HUSBAND: Love Your Princess

HUSBAND: Love Your Princess

– All right, it’s Pastor Mark here, welcoming you to join me for Real Men Wednesday nights, live here at Trinity Church in Scottsdale or online at We’ll try and post it elsewhere, but they’re gonna ban me because I’m in the middle of a special sermon series called “Act Like a Man.” If you are offended by that, you need to watch it twice because you need a lot of work. In each sermon, I’ll go through the reasons why God made men, why it’s good to be a man, and how to be a man that is a blessing to women and children like Jesus Christ, the God man, who is our perfect example. This is gonna be a fun time. It’s gonna be super theological, super practical, and as always, you’ll get a bit of comedy. So dudes, grab a Bible, grab a notebook, put your belt on, show up, get it together. See you on Wednesday. The best night of the week, best guys, best place to be, amen. Welcome to Real Men. Welcome to all the new guys, and for those who are joining us online, thanks for tuning in. So my name’s Mark. We’re doing a little series, “Act Like A Man,” and we’ve been dealing with aspects of masculinity according to God’s word. Tonight it’s gonna be husband love your princess. Next week, we’re gonna deal with fatherhood and then we’re gonna conclude our semester. Take a little break for the holidays, let your friends know we’ve got John Lovell from the Warrior Poet Society. He’s gonna come in, I’m gonna teach, we’ll do an extended interview. He’s a great guy, you’ll get to know him. And then we’ll pick it up in January. And my wife and I have got a new book coming out, “Real Romance.” It’s on the Song of Songs and there’s some sections of that book that I cannot teach on the weekend, otherwise the children will know how they got here. And so I will pivot those to men’s. And so even if you’re a guy, you’re like, “I hate books of the Bible.” You’re gonna like this one and pull a hamstring. It’s gonna be your favorite book of the Bible once we’re done with it. So tonight we’re gonna talk about marriage, and I wanted to start with how many of you guys are single guys? Single guys? Okay, 93% of you will marry at some point. How many of you are newly younger married guys, in the first few years, you guys? How many of you are like me, are crafty, seasoned veterans, been in it for a few decades, okay? And how many of you, you’ve got sons that are at or near that age, or grandsons, where they’re looking at getting married? You gotta give them some wise counsel. This will be helpful for all of you. And I wanted to kind of start with the end zone in mind. I got this really cool note card recently from a woman in our church. She was in the back during a service and she says, “I witnessed something this Sunday I wanted to share with you. As they were taking communion, I listened to and watched the men pray over and wrap their arms around their wives, covering their heads, kissing them, and praying over them. It was so touching to witness.” It’s amazing that you can go your whole life and the only time that a man lays hands on a woman is to harm her or to have sex with her, but not to pray over her and to bless her. And I love what this woman said. She said that she came to Trinity and she keeps seeing men who are at the communion table, laying hands, praying over, blessing, kissing their wife in the presence of God. That’s our end zone. And if you want to touch your wife’s body, the first thing you need to learn to do is touch her soul. That’s why praying with your wife is the most intimate thing you can do. That’s why a lot of people will sleep with somebody, but they won’t pray with them ’cause it’s too intimate. And so the deepest level is at the level of the soul, praying together, worshiping God together, and that opens the rest of the relationship. So we’re gonna talk about marriage, and let me just, because we’re in America now and America’s drunk and confused. Marriage is one man and one woman, and some of you

