Biblical love, the kind of love that Jesus has for His bride the church, is an efficacious love that changes us and causes us to become more loving, lovely, and loveable. In the same way, a husband must love his wife in such a way as to cultivate transformation in her.
Why don’t we do this? We’ll pray for a minute. Just pray for a building. I’ll tell you guys what. We started this morning’s service here a year ago with 40 people, and today we’re probably 550, 600, okay? Which is awesome. We just obviously need a bigger building.
And there are some seats at the 5:00 that’s here tonight as well. We’d encourage some of you to go there. There is childcare. There’s a few seats there, and there’s a few seats at the 6 and the 8 at the Paradox, and if you’re from the south end, there’s a service down there at 5:30 on Sunday nights as well, so there’s six services right now. We’re doing all we can. We have great need for a building. If you guys could just please, please, please pray for that, we are looking very intensely and haven’t had anything pop yet that’ll really take care of us. Pray for something that seats about 1,000, maybe more.
With current trends, by 2005, with our current growth, we’ll be easily a church of 4 to 5,000, okay? And we’re a church of about 1,000 a week right now, which is great. Good to have you. Just don’t know where to put you, so I’ll pray.
Father God, thank you for a full room. Thank you for a chance to get together and study the Scriptures. Thank you, Lord God, that you have called these people today to hear your Word. I pray that you would use my efforts to participate in that work to your glory.
Lord Jesus, thank you so much that you’re a great god and king. Thank you that you’ve come and died for our sins and risen to give us new life and impart to us the Spirit so that we can study and learn and know the Scriptures and be convicted of our sin and be transformed.
Lord God, we pray that your powerful spirit would do his work in us this morning through the Scriptures and that you would teach us and lead us and guide us and convict us and instruct us and encourage us as we need. We love you, Lord God. We thank you, and we do pray as well for a bigger building, a place to meet, Lord God, as we – our church that is well beyond capacity at nearly every service. And we thank you for that, Lord God, that in a city that is the least church in the entire nation that we are seeing you be very gracious and great with us and to us, and we just pray that you would give us the place to accommodate more people coming to know you and love you. We thank you. We come to you today in Christ’s name. Amen.
Proverbs 30 is where we shall begin. Today’s topic is on men as husbands. If you’re a single man, this is good. It’s gonna get your house in order before you get a wife. If you’re a woman, this is good because as one part suffers, the whole body suffers. If men are not doing well, then the church is not doing well.
Proverbs 30 is our theme, beginning in verse 21. Wait for you to flip there. You can – we’ll begin there, and we’ll end there, so you can just keep that place open as I preach today. Beginning in Chapter 30:21. “Under three things the earth trembles; under four it cannot bear up: a servant who becomes king, a fool who is full of food, an unloved woman who is married” – that’s our theme – “and a maidservant who displaces her mistress.”
What happens in Proverbs, we are told, is that the world is held up by a few pillars and that if those pillars should begin to shake, that whole world collapses and crumbles. One of the fundamental pillars that Proverbs gives us is that husbands love their wives, that the whole world is built on that. If husbands don’t love their wives, then the earth begins to shake, and eventually it comes off of its pillar and it collapses and it bursts. It breaks. It is destroyed.
We now live in that world. This world is broken. It has shaken off of its foundation, and the reason is largely due to the fact that husbands are not loving their wives. And so we have created an entire culture that is trying to assume that men won’t love their wives and that we need to do something to take care of the wives and the children, so we create welfare, so we create lots of assistance for single mothers. We create daycare. We create all of these things assuming that men won’t love their wives.
This is even prevalent within Christianity. I was speaking to a Christian woman not too long ago, and she said, “Well, I’m going to college.” I said, “How come?” She says, “Well, so I can get a good job.” I said, “Well, do you wanna be married?” She says, “Yes.” And I said, “Then why are you going to spend all these years getting your education if you wanna be married?” not that education is bad. And she said, “Well” – and this is the reason I was asking these questions. She said, “Well, just in case someday my husband divorces me, then I’ll have a good career to fall back on and take care of myself.”
Here is a woman who is getting her divorce lined up before her husband. She’s assuming that whoever’s going to marry her isn’t going to love her, at least for 50 years or so, and so she needs to have a backup plan to take care of herself. In a fallen and sinful world, is that sometimes necessary? Yes, it is. Is that tragic? That is tragic. Am I saying women shouldn’t go to college? That’s not what I’m saying at all.
I’m saying, though, that Christian women shouldn’t go to college so that their Christian husband will divorce them and they can still live. That’s not a good motive. And I’m saying that husbands not loving their wives lead to all of the messes that we see. The culture collapses ‘cause men aren’t loving their wives. That’s our theme for today.
The first thing you gotta realize is that before a man can ever love his wife, he has to be a Christian. First and paramount, a man cannot be a good husband unless he’s a good Christian because Scripture says to love your wife as Christ loved the church, Ephesians 5. You cannot even begin to fathom that apart from being a good Christian, that men do not have in and of themselves the ability to love their wives.
We’re told in 1 John 4 that God is love, so God has love; God gives us love. God tells us that he demonstrates his love for us in this. We’re yet sinners. Christ died for us. So God comes as the Lord Jesus Christ, the perfect man, dies for the sins of his people, resurrects, conquering their enemies of Satan, sin, and death, and then he through the Holy Spirit, Romans tells us, pours out his love into their hearts.
So a man can’t even love a woman unless he’s a good Christian because he has no access to love. If God is love, and love comes from God, and love is only given to men through the Holy Spirit, then apart from being a good Christian, a man cannot be a good husband whatsoever; it is not possible. Some men say, “Well, I have loved women in the past, and I wasn’t a Christian.” No, you didn’t. You loved yourself, and you used those women to take care of your own selfish desires.
There is two kinds of love, at least. One is a sentimental love. This is sort of a usury. This is like a junior high, gazing across the room, fluttering heart, greeting card sort of love. It sort of ebbs and flows. It’s strong and weak. And that’s where you’ll meet some people and they’ll say, “Oh, I just love that person. I’m in love,” and you meet ‘em the next day. You say, "Well, how’s he doing?" “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him in – I don’t know.” “What was his name again?” “I don’t remember. I just had this really euphoric, sentimental, emotional moment, and now it’s gone. It was just fleeting.”
