Building Your Future Home with Care - Ephesians 5:15-21 - Skip Heitzig
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Would you please turn in your Bibles to Ephesians chapter five. We were there last week. We were there the week before and guess what? We're there this week. Ephesians chapter five-- a message I'm calling-- Building Your Future Home with Care.
So there was a UPS driver in Oregon, went to a house knock on the door to deliver a package and heard a voice calling out from inside the house, help me, help me, help me. So he did the responsible thing and called the police. The police came over, broke into the house, and found the victim-- a parrot. A parrot named Diego.
Diego the parrot-- the owner was contacted and apparently Diego the parrot can bark like a dog-- very helpful if you're alone in a home. And can meow like a cat-- I don't know, not so helpful. And the parrot will speak phrases that it hears repeated in the home.
So it's interesting that in that home, the phrase repeated is help me, help me, help me. Don't know what's going on in that home. But after I read this little article I thought, if there was a parrot in our home listening to often-repeated phrases, what would that parrot be saying? This is why many of us don't have parrots.
Perhaps it would be that very phrase, help me, help me in my home. Help me in my home life. Howard Hendricks, who wrote a book called Heaven Help the Home, said we are surrounded by foreign, hostile, and home-shattering influences in our world today.
The supported elements of our society no longer feed and shade us. The Christian home must blossom in a field of weeds. And that is God's will for our marriages, our homes, our relationships-- to blossom in a field of weeds.
And for that to happen, we have to have a priority that is the home. Not so much the house as much as the home. Not so much the edifice as the relationships that take place in that home.
I heard about a guy who went to the Super Bowl. He didn't have a great seat. He was at the Super Bowl nonetheless. But he was like in the upper row in the corner, nosebleed section. Way, way far away from the action, but still at the Super Bowl. And yet, he kept noticing an empty seat at the 50-yard line about 10 rows back.
So after the first quarter, he just goes, I just got to go find out. So he works his way down to the empty seat, says to the guy sitting next to it, so is anybody sitting here? He said, no, nobody is sitting here. He goes, well, that's incredible. I mean, it's the Super Bowl and there's an empty seat this close to the action. I don't get it.
The man said, well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife but she passed away. And he said, this is the first Super Bowl that I have not been together with my wife since 1967. And the interloper said, oh, I'm so sorry. It's a tragic story. It's a love story, but it's sad. I'm sorry for your loss. And then he said, yeah, but still, you would think he'd find, I don't know, a relative to come or a close friend who could come. And the man looked up and said oh, no, they're all at the funeral.
So what kind of priorities is this guy coughing up? Right, not good ones. In Ephesians chapter five, Paul gives us the different roles, the various parts of a family structure. He pulls out the roll, he considers it, puts it back. Lifts out another one, considers it, puts it back. So he speaks to wives, then he speaks to husbands, then he speaks to children, and then he speaks to parents.
Now I have noticed something over the years in reading books on the family, in hearing preachers speak about the family, in hearing Christians quote verses of the Bible about the family, that when it comes to chapter five of the Ephesians, most teaching begins at verse 22. That's where most preachers begin teaching about the family out of Ephesians five with "wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord." That's where they begin, let me just say that is unfair relationally and out of context theologically. Let me explain that.
If you were to back up to verse 21, the first mention of submission comes into view. Verse 21 "submitting to one another in the fear of God." That's where the thread of submission begins, submitting to one another before the wife is spoken to.
But you still need to back up a little bit more because grammatically, the thought begins in verse 18. In verse 18, you have two imperatives followed by four present participles. I don't want to get all English teacher on you here, but I just want to explain a little bit of that.
You have two commands-- imperatives-- one's negative, one's positive. Don't do this, but do that in verse 18. Followed by what it means, what it looks like to do that. So in verse 19, "speaking"-- that's the first one-- " to one another in psalms." "Singing and making melody." Verse 20, "giving thanks." Verse 21, "submitting."
So as you backup, you go, so that's where the thread of that thought begins. But wait, keep backing up a few more verses to verse 15. Because in the context of the paragraph, that's where the paragraph begins. So in verse 15-- let's begin there-- "see then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation or excess, but be filled with the spirit. Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submitting to one another in the fear of God."
Then he says individually-- "wives, submit to your own husbands. Husbands, love your wives." Et cetera, et cetera. What Paul is doing is simply this-- in this book of Ephesians, he is telling Ephesians believers how to walk in a dark world. As children of light, as ambassadors of light, here's how to live that way in a world that is dark.
