Colossians 3:18-19 recap

Dr. Steve Viars January 21, 1995 Colossians 3:18-19

Colossians #19
Saved on Colossians disk as "Coloss19"

- this morning we're going to return to the passage we've been studying
    in Colossians 3:18-19
- we decided to take one more week on these verses to be sure that
   we've covered them thoroughly.

- these verses take the theme of the preeminence of Jesus Christ and
    apply it to the topic of Christian marriage.
- it's one thing to say that Jesus Christ is preeminent...
    - He's the One I want to serve,
    - He's the One I want to be like,
    - He's the one I want to honor and glorify

       - it's something else to apply that truth to my role in marriage

- how a person is functioning in their marriage is one of the things
    that tells you what they think of their Savior.

- our plan this morning is to finish studying verse 19.  (many of the
    husbands told me they just didn't get enough last week--and asked
    for some more)
      - so we'll finish studying verse 19
      - then we're going to break you up into groups to work on a case
          study that illustrates the way a couple might violate both
          verse 18-19.
      - we'll come back together and try to help this fictitious couple
          see what biblical steps of change need to be implemented.
      - if time, we'd like to conclude with some ideas of how the Lord
          can//wants to enable us to get this done.

- last week, we talked about the first half of verse 19
   - husbands, love your wives.

   - that means to voluntarily choose to sacrifice yourself in order to
       serve and meet needs.

   - a question that flows out of this is -- in what ways//areas am I
      supposed to love my wife?
       - of course the ultimate answer to that question is that we are
           to love them in every way---in every opportunity the Lord
           gives us.
- but Brian Purcell was helping us to see last week the very important
    relationship between verses 18-19.
- yes, a husband is to love his wife in every way possible - but
    especially in the context of her submitting to his leadership.
    - we always seek to understand verses in their context
       - so the husbands' love should be understood especially in the
           realm of the leadership he provides in the home.

- the reason I bring this issue up is because -- it's often in that
   context that Christian families fall short of demonstrating that
   they really believe Jesus Christ is preeminent.

     - in the matter of making decisions
     - in the matter of setting direction
     - in the matter handling conflicts
     - ...determining priorities

- some wives have no place in their life for leadership being exercised
   in any fashion.
     - so regardless of how the husband tries to provide direction,
         he's always knows he's in for a battle, or the cold shoulder.

- on the other hand, some husbands have a lot to learn about this
    matter of exercising their leadership in a loving way instead of in
    a dictatorial way.

- let's bat this question around for a moment:

   INPUT - How can a husband exercise appropriate biblical leadership
           and at the same time be loving?

          (the more specific, the better)

- now let's try some hypothetical situations and discuss how a wife
   would obey Col. 3:18 in this instance and how a husband would obey
   the first half of Col. 3:19.. (we'll study the second half in a
   minute). - (on white board)

    Situation            Husband's Response          Wife's Response

1. Wife would like       1. Get data - instead       1. Present posi-
    to purchase an           of --- quick bottom         tion without
    item for their           line.                       threats, etc.
                             - ask a lot of              - remember
                               questions.  Why is          that being
                               it important to his         like Christ
                               wife to purchase the        is more imp-
                               item at this time?          ortant than
                                                           getting item

                                                         - end with -
                                                            decide is

  2. Wife sees some-      2. Respond with res-        2. Go asking
     thing in hus-           pect/openness.  My          questions.
     bands' life that        love for you makes
     is sinful.              me want to hear             - speak res-
                             what you have to say.         pectfully.

                             - My love for you           - assure that
                               will make me want           his chang-
                               to work on this             ing in this
                               issue if it is in           area is not
                               fact a biblical             a condition
                               issue.                      on your
                                                           ongoing sub
                             - I will not "cut             mission.
                               you off" or "make
                               you pay" for talking
                               to me about this.
(at some point teach I Cor. 7:33-34 - importance of seeking to please
   your spouse)
- with that in mind, let's move into the second half of that verse:

III. What God's Kind of Husband Must Not Do

    - the command in this verse has both a a positive and a negative
         - in other words, here's something you must do, here's
            something you must not do.

    - you must love, and you must not become bitter.
        - or as the NIV translates it - you must not be harsh.

    - INPUT - how does a husband become bitter?

        - we're not saying that this is a precise set of steps that
          everyone follows, but bitterness often develops in this way:

           1) ungratefulness - not being thankful for all the good
                things his spouse is, and does.

           2) high expectations - developing a unrealistic view of what
                his spouse should be like, should do, etc.

           3) disappointment - when those high expectations are not

           4) resentment - if she just loved me more, she's doing this
                on purpose, why can't she..., why won't she..., other

           5) bitterness - I'm not getting all I deserve out of this

           6) hatred - I wish I hadn't married her, I despise her, I
                need someone else...

- INPUT - Why do you think Paul would especially warn husbands about
           bitterness?  (not saying that wives don't need to work on
           bitterness also--but the Lord did especially address this to

    1. As he exercises his leadership, if the husband doesn't take time
       to learn about all the things his wife is doing, he might be
       tempted to respond to one of his wife's faults in a very
       unrealistic way.