That’s where you’ll hear people who are married say things like, “Well, we’re not together anymore because we fell out of love.” Like you fell off your chair. Like I just fell out. I was really in, but then I fell out, 15 minutes later. It just fell apart.
Sentimental love is weak. It is cowardly. It is unenduring, and it is not able to endure difficult times. The Bible calls men to love their wives not in just a sentimental way, but in an efficacious way. What that means is in such a way as to transform the woman. Jesus loves me in such a way as to transform me. He tells me to love my wife in that same way, which would obviously include me loving her so that she’s changed. She’s transformed. What this should mean is that the longer a woman is married and the more she is loved, the more lovely she should become. That’s what it should mean.
And so this begins in Genesis where God creates the man in his image and likeness. God determines that it’s not good for the man to be alone, and so he creates a helper suitable. He creates a woman, also made in his image and likeness, to be partner with the man, and that God brings them together. They consummate. They become one flesh, and that’s God’s intention for his people is that one man and one woman as one flesh, for one lifetime, that’s a marriage. That’s what it’s supposed to mean. That’s what Jesus says. From the creation, that’s the way God ordained it.
That excludes, then, this opportunity of divorce and remarriage de facto because there is one man, one woman, not one man and a bunch of women for him to cycle through until he finds the right one. It also negates the fact of a man becoming an adulterer. Adam couldn’t be an adulterer. He had no other women. It takes care of the fact of polygamy because Adam had one woman on the planet; that’s it. In addition, it eliminates the possibility of homosexuality because Adam had Eve, and that’s all he had, and that’s what God intended for him.
It all sounds well and good. Adam sings a love song to his wife: “Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, you shall be called woman, for you were taken from me.” He loves her. He adores her. He makes love to her. And every man, when he thinks of marriage, thinks of a sentimental, Genesis 1 and 2, naked, eating fruit, singing songs, living happily ever after.
But the problem is Genesis 3. That’s the problem. The problem is that the man and the woman sin, the man through being a passive coward, the woman through being an overbearing sort of feminist archetype.
And then all of a sudden all hell breaks loose, Satan is ruling the world, and the curse upon the man is that everything under his dominion will war against him – we dealt with that last week – and that, in addition, the woman who was created to be a complementor and a helper and a completer, she becomes a very much thorn in his flesh. As he has thorns and thistles, she becomes one of the thorns in his flesh. She has a desire, we’re told, to rule over him. She wants to tell him what to do, boss him around. She wants to manage and manipulate and control and cajole the man.
In the same way, we’re told just a little bit later in Genesis that sin was crouching at the door, seeking to overtake and devour and destroy Cain, so she is going to declare war on him and wanna rule over him. Now, some women are very overt about this. They yell and scream and chuck things and pitch tantrums and throw fits, and they blame it on themselves being Italian or having some sort of Irish blood in them, and they do that.
Some women are far more covert. They manipulate, control through crying because a man doesn’t know what to do. That’s an impenetrable defense. She starts crying, and he’s like, “Okay, what do you want? I guess you win now. I don’t know how to win this war. You’re in charge, ‘cause I’m not going to cry to compete, okay? I’m not going to do that.”
And so the man has got a real fight on his hands with the woman. Now, she can be a help, and she should be a help. I tell the men that, because some men who are single think, “Well, mature men have wives, so I’ll go get a wife, and that’ll make me a mature man.” No, no, no.
In the same ways, going and getting a snorkel doesn’t make you a scuba diver. Going and getting a wife doesn’t make you a man, okay? You are a man first, and then you take a wife, but you better know what you’re getting into. Lots of men naively walk into marriage and realize that it’s a lot more Genesis 3 and a lot less nudity and fruit – Genesis 1 and 2 – than they were anticipating. They’ve got a real fight on their hands, that the enemy participates as well.
So there are some common ways that women sin, wives sin. We’ll talk about these. These are some things for the wives to think about. I’ll begin with Proverbs 12:4. There are only two kinds of women on planet earth who are wives according to Proverbs 12:4. “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown.” She is a glory to him. She is a blessing to him. She is a joy to him. And she has a sister. “A disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.”
There are only two kinds of wives: wives that are glorious and wives that are painful. Some of the women are like, “I don’t like that verse.” Well, that tells you what kind of wife you are. The glorious wife likes that verse. The painful wife, she doesn’t like that verse at all.
You see some guys, and they look like they are literally in pain. Right? Their heads are down. Their shoulders are slumped. They look like they just got kicked somewhere inappropriate, and that’s because they have been. They’re just defeated, beaten. Their wife has declared war, and see, when a woman declares war on her husband, he can’t win, because if he beats her, then she hates him; he sleeps on the couch. That is no victory. And if he loses, then she rules over him and he is not a man. He cannot win. And she becomes decay in his bones. She is a cancer that eats him from the inside out. There are two kinds of wives: ones that are a crown and ones that are decay.
Here are some ways that women become decay. First is through quarreling. A lot of you women are like, “Hey, don’t say that.” That’s what I’m talking about. Proverbs 19:13. You can’t get off the hook with me. “A foolish son is his father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like constant dripping.” You ever had a bad gutter or a leaky faucet? Don’t you love that? No, you don’t. You don’t love that at all. Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip. In some times of war, they use that for torture to get people to confess national secrets, okay? That’s how men feel when their wives are like that. They feel like they are prisoners of war, being tortured.
Proverbs 21:9, “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” In Mars Hill we call this the Pitch a Tent Club. These are the guys who go to REI to look at camping gear for their own home.
Proverbs 21:19, “Better to live in a desert” – starving to death, completely disassociated from life – “than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.” If you don’t know what an ill-tempered wife is, you probably are one, okay? Everyone else knows what that means except for the women who are ill-tempered. They just think that they’re expressing themselves.
Proverbs 25:24, “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” And lastly, Proverbs 27:15-16, “A quarrelsome wife is like constant dripping on a rainy day. Restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with your hand.” Okay? Praise the Lord, okay?
So some women, we’re told, are like a dripping faucet. They make you feel like a prisoner of war. They decay your bones, and it’s like a hurricane in your house that you can’t get to settle down.