are offended, you’re wrong. There are men and women. And if you don’t know the difference, you know, well, there is a difference. So anyways, marriage is one man and one woman in a covenant that is consummated. That’s the biblical definition of marriage. No gay marriage, no polygamy, which is gonna happen in our lifetime. No cohabitation, friends with benefits, living together, any of that. God’s divine design is one man, one woman in a covenant that is consummated. Now for you guys who are single, you have been brainwashed and lied to your entire life and you have been told that the oppression, the injustice, the poverty, the suffering in our world is because you are a victim. Everyone else is a villain. And you’ve been told that to generate revenue and to have a good standard of living, you need to vote for people who will steal from people who go to jobs every day and then overtax them to make up for what you should have. The truth is, if you will do what God says, even if you don’t know God, we want you to know Jesus, but even if you don’t know God, if you do three things in succession, you will live a successful life and you will avoid poverty. Would you like to know what those three things are? Okay, here we go. This is called a success sequence. It comes from Bradford Wilcox. He is the leading sociologist in America on men and marriage and faith in family. Here’s what he says, “Almost no millennials,” you younger guys, “who followed the success sequence are in poverty.” So number one, graduate from high school. Number two, get a full-time job. What kind of job? Full-time job. You’re young, that’s 40 hours minimum. You have nothing else to do. You don’t need to tik or tok, go to work, okay? And on track, meaning you’re looking forward to getting married. Or married first. Here’s the big idea. If you will graduate from high school, get a job and not have a kid until you have a wife, your odds of poverty are 3%. Most of our problems culturally are really problems with men who have a failure sequence instead of a success sequence. Most of our poverty, most of our crime, most of our urban blight, most of our gangs, most of our addiction would go away if young men were told graduate from high school, get a job, don’t have a child until after you have a wife. If you will do those three things, you’re operating within the divine design that God created the universe. They don’t tell you this in high school and they don’t tell you this in college ’cause they want you to be dependent on the government. They don’t want you to be free to enjoy your life and to lead your family. And so what we want to talk about is first and foremost, for you single guys, if you forget everything I say, remember the success sequence, you single guys. Number one?

– [Congregation] Graduate high school. – Graduate high school. Number two? – Get a full-time job.

– Get a full-time job. Number three, don’t have a kid till after you have a wife. That’s the success sequence. Once you do determine, decide that you want to get married, as 93% of men will. We’re gonna go back to Genesis, the beginning of marriage, God’s original intent for marriage and for men in marriage. And we’re gonna look at the four laws of love. I’m gonna summarize the teaching from one of my pastors, Pastor Jimmy Evans, he runs Marriage Today, the biggest marriage ministry in America. I think the world of Pastor Jimmy Evans. He is the godfather of

marriage. He’s a Texan, he’s a man’s man, he’s a Bible guy. He’s filled with the spirit. If you want to figure out where to find good content for marriage, just go to XO Marriage. That’s the best place to go. They’ve got stuff for blended families and they’ve got stuff for dealing with in-laws who act like outlaws and they’ve got stuff for addiction and all kinds of great helps. But I’m gonna summarize what he says. And here’s the four laws of love, Genesis 2 24-25. “Therefore a man,” gender binary category, “shall leave his father and his mother, hold fast to his wife. The two shall become one flesh.” That’s a consummated covenant. “The man and his wife,” again, marriage, male and female, married, “were both naked.” Now we say if you’re from Texas, naked, that’s the Texas international version. “They were naked and they were not ashamed.” So law number one is the law of priority. A man will leave his mother and father. First and foremost, you need to leave. Well, let’s just ask the dads. For those of you who are dads with sons that are in their 20s, what does it mean for your son to leave? Move, get a new address. Okay, new address. So off the payroll, go get your own income. What else does it mean for your son to leave and to launch? He physically moves out. He financially stands on his own feet.

– [Congregation Member] Independent.