And the rest of chapter five, verse 22 down to chapter six verse nine expands on that, it individualizes that. It's saying, this is how it is done if you're a wife, if you're a husband, if you're a parent, if you're a child, if you're a servant.
So you've noticed what I've done the last few weeks. This is the third week in Ephesians five. I sort of reversed it. I began with the husbands then went back to the wives, now I'm going even back further. You say, why do you do that? I guess I'm dyslexic theologically, I don't know.
No, I did it for this reason-- I began with husbands because the largest number of verses is given to the husband-- nine verses as opposed to three for the wife. And because he is the head of the home-- I began with the husband-- then I backed up to the wife, looked at her role.
I'm backing up today to give you the umbrella picture, the big picture. Look at these as the preliminaries for building your future home. So I kind of wanted to do it in reverse for that reason. And what I'd like to do is in considering the verses that we just read, to look at it-- as you can see in your outline in your bulletin-- to look at it like we're building an actual house.
But it's a metaphor of building the home-- the relationships in our family. And we're going to answer as we do this four questions. So we're going to begin with the footings, move to the foundations, move to the framing of the house and then, finally, the fencing around the house.
So let's begin with the footings. And this answers the question, how careful are you? How careful are you? Verse 15, let's look at it together. "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
Now I had a dad who was in the building business-- the construction business. He was a real estate broker. He would buy plots of land and develop developments-- housing developments in them and sell them. Whenever he would start a project, he'd love to have the family come over and look at it.
When he would start like building a model home and say, come over and look at it, as a kid, it was boring to me. Because the first stage of the home is putting the footing in and it's not all that cool. I kind of want to see rooms and stuff, but I'm just seeing dirt and then this little perimeter stem wall called the footings. The footings is where the home meets the soil.
It outlines the perimeter of the home and will eventually hold the weight of the foundation slab that is poured within the boundaries. But footings, I have discovered, have to be calculated very, very carefully. It depends on the size and the weight of the building. They have to be deep enough. They have to be wide enough-- typically 16 inches. They have to have the right amount of compression-- normally 2,500 PSI-- pounds per square inch-- so it can cure the right way and hold the foundation.
It has to be done carefully why? Because there's going to be a house built over that one day. And there will be people in it running and playing and sitting and talking and sleeping. And so what happens in that structure depends on what happens in the ground first. Now, typically, homeowners don't think about footings. I've never heard of somebody going to a realtor and going, so tell me about the footings of this house. What's the PSI that they were poured with? They don't ask the question. They care about how many bedrooms does it have? Gas or electric? Square footage, things like that, or how cool does it look. But the structural integrity begins with the footings.
So notice the wording-- "m see then that you walk circumspectly." Now I'm just betting that's not a word you use a lot, and nor do I. It means, carefully. Our word "circumspect" or "circumspectly" comes from two Latin words put together that literally means "m to look around." Circum, around, spec, to look. Circumspectly is to look around. So, walk circumspectly, means that you are walking before you place your foot down somewhere. You're walking very carefully. Walk circumspectly.
As soon as we learn how to walk-- this is what our parents tell us-- be careful. Look both ways before you cross the street-- all of those admonitions we're familiar with. When I was in grammar school, we had in our class a field trip to a local dairy. I'll never forget this because I did not go on the bus with the rest of the class. My dad thought, I'll drop you off at the dairy so I don't have to take you to school and I can leave a little later. And I'll just take you to the dairy on the way to my office.
So he dropped me off at the dairy. The kids were already assembled there kind of getting the tour. And he dropped me off not where they were congregating, but on the edge of the field by the road where he pulled off. And I had to climb the fence, walk through the cow pasture to where the kids were assembled. Believe me when I tell you I had to walk very circumspectly.
I'm looking around for obvious reasons-- on tiptoes for obvious reasons. Because one bad move would be a smelly experience. I came home later that day, looked at the bottom of my shoes and guess what? I had not walked very circumspectly at the dairy that day. So, to apply this-- as we launch into any relationship with a person, watch where you are going. Be careful about the choices that you initially make because we are walking through a spiritual manure field of this world where Satan has placed all sorts of dangers in our path.
I don't know if you saw this. Six years ago, a guy walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope-- a tight wire. Very famous guy-- famous family. His name was Nik Wallenda. He came from the Wallenda family-- generations of tightrope walkers. But Nik wanted to walk from the United States across Niagara Falls into Canada on a tight rope-- suspended 200 feet above the river, walking like, I don't know, 1,800 feet of wire-- so four football fields. And he was tethered to it.