Some women say, “Well, I’m just letting it all out.” Well, when’s the end? ‘Cause that’s a lot of wind. Pretty soon there’s a hurricane in my house, and the man is trying to restrain – have you ever tried to restrain a hurricane? I’ll just put my arms around – no, you won’t. You’ll just get thrown against the wall. That’s the way it goes. And it’s like grasping oil with your hands. She’s all over you, but not in any sense of you having control. It’s just a mess.
In addition, some women – common sins for wives are destruction. Proverbs 14:1, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears it down.” Some women just love to destroy things. Some women literally break things. The dish-chucking wife, the thing-breaking wife. They like to break things. Some women will work hard to build a marriage, and then they’ll just destroy it. They love to just cause chaos and havoc, and like their enemy, they’re just about destroying things and tearing them down.
In addition, some women who are married are prone to adultery. This is in large part because a married woman has learned a few things about men, and if she doesn’t use that rightly, then she will use that information falsely to attract and tempt the wrong kind of men with the wrong kind of attention. Some women are so skilled after a few years of marriage that they start to play other men like instruments.
Proverbs 2:16-17, “Wisdom will save you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife” – the wife who’s going out wearing a dress that doesn’t fit, hanging out in places she shouldn’t be – “with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant that she made before God.” Some married women become very flirtatious. They become inappropriately dressed. They sort of look guys in the eye and say very nice things about them. They’ve learned how to flatter men, and some dumb guys go along for the ride.
In addition, some women are just a flat-out embarrassment. I know some guys that don’t even wanna take their wives to work to meet their friends. They don’t wanna take their wives out to meet their buddies. They don’t wanna take their wives to meet their family. They don’t wanna be seen in public because she’s just embarrassing.
Proverbs 9:13, “The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge.” You put those together, that is not a fun date night, okay? Loud, foolish, and without discipline. These are women that say things that they should not say. These are women who do things that they should not do, and there’s just no self-control, and they’re embarrassing.
You wanna hear a story? Okay, I’ll tell you a story. This service I’m not rushed, so I can do the four-hour sermon. I had this recently. I don’t know if it was the Holy Spirit or my flesh just brought this to mind. You tell me in a second.
I was at the doctor’s office with my wife when she was pregnant and we were going into the doctor, and this woman comes out with her son, and she starts telling me about her hysterectomy. I’m reading Sports Illustrated. I didn’t ask about her hysterectomy. Didn’t know she’d had a hysterectomy, but for some reason, she is there telling me about her hysterectomy and that she had a going-away part for her organs. And she pulled out pictures and showed me all the gifts she got and sorta the piñata in the shape of her womb that they whacked to get candy.
Now, this woman has some serious issues, obviously. I’m sitting there with my wife, and I’m just like – I’m reading the Sports Illustrated like, “What in the world is she talking to me for?” I mean, she just comes out and she just starts talking. We’re in the waiting room, and we’re kinda stuck in this small area, and she’s standing in front of the door, so I can’t get out. I can’t run for my life. I’m stuck.
And her son is with her. Her husband wasn’t there. I looked; she didn’t have a wedding ring, and I think I know why. Her son was just dying. He’s this teenage kid, and he’s like – you know?
And I’m sitting there with another couple, a husband and wife waiting to go in. I think they were having their first child, and this guy’s looking at me like, “Where’s the bullets? I have a gun. Let’s get together on this.”
That’s what I’m talking about, right? This woman, unbelievable embarrassment, loud, undisciplined, and without knowledge. Just like, look, okay, we’re all strangers. We don’t – and she was done with her doctor’s appointment. She was on her way out. She just thought she had an audience and would tell us about the party she’d had the night before. Well, thanks a lot. That’s great. Appreciate that. Great. How is your ex-husband doing?
Proverbs 11:22, “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” There’s a memory verse for you. Some women are beautiful, and so they don’t have to be very mature or wise or disciplined because if a woman is gorgeous, she’s allowed to say or do anything she wants and has no discretion. And some men never tell ‘em that, because they don’t wanna marry those women; they just want to be with them for a few minutes.
Proverbs 12:4, “A noble wife is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” I tell the men that because when you marry a woman, all of a sudden you will find it’s a lot more work than you were thinking. A lot of guys are thinking, “Great. We’ll eat fruit, be naked, and sing songs. That’s what I’m signing up for.” And then they get a woman who likes to fight, who destroys things, who flirts with other men, or is just a total embarrassment. And what they think is, “Well, geez, I must’ve married the wrong woman.” Daughters of Eve all have certain similarities. Some women struggle in varying areas; some women don’t. Every woman struggles with something.
So what the men do then is the men sin in the same way that the woman does. Here are the common sinful responses of husbands. Proverbs 2 – excuse me, 24:1-2, “Do not envy wicked men, do not desire their company; for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.” Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with a wise girl is wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
Some guys get married, they look at their wife, and they say, “She’s gonna be a lot of work,” and they start picking up new friends, new buddies. So these are the drinking buddies, and these are the strip club buddies, and these are the going-to-the-game buddies. These are the golf buddies, right?
These guys start hanging out with men who are more reprobate than them, because those men will never call them on their sin or call them to be like Christ to their wives and love them. A lot of times these guys are single, and they have no intention of ever getting married, or they are married and they’re not being faithful to their wives, or perhaps they are faithful to their wives but they’re just bitter and angry and like to gossip about them.
So these guys pick up buddies who are like them, and wives get freaked out when their husbands start picking up friends that are not good influences, and it should freak a wife out. If all of a sudden your husband’s hanging out with nothing but single guys who are on the prowl, you should be concerned.
Is it wrong to have an evangelistic relationship with a reprobate man? No. Is it wrong for him to have an evangelistic relationship and convert you? Yes, it is. That means your job is to get him to church. It is not your job to have him take you to the strip club. Simple. Some guys, their buddies are no help at all. That’s one of the ways that men sin. They pick the wrong friends.
In addition, a lot of men sin through their speech. Proverbs 11:13, “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” Some men tell intimate details and significant things to their – excuse me, their wives tell intimate and significant things to their husbands, and the husbands sometimes gossip about those things, which betrays a trust and a confidence. A woman will tell her husband that she has not been pure before their marriage or that she has had some trauma in her past, and rather than him holding her confidence, he begins to gossip about her. All of a sudden he betrays her trust, and he really crucifies that woman.