– Independent, he makes his own decisions. And you don’t need to keep saving him from himself like when he was a little boy. When you’re a little boy, somebody makes the decisions. When you’re a grown man, you make the decisions. When you’re a little boy, somebody provides for you. When you’re a grown man, you provide for yourself. When you’re a little boy, somebody makes sure everything is taken care of. When you’re a grown man, you take care of all your responsibilities. Leave your father and your mother, okay? Now sometimes you gotta talk to your mom about this because she’s gonna see you as her little baby boy for the rest of her life. And sometimes mom has a hard time letting the son grow up. But you need to leave your mother and father. In addition, you need to leave not just physically and financially. Emotionally, you need to make your own decisions. Spiritually, you need to choose your own path, your own church, your own walk with God, standing on your own two feet. You are dependent on your parents. You become a man, you stand independent and then a woman can marry you and children can be given to you and they can depend on you because you’re independent, no longer a dependent. This is the sequence that God intends for men. And what this means as well, it says this, well, first of all, we know that this great text of scripture is written for us because it was originally spoken to Adam. Adam had no earthly father. He didn’t need to leave his father and mother. So this text is for us. This is God’s prototype for marriage. Jesus quotes this verse, Paul quotes this verse. Every time there’s a debate in the New Testament about what marriage is and how marriage works, Jesus, Paul and others go back to this section of scripture written for us, but spoken to our first father, Adam. And so what this means is that men are to leave their mother and father, and then the Bible says that a man takes a wife. That means that he takes the initiative, he takes the risk, he pursues. And what this means is you do not, you single guys do not put the burden on the woman. “Well, I hope she calls me back. I hope she has a good plan. I hope she has, you know, I hope she asks me to marry her.” If you’re that guy, I hope she doesn’t ’cause you’re not standing on your own two feet. And the reason that some single guys don’t take the initiative and pursue is because they’re afraid of

– Rejection.

– Rejection. Welcome to being a man. You’re gonna need to get used to being rejected. You’re not going to get the job. You will get the job and lose the job. You will have friends who will betray you. You will have people who abandon you. Welcome to being a man. If you wanna succeed, you need to endure a certain amount of rejection. And so it says in the Bible that a man takes a wife, takes a woman and it says that daughters are given in marriage. What that means, if you’re a single guy, and you’re like, “I’d like to get married.” Okay, leave your mother and father, prove your independence, prove your maturity, and then take the risk and take the initiative. And getting married is one of the greatest acts of faith. Amen?

– Amen.

– I mean, it’s one thing to trust Jesus, it’s another thing to trust her. You know, that’s a whole nother, and for her to trust you, that’s another level of faith. So I’m a dad, so like if somebody wants to marry my daughter, like you need to be a grown man, independent, that we can depend on and now we need to get to know you, family, friends, church, before we can all sign off on the two of you becoming a family. And what this means is, well, is that one of two problems happen. Either we under parent or we over parent our sons. And when we under parent our sons, we make this stupid decision that as soon as a guy hits 18, he’s an adult and he makes all his own decisions. Have you met an 18-year-old? They’re not fully cooked. They need more time in the oven. At 18, you’ve never been married, you’ve never had a career job, you’ve never bought a house, you’ve never managed cash flow, you’ve never raised children. You need coaching. So what happens when we under parent? We think that at 18 they magically become mature adults. They don’t. What happens when a child reaches that young adult stage? As a parent, we go from being on the field to being the coach on the sidelines. I’m here to help, I’m here to coach, I’m here to pray. It’s your life, your decisions, your relationship with God, your finances. That’s gonna be your wife. Those are gonna be your kids. That’s your mortgage, that’s your budget, that’s your church, that’s your theological convictions. You make the decisions, I’m here to coach. When they’re little, we’re on the field with them. When they’re bigger, we go to the sidelines. The other way that we err, we don’t under parent, we over parent. These are parents who when you’re 18, 20, 25, 30, they’re still meddling, they’re still controlling, they’re still demanding, they’re over parenting. True or false, it’s usually the mother? Okay, just a lot of inner healing going on in the room here. What happens is the dad is like, “He needs to grow up.” Mom’s like, “He’s gonna fail.” Yeah, he will. And then he’ll figure it out. Well, he’s gonna make mistakes. Well, we all do. Well, he’s gonna learn the hard way. Well, that’s what most guys sadly choose. So if you’re raising a son and you want him to be married, sometimes the reason that he doesn’t have a wife is because his mother has taken her place. She’s over mothering and as a result she is thwarting his launching. I told my wife this with the boys, at a certain age, with all of them, I looked at her, I said, “Honey, I love you. You’re a great mom, you’ve done an incredible job. Gimme the boy.” She’s like, “He’s my baby.” No he’s not, he’s a

