As to the Lord – Ephesians 5.22

We’re on the eigth message in our Marriage & Family Series, and the title of this morning’s sermon is, “As to the Lord.”

I’d like to begin by reviewing the foundation we established for this series as I think it’s important to keep these things in mind…and I’ll be adding one
more decision I’d like to ask you to make…

LESSON 1: AS WE BEGIN, MAKE THE DECISION TO:

· PART I: FOCUS ON YOUR WEAKNESSES MORE THAN YOUR SPOUSE’S

(PART II) AND TURN YOUR FRUSTRATIONS INTO PRAYER.

· PART III: TRUST THE HOLY SPIRIT TO WORK (PART IV) WITH YOU.

  • PART V: REMEMBER LISTENING IS NOT ENOUGH.
  • PART VI: EMBRACE THE STRUGGLE (PART VII) BECAUSE OF WHAT IT PRODUCES.

· PART VII: OBEY THE BIBLE AND NOT THE WORLD.

I’ve had this lesson in my notes for some time now, and there are two reasons I waited to share it now…

First, since we’ve been in this series for a few weeks, I’m hoping this lesson will almost serve as a little injection of confidence in God’s Word to keep
us clinging to it and desiring to obey it.

Second, I wanted to wait until after we discussed submission, b/c I believed two truths would become evident:

1. First, submission is clearly taught in the NT. I’ve told you every time wives are discussed there’s a corresponding command for them to submit to their
husbands. This makes five separate verses in the NT commanding wives to submit to their husbands, which means it’s probably one of – if not thee – most
common commands in the NT.

2. But second, we also know the world largely rejects the idea of wives submitting to their husbands…and sadly it’s even rejected by some liberal churches
or Christians.

I believe there’s a situation we experience each time we read the Bible, and I really believe it’s as simple as facing two choices:

· We can shape Scripture to say what we want it to say. We can shape Scripture to mean what we want it to mean. We can shape Scripture to fit our beliefs
or our desires.

· Or we can allow Scripture to shape us and our thinking. We can allow Scripture to shape our beliefs and desires.

Now I know which of these we say we want, but one of the real difficulties is while we’re trying to be shaped and influenced by Scripture, we also have the
world trying to shape and influence us.

So we want to make sure we don’t give in to the world and embrace the world’s teachings and beliefs about marriage…and the world has plenty to say about
marriage: I checked Amazon.com and there are almost 114,000 books on marriage. That’s a lot of books. That tells you the world thinks it knows a lot about
marriage.

But the real problem isn’t that the world thinks it knows what marriage should or shouldn’t look like. The real problem is the world has influenced the
church – the world has influenced Christians – regarding what marriage should look like. It wouldn’t matter what the world said about marriage if it didn’t
affect Christians, but the fact is the world has influenced what the church thinks about marriage. The world has influenced men and women’s ideas about
marriage, and the world has influenced the roles of husbands and wives.

We often hear about marriage being redefined. When people say that they’re almost always referring to marriage being something OTHER THAN the union of one
man and one woman for life. We should expect this from the world though. We should not expect the world to agree w/ God’s Word about marriage. We should
expect the world to say marriage is something other than what the Bible says.

But the problem is the world’s influence on marriage has grown so much some churches have even embraced the world’s redefinitions of marriage.

And I want to submit to you that there’s another way the world has been redefining marriage – besides saying that it’s something other than the union of
one man and one woman for life – and it’s in relation to husbands and wives and their roles and responsibilities toward each other.

When you talk about husbands loving their wives, nobody is going to object or get upset. You could go out and grab any of your unbelieving friends and
neighbors and they’d agree w/ you that husbands should love their wives.

But the moment you discuss wives submitting to their husbands, you’re going to face opposition from the world. There are very few areas of Scripture that
cause as much offense as the command for wives to submit to their husbands and we should ask ourselves why that is? Why is something that’s so clear in
Scripture, so upsetting to some people, including even some Christians?

  • It’s b/c of our culture.
  • It’s b/c of society.
  • It’s b/c of the world’s influence.

