Now All I Do
When Jesus matters to us more than anything, our spouses matter to us like they matter to Him.
More From This Series
- How can comparison, misplace expectations, and misunderstanding Jesus negatively impact our view of marriage?
- If you were an unmarried person hearing this sermon, what would be one action step you could take in response to it?
- If you were a married person hearing this sermon, what would be one action step you could take in response to it?
When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21:21-22)
Jerry: Alright, thank you very much for joining us and for making sure that I got all of my answers right. If you're married for this length of time, which October will be twenty-four years that we're married, then I certainly hope that I'm going to be able to get some of those correct by that time. And I don't know about that answer of staring into each other's eyes for seventy-two hours. You'd have to be like a brand newlywed. No, I would love to do that. Umm, she's got beautiful eyes.
Edie: I wouldn't.
Jerry: I knew I set myself up wrong. Alright, so here's the thing. When you get married, like right out of the gate, everything is good early on. You're setting up, you're preparing for a wedding. All of that's a good thing. You know, all of your friends are excited, all your posts on Facebook or those of us who got married before any of that existed, you know, people called us on phones and spoke with voices. It was a weird thing, it was back, I know, we're ancient. So it all starts out good and you feel like the wind is at your back, right? In relationship, you think like everything's good, you get married, when you said "I do", whatever is was that got you there, even if your first couple of dates were maybe a little hit and miss, but eventually it got you to "I do". And then everything's cool, the wind's at your back, we've just got love, we can do anything, we don't need money, food, anything. We just got love, right?
So, but there's a point sometimes in your marriage relationship, after a while that it goes from thinking about what it was like when you said "I do" to getting to a place where you say "now all I do is blank". Now all I do is work. I remember when we said "I do" and how awesome that was, but now all I do is wipe little babies' bottoms. I remember when we said "I do", it was incredible, but now all I do is act like a taxi service for my teenagers. Now all I do is watch way too much television and NetFlix because I'm bored. Now all I do is sit and fantasize about what a great marriage would look like. This is what happens sometimes in our progression.
Now what I want us to do, whether you are married or whether you are not married as yet, what I want us to do is I want to turn our attention to the Scripture. It may be an unlikely place, it may not be what you're thinking about initially, but I want you to go to John chapter 21. In John chapter 21, if you've got a hard copy of the Bible, or if you've got a digital copy of the Bible, either one is great. John chapter 21. Let me set up the story for you for a second. Here's what's going on, and it's maybe an unlikely place. You're going wait a minute, isn't this a conversation between Jesus and Peter? What does this have to do with marriage? Well, I'm hoping that the application that we find is going to have everything to do with our marriage, and it's going to make sense to us when we start to unpack it a little bit.
Now, if you remember, right after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He started showing up to some of the people there in Jerusalem, He showed up to His disciples. Remember how He walked into the room, you know and didn't use the door, which was awesome. And just came in and everybody was freaked out. Remember Thomas, he was like "is that really you?" And Jesus said "Touch my hands, my feet, it's really me". He's resurrected from the dead, He appears to them in Jerusalem on a couple of different occasions. But then some time goes by and they end up going back from Jerusalem to Galilee, the disciples did, and Peter's not really sure what to do and he's kind of the ring leader. And so he just goes back to fishing because that's what he knows, right?
So there he is at the Sea of Galilee and he's fishing. And he knows he's seen Jesus already raised from the dead, but he's not sure what all this means. He's waiting to see Him again. And he doesn't know what life looks like, he's trying to figure out what to do. And then all of a sudden he's out there fishing, and somebody from the shore. It's early in the morning, like breakfast time. And somebody from the shore yells out "hey, how's it going? You guys catch anything?" And Peter answers, as he normally does, "no, we didn't catch anything". Peter, if your dad hired you, he probably should have fired you because you always seem to act like you haven't caught any fish. Like every time we meet him in the Bible he's a fisherman by trade who's not doing very well at his craft apparently. No, we haven't caught anything. And then the man on the shore yells out "cast your net onto the right side of the boat" and they do and then they catch all of these fish and then Peter's like "wait, what?" And he's looking and he's like, "that's Jesus". And he jumps out of the boat and he runs out to Jesus. And then Jesus meets all the disciples and He cooks them breakfast, fish of course. He cooks them breakfast. And then they're all having some time together with Jesus, the resurrected One.
