Date: May 8, 2005
Theme: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus!
I. Orbit Christ
– Ephesians 5:22-33
– Ude, John
The Order of Worship:
Liturgy: TLH, p. 5 ff.
Theme: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus!
I. Orbit Christ
Wives and Husbands
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (ESV)
Sermon: Ephesians 5:22-33 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
In the name of Jesus May 8, 2005
From the Creator of The Milky Way Shines Above us and Paradise in Eden comes Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. The title of that book, is not only catchy it catches the beauty of God’s wisdom in creating man and woman as orbiting planets that complement and serve.
For a husband and wife are not to be merely star crossed lovers, orbiting only themselves or they’ll crash into themselves, but planets, as Ephesians and Genesis demonstrate, orbiting the Lord. The Holy Spirit does not call wives to submit because men are so wise and intelligent that they are always right. No, He says V. 22 “submit as to LORD.” He does not call men to love because women are so beautiful in spirit, as well as body, that they are always worthy of pure love. No, V. 25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” The LORD knows that for us to stay in orbit without crashing in upon our selves we need to orbit something that is much greater in love, wisdom, and power than ourselves: orbit Christ. Even in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were perfect, not one sinful thought nor one shameful feeling, the Lord unveiled His master picture of marriage with Adam and Eve as orbiting planets. The love of the LORD was the sunshine filling the garden, the mist watering all things, and the fountain pouring out His blessings. The wisdom of the LORD revealed that Adam needed a complementary helper and patterned just the right relational orbits.
Orbiting Him both these planets would complement each other. Their influence would help each other remain in the right orbit. Genesis 2:18 “And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” The idea here is beautifully represented by friendship necklaces. – each part matches, corresponds and so complements each other. It’s really neat to watch how the LORD revealed this to Adam. After Gen 2:18 He sent Adam out to name all the animals. There was the giraffe reaching up into the tree tops, the gorilla swinging down from the tree tops and the hippo virtually submerged. We’re told that something dawned on Adam. All these animals were male and female to complement each other but there was not found a helper to complement him, neither the giraffe, gorilla or hippo. So the LORD created the woman and Adam confessed with rejoicing she is Genesis 2:23a “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” For a man and a woman to be truly one flesh it is necessary that they have many similarities. The giraffe, gorilla, and hippo simply do not complement, fit together with a man. Not only is the same type of flesh and mind needed, they also need to be orbiting the same LORD. Eph. 5:30. We may laugh at a man and a hippo being one flesh V. 31, but in his perverse desire to destroy the Sun and orbit himself man often spiritually does just that.
A complement must have a basic similarity but it must also be different. Mars and Venus may both be planets orbiting the sun but they are very different in personality and temperament. Yet how ironic it is that having found our “other half” we often spend our marriage striving to mold our mate into the image of our self, as if the marriage certificate was a sculptor’s license. We know that marriage is meant to be oneness. So the question becomes which one of us can pound, chip and blast the most to remold the other like me. But the one flesh that the Lord intends is oneness together in Him, my spouse’s strengths assisting me to follow Him and vice versa. Martin Luther’s sensitive conscience, introspective attitude, and thoroughness in study were used by the LORD to proclaim the scriptural truth: “You are saved by grace alone through faith alone without the works of the law.” But those very characteristics also led him to lock himself in his study for days at a time and plagued him with depression. This weakness could have caused infinite marital tension. But Katie was his nightingale. Her songs would encourage him in the Lord and lift his spirit out of darkness. Once when he had been locked up for quite a while she hired a man to remove the door so she could cheer him up. Another time she put on her funeral dress, til he asked who died. “By your behavior, I assumed Jesus was still dead and in the grave.” Yet the very strengths we most admire in our spouse are almost inevitably also the points at which we may become most irritated because that is the point of their strength and often our weakness, double whammy. Our perspective is inevitably warped by our self view. We can’t see anything without viewing it in terms of the end of our own nose. Thus, by nature, we even try to remake God into a golden calf of our will and chafe at our companion’s strengths and weaknesses. Rather than making an idol out of our idiosyncrasies we must in Christ daily make the commitment to understand our spouse’s nature and affirm our partner’s unique complementary contribution to make us whole in Christ so that together we reach for that balanced, complementary oneness in orbiting Christ.
Orbiting Christ, the Holy Spirit also specifies how we will serve one another. Often prospective brides will say, “I have a real problem with the `submit’.” “I point out that it’s my opinion that husbands often have a bigger problem with V. 25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” Both are completely contrary to our selfish will. In putting Mars and Venus in the order of orbit that they are, the LORD never said one was better than the other, but he established an order because anytime two planets try and claim the same orbit it causes a whole lot of noise and debris. Scripture thus shows us that the Lord without indicating any inferiority, prescribed two different orbits for the Mars and Venus in our marriages. The husband is to be the head, never functioning autonomously but continually gathering information from the body: feelings, needs and dangers and processing them for what is best for the whole body. It never asks the feet to go where it is not good for the whole body, where it is not willing to also go. It never asks the hand to do what is not good for the whole body, what it is not willing to endure itself. It’s the Love of Christ that inspires and guides us V. 25ff “for He gave Himself for us 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” The head will then sacrifice every personal motive and desire to seek the good of the whole body. Such loving leadership in submission to Christ engenders joyful submission in wiv
es. But the LORD does not just say to wives, “Submit when he does your will.” Submission is joyfully staying in God’s ordained orbit even when it’s not where you personally wish to be. The arm may not want to get a shot because the foot has an infection but for the good of the whole it submits joyfully. That submission was part of God’s order for marriage before sin ever entered the world. God did not make Eve from Adam’s head to dominate him. Nor from his feet to be trodden under foot. But from his rib to stand at his side, to protect his heart and to be loved. In this way Adam and Eve for a while knew perfect bliss. It is not submission that causes the problem, but sin. The sin of selfish tyranny and rebellion. Sin rebels against the LORD refusing to trust His promise to work everything for our good according to His purpose. Christ’s submission even unto death for us creates a loving submissiveness that does everything it can to guard our spouse’s heart in sacrificial love. Men are from mars, Women are from Venus. But the LORD has equipped for all the challenges of interplanetary travel. Orbiting Christ, complement and serve one another. Amen