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Equal Yet Different–Partners
Ephesians 4:30 and Ephesians 5:22 to 33
Bill had not been feeling too well of late, so he made an appointment with his physician. On the appointed day, he and his wife drove to the clinic. Later that afternoon, after a battery of tests and examinations, their doctor said, “Bill, I’d like to talk with your wife while you get dressed. We’ll wait for you in my study.”
His wife sat on a comfortable chair while the doctor explained, “Mary, your husband has a rare and potentially terminal disease. He is suffering from a nervous, potentially fatal stress related disorder. You will need to create a totally stress-free environment for your husband. Mary, I know you have a career, but you must quit your job and become a stay-at-home wife. You’ll have to get up a half-hour early each morning, shower, and put on a fresh dress, fix your hair and makeup. Prepare a nutritious breakfast for your husband with emphasis on fresh fruits and whole grains, and send your husband off to work with a big hug and kiss.
“As soon as he leaves the house, put on your work clothes and clean and scrub the house from top to bottom. Remove any possible allergic or pathogenic source of stress. About an hour before lunch, shower and get ready for your husband to come home for lunch. Prepare him a light, high-protein lunch with emphasis on fresh fruit and salad. Send him off to work with another kiss and spend your afternoon thoroughly preparing your house for his homecoming in the afternoon.
“Meet him at the door freshly showered and dressed, give him a big kiss and lead him to his favorite chair. Give him a refreshing drink, the newspaper, and the TV remote. Tell him to relax while you finish preparing his meal. Make sure his dinner includes all of his favorite dishes. After dinner, encourage him to relax while you tidy up the kitchen and lay out his pajamas and draw his bath. Be attentive to his every need during the evening, and of course be just as romantic as you possibly can.”
On the ride home, Bill asked, “What did the doctor tell you?” Mary was quiet for a moment, then she said, “He said you’re going to die.” Maybe that’s a little unfair to you wives, but men are just as unfair. One man wrote these words.
“What is that ideal wife that every man expects? Always beautiful and cheerful. Could have married movie stars, but wanted only you. Hair that never needs curlers or beauty shops. Beauty that won’t run in a rainstorm. Never sick–just allergic to jewelry and fur coats. Insists moving furniture by herself is good for her figure.
“Expert in cooking, cleaning house, fixing the car or TV, painting the house, and keeping quiet. Favorite hobbies–mowing the lawn and shoveling snow. She hates charge cards. Her favorite expression–‘What can I do for you, dear?’ Thinks you have Einstein’s brains, but look like Mr. America. Wishes you would go out with the boys so she could get some sewing done. Loves you because you are so sexy.
“But what does he actually get? She speaks 140-words-a-minute with gusts up to 180. She once was a model for a totem pole. A light eater–as soon as it gets light, she starts eating. Where there’s smoke, there she is–cooking. She lets you know you only have two faults–everything you say and everything you do. No matter what she does with it, her hair looks like an explosion in a steel wool factory. If you get lost, open your wallet–she’ll find you.”
Ephesians 1 to 3 talks about your position, and Ephesians 4 to 6 addresses your practice–your walk. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit means to function in your roles. This is addressed in Ephesians 5:22 to 33—look at it. There are two main emphases–the exhortation to submit and the command to love. Men are to love and women are to submit.
It sounds unfair, doesn’t it? We like the word love, and we chafe over the word submit. But once you know what God is asking of both of you to make this marriage work, you won’t think it unfair at all. Go to the fair and see the two-headed cow, or as I saw, the two-headed snake–and you at once say, “That’s not right.”
It’s the same in a marriage. A two-headed marriage is freaky. As you travel by plane, it’s a good thing there is a pilot and a co-pilot–the last thing you need is for both of them to fight over the controls—“I’ll land it” . . . “No, I’ll land it.” In order for a marriage to work, the husband and wife must pursue functioning in their role. Both husband and wife have to die to self and function the way God designed.
For Jean and I, it is not something we talk much about–we just do it and it works. But in order to get there, you have to know what it is that God designed for you. So let’s look at Ephesians 5:22, and look at men first. Men love, women submit–everything else in the text explains those two commands.