And then Jesus pulls Peter aside and He has a conversation with Peter. And if you remember, Peter had previously denied Jesus. He had said three times that he didn't know Him. And now Jesus says three times to Peter "D you love me? If you do, feed my sheep. Do you love me? Feed my sheep. Do you love me? Take care of my lambs". He says that to Peter and He helps to restore Peter back to this place and then He follows that up with saying "Peter, there's going to come a time and a place where they're going to drag you away to a place you don't want to go and they're going to tie your hands and your feet" and He was referring to the way in which Peter was going to die, ultimately by crucifixion. And He finalizes that statement by saying "Peter, here's how you're going to die, so follow me". That's what Jesus says to him. This is the conversation. I'm going to show you how you're going to die, and oh, by the way, follow me to your death.
That's where we pick up the conversation. I want you to look in John 21 beginning in verse number 20. It says this: "Peter turned" after all of this, "Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them." That's John. "(This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said "Lord, who is going to betray you?") When Peter saw John he asked, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus didn't say that he wouldn't die; he only said, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?"
Now, I'm going to pull out of this passage of Scripture three things for us that we can grab hold of in a marriage relationship that's kind of gotten to a place of "now all I do" because I want us to be able to see this. And by the way, if you're not married yet you need to pay close attention as well. Because what this is doing is setting the ground work for you living in reality instead of fantasy. And it's helping you to kind of understand what it looks like when you enter in to a relationship like this. We're going to pull these things out of the text and we're going to apply them to marriage. But the truth is the truth whether you're married or whether you're not. Alright?
Here's the first thing that I'm going to pull out that I see with Peter and Jesus, and it's this issue of comparison. Comparison. Now, as you're jotting that down if you're a note-taker, I want you to pay attention to what the text says in verses 20 and 21. Look at it again. It says that "Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (And this was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you") And when Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?"
Now you understand where this is coming from, right? Jesus has just had a conversation with Peter and He said to Peter "you're going to die for following me". And what's Peter's first response? Well, what about John? Shouldn't he have to die too? That's his response. Why? Because he's involved in this kind of deadly game of comparison. You can almost hear Peter's complaint going on in his mind. Like wait a second! You just told me I'm going to die for following you, what about John? Jesus, certainly you remember, remember that time we were on the boat, like all of us and there was a storm and stuff? And then you came just like walking on the water, remember that? Remember that? And then do you remember who, in the boat got out of the boat and walked to you when you said "come to me" on the water? Yeah, that was me! You know where John was? Sucking his thumb, sucking on a pacy at the same time, drinking warm milk and crying for his mommy in the boat. That's where John was. Not me. I'm walking on the water. You remember that, right? And yet I've got to die and he doesn't? I don't think that's fair! Oh, and remember the Garden? Need I remind you, Jesus? The Garden of Gethsemane? All the soldiers coming there, they're looking to capture, right? You remember what I did, right? Cut that dude's ear off. Cut it straight off his head! Where was John? Running for his mommy! I cut his ear off! You remember that, right? Yet I've got to die, what about him?
It's comparison, right? That's what's going on with Peter at this point. He's comparing himself to John and I'll tell you this, comparison is lethal because what comparison does in a relationship is it crushes our spirits and it steals our contentment. Because we're looking elsewhere. I mean, let's apply this in a marriage relationship. Think about it this way. If you've ever been a husband or a wife who has used these phrases: "why can't you look more like her?" By the way, don't use that phrase. Just as a heads-up. Or, she says "why can't you be more like him?" By the way, don't use that phrase. This is about comparison. Or, one sees another couple and says "I wish we were like that".
Now in some ways I understand some of that, but at the end of the day, when you start getting into talking in that world, you're losing perspective on reality because you're assuming that the people to whom you are comparing your spouse don't have any problems of their own. I can assure you that everybody walks into relationships and in relationships carries their own Samsonite with them. They got luggage, they got baggage, there is stuff. I promise you it is true, but we look at it sometimes and we lose touch with reality. By the way, it's the same lack of reality that we have when we are goo-goo eyed, wanting to stare into each others eyes for seventy-two hours, right? It's like everything's perfect, until it's not, right? Because that illusion comes crashing down at some point because we're involved in comparison, or we compare ourselves to like...
