MUSCLE CAR MARRIAGE
August 22-23, 2009
You gotta love crab. Nick of time, too. Couldn’t take much more of those coconuts. Coconut milk’s a natural laxative. Things that Gilligan never told us. Pretty well-made fire, huh, Wilson?
So who saw that movie? Who saw Cast Away? It’s been on TV now, DVD. Good. Most everybody. Great movie. And you buy that whole scene, you buy that whole premise of Tom Hanks talking with his best friend. If you didn’t see it, he’s alone on an island, he’s isolated, and he has continual dialogue with what? A volleyball named Wilson. And Wilson becomes his best friend. The reason you watch that and go that is just ridiculous, you don’t say that, is because you recognize there’s something in the human heart that craves and hungers for relationship. And if you’re all alone or you’re kind of isolated in life and you don’t have an authentic relationship, you’ll manufacture a substitute, you’ll manufacture a virtual relationship, a facsimile, because there’s something in the human heart that we desire connectivity and conversation and intimacy and rapport.
Relationships. I propose the greatest thing in life is relationships. And I also propose perhaps the most frustrating and confusing thing in life, relationships. Amen? Relationships can be tough sometimes. If you need some help to navigate relational waters, you’re in the right place.
Welcome to Church by the Glades. Good to see you today. I’m David Hughes, one of the pastors. Oh, man, I’m so thrilled you’re with us. And you might be here for the first time, and I’ve got to ask you for a favor. We’re still trying to find some seats. Got a great crowd today. So if there’s any empty seats on those two outside sections, two outside sections, if you’ll kind of just fill in the gaps, move towards me, and the middle section, the big old middle section will give you thunderous applause as you guys scoot a little bit. Thank you. Thunderous applause, woohoo, or I’ll make you move, too. Good. That’s good. That should cover it.
Man, we sent out an e-mail this week that we needed everybody to go to Saturday or Sunday that night could, and we had great, great crowds last night. We had full houses last night. So those folks that can flex, it was dynamite for us. Relationships. Well, if you’re trying to figure out relationships, you’ve picked a great week to check out Church by the Glades. For the next five weeks, it’s called Muscle Car Marriage. What is Muscle Car Marriage about? We want to see God rev up your relational RPMs and see God add some octane of intimacy into your marriages. It’s going to be a great series. What are the next five weeks about? My prayer is it’ll be relevant. For our single people, in fact, singles, I’ve got one weekend dedicated just to you single people, one weekend’s entitled How to Select the Right Model, subtitled or Checking for the Junk in the Trunk. So that’s for you guys. Which weekend is it? Not going to tell you, but one weekend it’s for you. We’re going to talk about parenting one weekend. But a little marriage talk today because Muscle Car Marriage is about relationships and marriages and some really cool cars.
Florida Antique Car Museum. You should see this place. If you like history, if you’re a fan of collectibles from decades gone by, if you liked FDR, the great president of the war years that brought us out of the Great Depression, and especially if you’re a car buff, you should see the rides in this place. They have 38 fully restored Packards going all the way back to the year 1909. And these beautiful cars are not just for show. They go. They’re not all street legal, but they’re all in working condition. In fact, here’s a beautiful example. This is a 1955 Packard Caribbean convertible. Now, back in ’55, the Packard Corporation made about 500 of these, and they sold for just shy of $6,000. That was the most expensive American-made car back in the day. But one in this kind of condition today is worth between 100 and $150,000. Yeah, they have greatly appreciated. But here’s the sad thing. There’s only about 30 of these still in existence. Begs the question. What happened to the other 470 Packards from 1955?
Well, probably long ago they went to the junk yard, the scrap heap. Why? Their owners didn’t realize their value. See, they weren’t maintained, they weren’t properly cared for, folks didn’t recognize they become more valuable over the years. Hey, our marriages can be exactly the same. You know, your marriage is not just made by God to struggle through, just to go the distance. God has designed marriage to get better through the years. God wants your marriage to be a classic, to be in mint condition. So how do you get there? Well, there are certain ways we are to value and to maintain, certain Biblical disciplines we should apply as married people to help maximize our marriages. So here’s the goal of today and the weeks to come. I want to see God put more muscle into your marriage over the course of the years to come, for your marriage to grow more precious, to be in mint condition, to be a classic.
