I enjoy being a woman. By the same token, I’m sure the men reading this lesson feel very good about being men. That’s the way it should be. God created us in His image. He made us men and women, and we each have our place in the Lord. The wonderful part about being either a man or woman is, if we can accept our position, be happy about who we are and accept ourselves as we are, God can really do something with our lives.
Today, many people are trying to be something they are not. Consequently, they are not happy. Sometimes husbands want their wives to be something they are not. On the other hand, wives often want their husbands to be something they are not. Instead of harmony, peace and joy in the home, there is discord. There is no peace. One wars against the other.
Does this sound familiar?
God wants your marriage to be WHOLE!
We know that God created man and woman in His image. God created Adam out of the dust of the earth. When He created Adam, He felt it was not good for man to be alone. You know the story. He put Adam into a deep sleep. While Adam was in this deep sleep, He took one of his ribs and out of that rib He created woman.
God brought that woman to Adam and said, “Adam, she belongs to you.” Adam looked at the woman and he was very happy that God created a helpmate for him.
Since that time, men and women have had many, many problems; in this message I will share with you concerning some of the reasons why those problems developed, and how God can help you build a stronger marriage.
Read the following verses aloud:
You wives must submit to your husbands’ leadership in the same way you submit to the Lord. For a husband is in charge of his wife in the same way Christ is in charge of his body the church. (He gave his very life to take care of it and be its Savior!) So you wives must willingly
God wants your marriage to be WHOLE… He has made you ONE FLESH.
obey your husbands in everything, just as the church obeys Christ.
And you husbands, show the same kind of love to your wives as Christ showed to the church when he died for her, to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s Word; so that he could give her to himself as a glorious church without a single spot or wrinkle or any other blemish, being holy and without a single fault. That is how husbands should treat their wives, loving them as parts of themselves. For since a man and his wife are now one, a man is really doing himself a favor and loving himself when he loves his wife!
(Ephesians 5:22-28, TLB)
Isn’t this a beautiful picture?
To be the WHOLE person God intended for us to be, and to have the WHOLE marriage God intended for us to have, we must have a right relationship in our lives.
God has created marriage as a symbol of the Church. The family unit is very precious and special to our heavenly Father. God is the head and overall. He is our heavenly Father.
MEN, TAKE YOUR
Men, you have been chosen by God to be the head of the woman. God gave you that responsibility from the very beginning. Because of Eve’s sin, God said man was to be the head and woman was to be subject to the man (Genesis 3:16).
Men, you must take your rightful place. You must be the priest in your family. It’s necessary for you to take the responsibility for your family’s welfare, and you also have the responsibility of loving your wife.
Husbands, as heads or priests of your homes, you have a responsibility to your wives. I want you to read very slowly and carefully the following passage of Scripture. You are going to learn a very important secret in how to receive from the hand of God. Perhaps this could be one reason why God does not hear and answer prayer readily for you.
You husbands must be careful of your wives, being thoughtful of their needs and honoring them as the weaker sex. Remember that you and your wife are
partners in receiving God’s blessings, and if you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not get ready answers.
(I Peter 3:7, TL B)
Many men fail to comprehend what God is saying to them through this verse. And, as a consequence, fail to apply it to their lives and in their position as husbands.
I came across that scripture and felt the impact of it several years ago. As a woman, I’ve really taken advantage of it. Whenever Brother Cerullo and I have a misunderstanding…and remember, we’re human beings, and I’m not always happy about everything he does or says…he will look at me with those big brown eyes of his and he does not understand how I cannot understand him. When this happens, I quote this scripture to him. He has no choice, he must put his arms around me and love me!
I have a favorite saying with Brother Cerullo. I tell him, “God has made you the head, and you are the head of our family. And I’m so happy about that. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But, I am the neck that turns the head.”
Let me explain what I mean. I believe the man is the head of the home. God has given him this very important position. But, women also have an important position. It is up to us to help influence our husbands. Many times they need help. We do not know the answers, but by the grace of God we try to understand our husbands. We try to be a help to them by sharing how we feel and what we understand. As we communicate with them and as we open our hearts to them, we can understand one another better. Is this not true?
The Bible says that the woman is the weaker vessel. That means the man must be very careful with the woman. She has a sensitive spirit. A man may misunderstand or get upset. Perhaps, he comes home from a hard day’s work at the office and his wife has not had time to dress herself properly. When he opens the door, expecting a beautiful woman with a big smile on her face, with arms ready to embrace him; he finds a woman who is tired and weary, not at all prepared for him. She has had a hard day at home with the children. Many problems have come up; therefore, she is not ready to receive him.