The worst is guys who don’t talk with their wife but they talk about them. So I want the men in this church – if the other men start complaining about their wives, the first thing you ask is whether or not they’ve been speaking about this to that woman that they married, and not you.
So all of a sudden it is the worst-case scenario when, in a church, gossip (i.e., the prayer chain) does its loop and begins with the husband and works through the whole church and eventually gets back to the wife. That’s gossip. And so the men need to speak truthfully out of reverence for Christ, like Ephesians 4 says, and talk to their wives, not talk about them.
Proverbs 12:18-19, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wives brings healings. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” Some men are reckless with their words. They get angry, and they get this attitude of fighting, and they view not the enemy as their enemy, and their wife as their ally; they view their wife as their enemy, and they shoot her. That’s where you hear guys say terrible things like, “You know, we shoulda never gotten married. I got stuck with you. I think I married the wrong woman.” Reckless words.
And also, he talks about here a lying tongue. The wife is like, “Honey, how are we doing?” “Fine.” “Well, is there anything I’ve done –” “Nothing.” “Well, do we need to talk or pray or sort something out?” “No. I’m great.” Oh, yeah, I could tell. That’s awesome.
And some men lie. They withhold the truth from their wife. “Sweetheart, you’re not coming home. You’re hanging out with some guys. I’m getting a little worried. Is everything okay?” “It’s fine.”
“A prudent man” – Proverbs 12:23 – “keeps knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly.” Some guys just say the dumbest things. “How come you aren’t like so-and-so? You’re not as skinny as you used to be.” She says, “No, but I am better armed.”
Proverbs 17:19, “He who loves a quarrel loves sin.” Some men like to fight with their wives. I don’t understand this. These are guys who apparently aren’t working hard and aren’t chasing a life that glorifies God. They have a lot of sorta contention built up within them that should go toward those things that God has called them to, but instead they direct it on their wife and they provoke her. I’ve seen some men provoke their wives to sin because it’s sport. They’ll just drop little bombs on her just to get her all riled up and then go at it, and then they like to beat her and show their manliness. Through their buddies, through their speech, also through their lust. We’ll talk about this more specifically when we get into adultery and when we get into sexuality.
Proverbs 5, the father tells his boy, “May your fountain be blessed” – a great metaphor there – “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 captivated by her love.” In the Hebrew there, it’s lovemaking. “Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?”
Here’s what a lot of men do. A lot of men have a picture in their mind of a beautiful woman, and it’s not their wife. Pornography does nothing but encourage that. Single guys who are into pornography think, “Well, I’ll just have pictures until I get a wife, and then I’ll have a wife instead of the pictures.” No, you still have the pictures in your head.
And so a guy gets used to pornography, and it is tall, short, blonde, redheaded, brunette, Asian, Latino, African American, and white women, and he looks at his wife and says, “Hey, how come you can’t be like that?” Well, because you have been looking at thousands of women, and you’ve put together a composite in your head that no one lives up to, and even the women you’re looking at don’t live in reality. Between plastic surgery and Photoshop, they’ve been so doctored beyond imagination that they don’t even correspond with reality.
And he tells us here that the defense is to be captivated by the lovemaking of your wife. And some of the men say, “Well, my wife’s not very sexually alluring. She’s not very free. She’s not very enjoyable. She’s not very spontaneous. She’s not very creative.” The issue is, well, then cultivate her. Love her. Love her until she becomes more lovely. Love her until she is free. Love her until she knows how to be a helper that is suitable for you. Love her until she is transformed.
But men look for a shortcut, don’t they? Strip club, massage parlor, topless bar, pornography, prostitute, a cheap prostitute that only requires two or three drinks before she acts like one. And men become captivated by the bodies of other women, thinking about what those women look like and what it would be like and ruminating on it. And it begins when a man’s single, and it continues. That’s why you see guys thinking of women primarily as objects, as parts and pieces.
Says, "Why be captivated by another man’s wife? God has ordained for each man a standard of beauty. What is that? His wife. Every man at Mars Hill should think that he married the most beautiful woman, and according to Scripture, he has.
When God created Adam and God created Eve, Adam had never seen another woman. The only standard he had for beauty was the one woman that God gave him. That’s it. He can’t compare her to anyone other than himself, and compared to himself, even a fairly regular woman is a goddess. I look in the mirror, and it doesn’t take much for me to find a woman more attractive than me, okay? What that means is, whatever your wife looks like, if she is a woman, you are well blessed.
And so what God ordains is that men should have their wife be the standard of beauty. If she’s tall, then beauty for you is tall. If she is blonde, then beauty for you is blonde. Whatever her weight is, that is what is beauty for you.
It is a sick culture that has women competing with 13- and 14-year-olds that have been airbrushed and put on women’s magazines, and to tell women who are 50, 60, and 70 and have birthed for a man three, four, or five children that she needs to compete with a 14-year-old and Photoshop. That’s a sick world.
We don’t do that for the men. Men are not fat; they’re husky, okay? They’re stout. Okay? We don’t do this for men. We do do this for women. That’s why you see guys who are 50 years old, wanna trade their wife in for two 25-year-olds. Why? Because they’re captivated by something other than her. They’re captivated by the lovemaking potential of someone else. The worst I have ever seen is a man who could no longer even be intimate with his wife unless he had a picture of another woman on a pillow next to her head, and so he would be with her and lust after someone else. You wanna see where it goes? That’s where it goes.
It’s like that great line in that sick film, 8MM. You know, you dance with the devil. You do not change the devil; the devil changes you. That this lust is just a continually downward cycle. It is stairs into hell. Some men are no longer even attracted to women, just pictures of women. They don’t even know what to do with a real woman. Why be captivated by another woman? The issue is, “Well, my wife’s not very lovely.” Then love her until she is.
What this means is that after 30 years of marriage or 40 years of marriage or five or six children, your wife should be more beautiful than she was when she was 16 years of age, and if she’s not, you have failed. You’ve failed miserably. That’s why a lot of young men will look at an older woman and be attracted to her. Why is that? Because if she has become lovely over time, the man is seeing the fruit of another man’s labor. You shouldn’t lust after her; you should seek to love a woman like she’s been loved and cultivate a woman like she’s been cultivated and to participate in that woman’s life.
