Godly Families (2) – Husbands and Wives

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See full series: lights-in-a-dark-world-2019

Godly Families (2) – Husbands and Wives

Sermon by  Thomas Thornhill Jr



Sunday, October 20, 2019 am          

Godly Families in an Ungodly World (2)

          Last week we began a short study of the home as it relates to our influence in this ungodly world.   We noted that the home (family) the foundational unit of society.   As the home goes, so goes society, governments and even the church.   So if we desire lasting change in this dark world around us, it HAS to begin in our homes. The world desperately needs to see godly homes WORKING the way God intended.       Our next 2 lessons will briefly focus on some relationships with our homes. Today we want to talk about the husband/wife relationship.


  1. As note last week, a marriage is the beginning of a new family unit.     Moses emphasized that with Adam and Eve commenting for Israel in Genesis 2:24 where we read, Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
  2. We also noted that it is for life. Last week we briefly address what Jesus taught in Matthew 19:9 and what God thinks of divorce. We might also notice Romans 7:2-3 which notes that a woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. Death concludes the relationship.   This is also taught in 1 Corinthians 7:39.
  3. We live in times where the marriage relationship is not valued.   Divorce is permitted for any cause.   In many marriage ceremonies, “till death do us part” is not even part of the vows. People enter into these relationships with the assumption that if it doesn’t work out, we just end it and move on to our next attempt.
    Add to this the failure to understand roles and responsibilities in the marriage, the pressures of living and making the family work, materialism, and host of problems that are likely to arise, and many marriages end up broken or troubled.
  4. But why is this so?
    1. Because there is little respect for God’s design in marriage. Society has sought to redefine God’s view of marriage in virtually every way.
    2. There is very little respect for God in their homes.   Often, He is second place at best.
    3. Often partners are very selfish in their decisions and behaviors.

The Role of Husband and Wife

  1. There are many texts that address the responsibilities of husbands and wives. We will focus primarily on one with reference to a few others.   Ephesians 5:22-33. This will also be a brief summary of the responsibilities we have toward each other.
  2. Husbands – Proverbs 18:22, He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.
    Proverbs 31:10 notes that a virtuous wife is worth more than precious jewels. From the very beginning the wife was intended to be a blessing to the man.   While he has responsibilities, he needs to see the blessing of this relationship.