In our country people like to compare their relationships to celebrity couples. What? I mean, you do realize that the length of their marriage is roughly equivalent to the length of their movies. That's what's happening and somehow we're going "oh, wouldn't that be something to live in that house in Malibu with them for forty-eight hours until they're divorced", right? I mean that's what's going on sometimes. Or, we see Christian couples, right, that look like they've got it all together and we think to ourselves man, if we could just be exactly like them. It's wonderful to have some models in our lives, we need them. It's wonderful to have examples in our lives, we need them. But we are still created in the image of God and God wants us to be the sanctified version of ourselves and not be a copy of someone else, right?
Edie: Right. So that actually happened to us. When we were first married and moved to Florida we had a couple that we thought were just amazing, and so we, there were a couple of things I thought would be really cool, maybe we should do that. So, they were doing a devotional together and it was a couples devotional, an actual book. And so I went to him and I said well, what about this? Let's try it. And he said sure. So I bought the book and we were sitting in bed one night and we opened this one book between the two of us sharing it. And he started reading and I started reading and then I could see him kind of, you know, 'cuz he reads a lot faster than I do. So it just, it wasn't a bad thing, but it was just one of those things that didn't work for us. We're trying to be that couple and that was something that worked for them and it might have worked in a different way for us, but it just didn't work in the way that we tried it.
Jerry: Yeah, no, because I would say that.
Jerry: Yeah, I was probably impatient. That's fair, fair. So, why did I bring you up here again?
Edie: I don't know.
Jerry: I didn't mean for you to expose me like this, but thank you! Keeping me humble. So yeah, I grew impatient because I have a tendency to read like I'm running from the cops. That's how I'm reading, right? I'm just like this, and then she's reading, and then you know, processing and thinking hmmm, I wonder, yeah, maybe we could. And I'm just going, I've got more information to get. That's what I'm doing, right? And so I'm sitting over there just wanting pages to turn, right, let's just keep turning pages, I've got a job to do, I want to finish this book tonight. It didn't work good for us, because we were comparing ourselves to other people that it worked good for, right?
Now that's a silly illustration, and I have a headache from what I just did, but if you say things like if you get into comparison and you start saying things like ladies, for instance if you say "why can't you be more like him"? Let me just tell what that does to the heart of a man. It's emasculating. Men are wired for respect and when they feel disrespected in that way, and they do feel disrespected because you're basically saying "you don't measure up, you're not good enough". Do you know what happens to a man in that circumstance because they feel disrespected? They emotionally retreat and they shut down. That's what happens because men are wired that way. What you're trying to get out of them will not happen that way. Is there any deep-voiced "amens" that I can get in the room? Yeah, right, that's what I thought. That was funny. So what happens when a man says to a woman "why can't you be more like her" or "why can't you look more like her"? That's not a good thing either.
Edie: So the first thing for me, I would say is insufficient. It makes me feel insufficient. Which means that I feel unloved and dishonored. You could fill in any blank, "you're not pretty enough, you're not skinny enough, you're not nice enough, you're not sweet enough. You don't cook well enough". You could fill it in with anything. I heard it described in a book when we first got married, that when you make a cutting remark to a woman, even if it seems very small to you. Because you know we've all had those conversations where he says something to me, the reverse happens too, that seems like such a small, little innocent thing to say, but yet it's not. So I heard it stated in a way it's like taping a pebble to a bird's wing. Now that can be a small pebble or it can be a lot of pebbles over the years, that she could still fly, but she's going to struggle.
Jerry: Well, and women don't forget anything.
Jerry: That you say. I'm just going to go ahead and be on the record as stating "that's just fact". Like you can say something and for a man sometimes something gets said and you can somehow forget it and brush it off. And then like she would come back to me and say "you know, I shouldn't have said that" and I'm like "What? Okay cool, yeah, thank you, no it's good, all good, I forgot about it". But if I come back and say "I should't have said whatever," she can tell me the forty-seven sentences surrounding that one statement that I said. Am I speaking truth here? Yeah.