Paul says something interesting to young men in the New Testament. He says that young men are supposed to look at young women as what? Sisters. Am I saying that we can’t say that women are beautiful? I’m not saying that. Scripture says that Sarah was beautiful. Even at 100, she was beautiful.
I have a sister who is married. I love her very dearly. She’s a beautiful girl. And I have – her and her husband are members of this church. I have another sister who is a senior in high school. Cute as a button. I love her. They’re great. I love my sisters very, very dearly. Scripture says, though, that all the women, I’m supposed to think of like those two. Do I look at my sister and say, “She’s cute. She’s sweet. I just love her; she’s great”? Yup. Is that a sin to say that about a Christian woman? “She’s sweet; she’s great; she’s a godly gal; I love her.” Nope, if I view her as my sister.
Now, if I look at one of the women who is not my wife and I say, “Well, she’s beautiful,” or “I like this portion of her body,” or “I would like to be with her,” Scripture says I’m committing incest. I’m sleeping with my sister, and I’m lusting after my sister, and I’m sitting around thinking unclean thoughts about my sister.
Why be captivated by another man’s wife? Not just his wife, but her body parts, and he mentions one here. This is a common sin for men who are lazy and don’t wanna cultivate their wife and love her until she’s more lovely. “I will just buy pictures, or I’ll download them, or I’ll go to the strip club or the massage parlor, or I will just pick up some cheap whore, because those aren’t any work at all. It’s just a little bit of money.” It’s a lot easier than loving her as Christ loves her and cultivating her as Christ cultivates her.
Proverbs 6:23-27, “For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way of life keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust after her in her beauty – do not lust after her beauty, rather, or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life.”
Here’s a good question. “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being scorched?” See, some guys like to dance with fire; they just don’t wanna get burned. That’s what he says. “Son, look, there’s certain kinds of women. Some of them are married. They’re gonna look you in the eye. They’re gonna flatter you. They’re gonna say really nice complimentary things. They’re gonna say how great you are and how great you look, and they’re gonna look you right in the eye, all starry-eyed, and they’re gonna drag you to hell.”
Don’t think you can dance around a fire without singeing yourself. Some guys are like, “Well, I’m not gonna sleep with her. I’ll just flirt a little bit, or I’ll just give her that look, or I’ll wink at her when she walks through the office or –” No. Hot burning coals, put ‘em on your lap and just say, "Don’t worry, I won’t get burned." That’s what Proverbs says. That’s just foolish.
This will become more and more paramount for the young men as they grow older. When you get older, all of a sudden you’re not sweeping the floors at a business; you’re the boss. All of a sudden you’re not making a minimal amount of money; you’re actually making some real cash. You don’t have an apartment with four buddies; you have your own house. You’re not driving your beater car; you’re driving a new car. You now have a lot of money. You’ve succeeded. You’re making it.
And see, those are the kind of men that women really like, at least these kinds of women, and you become marked prey. That’s why you always see older men with younger women. Why? Because that woman’s a prostitute, and that man’s a pimp, that’s why. They’ve worked out a deal. She performs, and he pays, and sometimes they call it marriage, but it is not covenantal.
This wayward wife. You guys should be scared of any woman who looks you in the eye and continually flatters you, especially if you are married or she is married.
You men have gotta be careful, and you ladies have to make sure that if you are married, you speak to men in a particular way: as brothers. And that men, if you are married or you seek to be married and you’re speaking to a woman who is married or seeking to be married, you speak to her as a sister. Am I saying men and women shouldn’t talk? No. Am I saying they can’t be friends? No. Am I saying they can’t love each other in Christ? No, not at all, but it should be as family, brother/sister.
Proverbs 23:27, “A prostitute is a deep pit, and a wayward wife is a narrow well.” Some men sin as husbands by their friends, some by their speech, some by their lust, some by their finances, their money.
Proverbs 12:11, “He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.” Marriage is for men; it is not for boys. Boys think, “I’ll get a wife. That’ll make me a man.” No. No, it won’t.
Some men don’t work; they chase fantasies. There’s probably 15 guys in this room who think they’re gonna be a rock star, okay? That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Half the guys in this room think they’re gonna be on MTV. You’re not. You’re not. You’re chasing fantasies.
Say, “Well, I know a guy.” Great. “I know a guy in Minnesota who is legally blind and passed the firearms test on a shooting range.” Great. Not gonna hand out guns to blind men. There may be an exception, okay? We don’t build rules on exceptions. Maybe you know one guy who plays guitar and makes a living. I’ll tell you my favorite joke. What do you call a musician without a girlfriend? Homeless. Okay?
Some guys chase fantasies. They’re not working. They’re not making money. They’re chasing fantasies. If you wanna be a husband, you gotta stop chasing fantasies, and you’ve gotta make a living. See, ’cause the sentimental, dumb love says, “I just love her.” Say, “Well, did you take her out?” “Yeah, I took her out to a nice dinner.” “How much did that cost you?” “Not that much. We went Dutch.”
Well, you love her, don’t you? That’s awesome. That’s great. Nothing like covenantal, enduring, Christ-like Dutch love. Nothing better than that. Women are all – women just sit around and just talk about men who love them Dutch. They just love that so much. “My husband is so great. He only makes me pay half of everything. I feel like I’m with Jesus when I hang out with him.”
There’s this dumb, naïve thing that has crept into our culture that says, “Well, women need to make half the money.” No, they don’t. No, they don’t. Scripture never said – Scripture does say, if a man does not provide for the needs of his immediate family, he’s denied the faith, and he’s worse than an unbeliever, which is not a 50/50 Dutch deal.
Some guys say, “Well, honey, you want something to eat? Go get a job. You want something to wear? Go get a job. You want something to drive? Go get a job. You wanna buy a house? Go get a job.” Is that what Scripture says? No. One of the basic requirements in Scripture for a marriage is conjugal rights. You make love to your wife. She gets a house to live in. She gets food to eat. She gets clothes to wear. If you wanna be a husband, you need to make sure you can take good care of your wife. It should be – we’ll get into this in finances.
This should be your joy. You should be happy. I make good money, love my wife, love my kids. What else? That’s beautiful. That’s what we wanna see. You won’t do that if you’re chasing fantasies, buying lotto tickets.