ABC News made him do that because they were televising it live. They didn't want to televise him falling to his death. His grandfather, Carl, had fallen to his death in 1978 in Puerto Rico. So you just got a picture-- if you didn't see it-- a guy walking circumspectly, very carefully. One step on the wire, one step. Now first there's a platform, not a big deal. But once you start getting out there and you're over the river, now over the falls and the mist is coming up, what a daunting thing it would be to take one step after another.
Now he's a believer. So what's cool about this is you heard the audio of him walking over the falls and he's saying stuff like this-- praise you, Father. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Hallelujah. Praise you, father. He's praying. He's worshipping. And I saw that as a picture of that's how God wants us to walk in this world-- very carefully like we're walking on a tightrope watching every move, giving praise, staying connected to God. That's walking circumspectly.
So think of your early dating experiences like you're setting the footings. You're putting the perimeter and setting the parameters of what you will not do in that relationship and what you will do in that relationship. That's walking circumspectly.
Now he qualifies it-- would you please notice-- in verse 15. He says, "see that you walk carefully or circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise." Go to verse 17. "Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Now when he says, wisdom, that's not the same as knowledge. How many of you know that knowledge isn't the same as wisdom? Right, you know that.
You can be smart, dumb person. You can have lots of knowledge, intellectual acumen, advanced degrees, and be really unwise relationally. And you can have theological knowledge and be a church person and memorize verses and know your systematic theology, but when it comes to relationships, you can act-- we can act sometimes very unwise.
Believers should be marked by wisdom, being careful about life choices that we make. So lay strong family footings right off the bat. And if you're still in that dating phase, date somebody who loves the Lord and is in love with the Lord more than in love with you. And cares about the Lord and cares about truth. And you're setting the parameters. We're not going to get physical right now. We're going to wait on this. Those are all smart footings that you lay.
Now once you lay the footings, be careful, walk circumspectly. Now you want to add the second phase, which is the foundations. And the foundations answers the question, who is in control of this relationship? Verse 18-- he says, "and do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation or excess. But be filled with the spirit."
Now back to a house-- once the footings are down and cured, the foundation slab is poured. And why is that important? Because everything inside the house rests on that foundation. The foundation holds everything and everyone up. Therefore the foundation, if you think about it, controls the future well-being of that house. The foundation controls the future well-being of that house.
By the way, the weight of an average house is 50 tons. 50 tons is resting on the foundation and the footings. 50 tons-- that is what is seen. What is unseen-- the most important part-- is holding up the seen. The invisible part is holding up the visible parts-- the people and the property.
Question-- why do so many marriages fail? Better question-- why do so many Christian marriages fail? Quick answer-- it's a control issue. It's a control issue. The Holy Spirit is not controlling both parties. And I've heard it put this way-- unless there is that which is above us, we will soon yield to that which is around us. If the Holy Spirit isn't above us and we're surrendering to him and he's controlling us, we're going to fall and capitulate to the standards that are around us in our culture.
So the question is-- who or what are you yielding to? Is it the Holy Spirit? Or is it the unholy Spirit? Your spirit, your self interests, or worldly ideals of what the world says is important or not important? So be filled.
But notice the command. Look at verse 18. Remember, I said there's two imperatives followed by four present participles-- you said, no, Skip, I forgot that as soon as you said it. OK, so I'll say it again. There's two imperatives, two commands. One's negative, one's positive. Please notice-- "do not be drunk with wine." That's the negative. "But be filled with the spirit." That's the positive.
The question is-- why does Paul compare being filled with the spirit and being drunk? A lot have tried to answer that. I'm going to just make it simple by saying, superficially, there is a similarity between the two experiences. When somebody is drunk with wine, we say they are under the what? Under the influence. What are they under the influence of? The wine, the alcohol.
And you've seen people under the influence. I love you. They just say all sorts of stupid stuff. That's the alcohol talking. They don't really mean it, that's not them. They're under the control, under the influence. When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, they are under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Now, probably, Paul said this to the Ephesians because he is writing to a culture-- by the way, Ephesus was wine country in the New Testament era and that part of modern day Turkey. It was wine country, grapes were grown. And there was a worship temple in Ephesus to Dionysus. And part of the worship of Dionysus was to get loaded-- to get drunk and have all sorts of weird impressions that you get when you're drunk and that was part of your worship system.
So he is making a contrast saying, rather than lose control by alcohol, allow the Holy Spirit to control you. That's probably the idea. And, by the way, that's a better outcome.