Edie: Like a little rolodex we have.
Jerry: Yeah. So, we have to make sure that we instead of comparison, which is lethal and steals contentment, instead what we're trying to do is we're trying to encourage our spouse in who they are in Christ, listen to this, and who they are becoming. In who they are, and in who they're becoming in Christ, right? That's how you start to work yourself out of this lethal comparison kind of game. That's true about any kind of relationship.
But let me give you a second thing. Not only do we see in the text the issue of comparison, but we also see misplaced expectations. I want to take you back into the story of Jesus and Peter and I want you to look with me in verse number 21. Peter saw John and he asked "Lord what about him?" And Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." Now here's the thing. I have no idea what exactly, what story Peter had told himself, but he had obviously told himself some kind of story that made him respond the way he responded. In other words, Peter must have had an expectation that Jesus was going to deal with all of the disciples the exact same way. Because Peter's beside himself. "Wait a second. I've got to die? And he doesn't have to die?" Peter's assuming that Jesus is going to deal with His disciples all the same way. And here's what Jesus does, he blows up his expectation by simply saying, "If I want him to live until I return what is that to you? You follow me!"
Now, misplaced expectations, do you know where they come from? They come from the false stories that we tell ourselves. When we tell ourselves a false story we create an expectation that either is unreal or unattainable. And when we do that it can be a relational killer. Think about it in marriage. I can give you a few false stories in marriage that you have to be able to get by.
Here's the first one. That excitement and adventure is going to be happening all the time in your marriage. Now some of you that are dating are going "What? I don't like where this message is going at all", right? Some of you have been married for twenty-something years, you're going "that's true". It's not excitement and adventure all the time, it is some of the time and by the way, I'm not advocating for dull drudgery as the order of the day. That's not what I'm advocating for, that's not what our relationship feels like in any sense. But it's not adventure and excitement all the time.
You see, when this kind of false story that we tell ourselves comes crashing down, it causes a problem. Let me explain what that problem looks like. So, there was a study in 2011 and it was an interesting one that was called The Normal Bar Survey, they surveyed a hundred thousand random people, men and women, husbands and wives, and of those, listen to this, of those hundred thousand people there was a number of them that had been unfaithful to their spouse. I don't remember the number, but it was a bunch. I don't remember how many though. Of the men who had been unfaithful to their spouse, seventy-one percent of them gave the same reason for being unfaithful their marriage. Do you know what it was? Listen to this, boredom. You know why? Because they had told themselves a story that every day should be bam! excitement and adventure, that that's what life is all about and that's what it should be. By the way, of the women who had been unfaithful to their spouse in this survey, roughly fifty percent of them said the same thing. It was boredom that caused them to do it.
Now, besides all of that, here's the problem. We live in a hyper-stimulated world. Think about it. You've got to have your phone sitting out when you're having a lunch meeting or when you're at the dinner table, right? So that if it beeps or whatever, you ahhh, my phone, my phone, right? Somebody's calling me. Somebody's texting me. Ooh! Somebody likes my Facebook post of myself. I put a Facebook post up of myself of my face and people like it. Look at me! While there human beings sitting across from you that you should be having a conversation with, right? But we just, we need stimulation all the time. It's the world that we live in. We are hyper-stimulated all of the time. And if you're younger, you're a digital native, and so this is what you're used to. This is kind of what you do right? For some of us who are older, it's like brand-new right? And it's like you get a text message. Whoa! Right? It's a text message, granny. It's a text message.
But here's the thing. We need stimulation because we think that everything is about excitement and adventure all the time. And so, we start turning ourselves toward other forms of stimulation if we don't see it in our marriages. Pornography, addiction, overeating. We put ourselves into a bunch of different things, right? Because we just need something. We need something. We need a rush somehow. And that is a huge problem. It's the culture that we live, isn't it?