As you walked by, we have some current muscle cars out in the front patio area. We have some classics as well. And those classics do get more valuable, but it doesn’t happen by coincidence or happenstance. Their owners have been highly intentional. They’ve poured a lot of time, a lot of love, a lot of maintenance, they have protected those things, and if there’s damage, they repair it quickly. They become more precious over the decades and years. Your marriages should be the same. If you will give proper attention and maintenance to your marriage, if you will value your marriage, if you’ll repair damage and dings in your marriage, it can get sweeter over the years. And that’s what we’re going to talk about over the next few weeks.
So let’s start with the owner’s manual right now. I want to talk about some relationship rules that God has laid down. And who better than God and God’s word to check out when it comes to relationships? God created relationships. So if you have your Bible, turn to Ephesians chapter 5. Say it with me. Ephesians chapter 5. Everybody. Ephesians chapter 5. If you don’t have your Bible, go home and read this. We’re going to pick it up in a moment. As you’re finding that, let me give you a quick quiz, question. Please answer out loud. What is in American life the most owned book, yet the most unread book? The Bible. Wrong. The owner’s manual in your car. Someone said it down there. The owner’s manual in your car. The Bible’s probably second on that list, but the owner’s manual in your car. And I do have the owner’s manual in one of our two cars. This is my ride. I have a 2007 Chevy HHR, little black, kind of looking car. But don’t you laugh at my car. My car’s paid for. So there. It’s a paid-for car. I love any paid-for car. And here’s my owner’s manual. It has thorough information in here.
Now, look. There are some people, the moment you get a new ride, man, you go to the glove box, you find that owner’s manual, and you read it cover to cover. You’re probably a highly meticulous person or a mechanically minded person. Who’s someone here, you’re one of those rare people, you read your owner’s manual anytime you get a new-to-you car. Raise your hand if you do that. Look, look. There’s like three, four hands. Very organized, maybe kind of anal people. I don’t know. You’re reading that whole thing. Just kidding. Now, the rest of us didn’t raise our hands. When do we go find the owner’s manual? When? When? Yeah, when there’s a problem. When something goes wrong, we try to troubleshoot it. Number one, we can’t find the owner’s manual. If we do, it’s buried under all the stuff in the glove box, and then we’re trying to find what — we’re confused and frustrated. And we shouldn’t be that way with scripture. That’s why for many of you here going my marriage is okay right now, my marriage is cool right now, well, you need this information. God’s going to frontload you. When maybe you hit a season of trouble or pressure, God’s going to give you useful information. Others, it’s going to take your marriage to a new level. And many of us, let’s be honest, we need a marital overhaul right now. And God has brought you here. His timing is perfect to check out his manual. And again, the Bible says so much about relationships. But in Ephesians chapter 5 beginning in verse 21 it says great things to married people. Let’s read this together. And I know it’s not highlighted on the screen, but I want everyone to read the first word. Everyone to read the first word. One, two, three. Submit. It’s going to be a key theme today. Verse 21, it says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Now, more specific now. “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body of which he is the savior. Now, as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Wow. All right.
So again, ladies, I want to start with you today, ladies, because this Biblical statement begins with your responsibility in marriage, so that’s one reason. But the more important reason is ladies, I just think you’re smarter when it comes to relationship than the guys. I just think you have a higher relationship IQ than most men. I think ladies just on average are more relationally sensitive and savvy than the men. So because you’re a little smarter and all the ladies said — Amen.
I’m going to start with you. And in verse 22, there’s a statement for the woman in the context of marriage. Let me put that on the screen right now. Ladies and only ladies, will you read the highlighted word. This is what God calls you to do in marriage. It says “Wives,”
“Submit.” “To your husbands as to the Lord.” All right?
So today we’re going to talk about submission. Today I’m talking about the wives submitting to her husband in the marital relationship. That’s the conversation today. And in case you haven’t figured out, I’ve realized I have now jumped into shark-infested with this topic today. So I want all the ladies, all the ladies, pressure is off. No one is going to beat you up with a Bible today. Want all the married ladies especially to take a big breath right now. Take a big breath. Take another big breath. Hold it. Now let it out and just relax. Relax. Again, man, if you can count on anything that I’ve come to this teaching today with great study and great prayer, and I love you and value you, and I’m just seeking to be your pastor and share with you good relational information today. But the Bible does say a woman is called in the context of marriage to submit to her husband.
Now, owner’s manual. The Bible is the owner’s manual for life and relationships. Now, I have the owner’s manual here for my car, a more or less current car, 2007 Chevrolet. But as you walked in the lobby, you saw that beautiful 1965 Chevrolet Corvette. You saw that classic Corvette. Beautiful ride in there. Mint condition. It belongs to a member of our church. He’s entrusted that to us for the next five weeks. Don’t let your kids crawl on that car. Amen. Don’t let your kids get Krispy Kreme on their hands and touch the car. Don’t do that, right? People are loaning those cars to us. They are trusting us with those cars.