#1 Love means husbands die to self by SACRIFICING themselves, providing security
Paul describes how this works out several ways.
First Men love by treating their wives as the most IMPORTANT person on the planet
Is she your pre-occupation? Your delight? Your treasure? Do you think about her and do everything with her in mind? Husbands, are you her number one fan? Not like the bachelor who put this ad in the paper. “Idaho bachelor wants wife. Must be interested in farming and own tractor. Please enclose picture . . . of tractor.”
Partnership occurs when men are willing to live out an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person. Remember what Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” You see, there are three kinds of love–there’s “if” love, “because” love, and “anyhow” love.
“If” love is conditional love–“I’ll love you if . . . ”
“Because” love is give and take love–“I love you because . . . (you do things and give me things), but . . . ”
“Anyhow” love is unconditional–“I love you anyhow, no matter what . . . ”
Want your marriage to change quickly and radically? Do you want a hot marriage–on fire? Simply do three sacrificial acts for each other every day (not taking out the trash, but dying to self and vacuuming and more).
What’s the measure of your love for your spouse? How much are you willing to sacrifice? Will you inconvenience yourself? Will you prefer your spouse’s needs over your own? Here is a test. When you are watching your team in the Super Bowl and your wife needs to talk to you, will you talk to her with the TV off and the remote out of your hand? I realize this test is unfair, because no godly woman would ever interrupt her man watching his team in the playoffs.
Do you love your spouse with anyhow love? Will you believe the best about them regardless? How far does the tape measure stretch in your life when it comes to sacrifice? Is fast food okay when she’s had a hard day? Do you clean up the sink after you’ve shaved? Are you willing to completely provide for your family so your wife can work at home? Have you ever planned a romantic getaway when things have been truly tense in your lives? Do you fix the things that need repairing around the house?
Men, when is the last time you got a sitter, made a reservation at a restaurant and just listened to her? That is not merely for courtship, it’s for marriage. When was the last time you intentionally planned something to show your wife you love her? How much personal sacrifice is involved when you express your love? The greater the sacrifice, the greater the love.
Question Today ask her, “Honey, in your heart, do you believe that next to Christ, you are the most important person to me?”
Second Men love by INITIATING God’s will into every aspect of their lives
Ephesians 5:26, “That He might sanctify her, having cleansed her with the washing of the water of the word.” In the New Testament, “sanctify” means set apart for God’s special use. Do you think of your spouse as God’s special property on loan to you? Men, God designed for you to set your wife apart as your most important ministry. Your target is for her to grow more like Christ.
You do that by washing her with the Word of God. That means you initiate bringing up or living what God thinks in every issue, every problem, every struggle, every crisis and every blessing. You initiate God’s will by saying things like, “Honey, the Lord wants us to trust Him with this crisis–let’s pray.” Or, “Dear, God wants us to use our money as wise stewards, so let’s make sure we live by a workable budget and know how we are spending our money. How about I set up a budget, then let’s talk about how to make it work for us.”
“Sweetie, I think the Lord wants us to love those rotten people.” How about, “Sugar, let me take a more active role in disciplining and spending time with Tommy right now–he really needs some fatherly attention.” Or maybe, “Baby, how about I watch the kids today so you can have some time with the Lord or with your friends.”
“Toots, we are at an impasse, so I want to apologize first for my attitude and my words. I know for a fact that I am responsible to get us back on track here, and also know I contributed to this difficulty between us.” Sanctification means being as concerned for your wife’s spiritual growth as you are for your own. It means treasuring and encouraging the relationship she has with the Lord.
Here is the main breakdown in Christian marriage–it is Christian men who do not pursue the Lord themselves and therefore cannot spiritually lead their wives nor kids. Men, if you’re not applying the Word and seeking answers in prayer, you’ve nothing to offer your wives. There’s no shortcut.
Some of your wives have been praying for you to take the lead. They’ve been giving gentle reminders–that entire set of MacArthur commentaries for your birthday. That CD set of Max McClain reading the New Testament for Christmas–and you missed the hint, didn’t you? For most marriages, the issue is not a wife’s unwillingness, but a husband’s neglect of his own walk with God, and ultimately it is because of lack of desire.
