Monday, April 02, 2007


Colossians 3:18-21Fabulous Families

There’s no such thing as a perfect husband or a perfect wife. I saw a funny cartoon not long ago had the caption, “Waiting for the Perfect Man.” It was a drawing of a woman who had been sitting on a bench waiting so long she turned into a skeleton! Most women have dreams of marrying a man with the looks and physique of George Clooney, the sense of humor of Lou Costello, and the intelligence of Albert Einstein. And they usually end up with a man who has the looks of Albert Einstein, the physique of Lou Costello, and who is nothing like George Clooney. There is no such thing as a perfect husband or a perfect wife, because we are all imperfect creatures. Therefore, there is no such thing as a perfect marriage.
You have probably heard of the student pilot who was preparing for a lesson. As he waited on the runway, a man jumped in and said, "Take off over the south, come back over the mountains, and then go back to the south again." The student took off and the passenger began to take pictures. The student asked, "Do you always take pictures while giving flying lessons?" "Flying lessons? I'm the photographer for the newspaper." "You're not my flying instructor?" "No!" to which the student replied, "Then you probably don't know why these red lights are flashing."
Assuming that we know what we are doing in family life is always dangerous. The Lord gives us directions on how to have fabulous families.

There are miserable marriages There are mediocre marriages and there are magnificent marriages Satan’s programme is to Dethrone God Debase man Deny morals Destroy homes Dominate the World.
If you are looking for God’s secret for enjoying a strong, healthy, marriage, then you’ve come to the right place—the Word of God. Let’s read them in Colossians 3:18-19 “Wives submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”
I. Wives Will Yield To Their Husbands 3:18
Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Studies have shown most women react negatively to the word submit. They associate it with words like, “slave, inferior or doormat.” 1998 Gallup Poll showed 69 percent of the public disagreed with the statement “Wives should graciously submit to the servant leadership of their husbands.” I believe most of this opposition to submission stems from a faulty understanding of what biblical submission is. I want to show you what the Bible teaches about submission, but first I want to teach you two things submission is NOT.
(1) Submission doesn’t mean that women are inferior to men
God’s Word teaches that so far as salvation is concerned there is an equality between men and women. Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” But that doesn’t mean we should be pushing for a unisex culture. That doesn’t mean we’re the same. We are different. Just look in a couple’s bathroom. A man has five items: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, bar of soap, and a towel from the Marriott. The average number of items in a typical woman’s bathroom is 337—a man couldn’t identify most of them. Men and women are different in the way they shop. A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item she doesn’t need—but it’s on sale. So submission has nothing to do with the equality of differences of men and women.
(2) Submission isn’t blind obedience to an ungodly husband
The context of a wife’s submission is within that phrase in verse 18, “as is fitting in the Lord.” Over the past twenty four years of being a pastor, I’ve discovered some wives put up with physical abuse from their husbands, because they think that’s part of submitting. That’s a terrible perversion of submission. Husbands, you should never lay your hand on your wife unless it is to show her love.
Submission is not so much an activity as it is an attitude. Submission is the attitude of voluntarily putting yourself under the leadership position of your husband so God will be glorified. The word “submit” is a military word that spoke of a soldier lining up under the command of an officer. Understanding how this works in the military can help wives understand what it means to submit.
Imagine a Sergeant who is older, wiser, and more experienced than a Lieutenant. That Sergeant understands the importance of saluting the Lieutenant and following his orders. If he didn’t, there would be chaos in the military. But if the Lieutenant issues a bad order, the Sergeant is going to take him aside and say, “Sir, you might want to rethink that order, and here’s why...” Wives, you may be smarter, wiser, sharper, and better than your husband, but God has established him as the leader in your family. Don’t blindly obey him. If he makes a bad choice, don’t rebel...discuss it with him. Wives, submission is keeping a positive attitude about your life and marriage, even when things could be better.
Wives will give their submission to their husbands.
Wives will give their adoration to the Lord.
At a local coffee bar, a young woman was expounding on her idea of the perfect mate to some of her friends. "The man I marry must be a shining light amongst company. He must be musical. Tell jokes. Sing. And stay home at night!" An old granny overheard and spoke up, "Honey, if that's all you want, get a TV!"