But in that car, I called my friend Tommy. He owns the car. I said Tommy, you don’t happen to have the owner’s manual for the ’65 Vette, do you? He did. Right here is the original owner’s manual for the ’65 Vette. Is that not cool? That’s cool. Now, here’s the funny thing. It’s a way nicer car than my ride, both made by Chevrolet, but you notice a difference about the size of the two owner’s manuals over the years? Now, this one is much more concise. This one is much more complete, but one place you’ll notice a dramatic difference, in the current one, the 2007 HHR, there are 70 pages devoted to safety. Safety equipment, how to keep yourself safe as you drive, how to keep other people safe as you drive. 70 pages. By contrast, two paragraphs in the owner’s manual of the 1965 Corvette. In fact, the two paragraphs are about how to use the seat belt. Funny thing, as you walk back in the doors next week at Church by the Glades, go ahead and glance inside that example of a 1965 Vette. No seat belts. See, seat belts in 1965 were optional equipment. They were not mandatory equipment. Things have changed a whole lot, right?
I mean, today we’re very conscious of automobile safety, there are laws about using seat belts. Oh, my goodness, with our kids. I mean, we put them in the back seats, we strap them in carefully. With the little guys, they have car seats. Man, putting Zane in his baby car seat and strapping that thing in takes like 45 minutes trying to protect him and make sure he’s safe. Now, I’m going to out myself here as far as my age. When I was a kid, parents weren’t so careful about car safety with their children. My parents were good parents. It just wasn’t part of the culture. I remember if it wasn’t a full car, if it was just me and the driver, I didn’t ride in the back seat. I rode in the front seat. And by the way, my favorite place to ride, I did not use a seat belt. If I’m driving with dad or with mom or even my little grandma, I would stand next to the driver in the front seat. How unsafe was that? In fact, again, no seat belt. In fact, some of you as old as me, you know the safety precaution advice was if the driver had to kind of apply the brakes quickly, what would they do? They would do little arm out thing. Little arm. Here’s my four foot eleven, 85-pound grandma putting her little, tiny, frail arm out trying to keep me from launching through the glass, right? Not very safe.
In fact, my second favorite place to ride, if I had to be in the back, I’d go all the way in the back, and I’d lay down in the area behind the back seat but right there in that horizontal spot right where the back window was. You’d lay down right there, lay down. Some of y’all are nodding, you’re as old as I am. You’d lay right there. How dangerous was that? There were a few times my father hit the brake and it launched me to the floorboard, right? Wow, if you got rear-ended, I guess you’d just shoot out like a missile out of the back. I mean, good night. It’s surprising any of us are still alive. Didn’t think about safety back then.
But God thinks about your relational safety all the time. And married ladies, I think this idea of marital submission to the loving leadership of your husband will be found in the relational safety section of your Bible. I know to say submit, especially submit in marriage, seems very out of step and out of time, might even sound a little sexist or archaic. I mean, it is so foreign, that concept to our world. But ladies, I would encourage you to be open to this for several reasons. One, I think it’s logical. Logical meaning this. Question, how many people are involved in a Biblical marriage? Anybody know? How many people are involved? You can answer out loud. Two. Two. Two people. One man, one woman, one husband, one wife. I recommend two. Just saying, my opinion. You have like seven, that’s a problem okay? Just two. I recommend two. Now, when you have two people in any organization — or marriage is probably not an organization. It’s more of a living thing.
Occasionally, though you love each other, and though often you’re of one mind and one heart, you might have a moment of decisive impasse, maybe a moment that you can’t pray through it together. At that point, someone must assume the loving leadership, and the other person must submit to that leadership. And I just think that just makes sense. It’s logical. You may resist that, but it’s just logical. Because again, your marriage is a living thing. Now, the Bible uses the language that the husband has headship in the home. The headship in the home. See, a living thing without a head is dead. And any living thing with two heads is a freak. You don’t want that, either, right? So I would just present I think it’s logical this idea of marital submission. But more importantly than that, ladies, it’s Biblical. I have found most times that the Bible is so reasonable. I mean, God is brilliant, and the Bible is just a smart way to do life most times. I see what the Bible says to do about my money or my habits or my worship or my relationships. It just makes perfect sense. There are a few places in the Bible that God calls us to do, they do not make sense. They’re kind of counter-intuitive. But it doesn’t matter. If God speaks, I obey. And the Bible talks a ton about authority and submission.