young man. He’s gonna be a grown man. He needs his independence. You’re still his mom, but this is where dad kicks in. I need to help get him ready to launch, to leave their mother and father, okay? Doesn’t mean abandonment, doesn’t mean hatred, doesn’t mean betrayal. It means that you’re moving from your parents to move toward your wife. You’re moving from your parents to move toward your wife. This is the second principle, the law of pursuit. It says that he will hold fast and some of your old translations will say cleave to his wife. And the language here can be a little foreign. What it means is aggressive enthusiasm, excited, self-motivated, driven, okay? You ever seen a football team in the red zone? They’re pretty focused. This is a guy in the red zone. There’s my girl, I’m gonna marry her. We’re gonna go on our honeymoon. I need to figure out how to get this done. He’s intensely motivated in a healthy way. This is passionate pursuit. This is vigorous intentionality. You know that a guy has met his potential wife when all of a sudden he just gets real focused. Okay, whoa, that’s my girl. Okay, I gotta figure out how to make money. I gotta figure out how to honor her family. I gotta figure out how to pursue her heart, like I’m focused and I’m driven. Passionate energy. The problem becomes, we tend to have that kind of vigorous enthusiasm up until the honeymoon is over. And then we tend not to pursue our wives as vigorously because all of a sudden you’re like, “Well, I’m really pursuing my career.” And now we got kids and I’m really pursuing my kids. Maybe I’ve got some hobbies. I’m really excited about my hobbies. And all of a sudden that enthusiasm of pursuing, that law of pursuit, pursuing your wife wanes. And then you’re in real danger when some woman enters your life and she pursues you. This can start with a work spouse where she’s emotionally present. You’re on your best behavior, she’s on her best behavior at work. Now it leads to emotional connection, flirtation, all of a sudden you’re caring for one another. They call it a work spouse. It’s an emotional affair. This can be a physical affair. This can be coveting someone else’s spouse because yours is more work than you think that theirs would be. The key is you leave your mother and father and then as a man, your energy, your desire, your passion has to be intensely devoted toward your wife. What I always tell guys is this, date your wife before someone else does. Right, you dated her to marry her, keep dating her to stay married to her. If you got dressed up and spent money and made plans and flirted with her to get married, keep doing those things to stay married. Because marriage, men, is this, this is the big myth for men, they think that marriage is a finish line. It’s not, it’s a starting line. A lot of guys, law have pursuit, like, “I’m so excited now we’re married, I’m done.” No, no, no. That’s the starting line. I’ve been married 30 years, my parents more than 50 years. The most important day of your marriage is not your first day, it’s your last day. You can have a lot of passion for the first day, but you better maintain that passion for the last day. The law of priority is that a man’s priority changes. His priority is no longer his mom and his dad, but his wife and his kids. The law of pursuit is his energy goes from his family to his wife and their children. And what I would say with this as well, let me speak to the older fathers in the room, the law of pursuit is that he is to be pursuing his wife and his priorities change. When a young couple, let’s just say a couple gets married, they are starting a brand new family. I say this all the time and I get attacked for this all the time. We’ll now find all the dysfunctional families on the internet ’cause they will criticize me. So when my daughter got married, when my son got married, at their wedding, here’s what I said, ’cause I was was honored to officiate. I didn’t say, let’s say my daughter got married, “Hey, I’m so glad that we’re adding a son to the family.” And when my son got married, I didn’t say, “I’m so glad