Face reality, men–you used to sacrifice all for your grades, to make the team, to win that gal. Now you still will give hours to make that sale, get that promotion, and achieve the bonus. You work on your golf swing, maintain your hobby, and watch your favorite show. Isn’t Jesus Christ more important than all those? Get serious about growing–applying the Word of God, praying enough to experience answers to prayer, in seeking to be a witness to the lost around you, worshiping God with a passionate heart, growing deep in theology and knowing God intimately.
A first step for some of you is to apologize to your wife for neglecting your heart before the Lord and not leading your family spiritually. But don’t say it unless you plan to change. It’ll probably require accountability, an achievable plan, a change of schedule you will fight to maintain, and the kind of endurance that gets up after you fall and fail repeatedly.
Question Ask her, “Dear, are you convinced that I want God’s will over everything in our lives?”
Third Men love by cultivating an environment of GROWTH and SAFETY
Ephesians 5:28 to 30, “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself, for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church.” Nourish can be translated “to make grow” or “to feed.” Cherish can be translated “to tenderly care for and protect”.
What does this remind you of? Gardening! None of us can make a plant grow, but we can create an environment for the plant to grow in. We cultivate the soil, plant the seed, water, fertilize, check for bugs and pull weeds. Husbands are to sacrifice to make your home an environment that encourages growth in Christ and protection. Nurturing and cherishing means being as concerned for your mate’s physical and emotional well-being as you are for your own. Are you husbands?
One of the problems with husbands is their goal orientation. On vacation, men have a goal to reach. That’s why they start with the gas tank full and everyone’s bladder empty, and will drive until the tank is empty and everyone’s bladder is full. But God help the child whose bladder is full before the gas tank is empty. Men are generally goal-oriented.
When courting, men work hard to woo their future wives. They give focused attention until the wedding. After the wedding, a subtle transition occurs. They got their goal, they won their wife. Now they have a new goal–their career. Within six months there is less courting. When the kids come, it can disappear.
Wives say, “He’s changed. Before we were married we talked till midnight-now he grunts, rolls over and snores. All he wants is food, sex and the channel changer. The fact is, he got his goal–marriage, kids, and now he’s moving on. But godly men, to cherish is focused attention–it’s adoring continually. You don’t move on.
You can see this in couples where one spouse will do things that bring refreshment to the other spouse, like buying an ice cream cone, arranging a night away from the kids or trying to help relieve the pressure of work. Cherishing your mate also includes things like planning for the future–whether it’s a vacation, life insurance or a will. It could mean providing some home protection or not allowing her to be alone in a dangerous place.
Nourishing your spouse means letting their strengths shine while balancing their weaknesses. Enjoying the ways your spouse is different from you. Encouraging your spouse to minister in the area of his or her giftedness. Remember when you were courting and you’d get excited every time you discovered something new about them? Enthusiasm about the way God made your spouse promotes partnership.
I love tomato soup–and I enjoy it what I like to call, “the right way”. Tomato soup is to be served plain with crackers, but with nothing in it. If served with a sandwich, it should be grilled cheese. Jean, on the other hand, corrupts her soup by putting vegetables in it. And she’ll eat it with any kind of sandwich—disgusting. But that is the thrill of discovery–of difference. It’s sick, but thrilling.
Jean loves word games–I still don’t know how to spell. Jean loves jigsaw puzzles. Whoever invented those had serious issues. Yet I have to confess, I have never to this day met anyone who is more of a selfless servant and helper than my bride. Marriage does not have to be a three-ring circus–you know, it starts with the engagement ring, then the wedding ring, and ends up with the suffering.
Husbands lead by dying to self through sacrificing themselves in everyday ways, always introducing God’s Word through your actions and words, and creating an environment of growth and safety in their home.
Question Ask your wife, “Are you convinced I want you to grow and serve? I always desire to protect you from all harm?”
How are wives supposed to respond? What’s their job?
#2 Love means wives die to self by SUBMITTING themselves, providing RESPECT
This is like the man who asked the lady librarian, “Can you tell me where I can find the book, Man: Master of Women?” She said, “Oh yes, fiction counter on the left.”