But here’s the really, really important point…and I basically said all that to be able to say this…

The world didn’t create marriage. Even if the world puts out tens of thousands of books about marriage, it still doesn’t know what marriage should and
shouldn’t be.

God created marriage. It’s His institution. He’s the author of it:

  • He knows what marriage should and shouldn’t look like.

· He knows what the roles of husbands and wives should and shouldn’t be.

· He knows what’s necessary to have wonderful, loving, joyful marriages.

Please listen to this quote from self-proclaimed feminist Cath Elliot as she discusses the feminist movement and criticizes biblical womanhood:

“Unfortunately, as in any movement for social change, there are those who remain resistant to their own [freedom]: a tiny minority of women who have
been so indoctrinated by religious conditioning that they continue to see themselves as men’s subordinates. These women defer to their men in
everything. In October last year about 6,000 of these self-hating collaborators flocked to Chicago to take part in the True Woman Conference. Biblical
womanhood does exactly what it says it does: it sends women back to the dark ages. At the Conference, for example, the Christian sisters launched their
new manifesto, inspiringly titled The True Woman Manifesto where they resolved to cultivate “such virtues as purity, modesty, submission, meekness, and
love”

(Now aren’t these terrible virtues!)

and where they affirmed their calling as women “to encourage men as they seek to express godly masculinity, and to honor and support God-ordained male
leadership in the home and in the church”. It’s encouraging to see that only 3,000 women have signed this terrible charter, but it’s also depressing to
think that 3,000 women think so little of themselves and their daughters that they’re prepared to endorse such illiberal, anti-woman nonsense.”

Obviously Cath Elliot doesn’t like submission or male headship. She clearly thinks it enslaves women and ruins their lives…and this is the world’s
perspective on God’s calling for wives.

Now I want to share a quote w/ you about submission from Jay Adams; I’ve quoted him a number of times before in sermons, but this time I want to tell you
who he is…

He’s the man behind Nouthetic Counseling, which holds that counseling should be based solely upon the Bible and focused on Christ. Basically it encourages
people to see the answers to life’s problems in God’s Word. It’s the training a number of us attended some months back in Portland and it’s the training we
sent Pastor Doug and Jessica to a few weeks ago at John MacArthur’s church.

Now this is what Jay Adams said about submission:

“Freedom in God’s world never comes apart from structure. When one is free to live as God intended, he is truly free indeed. We hear much about women’s
liberation today. I want women to be liberated and free, and here is the path of genuine liberation for a woman: submission.

(Now please listen to why he says submission provides women w/ freedom…) When women do what God intended a woman to do, when women are what God intended a woman to be, that is when women will be most free.”

His point – which I love and is equally true for husbands – is true freedom is experienced when we live our lives the way God instructed us to live them:

· True freedom is experienced when we seek to see God’s Word fulfilled in our lives.

· True freedom comes when we strive to be the husbands and wives and children God has commanded us to be.

· When we seek to be the husbands, wives and children – not like the world says husbands, wives and children should be, but the husbands, wives and
children God’s Word says we should be – we can experience true freedom.

· When we apply God’s Word to our lives, this is how we experience true freedom. This is why in John 8:32 Jesus said, You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

This is why I’m convinced there’s more wisdom found in the verses we’ve been looking at in Eph 5 than in all the world’s marriage books put together. This
is why I’m convinced we don’t need programs or books like 15 Steps to a Happy Marriage or counsel from Dr. Phil or Oprah or the newest psychologist telling
us what we should do in our marriages. What we need to do is embrace what God’s Word says. We need to allow God’s Word to shape us, shape our beliefs and
shape our marriages.

It’s important to remind ourselves of these truths b/c sometimes – and I would even say hopefully often – we encounter verses in God’s Word that challenge
us, challenge our beliefs, challenge our preconceived notions, challenge the way we’ve been doing things, challenge the way we think, and the only way
we’re going to have the confidence to submit to Scripture is if we have confidence that God knows what’s best. Otherwise, we’ll start believing the world’s
thoughts and values…we’ll start being shaped and influenced by the world instead of being shaped and influenced by Scripture.