    2. If a husband isn't growing in expressing thankfulness, it's easy
       to develop a "lineman mentality" toward his wife (her number
       only gets called when she messes up).

- you'll notice that the NIV translated this word as "harsh" (do not be
    harsh with them)
- the reason there's a bit of a difference here is because this word is
    used very few times in the NT, so there aren't a lot of usages to
       - the translators of the NIV chose to focus on the effect of
       - both ideas are surely part of this word.  When a husband
          becomes bitter, he is bound to be harsh with those around
          him, especially his wife.
- INPUT - what are ways a husband might be "harsh" with his wife?
- now we're going to see if we're ready to apply these principles to a
   real life setting.
- CASE STUDY (divide into groups)

- Come back together -- go over questions

IV. Why This Is Possible

    - I realize that you may be here this morning and would say, PV,
       what you're talking about this morning is hard---for a bunch of
        - I'm not sure I like it!
        - I'm not sure I feel like doing it
        - I've not seen it done much
        - in a number of ways, I'm not doing it
        - habits are hard to break
(this outline is from William Hendriksen)

    A. Jesus Christ provides the power

        - throughout history, other philosophers have talked about how
            husbands and wives should live together.
        - but as William Hendriksen says, their teachings are like
            trains lacking engines.

            - ideas, in and of themselves--will not produce results
                 (cf.  the statement- after it's all said and done,
                   there's a lot more said than done.)

        - Phil. 4:13, Titus 2:11

    B. Jesus Christ provides the purpose

        - we're not talking about living this way so life will be
            - or because the marriage will be smoother
            - or there will be less problems

        - we're talking about glorifying God (3:17)
            - we're talking about the importance of being a good
               picture of Christ and the church.

    C. Jesus Christ provides the pattern

        - in this verse, and each of the succeeding ones about
          relationships in the family, our Savior provided the perfect
          example to follow.

Jim and June are a married couple with four school age children.  Both
Jim and June work outside the home, Jim for approximately 55 hours per
week and June approximately 30.  Though both are committed to the
marriage, they regularly disagree about the responsibilities around the
home.  Jim believes that if June would just be more disiplined, she
could have all the household chores done (laundry, house cleaned, the
meal on the table, the children smiling and in their places, etc.) by
the time he got home from work.  June, while admitting she needs to
work on discipline, thinks Jim's expectations are completely
unrealistic.  She resents the fact that he is unwilling to lift a
finger around the house, and also doesn't appreciate the way he comes
home and "picks at" whatever she didn't get done that day.

On this particular day, June left work around 3:00 and is driving over
to the school to pick up their four children. She is in a rush like
usual, because she has a lot of things to do before Jim comes home.
While daydreaming about what it would be like to have a husband who
helped out more around the house, she almost ran over the school
crossing guard.  "I really married a jerk," June thought.  "He better
not come home today with more of that complaining or I'm going to let
him have it."

After loading up the kids and heading for home, June passes the
furniture store.  The sign which read "Going Out For Business Sale--One
Day Only" caught her eye.  June calls up a couple of verses from
stewardship month, and surmises that she would be a poor steward if she
didn't stop and investigate this sale.  "If Jim doesn't like it, thats
too bad," she thought.  She tells the kids to stay in the car and do
their homework while she checks things out.

The sale was greater than June could have possibly imagined.  Before
she realizes it, an hour has passed.  She hustles out of the store,
stands on the gas peddle, and heads for home.

Meanwhile, Jim is leaving work.  "I'm so tired," Jim thought.  "I wish
I had a no-nothing job like June."  On the way home he starts wondering
what June has been doing all afternoon.  "All I want to do is eat
supper and then hit the Lazy Boy because I'm bushed! June better have
things ready" Jim thought.

As Jim enters the garage, he puts his "game face" on.  "You can't ease
up on these women," Jim reminds himself.  "You can't be a good manager
and go around smiling all the time."  "Let's go, Jimmy boy.  It's time
to inspect the troops."

When June hears the garage door go up, she sets her chin as well.  As
she look around the house, she wonders how the kids could trash the
house so quickly.  "I only looked at those furniture brochures for a
few minutes when we got home--how did the kids tear things up so fast?"
she wonders.  She also suspects that Jim is going to have some smart-
aleck comment about the supper she's prepared.  "What's wrong with
PBJ's and potato chips?" she asks herself.  "This would be a delicacy
in many foreign countries."

When Jim walks in, things happen just like they have hundreds of times
before.  Jim accuses June of being lazy.  He rattles off a dozen things
that should have been done that haven't been.  He calls June names and
compares her with other women he's known.  June, on the other hand, has
concluded that the best defense is a good offense.  She tells him to
shut his face, and that if he thinks he can get a better supper
somewhere else, he's welcome to go try.  She also says that she's sick
of trying to please him, and she has no intention of trying anymore.

1. How would Jim have been different if he applied the truth of Col.

2. How would June have been different if she had applied the truth of
    Col. 3:18?

3. How does the issue of the preeminence of Christ fit into this

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

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