What is the greatest relationship you have ever known? Your dad and mom? Grandpa and grandma? The answer we should say is this–the greatest, best, purest, most wonderful relationship you have ever known is the Trinity. One of the great secrets of the Christian life is that the answers to all of life’s questions are found in the character of God.
When we understand who He is, then we can better understand who we are, since we are made in His image. We only understand marriage when we understand the divine relationship between the three persons of the Godhead. It is the Trinity that gives us the model for husbands and wives and all other relationships.
Second Corinthians 13:14 says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” The Bible teaches there is only one God we love, yet He is manifested in three persons/personalities. And what is amazing is, within that unity and equality there are different functions.
First John 4:10 says the Father sent the Son. John 14:26 says the Father sends the Holy Spirit. John 15:26 says the Son and the Father send the Spirit. In John 17, the prayer of Jesus demonstrates the submission of Jesus the Son to God the Father. So in the Trinity there is a plurality, a perfect unity, a perfect oneness, yet there is authority and submission.
All three persons of the Trinity are equal–all three are God, they share the same essence, and yet there is submission and authority. Not inferiority, not dominance, not dictatorship, but there is authority and submission. And it is the very design of the Trinity which God uses to teach us how marriage is to work.
This is the truth of 1 Corinthians 11:3. As God is about to discuss the role of women, He makes this statement about the Trinity as the reason why there are different roles in marriage. “I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman and God is the head of Christ.”
God is the head of Christ, authority and submission–yet Christ is equal to God. The man is the head of a woman, authority and submission–yet man and woman are equal before God. The principle of authority and submission in marriage is not an outdated cultural principle. Authority and submission are qualities found in the very person and character of the unchanging God of the universe.
The submission of a woman in a marriage to her own husband is not something men dreamed up. The practice of submission has been around as long as God has existed–an eternity. The role of men and women is based upon the person and function of God. We are imitating God, the Trinity, the first, best and greatest relationship. Submission is a godly quality, a God-like attribute–a way in which we bring glory to God.
What’s submission mean? To submit literally means to rank oneself under another’s authority. True submission to authority is submitting to God as the author of all authority, and it is demonstrated by following the lead of another. It is a military term, meaning to follow your authority. So how does a woman submit in marriage?
First Wives submit by being their husband’s number one FAN
The submission of a wife is to her own husband only. The word submit is used a total of 39 times in the New Testament, and five of those times it is directed at wives to submit to their own husbands, not all women to all men. Notice what God says each time He calls wives to submit:
Ephesians 5:22 says, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
Colossians 3:18 says, “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
I Peter 3:1 says, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands.”
I Peter 3:5 says, “For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands.” And . . .
Titus 2:5 says, “To be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.”
Five times in the New Testament women are exhorted and commanded to submit themselves in such a way as to subordinate themselves under their own husband’s authority. She does not submit to every man–only to her own spouse. Your own husband–this is your man, this is your primary relationship. We ride husbands to not forget that their wives are more important than their career, ministry, or hobby.
We also need to remind you wives–your husband is more important than your house, than all your kids, your ministry and your job. It is your own husband–your one and only. There is a hint of possession and belonging in that phrase “your own husband”. Being his greatest fan means you listen to him over your dad or mom, you respect his judgments, you delight to meet his needs.
It means you set aside a brownie for him when you make them for the kids. You esteem him for his provision, his hard work, his protection and his sacrifices. You encourage him and free him up as he serves Christ. He is your very own husband.
Question Ask him, “Do you believe I am your number one fan, that for me there is no one else I delight in more?”
Second Wives submit by treating their husband like they would treat Christ–giving their BEST
In Ephesians 5:22 it says, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, [circle this] as to the Lord.” Literally this says to wives, “Treat your husband as if he were the Lord Jesus Christ.” Wow! You say, “He’s not and I can’t.” That’s right, but Jesus can through you. Maybe you can’t stomach submission to your husband, but as a Christian, you can submit to Christ–and this is what Christ asks of you.