The key verse to this lesson is: Rom 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and
perfect will of God.

This verse identifies the world as the conforming influence in our lives. We’re told not to let it conform us. Instead we’re told to have our minds
transformed.

The way this verse is worded is interesting, b/c you would expect it to use the same word twice. You would expect it to say, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be conformed by the renewing of your mind…” or you’d expect it to says, “Do not be transformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Instead it says, “ Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

The reason it’s worded this way is very important. The Greek word for conformed means, “ to conform one’s self – one’s mind and character – to another’s pattern…fashion one’s self according to.” Basically it means to follow the world,
pattern ourselves after it and fashion ourselves to it.

The
Greek word for transformed is metamorphoō; (pr: met-uh-mar-fah-oh). It’s where we get our word metamorphosis. It’s only used 4 times in Scripture, twice in the transfiguration referring to how Jesus was changed, and it actually means to change – or transform – into something different.

This happens as we read God’s Word and surrender ourselves to it. But transforming our minds can be difficult and this is why…this is what
happens to all of us to some extent when we read God’s Word…

We say, “I’m going to do what God’s Word says. I’m going to obey Scripture. I want my mind transformed.” But then we encounter some verses…

  • Our flesh starts to flare up.
  • We want to start making excuses.
  • We want to start justifying our disobedience.
  • We want to find some reason it doesn’t apply to us.

When we’re challenged by God’s Word:

· We can be stubborn, rebellious, prideful and unteachable to what God says…and we’ve all met people like this, and we’ve all been people like this at
different times to some extent or another.

· Or we can be humble, teachable and submissive to what God says. When God’s Word challenges what you think about marriage – when it challenges you as a
husband a wife or a child – do your best to surrender yourself to its teaching.

We have to resist our flesh. We have to crucify it. We have to deny it. We have to decide to obey God’s Word even when it’s hard and even when it doesn’t
make sense. That’s part of walking by faith…

· We generally think walking by faith means stepping out to make some decision like going to a third world country as a missionary, or taking on some
ministry that’s terrifying to us.

· But the way walking by faith is played out way more frequently in our lives is when we look at God’s Word and say, “I don’t want to do this. This doesn’t make sense. But I’m going to trust God and do this anyway.” That’s what it means to walk by faith!

I have seen this happen too many times: I’ve read the Bible w/ people. They’ve seen what it says in black-and-white. But they say, “This won’t work. I can’t do this. Not in my situation:

  • Not w/ my husband.
  • Not w/ my wife.
  • Not w/ my kids.
  • God’s Word doesn’t apply to my situation.

When we treat God’s Word like this we’re destined for problems. We need to trust that God knows what’s best. There might be some verses that are hard to
accept; you might disagree w/ them or wonder why God’s saying what He’s saying, but unless you think you’re smarter than God make the decision to obey what
He says and not what the world says.

Make the decision to let the Bible shape – or transform – your view of marriage and family:

· Decide that you don’t want to listen to what the world says about marriage.

· Decide that you want to detoxify yourself of the world’s interpretation of marriage.

· Decide that you want to be filled w/ Scripture’s view of marriage.

· Decide that you want to be shaped by Scripture; that you want to be a husband or wife as husbands and wives are described in Scripture.

As a reminder:

· If you’re a husband this means striving to be to your wife what Christ is to the church: loving, shepherding, cherishing, spiritually strong,
compassionate.

· If you’re a wife, you’re going to try to be to your husband what the church should be to Christ: submissive, respectful, and honoring.

· If you’re a child that means obedient and honoring toward your parents.

—-

And before we conclude this lesson, let me give you two final encouragements…

First, we don’t need to apologize for what the Bible says about marriage anymore than we need to apologize for anything the Bible says. Pastor Doug had a
quote on his Facebook a few weeks back that said,

Christians should not be shy, reserved, quiet, silent, or confusing where the Bible is crystal clear. We do not have to “apologize” for the authority
of God’s Word.”

