We’re continuing in a series here at the podcast on marriage. Each episode can stand alone, but they are meant to be listened to together. Last week we talked about God’s Design for Marriage and Our Role as Women. We touched briefly on areas of submission, respect, and love. Today we’re going to start by seeing what God’s Word has to say about loving our husbands.
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I struggled with titling the episode, so I borrowed it from scripture from the Titus 2:4 passage that we are to be taught by the older women “to love their husbands.”Love is a necessary factor in our marriages. If we don’t have love for one another, there are going to be a lot of issues in our marriage.
Before we dig into that passage, I want to work through with you what is love? Love is a necessary factor in our marriages. If we don’t have love for one another, there are going to be a lot of issues in our marriage. Without love in our marriages, they’re going to be difficult to endure. Any problems in marriage will be difficult to overcome. As time goes on, when we live in a relationship where there is no love, the relationship is going to begin to fall apart. We’re not going to like each other very much or have any desire to be near one another, and it is just a dangerous place to be.
God’s Word is clear on the importance of love in all our relationships and especially in our marriages.God’s Word is clear on the importance of love in all our relationships and especially in our marriages.
In a most familiar passage – Matthew 22:37-40 states:
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
We stated last week that our husbands are our closest neighbors. When love is talked about, do we understand what it truly is or what it means when God commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves?Where love abounds for another, their offenses are quickly and frequently overlooked and forgotten.
We married our spouse because we loved them. Now that we’ve been married a bit we can find ourselves acting very unloving at times or maybe a lot of times and wondering what happened? We can’t exhaustively cover today what real love is, but I do desire to work through on what God’s Word says because He’s given us a clear idea of what real love is in His Word.We can’t rightly love God and others – our husbands included - without being reconciled to God.
Where love abounds in a fellowship of Christians, many small offenses, and even some large ones, are readily overlooked and forgotten. But where love is lacking, every word is viewed with suspicion, every action is liable to misunderstanding, and conflicts about – to Satan’s perverse delight. ~ Wayne Grudem
It is the nature of true spiritual love, whether from God to man or Christian to Christian, to cover sins (cf. Romans 5:8). This teaching does not preclude the discipline of a sinning, unrepentant church member (cf. Mt18:15, 16, 17, 18; 1Cor 5:1ff). It means specifically that a Christian should overlook sins against him if possible, and always be ready to forgive insults and unkindnesses.” ~ John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible
To have peace and a right relationship with God we need first to be reconciled to God. Which means we need to know and understand and respond to the Gospel.
Two Questions to Ask: (From Give Me Jesus Journal)
1. What You Learned about God from this passage?
2. And in light of that – How Does this Change the Way I live?
Quote below from John MacArthur's Commentary on Ephesians: (sit with this quote a bit friends)
“If a husband fails in his love for his wife, or she for him, it is never because of the other person, regardless of what the other person may have done. You do not fall either into or out of agape love, because it is controlled by the will. Romantic love can be beautiful and meaningful, and we find many favorable accounts of it in Scripture. But it is agape love that God commands husbands and wives to have for each other (Ep 5:25, 28, 33-see notes Ephesians 5:25; 28; 33 cf. Titus 2:4-note; etc.)—the love that each person controls by his own act of will. Strained relations between husbands and wives, between fellow workers, between brothers and sisters, or between any others is never a matter of incompatibility or personality conflict but is always a matter of sin… Loving others is an act of obedience, and not loving them is an act of disobedience. The absence of (agape) love is the presence of sin. The absence of love has nothing at all to do with what is happening to us, but everything to do with what is happening in us. Sin and love are enemies, because sin and God are enemies. They cannot coexist. Where one is, the other is not. The loveless life is the ungodly life; and the godly life is the serving, caring, tenderhearted, affectionate, self–giving, self–sacrificing life of Christ’s love working through the believer. Agape is the love that gives. There’s no taking involved. It is completely unselfish. It seeks the highest good for another no matter what the cost, demonstrated supremely by Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.”
Jen Wilkin shares in her book In His Image regarding the love that marks believers different from the world to ask ourselves: What is the will of God for your life? That you love as you have been loved. When faced with a decision, ask yourself: Which choice enables me to grow in agape for God and others? And then choose according to His will.
“He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more. He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find it.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
“How can I as a wife, bring honor to the gospel?” ~ Carolyn MahaneyHow can I as a wife, bring honor to the gospel?
“Warren Wiersbe has this practical comment on bitterness to which even believers can fall prey (although here in Hebrews, the reference appears to refer to an unsaved individual): An unforgiving spirit is the devil’s playground (cp Ep 4:29, 2Cor 2:11) and before long it becomes the Christian’s battleground. If somebody hurts us, either deliberately or unintentionally, and we do not forgive him, then we begin to develop bitterness within, which hardens the heart. We should be tenderhearted and kind, but instead we are hardhearted and bitter. Actually, we are not hurting the person who hurt us; we are only hurting ourselves. Bitterness in the heart makes us treat others the way Satan treats them, when we should treat others the way God has treated us. In His gracious kindness, God has forgiven us, and we should forgive others. We do not forgive for our sake (though we do get a blessing from it) or even for their sake, but for Jesus’ sake. Learning how to forgive and forget is one of the secrets of a happy Christian life.”
Great tip from the Excellent Wife: Instead of thinking, “How can I get love?” think “How can I show love?”Instead of thinking, 'How can I get love?' think 'How can I show love?'
“A wife, if she is very generous, may allow that her husband lives up to perhaps eighty percent of her expectations. There is always the other twenty percent that she would like to change, and she may chip away at it for the whole of their married life without reducing it by very much. She may, on the other hand, simply decide to enjoy the eighty percent, and both of them will be happy.” ~Elisabeth Elliot
“He gives grace abundantly, seasonably, constantly, readily, sovereignly. He generously pours into our souls without ceasing, and He always will do so, whatever may occur.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
Scripture & Resources:
1 Peter 4:8
Verses to study on Love: Romans 13:8-10, Galatians 5:13-15, Romans 14:14-15, Ephesians 5:25, 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:5, Titus 2:3-4, 1 John 3:16-18, James 2:15-16.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
1 John 4:19
Resources: (Some of the resources and websites listed below were not mentioned in the podcast but were used in my preparation time)
Precept Austin – A helpful online Bible Study Resource Website
Be Faithful by Warren Wiersbe
Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney
The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
Becoming a Titus 2 Woman by Martha Peace
When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey
In His Image by Jen Wilkin
Bitterness: The Root that Pollutes by Lou Priolo