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James Merritt - Here Comes the Bride

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    James Merritt - Here Comes the Bride
TOPICS: Family Ties, Family, Wife

We're in a series we're calling Family Ties and we started by talking about the foundation of the family and how family begins primarily when a man and a woman marry. They become husband and wife. Now last week, if you were here, we talked about the role of the husband. Today we talk about the role of the wife. I read the other day where somebody said, "here's what happens in a marriage. Marriage occurs when a man and a woman become one, but the trouble starts when they try to decide which one". There's a lot of truth in that, there really is. And though the husband and the wife become one physically at a moment in time, I'll be honest, after 46 years of marriage, I can say this, this whole process of becoming one, it's a work in progress because when you wake up after that first honeymoon morning, you realize, well, we are one, but we're still two and so for the rest of your married life, you work through that process of becoming one.

Now, again, as I said last week, there are people I'm sure that are watching right now, going, "I don't even know why you're bothering talking about marriage to begin with. It's becoming passe, it's not en vogue anymore". I told you, for the first time in the history of this country, less than half of the people in America who are of marrying age are married. 51% of people who could marry are not married. The average age of a woman getting married, a man getting married, is at an all time high. And more and more people are simply saying, "I just don't see the need for it. I don't know why it's a big deal. It's just a piece of paper. I don't know the benefits of getting married".

And so we've even gotten to the point, as you know, that we've actually seen marriage redefined in a way that we never, ever dreamed was possible. So I put my cards on the table, not as a pastor, but as a believer in Jesus, as a follower of the way. I'm not really interested, I really don't care what the Supreme Court says about marriage. I really don't care what the Congress says about marriage. I don't care what any president says about marriage. I don't care what Hollywood says about marriage. I don't care what the culture thinks about marriage. I don't care what the world thinks about marriage. The only thing I care about is one thing. What does God say about marriage? He invented it, it's His idea, He came up with it. So what does God think about marriage? And it's not coincidental. I bet you've never thought about this, if you read your Bible, you'll see this. The Bible begins with a wedding between Adam and Eve. Well, how does the Bible end? With a wedding between Christ and the church.

So when I read that God begins His word with a wedding and then I read where God ends His word with a wedding, even me, even a guy like me, not that smart can say, you know what, marriage must be a big deal to God. He starts the story of the Bible with the marriage, He ends the story of the Bible with a marriage. It must be a very big deal. Now, biblically speaking, there are three institutions that stand apart from every other institution in the world, the family, the church, and the state. When God decided to create all of this to begin with, He could've started anywhere He wanted to start. But it's really interesting. He didn't start with the church. He didn't even start with the state. He started with the family, and he started the family with marriage. Why? Because from the very beginning of time, there's one thing that's been inserted into the DNA of every single person who has ever been born.

Here's what you can automatically know just from the story of Adam and Eve, God created all of us to be in relationships. God never created anybody to be the lone ranger. Even he needed Tonto, right? Everybody needs a relationship. You need to be in that relationship. And then the way God did it, He said, by the way, there are two primary relationships in your life, always two and always in this order. The most important relationship you have is a vertical relationship with the God that made you. The second most important relationship you have is that horizontal relationship with your family and with your friends. And they're always in that order because I told you last week, why did God create Adam alone? God could've easily created Adam and Eve at the same time. He didn't. He created Adam all by himself.

Why did He do that? He was sending a message to Adam. Adam, I want your number one primary relationship always to be to me. Not to your wife, not to your kids, not to your mom and dad, not to your brothers and sisters, not to your best buddy. I want your primary relationship always to be to me. Then He creates Eve. He said, now, you've got a second relationship, Adam, and this is a very important relationship. But Adam, let me warn you. The quality of that relationship will depend upon the quality of this relationship. Always keep this one in place, then you'll help, then the other one will stay in place as well. So we've got this vertical relationship, we've got this horizontal relationship. But then God does something interesting. Creates the husband and he creates the wife and then He puts His hands in His pockets and He says, "okay, now it's your turn". He doesn't create the first child. Adam and Eve produced the first child.

What was God trying to tell us even today? Very simple. The foundation of the family is marriage, the foundation of the community is the family, and the foundation of the state is the community. That's the way it works. Marriage is the foundation of the family, the family is the foundation of the community, the community is the foundation of the state. Now I know some people think this is out of date and old-fashioned. I still believe that God kind of knew what He was doing. Because I believe happy marriages brings strength to a nation. I believe happy marriages bring stability to a nation. I believe happy marriages bring serenity to a nation. Now, in my experience and in my ministry, and I'm not an expert, but I found, you may know something different, I found there are only two keys that will unlock the door to a healthy marriage. There's only two keys that I could find. A husband and a wife. I can't find anything else.