Now look at the word "filled." Be filled. Be filled. It means-- it's the word Play-Ra-Oh. Play-Rah-Oh, that's the Greek word. It means to fill something to the brim. To fill something up to the brim. Now when you hear that-- to be filled to the brim-- don't think of like pouring water into a cup. That's how I originally thought of it-- be filled like you're putting water in the cup. It's getting up to the brim, OK, it's filled.
But think of it-- instead of water filling a cup, think of it like a hand filling a glove. A glove by itself can't do much but hang out. But once a hand is filling completely that glove, now it can get to work. Now it can accomplish something, otherwise it is powerless.
So a picture of a hand in a glove controlling the outcome of what that glove does. A hand would never say to a glove, get to work. It can't. It can only do something when the hand is in the glove.
The word Play-Rah-Oh is sometimes used of wind filling sails of a ship carrying it to the destination determined by the wind. Sometimes the word is used of salt permeating or filling meat in order to flavor that meat and to preserve it.
But sometimes it is used of control. And emotion can control you. Remember when Jesus in the upper room told his disciples, look, I'm out of here. I'm going to die. I'm going to rise again from the dead-- they didn't hear that part-- and then I'm leaving. And he said to them-- they were really, really bummed out that night-- he said, because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
In other words, his disciples at that moment were being controlled by the emotion of sorrow. So to be filled with the Holy Spirit is when he takes a hold of your life, permeates your life, controls your life. Therefore, in relationships, don't be filled with anger. Don't be filled with greed. Don't be filled with lust. Don't be filled with fear. But rather, be filled, permeated by, controlled by the Holy Spirit. That's what he's saying. This is an issue of control. This is foundational.
A woman wrote to a counselor these words, and I quote-- "my husband recently left me after 15 years of marriage. We had a great physical, emotional, and intellectual relationship, but something was missing. We had no spiritual bond between us. Please," she writes, "please tell young couples that there will always be a void in their lives together without Jesus Christ. A good marriage must have its foundation," notice the language, "have its foundation in Him in order to experience lasting love, peace, and joy.
Since my husband walked out on me, I have tried to rebuild my relationship with God. I am now growing in my walk with the Lord. But I am alone." Now once the footing is laid and cured and the foundation is poured and laid, now there are results from having a good footing and foundation. There are good results and that comes to the third phase, the framing part. This is where the house starts looking good.
This is where the kid comes to the lot and doesn't say this is boring, but that's cool. Now that looks like a house. Now you're framing up the rooms. And what rooms are included? Well, look at verse 19-- "speaking to one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs. Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Now maybe at this point you're going, huh? What does that have to do with building a family relationship? Are you thinking that? Huh, go ahead say that. I just want to hear you say it. OK, so why, after talking about walk carefully and be filled with the spirit, why does he add these activities? Here's why.
All of the activities described in the verses we just read are all spiritual in nature. When the Holy Spirit controls a person's life, that person has a spiritual focus. Spiritual activities are more important than any other activities. So this is the framing of the house. Foundations are laid, footings cured. You're all set to go, you're putting the wood up. You're framing it up.
And you've already decided with the architect and the builder how many rooms you're going to have, what the rooms are going to be used for, how big they're going to be, square footage, all that. Let me advise you to add three rooms to your home.
First of all, add a music room. Paul says, "speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs." Now that doesn't mean you have to start talking to each other in Gregorian chants. Right, comes home from work, hello, honey, how are you? Very fine dear-- that's just off the charts goofy. But the idea, the context here is worship. So when you're filled with the Holy Spirit, you have a worshipful heart.
When the Holy Spirit of God is controlling a marriage, there's going to be joy, there's going to be song there. In fact, one of the things that historians have noted about the permeation of Christian religion in different parts of the world as opposed to others, is the song that becomes a part of the culture. Because he does that in our hearts. By the way, what kind of music fills your home? Is it edifying to your spirit? Is it centered on Christ? And let me give you a suggestion that if you have young children-- or you're grandparents and you watch young children-- add this-- they're going to dig this part, you're going to feel a little awkward doing it-- but rather than always having a prayer before meals, how about a song before meals?
Kids love that. They'll never forget that. You know we always say, let's pray, kids. God, we ask you to bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies. Just toss that away one time and bring in a song. And watch what that does to enliven the interaction of these children with God. Bring music into the home. Add a music room.
