Participants: Mike and Gayle Tucker
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000079B
00:01 Welcome back.
00:03 We're talking today about God's principles for marriage.
00:06 We've been reading from Ephesians Chapter 5.
00:08 And so, let's continue with that if we could please.
00:12 Well, in verse 26, it says,
00:14 "Christ's love makes the church whole.
00:17 His words evoke her beauty.
00:20 Everything he does and says
00:22 is designed to bring out the best in her,
00:24 dressing her in dazzling white silk,
00:27 radiant with holiness.
00:29 And this is how husbands ought to love their wives.
00:32 They're really doing themselves a favor,
00:34 since they're already one in marriage."
00:37 All right, now it says here.
00:38 Everything he does is to uplift the church
00:41 to make her look good basically, to ennoble her.
00:45 How many times do we see husbands or wives
00:48 whose words don't do that for their spouse?
00:50 That's right.
00:52 It tends to be more criticism, sarcasm
00:55 where we tear one another down,
00:57 we look for that which is wrong in each other
00:59 and yet this says, that instead of producing guilt in you
01:02 or instead of tearing you down, everything I do and say
01:06 it needs to ennoble you, to lift you up.
01:08 You know, if there's one thing
01:10 that we could do for one another,
01:11 that would help more than anything in the world,
01:13 I think it's to have kindness
01:15 in the way we speak to one another,
01:17 just a gentle tone.
01:19 Thought process, before we speak,
01:22 you know, which your mother used to say,
01:23 "Think before you speak."
01:25 Those kinds of things and say, you know,
01:26 "This person is dear to me, this person is a treasure.
01:29 This person has been given to me by God.
01:32 I'm going to treat them like a treasure, I'm going to...
01:35 You know, I'm going to dress her in white silk,
01:37 I'm going to dress him in the finest suit.
01:39 I'm going to make him look the best he can look
01:42 because he's a treasure to me."
01:44 Well, you know, it only makes sense
01:46 that I should try to make you look good because I chose you.
01:49 Well, and that what it's saying here, isn't it?
01:50 This is my decision.
01:51 This is my decision, so why would I trash my choice.
01:54 When we tear each other down, we basically are--
01:57 We're creating poor self-esteem
02:00 in the other person, because what happens is
02:01 they begin to believe those things.
02:03 If the person who is the dearest to me
02:06 says something bad about me
02:07 and that's going on in ongoing basis,
02:09 I'm gonna pretty soon begin to believe that.
02:12 Then you're going to have a spouse
02:13 that you really don't want to live with.
02:15 That's right.
02:16 Because, you know, it's not doing ourselves a favor
02:18 when we hear the other ones.
02:20 When I tear you down, I tear myself down,
02:22 when I trash you, I hurt me.
02:24 And this, this idea of one flesh.
02:26 This isn't just a goal to which we're trying to reach.
02:30 This is the description of who we are.
02:33 So, when we, when we have chosen to marry one another,
02:36 the description is, now, we are one flesh.
02:38 So, why would I tear myself down?
02:41 You know, again I've got a degree in counseling
02:44 and I've done some psychiatric counseling,
02:46 I've done that in psychiatric hospitals.
02:48 One of the problems that we face today with people
02:51 with issues is self harm.
02:54 They cut themselves, otherwise hurt themselves
02:57 as kind of a form of punishment
02:59 or something of that nature basically.
03:00 Why, when that happens we describe this as a disorder.
03:07 This is not a healthy way of living.
03:09 This is a disorder that we want to treat and stop.
03:12 And yet when, if I cut you with my words,
03:15 if I tear you down, or even worse yet,
03:18 if I go physically after you and harm you.
03:20 I'm harming myself because we are one flesh.
03:23 The identity is so close that I can't hurt you
03:26 without hurting me.
03:28 Basically that says when that happens,
03:30 there is an illness involved.
03:31 There is an illness in the relationship.
03:33 There is an illness there, if I'm hurting you,
03:36 because I'm hurting myself.
03:38 That indicates a mental illness.
03:40 So, there's an illness in the relationship
03:42 but there's also an illness in me
03:44 because I'm the one who has done this.
03:46 That's right.
03:47 I have engaged in an behavior that is self harm.
03:51 And that needs an intervention.
03:53 But Christ never does this.
03:55 Christ elevates the church and he elevates us.
03:57 And that's the same thing we ought to do in our marriage.
03:59 There will be one place on earth
04:01 where you are absolutely safe.
04:02 And it ought to be in your own home.
04:03 You got it.
04:05 Paul goes on to speak about what you just said, he says,
04:07 "No one to abuses his own body, does he unless he's ill,
04:10 something's wrong?
04:12 No, he feeds and pampers it."
04:14 That's how Christ treats us the church.
04:16 He pampers us. Pampers us.
04:17 Everything about being pampered by God.
04:19 But you know that, that's what He does,
04:22 and that is the model
04:23 with which we are to have our families.
04:25 We are to pamper one another, to lift each other up,
04:28 to make this a safe place.
04:30 Now, you grew up in a home that did that.
04:32 I grew up in a home that did not always do that.
