Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a complete commitment for life. As we see in Ephesians 5:21-33, marriage is from Heaven; it is not simply a contract… it is a covenant.
Husbands and wives are of equal worth before God; both bear His image, but in differing ways, because marriage is symbolic of the way God relates to His people.
Ephesians 5:23 says, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body.”
When the Bible speaks of the husband being the head of the home, it is not speaking of his rights; it is speaking of his responsibilities.
There are three major responsibilities of the husband, the first being his servant leadership.
Ephesians 5 does not call the husband a dictator. Rather, we are given the example of Jesus Christ, who is head of the Church, yet serves her and meets her needs. We are to meet the needs of our wives gently.
Husbands are also responsible for sacrificial love.
This is a passionate commitment that comes from the deepest part of our being.
Sacrificial love is also a purifying love, as Ephesians 5:26 says: “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word… not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Husbands are to express their sacrificial love through their protection and provision. They are to meet the family’s physical, spiritual and emotional needs.
Finally, husbands are responsible for showing steadfast loyalty.
Jesus promised to never leave nor forsake His church. (Read Hebrews 13:5.) Likewise, we are responsible for keeping the vows we made when we entered our marriage covenant.
If we think of marriage as a contract, we will look for loopholes, and miss the blessing that it truly is; if we view marriage as a covenant, we will cultivate something beautiful, like Heaven itself.
Adrian Rogers says, “A home ought to be a little bit of the Garden of Eden, the only part we have left till Jesus comes.”
Apply it to your life
Are you cultivating a marriage based on servant leadership, sacrificial love, and steadfast loyalty? Remember the priority, the permanence, and the purpose of marriage, and treat your spouse accordingly.
Yeah, we’re gonna be talking here about the marriage covenant, not the marriage contract. If you look at marriage as a contract, uh, you’re gonna be standing up for your rights. If you look at marriage as a covenant, you’re going to be accepting your responsibilities. If you look at marriage as a contract, you’re gonna be looking for loopholes in the contract. But if you look at marriage as a divine covenant, you’re not going to be doing that. Thanks for joining us for this special Father’s Day message. Adrian Rogers was one of the most respected preachers, effective Bible teachers and Christian leaders of our time. He was also a devoted family man, husband of 57 years. A father, grandfather and great grandfather who loved to preach and teach God’s plan for Christian families. Open your bibles to the book of Ephesians now and join us for today’s message. Before we begin, remember you can follow along with pastor Rogers outline notes, a transcript and other resources related to today’s message all at L WF dot org. Now let’s join Adrian Rogers, Would you take your bibles and turn to Ephesians chapter five. And when you found it? Look up here. Now, the reason we have so many failed marriages today is that we have thrown away the original plan that God has given somebody has said that the difference between courtship and married is the difference between what you see in the seed catalog and what comes up in the garden. Well, what causes that I think is failure to cultivate the garden. Now, this is father’s day and I want to speak primarily therefore to the husband and his responsibility to his wife. In the light of all of this, that’s the reason why I’ve said that Miss women are from venus. Men are from mars according to a popular book. But marriage is from heaven, marriages from heaven and we’re going to understand what God has to say about marriage. Now, stu Weber said something very interesting. He said the great problem in America is failure in the highest office of the land. The husband and father, that’s the highest office. That’s the highest office in the land to be a husband and a father. Well, we’re gonna be talking here about the marriage covenant, not the marriage contract. If you look at marriage as a contract, you’re gonna be standing up for your rights. If you look at marriage as a covenant, you’re going to be accepting your responsibilities. If you look at marriage as a contract, you’re gonna be looking for loopholes in the contract. But if you look at marriage as a divine covenant, you’re not going to be doing that according to this scripture that I’m going to read to you in a moment. Man has the husband, the father, according to the word of God has three major responsibility. And I hope by the time I’m finished. Whatever else. If you’re a husband and a father today, You will see your three major responsibilities. Now, first of all, he is responsible for serving leadership, servant leadership. Look in verse 21 submitting yourselves one to another. In the fear of God wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands. As unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as christ is the head of the church and he is the savior of the body. Now the word head here speaks of lead. The husband is the head of the wife. That is, he is the leader. He’s not the dictator. The husband is not some sort of a top sergeant beating his wife over the head with a bible club. We hear a lot about the chain of command. You might hear about the chain of command in the army, but this doesn’t speak primarily of a chain of command. This is a line of responsibility. That’s a much better term. You see to have headship is