Please find muy teaching notes below to Pt. 3 of the series, Healthy Relationships, “The Man of Her Dreams!”
WELCOME: Happy Father’s Day!
Who recorded the song “I Want to Know What Love Is”? (Foreigner). “In my life there’s been heartache and pain. I don’t know if I can face it again. I can’t stop now, I’ve traveled too far. To change this lonely life. I wanna know what love is…”
Really kind of pathetic! Men need to know what love is! Paul in Ephesians puts that responsibility on the husband…
“Healthy Relationships” is all about MUTUAL SUBMISSION! The question mutual submission asks is???(Anyone???) HOW CAN I HELP?
Eph. 5:21 “Submit to ONE ANOTHER out of reverence for Christ!”
Last week- Pt. 2, How does a wife live out this application to her husband, family? Coming under the mission of the marriage. Affirming, applauding her husband, not controlling, but being the HELPER God created her to be.
Every man/husband wants to be his wife’s, families, HERO! And that happens when as men, we fully understand and embrace the way we can HELP our wives and children and BE THE MAN OF HER DREAMS and the HERO TO OUR CHILDREN!
As a man, WHAT’S MY ROLE? HOW CAN I HELP? HOW DO I PRACTICE MUTUAL SUBMISSION? Here’s the specific application for men…
Paul tells us in Eph. 5:25-33…
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.[b] 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body. 31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”[c] 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
THE MAN OF HER DREAMS IS A LEADER AND A LOVER!
As men, we lead IN LOVE! This doesn’t take away from the fact that women certainly are great leaders… (listen to my Mother’s Day message).
BUT, without question, men, by God’s design were created with a responsibility for leadership…
Gen. 2:15-20 15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” 19 So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man[c] to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.
Men were born to lead, and as we see in Gen. 2, we need some help in that leadership responsibility. Obviously, men and women are to share, do their part, in the leadership responsibility of the relationship, the marriage, the family, the home.
At the same time, I believe that for all you ladies out there, the man of your dreams will be a leader in his own right. YET THERE IS A PROFOUND ATTACK ON A MAN’S LEADERSHIP ROLE!
From cultural perversion of maleness to sitcoms to feminist agendas to men failing to grasp the true way to live out their role in leadership, we cannot ignore that there’s a vacuum of godly, right, loving leadership among men. Throughout Scripture, God looked for “a man to stand in the gap” and he still does today! That’s the nature of leadership. The leader bears the responsibility ultimately for success and for failure. And we see that all throughout our society.
You fire the coach, CEO, leader if there’s failure. IT’S AS IF WE’VE FIRED THE HUSBANDS, FATHERS!
Men have developed their own agendas, their own goals, pursuing their own achievements, living in worlds, for the most part, isolated completely from the family… We are, in the world, aggressive, doers, problem solvers, coming up with all kinds of innovative and inventive ways to make money, seeking promotion, prestige and respect from the strangers in their other world. We are driven to achieve. And in the home, for the most part, we appear passive, indifferent, and irresponsible.
The explanation for the breakdown of male leadership can be traced historically, sociologically, but mostly is is the fact that men no longer obey the Word of God. In fact, throughout our society most men have no idea what it says and when they find out they’re not interested in following it.
The heart of being the man God desires you to be is to get a grip on the responsibility you have for the physical, emotional and spiritual well being of your wife and your family. TO DECIDE TO BE THE MAN OF HER DREAMS! THAT’S YOUR ROLE, THAT’S HOW YOU CAN BEST HELP HER AND YOUR FAMILY! IT CHANGES EVERYTHING!
THE MAN OF HER DREAMS IS A LEADER…. AND
Eph. 5:25 For husbands, this means LOVE your wives…. THE MAN OF HER DREAMS IS A LOVER!!!
THE MAN OF HER DREAMS LOVES WITH UNDERSTANDING LOVE
Colossians 3:19 “Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.” Love them without any disappointment, frustration, or embitterment. The key word here is “love,” it is used six times from verse 25 to 33. And with that first statement comes man’s responsibility in his world…love your wives.
The music industry writes endless songs about what love is as they poke around and try to figure it out. The Foreigner song goes- “I want to know what love is, I want you to show me!” NO, YOU SHOW HER!! It usually comes out as a feeling that creates irrational behavior as we try to figure out what love is!
We don’t need to struggle, it’s right here. “Husbands, love your wives… As Christ also loved the church.” It is Christ’s love for the church that is the model of the husband’s love for his wife.
1 Peter 3:7, In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with UNDERSTANDING as you live together….
Can we understand what a woman wants??? YES! HOW?? Speak each other’s language!!! Taking the time to KNOW your wife!! Understand her by being considerate, not harsh domination; gracious, respectful. You are to understand God’s plan and purpose for marriage.