And Christ empowers you through His Spirit to get it done. In your own strength, it’s impossible–but God can through you. Jesus says, “You submit to Me as you submit to your husband. Submit to him as if you were submitting to Me!” Because life is busy, we tend to give our spouse that which is left over–whatever time, energy, finances, focus, attention we have that is left over. But Jesus says, “After Christ, give Him your best, your most, your heart, and your attention.”
When I finally got ahold of this, as a pastor, I stopped taking Monday as my day off. My brain was oatmeal on Mondays, my body was worn out on Monday, and that was the day I could spend time with Jean–she was getting the leftovers, the worst of me, not the best. Listen ladies, your children will only see Christ properly when they see you give your best to your husband.
Next to Christ, there is no relationship more important than your spouse–and your focus, time, energy all communicate whether your marriage is important or a leftover. You’ve got to spend time together. Once a couple was asked the secret of their long marriage. One of them answered and said, “We take time to go to a restaurant twice a week–have a little candlelight dinner, soft music and a slow walk home. She goes on Tuesday and I go on Friday. No–plan to be together.
Question Ask him, “Husband, do you believe I give you my best, or do you merely receive my leftovers?”
Third Wives submit by following the LEAD of their husband
It is like a great play with two equally qualified actors–one plays the lead role, the other plays the supportive role. The lead actor doesn’t force the other to play the supportive role, nor does the supportive actor resent or try to upstage the lead actor, but both seek to completely fill out their role to create a great performance.
God designed the roles for order and leadership. Here ultimately is the issue of authority. The Bible tells us in Romans 13 God alone establishes all authority. Romans 13:1 says, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”
Any time you reject direct or delegated authority, that is rebellion. And anytime you accept direct or delegated authority, that is submission. Before you freak, understand submission to authority is commanded in business, children, government, in the church to each other as Christians, and in marriage.
Rebellion to authority, except when that authority commands you to directly disobey the Scripture, is always viewed by God as sin. And catch this–you cannot be in rebellion on Earth and be in submission in Heaven. Anytime you rebel to God’s designated authority, you are not acting like Christ–but in fact are acting exactly like Satan.
This is why 1 Peter 3 tells us godly women actually pursued submission. True submission is actually an initiated action. It’s something a wife chases after regardless of her husband’s action or inaction. Talking about Sarah, I Peter 3:5 and 6 says, “For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands. 6 Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.” (Jean says, “I’ll call you lord, but only with a little ‘l’!”)
Submission implies respectful and complimentary words, building up your husband and encouraging your husband by comments, motivating him to be the husband he can be, and expecting him to be the leader he is supposed to be. Wives, do you realize the power of expectation?
At UCLA, they did a study. They told teachers at a test school that they could predict who from the “B” and “C” students would become “A” students the following year. They gave all the students a test, then gave each teacher a list of 4 to 5 “B” and “C” students who would become “A” students the following year. At the end of the year, almost 90% of those “B” and “C” students became “A” students.
Then they told the teachers the truth. The test was bogus and the names of the students were picked randomly from all the “B” and “C” students. The only difference was the teacher’s expectations because of the test–they expected the students to do better, and almost 90% did move up one and two grades.
Wives, when you submit, you’re expecting your husband to lead. You’re expecting him to do the biblical action. By initiating submission, you’re expecting him to act godly. You’re also giving him what he desires most–significance.
Back to Ephesians 5:33, for it says you wives are to respect your husbands. Ephesians 5:33, “Nevertheless, let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself, and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.” The Greek word for respect is fobou, where we get the word phobia. It literally means to be filled with awe, fearful, respectful–meaning it’s difficult.
The toughest choice for a man is loving his wife when she is unlovely, but her greatest need from him is the security that comes from unconditional love. The toughest choice for a wife is respecting her husband when he is not being respectable, yet his greatest need is unconditional respect. Ladies, just as your husband can choose to love you unconditionally, you can choose to respect him unconditionally. How?
1 Respect begins with your FOCUS
Are you focusing on your spouse’s strengths or weaknesses? Are you more like a vulture or a hummingbird? When a vulture flies over the desert it finds a carcass because that is what it’s looking for. But when a hummingbird flies over the desert, it finds a flower because that’s what it’s looking for. What are you looking for in your spouse–carcasses or flowers?