Every time I found a happy marriage, there was a happy husband, there was a happy wife. As a matter of fact, any expert will now tell you the only two causes of unhealthy marriages, and if we could just eliminate those, nobody would have an unhealthy marriage. The only cause of an unhappy marriage is a man and a woman. Get rid of those, everybody's gonna be happy. But if you want to have a healthy marriage, a happy marriage, you've got to have a happy husband and a happy wife. Now I've not told you anything you don't know. I've not told you anything you gotta get out of a book. Common sense tells you that. But that raises the $10,000 question. How can both of them be happy in marriage? How can that happen? How many of you are married? Hold your hand up if you're married.

Okay. How many of you, at least in some way, you're different than your wife or your husband? Just hold your hand up. Okay. Vive la difference, as the French would say, okay. Thank God we're different, but at the same time, that's what causes the friction. That's what causes the problem. You know me, I'm a pretty big Georgia Bulldog fan. I think most of you know that about me, okay. Theresa, she likes the Dogs okay, I mean, but, I just don't understand. I've told, one of the biggest problems in our marriage, when Georgia loses, she has no tears. She doesn't go into a funk. She doesn't get into a fetal position like I do. I've never been able to, do you not understand? I'll tell her, do you know what's important in life? I mean, get a grip. We're just different, we're just not the same. And so the point is, God's given the husband a role He wants the husband to play. He's given the wife a role He wants the wife to play.

And here's what God says, "if you'll play your role, men, the way you ought to play it, and ladies, wives, if you'll play your role the way you ought to play it, it will give your marriage the best chance to be a happy marriage". So, we're in a book called Ephesians in the New Testament. I invite you to turn to it. It's in the New Testament. It's about four, five, six books past the Gospels. We're in Ephesians 6, or five, I'm sorry, and Paul is writing to this church. I've been to Ephesus. In fact, I'm going there in about three or four weeks. And it's so encouraging when you read this letter- I tell you what's one of the things I love about the Bible. We get this idea sometime, "boy, I wish I could go back to the early church. The early church was perfect". No, it wasn't. Far from it. And what I love about reading things like this is, wow, they had the same marital problems we've got. They face the same marital issues we face.

As a matter of fact, ladies, let me make you feel good about living in 2022. You've got it so much better than wives had it in the first century because in the first century, in Greek society and Roman society, probably nobody had it tougher, maybe except for a slave, than a wife. You know why? Because every man was expected to have a mistress. Every man was expected to have a concubine. And every wife was expected to like it. 'Cause a wife only had two jobs in the eyes of Greek society. Ladies, here was your job. Give that man children, specifically a son, number one, and number two, keep the house clean and be a good cook. That's about it. Other than that, you stay in your place. You do what you're told to do. That was kind of the way they looked at it. That was your job.

And by the way, a husband didn't have any reason to divorce you whatsoever. Just on a whim, he could wake up just in a bad mood and he would say, you're out and there was nothing you could do about it. No child support, no alimony. You are out. Wives were treated just like slaves, and guess what? Nobody protested about it. Nobody said a big deal. They just thought that's the way life ought to work. And it was into that culture and into that society and Ephesus was as bad as they come, that a man named Paul stepped into the picture with this revolutionary idea that we talked about last week when he said, "husbands, let me tell you something. You owe your wives love. You owe your wives loyalty, and you owe your wives loving, loyal, sweet, tender leadership". We've already noted last week that Paul had a lot more things to say to the husband than he did to the wife, but today, we're gonna turn our attention to the role of the wife.

Now ladies, moms, wives, Paul lays out just two principles that a godly wife ought to follow if you wanna be the wife that God wants you to be and if you're gonna be the wife that your husband needs you to be. Now, before I get into the message, for those who're watching right now, you may not know who I am. This may be your first time watching. You don't know a thing about me. That's okay, I don't anything about you. We're even. But before I even get into this message, I want you to know something. I'm not dumb. I realize there's elephants in the room and there's a big one today 'cause I'm about to walk into a minefield because of one word I'm gonna use today. It doesn't bother me because it's a word that is not only biblical, but it expresses a principle without which we couldn't even have civilization. But this word is so powerful, this word is so controversial, this word is so divisive, this word is so hated.