What usually happens? He is not ready to cope with her, and she is not ready to understand him. And so, instead of having joy, peace and love between them, you all know what happens. Instead of a peaceful and happy evening, there is misunderstanding, there are harsh words and bitterness; or, there is a cold war with
neither one speaking to the other. Does this sound familiar? Do you ever act this way?
I’m afraid it is true in most homes today. I’m getting the mask off. We are God’s children, but we live in a very real world; and so many times we are not prepared spiritually to handle these issues of life that are everyday happenings for us.
WIVES, YOUR HUSBANDS
SHOULD BE THE MOST
IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE
WORLD TO YOU!
Wives, let me take a moment to have a heart-to-heart talk with you. Your husband is the most important person in this world to you. There is no one as close or as dear to your heart as the husband that has chosen you. It is your responsibility as a woman:
to look up to your husband
to be in subjection to him
to be submissive to him
to love him
to understand him
to care for his needs
to be a friend to him
to share your life with him
This is a very delightful experience for a woman. But, sometimes it is difficult. Why? Because many times a man in his position only reads the scripture which says that a wife must be submissive to her husband. He forgets the rest of the scripture, which says that he must love his wife first as Christ loved the Church. Did you hear me?
It is very difficult to love a husband who does not care for his wife. Now, whether or not he loves her as he should, a woman must still be obedient to God’s Word, which says that we do not repay evil with evil; but, in spite of it, we show love. And in so doing, perhaps we will be able to change the men.
Husbands, let me tell you a big secret. If you truly want a happy married life, if you want to be showered with so much love you cannot quite handle it, try listening to the Word of God and acting on it. If you truly love your wife as Christ loved the Church, it will come back to you. God’s Word cannot fail.
If a man is harsh and bitter with his wife, she finds it very difficult to be loving and understanding. Now remember, men, you are the stronger of the two, so you must be understanding that we are a weaker sex. A man’s mind and a woman’s mind sometimes run on different channels. We don’t always think the same way. A husband usually reacts by being very loud and
taking his authority when there is a misunderstanding. A woman usually ends up crying.
Is that not true? The husband will look at his wife and say, “Stop that crying. I cannot handle those tears.” And she will look at him and she will say, “If you would be more understanding that I am a sensitive woman, you would not hurt my feelings. I would not have to cry and you would not speak harsh words.”
Whose responsibility is it to start with? It’s the man’s responsibility!
WORK OUT YOUR PROBLEMS
It’s so wonderful to be in love, to have a good relationship. Brother Cerullo and I have been married for 35 years now. We have three children…two sons and one daughter. Many, many times as the children were growing up, I had to be both a father and a mother. Brother Cerullo was in the nations of the world preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. My place was to be his wife, to stay at home and raise the children.
In the beginning, we sat down and discussed what we would do with our lives. The first trip that we made, I traveled with Brother Cerullo. But when I arrived home, I discovered that our young daughter, Susan, had locked herself in the bedroom and had refused to come out. The people who were taking care of her had a very difficult time trying to help her to understand that I loved her, that her daddy loved her, and that we did not leave her forever but for a short season.
Nevertheless, when Brother Cerullo and I arrived back home, we sat down and talked about our problem. It was not MY problem. It was not Brother Cerullo’s problem. It was OUR problem together.
He was called to preach the Gospel. I was called to be his wife and my first responsibility was to my husband. I didn’t want to stay at home, I wanted to be with my husband; but I had a responsibility to my children.
Thank God for my husband. He understood. He was not at all selfish. He opened his heart wide and said, “I will go, gladly, and we will agree that you will stay at home with the children.”
Together, we made a pact before the Lord. As many times as God would call him to go, I would send him forth with much prayer and with much gladness in my heart. I would not complain or cause him to feel that I did not want him to go. I always had a big smile on my face. I always took him to the airport and put
LOVE one another with tender hearts and humble minds.
him on the plane, and told him, “Have a wonderful time. There is nothing for you to worry about. I am in charge here. You take care of God’s work. I will take care of the children and myself.” And I did.
Morris never knew the many hours that I was lonesome; the many, many times that I had to fall on my face before the Lord to be the kind of a wife and mother that I knew God expected me to be.
But God did not fail me, as a woman. He was right there to meet my needs. And He will be with you to meet your needs, no matter what He has called you to do.