In fact, one of the reasons I obey when the Bible speaks is it talks about the authority of God and the authority of Christ. And when Christ speaks, I obey. If I’m smart, if the word of God speaks, I obey. Do you agree? Amen? Good idea. When God speaks, we submit as believers to the authority of God. That’s not the only kind of authority that God will leverage in life. You’ll find in life God will use all kinds of authority systems, often imperfect and flawed authority systems to bring about redemption and refinement and growth in our lives. Example, jot these down if you’re fast. If you’ll check out say Romans 13 verses 1 through 7, you’ll find out God wants us as believers to submit to the authority of government. Is that only perfect governments that we fully agree with, that that is my party’s in power? No.
In fact, the government back in the day was the Roman government, far from a good or godly government. But Paul said as long as it’s not in conflict with the command of Christ, you must submit to government and pray for your leaders and honor your leaders and pay your taxes. I’ve been waiting for an amen on that one all weekend long. So far, it’s not come. I’m just saying the Bible says to do that. Look at this. In Hebrews 13:17, it says in the church we should submit to, you use the word obey, church leaders. There’s authority in the church. Look what it says here. “Obey your leaders and” — okay, that was weak. Maybe you’re afraid of this. “Submit to their authority.”
The Bible says there’s authority in the church, and God will leverage that. Why is that? Because church leaders are perfect and never make bad decisions? Of course not. But God honors us and grows us as we honor authority systems and we submit. But ladies, in marriage it shows up quite a bit. The passage we’re studying, Ephesians 5:22, it says, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord,” for the Bible scholars in the house, the Greek word there is the word hupotasso. It’s actually a military term. It has the idea of falling under rank. That as a volunteer, you surrender some rights and decision making to someone of a higher rank. It’s not just here in Ephesians. In Colossians 3:18, “Wives, submit to your husbands as is fitting to the Lord.” And then 1 Peter 3, “Wives in the same way be submissive to your husbands.” It’s not like I picked out, you know, some random, obscure verse. This is a theme. When it teaches marriage, it teaches this issue time and time and time again.
Now, I’m sensing a little resistance in the room. Because someone’s thinking I’m talking about your value, that God sees men as more valuable than women. That is not what the Bible’s saying at all. In fact, the Bible says just the opposite. You backtrack one book to the left before Ephesians, you’ll find in Colossians it says in the divine economy we’re the same. In fact, here’s what it says in chapter 3. It says in God’s eyes there’s no Jew, no Gentile, no slave, no free, no male, no female, we’re all one in Christ Jesus. That was radical and revolutionary stuff in that Roman world, because they were all about distinctions and racism and classes. In the Roman world, they’re all about who’s Roman, who’s not a Roman, who’s a Jew and who’s a Greek. And there are free people and there are slaves, and women were treated like property. And the word of God says no. God values a woman every bit as much as a man. The ground is level at the foot of the cross of Christ. And that was radical stuff back in the day. This is not about your value. This is about functionality. This is about not how God esteems you. This is about your role in the relationship of marriage.
Now, again, I think it’s an issue of safety and protection. But there is resistance and push back. Because you know, well, there’s a small group of ladies here at the church, and you grew up in church, grew up in an old school church, maybe a legalistic church where this was taught in an oppressive way. One of my colleagues got up and basically beat you up with the Bible, and they present this doctrine like the man is the dominant leader, and a woman is a doormat. That is not what the Bible is saying. And brothers, you take this stuff home and use it that way, you’re making a terrible relational mistake. You’re violating the scripture. In addition, it won’t work. You come home all strong, you come home, baby, I’m the leader here, and you submit to — you try that. Know what you’ll do? Know what you’ll do? Listen, you will shut her down. You will shut her down relationally, you will shut her down emotionally, you will shut her down in ways, guys, you don’t want to shut her down. In fact, just to develop that idea a moment, young couple got married, they’re on their honeymoon, they kept themselves pure. You know, it’s the big night, and they’re all alone, and she’s a little nervous and excited, and all of a sudden, he takes off his pants, throws them at her. Says baby, put my pants on. Confused, she goes, put your pants on? Put my pants on. She puts on his pants and says these are too big for me. That’s right. My pants are too big for you. He said my pants are too big. You see, I wear the pants in this family. I am large and in charge. I’m the lord of my household. You will submit to me. I am the man. You got that? That’s the way we roll in this family. I wear the pants. She thought for a moment, took off his pants, took off her panties, threw them to him. Said try those on. He said I can’t get into these. She said that’s right. Just dedicated to telling truth at Church by the Glades. Just dedicated to telling the truth. And by the way, some of you middle schoolers, don’t you dare go to school tomorrow and tell that joke or when you get taken to detention, say my Bible pastor told that joke, I didn’t know. Don’t tell that joke. Don’t tell that joke.