we’re adding a daughter to the family.” Because the truth is they’re not joining our family. They’re leaving their mother and father to do what? Start their own family. Start their own family. So I ask my son-in-law or my daughter or my son or daughter-in-law, “Hey, how are you guys doing? How’s your family?” They’re married, they have their own family. And where this really gets painful, holidays, where you live, where you go to church, how you educate your kids, all of a sudden they’re like, “Hey, you can’t do that.” You’re like, “Yeah, we can ’cause this is our family.” “No, no, no, that’s not how our family does it.” That’s not how your family does this. Now that my kids are getting married, their spouses are not joining my family, they are launching to start their own family and now Grace and I are extended family. We’re extended family, which means we’re not the highest priority. So when Thanksgiving comes, like, “Hey, here’s what we’re doing. Your kids are welcome but if you’re married, do what you wanna do, it’s your family. You’re at Thanksgiving, you decide. We’d love to have you, but you know, whatever you wanna do.” Christmas, “Hey, we love you, we’d love to see you but, you know, do what you want to do.” Summer vacation, “We love you. I’ll rent a house big enough for everybody. That’s fine with me, and if you don’t want to come, I won’t take offense because your family gets to do what they wanna do.” When it comes to how you educate the kids, the grandkids, well, that’s your decision, you’re the parents. If you’d like my opinion, I’ll let you know ’cause I have an opinion about everything, I’m happy to share it. I’ve turned it into a career, you know, so… But if you don’t want my opinion, I’ll just tuck it in and pray for you and that’s your decision. The big problem becomes, we don’t allow the next generation to have healthy families because we don’t let them be a family. This is where it’s really important for those of us who are older, that we raise our sons to be head of households. Husbands and fathers lead their own family with their wife. Not overly parent and meddle, not guilt and manipulate, not control with tears or dollars, but let them be their own family. The law of priority, the priorities change. Pursuit, the energy needs to go toward the wife and then the kids. The law of partnership, the two shall become one. The word there in the original Hebrew is echad. It’s a word that’s used in Deuteronomy 6:4 in something called the shema that the Jews would say three times a day, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, He is one, He is echad.” And the word is used of God that God is one, but the word literally means a unity of multiples who are one, like a cluster of grapes is one cluster, multiple grapes. Literally what it’s saying is the Father, Son and Spirit are one. And when a husband and wife marry, they become one. It’s not which one, they become a new one. It’s not that the wife does everything the husband wants or the husband does everything the wife

wants. That’s a domineering marriage. Any domineering marriage is a broken sad marriage. This is not you need to be me or I need to be you, we are now one and it’s not which one, it’s a new one. What do you wanna do for church? What do you wanna do for date night? What do you wanna do for kids? Where do you wanna live? Let’s pray about this and work this out together ’cause unity is our highest priority. What this means practically, you should have how many beds if you’re married? One bed. One bed. When I grew up there were certain TV shows, they added in two beds. Those were not biblical shows. The Bible says in Hebrews to keep the marriage bed pure, not the marriage bunk bed pure, right? One bed you should have. You should attend how many churches? One church. You should worship how many Gods? One God. The highest divorce rate are two people who actively worship different gods. I mean, if you’re worshiping God and they’re worshiping a demon, I’m just telling you that’s not going to be