Husbands, if you will take your place as the head of the house, God will put within our hands all that we need to be faithful to Him and to be faithful to each other. It’s a wonderful, wonderful experience to know that a husband can leave his wife and she does not think about going to someone else. The Lord becomes her husband and He takes care of her…because the Lord becomes her help and sustains her and her children.
By the same token, it is very important for a husband to be faithful to his wife. It’s so easy for a man to feel that he has the right to be unfaithful, but he does not. God gives you an awesome responsibility as a man. You must love your wife as Christ loves the Church.
SERVE GOD TOGETHER
God wants your marriage to be WHOLE…He wants husbands and wives to be a complement to one another. He has made you ONE FLESH! He has planned for each of you to be fulfilled in one another in every way…physically, mentally, emotionally.
Stop for a moment and think about your marriage. Think about the areas that you need to work on. Give those areas over into the hands of the Lord…you will find your life so much more complete and happy in Him. There may be areas where you need to go to one another and ask forgiveness for not being tolerant one toward the other; or, perhaps, for not being faithful one to the other.
Jesus loves us so very much that His love, deep within our hearts, radiating from within us, can cause us to rise up and be strong in Him; to realize that we, as children of the living God endued with this power, can live an overcoming life, happy with the helpmate God has given to us. Together we can serve Him in joy, so that our children can be brought up properly. They can learn to love and serve the Lord with all their
hearts…not so much from what they hear, but what they see, because children learn what they see.
God loves us so much. He loves you men. You are very special to Him. And He loves us women. We are very special to Him. Together, as His children loving Him and loving one another, we will have a happy life serving God. Do you want to be happy? Do you want joy in your heart? Do you want happiness in your home? You must not only hear His Word, but you must act on it. Take His Word to your heart today.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH
Wives, read the following verses aloud:
Wives, fit in with your husbands’ plans; for then if they refuse to listen when you talk to them about the Lord, they will be won by your respectful, pure behavior: Your godly fives will speak to them better than any words.
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on jewelry, or beautiful clothes, or hair arrangements. Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God. That kind of deep beauty was seen in the saintly women of old, who trusted God and fitted in with their
husbands’ plans. (I Peter 3:1-5, TLB)
Let me pause here a moment.
Proverbs 31:30 tells us…and women, I want you to listen to this carefully: “Charm can be deceptive and beauty doesn’t last, but a woman who fears and reverences God shall be greatly praised” (TLB). This is our responsibility. Beauty is not the outward exterior, it’s your heart. It’s what comes forth from inside. That which is inside of you will radiate on the outside.
No matter how beautiful your face might be (the exterior), if you do not have true love and kindness on the inside, that beautiful face will soon turn harsh, will soon be bitter, and there will be no beauty left. The secret to being beautiful forever, ladies, is to have the beauty of the Lord within.
Men, one more time I want to emphasize these very special verses concerning your responsibilities. Read the following aloud:
You husbands must be careful of your
wives, being thoughtful of their needs and honoring them as the weaker sex. Remember that you and your wife are partners in receiving God’s blessings, and if you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not get ready answers.
(I Peter 3:7, TLB)
And now this word to both husbands and wives. You should be one big happy family, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds. The greatest force in all the world is true, genuine love. And as we allow this love of the Lord Jesus Christ to flood our hearts and our lives to one another, we will find His happiness, His joy and His peace bubbling up within our hearts. We will have a happy marriage. We will have a good family relationship. And we will be a!I that God wants us to be.
God wants your marriage to be complete…perfectly WHOLE!
Right now, I am asking God to do something very special in your lives. I am hoping you husbands and wives are studying this lesson together. If for some reason you were unable to do so, and you and your husband or wife are studying this separately…if your husband or wife is unsaved and you are studying alone…I pray that God will minister to you individually and that at some time in the future you will be able to pray together for one another.
If you are studying together, I want you husbands and wives to face each other and hold hands. God is right there by your side to strengthen you and bring you into a closer communion and fellowship as ONE FLESH as you pray one for another.
If you are not studying together, wives, take this time to pray for your husbands.
Bow your head and ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart…to help you see yourself as you really are…to see if you have been fulfilling your place as the head of your home…taking the leadership in your home as you should…loving your wife as Christ loved the Church. Ask God to cleanse and forgive all your weaknesses and for not being the kind of husband you should be.
After your husband has prayed, pray for
your husband. Begin by thanking God that