to have responsibility. Uh that means if a wife is to submit to her husband, she is to submit to her husband for a loving leadership And God gives the model. What is the model verse 23 for the husband is the head of the wife. Even as Christ is the head of the church. Now, jesus christ has never forced me to do anything. I have never, ever in my marriage. And George and I’ve been married for a long time. I’ve never forced George to do. Yeah, I have never, I have never forced Joyce to do one blessed thing, Jesus has never forced me to do anything. He hasn’t forced me to be to church today. He didn’t force me to put anything in the offering plate. He didn’t force me to pray this. He’s never he’s never forced me to do anything. But he’s led me and love me to do many things. And you see the husband is the head of the wife as christ is the head of the church. That is the model. Now, what is we said that that the husband is responsible for servant leadership? What is servant leadership, sir? Do you think your little lord? Ha ha do you think you’re the dictator in your home? Well, you you’ve got a lot to learn if you do leader, sir. Listen to what Jesus said. Now, remember, remember that the husband is to love his wife as christ loved the church. Well what did Jesus say? Let’s put this down Luke 22 verses 25 through 26. And he said unto them, the kings of the gentiles exercise lordship over them and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But he shall not be so. But he, that is greatest among you. Let him be as the younger and he that is chief as him. That does serve you know what it means sir for you to to be the head of your wife. It means you’re going to serve your wife. It doesn’t mean that she’s there to bring you your slippers in the paper, it means that you are to serve her? Jesus is the head of the church. And yet I find in John Chapter 13, jesus washed his disciples feet and he says in john 13 verse 13, if you call me master and Lord and you say well for so I am, jesus never said he was not master, jesus never said he was not Lord. But now listen. And if I then your Lord and master have washed your feet, ye ought also to wash one another’s feet. I want to suggest sir, that you find ways to wash your wife’s feet. That’s the way you show your headship in the home. It is servant leadership, Jesus said, I am the Lord and master, but a husband is to love his wife as christ, loved the church. A leader serves your wife is not there to serve you, you’re there to serve her. # two. A leader is gentle. If you’re one of these tough guys, saying I’m the boss and all of that, there’s something wrong, you’re sick. Listen, the apostle paul was the great leader of the church. He was an apostle. But he said to the church in 1st Thessalonians chapter 2: verse seven, but we were gentle among you. Even as a nurse, cherish her Children? How many husbands today are gentle, gentle with their wives? Do you know what you need to be sir. If you think you’re the head of the home, you need to be a gentle man, a gentle man that’s leadership to be gentle. I’ve noticed Children who love their daddies to death. Do you know why those Children love those daddies? You watch almost every time that daddy will be a strong man that the little child looks up to, but he will be so gentle with that child and win. A man has that great strength and that great gentleness. At the same time, that child will follow that father off a cliff. The bible says of the Lord, his gentleman has made me great. You want to have great kids. Be gentle with you. Want to have a great wife. Be gentle. A leader serves a leader is gentle. A leader guides by example. Listen to this first peter. We think of him as the big fisherman. 1st Peter. Chapter five verses one through three. He’s talking now to the church leader and he says, the elders which are among you, I exhort who am also an elder and a witness of the sufferings of christ and also a partake of the glory that shall be revealed, feed the flock of God, which is among you. Taking the oversight there of that is you bleed not by constraint, not because you have to but willingly. Not for filthy lucre. That means not just because they pay you, but of a ready mind. Now listen, neither as being lords over God’s Harris, but being examples to the flock, peter says, look, if you’re going to be a pastor, don’t think that you’re the dictator of the church. And by the way, sometimes people say, you know, these pastors, these big churches like Bellevue, they they’re dictators when I hear that man, I always laugh. I think good night if I was a dictator, they don’t tie they’d all be here for prayer meeting. I just serve at your pleasure. Not a dictator, but I’m not a lord, but the bible says you lead by example. Now that’s that’s servant leadership. I have no right to ask you to do anything. I’m not willing to do. Hard to believe anything. I don’t believe or live like I don’t live, I’d be a hypocrite and and servant leadership. Friends, servant leadership is just that it serves servant leadership is gentle, servant leadership leads by example, sir, Are you an example to your wife christ? Certainly is to the church. Did you know what servant leadership does it elicits the strengths of those that it leads. Do you know why Bellevue is such a great church? You say? Well, because Adrian does everything? No, did you know that, that we have literally thousands of people in this church who have ability in area that I would not begin to have ability in and and yet God has given me the privilege of being the leader and and a husband when he looks at his family, when he looks at his wife, he’s going to see that she has gifts that he does not have. Put this scripture down. Acts chapter two verses 17 and 18. And it should come to pass in the last day, said God, that I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh. Now listen to this. