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Jack Graham - When a Man Loves a Woman

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    Jack Graham - When a Man Loves a Woman
TOPICS: Life Together, Marriage, Relationship

Today as we talk about the role of the husband and man's responsibility to love the lady in his life all the days of their lives together, I discovered that the word husband is from the German language originally. It has a root in their German language from the word house band. Picturing, it's a word picture of a band around the house, around the home. So the husband is the one who encircles the home with his love, his leadership and binds the family together, bonds the family together, belts us together. So husbands, it begins with us. Men, it starts with you and me.

"And therefore", beginning at verse 25 of Ephesians 5, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 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. And in the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church... Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself and let the wife see that she respects her husband".

So when a man loves a woman, I want to say three things: one, when a man loves a woman he provides authority. Now fasten your pew belts. Authority! Because in the design and plan of God He has chosen and called and commanded the man, the husband to love and lead his family, to be the head of the home. Now in life everything is organized from creation to home and family, to business and everything has to have a head. Dr. Adrian Rogers used to say: "Anything with no head is dead; anything with two heads is a freak"! So you have to have one head. There's one quarterback on a team and there is one who is assigned the authority to lead the family.

Now this does not mean in the headship... And by the way, you say, "Well, why did God choose the man"? I don't know. You can ask Him when you get to heaven. But in the plan and the providence of God, He has said that a man should lead his family. This is a essential principle in life. It is the principle of authority. And if you don't learn to live in this culture under authority you're going to live, therefore, in rebellion and ultimately chaos. And that's what we have so often in our culture today because no one is leading, no one is stepping up to the challenge! In marriage the Bible is clear. Paul said, "Husbands, lead your wives, love your wives". A wife should submit to her husband and a husband should lead their families to add to this, 1 Corinthians 11 and verse 3. This is a verse you should mark in your Bibles. It says: "I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God".

Now what does this mean because if we can determine what this verse means and it helps us understand the whole idea of headship. Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. Now the Bible teaches that God is one in three persons; we know this as the Holy Trinity. And God is co-eternal, co-essential and co-equal Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Son is not lesser than the Father, the Father is not greater than the Spirit. In terms of equality their essence, who They are... They are one and co-eternal and co-equal. So when God became a man, when the Son came to earth, He laid aside many of the privileges of His Deity. He never laid aside His Deity, but He laid aside many of the privileges, and He submitted His way, His will to the word of the Father, to the will of the Father.

Now not for one second, not for one skinny second did Jesus become less than God Himself, but He willingly chose to obey the Father. And so when the Scripture says, "God is the head of Christ", it's exactly what it's talking about. And so Jesus is not inferior in any way to the eternal head who is God the Father. Now apply that to marriage. That's what the Scripture is doing. When the Scripture says man is the head of the woman, the head of the wife, it does not mean that the wife is in any way inferior to the man. In fact, in 1 Peter chapter 3 and verse 7 we are told that women are heirs with men in the grace of life, joint heirs in the grace of life. In Christ we are one, there is no male, there is no female, but in the divine strategy, in the divine plan for marriage God has established the man, the male, the husband as the head of the home. Different roles, different responsibilities. And when that gets out of balance in some way that's when the trouble begins.

And therefore, the wife is to willingly respond as verse 33 of chapter 5 says, "See that the wife respects her husband". God made the woman not only physically but spiritually and emotionally as a responder to the leadership and the love of the man. I as a man am under authority. I am under the authority of Jesus Christ. And there is a principle in life regarding authority in that, it is this: You cannot be over until you are under. And when I am under Christ, when I am a man under God, under His authority, then I am then given the authority and the responsibility in willingly obeying God to lead my own family. To man up and lead! And our wives, the ladies in our lives who we are married need us, men, to provide that sense of authority which brings security and well-being, and strength to the family.