Submission is one of those commands Christians almost feel like they need to apologize for, but it’s perfectly spelled out in Scripture. We don’t need to
shrink back from what the Bible says about marriage or any topics for that matter. As Christians we have a responsibility to tell the world what the Bible
says; it’s one of our highest callings in this life.

Second, I want to encourage you to seek to rejoice and celebrate God’s plan for marriage. God didn’t give us this plan to make us miserable. God gave us
this plan b/c it’s best and it will lead to healthy, joyful, sanctifying marriages.

If your marriage hasn’t looked like God’s Word describes, I want to encourage you to embrace it, and rejoice in it and enjoy it. We embrace God’s plan for
marriage by faith believing God knows what’s best. Then we experience the blessings of walking in that obedience.

—-

Now w/ all that said, we spent two weeks discussing submission, and I’d like to look at a few words in verse 22 in more detail…and it’s the words as to the Lord.

22
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Let me remind you of a few things from this wonderful marriage passage…

It’s describing Christ’s relationship w/ the church, and it’s describing the relationship the church should have w/ Christ:

  • It’s describing Christ’s love for His Bride, the church.

· It’s describing the submission Christ’s bride, the church, should show Him.

Since this passage is also a picture of the marriage relationship, it’s saying husbands should love their wives like Christ loved the church, and it’s
saying wives should submit to their husbands like the church should submit to Christ.

That’s why you see the words as to the Lord. The idea is just like the church is commanded to submit to the Lord, wives
are commanded to submit to their husbands in the same way.

But the words as to the Lord also mean something else, and that brings us to Lesson 2…

LESSON 2: SUBMITTING TO YOUR HUSBAND MEANS SUBMITTING TO THE LORD.

Most of the times the New Testament mentions submission, it encourages women to see their submission to their husbands as something they’re doing for the
Lord, or you could say something they’re doing out of submission to the Lord:

  • Eph 5:22
    Wives, submit to your own husbands, AS TO THE LORD.
  • Col 3:18
    Wives, submit to your own husbands, AS IS FITTING IN THE LORD.

  • 1 Pet 3:1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands….5 For in this manner, in former times, THE HOLY WOMEN WHO
    TRUSTED IN GOD.

    The idea is women who submit to their husbands trust God and women who don’t submit to their husbands don’t trust God. A wife’s submission reflects her
    trust in God.

The simple point is this: when a wife submits to her husband, she’s submitting to the Lord, and when a wife is unsubmissive to her husband, she’s
unsubmissive to the Lord.

Richard and Sharon Phillips said,

“A wife submits voluntarily, not merely as demanded and enforced by the man. It is a gift that a woman offers to the man she has vowed to love in
obedience to God who first loved her. For this reason, it is imperative that a woman’s submission be “as to the Lord,” that is, flowing from the
submissive obedience she already yields to Jesus Christ.”

Wives should view their submission to their husbands as they view their submission to Christ:

· When wives submit to their husbands it’s as if they’re submitting to Christ. The Amplified says: Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands AS [A SERVICE] TO THE LORD.

· When wives submit to their husbands they should recognize they’re ultimately doing it unto the Lord.

· And when wives don’t submit to their husbands they should recognize they’re ultimately not submitting to the Lord.

R.C. Sproul said,

“Wives, [submission] is a service and an act of worship that the woman gives to the Lord Himself. It is the Lord’s will that the wife be submissive to
her husband, and if she want to honor Christ, then one of the concrete ways she does this is by being in submission to her husband. If a woman is
contentious and refuses to follow the leadership of her husband, she is in rebellion, not simply against her husband, but against Christ.”