04:35 And it's a skill that I've had to learn,
04:38 but I've seen the interactions in your home.
04:41 Before your father died, and your mother still alive.
04:44 But still I saw that uplifting of one another,
04:46 and that's what Christ wants for us in our home.
04:48 Absolutely, and he wants us to cherish each other.
04:51 The word cherish is in her as well, it says,
04:53 "That's why a man leaves father and mother
04:55 and cherishes his wife."
04:57 To be cherished, that there is someone who values me.
05:01 And he wants us to cherish one another.
05:03 I talk to one woman who said,
05:05 "I just wish there was someone in this world
05:08 who cherished me
05:09 and it's certainly not my husband."
05:11 And she said that with such great pain,
05:14 you know, I wish there was someone who cherished me.
05:18 We need that, and Christ is saying right here.
05:20 Paul is telling us that.
05:22 "Christ cherishes us.
05:23 And that's what he wants us to do for one another."
05:26 It says, "No longer two, they becomes one flesh."
05:29 Verse 32, "This is a huge mystery
05:31 and I don't pretend to understand it all.
05:33 What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church.
05:37 And this provides a good picture
05:38 of how each husband is to treat his wife,
05:40 loving himself in loving her,
05:43 and how each wife is to honor her husband."
05:45 I love myself in loving you.
05:47 So, whenever I do something good for you,
05:49 something loving for you.
05:50 I'm in essence doing that loving thing for myself,
05:53 because we are one flesh.
05:55 Well, how does that play out in a family?
05:57 You know, I think when we look at our families,
06:00 and we look at the roles that we play
06:02 and the leadership that we have.
06:04 Sometimes, it's not a cherishing kind of thing.
06:07 And he's speaking specifically to husbands here.
06:09 Yeah, he is.
06:10 I think it applies to both husbands and wives.
06:13 It does.
06:14 But what does it mean to demonstrate
06:17 a positive love and a positive leadership?
06:21 You know a part of that I think is to look at
06:26 what each other needs.
06:28 There're different leadership styles
06:29 that we can establish in our home,
06:30 and of course I speak about this primarily to fathers.
06:33 But it's good to remember this with husbands as well.
06:37 There are two leadership styles, one is authoritarian
06:41 and the other is authoritative.
06:43 Authoritarian is about commanding control.
06:46 It's more distant. It is more cold.
06:50 And it's about giving commands and exercising control.
06:54 When we think about authority...
06:57 We think of the police, or the government,
06:59 or someone who is in authority and they will set the rules.
07:02 A dictator, they'll set the rules,
07:04 they'll tell us what to do, and we will fall in line.
07:07 And by the way that style of leadership in the home.
07:10 When a man especially does this,
07:11 but men or women either one,
07:13 but when a man especially assumes an authoritarian role,
07:17 he produces rebellion
07:19 in his spouse and in his children.
07:22 Why would that be?
07:23 Well, eventually you're tired of being told what to do.
07:27 And how to live your life,
07:28 and the command and control issue
07:30 gets old after a while.
07:31 And people will, you know, would just kind of
07:36 dig their heels in and drag and resist.
07:39 It may be that they do so more passively,
07:41 and sometimes they do so far more aggressively.
07:44 But you can, you can watch this through the years
07:46 and a lot of research has been done on this.
07:48 It almost always produces rebellion,
07:51 whether it's a silent, passive rebellion
07:53 or more aggressive rebellion, it always produces rebellion.
07:57 And then I think often we think we're doing the right thing.
08:00 Because we think, well,
08:01 my family is going to stay within these lines,
08:03 we're going to go toward that goal.
08:05 We're gonna be well ordered.
08:06 Yes, we will have a well ordered machine here.
08:09 And as a result, we will have children
08:11 that are good citizens and please God.
08:14 If it doesn't necessarily work that way.
08:16 It doesn't work that way, it is a failed system.
08:19 There is a better model for leadership in the home
08:22 and it's authoritative.
08:24 And authoritative begins with warmth
08:27 and then add structure.
08:29 It begins... Warmth first.
08:30 You know, the Bible says,
08:32 "God through the prophets says
08:33 with bands of loving kindness have I drawn you to myself."
08:37 So, God draws us, He entreats us.
08:40 He loves us first.
08:42 We love God because He has loved us first.
08:43 He first loved us.
08:45 And Jesus says, this whole new commandment
08:46 I've given to you that you love one another.
08:48 And again scripture says, "By this they shall know
08:50 that you are my disciples,
08:52 and that you have love one for another."
08:53 It begins with warmth, and out of warmth
08:56 then we can add structure.
08:58 The emphasis is never on the structure,
09:01 it's on the warmth, but the structure
09:02 comes in afterwards, we begin to add that together.
09:06 Well, if I love you, and I know that you love me.
09:09 And that love is demonstrated, then there's always a warmth,
09:12 and a caring, and a forgiving spirit.
09:14 Then I'm going to want to do what you want me to do.
09:17 It's easy to do that, that's easy for children
09:20 to follow parents that love them.
09:23 Now, the research shows that rules should be few.
09:26 They should be will chosen and consistently enforced.
09:29 But they should always bring out a relationship of love.