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions and your old men show dream dreams. Now watch this and own my search and on my hand made, I will pour out of in those days of my spirit and they shall prophesy now, what does that mean? It means friend that Children and wives as well as husband and mail. Have a touch from God. They have wisdom from God and God has poured out his spirit upon them. You know whose advice and counsel I value more than anybody is on the face of the earth. Young lady, I’m married too in love with all of my heart. She’s so wise. My life has been molded so very much by her counsel because I so respect her. Walk with God. I so respect her wishes that that that I know that God has poured out upon her, his holy spirit and given her a wisdom that in many ways and in many times is beyond my own and a servant. Listen, let me tell you a responsible leadership, serve responsible leadership. Is gentle, responsible leadership sets an example. Responsible leadership elicits the help of those that it leads or it is foolish leadership. You know, the people of the world don’t understand what I’m talking about. You might as well expect my dog to appreciate opera. They don’t understand, they have not got a clue as to what it means for a husband to love his wife as christ loved the church. Now, I wish I had more time on that subject. But you’re not listening very fast. Here’s the number two thing. All right now look, first of all, the husband is responsible for servant leadership. Secondly, the husband is responsible for sacrificial love. Did you get the second point? Sacrificial love. Now look again in the uh in verse 25 husbands love your wives. Even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it. The greek literally is and gave himself up for it. Her husband had to be willing. That’s how much you ought to love. Sacrificial wow, servant leadership. Sacrificial love. He doesn’t have to die physically to die to ego and pride and ambition and all of these other things. How is he to love his wife? Well, he still love her passionately and when I’m talking about passion here, I’m not talking about passion like sexual passion though, that is certainly one of the gifts of marriage, but I’m talking about a passion that says I am willing to die for you. I’m saying I give myself up for you. Do you know what? Most marriages need Most marriages in America need to funeral and one wedding where both the husband and the wife died of themselves and come alive to jesus christ. You see when a man loves his wife passionately, there’s nothing too precious for that man to give up for his wife except his relationship to almighty God. I want to tell the members of this church something, I told the pulpit committee something. Well, I’ll tell you this again, my relationship to my wife is more important to me than my relationship to you. And I’m not gonna sacrifice my home on the altar of this ministry. The church is jesus bride, not mine. Joyce is my bride. You can get you another pastor. But I’ve got one wife, nothing, nothing is too precious for a man to give up for his wife except his relationship to God. And most women don’t mind being in submission to a man who loves her enough to die for it and shows it, by the way he lives for Now. Not only is this this uh sacrificial love, passionate love. It is purifying love looking verses 26 and 27, he gave himself up for her that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing but that it should be holy. And without blemish. The husband therefore is is his chief assignment from God is to make his wife a more radiantly beautiful Christian. He is to intercede for her. He is to lead her, is to teach her is to love her and protect her spiritually. He can never encourage her in any impurity whatsoever, to drink anything. That’s wrong, to watch anything. That’s wrong to do anything. That’s wrong! No, His love is passionate love. It is purifying love. It is protecting love. Look in verse 28, so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that love with his wife loves himself. That is you want to protect your body when your body is in danger, then you’re to protect your wife. A man is sick, who does not protect his own body. And a man is married totally sick. Who will not protect his wife. He is committing marital suicide. Friend, be good to yourself and love your wife You to protect her. Because, according to first Peter Chapter three, she’s the weaker vessel. That does not mean that she is the inferior vessel. She is the weaker vessel. What is weaker silk or blue denim is silk inferior to blue denim. What is weaker stainless steel? Our goal. Hm Well, it’s gold inferior. The stainless steel. What is weekly porcelain steel. Now with porcelain, you can make a beautiful cup was steel. You can make a sledgehammer to drive a spike, which is weaker cup which is better. Mhm. You can’t drink tea out of a sledgehammer and you can’t drive a wedge with a porcelain cat. God made us different That he might make us one. And God gave men to protect and as Jesus protects the church and thank God we’re under his protection. The husband with his servant leadership is to protect his wife with sacrificial love. I wish I had more time to do that. But it’s also providing love. Look if you will in verse 29, no man ever yet hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it even as the Lord the church to cherish means to warm with body heat, to nurture, means to feed and mature. So me uh listen folks you owe to your wife protective love. I had a lot of things I was gonna say about that but here’s the last thing, I just want to get this last point in first one who