Edie: Yep. That's why mostly women, but that's why a lot of people turn to shows like The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, because you're kind of escaping your reality. We did a little research and out of the 20 seasons of The Bachelor, there have been two marriages. And out of , well I don't know how many seasons of The Bachelorette - three marriages. So they feed into this fairy tale existence of you know everything's swimming with the dolphins and vacationing in Bora Bora and writing and carriage rides in Switzerland. And that just feeds into that whole fairy tale existence. It's false. Every day life is not like that. And they just go on. So that's why the marriages don't last, or they never happen in the first place, like we're seeing from the Bachelor and Bachelorette, because everything's.. excuse me.. not about the fairy tale and the fireworks. So they go look somewhere else.
Jerry: Yeah they have to be stimulated some other way, because that's like that's like a crash landing, right? It's all downhill after that show, right? Yeah I remember when we were swimming with the dolphins in Bora Bora. Now I'm wiping poop. Right? That's what happens, right? And you can't even process that. It just becomes so weird. So this idea that it's excitement and adventure all the time. Now it is some of the time, and it's wonderful. But not all of the time, so that we go looking for stimulation in other places. It's a false story we tell ourselves. And as a result, we make expectations that cannot be met.
Let me give you a second one. The second one is this that things should be like they were when we first got married. Everything should be like it was when we first got married. I'm going to go ahead and tell you that's a false narrative. And I have the authority to tell you that, because I have been married for quite some time now. Not as long as some of you listening to me, much longer than others of you listening to us. But after nearly a quarter of a century of marriage, I can tell you that everything changes. Bodies change. Looks change. Our health can change. Schedules change. Our families change. Everything changes. If you keep this false narrative in your mind that everything has to be like it was when we first got married, which basically is saying everything is easy and we don't have a real responsibility, you're going to be in for a rude awakening when you wake up and realize that's just not the case.
You see, here's the thing. I'm married to a different woman every few years. It's still Edie, but she changes. She's married to a different man every few years. It's still Jerry, but Jerry changes. Now hopefully those changes are more into the image of Christ and not going the reverse in that regard, right? I've had people say to me you don't understand Pastor Jerry, we've been married for 10 years and this is not the man that I married. I know! He's changed. So have you. What this gives us an opportunity to do is really live out the reality of grace and the reality of truth in our marriage relationships. Because at the end of the day, it's not about what people think that you are when you show up here or when you show up at your work or whatever. It's not what I think you are. You are what you are when you're in your house, when you're with your spouse. That's actually who you are, not just what people think about you. And this is where kind of rubber hits road in our Christian living, because we can get to a place where even though we are changing, we are demonstrating what love and grace looks like in our changes, right?
It's unfair for a man to kind of hold his wife to a standard after she has given birth to multiple kids and hold her to a standard of you should look like what we look like on our wedding day. Dude! She had humans grow in her body and come out of her body! Like get real right? It's difficult. And so, men you have to learn to appreciate the changes. If she used to be an hourglass and is now a grandfather clock, you like grandfather clocks! That's what you like! If she's an apple, you like apples! If she's a pear, you like pears! She's a watermelon, you like watermelon! It doesn't matter right? Pick your fruit! Whatever she is, it's what you like! Because you're loving her for her. Is that good?
Edie: I swear he didn't have a 5-hour energy before we came in here. And he does not drink coffee either.
Edie: But you never know.
Jerry: Just whatever is in here. Let me give you a third quick kind of false story and it's this. It's that all of my needs can be met by this person. When this comes crashing down, you know, it's a mistake. And so if you're a single adult you need to pay attention to this, because if you walk into marriage thinking this, you're going to be let down in a huge way, right?
Edie: Well it's crazy because I don't know where we ever got this idea, because we're not even capable of meeting each other's needs completely. And then you get on this vicious cycle of thinking that, and that expectation is there, and it's never going to happen. So then you're discontent and you're disappointed, because you're expecting someone to be God to you. If I expect that of him, I expect him to be my god. And he said this before, I'm not a good god. He's not a good god. I am not capable, he is not capable of meeting every need, God is the only one who's sufficient. He's told us that very plainly in his word. And you've heard the the line from the movie, oh my goodness.
Jerry: Jerry McGuire.
Edie: Jerry Maguire. Where he says, "you complete me." It's not true. It sounds all sweet and romantic in the movie, but it's not true. I'm still complete without him. He's still complete without me. But we complement one another.
