I. HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES.
A. This follows the injunction for the wives to submit to their own husbands.
B. These two commands are inseparably tied to each other.
1. We find them repeated in the letter to the Colossians.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
Husbands, love [your] wives, and be not bitter against them.
2. Obedience to these two commands will bring a marriage together, and to disobey them is to tear a marriage apart.
C. God said this knowing that one of the greatest needs of a woman being the weaker vessel is that feeling of security that is found in knowing that she is loved.
1. We talked about the need of the man, to be in control and feel that he is capable.
2. So the woman needs to feel that she is secure because she is loved supremely by her husband.
3. The story of Arno Peterson.
4. Your wife struggles trying to get the lid off a jar, then she hands the jar to you and remarks how strong you are as you twist off the top. You love it, be honest.
D. When the marriage begins to fall apart you can usually trace it's disintegration back to disobedience to these commands.
1. The question usually is which came first, the chicken or the egg.
2. This is the way it works when going backward.
a. In this hypothetical case let us say that the husband is not giving to his wife the assurance that she needs of being loved supremely. He has been so busy with his concerns over his job, and providing for the family that he has neglected showing his love and concern for her.
b. He becomes preoccupied and fails to communicate his feelings adequately. It is hard to admit that you are worried or concerned about your job. You want her to think that you are in control, and able to handle anything that may come along.
c. She interprets that lack of communication and worry that you cannot share with her, as a sign that your love for her is waning. She begins to suspicion that maybe someone else has come into your life.
d. She then begins to ask probing questions which irritate you because she does not believe your answers. If you are late getting home from work she wants to know if you were alone in the office or was there someone else there with you.
e. You are now being challenged and you must arise to the challenge by showing that you are in control and you are very capable of handling things yourself. This is often manifested in an aloofness, which only confirms her suspicions that you do not love her anymore. This brings greater insecurity to her which causes you to become even colder and more aloof, and on and on until every decision that you make is challenged. This is interpreted by you as a lack of confidence in your manhood which you counteract with greater coldness. Marriage has now become a duel and swords are drawn at every issue.
f. If you try to be nice and say let's go out for dinner, she thinks that you probably have a waitress on the string that you want to see.
3. This is how it works when it is going forward.
a. First of all let me say that it is impossible to affirm your love for her too much.
b. God said to Eve, "Your desire shall be to your husband." She desires desperately the love and approval of her husband. When she is all dressed up and asks, "Honey do I look alright?" She is not looking for a "Ya, fine," answer. She wants you to say, "You look smashing sweetheart, I'm so lucky to be married to such a gorgeous doll."
c. When she is completely secure in your love, she will cease challenging your decisions.
d. The more she submits to your leadership, the easier it is for you to demonstrate your love for her, the more you demonstrate that love, the easier it is for her to submit to your decisions.
e. When you share with her some idea you have and she responds, "Well honey, I don't know if it is good or not, but I trust you, and you are so smart, you do what you think is best. You spontaneously throw your arm around her and say, "I am so blessed to be married to the most beautiful and gracious girl in the world, I love you angel." And she melts like ice cream on the 4th of July.
f. Marriage is no longer a duel, but a duet, living in harmony with each other.
4. So often we have a standoff, she is saying if he will show me love, I will submit, and he is saying if she would just submit I could show her love.
B. Look how husbands are to love their wives. "Even as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it."
1. John tells us, "having loved His own, He loved them to the end."
2. Jesus said, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man will lay down his life for his friends."
3. Jesus said, "As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you."
4. The love of Christ for us was a self-sacrificing love.
5. The love of Christ for us was a complete love, he held nothing back.
6. The love of Christ for us is an unending love.
C. We are to love our wives as we love our own bodies.
1. No man hates his own flesh but nourishes it and cherishes it.
2. You make sure that your body is taken care of. You eat regularly, you try to keep in a modicum of shape.
3. This is sort of the love your neighbor as yourself.
4. The Bible assumes that you love your own body, that you love yourself.
C. Jesus is brought into both of these commands.
1. The wife is to submit herself to her husband as unto the Lord.
2. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church.
3. It is not a submission to brute force because the husband is the stronger of the two.
4. It is a submission to love. If there is the assurance of love then the submission is natural and easy.
D. Paul concludes this section on husbands and wives by saying, "So then let every one of you love his wife as he loves himself, and let the wife see that she reverence her husband."