can remember give yourself a B. Would you like to get an A. What’s the second one? Good sacrificial love. Now here’s the 3rd 1. If you get this one down and walk out of here with you get an a. Plus. Alright, sacrificial. What is it servant leadership? Sacrificial love. And here’s the last one stead fast loyalty. Step fast loyalty. Look if you will in verses 30 and 31 for we are members of his body of his flesh and his bone for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and she’ll be joined at his wife and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Now folks, let me just tell you something here very plainly. Here’s God’s plan for marriage. All the marriages just wrapped up in verse 31 for this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and Cleveland to his wife. Do you know what the highest relationship on this earth is? It is not parent child and it is not child parent, it is husband and wife for this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife. And so it’s so important here that we see that the priority of marriage is the relationship between a man and his wife and and the permanence of marriage is shall be joined unto his wife. That that word in the greek and in the hebrew in the old testament, has the idea being welded, I mean, put together and the bible teaches what God had therefore joined together, let not man put asunder. That’s the permanency of marriage and the purpose of marriages and they too Shall be one flesh. I’m gonna tell you something else folks, my heart breaks for our teenagers today, teenagers were being taught quote safe sex folks is not meant to be dangerous, not meant to be dangerous. We need to teach them is sanctified sex. They too, shall be one flesh. This speaks of a blending, not just simply the body but the soul and the spirit until they become one. You know what’s such a heartbreak? These kids talk about going all the way folks. That’s the one thing they don’t do. That’s what they don’t do. You don’t go all the way until you give yourself body soul and spirit forever to one woman till death. Do you part God’s plan? That’s God’s idea. The devil is selling a generation today. A bill of goods, folks, I’m telling you the husband owes to his wife a stead fast, loyal. I remind you what I told Joyce. I said, sweetheart, if you ever leave me, I’m going with you, I belong to Joyce. She belongs to me. We’re in it together and we’re in it all the way to me. If you know your bible what we said, just like saying water is wet. I mean, that’s God’s plan. I feel sorry for people who don’t get in on it home ought to be a little bit of the garden of Eden. The only part we have left jesus bow your heads in prayer heads about and eyes are closed. Wild heads about and eyes are closed. Would you just begin to pray for those around about you anybody here who doesn’t know jesus today would be a wonderful, wonderful day for you as we said early, to give your heart to jesus. Christ, jesus loves you. He died for you and he will today forgive your sin, come into your life, give you a new nature, begin to work inside of you to make you the person who wants you to be and give you hope for heaven and say you know pastor, I wish I would have heard the message on the home a long time ago. I am, is it too late for me? I’ve kind of I’ve kind of done some things in some ways. I wish I had not done a friend, just give it all to jesus. You see, that’s why we need a savior and if you failed, just give him all the broken pieces. He’ll put them back together his own way with the gold of his grace. You put them all back together in his own way. If you don’t know, jesus, why don’t you pray this prayer right now, Lord jesus, I need you and I want you thank you for paying for my sin with your blood on the cross. I turned from my sin and I turned by faith to you. You told me if I would trust you that you would save me, I do trust you jesus right now, this moment with all of my heart. Right, come into my heart. Ask him that come into my heart, forgive my sin Save me jesus, would you pray that? Save me jesus. Did you ask him then? By faith? Just by faith. Don’t wait for feeling just by faith. Say thank you for doing. I receive it by faith. You’re now my Lord and my savior and my God and my friend forever Now Lord jesus give me the courage to make it public your name. I pray Amen friend. May I say another word to those of you who are watching. If you would like to do what these are doing this morning in our worship center, I invite you to pray a prayer like this. Dear God, I’m a sinner name lost, I need to be saved and I want to be saved. Lord jesus come into my heart, forgive my sin, save me. Lord jesus. Now you don’t have to remember all of those words. You can just pray save me. Lord jesus. And if you’ve done that, would you write to us and let us know? We’ll send you some literature to help you get started in your christian life. We hope that today’s message has been an encouragement to you and if so you can strain this message again as well as other messages from this series and download other resources related to this message all at L WF dot org or the my L WF app while you’re there. Be sure to check out our new bible studies on this series as well as many other topics at L WF dot org. You can also subscribe to our daily heartbeat email. Each heartbeat contains a devotional message from Adrian Rogers, a 92nd inspirational audio clip also from Adrian Rogers, as well as a link to our daily radio program, all in one place, delivered directly to your computer or mobile device each day. And if you’re looking for some inspiration or encouragement to get you through the week, be sure to check us out on social media at L WF ministries. 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