LOVE AND RESPECT IN THE FAMILY

Family Series GCC message:
EPHESIANS 5:22-33
Wives and Husbands 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. 



I. WHAT IS LOVE? THE 4 KINDS OF LOVE 

  • Storge Love - Storge is the natural bond between mother and infant, father, children, and relatives. 
  • Phileo Love - Phileo love is a love of the affections. It is delighting to be in the presence of another, a warm feeling that comes and goes with intensity. The Bible encourages it but it is never a direct command. 
  • Eros Love - It means physical passion; its gratification and fulfillment. It is inferred in many scriptures and is the only kind of love that God restricts to a one-man, one-woman relationship within the bounds of marriage. (it is from EROS that we get the word erotic) 
  • Agape Love - Agape love is God's kind of love. It is seeking the welfare and betterment of another regardless of how we feel. It is the love described in 1Corinthians 13. In a family and in a marriage setting these 4 kinds of love are all needed. In society as we relate to other people we need the 2 kinds of love, phileo (affection) and agape. As we talk about how to love you will see how all of these play out. 
AGAPE The 4 kinds of love are important but the love that keep a couple together through life is the agape kind of love. It is that love that we see in Eph. 5. Husbands love as Christ. He gave. Husband has to give. He gave up everything. Meaning that it is sacrificial. Husbands are to be willing to sacrifice time, money, even life for their families. Love as we love our selves. There is no holding back, everything I have is my wife’s, and everything I want I should be willing to share it. Agape love cares. My desires are not the main thing, her needs and desires are the object of my love.

II. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN. 
  • WOMEN:
    • Women can multi-task while men can only do one thing at a time. 
    • Women are tender. 
    • Women are very intuitive and men are very rational 
    • Women think with their head, hearts and feelings. 
  • MEN:
    • Men are adventurous and that is why they take risks, while women are more calculative
    • Men deal with cause and effect. They want to find solutions to problems. Because of the way God made women it is easier for them to love than we men, it therefore takes a deliberate effort for us to love. And that is why we are commanded to LOVE. 1 Pet 3:7 7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. NIV Husbands 7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. NLT 7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. ESV BE RESPECTFUL (HONOR, UNDERSTANDING, CONSIDERATE) THEY ARE NOT LIKE YOU MEN. PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY BUT THEY ARE EQUAL TO YOU IN GOD’S EYES. THE WAY WE TREAT WOMEN DETERMINES THE WAY GOD WORKS IN OUR LIVES AND IN OUR PRAYERS. YOU CANNOT TAKE THEM FOR GRANTED. 
III. HOW DO WE EXPRESS OUR LOVE? LOVE IS A CHOICE When we think of agape, we realize that, love does not depend on how we feel but on what is the right thing to do. It does not depend on how the other person is treating us, but on how God wants us to treat the other person. We do the right thing by faith, and God follows it up by changing the other person. Our actions are the best way to express what is in our hearts. What we do helps our loved ones to know whether we love them or not. 
  
1. WORDS OF AFFIRMATION Words are so important especially the way you say them. Words that you have to learn to say are: a. I LOVE YOU. b. THANK YOU c. I AM SORRY (we need to always be peacemakers; you may win an argument but loose a battle). Related to this is the discipline of not blaming your spouse always. Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” • Use words that build up. Prov 12:25 “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Real love is other centered and not me centered. I desire to make the other more whole. • Encouraging words. It means to inspire courage. • Kind words. 1Cor 13. says love is kind, use kind words to show that you love. With words that has to do with the way we say words. Gentle, tender. One way to stay kind is not keeping record of past mistakes and keeping on bringing them up. • Humble words. Love makes requests and not demands. Come here. Can you please come over. You must be here at this time. Can you please try to be on time I told you Don't do this. Please be careful, that thing may break. • Words of Appreciation. One psychologist, William James said: “The deepest human need is the need to be appreciated.” 

2. QUALITY TIME a. Un-divided attention. Example of a person who comes to your office and you look at the computer as you speak to them. b. Focused Attention. How would you like talking to someone when they are not looking you in the face. Listen both with your ears, your eyes and your head. (Men, how many times has your wife talked to you, and you keep saying YES but when they ask you a question you realize you have not been listening.) YOUR EYES ARE IMPORTANT IN A CONVERSATION. 

3. QUALITY CONVERSATION You talk with your heart. As someone speaks you are trying to find out what their thoughts, hope and feelings are. It is a 2-way conversation, you speak and she speaks. Some men do not have time for talking, let her talk but she also wants to listen to you talk. Many of these mothers spend the whole day with kids, they need adult talk too. Learn not to interrupt. c. Quality activities. What are some of those things you can do together? 

4. GIVING AND RECEIVING GIFTS Dr. Gary Chapman says that: “A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say: look he was really thinking of me” A gift is a symbol of love. Gifts do not have to be expensive but they should not be cheap. Cheap means with no quality. As you give gifts, you need to know the person you are giving it to. What are his or her desires, what color do they love etc. ( these can be purchased, found or made. ) 

5. ACTS OF SERVICE Tradition and culture can be hindrance to this one. Like: Men do not cook. Men do not wash clothes. Men do not bathe babies etc. We need to know we did not marry cooks, or slaves. We did not marry horses, we married human beings who also get tired and need help also. Example of a village mama. Baby on the back, firewood on the head, and kaveera of food in the hands and a man walking besides her. It is not a sin for a man to stay home with the kids while the wife is working or is helping out at church. ACTION: • Get a list of the little task around the house that she wants you to fix. • Surprise your wife one day by cooking lunch or supper for the family. • You can also iron the family clothes some of the days! 

6. PHYSICAL TOUCH Research in child development says: babies who are helped, hugged and touched develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left alone for long periods of time. In a family setting physical touch is a great way of expressing your love. But also in society friendship is affirmed when people shake hands or give us hags. WHEN NOT TOUCH. As good as physical touch is, it is not accepted to intimately touch people of the opposite sex who are not your wife. In public we call it sexual harassment. It is actually criminal for adults to do that to kids, and we always encourage them to report such behaviors.

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