So listen, guys. Listen. There’s truth to this. Be careful how you apply this. And if there’s resistance from some woman that you’ve grown up in a church where basically you were abused with this doctrine, I want to ask your forgiveness on behalf of pastors. That’s not what the Bible’s saying here at all. Now, the larger group that might resist this among the ladies in our church is it just seems so out of step with our culture. You’ve got to be kidding me. Submit in marriage? I mean, that just seems sexist, it seems primitive, it seems very archaic. I can’t do that. That’s not what I do in this culture. Well, you’re right. In Western culture, submission is not something we crave. In fact, we resist submission. In fact, we celebrate being rebellious in our world right now. We love to rave against the machine and rant against all kinds of authority, reject authority, be your own boss, be your own person, be your own man. I’m just telling you that’s out of the step with the word of God. In fact, if you’re a woman and you resist this idea and definition of marriage and your role in marriage, I would ask you this question. Don’t answer out loud, but who is shaping your view of your role of a woman especially as a wife? Who’s shaping your view of womanhood? Because it’s not God. And God would like to.
Let me share something kind of fun. Ladies, you are so unique, you are so beautiful, so blessed. Take your Bible and find Genesis. Everybody find Genesis right now. You all know where Genesis is, right? Genesis. First book in the manual. Easy one. Everyone can find that. And I think maybe the best stuff on marriage in all the Bible and relationships in all the Bible is back in Genesis. And we watched that couple make good decisions, make bad decisions, but I love what happens in Genesis. And ladies, I want to show you something. This is so cool. How you are unique in the entire creative narrative. There’s something that God does as he fashions the woman he doesn’t do with anything else in creation among all living things. Genesis chapter 2, verse 18. It says, “The Lord God said it’s not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” And guys, a lot of us just don’t do well on our own. Some of y’all are bachelors and you’ve got it going on, but the rest of us, we’re just wired to be married, and we’re a mess. Three days Lisa’s out of town, the house is a disaster, the kids are a disaster, I’m a mess. I mean, I don’t do well. I’m like Adam.
See God had wired Adam evidently to be a married guy. And so he’s going man, look, there’s no sin in the world. My boy Adam has a perfect relationship with me, he lives in Paradise. But it’s the first negative in the Biblical narrative. God says still not good. He needs someone. He’s alone. I need to do something special. So in the following verses, God makes the animals, brings the animals to Adam. Adam has the honor to name all the animals. How fun would that be, right? How fun to name all the animals. But when it’s all done, Adam says hey, God, I really like the labrador as a pet, but looking for that whole helper thing, I’m not seeing it here, and God agreed.
So look what happens in verse 21. And watch, ladies, the description of detail here. “So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took one of man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made the woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” That’s where the whole father giving away the bride comes from. The first father to do that was God as he brought his daughter Eve to Adam. And of course, Adam was thrilled. Thou art bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh. But notice a uniqueness in all the creative activity. See, God made animals, in fact, God made Adam from the same substance. Dust. If you read Genesis, he took dust and he made the animals. Took dust and he made Adam. I mean, guys, dirt. Some woman says he’s a dirty old man. Accurate theologically speaking, right? We’re all made from dirt. From nonliving things God made life. There’s only one unique and beautiful exception in the creative order of God. He makes the woman from flesh. Makes the woman from the rib. Close to the man’s heart, something very precious, and from life he makes life. And I love this part. Adam is sleeping when this happens. Not sure how that happened. Perhaps God had invented the recliner and NASCAR, watching golf, fishing show, something. Adam’s just sawing logs, and when he wakes him up, here is this woman. And for the first time in human history a man sees a beautiful, perfect, naked woman. Woohoo. It’s his wife. It’s okay. You can woohoo. That’s good. And she’s so beautiful and so perfect. And the reason is, listen, while Adam was asleep, God fashioned her, and listen, shaped her, her view of womanhood, her view of marriage with his holy hands.