II. Husbands Will Love Their Wives 3:19
19 Husbands, love your wives and don’t become bitter against them. Men, God has appointed you to be the prefect, the head of your household. The English word husband comes from an Old Norse word meaning “one who holds the house together.” Like a “band around a house” a husband’s role is to be the leader responsible for holding the marriage and family intact.
(1) A husband should display a selfless love That’s how Jesus loves the church. When you married your wife, you gave up all your personal rights and your independence. When you were single you could make decisions based solely on what you wanted, but now you can’t make decisions based upon what YOU want to do. Just as Christ gave Himself up for the church, you are to give yourself up for your wife. Her welfare and happiness must be considered in every decision you make. Loving your wife in a selfless way means you anticipate her needs and meet them.
(2) A husband should display a sacrificial love
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) After saying those words, Jesus went to the cross and laid down His life as a sacrifice for us. Sir, if you are going to love your wife the way Christ loves the church, then you must be willing to lay down your life. Are you willing to die for your wife? You may say, “Sure, I’m willing to die if someone threatens my wife.” No, I’m not talking about defending her if she’s attacked. I’m talking about really dying—dying to self, dying to your own plans and ambitions. That’s what you must sacrifice if you are going to love your wife the way Christ loves the church.
Husbands, you can never force or coerce your wife to submit to you. Jesus doesn’t force the church to submit to Him—if He did then He might say something like, “If you don’t tithe, you’re not part of my church!” No, the reason we obey Him is because we love Him. So, you should never force your into submitting, you should love her into submitting. That’s what sacrificial love really is.

(3) A husband should display a sanctifying love
Did you notice the words in Ephesians 5? The reason Christ loves the church is to bring out the best in her. Jesus is constantly working to make His bride more and more beautiful. Men, when you love your wife the way Jesus loves the church, you will be constantly working to make your bride more radiant and beautiful in her character. Husbands, that’s one of your jobs— to make your wife a beautiful Christian. You do this by building her up instead of tearing her down. Sure your wife has faults, we all do. But Jesus loves me in spite of my faults, but He who began a good work in me is going to keep on working on me.
A Son said: Is it true? Dad, I heard that in ancient China, a man doesn't know his wife until he marries.
Father: That happens everywhere, son, everywhere! One of the things 1Peter 3 prescribes for husbands is 1Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as co-heirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
To do this I have a guide to wifely statements and their translations
The wife says: We need The wife means: I want
The wife says: It's your decision The wife means: The correct decision should be obvious
The wife says: Do what you want The wife means: You'll pay for this later
The wife says: We need to talk The wife means: I need to complain
The wife says: Sure... go ahead The wife means: I don't want you to
The wife says: You're ... so manly The wife means: You need a shave and sweat a lot
The wife says: I want new curtains. The wife means: Also carpeting, furniture, and wallpaper!
The wife says: Do you love me? The wife means: I'm going to ask for something expensive.
The wife says: Am I fat? The wife means: Tell me I'm beautiful.
Husbands will provide the best for their wives. Husbands will avoid bitterness towards their wives.
Marriage requires a man to prepare 4 types of "rings":
* The Engagement Ring * The Wedding Ring * The Suffe-Ring * The Endu-Ring