Proverbs 14:23, “All hard work brings profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Some guys don’t work hard, but they talk about working hard, and they fool women into marrying them. You talk to some guys, you’d think they were doing something, and they’re not.
Proverbs 15:27, “A greedy man brings trouble on his family.” Some guys do make good money, and they don’t spend it on their wife, and they don’t spend it on their kids. This is the guy who – he’ll drive the new car; his wife’s driving the old beater. This is the guy, his wife has got no money to manage the home, buy groceries, take care of things around the house, but he’s got a boat or a snowmobile or a motorcycle or a 65-inch flat-screen TV or seven DVD players or – right?
He’s got an enormous car stereo. He has got a decent wardrobe. He eats out all the time. He makes sure that he keeps up his golf game, right? He gets season tickets for the ballgame, and his wife is not taken care of, because he’s greedy, and he gives her this sort of naïve sentimental love. “Honey, I love you. I’ll be at the game, driving my new car, drinking $5.00 beers. If you need anything, just go get a job. I love ya.” No.
You know, I’ll tell you guys something interesting. You men don’t have to claim to it, but the most popular talk-radio show host in the country for young men is a guy named Tom Leykis, okay? He takes non-Christian thinking to its logical conclusion, and his whole thing is, you know, all women want is just – they want kids. They want money. They wanna be loved. They wanna be taken care of. The issue is, that’s actually Biblical. His answer is to turn men into sexual predators and get them to prey on women and fool them into thinking that they love them. That’s the world we live in.
Some men say, “Oh, my wife just wants a lot from me.” Yeah, she does. That’s why you’re gonna have to rise to the occasion and be a better man, and that’s good. If you love her, you’re happy to. Has Jesus risen to the occasion for me? Absolutely. He loves me. Should I raise to the occasion for my wife because I love her? Yes, as he loves me.
Some men sin through poor leadership. Proverbs 11:16-17, “A kind-hearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.” Some men are ruthless and cruel with their wives. See, because if you’re going to love a woman to cultivate her, that’s gonna take time. Like wisdom, it takes patience and years, so some men just get ruthless and cruel. They yell and scream and threaten. “Two weeks, you get it together, or I’m outta here.” Just ruthless, cruel, mean.
I’ll tell you this, gentlemen: Women are built for love. They just are. If you love a woman, she’ll respond. If you’re ruthless and cruel, she doesn’t respond. Some men respond well to just strength and hardness; women don’t. What that means is, what motivates a man does not motivate a woman. If the men are motivated by some things, the women are not motivated in those same ways. That’s why when I talk to the men, I will speak differently to the men than I do to the women. Men want respect, according to Ephesians 5, and women, according to Ephesians 5, want to be loved.
We’ve got it backwards in the church. We just think, if we continue to love the men, then they will become respectable. Maybe not. The men need to be called to respectability, and they’ll respond to that. What a man considers a challenge, a woman considers cruel if she is married. So a man cannot treat his wife like his business and say, “Well, here’s our performance chart and graph, and we’re going to do quarterly reviews.” That’s ruthless and cruel.
Proverbs 11:29, “He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only the wind.” Some men just bring trouble on their family. Their wives want to help them, but the men just keep creating all kinds of drama and antics.
“And like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home,” Proverbs 27:8. One of the ways a guy loves his wife is by being with her. Some guys get a day off, and they’re fishing. They’re golfing. They’re chasing their hobbies. They’re not home. Am I saying you need to be home all the time? No. Titus 2 says that the woman should have her orientation homeward. The man has to go make a living. He has some other responsibilities.
But you know what? A wife likes her husband to be home for dinner. She likes her husband to be there to pray with the children and to read the Bible with the family and to pray over her, lay hands and pray over her. She likes him to be there to help discipline the children. She likes him to be there to do a few things around the house, to remodel the bathroom, to mow the lawn, to wash the car, to take care of some things. She likes him to be there just so that she could sit with him and just be with him. Some women just like their husband to be there just to touch them, brush their hair, rub their back, cuddle with them, just love them, that’s all.
And some guys sin against their wives ‘cause they’re not even home. They stray from their nest. They’re not there, and they say, “Honey, I love ya,” but they say it on a cell phone, from somewhere else. It’s true, isn’t it, men? This is how we sin against our wives. We hang out with the wrong guys. We say the wrong things. We’re sexually attracted to that which is forbidden. Financially, we’re not pulling our weight, and the wife who would love us to be with her is either abused or neglected altogether.
Go to Proverbs 31. Some of the men will say, “But you don’t understand.” I don’t have to understand. All I need to know is one thing: Who is responsible? The husband. How many of the ladies have studied Proverbs 31? Raise your hand. Okay. All the women study Proverbs 31, because this woman is unbelievable. She is insanely godly. She is mythical. She is beyond compare. There are woman that have never met her that hate her because she’s just godly to the point of being nauseating, okay? This Proverbs 31 woman has been pulled out of the whole Bible and lifted up as this is the apex. This is the woman of women. This is this awesome, great gal.
How many of the man have studied Proverbs 31 to see what kind of husband she had? Do you see the problem? Do you see the problem, gentlemen? Any man who reads Proverbs 31 to see what kind of wife he wants is a wicked man, unless he reads it to determine what kind of husband produces that.
Proverbs 31 is a unit of thought that should not be divided. What you see in Proverbs 31 is an older, mature woman that says that her children rise up and call her blessed, which means she’s probably got teenagers or kids that are older than that. That means that she’s been at this for a while. What you’re getting here is 20, 30, 40 years of labor. This does not happen in 15 or 20 minutes. Wisdom takes time. Her husband has loved her and cultivated her and poured himself into her for a really long time, and now as he loved her, loved her, loved her, loved her, loved her, she has become lovely. Just lovely.
You guys have seen this, right? You ever meet a beautiful, sweet – I’m not talking physical – character, essence, the inner unfading beauty, Scripture says. You ever met a woman that just sort of glows and is glorious? Then you look at her husband and say, “Ah, it’s a cause-and-effect deal.” Is she lovable because she’s loved, or is she loved because she’s lovable? And you realize, Biblically, it’s like this issue of who loves us first. God loves us first, and then we love God back. It’s supposed to be the same thing. As a husband loves his wife, he’s supposed to love her first, make her lovely, and then she radiates that back to him. You get that? That’s what you’re seeing here. He has loved her, and now she is reflecting his love by being lovely.