Just to use the word make somebody want to shut their eyes and scream and run out the church. Don't do that yet. Just give God a fair hearing. Not me, give God's word a fair hearing, all right? So with that in mind, here we go. Two principles, ladies. Number one, be completely... Can you say that word without... Can y'all say that word with me? Yeah, I know. You're not real, I get it, okay, but be completely submissive. But I fooled you. To the what? Y'all, we're not even talking about husbands 'cause this is where a lot of people, this is where a lot of women get messed up, a lot of preachers get messed up. The issue about submission, put the husband aside, it's a far bigger issue than that. First thing he says is, be submissive to the lordship of Jesus.

Now for these kids in the room, I realize there are certain S-words we're never to use publicly or privately, but it's not the word you're thinking about. The word I'm referring to is the word submission. Now that word has gotten a bad rap because in almost every area of life, this is the dirty little secret. By the way, you better start teaching your kids this early, our little flock, or they're gonna grow up to slit your throat. Everybody, everybody, everybody submits to somebody. You cannot go through life without submitting to somebody. Privates submit... How many guys are in the military or serve in the military? All right, thanks for serving. Every private submits to a general, no exception. Pedestrians submit to police. Employees submit to bosses. Students submit to teachers. Well, they used to. Students submit to teachers. Players submit to coaches. Society can't even function without authority and submission.

Now, let me just be clear about something. The reason why submission shouldn't bother you ladies today. Hear me clearly so I'll make sure you hear the pastor today. Submission is not just for wives, it's for husbands. Submission's not just for women, it's for men. Submission is for everybody. So just before Paul gets into the role of the wife in the home, he says something in verse 21. Listen to what he says. He says, "submit to one another". And I know ladies love that part. "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ". Now, this verse has been so taken out of context and it's been taken so, so, and it's kind of made to say, well, what Paul meant later, he really didn't mean. This is the principle that will guide you. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Now here's all Paul was saying, here's all Paul was saying. He said, "wherever the plan of God calls for you to submit, you ought to submit".

So if you are a citizen, you should submit to the policeman. If you are a student, you should submit to the teacher. That's all Paul was saying. He says, what he was saying was, "wherever submission is called for in the plan of God and for the order of society, you should submit". Because here's what people say. I heard a pastor say this not long ago. He said, "see, that settles it. Submit to one another". He said, "there you go". He said, "the wife and the husband are to submit to each other".

Now in a sense, that's true, we're gonna come back to that in just a moment, but that also raises a question. When Paul says submit to one another, that is mutual submission. Here's the big question. How does that work? I mean, how does that work? Here's an example. Here's person A and over here is person B. Now if person A submits to person B, person B, therefore, is not submitting to person A, but he is exercising authority over person A. You say, "well wait a minute. But Paul said submit to one another". Yes, but you can't do it at the same time. 'Cause think about this. If everybody was always submitting to everybody else, you'd never get anywhere. So here's an illustration. I'm person A, here's person B. We're walking into a building and we're going into a door that's only one way in one way out and two people can't fit in that door. So we're gonna practice mutual submission. So I say, "you go first". He says, "no, you go first". I said, "no, no, no, no. You go first". "No, no, no, no, no. You go first". "No, no, no. We have to mutually submit to each other. You go first". "Yeah, that's why I'm telling you, no, no, no, no, no. You go first".

Let me tell you what will happen. If one of them doesn't submit, they're not going anywhere. As a matter of fact, you know what will happen? If something doesn't change, they will die on that doorstep. They will literally never, they'll never see their family again. Somebody finally has gotta say, "I'm gonna submit to you. You're gonna be authority over me". That's just common sense. So we know what Paul, that Paul didn't mean, well, no, the wife's not to submit to the husband because you're supposed to submit to each other. Well, yes and no. In every area of life, at some point, A either has to submit to B or B has to submit to A. So here is the big question we're really asking. How do you determine who submits to whom and when that submission is called for? That's the question. How do you determine who submits to whom and when that submission is called for?