Now I should say that this only applies, as principle of authority woman to the man as the head, applies only in the context of Christian marriage. It doesn't apply in the business world where a woman can certainly assume great responsibility and lead corporations and be CEO's and presidents and the like. It doesn't apply in the business world in the sense that it applies in the marriage. And certainly as a woman, as we'll talk about next week in the whole role of the woman, it doesn't mean that you just do anything your husband says, especially if it is dishonoring to God or disobedient to God. We must obey God and not man first! But having said that, as a leader I must be willing to accept authority and assume authority. Now if you have to beat on your chest and swag around and tell everybody in your household that you're in charge, guess what? You're not!

That's what I tell young pastor about leading the church. If you have to stand up and pound the pulpit and tell everybody you're the pastor and you're in charge then, you know, prepare your walking papers because you're not. Leadership, what do leaders do? Leaders lead! Leaders lead! And that includes seeking the godly counsel of those around us starting with our own wives. I can tell you, I greatly desire and need Deb Graham's counsel. I don't run around our house barking orders and saying, "I'm man; you're woman"! Not some Neanderthal.

Therefore, because my wife is an equal partner and a joint heir with me in the grace of life, I want to know what she thinks. I want her opinion. I value her input whether it regards some decision that we're making for our family, some direction that we're taking, if it's a financial area, whatever it may be! I value the spiritual life and walk of my wife, the wisdom that she brings. She is a wise woman! Men, if you're smart, if you're a leader of your family, you will include your wife in sharing life together and leading your family. Why would you ignore the advice of such a capable woman that God has put into your life. So bring it with authority! Bring the strength of your leadership, bring the strength of your position and bring it with the responsibility that God has given you! Love your wife with a sense of authority!

When a man loves a woman, he provides security. This is why the Apostle Paul said, Ephesians 5:25,27 "Love your wife as Christ has loved the church and gave Himself for it that He might present it before the Father". In other words, the whole idea is that as Christ has loved us we are to love our wives and be prepared to present before God a godly wife, a godly woman, a godly family. We're to love our wives! How? As Christ loved the church. How did Christ love the church? He loved us selflessly, sacrificially! He lay down His life on the cross! God loved us before we loved Him! It was a seeking love, a selfless love "as Christ has loved the church". The problem that we all face in life and certainly in marriage and family is selfishness.

Now Paul mentions that we all love our own bodies. We all love self. So we must overcome ourselves and the obstacle of a self-will, self-life, self-lived life in order to love our wives and to share life, where it's just not all about me and what I want and what I think. That's the way Christ has loved us. And the greatest opportunity, men, that we have to deny self is in loving and serving our wives. That brings security. If you love her like that, she's not going to be constantly afraid that you're leaving, whether or not you're going to be faithful or not, because you love her unconditionally. Love her as Christ has loved us. Tall orders! Bigger than what we can do. But we have been given the Spirit of Christ. In fact all of this passage in Ephesians 5 is written in the context of spirit-filled living. Ephesians 5:18: "Be filled with the Holy Spirit". That means to be under the control of the Spirit of God; to live in His presence, to live in His power. Christ has promised us strength.

When we say "I can't", He says, "Yes, you can, because I will". His Deity inhabits our humanity, and therefore we can. So don't tell me you can't love your wife. Don't say "I just don't love her anymore". Because my answers going to be, "Then learn to love her. Restore your love, renew your love". "Well, I can't". Yes, you can. I see it all the time. I'm thinking about a man who came into my office a year or two ago and tried to explain to me why he needed to leave his wife. And he had no real reason. It wasn't an adulterous situation on her part in any way. He was just tired of her and there was unresolved conflict and there was a lot of stuff going on, and so I'm listening and I'm thinking, "You're an idiot"! And you know what? If your watching this, you're still an idiot! Because he had a lovely wife and a wife with the children and he had no reason other than the fact, you know, it wasn't sizzling like it used to sizzle.