It starts off then in Chapter 31:1. Here’s the kind of man. If you want a Proverbs 31 woman, you first need to be a Proverbs 31 man. The sayings of King Lemuel, an oracle, his mother taught him, so this is a saying from a gentleman named Lemuel, who was a king, and it came from his mother, okay? This is an important deal. A man learns to be a father from his dad. He learns how to be a husband from his dad and his mom.
Throughout Proverbs 1-9, the dad keeps speaking to his son. Here what we see, his mom is wise, and she teaches also. And she sits her son down, probably a teenager or something at this point, and she says, “Okay, son, here’s the deal. You want a woman; I want you to have a wife. We have different goals. You’re gonna go chase girls; I want you to be a man, and I want you to wait to have a good woman. To have a good woman, you’re gonna have to be a good man, okay?”
I’ll say this hard word to the single men. A lot of guys say, “I’m looking for a Proverbs 31 woman. I just can’t find her.” There’s a reason for that. She wouldn’t have anything to do with you. If you were the bait on the hook, it would make sense why you’d get nothing but bottom fish. See, a godly, beautiful, righteous, virtuous woman has options.
So mama talks to the son and says, “Son, here’s some things to think about. Gotta get it together before you’re gonna get this kinda wife. [Technical difficulty] son of my womb! O son of my vows!” An alternate translation is “the answer to my prayers.”
Mama’s been praying for her boy. You should be praying for your kids. When I held my daughter for the first time, I prayed for her health, her salvation, and her husband. I pray over my daughter all the time, lay hands of prayer over her for her husband. With my son, I pray over him all the time for his wife, and I pray for his salvation, for him to be a godly man and a good Christian so that he can know the Gospel and love and cultivate a woman to look like Proverbs 31.
It’s interesting how kids get this. My son, the other night, we’re praying. My son, who’s two, prayed for me. My son Zac prayed that I would preach the Gospel, that I would make money, and that I would love his mother. If at two he’s starting to get that, I’m optimistic. If he keeps those as his priorities – make money, preach the Gospel, love your wife – that’s good for two. That’s real good for two.
Mama tells him, “Son, do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. Son, I know you want a girl. Don’t go looking for girls; look for a wife.” “But Mom, girls are easier.” There’s a reason for that.
There’s a reason that Twinkies are cheaper and quicker than a fine five-course meal. Don’t waste your money. If we added up all the money that the men in this room have spent on foolish women, it would outweigh their tithe. It would. You’ve given more to foolish women than you have to God. It’s true, right? Don’t waste your money on women.
What mom is not saying is, don’t spend money on women; spend money on a woman. I’ve never wasted a dollar on my wife. Every dollar I’ve given to my wife, I am grateful for. As far as women in general, some women will run you broke.
“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, not for kings to drink wine, nor for rulers to create beer. Lest they drink and forget what the law decrees and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish. Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.”
Isn’t this a good mom? Take heed, ladies. She looks at her son. “Boy, here’s the deal. Don’t get drunk; don’t chase girls.” You see? Well, the Bible’s an outdated book. You know, things have changed; teenage boys haven’t, okay? You go to a high school. You ask a 16-year-old guy, “What are your plans for this weekend?” He’ll tell you, “I’m going to drink beer and chase girls.” That’s his goal. That’s his whole goal.
And if he doesn’t grow up, when he’s 50 he’s still doing the same thing: drinking beer and chasing girls. This time, though, he’s fat and old and bald, and he has to pay them, but he’s still doing the same thing.
That’s a good mom. "Son, here’s two things you’re gonna do. You’re gonna drink beer and chase girls. Don’t do that. You’ll waste your money; you’ll waste your time. So instead, here’s what you do: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy.” You wanna use your strength? Use it for something good. Go fight evil. Go defend those in need. Go help the poor. Say something interesting to the men. Single or married, doesn’t matter.
A lot of the women who are sexually loose, promiscuous, a lot of women who are in pornography, a lot of women who are in strip clubs, a lot of women who are in massage parlors, what kind of childhood did they have? Goodly, righteous, fathers laying hands and praying over them, living in covenant households with the grace of God flowing down like rain? Is that where they came from? It’s not.
Those are women who generally – a high percentage of them were sexually abused as children by men. A number of them grew up without any fathers, and they are starving for male affection and attention. And they start to physically develop, and they realize that if they dress and carry themselves in a certain manner, they will get lots of attention, and they think, naively, that they’re loved.
You ask a junior high girl whose junior high boyfriend is sleeping with her if she thinks that he loves her, and she will say yes. That is a sentimental, not an efficacious, love. And if you ask the boy “Do you love her?” he will say, “No, but I like to see her naked.” That’s what boys want.
And so how sick is it for a man who is young to see women as objects of conquest and desire? His mom told him, defend the rights of the poor and the needy. That would include the young women who have been led astray. That would include the young women who are vulnerable and trusting. Scripture talks about men who worm their way into homes and overwhelm weak-willed, naïve women. Every teenage girl I know went to bed with a guy who said he loved her. He didn’t. You’re supposed to defend the causes of the needy. If women are needy and you prey upon that, you are a sexual predator.
I tell you what, at this church I have seen strippers, prostitutes, and gals from the porn industry come to Christ, and those are your sisters, gentlemen, and you are sick, sick, sick men if you sit around fantasizing about your naked sister. You’re committing incest, Scripture says. Be captivated by the body and the lovemaking of your wife. That kind of man gets a certain kind of wife if he loves her for a long time.
Here it is: “A wife of noble character who can find?” Gotta look for these women. These women don’t chase boys. These women aren’t readily accessible. These women are not in the club. They’re not easy to find. These women are loving the Lord, and they’re serving the Lord, and they’re not chasing boys. You have to find them.
“She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” He has loved her so that she has developed to the place where he can delegate things to her, and he trusts her. Some men say, “Well, I can’t trust my wife.” Then cultivate her and love her.
“She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” You say, “I would like that in a wife.” Good, she’s created to be a helper, and she’s suited to help you. You need to love her so that she knows how to help and not harm you. Lots of women cause harm when they think they’re helping. You just need to speak with her.