Well, Paul does us a favor. He gives us a general principle in verse 21 while all he was really saying was, "hey, there are times, yes, you mutually submit. There are times you need to submit, then there'll be times he will need to submit. Times she needs to submit, times you need to submit". That's all he was saying. But he says, "now let me clarify". So then he goes to the hot button. "Wives..." Now just remember, if you get... Take your anger out on him. I didn't write this, he wrote it. "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord". Now again, if you're online, just don't change the channel just yet. Before you tune me out, just gimme a fair hearing about what God says about submission and why you all, why properly understood, you really should not have a problem with it. Now, if after I'm done, you still are upset and still mad. Okay, that's fine. I can't help that. So I wanna clarify something right out of the bat.

Let me tell you what I don't mean by submission. I do not mean by submission that a wife should always agree with her husband. 'Cause I got news for you. There's never been a wife in the history of this planet that always agreed with her husband. That does not mean that you should always think your husband is right because your husband is not always right. Nor does it mean for sure that you should grovel at the feet of your husband. That is not what that means. Nor does it mean that you ought to do everything and anything your husband asks you to do because there may be some things he asks you to do that may be ungodly or immoral or unbiblical or wrong. So, you know, I read this the other day. Somebody once said this, "show me a man who comes home, greeted by a smile, encouraged to take his shoes off with pillows arranged on the floor and served a delicious meal, I will show you a man who lives at a Japanese restaurant".

That is not what we're talking about. That is not the biblical picture of submission. So I want you to think about it this way and we're gonna, and I'm gonna show you why Paul added something in a moment. The road to a relationship with God, if you in a relationship with God, here's the road you've gotta take. There's a road that you've gotta take. You know, Jesus said, "I'm the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Nobody gets to the Father unless he comes through me". So Jesus said, okay, you wanna have a relationship with God? I'm the one that paved the road for you. Now watch this. The road to a relationship with God was paved by God the Son. And how did he pave that road? By submitting to the authority of his Father. The way you and I can get to God is because the Son voluntarily, willfully, and joyfully submitted to the will of the Father. 'Cause if you really wanna know what happened on the cross 2000 years ago?

You say, "I know what happened. Jesus died for my sins". No, no, no, there's something behind that. Why did Jesus die for our sins? "Well, because we needed Him to". That's not why He did it. He was glad to do it, that's not why. The number one reason, the number one motivation, was because He was doing what the Father wanted Him to do. 'Cause if you remember, he said in the garden of Gethsemane, "not my will". He didn't want to go to the cross. He said, "Father, if it be possible, please let this cup pass from me, if it be possible". If you'd have said to Jesus, "Lord, do you want to go to the cross"? "No, I don't". "Then why are you going"? "Because the Father asked me to and I submit to the will of my Father".

The road to a relationship with God was paved by God the Son submitting to God the Father. And likewise, we in the same way, ladies, are called in that same spirit to this thing, about this thing called submission because Jesus made it very plain from the very beginning. You know what Ge told the disciples over and over and over? "I came to do the will of my Father. That's the only reason I'm here. I came to do the will of my Father". And here's my whole point. If Jesus did not have a problem with submitting to the authority of the Father, wives, you should not have a problem submitting to the authority of Jesus. You say, wait a minute.

Now, give the Lord a hand. Y'all, give the Lord of hand, okay. I noticed you're a guy clapping. I don't see any women. You keep at it, brother. I need your help. You notice, I haven't said anything about the husband yet. We're talking about submitting to the authority of Jesus. That's why... Listen, I'm really surprised some of you... I know what you thought I was gonna say in my first point. You thought I was gonna say, "you need to be submissive to your husband". Fooled you. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. The issue's a lot bigger than that, ladies. Let's get your relationship to Jesus straightened out first. The other domino will put in place. The first thing you need to do is submit to the authority of Jesus, to the Lordship of Jesus. By the way, you know, you probably didn't notice this, both times Paul uses the word submit, he does something really cool. You know what he does? He always connects that word to Jesus.

For example, verse 21, "be mutually submissive". That's what he said, right? But listen to what else he said. "Out of reverence for Christ". So he ties submission back to Christ. And then in the next verse he says, "wives, submit yourselves". And boy, then, I know you don't like this ladies, but he says, as you do to the who? Yeah, to the Lord. You do that as you do to the Lord. So here's the hard part. This is gonna be hard to swallow. 'Cause what I'm about to tell you is not what Hollywood will tell you, it's not what a lot of organizations out there will tell you, it's not what a lot of left-wing liberals will tell you, but I'm just telling you. Submission is not a social issue. Submission is not a philosophical issue. Submission is not an intellectual issue. Submission is not a cultural issue. Submission is a spiritual issue. It is a total spiritual issue. The main motivation for submission. Here's why... You know why you ought to be willing to submit to the authority of your husband? Here's the number one reason why. Not because of who he is, not because of what he's done, not because of his title, not because he's always right because none of that matters.