Ladies, I know this might sound discouraging, but it should really be a great encouragement and here’s why:

· There will be times you don’t want to submit to your husband…

  • There will be times submitting to your husband is difficult…

· There will be times you don’t think your husband deserves your submission…

· There will be times you’re upset about the way your husband has been treating you…

And the last thing you’re going to want to do is submit to him, and in those moments you can tell yourself, “I’m submitting to the Lord.” Instead
of looking at submission like something you’re doing for your husband, remember the words of Eph 5:22 – specifically remember the words “ as to the Lord” – and encourage yourself that your submission is ultimately not something you’re doing for your imperfect husband, it’s
something you’re ultimately doing for your perfect Lord.

Wayne Mack said,

“The Lord commands the wife to be submissive. Refusal to submit to the husband is therefore rebellion against God Himself. Submission to the husband is
a test of a wife’s love for God as well as a test of love for her husband. The wife then must look upon her submission to her husband as an act of
obedience to Christ and not merely to her husband.”

R.C. Sproul said,

“To submit to anyone less than Christ is difficult in marriage. Yet it is Christ who commands women to be submissive to their sinful, fallible
husbands. In this sense Christ is the silent partner in marriage. It is hard for a wife to submit when she disagrees with her husband. But when she
knows her submission is an act of obedience to Christ and that it honors Christ, it is much less difficult.”

Ladies, let me conclude this lesson by saying this…

I am not going to stand here and try to convince you that your husband is worthy of your submission. The fact is he isn’t – we aren’t – b/c we’re sinners.
But guess who is worthy of your submission? Christ is, and He commands you to submit to your husband:

—-

Now as we move on from this lesson, hopefully you’ve seen a principle develop, and the principle is this: the way a wife submits to her husband is really a
reflection of the way she submits to Christ. This reveals something about marriage that doesn’t just apply to wives, but applies to husbands too and it
brings us to our next lesson…

LESSON 3: (PART I) THE WAY WE TREAT OUR SPOUSES IS A REFLECTION OF OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH CHRIST…

Our relationships w/ our spouses say a lot about our relationships w/ Christ. You could say our relationships w/ our spouses are reflections of our
relationships w/ Christ…

Let’s deal w/ husbands first…

· Husbands you don’t love and cherish your wives…

o b/c they’re perfect…

o or b/c they deserve it…

o or b/c they always submit to you…

o or b/c they always respect you…

o or b/c they always treat you the way you want to be treated…

o or b/c they’re so lovable…

o you love your wife b/c you love Christ.

· The way husbands love and cherish their wives – or don’t love and cherish their wives – is not a reflection of their wives, it’s a reflection of the
husband’s relationship w/ Christ.

  • If a man says, “I’m not going to love and cherish my wife b/c she…” he’s not making his wife look bad, he’s making himself look bad. He’s
    saying something about his relationship w/ his wife, but more importantly he’s saying something about his relationship w/ Christ.

· If you’re a husband and you don’t love and cherish your wife, it’s b/c of your weak relationship w/ Christ. Eph 5:25 says husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church. We’re commanded to do that and when we don’t, it’s b/c we’re choosing to
disobey Christ.

Similarly for wives…

· Wives, you don’t submit to your husbands…

o b/c they’re perfect…

o or b/c they deserve it…

o or b/c you think they’ll make the right decisions…

o or b/c they always love you the way you want to be loved…

o you submit to your husbands b/c you want to submit to Christ.

  • If a wife says, “I’m not going to submit to my husband b/c he…” she isn’t making her husband look bad, she’s making herself look bad. She’s
    saying something about her relationship w/ her husband, but more importantly she’s saying something about her relationship w/ Christ.

· If you’re a wife and you don’t submit to your husband and respect him, it’s b/c of your weak relationship w/ Christ.

Let me briefly summarize this…

The way husbands love and cherish their wives – or don’t love and cherish their wives – and the way wives respect and submit to their husbands – or don’t
respect and submit to their husbands – is not so much a reflection of their spouses, it’s a reflection of their relationships w/ Christ.

—-

Now w/ that said…

Let me tell you a terrible lie some people believe, and the lie is this: “I can be a good Christian and a bad spouse.” That is a lie. You can’t be
a good Christian and a bad spouse, and here’s why:

· Your Christianity – or your relationship w/ Christ – is directly related to your relationship w/ your spouse.