Men and women speak two very different languages. Learn to communicate in a way the other will understand- speak in their language! “Do you know how you felt when…”
You are to understand your wife’s needs, desires, longings and frustrations. You are to understand her strengths and her weaknesses. And you are to understand how to please God by honoring her as a fellow Christian, a fellow heir of the grace of life.
The man of her dreams is understanding! Takes time to understand…
THE MAN OF HER DREAMS LOVES WITH SACRIFICIAL LOVE
Eph. 5:25 “…just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her…”
Paul says, it is a sacrificial love. “It is as Christ also loved the church and GAVE UP HIS LIFE for her.”
ARE WILLING TO GIVE UP YOUR LIFE FOR YOUR WIFE, FAMILY?? That’s the most important question we must answer! It doesn’t mean we sacrifice who we are- it means we leverage who we are to set up our wives and children!! “I’m going to leverage all I am, all I have to help you be all God wants you to be!
EX- sacrificing the house I wanted for what Jo Ann wanted… so worth it!! MY HOUSE- deer, pee
THE MAN OF HER DREAMS LOVES WITH PURE LOVE
Eph. 5:26-27 “…to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.”
In other words, it’s a spiritually uplifting love, it’s a spiritually beneficial love. It has the effect of leading her to the place where you allow her full beauty to shine- being the woman God designed her to be. The beauty of a woman is not merely external, the beauty of a woman is internal.
For Jo Ann I know that’s to serve and enjoy her family, her home, her church!!
Husband, it is your responsibility to HELP your wife achieve her God-ordained purpose! That’s HOW YOU HELP! Your utmost intention, motivation, desire is to help her be fulfilled!
THE MAN OF HER DREAMS LOVES WITH CARING LOVE
Eph. 5:28 “In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.”
Now what does it mean to love your wife as your own body? Well it’s just a very simple concept. We take care of our own body, whether we are sick, hungry, thirsty, need a shower. The issue here is to give attention to meeting the present need. IT’S THE OBVIOUS RESPONSE TO WHAT IS NEEDED MOST IN THAT MOMENT OR SITUATION!
If you’re dirty you clean up. If you’re hungry you eat… THIS IS SIMPLY RESPONDING TO YOUR WIFE AND FAMILIES FELT NEED!
And if her needs are met, your needs are met! Because your are ONE! If her needs are not met, believe me, your needs won’t be met either. You give her the same care you give yourself. You take care of her as if she were you because you are ONE-
Need to spend time together- BIKE RIDE W/ JO ANN!! She said, “Let’s RIDE bikes.” I heard her say, “Let’s RACE bikes!” Two very different things!
Taking care of her, takes care of you! Is that not true? THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST DYNAMICS OF MUTUAL SUBMISSION! A friend of man always says, “A happy wife is a happy life” If you want to be a happy husband, you have to have a happy wife, right?
In marriage, she is one with you, men. In salvation, she is one with Christ. Therefore you are bound together IN GOD. How you treat your wife is how you treat Christ. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF IT THAT WAY? WE NEED TO!
Verse 29 says, “No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.” CHRIST MEETS OUR NEEDS!! The man of her dreams meets her needs- And if we really give our wives respect, their deepest needs are to have AFFECTION, CONVERSATION, HONESTY, TRANSPARENCY, SECURITY, and FAMILY COMMITMENT!
v. 29 You “FEED” AND “CARE” (nourish and cherish) for your wife! The Greek word here is “ektrepho” and it means to “raise up!” HOW ARE YOU RAISING UP YOUR WIFE SO HER DEEPEST NEEDS ARE MET?
The word “care/cherish” literally means “to warm with body heat!” WE LIKE THAT RIGHT MEN?? But here’s how it’s used- It’s sometimes translated “to melt.” It means to soften. It is used of a mother bird who just pulls in all the little baby birds and keeps them all cozy and warm in her feathers. It means to provide a “nest, warmth, security,” to soften your wife so she has a meek and quiet spirit- she’s content, happy! WOMEN ARE NESTERS! Figure that out men!!
She is not the nourisher, she is not the provider- You’re to do that. She’s the nester- her identity, sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in life is in her HOME! And if a man doesn’t do that, YOU JUST DON’T CARE! And when you don’t care- cherish your wife by meeting her deepest needs, your home, your life is going to be miserable! IT’S YOUR JOB TO MAKE HER HAPPY, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!
You are the nourished and provider just like Christ! Thinking back, for a moment, to the curse in Genesis 3. The woman was cursed, pain in childbearing. The man was cursed, remember how he was cursed? He was going to be cursed in making a living!
Verse 30, “And we are members of his body.” Christ obligates himself to care for and meet our deepest needs because WE ARE HIS BODY! We need to do it with our wives because we are one with them. That’s the point. TAKING CARE OF HER IS TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF! You care for her need of affection, conversation, honesty, transparency, security, family commitment!