2 Respect involves your THANKFULNESS
Are you thankful for your spouse? Do you see ways God uses your spouse as a catalyst in your life? The Bible calls marriage the grace of life–it’s grace, unmerited favor, and an undeserved gift. For those of us who are married, it is the best there is in life. Are you thankful you have a spouse, when so many have lost theirs? Say thanks to God and to your spouse.
Question Ask him, “Husband, do you believe I am committed to following your lead?”
Let’s take this home . . .
#1 The key issue with marital roles is dying to SELF
You can’t be a Christian without a submissive heart–you can’t be a true Christian without dying to self. Husbands or wives not willing to die to self or submit to authority are raising a question of their salvation. Let me be pointed–unless you die to self and submit to Christ, you are not a Christian. Maybe you need to turn to Christ in faith–which means to die to self and depend totally upon the work of Christ to save you and to repent, meaning turn from your way of doing things and submit to God’s way of living life.
For those of you who are saved, if you are hung up about loving or submitting, the real issue is your unwillingness to die to self, to follow the example of the cross, to imitate the way of your Savior who died to self for you. Admit to Christ and your mate you’ve not died to self. Then by His Spirit, seek to treat your mate as more important than yourself.
#2 True Christians submit to AUTHORITY
The Bible says each of us are to submit to parents (Luke 2:51), employers (Titus 2:9), secular authorities (I Timothy 2), law enforcement (Romans 13:1), a church eldership (1 Peter 5:5), to God (James 4:7), to Christ (Ephesians 5:24), to the Word of God (Romans 8:7), to each other (Ephesians 5:21), and wives are specifically commanded to submit themselves to their own husbands five times in the New Testament.
Husbands, have you learned you are under authority to God, to the Word of God, to your elders, to your boss, to each other as Christians and to law enforcement? The easiest way for a wife to follow a husband is for the husband to be under the authority of the Word of God.
There is a right way and a wrong way to get two pianos to play in harmony. The wrong way is to try to tune them to each other. The right way is to tune both pianos to a single tuning fork. Tuning your marriage and family to the Word of God is what creates harmony in the home.
Wives, do you make it easier or more difficult for your husband to lead? Ladies, have you learned to follow your husband unconditionally? Remember 1 Peter 3:1 to 2 says, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.” Even if he does not, your unconditional respect is going to please Christ and impact your husband.
#3 Develop the habits of HARMONY in marriage
EARS Husbands–you may hear her words, but are you listening with your heart? What is she saying? What burden should I bear or am I trying to merely fix this? Husbands, use your ears.
EYES Husbands, choose to make your wife the standard of beauty for you. I did that at 40 and watched all the women coming off the flight who were 40 years old—and Jean was truly the standard of beauty. It worked.
FEET Husbands, are you demonstrating you are willing to do anything for her? From daily fixing things, to giving up a career or hobby for her sake? The honey-do list at home?
PASSION Wives, have you learned to take care of your husband’s physical needs in a way that is a delight to you both, instead of an item to check off your list of duties? Young wives don’t get this–which is why the Bible says you need an older woman to train you how to like your husband. They can help you. Find a mentor to help you.
SPEECH Wives, are you choosing to esteem your husband for being a provider, a leader, a parent, and a lover–and actually or eventually mean it from your heart? Ladies, no matter what, whenever you complain about not having this, or not being able to do that, you are tearing down your man. If you respect him, that means you are content with what he provides for you.
Be courageous and ask each other the questions.
#4 If Christ is all, then your marriage will be amazing
Listen, before Paul talks about marriage in Ephesians 5:22, he tells the Ephesians to be filled with the Spirit in 5:18. If you pursue Christ, are filled with the Holy Spirit, demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit (which is–think about this in terms of marriage), love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, if you obey the Word of God, and function in the church, and seek to be a witness to the lost around you seeking to bring God glory in your home, at work, at play, with marriage, with your parenting–then as a result of that relationship with your God and Savior, His character, God’s person, His attributes, are going to leak all over your partner and as a result, your marriage will be amazing.
Let’s commit again, to turn to Christ, and for His children, to follow Him as our first love. Let’s pray.