Husbands must love their wives. Wives must respect their husbands. The first ingredient is found in Ephesians 5:25 which says, "Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church..." You see, the ways husbands love their wives should depict a living object lesson to the watching world of exactly the way Christ loves the church, which is you and me. We're the church, not a building. And God is giving men the baton so that they can become that living object lesson of how God loves people.
Living out that lesson is quite an honor. I mean, God gave that to husbands and said that people are going to see the way they love their wives, and they're going to realize, “Ah, that's how God loves us!” But if we do that poorly, they'll have a poor image of God.
Remember this, husbands: God will be your highest priority. Now, your wife will be very happy with that because if God is your greatest love, she will be much loved and much cared for because God will be speaking to you. But if God is no longer your first love, she's in trouble and so is your marriage because your strength and your love and your grace is going to come from God, not from your spouse. If you put her first or others first or your business first, that will not give you the grace and the spiritual power to take care of your family. You're going to have to do that on your own and you're going to run dry pretty soon.
So God is your primary and first priority. Then after God, your second priority is your spouse, no, not your children, and not your job. Your spouse is more important than those. Following your relationship with God, your spouse is the next priority.
Now for the other spouse, Ephesians 5:33 says, "...the wife must see to it that she respects her husband."Wives, there's an office of a husband that has been placed in your life by God. Keep your respect for that office high because respect is sort of like the soil in which love grows. When you respect someone, it's easier to love that person. But if you lose respect for that person, it's tougher than nails to love them.
Respect is so incredibly important in building a love that will last for a lifetime. God says in Ephesians 5 that respect is also mutual. It's not just a one?way street. It's mutual.The Bible says, "Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband."
Let me talk to mom and dads for a second. The best thing you can do for your kids is to love and respect each other because when they see that love between the two of you, there's going to be such a confidence and a security that's built into their lives and developed into their hearts. And once you begin to establish these priorities in your life, you'll be able to cooperate with God's design for your marriage.
And, Dads, let me just speak to you. One of the best things you can do for your family and your kids is to love their mother with all your heart, and there will come a sense of security in your family because they know the head of the home has come under the authority of God.
We got to make the choice to reconcile or keep relationships healthy before the problems hit you. Problems are going to be inevitable, but are we going to be someone who when the problems hit, just look for someone to blame? You see, it's up to us, especially Dad and then Mom, to see the conflicts coming and then begin to rectify or resolve them before they explode
Read with me this next scripture, "Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation."(2 Cor. 5:18) All of us has been given the ministry of reconciliation through Christ Jesus. You and I have that ministry regardless of the problems, we have that capacity within us.
Often when things happen, problems explode, we try to figure out who we should blame. Instead, because of that capacity God has given you, figure out how to fix the problem not fix the blame. Remember, God's first and best option is to heal your marriage, not to put blame on someone, but both people need to be willing, both husband and wife. It requires a willing heart on both sides, so you do it as a team.
Maintain your marriage early on when the troubles and challenges are just starting. Resolve them right away. Don't wait until they fester and get infected. Set your heart to resolve every single one of them, and don't let it go underground. Because it will start a sewer system in your marriage. You got to resolve every single one you can before it goes underground.
Remember, your spouse is not the enemy. The enemy is the enemy. So learn to humble yourself, ask for forgiveness, fight for your marriage, and do whatever it takes to reconcile.
[Pastor Richard Waialeale]
Continuing, here is the third point.
Fixing our family requires some recreation. See, someone once said that the family that prays together stays together. But I want to add to that. The family that plays together stays together. You got to add that recreation to your life to be with one another.
In the book of Ecclesiastes it says, "Live happily with the woman you love through the fleeting days of your life. For the wife God gives you is your best reward down here for all of your earthly toil." (Eccl. 9:9)
Here's the point. There is a big difference between being around one another and being with each other. That's something that you'll have to take time to do, to be with each other not just be around each other.
Before you were married, you were dating. Before you built that marriage, you started being friends. Build the friendship with your spouse. It's so important. You want to be able to say that your wife is your best friend and that your husband is your best friend. That's why recreation is so important. That's why you have to establish that friendship and the joy of being with one another.
Work to the point where you're able to say that your husband is your best friend and that your wife is your best friend. In John 15:15, Jesus says, "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends."
Pay whatever the price is required, make the necessary sacrifice and regain the friendship of your spouse or of your small groups. A lot of you are in small groups. You know, Arlene Alda, wife of Alan Alda, said this: "In our society, it's becoming easier and easier to leave your spouse, but in any society, it will always remain difficult to leave your best friend."
And how do you do that? How do you regain back the fire?
Love is not an emotion. It's a choice. Love may include emotions, but it's not determined by emotion or romance. The commitment and the choice you make will be reserved for a lifetime.
In John 13:34 it says, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you..."Do you think God loves us by emotion? Do you think God loves us according to our performance? No. God loves us because He chose to love. God so loved the world.
Love is being committed to God and God's very best for the other person. If you love, you want God's best for the other person regardless of how you feel. Loving someone else is loving God's best for that person, even if it doesn't involve you.