In fact, when you violate this, when you don’t do this, you really are committing a kind of relational suicide! When that relationship is destroyed, something in you is destroyed. It is forgivable, but it is not always repairable. The grace of God is amazing. It brings full forgiveness for our failures. But you can’t necessarily put the pieces back together. The scars will always be there.
THE MAN OF HER DREAMS LOVES WITH UNBREAKABLE LOVE
Eph. 5:31 “As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”
Verse 31, some translations say and I like this: “For this cause,” and here is a quote from Genesis 2:24, also quoted by Jesus in Matthew 19:5, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a coming together of a man and a woman, leaving their family, creating a new union with a unique identity all its own!
EX- Friend from S. Africa- “This marriage needs more cleavage!” WHAT???
Now what does it mean “united into one- one flesh“? The primary reference is to the sexual union (I have the men’s attention now!) because the sexual union is what yields the most obvious evidence that the two have become one, which is the birth of the child that carries the genetics of both parents. YOUR CHILDREN ARE THE TRUE REPRESENTATION OF BEING ONE! IN ONE PERSON THEY HAVE BOTH PARENT’S DNA!
UNITY, ONENESS IS THE SEXUAL UNION THAT PRODUCES IN ONE PERSON WHO YOU BOTH ARE! It’s not some mystical marital union, it’s not some spiritual emotional union, it is the union that is on the physical level, first of all that brings two people together as ONE- that’s why you do reserve that for marriage- it’s serious and it’s sacred!
So, Paul says that God’s design as indicated back in Genesis, is that a man and a woman leave their respective families and come together, clinging to each other and enter into a physical union. They become one flesh. This oneness is intimate, unique and personal. This oneness is special because in truth, individual identity is lost. Did you get that?
v. 31 “A man LEAVES…” This is a very intense word, kataleipo, it means “to leave behind,” it means “to abandon!”
And, of course, we have to give advice about that lots of times to young couples who have started to join/cleave but forgotten to leave!
The word “join to/cleave,” proskollao, means “to be glued to.” You come together to be STUCK TO EACH OTHER!”
Ever heard or used the phrase, “You’re STUCK WITH ME?” This is were it comes from! We chosen to be stuck with each other- this really is A KEY TO SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGES!
The magnificent beauty of intimacy belongs in the marriage. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” IT’S ALL ABOUT UNBREAKABLE LOVE! We know God hates divorce, but we also know he is faithful and just to forgive us… Still, without sounding crude, in your marriage you’ve got to “stick together” physically, emotionally, spiritually!
Sin will always assault that oneness/union! You say, “Well I want to keep my marriage together but, boy, he’s a bear to live with, this guy.” Or a man might say, “I’d like to keep this marriage together too but I don’t know if I can live with this woman.” It doesn’t take a lot of stuff to get to that point, it just takes a continual pattern of unforgiveness that adds up over time!
BUT WE NEED TO ASK THIS QUESTION: How many times does the Lord forgive you? Are we willing to forgive, to protect our marriages and families so they are unbreakable??
So you love your wife with a sacrificial love. You love your wife with a purifying love. You love your wife with a caring love that nourishes her and cherishes her. You love your wife with an unbreakable love that just keeps forgiving and forgiving and forgiving and forgiving.
THAT’S WHY I SAY TO THE SINGLES, YOUNG PEOPLE, CHOOSE CAREFULLY WHO YOU WILL MARRY! THE KEY?? INSTEAD OF WORRYING ABOUT FINDING THE RIGHT PERSON, BE THE RIGHT PERSON!
Because when you do that, you’ll fins that right person who is reputable, caring, who loves God with all their heart! Try to avoid a reclamation project and wait until the Spirit of God has done that. Hey, we’re all reclamation projects, aren’t we? But let the Spirit of God do that before you jump in. The idea of marriage is not so that you can save somebody!
It’s why I counsel against missionary dating!!
The manner of love in our passage here, understanding, sacrificial, purifying, caring and unbreakable, is all about a marriage that reflects Christ and his church! The motive is the sacredness of marriage. AND YOU CAN’T FULFILL IT APART FROM BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST!
Worthiness is not the issue. It’s not the issue with Christ. He’s tender, sensitive, forgiving toward us. We’re speaking about a divine ideal and it’s not too late for us, no matter what may be the condition of our marriages.
And, gentlemen, it’s going to start with you when you love your wife as Christ loved His church and loves His church. That’s where to rebuild the whole thing. It starts with you deciding to BE THE MAN OF HER DREAMS!
HOW CAN I HELP… LOVE MY WIFE AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH!
Lisa Bevere, “Commitment to unity will not work unless all the participants are aligned with a higher cause!”
The man of her dreams is a leader and a lover- loves with understanding, sacrificial, pure, caring, unbreakable, love!
Do you want to be that man?? THAT’S HOW YOU CAN HELP! Be a leader and love the way Christ loves the church!