a happy household. With Grace and I, this means we share all of our bank account information. It’s not like she’s got her money and I’ve got my money, we got our money, she’s got access to my, we’ve got accounts but we have full access to all the accounts. We have one schedule, we keep one calendar, we go on one vacation, we attend one church, right? We do everything we can as one. As one. And let me say this, some of you men, you have friction or difficulty or conflict in your marriage and you’ve tried to create a situation that is like two train tracks. Well, she’s got her life and I got my life and she’s got her friends and I got my friends, she’s got her church and I got my church and she’s got her money and I got my money and she’s got her accounts and I got my accounts and you know, she’s got her way of doing things and I got my way of doing things. Let me tell you this, this is what happens to those train tracks. Over time, you are completely separated and eventually you are devastated. The only way it works is if you’re one. As long as you’re two, you have division. Division is two visions. Jesus says a house that has division is a house that falls down. The only way it works is one vision. We are united, we agree on what we’re doing. This is what is meant by the law of partnership. Now let me say this as well. Is it a problem if one of you in the marriage is a strong personality? Strength is never a problem. Independence is always a problem. Okay, do you think Grace is married to a strong personality? Oh yeah, and I’ll tell you what, I may not be the strongest personality in the marriage. Her name is Grace, but that’s just a cover. That’s just a cover. If anybody knows my wife, she has very strong opinions. She is a very strong personality and she is not shy about telling her opinions and I love that about her. I’m glad I’m married to a strong woman. She’s just not independent. Some of you need to know the difference between one or both of you being strong and being independent. Strong is not a problem. Grace and I are both strong as long as we’re together. We are very strong together. If one of you is independent or both of you are independent, that is a problem because it violates the law of unity and oneness. Some of you, this may be where I go from teaching to meddling, some of you know that your wife is independent so you just let her do what she wants because you don’t want to take the energy to make it better. But again, that’s a violation of the law of priority. You’re not making your marriage a priority. It’s a violation of the law of pursuit. You’re not investing the energy to get things right with your wife. And it is a violation of the law of partnership. You’ve allowed the independence to allow a twoness where God intended a oneness. We’ll talk about that a minute. And then lastly, law of purity. They were naked without shame. You men will notice, most men would be like, “Hey, can we skip the first three and just double down on point four. But you notice if you make your wife a priority and you pursue her and you build your life together, you’re probably gonna have a better sex life. Amen?

– Amen.

– Just that’s how it works. Because for a woman, her highest need is security, to feel safe. If you don’t pursue her, if you don’t prioritize her, pursue her and have partnership with her, she doesn’t feel safe to have pleasure with you. Most of the problems in the bedroom are problems outside of the bedroom. And the key is not to just do better in the bedroom, but to work on the problems outside of the bedroom. The naked without shame here means that they had a vibrant, enjoyable, free sex life, we’ll get into this in January, but there was no shame. Neither of

them felt embarrassed or unclean because it was just the two of them enjoying the fullness of freedom that God intends. And let me say this, God created sex so there’s nothing to be ashamed of within marriage sexuality. Now, if you had bad Bible teaching or religious upbringing, sex is always shameful. “Cause here’s what they always tell you in the legalistic churches, right, sex is dirty, nasty, violent, wrong, so save it for the one you love and that, you know… And so that keeps you pure until you’re, you know, through junior high. But then you get married, you’re like, “Oh, it’s naughty, it’s dirty.” No, it’s not. Some people think sex is shameful ’cause they have trauma or sexual abuse or they’ve had addiction. Well, you just need to heal from that and recover from that. But what God’s intent is, nakedness, sex, intimacy without shame, enjoy your sex life. And God invented the human body for pleasure. There are nerve endings in certain strategic locations that I can’t say because we’re on the internet, but when those two strategic locations find themselves connected, it tends to be something that feels good. Can I get a amen? And so when that happens, and that was not an accident. God was not in heaven like, “Made the man, made the woman, made ’em naked, got ’em married,” went out, you know, to get, you know, a euro came back, was like, “What the frick?” You know, like, “What? One of you angels should have got a wing in there, like ‘No, stop.'” It was God’s intent. Amen, okay? So we’re not anti-sex, we’re just pro marriage and marriage is like a heart that holds the passion of sex according to the Bible. How many of you guys, it’s getting a little colder out, how many of you guys, like this time of year you start making a fire? My recommendation would be put it in your fireplace and keep it there. Sex is that passionate hot flame. And if you get it out of the heart of marriage, it burns the whole house down. So the Bible is not anti-sex, it’s pro-marriage as the hearth for the passion. And when it says that the two were naked without shame, let me say this as well. So at this point there’s Adam and Eve. Adam does not have a standard of beauty, he has a wife. Eve does not have a standard of beauty, she has a husband. Here’s the big idea. You don’t have a standard of beauty, you have a wife and she’s your standard of beauty. What this means is practically you can’t be comparing her to everyone else and coveting another man’s wife. That’s a violation of one of The Ten Commandments. You’ve gotta do all you can to obey what Job says in 31:1. “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look at other women lustfully.” That ultimately it is having all of your passion directed toward your life. And what this means as well is if you get married at 20 and you stay married for 60 years, your standard of beauty is your wife at 80, not at 20.