· Your relationship w/ your spouse – is an outpouring of your relationship w/ Christ; it’s a byproduct of your relationship w/ Christ.

· The way you treat your spouse is a reflection of your relationship w/ Christ.

· You treat your spouse the way you do B/C OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP W/ CHRIST.

· If you love Christ, you will treat your spouse well b/c you know that’s what pleases Him.

Here’s a mistake we make as Christians sometimes…

We try to compartmentalize our lives. We say…

  • I’m a Christian first.
  • I’m a husband or a wife second.
  • I’m a parent third.
  • Fourth, I’m an employee or a student or – whatever occupation or activity consumes most of our time.

Instead we should see ourselves like this:

  • We’re Christian husbands or we’re Christian wives.
  • We’re Christian parents.
  • We’re Christian children.
  • We’re Christian employees.
  • We’re Christian students.

If you see yourself as a Christian first and a spouse second, you can see yourself as a good Christian, even if you’re a bad spouse.

But the truth is we can’t separate our Christianity – we can’t separate our relationships w/ Christ –from any of these other relationships or roles, b/c
our relationships w/ Christ play out in these other relationships or roles. Our relationships w/ Christ influence all these other relationships or roles:

  • In Matt 7:16 Jesus said, “ You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?”
  • Jam 3:11-12

    Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?
    Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

The point of these verses is our Christianity is going to be played out – or revealed – in the way we live our lives.

Now since our relationships w/ our spouses are our most important relationships on this side of heaven – 2nd to our relationships w/ Christ –
what we are or aren’t like as spouses reflect what we are or aren’t like as Christians.

Let me say it like this:

· There’s no such thing as a mature, godly, spiritually strong man…who DOESN’T love his wife.

· And there’s no such thing as a mature, godly, spiritually strong woman…who DOESN’T submit to her husband.

· If you’re a husband you can’t love Christ w/o loving your wife.

· If you’re a wife, you can’t submit to Christ w/o submitting to your husband.

LESSON 3: (PART I) THE WAY WE TREAT OUR SPOUSES IS A REFLECTION OF OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH CHRIST (PART II) WHICH IS WHY MARRIAGE “PROBLEMS” ARE REALLY
“SYMPTOMS.”

We often think we have marriage problems, but what we really have are problems in our relationships w/ Christ, and those problems manifest themselves in
our marriages. The “problems” in our marriages, are really just symptoms of problems in our relationships w/ Christ.

This is why when I perform marriage counseling I almost always move toward the couple’s relationship w/ Christ.

I know I’ll confuse people in counseling sometimes b/c we’ll discuss the issues they’re having, and I’ll say:

  • What does your time in the Word look like?
  • What does your prayer life look like?
  • What does your involvement and faithfulness to the church look like?
  • What does your fellowship look like?
  • What does your relationship w/ other believers look like?

I’ll ask these questions and people will look at me like I’m not listening or like I didn’t understand what they were talking about:

  • A wife will say, “I just told you my husband yells at me, why are you talking to him about his time in the Word?” I’m talking to him about his
    time in the Word b/c as he reads God’s Word – as he grows in his relationship w/ Christ:

o He’ll become convicted and change.

o He’ll become a more patient and loving man.

o But I don’t have the power to change people’s hearts: that can only happen through people’s relationships w/ Christ.

  • A husband will say, “I just told you my wife is completely disrespectful, why are you talking to us about joining a home fellowship?”

o I mention joining a home fellowship, b/c when you’re part of a home fellowship there’s accountability, vulnerability, transparency…you can learn from and
be challenged by others.

o But when you’re not involved in the body of Christ:

§ You’re not going to receive the encouragement and exhortation God wants you to have.

§ You’re going to feel alone, like you’re the only ones having problems.

o We’re made to have fellowship and when we don’t it manifests itself in other areas, including our marriages and families.