See, if you’re resisting this, I would say well, who has shaped your view of marriage? Who has shaped your view of womanhood? Because it’s not been God. Because in God’s word more than once he shapes the marital responsibility and role like this for the woman. And again, ladies, I think you’re smarter than we are when it comes to relationships. Don’t resist this. Because if you’re resisting, you know what’s going on in the back of your head right now? You’re resisting because you’re thinking well, that’s not — that’s not what they say my role as a wife should be. And I would say well, who is the they? In our culture, you know who it is? It’s Dr. Phil. It’s Oprah. It’s the women, Whoopi and the women on The View shaping the view of marriage and relationships.
Look, we cannot take our relational cues from Jon and Kate, or we’re going to be messed up. And a lot of us, what we’re doing is the girls at the office, it’s our old college friends, it’s Glamour and Cosmo and People Magazine. Ladies, if you let Shape magazine shape your physical view of what you need to look like, you’re going to feel so frustrated and feel devalued. Why not let God shape your view of who you’re called to be? It’ll be beautiful and highly esteemed and valued and function in marriage. We’re called to submit.
Now, I wish I could tell you something else, but I’m going to go with God. God’s word always makes sense. God’s word works. It’s the owner’s manual for relationships. By the way, again, I want to say where it’s found in the owner’s manual? Safety section. Safety section. And when you think of submission, ladies, think of safety. In fact, theologically here’s the way I believe it works. When Lisa submits to my loving leadership in the home, she comes under the umbrella of my protection and the canopy of my authority as her husband. And listen, guys, again, they’re smarter than we are when it comes to relationships. If you do what the Bible says you’re called to do, you love her as Christ loves the church, you lead her in spiritual things, you provide for her, get a job. If you’re unemployed but you’re trying to get a job, I don’t mean you, but if you’re sitting around at home on the couch eating cornflakes, don’t want to work, get a job, protect her, serve her, serve her. Because again, preachers leave out verse 21. They jump right to verse 22. Wives, submit to your — no, no. Verse 21 says submit to each other out of reverence for Christ. So we should serve each other. Marriage should be a contest for the other person’s pleasure. So if I love her, lead her, provide for her, protect her, if I serve her and honor her, she’s relationally smart. She will have zero opposition to doing something that is obviously in her best interest. And as I got ready to teach this one, I knew I was swimming in the shark-infested waters this weekend, so I brought some godly women into the conversation, say here’s the way I understand this doctrine, here’s the way I understand this practice. What do you think? I talked to Lisa. Lisa, is this the way you understand it? And I thought her insight was so good. Lisa said well, honey, if you’re submitting to God as my husband and I’m submitting to you, she said the pressure’s off. Because you’re trying to make the right decision before God, and if you screw up, you’re in trouble, not me. It’s safe. It’s safe.
In fact, you know, if I really want to make it tense, let me talk about money for a moment. She said David, it’s like financial stewardship. When you understand that everything that we think we own we don’t own, but God owns everything, 1 Corinthians 10:26, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,” we understand that, you know, the pronouns are wrong because we say our car and our house. It all belongs to God. It’s God’s car and it’s God’s house and it’s God’s savings and it’s God’s retirement account. All God’s. I just manage God’s stuff. All of a sudden, the pressure is off with the things the Bible tells me to do with my money, you know. Stewardship, giving money, offering a tithe. It’s easy to do to give God back his own money. Living on a margin, protecting savings, investing, all those things I do. But if there is an unexpected financial expenditure, I don’t have to sweat that, feel the pressure for that, because if it’s God’s money, it’s God’s problem, let him worry about it. See how authority works? Authority is protective. There’s a covering in that.
Safety section. It is a seat belt for you relationally speaking, ladies. You come under that canopy of authority, there is protection for you. And let’s face it, we live in a dangerous world. 1965 Corvette owner’s manual, two paragraphs about seat belts. That car has no seat belt. I propose it’s much more dangerous today than in 1965, especially relationally. And you’ve got to have safety. You’ve got to have protection.
I mean, things have no value without that. Here’s how I’m going to drive the point home. Tommy, the guy that lent us this car for the series, is going to allow us to give the car away. Everybody find your worship folder right now. Someone has a little sticker marked Corvette Stingray on your card. Go ahead, everybody find it right now. Go ahead, find it right now. Oh, I’m just kidding. We’re not doing that. Are you kidding me? Car’s like worth $60,000. He said you can have it four weeks, five weeks, be careful with that car. We’re not doing that. We’re not doing that. It would be fun if we could, but he didn’t let me do that. It would be fun if we could do that. But what if we did that, but there was a catch? What if the catch was, all right, you won the car, but here’s the catch. Before we gave the car to you, mechanically we had the brakes removed. No brakes. In fact, we mechanically fixed the car, you can never reinstall brakes again. You’ve got this incredible car. By the way this is a high horsepower car. It’s a fast car. Made of only fiberglass. It got a lot less valuable to you. I can’t take this in the salt grass. I can’t even drive it off the property. I’m going to have a problem. I’m going to have a wreck. I’ve got to have brakes.