I found an article. The title is "Remedy for a Prune Face." Isn't that a great title? "Remedy for a Prune Face." I know a lot of people that need this article. It is it was from the Detroit Free Press. It's addressed to ladies. Sorry, I didn't write it, I'm just reading the article.
"Ladies, do you want to stay young? Then, join a church choir. Women who sing stay younger looking." Was that you, Tam? You're doing that because you're a singer. "A singer's cheek muscles," let's see them. There you go. "A singer's cheek muscles are so well developed by exercise that her face will not wrinkle as soon as the non-singer."
So next time the worship is cranked up and you're sort of sitting there with your arms like, I'm not going to sing this-- prune face. You need to add a music room to your life. Add a music room.
Then as you continue to build, add a meditation room. And notice that he says singing and making melody where? In your heart. Now this is different than speaking to one another in psalms and hymns. Singing and making melody in your heart. If you're a nonmusical person, you love this part of the verse. Whew, I'm off the hook. I don't want to sing out loud. I'll stay prune-faced.
But here's the thought of this-- the proof, the evidence that the Holy Spirit is controlling you is this peace that you have, this contentment that you have. And it begins with what you think about, what you contemplate, what you ruminate on, what you meditate on.
You may remember that when Paul wrote to the Philippians he said, "whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, meditate on these things." Ruminate, contemplate, think on these things. So you can answer the question of how much joy is in your home by simply beginning to ask how much joy is in your heart. So add a meditation room to that music room.
Then add another room in the framing process. Add a mood room. Now what's that? Well, I'm glad you asked like that. It says in verse 20, ready, "giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." That's the mood that you need in the home. You need the attitude of gratitude. Some of us need an attitude change because we're not very thankful people.
But notice what it says. And this is the rub, really. It says, giving thanks most of the time for a few things to God. Am I correct in that? Did I just err? Should I be stoned? No, because I was just kidding. So it says "giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Let's just stop and apply that. Now I'm supposed to do that after we've had a fight. I'm supposed to do that when I have a rebellious teenager. I'm supposed to do that when my marriage is hard. Yes. Yes. And Yes.
Why? Because on the other side of that fight, on the other side of that rebellious teen, on the other side of that difficult marriage, there is a God who answers prayer and who can change things. And have you ever noticed that some of the difficulties we face and find in our relationships are our fault? You haven't? OK, so I have.
Would you ever concede that something could ever be your fault? So if you ever find yourself in a situation where it's your fault, you know why you can thank God? You can thank God that he's a forgiving God. And dear God, I really blew it now when I said some really lame to her. Now I'm really in trouble. Thank you for your forgiveness. You can thank him in all things always.
So that's the mood room. That's the attitude room. Some of you need that mood room, you need that gratitude in your house, that thankful attitude. Some of you have the groaning room, the complaining room. But a home filled with complaining is incompatible with the Holy Spirit who is controlling.
If he's controlling you but you're complaining about his control, there are problems in this relationship with God. Psalm 103, the Psalmist says "bless the Lord, oh, my soul. Let all that is within me bless his holy name." Listen to the next part, "bless the Lord, oh, my soul, and forget not all his benefits." You know why we complain? We forget his benefits. When we forget his benefits, out of our mouth does not come thanksgiving, but complaining. When we remember his benefits, we start thanking him. We have that attitude of gratitude.
Now let's get to the last verse. And this is really the key to this. All the previous truths were leading up to this one. You have two people-- or a family of people-- who've laid down the right footings, built the right foundation, framed up all the rooms nice. Now they need protection so this thing will last.
And the result of all of these previous truths lead to this. Verse 21-- "m submitting to one another in the fear of God." You already know the word "submit" from last time when you were here. Hupotasso-- the Greek word, it means to get under, to line up under, to arrange yourself underneath something or someone-- that's submission.
Now before we kind of dive into this about relationships, please notice something that may be life-changing for some. Note that the filling of the Holy Spirit makes a person humble. Submitting-- it does not make a person haughty. It doesn't make a person lord over somebody, it makes a person get under somebody. That's the filling of the Holy Spirit creates a submissive attitude.
I say that because I've met too many people who like to blame the Holy Spirit for their bad self-righteous attitude. I'm filled with the Holy Spirit, and therefore I'm going to rebuke you. You're not filled with the Holy Spirit, you're filled with your own goofy, weird, judgmental spirit. If you're filled with the Holy Spirit, the evidence of that holiness is submitting-- not a haughtiness, a humble attitude.
