This week, we listen to Voddie Baucham talking about marriage. This is the third out of four sermons in this series on marriage from about 15 years ago.
I found some things in this sermon to be a little difficult to listen to. Voddie is roughly the same age as I am, and so he was a lot younger when he did this. Just as I might change the way I present something over time, I imagine Voddie might change the way he addressed some of the things in this marriage series, maybe especially this message.
I appreciate the way he interprets Ephesians 5:22-35. He takes five principles for the kind of men husbands ought to be. A man who wants to be a godly husband should:
- Lead in Love (Biblical love, not Greco-Roman)
- Lead in the Word
- Lead in Righteousness
- Lead in selflessness.
- Lead in Intimacy (this doesn’t necessarily mean sex)
The parts where I struggled with this message were places of application. So listen carefully to the difference between interpretation and application. For instance, when he talks about leading in selflessness, he mentions pulling out chairs, or opening doors, and when he does, it sounds almost like he saying that the Bible tells men to do these things. Actually, what the Bible tells men to do is to love their wives selflessly, and sacrificially. That might involve opening doors for their wives. It might not. Loving selflessly and sacrificially might involve other things, not mentioned in this message, like doing the dishes, or running errands, or going shopping with your wife. So, if you find something bothers you, consider whether it is actually what the Bible says, or whether it might be a possible application of the Bible. Though the meaning of the Bible never changes, the application of that meaning can sometimes change, depending on the situation and culture. So Ephesians 5:22-35 always means that men should love their wives selflessly. The way that actually plays out (the application), might vary from time to time and place to place.
Voddie shows us that the standard of the Bible is extremely high for men who want to be good husbands. This should make men run to Jesus for help and mercy. It should lead women to pray for their husbands, and to do what they can to encourage them (reminding them how they have failed is generally not encouraging). None of us can do this apart from the grace and life of Jesus within us.
One other thing I might change is the saying that Voddie repeats several times: “Better today than yesterday, better tomorrow than today.” This could actually be very discouraging, because, at least for me, I often notice that I did better yesterday than today. On any given day, I might be worse than I was on some other day. And so, if I have one day of messing up, that makes it seem like it’s all hopeless. I’d rather think in terms of longer periods than days. I think it might be more realistic to say: Better this year than last year. Better next year than last year.
All right, without further ado, here’s the message:
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