wedding is the congeniality with which you treated one another while you were dating. This simply shouldn’t be the case. Now that you have sealed your relationship with a vow – that is a time to move your relationship up a notch – not down.
So the Scriptures give us a few clear guides addressed to us as men that are simply meant to help us to treat our wives with respect.
Don’t be bitter with her col. 3:19
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” (Col 3:19, NIV) The idea of being harsh translates a word that’s elsewhere used to describe an upset stomach. Men your wife is a beautiful treasure – don’t treat her like an ulcer. Part of Christian character is a man who doesn’t treat his wife meanly but respects and honors her.
Let’s expound on that over in 1 Peter 3:7
” You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
Notice what the directives are: first men you are supposed to …
Live with her in an understanding way: 1 peter 3:7
The idea is that of having KNOWLEDGE of what’s going on in your wife’s mind and life and living in response to that.
Now I know what some of you are thinking; “I can’t read her mind- that’s what starts half the arguments in our house!” That might be true on both counts – you certainly can’t read her mind – so since you are instructed by God to live with her with knowledge – how are you going to get that Knowledge?
Let me give you a hint: Shut off the TV, Fold up the paper and talk with her. Gentlemen let me give you a plan. One night this week as the day is coming to a close turn off the TV and give her your undivided attention and then ask a question like “Dear, what’s on your mind today?”
Now you’ve got to pick your timing, don’t shut off the TV while it’s on Her show – turn off YOUR show men. If you do this; two things are going to happen. Number one she’s probably going to be tempted to blow you off – because you’ve been blowing her off. And number two – you’re going to need a package of smelling salts as soon as she finds out your serious. And then men: Stick a sock in it and listen to what she has to say.
You can’t live with your wife in an understanding way if you don’t have the slightest clue what’s going on between her ears.
Second thing is this guys: you’ve got to be gentle…
Be Gentle (1 Peter 3:7)
The NASB says live with her as someone weaker… without delving into any junk around that – it simply means this: treat her gently. Look men, this takes on all kinds of meaning in our culture.
Be gentle with your wife in terms of your speech. Watch what you do to her heart with that quick witted tongue of yours. Stop bringing up old wounds – bury the hatchet- quit the guilt trips and kick off your grudge – none of those are suitable for Christians anyway. Don’t resort to saying whatever needs to be said just to win the argument.
I know how your twisted mind jumps – sometimes without thinking- in the middle of an argument you know what it is you have to say to gain the momentary victory. All you have to do is bring up some past event and you might win the argument but lose the war because what you’ve done is you’ve destroyed your wife’s heart.
Not only your speech guys but here’s another thing and it’s a big one to me. I don’t know if any of you have ever hit your wife but you need to know that it’s a sin to do so. You’re breaking this text right here. Be gentle with her – she’s the weaker partner and you are supposed to guard her not hurt her. Men if you’ve got an anger problem come and seek me out and we’ll get you the help you need so that you can gain the upper hand over it – but don’t hit her.
Ladies – listen up! This is for the married and the non married and the not yet married. There is no – time, NEVER! That a man has the right to hit a woman. If your husband hits you, than you need to get out and get safe till he’s right with the Lord. And it doesn’t change overnight – this is long haul/ long term territory.
Third thing here is this men:
Honor her 1 pet 3.7
She is a fellow heir of grace. That means men – that you treat your wives with all the respect, dignity and honor which should rightfully go to a daughter of God.
Let me give you some ways to honor her guys because we’re running out of time today:
(1) Open the door for her when she goes in and out of a building.
(2) Wait till she’s in the car and shut the door for her – THEN you get in.
(3) Ever hear the phrase “Ladies first”? It applies to your wife – she’s a child of God that makes her a sacred lady – treat her like royalty.
(4) Let her speak – and don’t brush her off.
(5) And this one deserves repeating: Give her your full attention.
(6) Get her an umbrella when it’s raining.
(7) Give her the best of everything you have.
(8) Remind her of how much you love her and how glad you are she married you.
Why do these things? Look at what Peter says, so that it doesn’t hinder your prayers. Do you realize this men? God is watching how you treat your wife and if you don’t care to treat her with dignity – he’s going to have a hard time listening to you. So watch how you treat her so you don’t hinder your own prayer life.
So what have we said guys, Lead her, Love her sacrificially, Live with her with respect and honor and finally and for keeps: Don’t forget to LAUGH with her.
Laugh With Her!
Enjoy life with your wife – I believe most of us married to that purpose and it’s something worth pursuing. There’s an old document called the Declaration of Independence that took it’s formula primarily from scripture. Tomorrow we get to celebrate it’s meaning as we celebrate our country’s independence. One of the first things it declares is the right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
That precept is taken from scriptures – from the concept of our creator and the intent of his living in our lives today.
Enjoy life with your wife Eccles 9:9 (see context though)
I hope you’re not complete grumps at home men, because God wants you to enjoy life with your wife. Ecclesiastes 9:9 which would love a little bit of explanation for it’s context simply says
“Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil.”
And Solomon goes on to say that God has given us life to be enjoyed. So enjoy it. If you need to hear it, stop being a grump, and be grateful. For God is good!
Delight In Her (Prov. 5:15-19)
Moving over to Proverbs 5:15-19 men you’re simply told to Delight in your wife, be captivated by her love for you. Good grief some of you roll over in the morning expecting to see something beautiful – your wife gave that up long ago.
When it all comes down to it guys I’m calling us to biblical manhood. Let’s step up to the plate.