    1. He needs to take the lead. He is head of the wife and family (Eph. 5:23-24).
      This is a misunderstood and misapplied responsibility in many places today. There are many men who reason that because they are the head they can do whatever they want and treat their wives that way.   This has been a problem in many religions where headship is abused. And it has been the target of a society that refuses to accept God’s standard of submission.
      BUT, our text tells us HOW the husband is to take the lead.   In the same way that Christ is the head of the church. Can anyone deny that Jesus is head of the church in a caring way?   Every decision He made concerning her, was done with her best interest in mind. And it is WISDOM to consult with others involved before making big decisions.
      BUT, having said that, his headship is REAL!   He needs to STEP UP and be the leader God intends – even when decisions are unpleasant. I am convinced trouble in this area is one of the downfalls of our society.
    2. He needs to love his wife – How? As Christ loved the church and sacrificed for her. (Eph. 5:25-29)   Paul spends more time on this in our text than other responsibilities.
      She is his helpmeet – the one to whom he is closest and can confide in.   This works in the Christian home because both parties put their trust in God.
      Colossians 3:19 says for husbands to love your own wives and do not be bitter toward them – the emphasis here is to NOT be harsh, untrusting, hateful, or abusive (physical, mental or spiritual), etc.
      1 Peter 3:7 – seek to understand your wife and treat her with the honor she deserves.
      This HAS TO factor into how he leads.
    3. He needs to provide for his wife and family – This is a part of loving the family AND commanded.   Ephesians 5:29, he loves her just as he takes care of himself – nourishing and cherishing.   1 Timothy 5:8 – we provide for our own household.
    4. There is the intimacy associated with marriage as well – spouses are responsible for tending to these needs with each other, lest one be tempted. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, Hebrews 13:4.
      This needs to be carried out with purity and monogamy, which is what god expects. (cf. Proverbs 5:15-19, Matthew 19:4-6, 5:27-28, etc.)
  3. Wives – the husband is intended to be a blessing to her as well.   It is through her husband that God intends for her to bear children. Genesis 2:18, 21-22 – she was taken from Adam’s side and brought to him to be his COMPANION (not slave or ruler).
    1. Must learn submission and their roles.   Though politically incorrect, it is emphasized continually in the New Testament.   Ephesians 5:22-23; Colossians 3:18 – submit as is fitting to the Lord (does the way we submit to the Lord govern how we understand this?); 1 Peter 3:1-6 – a beautiful passage that show what a godly woman, knowing her role, can do.
      AGAIN, we live in a society where God’s word is not treated very highly.   There are many factors – 1) Ungodliness making decisions (rebellion against God, etc.); 2) The failures of many men to step up be godly leaders in the home (it is not that they don’t know how to lead – they do it at work, coaching, etc..     Rather they CHOOSE not to lead the family properly); 3) This often results in the wives/mother having to step up and do more than her part because someone has to; 4) There are wives who simply REFUSE to submit!
      THIS IS another reason our society is so morally depraved.
    2. She is to love her husband – Titus 2:4.   Modern feminism would have you believe the woman does not need a man. We have already seen this is not God’s intent. He wants men to marry women to become their wife.   But there must be a realization that BOTH parties need to love each other with loyalty and care.   That is seen though numerous approved examples in scripture.   Proverbs 31:10-12 describes how a godly wife is trusted by her husband and she seeks him good and not evil, all her days.
    3. She has responsibilities in the home – Our society places little value on homemakers. Lately, IF one chooses and can do so, so be it, BUT it is not the recommended way.
      And we live in a society where so many have created lifestyles where the wife cannot stay home and tend to her duties.  But God’s word gives her responsibilities – Titus 2:4-5 – love their children, be homemakers, etc.
      1 Timothy 5:14, Paul admonishes younger widows (and thus enter into the role of wife), to bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.   etc.  While much more could be said about these things, this is in brief what her role involves
    4. NOTE: There is no passage that requires a woman to marry.   Paul even spoke of benefits of remaining single (1 Corinthians 7:8-9, etc.). But there are benefits restricted to the marriage relationship.   Should she (OR he) choose to enter into a marriage, she MUST be willing to submit to God’s will in what she does.   And IT IS FOR LIFE!
  4. For a marriage to work, each spouse must be willing to sacrifice for the other.   That was borne out by Paul in our text in Ephesians 5.
    BOTH must realize that the relationship is bigger than their own personal desires.
    We have heard that marriage is a 50-50 proposition.   That is not accurate – it is actually more like 75 give and 25 take (not exact numbers, but you see the point). AND one observation to make with this – sometimes that means NEITHER one gets exactly what they want.   We have seen how we are to sacrifice FOR our spouse, but also very often we BOTH need to sacrifice, because it is what is best.   This of what Christian love (agape) means – “caring enough to sacrifice for what is best”.
    It is possible that both parties to be selfish and even make selfish decisions together.
    IOW, both agree to take what they want RIGHT NOW, even though it is NOT what is best and may be harmful to the relationship in the long run.
  1. Realize that our role in the marriage relationship is to help each other physically and spiritually. Ultimately our goal ought to be to help each other get to heaven and take as many with us as we possibly can.

 What does society need to see?

  1. Marriages where God is first.   I can guarantee that if BOTH partners in a marriage seek to put God first – before friends, hobbies, other family (e.g. parents, their children, etc.), their own selfish pursuits and desires, etc., then the marriage CAN and WILL work. Because, the relationship is a “threefold chord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
  2. Marriage where there is genuine love between husband and wife.   A deep love based on more than superficial qualities.
  3. Marriages where problems are dealt with in a godly manner, and where they actually make the relationship stronger, rather than weaker.
  4. A relationship where divorce is not an option, and faithfulness is at the center of their relationship with one another.

When addressing the husband/wife relationship, there are a host of other topics we could examine, but time will not permit such now       We conclude by asking? What is my marriage saying to the world?