“She selects woolen flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.” She works hard. What kind of husband do you think that kind of woman is attracted to? Do you think she wants a lazy husband who watches television all the time while she goes to work? No.
“She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her task. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hands she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.”
She works hard. She invests. She knows how to turn a profit on her investments. Huh, I wonder what kind of woman – excuse me, rather what kind of man this woman would be attracted to? A guy who blows all his money on beer and porno? Probably not. She’s looking at investments. She wants a man who makes money and likes to invest, and she works hard. She wants a man who works hard. And she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. What kind of husband will she want? Well, the kind of guy who cares about more than just himself, apparently.
"When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. And she makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple." See, he’s not greedy; he’s lavished upon her some things to show that he respects her.
How about her husband? Verse 23. Her husband is what? He’s respected. See, a Proverbs 31 woman only happens when she’s loved by a respectable man. See, here’s my frustration. I hear this constant talk among husbands: “I want a Proverbs 31 wife.” Well, great, then be a Proverbs 31 man. See, because 1 Corinthians 11 says that I am the glory of Jesus Christ, that I’m the reflection of his work in my life, in the same way that my wife is the glory of me, so she is a reflection of my work in her.
What that means is, if a man does not have a Proverbs 31 wife, it’s because he’s not a Proverbs 31 man. And who does he have to blame? Himself. He has cultivated her. He has formed her into something, and if he doesn’t like it, that’s his fault. That’s like a man tilling ground, plowing a garden, and then yelling at the fruit. That’s the seed you put in the ground; that’s the fruit you bear. Don’t yell at the fruit.
He is “respected at the city gate, where he takes a seat among the elders of the land.” This is one of the most godly, mature, responsible, wise, covenanted, God-fearing men in the whole nation. See, guys who are young, guys who are immature, guys who are lazy, they want a Proverbs 31 woman while sitting on the couch and blowing money and yelling at her and just throwing verses at her about submission. No. You have to be respectable. You need to love her and cultivate her.
“She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she can laugh at the days to come.” She’s strong, she has dignity, and she has confidence. Where do you think that came from? Husband loves his wife and cultivates her for 20 or 30 years like this guy. She’s strong, she’s respectable, and she’s prepared.
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household; she does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed.” She’s an older woman. Not only that. “Her husband also.” What does he do? He praises her.
That’s how you love and cultivate this kind of woman. You love her, and as she is growing and maturing and progressing, you celebrate that with her. “Honey, I see you growing in your spirituality. I saw you reading the Bible. You know, your prayer life is increasing. I am so encouraged. It is beautiful, and you are becoming more lovely. I am so proud of you.”
“Sweetheart, thanks for dinner. That was awesome. You worked hard. I really appreciate that.”
“Honey, you’re glorious. I know you’re pregnant, but you’re glorious. Thank you for being the mother of my children.”
And he not only praises her; he praises her in her absence. He talks about her to his friends and to his – he speaks well of his wife. He honors her. He loves her till she’s lovely.
See, the reason that you and I sit around and talk about the Proverbs 31 woman and how great she is, is because her husband did that. This is not the woman praising herself. The only reason we know anything of her is because of her husband writing it down and telling us about his glorious wife. It should be that way.
Men should boast in their wives. They should be glad that God has given them that woman, and if there are places where she needs cultivation and work and love, that is the man’s responsibility to work in those areas. A man’s goal has got to be 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years of love, her becoming more lovely every single day. That’s why any man who has done his job, when he’s 50 or 60, he would never trade his wife in for three 20-year-olds, because those women are not cultivated. They are not yet lovely. They have not been loved like his wife has been loved. He has invested in her, and he reaps a good return.
Do the men understand this? If you understand this, you will have a happy wife. You will have a Christ-like family. You will have godly children. You will be a blessing to your children’s children and their children as well.
I’ll tell you something practically. I dated my wife for four and a half years. We got married when I was 21. We’ve been married for over nine years. The one thing I’ve learned about my wife is, with a little love, she flourishes. And then I cannot out-love my wife. My wife, if you love her, she just gives you back in return. She is not a hard woman to love at all. In fact, she’s very easy, and I would have to be very lazy not to make progress with her.
But I’m starting to think about 40, 50, 60 years when we’re grandparents and great-grandparents and we’re sitting on a porch swing somewhere, holding hands, just looking at each other, how lovely she’ll be. Okay. I want the men to start thinking of the porch swing with the beautiful wife who’s a wrinkled old grandma and more lovely than she was in high school. Okay? That’s what we want. That’s wisdom.
Father God, thank you for your Word. Lord God, we confess corporeally this morning that the world and all of its wisdom does not know you, that the world and its desires are passing away, that we should not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but we should be renewed by the transformation of our mind.
Lord God, we confess that we are completely thinking of things in a way that is not covenantal or Biblical. Lord God, I pray for the men that they would rise to the occasion, that they would confess their sins of their buddies and their speech and their lusts and their money and their leadership of their home, or even their own lives if they’re single, that men would get their homes in order and be Proverbs 31 men so that then they could love a Proverbs 31 woman.
I pray, Lord God, for deep humility and repentance among the men, that they would come to you broke and in contrite, that they would seek forgiveness, that you would give them grace, and that you would change them and cause them to be imitators of you.
Lord God, I pray for the ladies as well, that through their frequent sins of quarreling and tearing down and being unfaithful or just being a shameful embarrassment, that they would not be a decay in the bones of their husband, but instead they would be a crown upon his head.
Lord God, we love you. We thank you. We thank you that you do not love us as the world loves us and that we don’t have to love each other the way that they love each other either. I thank you, Lord God, for my wife. I thank you that this is true, that she is more lovely than the day that I met her, and she was lovely then.
I pray, Lord God, that the women in this room would be loved, lavishly, by their God and by their husbands, that they would grow into women of strength and dignity and honor and courage and valor and beauty, that men would love them to make them increasingly more lovely. Thank you for our sisters whom are single. I pray for patience for them.
Lord Jesus, we just pray that the Gospel would continue to do its work, that we would be convicted, that you would be glorified, that we would repent, that you would forgive us, that you would change us in Christ’s name. Amen.