How is it practiced? It says "submitting to one another." Paul doesn't say, submitting, now I'm going to really talk to the wife here. He says "submitting to one another in the fear of God." So submission is mutual. It is not to be done just by one, it is to be done by everyone. Everyone.
I have been in homes where the man, the husband understands his wife's role. He understands his wife's role is to submit, that's his life verse. He has verse 22 underlined, memorized, and highlighted. He knows it in the Greek. He knows it in all the different translations. Submit to your husband. That's their life verse.
The trouble is some of these men have not figured out their own role of submission. Now here's what I want you to see. Verse 21 is a transitional verse-- meaning a principle is stated in that verse and then four examples are given of that one principle. Principle-- submitting to one another. Then here's the example of submission for wives. They submit to the head of their home, like the church says to Christ-- husband's role of submission, love your wife like Christ loved the church. Child's role of submission, obey your parents. Father's role of submission-- train up your child, don't exasperate him, do it in the fear of God.
All of those are out-working illustrations of that one principle stated in verse 21. So submission isn't just for wives, but husbands, and children, and parents. Now I'm looking at some men who are kind of giving me the staredown and the hairy eyeball.
What do you mean? You're telling me that as a husband, I'm to submit to my wife? Yes, in this sense. Please look at what verse 25 says to us husbands. "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church." Would you agree that there is no greater act of submission ever than Jesus leaving heaven and dying on a cross for our sins in obedience to his father and love for the church?
So to be willing to lay down your life for another person is an incredible act of submission. Doesn't mean the husband stops being the leader of the home. It simply means he gets underneath his wife to help bear the load that she carries. And that is as Christ loved the church. So that's his role of submission.
I've always loved the story about the captain who is out to sea on his ship-- large ship-- and he sees in the distance, as night comes down, another light. And he's getting closer and closer to that whatever it is-- that ship. So he sends out a signal telling that light, alter your course 10 degrees north. Back comes a signal-- alter your course 10 degrees south.
Captain didn't like that. He says, signal them again. Alter your course 10 degrees north. I'm a captain. Back comes the reply-- no, alter your course 10 degrees south, I'm a seaman third class. Well, now the captain is really mad because some underling just gave him those orders. So he says, signal back-- alter your course, I'm a battleship. Back came the reply-- alter your course, I'm a lighthouse.
Yeah, that little piece of land isn't going to move at all. You better alter your course. So the best way to avoid a collision in your marriage is to alter your course. Just alter it a little bit. Just take it a few degrees. Take it down a few notches. If you want to stop a collision, the answer is mutual submission. Submitting to one another in the fear of God. Wives to your own husbands.
Oh, by the way, in verse 22-- I want you to just look at it really briefly-- it says, wives-- second word is what? You can say it out loud, it's all right-- submit. Wives, submit. Here's something that might surprise you. That word submit is not in the Greek language.
Now I read this in a commentary so I went to the Greek New Testament to read it for myself. And they were right, it doesn't appear. It's implied so it's inserted in English so we would understand the sense of it, but it's not included at all in the Greek manuscript. It just simply says wives, to your own husbands. It's blank. Why? Because it's implied.
The thought is verse 21-- submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord, wives to your own husbands. Wives what? Submit, because you submit to one another. Now husbands, your role is to submit to your wife by loving her like Christ sacrificially. And children, your role is submitting to your parents by obeying what they say. And fathers, your role of submission is to not exasperate or frustrate your kids, but to raise them up, train them up in the Lord. All of those are roles of submission.
So in the darkness of this world, can you hear the Holy Spirit saying, let me fill you. Let me be the hand that reaches into you, the glove, and fills you to the brim, controlling your life. Submit to my touch. Submit to my will and watch what I can do in your relationship.
Let's begin there. Because otherwise, we're going to say yeah, but what about her? Well, let the Holy Spirit deal with her. Or if you're the gal-- what about him? He's such a creep. Let the Holy Spirit deal with him. You just let the Holy Spirit fill you for your role and watch what he can do through that.
Father, that's where we leave it and we thank you for these principles that really form the preliminary building for everything that comes after. All the roles that are going to take place-- all the fittings and fixtures and furniture that are going to come later.
They are undergirded by the framing and by the foundation and by the footings. So, Father, we just ask that you fill us with your spirit that we might, in our own personal roles, glorify you, please you, in Jesus' name, Amen.
We hope you enjoyed this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Church. How will you put the truths that you learned into action in your life? Let us know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And just a reminder-- you can support this ministry with a financial gift at CalvaryNM.church/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.