09:32 They start with warmth.
09:33 And there's always a reason for the rule,
09:35 we can explain the reason.
09:36 But it's always coming out of a relationship of warmth,
09:39 that starts with warmth and then it add structure.
09:42 So, you've got to have a relationship first.
09:43 It comes back to relationship once again.
09:45 And when we're looking at marriage, it's the same way.
09:47 When we have a relationship first
09:50 and warmth and that feeling of being cherished,
09:53 then there is much less rub,
09:56 you know, between the two of us.
09:57 What are we going to do?
09:58 Who's going to be in charge here?
10:00 How are we gonna live our lives?
10:02 You know, one of the things
10:03 that used to be in marriage ceremonies
10:05 was love, honor, and obey.
10:07 And the obey word and they're just like ah.
10:09 It strikes people the wrong way.
10:12 But when you look at the root word of obey.
10:15 It is to hear.
10:18 It's just to hear the other person.
10:20 Now, if you're talking to me in a loving way.
10:23 And you are demonstrating how much you love me.
10:25 I'm demonstrating how much you love, I love you.
10:28 We're going to hear each other
10:30 and then there is much less problem
10:32 with who's in charge.
10:33 Who's going to be the leader here?
10:36 It's basically a give and take.
10:38 If you know that I love you,
10:40 and I speak to you in tenderness and with warmth,
10:43 you want to listen, and you want to do what I say.
10:47 Well, I want to please.
10:48 You want to please, you want to please.
10:50 And that's how it is with God.
10:51 God starts with love.
10:52 He's got these rules over here.
10:54 But, you know what, those rules are not odious to us,
10:56 they're kind of the basic principles of relationship.
10:58 We find the structure for healthy relationships
11:01 in the Ten Commandments.
11:02 And it's not odious for us to follow those things.
11:05 We hear him and because He loves us,
11:08 we long to do something to please Him.
11:10 That's the leadership style of Christ,
11:12 He starts with that warmth.
11:13 And I think that we have,
11:15 we have dual leadership in our homes
11:18 because each of us is loving the other,
11:20 and we're wanting to follow the other,
11:22 or wanting to follow hard.
11:24 So, there's not any, any issue there of who's in charge?
11:29 How are we going to make decisions?
11:30 I think for men, a lot of times,
11:32 you know, we talk about being the head
11:34 of household and that's true.
11:36 But you understand that head of household
11:39 is not something you can demand.
11:41 It is something you earn.
11:43 It is and you earn it by first loving.
11:45 God never gives privilege without responsibility though.
11:48 And when He says, "Head of household,
11:50 He gives responsibility to me as a man",
11:52 and says, "I want you to take the lead in love,
11:55 I want you to start meeting the needs of your family
11:58 before you expect anything in return.
12:01 You are to love as Christ loved the church."
12:03 That's the responsibility.
12:04 And until I do that, no woman is safe in submitting to me.
12:09 But when I learn to love as Christ loves the church
12:11 and she sees, you see the warmth
12:13 in my voice and in my relationship toward you,
12:16 then you listen.
12:19 And that listening makes you want to please.
12:20 And we do that back and forth into each other,
12:22 but I do believe that it starts with the man.
12:24 The man is the one who needs to take the lead
12:26 in establishing a relationship of warmth for the home.
12:30 Again, I know we're running out of time here,
12:32 but I wanted to get quickly
12:33 if we could to Ecclesiastes Chapter 4
12:36 where it says, "Two are better than one..."
12:37 We start with verse 9,
12:39 "Because they have a good return for their labor."
12:41 If we work together,
12:42 it's easier to get the job done, right?
12:44 "For if either of them falls,
12:45 the one will lift up his companion.
12:47 But woe to the one who falls
12:48 when there is not another to lift him up."
12:51 You fall by yourself.
12:52 You're in trouble, aren't you? Yeah
12:54 "Furthermore, if two lie down together
12:56 they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?"
12:59 You know, this is true especially.
13:01 You have no blood flow to the extremities
13:04 you're always told.
13:05 Well, I was thinking about this text recently
13:08 when you were gone.
13:09 Because it says, you know that
13:11 "If you lie down together, you stay warm."
13:14 Well, when I lie down by myself,
13:16 my hands are cold, my feet are cold,
13:18 but we have this agreement
13:19 that when I get in bed at night,
13:21 I can put my cold feet on you.
13:23 And you can jump in pain.
13:25 I do, I do regularly when you put your cold feet on.
13:28 You know, we made that agreement
13:30 before we got married.
13:31 And I had no idea how cold those feet were.
13:33 But I've held true to my word, have I not?
13:36 In verse 12, "And if one can overpower him
13:39 who is alone, two can resist him.
13:41 A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart."
13:43 And the third strand of course is Jesus Christ.
13:48 When we're together, we have much more strength.
13:50 We stand back to back, we can face any foe.
13:53 That's right.
13:54 Again, what we think that scripture is telling us
13:56 is that we are team.
13:58 God has designed that your marriage should be
14:00 two becoming one.
14:02 You should be a team and together by God's grace,
14:06 you can be madly in love forever.