Let me tell you two situations I have seen more times than I can count:

· Here’s the first situation: a couple is having issues in their marriage or family:

o They decide to submit themselves to the Lord…

o They get more involved in the body of Christ…

o They practice spiritual disciplines like reading the Bible and prayer…

o And their marriage and family issues improve.

· Here’s the second situation: a couple is plugged in to the church…

o They’re doing well spiritually…

o Their family is doing well…

o But for whatever reason they start getting their priorities out of order…

§ They get distracted by the world or any number of other things that pull them away from the Lord…

§ They start wavering in their church attendance and the spiritual disciplines…

§ They fall out of fellowship…

§ And as a result their marriage or family starts suffering.

But here’s the important point: the marriage and family “problems” are really just “symptoms” – or they’re the consequences – of
compromising in their relationships w/ Christ.

If you want to have a strong, healthy marriage and family, have a strong, healthy relationship w/ Christ.

—-

I want to give you an illustration that I hope you can remember and consider when you’re tempted to mistreat your spouse…

Depending on your position or profession in life, there are often various ways to see how you’re doing:

  • If you’re a student, your grades indicate how you’re doing.

· When I taught elementary school, the way students performed on their standardized tests were generally considered indications of how teachers were doing.

· In athletics, the way the team performs is an indication of how the coach is doing.

· If you’re a supervisor, the performance of those you supervise is considered a reflection of how you’re doing.

In the Christian life – while it’s definitely not the only way to evaluate how we’re doing – it’s hard to imagine that there are many better indicators of
how we’re doing as Christians than how we treat our spouses.

So remember when you’re frustrated or angry w/ your spouse:

· Your ability to die to self and love your wife if you’re a husband…

· Your ability to submit to your husband and respect him if you’re a wife…

Is like a report card – it shows your Christianity – it reflects your heart for Christ.

Now before we conclude this lesson – b/c it’s definitely a lesson that convicts me and perhaps does the same to you – I want to ask you to look back to the
top of your inserts so I can remind you of something…

LESSON 1: (PART III) TRUST THE HOLY SPIRIT TO WORK (PART IV) WITH YOU.

We need to remember that if the Lord wants us to be the husbands and wives that are described in His Word, He’s going to equip us to do that:

· If we humble ourselves…

· If we acknowledge our shortcomings and failures…

· If we look to the Lord and keep our eyes focused on Him instead of ourselves…

He will help us be the husbands and wives He wants us to be: we don’t have to do this alone.

Let me remind you of this verse: Col 1:29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. Yes we labor, but what an encouragement
that while we’re laboring to be the husbands and wives God wants us to be, He’s working mightily in us.

In Eph 1:18-20 Paul said, “

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be opened to see the incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength
God exerted when He raised Christ from the dead.”

In other words, Paul prayed that we would know that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is at work in our lives.

If you’re a born again believer, 2 Pet 1:3 says [God’s] divine power has given [you] all things that pertain to life and godliness…and that includes what God wants for us in our
marriages.

If you’re not a believer this power isn’t available to you. You’re living this life alone and apart from the help the Lord would
provide.

Worse than that though you’re an unforgiven person who’s rejected the sacrifice Jesus made for your sins. If you’ve never surrendered your life to Christ,
Pastor Doug and I will be up front after service and we’d love the opportunity to pray w/ you and seek to see you discipled.

We’ll also be up front to pray w/ any individuals – or couples – who would like prayer. We count it a privilege to have that opportunity.

LET’S REVIEW THESE LESSONS:

LESSON 1: AS WE BEGIN, MAKE THE DECISION TO: PART VII: OBEY THE BIBLE AND NOT THE WORLD.

LESSON 2: SUBMITTING TO YOUR HUSBAND MEANS SUBMITTING TO THE LORD.

LESSON 3: (PART I) THE WAY WE TREAT OUR SPOUSES IS A REFLECTION OF OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH CHRIST (PART II) WHICH IS WHY MARRIAGE “PROBLEMS” ARE REALLY
“SYMPTOMS.”

Author: Scott LaPierre