It wasn't great and there were reasons for that, but I couldn't figure out what this guy was trying to tell me. And I kept saying, why, why is he leaving his wife? So I asked him straight up, "Who's the other woman"? "Oh no, there's no other woman". He talks a little more. I came at it again. "Okay, come on. Who's the other woman"? "Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no other woman". I came back the third time. Three strikes, you're out! "Come on, you don't just leave your wife unless there's somebody in the wings waiting". "Oh no, no, no, no". He lied to me three times. And it wasn't long before he moved in with his girlfriend and left his wife and life behind to do what he wanted to do. I see that over and over again with guys. So men, hey, this isn't my first rodeo. I've seen this stuff a long time.

You love your wife, you cling to your wife, you hold on to your wife. Don't go chasing some other woman! Don't go chasing some other life! Don't think that the grass is greener in somebody else's yard. Typically if the grass is green it's because it's growing under the septic tank, right? So when a man loves a woman there is a sense of authority. When a man loves a woman there is this sense of security and when a man loves a woman he gives her the sense of purity. He speaks of sanctifying her, verse 26, and cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. Now what does that mean? That means that we are to be the spiritual cleansing agent of our wives, our children; that we have the responsibility, men, of not only being a protector and a provider, but to being a prophet and a priest in our home. A pastor, if you will. You, sir, are to shepherd your family.

Where did we get the idea that women should be more spiritual than men? "Oh, I just kind of let the little woman take care of the worship and the church and the prayers. I just put meat on the table". No, your first responsibility is not even to provide, though that's a big part of it, but it is to be the prophet of your family, the priest of your family, praying for your family, interceding for your family, speaking the word of God into your wife and into your children. You are to be the one who guides and leads like a shepherd. To equip your wife and kids and present them like Christ presents His bride the church as a beautiful testimony of the cleansing, consecrating power of God!

I heard Bible teacher Jack Taylor say years ago when I was a young husband, I heard him say these words, I've never forgotten them: "Your wife, her countenance reflects your character. That's why my wife is so beautiful. She doesn't have a wrinkle one"! Besides all that stuff she puts on her face every night. I'm not sure. But she's beautiful. Seriously, she's beautiful. And her countenance reflects a Christ-like character and I pray that our life together in Christ has contributed to her own character, to her own consecration, because that's my responsibility! When I stand before God and when you stand before God, it's not going to be about how much money I made, how successful I was at what I did, but are my wife and my children standing as testimonies from generation to generation? A beautiful expression of the love of Christ.

You can look into the face of a wife and see what's going on in their marriage. And husbands, that is our responsibility whether there's joy and life and love in that home or not. To boldly say: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". Love her, lead her, pray for her, worship with her. I believe most every man in this room, every man listening to me wants to have a godly home and a great marriage. You want to love your family. In fact, you would lay down your life for your family. You would take a bullet for your family, for your wife. You would die to protect your family against some intruder in the night. But men, there are some other kinds of intruders that are on the prowl.

Satan himself wants to destroy your wife and your kids and you. And he is prowling around your house in your marriage, in your family seeking who he may devour. And men, we can't be asleep. We can't be just laid up in the lazy boy in charge of the remote control and think that's life at home. We have to be willing to fight for our families, to protect our families. This is a purifying love that provides correction and instruction against the evil influences and forces that would do our families harm. And we, men, should be the ones saying, "Let's pray together". We are the ones who should be saying, "Let's see what God's word has to say about this decision we're making".

We, men, are the ones who should say, "Alright, everybody get up. We're on our way to worship God together"! We should be the ones setting an example, setting the pace for our wives and our kids in service and in ministry of Christ and His church! So the question is: Are you doing that? Are you doing that in the power of Christ? In and under the filling of the Spirit, under the authority of God in your life, are you giving your family authority, leadership? Are you giving your wife and your children security by sacrificial, selfless, steadfast, sanctifying, purifying love? And are you giving them a sense of purity in presenting them before God as your family, serving the Lord together?
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