III. Children Will Honor Their Parents 3:20
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing in the Lord.
In 1972, Mary Rodgers wrote the novel Freaky Friday, which has since been made into a movie starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis. It’s the story about a mother and daughter who woke up on a Friday, and each of them had switched bodies. After a series of comical events, the point of the story is each of them came to better understand each other. Parents, how would you like to spend a day in your child’s body? You can’t go back, but it might be fun to think about. How about it kids, would you like to be your mom or dad for just one day? You may be thinking, “Yuck!” But don’t worry; you will be there soon enough! As we think about what the Bible says about family relationships, it would help kids and parents to trade places for awhile in order to better understand each other.
The one-word command in Colossians 3 and Ephesians 6 is that ugly four lettered word: OBEY.
Whether or not you realize it, kids, you were born with a rebellious spirit. It’s in your DNA. Nobody ever had to teach you how to lie, cheat, or steal—it came naturally.
Proverbs 22:15 says, “Rebellion is bound up in the heart of a child.” All throughout your life, there are going to be people in authority over you. You’re going to have teachers and lecturers who have authority over your schooling. When you get a job, you’ll have a boss who will have authority over your vocational world. When you start driving, and become an adult, there are laws, policemen, and judges who have authority over your legal world.
God made it easy on you. He gave you parents to teach you to submit to authority. If you disobey, there are always negative consequences. The older you get, the more severe the consequences become. For instance, if you disobey your parents, the consequences may be a smack if you’re young, or getting grounded when you’re older. Those punishments may seem severe, but you ain’t seen nothing yet! If you don’t complete your assignments in college, they won’t ground you, they’ll just flunk you. If you don’t obey your boss, he or she won’t spank you, they’ll just fire you. And when you don’t obey the law, that’s when the hammer really falls. So, obeying your parents is training you for life, so do yourself a favour and obey them. They don’t have to be right—in fact they make mistakes—but when you obey them the Bible says it pleases the Lord, and you will live a good life—it is the first of God’s commands with a promise.
The children begged for a hamster, and after the usual fervent vows that they alone would care for it, they got one. They named the hamster Danny. Two months later, when Mum found herself responsible for cleaning and feeding the creature, she located a prospective new home for Danny the hamster. When she told the children the news of Danny's imminent departure, they took the news quite well, which somewhat surprised her, though they did offer some comments. One of the children did remark, "He's been around here a long time - we will miss him." Mum agreed saying, "Yes, but he's too much work for one person, and since I'm that one person, I say he goes." Another child offered, "Well, maybe if he wouldn't eat so much and wouldn't be so messy, we could keep him." But Mum was firm. "It's time to take Danny to his new home now," she insisted. "Go and get his cage." With one voice and in tearful outrage the children shouted, "Danny? We thought you said, 'Daddy!'"
Obedient children will bless their earthly parents. Reverent children will bless their earthly parents
But once you move out and start life on your own, or with a wife or husband, you are no longer required to obey them in everything. But the Bible is clear you are to always honor them. One of the worst sins we see committed today are by grown kids who refuse to take care of their elderly parents—that’s worst than child abuse. Obedient children will please their heavenly Father.

IV. Parents Will Encourage Their children
21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so they won’t become discouraged.
My mind not only wanders; sometimes it leaves completely.
If you can remain calm, you just don't have all the facts.
A Teenager is... Someone who can hear a song by Madonna played three blocks away but not his mother calling from the next room.
A connoisseur of two kinds of fine music: Loud and Very Loud. A whiz who can operate the latest computer without a lesson but can't make a bed.
A budding beauty who never smiles until her braces come off.
A boy who can sleep until noon on any Saturday when he suspects the lawn needs mowing.
A student who will spend 12 minutes studying for her history exam and 12 hours for her driver's license.
A youngster who is well informed about anything he doesn't have to study.
A person who can't remember to walk the dog but never forgets a phone number.
Parental communication blunders:
Parents should not unfairly demean their children.
(1) Exaggeration I’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate!
(2) Martyr complex “I do all this for you...and this is the thanks I get?” Have you noticed how parents try to cover up their mistakes by talking about how bad they had it when they were kids? “Why when I was your age, I’ll have you know I had to walk to school, four miles each way, barefoot, and it was uphill both ways...and I carried my younger brother on my back...and I went to a one-room school, and did well and still worked full-time at the factory after school, making 35 cents an hour...” You kids just don’t know how good you have it compared to us. Why you have the internet and your MP3 players so you can steal music. Why when I was a kid we had to steal music the old fashioned way. We had to walk into the record store and put a 45 record under our jacket, or we had to wait all day for the right song to play on the radio so we could tape it on our cassette player! You have it SO easy.
Parents should not unwisely discourage their children.
(3) Comparison “Why can’t you keep your room clean like your sister?” Each child is totally unique and special. Even identical twins are different. You will bruise their character by always comparing them to someone else.
(4) The prophecy “You’re lazy just like your mother/’ll never amount to any good.” That kind of statement plants bitter seeds in the mind of a child and they often become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you tell a child long enough they will never succeed, then you shouldn’t be surprised when they don’t.
We need God’s help to have fabulous homes.. Let’s seek His help now.

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