Shepherds Conference 2019 Session 6 Notes

Session 6

Tom Pennington

Faithful in the Home

Are you faithful in fulfilling the duties that Christ has assigned us to our wives and to our children?

The greatest thing that you can do for your children is to love your wife.

Ephesians 5:21-ff

Whether you do it or not, whether you like it or not, husband, you are the head of your wife.

IF there are problems in your marriage, you may not bear all the guilt, but you bear the complete responsibility.

We have one calling in our marriage.

Three basic insights about faithfulness in marriage.

Love—our primary calling

Love’s primary expressions

Love’s primary goals

  • Our Primary Calling

Verse 25

Love your wives

Ephesians is about the eternal plan of God

Chapters 1-3 are the indicative’s of the gospel.

Chapters 4-6, walk worthy of that gospel.

In 5:15, Paul says he wants us to walk in wisdom.

Verse 18, be filled with the Spirit.

Allow the Spirit to fill you with a deeper understanding of God’s word so that you can walk in biblical wisdom.

19-21, Paul explains the primary consequences of being under the Spirit’s influence.

Love for God-centered music

Pattern of thanksgiving

A heart of submission to human authority.

Note, verse 21 is not a calling to mutual submission between husbands and wives.

It is a calling to submission to rightful authority.

5:22-6:9 is about submission to rightful authority.

Paul speaks at length about the husband’s responsibility.

That is unusual in this section. Paul usually speaks more to the one under authority and not to the one in authority.

The call for husbands to love their wives is unheard of in the first century.

This was not a normal family command.

The chief imperative to love your wife is a reminder that marriage is not about what you get out of it.

Marriage, like everything else in your life as a believer, is about loving God and loving others.

The command is addressed to all husbands.

This allows no exception.

Even if your spouse changes, the imperative has not changed.

This command is not conditioned on her obedience to Christ.

IT is about your obedience to Christ.

It is not about how attractive you think she is.

Love is not primarily about physical attraction but spiritual commitment.

Love is not motivated by the actions of the object loved but in the will of the one loving.

Love begins not with the emotions but with the will.

The fact that God commands us to love is evidence that love is an act of our will.

We have one primary calling as husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the church.

How are we to love?

  • Love’s primary expressions (25-30)

Two pictures:

Christ’s treatment of the church

Our treatment of our bodies

Our love for our wives must be a sacrificial love.

Christ gave himself up for the church.

Galatians 2:20; 1 John 3:16

Be willing to follow Christ’s example and be willing to lay down your life for your wife.

But this is not only on the big issue of death.

Simple and daily sacrifices are required.

Leadership is not about asserting your rights and your authority, it is about serving your wife.

Does your wife think you regularly sacrifice to serve her?

How do you do this?

Each day you put her interests above your own. — Mark 10:45; John 13

Every day, we can put away our distractions, make eye contact, and have a real conversation.

Discover a way that your wife genuinely knows that you love her, and do that consistently.

Open up and disclose yourself to her. (john 5:20; 14:21; 15:15)

Sanctifying love (26-27

Christ cleansed the church.

Titus 3:5, So that he might sanctify her.

HE cleansed us at the moment of salvation.

He then set out to sanctify us.

Jesus did not only die for us to save us.

He intends to make us holy.

Verse 27, be holy and blameless.

That is the kind of thing he is pointing out with the metaphor of a bride without spot or wrinkle.

Like Christ, your greatest concern for your wife must be her spiritual wellbeing.

Does she know Christ?

Is she growing in sanctification?

How do we help here?

Begin with pursuing sanctification yourself.

Do nothing that exposes your wife to sin and temptation.

Imitate Christ’s own spiritual care for his bride.

John 17 is an example of Jesus praying for the church’s sanctification.

Be careful not to become bitter when she sins against you.

Is your wife more like Jesus Christ in her moral character because she is married to you?

Love your wife as your own body, verse 28.

You provide for and care for your own body.

Your wife is part of you.

It is as reasonable to care for her as it is for your own body.

We protect and care for our bodies.

It is against both the law of nature and the law of God to fail to protect your wife.

A nourishing love (28)

3 physical needs a husband must meet for his wife in the OT.

Food, clothing, and conjugal rights.

It is a sin if we are lazy and refuse to care for our wives.

It is a sin if we seek a lavish lifestyle that we cannot support.

It is a sin if we neglect intimacy with our wives.

A cherishing love (29)

Cherish is to tenderly care for.

1 Thessalonians 2:7 uses that cherish word of a nursing mother.

Our responsibility to our wives is not simply to provide for their needs, we are supposed to cherish them and care for them with the same tender affection we have as we care for our bodies.

We fail to cherish them when we neglect them for sports, hobbies, video games, male friends, or even ministry.

We fail to cherish our wives when we use our words as weapons.

Ephesians 5:29, Christ cherishes his body, the church.

Verse 30, we, individually, are members of Christ’s body.

He cherishes us not only as a group but also individually.

Christ verbally expresses his love for us.

Scripture repeatedly tells us of Christ’s love.

Christ comforts, protects, provides for, sympathizes with us.

Christ goes well beyond just meeting our needs.

Churchill illustration: “If I could not be who I am, I would most like to be Lady Churchill’s second husband.”

Paul could have given all these commands to us for our children too.

  • Love’s primary goals (31-32)

Why is our obedience here so important?

To reflect the original design of God (31)

To point to the ultimate love (32)

Paul connects Genesis 2:24 to Christ and the church.

In eternity past, God decided to save sinners through the work of his Son.

God created marriage as a living illustration of that glorious relationship that believers have with the Son of God.

Your marriage exists as a living illustration of Christ and the church.

Your marriage speaks to those around you about Christ every day.

If we do not love our wives, we are no longer preaching the truth about Christ.

IF we leave our wife, we lie about Christ.

If we harm our wife, we lie about Christ.

If we commit adultery, we lie about Christ.