The number one reason you should submit to your husband is because of your love and your reverence and your respect for your Lord. That's the motivation. That's why you do it. I'm gonna do it as unto the Lord. Because when you revere Jesus and you put Jesus in your life where He belongs, He belongs at the very top, and then you'll find this is so true. When you put Jesus above you, you'll have no problem putting your husband before you, But you gotta put Jesus above you first because if you don't, you might submit, but it will be with gritted teeth. You'll be kicking and screaming. "I don't like it. You shouldn't have said it, Paul. I'm ticked off and I'm having a word with you when I get to heaven, but I'll do what you told me to do". Forget it, forget it. No. "Lord, I love you. And just like you showed your love to the Father by submitting, by you submitting yourself to Him, I'm gonna show my love for you by submitting myself to my husband".

Now, this verse really makes sense because when you willingly submit to the Lordship of Jesus, then you voluntarily submit to the God-given authority of your husband. So I'm gonna make this as simple as I can. You put Jesus where He needs to be in your life, then you will put your husband where he needs to be in your life. You put both those statements together. "Lord, I'm gonna do this out of reverence for you, my Lord. I'm gonna do this as if I'm doing it to the Lord". And what Paul was saying was simply this, "ladies, sometimes it's tough, sometimes it's hard. I understand, but just remember one thing when you do that, when you submit to the authority of your husband because you're submitting to the Lordship of Jesus, when you do that, you are following the example of Jesus at the cross". 'Cause I wanna take you back 2000 years to that time when Jesus Christ died on the cross and if you really wanna know what happened at the cross, here's what was happening.

The supreme master became the supreme submitter. The Supreme master became the Supreme submitter. No, ladies, submission's not a dirty word. It wasn't a dirty word to Jesus, shouldn't be a dirty word to us. So, principle one, you need to willingly submit to the Lordship of Jesus. Now, once you do that, then the second principle kicks into gear. You be confidently supportive of the leadership of your husband. You be confidently supportive of the leadership of the husband. Now I'm anticipating the question that you're probably asking right now. I still wanna know, how does this work out? How does submission work out in a marriage? You know? Because there's one picture, both of you, both husbands and wives today, there's one picture you've gotta get in your mind right now or you're not gonna agree with anything I've said, you're not gonna like anything that Paul wrote, and you're never going to understand how marriage works. You'll never understand why your roles are different. You'll never understand how you're supposed to relate, relate to each other, okay?

That picture you've gotta get in mind. Forget right now of you and your spouse on top of the wedding cake, okay? Forget that. 'Cause there's some of you right now would love to take that wedding cake and put it in their face. Okay, I get that. Let's put that picture aside. That's not the picture I want you to get in your mind. The picture I want you to get in your mind right now about your marriage and your relationship to each other is the church. 'Cause here's what Paul said. "For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior". Now, when you read this passage of scripture in the book of Ephesians, you'll find something very interesting. Paul actually uses the word, "church," six times in this passage. He's trying to make a point, so don't miss that. Whenever anything's repeated in the Bible, pay attention. Six times he uses the word, "church".

So here's the principle. So if I could boil down everything I could ever say to a husband and a wife as they're about to get married or as they are married, here's the way I'd put it. This would be my single, simple thought. The way the wife relates to the husband is the way the church is to relate to Jesus. I'm gonna say that again. The way the wife relates to the husband is the way the church is to relate to Jesus. However, the way the husband relates to the wife is the way that Jesus relates to the church. That's it. That is the key principle to remember. Jesus is the head of the church. The husband is the head of the wife. The church supports the leadership of Jesus and then the wife supports the leadership of the husband. And once again, you can't really argue what I'm saying because that's the way it is in all of life. Children are to support the leadership of their parents. Citizens are to support the leadership of the government. Employees are to support the leadership of their bosses. Wives are to support the leadership of their husbands. And never in scripture is that ever, ever, ever, ever reversed. It's built into the DNA of society. And by the way, let's just put the Bible aside.