Jerry: Our completion is found in Jesus, right? That's why we say around here that our soul satisfaction is found in Jesus alone. That's where we find our soul satisfaction. And the truth is, when I'm tied up in understanding my satisfaction is found in him, I'm not trying to make her something she cannot be. Now it doesn't mean that we don't serve one another, love one another, try and meet needs that we can meet for one another. We certainly try and do that. But to think that we can be each other's complete and total soul satisfaction is a mistake. It's a mistake to think that. And it's not the way in which we've been created, because our soul satisfaction is found in God. It's the One who's made us, who has changed us, and who has freed us from that expectation that we've created that's misplaced, right?
So in our text we've seen comparison and we've seen misplaced expectations. Let me give you a last thing. They also misunderstood Jesus. Look again with me at verse 22 and 23. It says, Jesus answered, (when Peter said, Lord what about John?) Here's what Jesus said. "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what's that to you? You must follow me!" Because of this, the rumors spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus didn't say that he wouldn't die; he only said if I want him to remain alive until I return. What is that to you?
See here's what happened. Peter was misunderstanding Jesus, because Peter didn't understand that what Jesus was calling for. He was putting a claim on Peter's life, to say Peter, I want you to want me above everything period, even if it costs you your life. This isn't about anybody else. This is about me, Peter. I want you to know and value me above all things.
And then, not only was Peter misunderstanding what Jesus was after, but people who heard the conversation took what Jesus said and made it something that it wasn't. They started saying, Jesus said that John's never going to die. He didn't say John's never going to die! Jesus just used a phrase and said if I want him to live until I return, what's that to you? He was trying to make the point for Peter. You follow me no matter what else that I say or do. He wasn't necessarily saying John was never going to die. So they were misunderstanding Jesus.
How much do we do that in marriage? How much do we misunderstand or try and twist the words of what Jesus is said to us in his word about who were to be as husbands and wives? There's lots of stuff in the Scripture that we don't even have to wrestle with thinking about what it says. It's plain. Right? It says what it says. And we have a responsibility to embrace it and to obey it.
Husbands let me give you a few instances of that in the Scripture. For instance, in Proverbs chapter number five. Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, and your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer, may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man's wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, let us stray by their own great folly.
You see it also in the book of Malachi. You see these words, chapter 2. You ask, "Why?" It's because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You've been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and don't be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. "The man who hates and divorces his wife," says the Lord the God of Israel, "does violence to the one he should protect," says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. These are clear admonitions to men who are married to their wives as to what God has required of us.
And then listen to what it says over in Ephesians chapter number five. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
And then listen to what Peter said, echoing those words in 1st Peter 3. Husbands, in the same way be considered as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and its heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
But see, it's not only clear to husbands. The word of God is also clear to wives.
Edie: So in Proverbs 12 it says, excuse me. A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. Proverbs 14 says, the wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish wind tears hers down. A wife of noble character who can find? She is far more worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness, Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but used to pass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
In first Corinthians it says, the husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband.
Jerry: It also says in that passage the husband doesn't have authority over his own body, but submits it to his wife as well. So that you know that.
Edie: Wives submit yourselves to your husband's as is fitting in the Lord. And then first Peter. Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husband so that, if any of them do not believe the word ,may be may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self. The unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
Jerry: You see, that the Word of God speaks to husbands, speaks to wives, and you can respond to it, or you can not respond to it. But at the end of the day, if you don't, you're just going to misunderstand Jesus. Because this is his desire for us. Obviously when those passages are talking about submission, it's not talking about a domineering type of attitude or any kind of abusive type of leadership. It's talking about a servant leadership that's willing to lay down our lives for our wives, and that she gladly responds to that kind of leadership in her world. That's that's what the Scripture is talking about in terms of our responsibilities.
You see, what Peter was being confronted with, ladies and gentlemen, face to face with Jesus was this - is that Jesus wanted to make sure that Peter said, Peter, I need you to know that God must matter to you above everything and anything, period. That's ultimately what he's trying to get at with Peter in this passage of Scripture. That Jesus would matter to Peter more than anything. And if I take that truth from the Scripture and combine it with our application, here's what I could say to us in terms of a big idea for today. Simply this - When Jesus matters to us more than anything, our spouses matter to us like they matter to Jesus. When Jesus matters to us more than anything, our spouses matter to us like they matter to Jesus.