Listen. Marriage should be a blessing and should be beautiful, but in the Bible, boundaries and blessing and beauty always come fused together. Safety section. God wants your marriage to be special, sanctified, there must be safety. Submission is the word for you. Now some of you guys, you’re loving this teaching. Oh, I didn’t want to come to church, but this is good. I’m taking careful notes on this. Word to the guys, I had planned for this to be kind of a message to the wives and the husbands, and guys, I didn’t have time for you. So you must come back next week. You’ve got to come back next week. Your part is next week, husbands. Little more to the wives and the ladies next week, talk to parents and kids next week, so got to come back next week. And listen, here’s just a word of warning. Any of you guys go home and try to use this as a club, use this as a weapon or ammunition with your wife, don’t you dare. Don’t you dare. Especially till you’ve heard your part. Are you kidding me? Don’t you dare. Don’t you do that. Because that’s just wrong.
By the way, some of the men are going to make excuses, ladies, next week why they can’t be here. Don’t you buy that stuff. In fact, brother, I want to call you out. You choose not to come next week, you are a coward. You are relationally gutless. You’re not a leader, you’re a loser if you don’t come next week. You are a big weenie if you don’t come next week. In fact, brothers, brothers, turn to the man near you and say don’t be a weenie. Don’t be a weenie. Don’t you dare be a weenie. Don’t be a weenie. I’ll see you next week. Don’t be a weenie. I’ll see you next week at Church by the Glades, man. I want to hear about my role and my responsibility, this incredible call we have on our life. I’m not going to beat the guys up, but I’m going to challenge you to step up and do what God would call you to do. Don’t you be a weenie. And by the way, ladies, they won’t say I’m just afraid to go to church. They’ll go no, honey, I really want to do those chores. I want to do the honey-do list. I want to spend quality time with the kids. Don’t you buy it. You bring them to church, all right? And guys, only thing I will say to you today, don’t you dare take this home and bully your wife. This has been so abused over the years. By the way, the Bible does not say to obey. Doesn’t say wives obey your husbands. That’s nowhere in the scripture. Now, it does say children obey your parents. And all the parents said woo, yeah, it says that. It says Christians, we should obey God at all times, obey the word of God at all times, to obey church leaders. There you go. So we’ll do that. Never tells a wife to obey the husband.
We had a wedding here a couple of years ago. A guest preacher came in and put that in the vows. Dude, I wanted to puke, man. That’s just not in the Bible. In fact, guys, it doesn’t even say you see that your wife submits to you. Like you could if you wanted to. In fact, guys, this is something God needs to touch her hearts. See, you’re going to be tempted to go home sometime this week and say weren’t you listening to pastor David? Didn’t you hear? He said submit. Where’s your submission to me? Don’t you say that. You are not allowed to say that. And you’re going to want at some point to say this. I wanted to say it to Lisa last night, but I didn’t have the nerve to say it. At one point, I’m like, honey, you were here. Were you not even listening to what I said last night? Because I have a strong, beautiful woman. Needs to be something God resonates in her heart. And watch God make our marriages magnificent.
So if your marriage is already a good marriage, God wants to take it to the next level. Always refining, always retooling. Just a little marital tune-up for you also. But there’s others here, man, your marriage has been damaged. Let’s repair that thing together. Others, your marriage is just lackluster. Guess what? God is not environmentally friendly. He’s not green when it comes to your marriages. He wants to add some muscle to your marriage. He wants to take you out of that four-cylinder little hybrid thing, power in your relationships right now and drop in a 502 big block. Wants to add some serious relational RPMs to your marriage. But you must come back and listen to what the Bible says about your marriage, because the Bible says our marriages as Christian people should be so extraordinary and so special that when unbelievers look at our marriages, they go wow, look at that marriage. Look at the passion. Look at the service. Look at the way they value each other. Look how incredibly in love they are. Look at the way — that must be the way Jesus loves the church, which is called his bride.