Let's just put the scripture aside for just a moment. In a way, it's just common sense. I mean, can you imagine, you gotta fly to New York City tomorrow and you go down to the airport and you get on the plane and you notice there's nobody in the cockpit. And so you call the flight attendant. You said, "excuse me, we're going to New York"? "Oh yeah, we're going to New York". "Well, who's flying the plane"? "Oh, it's a lottery". "Excuse me"? "Yeah, we're just gonna pick, whoever picks out the number six gets to fly the plane today". No. Every plane needs a pilot, a trained pilot. Someone who reserves the right to be the pilot. Every ship needs a captain, every train needs a conductor, every school needs a principal, every army needs a general, every navy needs an admiral. Everything, every entity needs a head and Paul says, "God has assigned that role to the husband".

However, how should the body submit to the head? How should the wife submit to the husband? Well, I wish I could tell you ladies it gets better, but it may not because Paul goes on to say, "now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives submit to their husbands in everything". Boy, that gets you going. I know that gets blood boiling. In everything. Okay, wait a minute. Before you jump to any conclusion, how does this church submit to Christ? How do we do that? One way, with love. We submit to the Lord because we love the Lord. It's not hard to figure that out. And the way a woman expresses respect and love to her husband is by supporting his leadership. And she does this for two reasons, because she loves Jesus and she loves her husband. Now here's the good news for you ladies. I'm gonna surprise you 'cause I know some of you think I'm just to the right of the mania. One of the great things about this verse and men, this will help some of you today, is we also know there are limits to submission.

Now the church submits to Jesus and everything because Jesus will only lead us to do those things that are right and pleasing. Ladies, you should only submit to your husband when he leads you to do those things that are right and pleasing. But this is so important. Paul was dealing specifically with marriage, that's all. Women, in the married relationship, in the home relationship, women, wives, you should submit to your husband, only in marriage. Now watch this. God never intended for women to submit to all men. Not in the Bible. He's talking about wives submitting to husband. So let me just tell you where I stand on some things so you'll know. And it's not because it's the 21st century. I wouldn't care if it was the first century. There's nothing wrong in scripture, there's nothing in scripture that prevents a woman from being the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

There's nothing that prohibits a woman from being the principal of a school or being, you know, a president of the United States. There's certain women I wish would run for be president of the United States. I think we'd be a better, we'd be a better country and I'm not knocking the one that's in the office. I'm just saying there are some great women out there that would make a great president of the United States. No problem, no harm, no foul. We're all equal in the eyes of God that way. And by the way, you know, there nothing in scripture that says, well, women, you're inferior to men.

Let me tell you something. Men, when you finally wake up and realize your wife is superior to you, it'll be a great day in your life. Theresa in a lot of ways is far superior than me. 99% of the reason why I have a happy marriage is her, not me. So it's not that women are inferior to men, that's not it, nor does it mean that they're less talented than men or less capable than men. They're not. We're just dealing with one thing and one thing only, the roles of husband and wives in marriage. That's why I wanna make, again, this very, very plain statement. If your husband asks you to do anything ever that's unbiblical or ungodly or immoral or unethical or even something you're not really comfortable with because it hurts you, don't do it.

And by the way, husband, don't ask. That's not the way to get things done. You should, a woman should never submit to being physically abused, never submit to being verbally abused and when... Let me tell you something. The most gutless coward in the planet is a man that would verbally and physically abuse his wife. You're supposed to be the leader in your home. You're not a dictator, you're not a despot. The way you lead is by tender leadership. Let me give you, this is a minor example. So last night was about to go to bed and I always get up early. I always get up early to trim, I'm just an early riser. I have to, especially on, you know, Sunday. So what I always do is I always wait till just before I go to church and I make her coffee, right?

So last night she says, this way she works, she says, "you know, I got a great idea". 'Cause I'm always rushing around and right at the last minute I get, a little bit flushed, like, golly, I gotta get to church, but I gotta get Teresa's coffee done. So she looked at me last night. She said, "I got a great idea". I said, "what's that"? She said, "you ever heard of a Yeti"? I said, "yeah, we got several of them". She said, "when you get up in the morning, just go ahead and fix my coffee right there and just put it in a Yeti and it will be fine". And I said, "gosh, that's like an hour before you get up". "Don't worry, it's in a Yeti. It's a Yeti". So I got up this morning and I've never done this in our married life. I go right, I go to the kitchen, I put in that pod. I'm so good at putting pods in. And I put the... I'm, really, I'm awesome. I put this pod in. I mean, sometimes I'll do a 360 dunk. I mean, it's pretty cool.