You see, when I say Jesus is my everything, I then view my spouse the way that Jesus views her, because she matters to Jesus. And she matters to me. Sometimes, ladies and gentlemen, in a relationship, particularly a marriage, sometimes we just need to remind one another how much we matter to each other, because we matter to Jesus. Listen.
Jerry: You see, if we want to get by comparison, then we have to start affirming our identity in Jesus. That he is who he says we are. That we are who he says we are. And that we start encouraging our spouse in who they are in Jesus and who they're becoming in Jesus, and we leave comparison by the wayside.
If we want to get past misplaced expectations, we have to ground ourselves in the reality of what God has said, God's Word to us, so that we understand the reality that we're living in. That all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And we are redeemed by the grace of God through what he has done on the cross, and through his resurrection. And that every one of us, though when we put our faith in Jesus can be made new inside of our hearts and be made new creations, but the flesh still fights and will show itself in our marriages. And we have to show grace and forgiveness and patience and love. All the things that the gospel calls us to. We've got to be grounded in reality.
And then, if we want to be able to get by misunderstanding Jesus, we have to take him seriously. That he's actually said some things about husbands and wives. And we can either rebel against that thinking that we know better than he does, or we can yield to that, realizing that he himself is life. And that when we breathe in his words and we act on them, we are life giving at that point.
And so, whether you're married or whether you're single, at the end of the day, here's the issue. That Jesus needs to matter to us more than anything else. Because when he does, then we are going to be the kind of husband or the kind of wife that he's called us to. And by the way, even if your husband or your wife is not responding the way that they should, Jesus says to you - you follow me. You follow me. Whether they are or not. Whether they are being responsive or not. Whether they are living up to what God has called them to or not, you follow me, regardless. You follow me. You be the right kind of wife. You be the right kind of husband. So that you don't live your life saying, now all I do, but instead you're reminded of why you said I do to them. But because you have first said I do to the instruction of Jesus in your life.
So if you've never responded in faith to Jesus and have your sins forgiven and have your life changed, that is the biggest issue for your world. That is the biggest issue for your marriage. And we'll give you an opportunity to do that in just a moment. And then Edie and I also want to take an opportunity and just pray for you. Pray for every marriage or potential marriage that may be existing in here. That we live grounded in the reality of what God has said. So could we bow our heads together?
If you're hear, and you have yet to come to faith in Jesus, I hope that when we dismiss in a moment that you'll come by the Fireside Room. It's out in the atrium. Whether you're in this room, or the East Worship Center, I hope you'll come by. Speak to one of our pastors, prayer partners. Learn what it means to have your life be made new.
Father, for all of us, I pray that you would speak your truth into our hearts. God, for those who are single, from whatever circumstance - never been married, or been married before but are single again. I pray that you would help ground them in the reality of your truth, and that your Spirit would apply your word to their hearts. Father, I pray that they would concentrate on understanding their identity in you and becoming who you have designed them to be. The sanctified version of themselves. So that they may be prepared should you allow that spouse to come into their life.
And Father, I pray for every marriage that's in here, whatever state it's in. It may be it's struggling, it may be awesome, it may be in a rut. God, I pray that you would speak your truth into our hearts, and that we would realize that really only when you, Jesus, matter to us more than anything else, can we really be in a place to love and cherish our spouse the way that you love them, and the way that they matter to you. Lord, not as an idol in our hearts and in our lives, but because of the overflow of our love for you, we have plenty to offer to our spouse. Help us individually, husbands and wives, to become the men and women of God you've called us to be. Because God, we need more than ever to have strong, sound, grounded, godly marriages. Because this is what our world needs to see - this picture of you, Lord Jesus, and your faithfulness to your bride. So we love you, and we pray for your Spirit's activity in our hearts, and our willingness to yield to you, in all that you want to do in and through us. In Jesus' name. Amen.
God bless you folks. Hope you have a great week.