← back to list

Sep 29, 2019

Unconditional Love And Respect

Unconditional Love And Respect

Speaker: Dennis Gallaher

Series: Family Matters

Category: Sunday Morning

The simple plan to have a good to a great marriage is found in two keywords: love and respect.

Luke 10:25-29

Who is my neighbor? Jesus replies with the story of the Good Samaritan and asks the lawyer the same question, "Which of these is a neighbor?" His answer is "the one who showed mercy." Jesus said, "Go and do the same." Jesus is declaring that the neighbor is "me" and that I am the one to show compassion.

Jesus gave us the power to have peace with God and peace with one another so that the world will know that the Father sent the Son. In other words, the church must not only believe and behave right (the rational and behavioral gospel) but also live and love right in relationship with God and man. 

Change the word "neighbor" to "near one." Love the Lord and love your near one:

  • spouse (your marriage),
  • children (your family),
  • community of faith (your church),
  • those outside the church (your community).

This morning we will focus on marriage and the secret to having a good to great marriage.

Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

The simple plan to have a good to a great marriage is found in two keywords: love and respect. Add the word "unconditionally" to those two words. Love unconditionally and respect unconditionally. Yet, these two are the hardest things to grasp. 

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Philippians 2:5-8 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

How did Jesus love the church?

  • He laid aside his privileges.
  • He left His world and entered into ours.
  • His posture was one of humility and obedience.
  • He died to self so others could live with joy.

How does a man love his wife? The same way - regardless of the response or lack of it. 

I Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives. Submission is not a bad word but has a terrible reputation because this world holds independence, self-reliance, and rebellion in high esteem. Submission simply means "to adapt to one another." J.B. Phillips translation says, In the same spirit, you married women should adapt yourselves to your husbands, so that even if they do not obey the Word of God they may be won to God without any word being spoken, simply by seeing the pure and reverent behavior of you, their wives. 

I Peter 3:2 they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Respect is quiet, gentle, and calm. Unconditional respect happens when a person least deserves it. 

God sets it in perfect order in I Peter 3:7 You husbands, in the same way... This doesn't work unless we work together. with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

Husbands, your wife is the teacup and you are the coffee mug. Her value is in her delicacy and her beauty. She can hold as much as you but chip her and she loses value in herself. You are the coffee mug with value in the chips and stains you endure. To preserve her beauty and the flawlessness of her life means husbands, show her unconditional love and she will respond to it. Wives, honor your husband with unconditional respect and he will soak it up. 

Today can be the beginning of either business as usual or life-giving change. We are creatures of habit and gravitate to doing what we have done in the past even when the routines are destructive and harmful. 

The Hebrew word "Shana" for "year" has two meanings: repeat or to change. These two meanings are opposite. 1) Repeat as in the seasons or 2) to have newness. The same applies to us: we have a choice to remain the same or change. The way of the Lord is the way of newness and change - the way of transformation.

  • Step out of the old ways.
  • Do what you've never done but should have.
  • Walk in unconditional love and unconditional respect.

Do you see yourself as the "neighbor" in the story of the good Samaritan? 

Who else does "neighbor" apply to? 

How does the word "unconditional" add to the meaning of love and respect? 

Explain 'shana' in regards to a marriage relationship? What's repeatable? What needs to change?