See, in this passage and other places it talks about the idea that Jesus loves us as a bridegroom loves the bride. He loves his church. He sees great beauty in his church. And there’s passion in that. There’s glory in that. And our marriages should be that exceptional. People look at us and go I get it. It should project the love of Christ for his church. And there’s great passion in that. So I want to see your marriage become that. Because I look forward to the day — it says in the Bible there will be a day that Jesus returns. It uses this language. That the bridegroom will come for his bride. Now, that metaphor might lose some of its power and its punch in this Western world, because weddings, let’s just be honest. I do a bunch of weddings. Weddings in America in the Western world tend to be more ceremony than celebration. In fact, I’ll just give you the insider’s point of view. I don’t care how in love the couple is, typically at the wedding somebody’s really tense. It’s the bride, it’s the mother of the bride, somebody’s afraid they’re going to forget what they do, and they rehearsed the whole thing and it’s kind of regimented and structured. Sometimes people pass out or puke. All kinds of stuff happens. The weddings are ceremonial, uptight, little staid.
Now, the reception, the celebration begins. The honeymoon, it really begins, right? That’s the celebration. But the wedding’s kind of stiff in American culture. When I talk about the bridegroom coming for the bride, it loses some power and punch and passion. But in the first century when this metaphor was first invoked, especially in Israel, life was very harsh, and the villagers would look for any reason to celebrate, and a wedding was the best time. There’s only one time in your life you had fun. It was your wedding. Weddings were a seven-day-long party with food and drink and singing and worship and prayer. And the whole village would gather, and extended relatives would come in from far away. And the climactic part of the celebration was on the final night, the bridegroom, the handsome bridegroom would deck out in his best robes, and in a parade through the heart of the village with torches and singing and worship, he would come for his beautiful bride, and the whole place cut loose. And that’s the celebration that the Bible describes when Jesus returns for his bride, the church. And you don’t get that vibe in most American weddings. But occasionally you see an exception.
In fact, I saw one on YouTube. There’s all kinds of weddings on YouTube, but I found one exception, a couple in Minnesota, Jill Peterson, Kevin Hines, their wedding’s somewhat unique. Just shot it on a little consumer cam, but I think it captured the idea of the celebration of the bridegroom coming for his beautiful bride. Give your attention to the screens. Kind of awkward, typical wedding beginning here. And some of the people could really dance. This guy, he could really dance. And some of them can’t really dance. Look at this poor couple right here. Kind of sad. Everybody’s having fun. Everyone is celebrating. He’s pretty good. Pretty good. If you can’t dance, just improvise a little bit. That would be the bride. I love this. Watch this. They’re doing the Matrix. Isn’t that great? And they’re good. They put some time in on this. Now get ready. Look at the beautiful bride, and notice the smile on her face. Just having fun. In lock step. Isn’t that great? Isn’t that great? That’s the celebration and joy of marriage, what it should be. And we miss that sometime in our Western world. But this couple didn’t. It’s been 20 million hits in five weeks on this YouTube wedding moment. And look, your marriage should be fun. There should be joy.
In fact, my prayer for you is God would retool or repower the joy in that relationship. And this would begin a new day. I know we live in a culture that is not friendly towards a godly marriage, but let’s be counterculture and do what the Bible calls us to do. Because I’m praying for you married people. I want your marriage to be magnificent. I want it to be something blessed and beautiful. When lost people look at your marriage, they go wow, that is the joy and love of Christ for his church.
So you’ve got to come back next week and every week as we surrender to God our relationships. And finally, if there’s somebody here and you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, that’s what this is all about. Because someday Jesus will return as a bridegroom for his church, the believers, the bride. And I don’t know if the angels are going to be wearing shades and playing Chris Brown’s Forever, but he’s coming back, and you don’t want to miss that. So I want to pray over the whole church family. So everyone please bow your head, everyone please close your eyes. I want to pray for everyone. If you need to make your Christ decision, come when my prayer is done and make that your choice today at the edge of the stage. There’ll be pastors here. But I want to pray especially for the married people. If you’re married, right now in the dark just reach over and grab your spouse’s hand and allow me to pray over you God’s blessing. Father, this is not an easy time in the history of the world to covet and protect and cherish marriages. But I pray, Father, for a great many here this weekend this will be a new day, you would add some muscle to our marriages, we would endeavor to protect our marriages, maintain our marriages, repair some damage, perhaps. That over the course of time, our marriages would grow more beautiful, more precious, mint condition. Jesus, only you can empower that, so Father, we give you this time, we give you the next week. I pray for anyone that needs to give their heart to Christ to join the beautiful bride, the church. Lord, we love you. We celebrate the fun of being married, as all God’s people shouted —
God bless you. Have a great week.