So I put the pod in, I make the coffee, I put it in the Yeti, I close the Yeti up, I go and I put it back. I go, I have my quiet time, have my quiet time with the Lord, go over my sermon, jump in the shower, get out, get ready, start walking out the door. As I walk out the door, her alarm goes off for her to wake, get up. I walk out the door and I say, I went over and I kissed her on the forehead. I said, "honey, I'll see you at church". And I get to the door and she says, "the coffee is perfect". Perfect.

Now, here's my point. Here's the whole point of what I just said. That's the kind of thing that makes Teresa say, "whatever you think we need to do, I'll follow your leadership". So she was walking in the grocery store the other day. It's too much information, but she was walking in the grocery store day 'fore yesterday and she caught her knee and something, I don't know, popped or something like that. And so anyway, long story short, it's gotten better and then sometimes it hurts, sometimes it doesn't. So she went to bed last night and I have something the doctor gave me, I've had some knee trouble sometimes, so I've got this gel you put on that deadens the knee or deadens that joint.

So she went to bed last night. I said, hey, I said, I got something for you. I said, went in, I said, pull... So she pulled her pajamas up. I said, let me, let me rub this on your knee and see if it doesn't feel better. Of course it's real cold at first and you know, it is got that pungent smell to it, but about three minutes later, she said, man, that's just, that's awesome, that works great. Where'd you get that? I said Israel. I'm just kidding. This morning as I'm walking out the door, I said, bye honey, I'll see you. She said, you know what? I said, what? She said, you know what you did for me last night, you were thinking about my knee before I went to bed. You were thinking about it. I wasn't thinking, you were thinking about it.

If you were to go in there and just say, hey, let me just kind of run the... She said that, that just makes me wanna just do, just follow you every, wherever you want me to go. And I thought to myself, marriage, that's the way marriage ought to be. It is this relationship between Christ and the church. The sweetest relationship in the world is the relationship of Jesus to the church. And you know what? When a church is hitting on all eight cylinders, that church is one with Jesus. That church is united with the authority of Jesus. So I'm gonna wrap this up. When the husband submits in the way he leads his wife to Jesus and the wife submits in supporting his leadership by submitting to Jesus as well, that's when the marriage hits on all eight cylinders.

Now I wanna close with this and this is so important. I remember writing this down when I prepared this message. If you're married today, I want you to look at me and listen to me. I'm not a marriage counselor. I do not have all the answers to everything. And I realize even between two people who love Jesus, marriage is hard work. I get it. But here's what I will tell you. Your best chance, your best chance of having not just a happy marriage, but a happy, healthy family. Your best shot is, husbands, when you model the kind of leadership that Jesus does to the church and ladies, you model the type of submission that Jesus did to the Father. No, that doesn't mean you still won't have problems. It doesn't mean you still won't have arguments. It still won't mean that you won't disagree on some things. It won't mean any of that. I'll tell you what it will mean. It will give you by far the best shot you'll ever have to stay married til death do you part.

Would you pray with me? I have one thing I wanna say to everyone watching right now, everyone who's in this room. Very simple. You're either a husband who's number one love is Jesus or it's not. You're either a wife who's number one love is Jesus or it's not. If you're single, you're either a single person who's number one love is Jesus or it's not. And I'm here to tell you, you can go to therapy, you can go to counseling, you can read books, you can make New Year's resolutions, but I wanna tell you nothing will ever permanently work in your marriage till you put Jesus where He needs to be.

And ladies, you'll never put your husband where he needs to be till you put Jesus where He needs to be. And men, you'll never put your wife where she needs to be if you don't put Jesus where He needs to be. So if you're watching right now or you're in this room and you know what your wife needs today is a godly Christian husband, what your husband needs today is a godly Christian wife or if you're single, what your future husband, future wife needs is a godly Christian mate and you've never made that decision to trust Jesus as your Lord and as your Savior, I'm gonna invite you to do that right now. In your own words, in your own way, you could say something like this:

Lord Jesus, you died for my sins because I'm a sinner and I need a savior. I can't save myself, but I accept by faith you died for my sins. God raised you from the dead. You're alive right now. So Lord Jesus, would you come into my heart? Would you save me? Would you forgive me of all of my sins? I confess you as my Lord. I receive your gift of eternal life and forgiveness. I repent and I turn away from my sin and I ask you to become my Lord today.

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