– That’s right.

– Okay? ‘Cause here’s what I’ll tell you, I’m now 52 so I can confirm this, gravity is undefeated. There’s nobody looks better at 80 than 20. But ultimately you want to do what Proverbs 5 says and that is to delight in the wife of your youth, whether she’s young or old. And so ultimately what we’re talking about here is we live in this broken world that has completely corrupted all of this. We’ve separated sex from marriage. We’ve separated fathers from children. We’ve separated grown men from adult responsibilities. It’s why we have a broken world. I want good for you men. I love you, you matter. Your life matters, your marriage matters, your kids matter, your grandkids matter. And if you will follow this divine design, God your heavenly Father is for you, not against you. He will help you to succeed. But you need to know, if you want to do evil, if

you want to just have sex but not marriage, if you want to get married but not have a great marriage, if you want to have a good time instead of leaving a good legacy, you need to know that Satan will happily help you to devastate your entire life and legacy. Satan didn’t even show up until after Adam and Eve were married. That means the front lines of spiritual warfare are always starting with our marriage. God is for you, but Satan is against you. As head of household you’ve gotta decide, am I gonna try by God’s grace to do things God’s way or am I going to align with my enemy and his enemy and work to the destruction of my own family? Say a few things in closing, some of you, your wife is unwell, I wanna hit this briefly. Ephesians 5, it’s a well known verse, 25 through 28, “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church, gave Himself up for her that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing with water through the word so he might present the church to Himself in splendor without spot or wrinkle or any other such thing that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He loves his wife, loves himself.” Let me just say one thing here. I’m sorry, but you gotta deal with it. I’m sorry, but you gotta deal with it. Some of you have wives, they’re unwell. She has an addiction. Could be a prescription medication addiction, could be an alcohol addiction. She could have a toxic, unhealthy relationship with her mother or extended family. She could be someone who has trauma in her past because she was sexually assaulted, spiritually, mentally, emotionally tormented, and there’s trauma there and it’s genuine. Some of you have wives who are unwell and you know it and you tolerate it and you’re hoping that it fixes itself and you’ve gone long enough that you know that it won’t. You have tried to cover for her and now it’s getting too obvious. You tried to protect the kids or others from her, but now you realize you can’t. So now not only are you feeling the pain, your kids are feeling the pain, maybe your grandkids are feeling the pain, healthy Christian family and friends are feeling the pain. And part of your trouble is you’ve tolerated this for so long, you wonder if it’s too late to get her some help. Some of you are just waiting for the day that your kids grow up so that maybe you can move on. Some of you have tried to carve out a completely parallel life to just get a break from her because she wears you out. This is where we get hobbies, overworking, man caves. You know what I’m saying? And it’s not that you like solitude and you just need some time with the Lord. It’s that she wears you out and you just need a break from her. If your wife is unwell, there may be a good reason for that. So you know what? She had a lot of trauma growing up. Okay, I get that. Her family’s very toxic and they’re very evil and they have a murderous spirit and they’re constantly causing us pain. Okay, that’s legitimate. So again, I said at the beginning, I’m sorry, but you gotta deal with it. You gotta deal with it. Because the goal of a husband is to lovingly lead his wife as Christ lovingly leads the church. Here’s what I know about Jesus, He loves me so much He takes me exactly as I am, but he loves me too much to let me stay as I am.

– [Congregation Member] That’s right.

– So you may love your wife and feel loyal and devoted to her. That is good, but here’s what love does. It doesn’t tolerate, it transforms. God’s love doesn’t tolerate us, it transforms us. If you really love your wife, get her the help she needs if she needs the help. If she has an addiction, get her help. If she has trauma, get her help. If she is causing a lot of pain for everyone around

her, get her healed so that she’s the source of joy and not pain. And I say this with all love and I just want to give you men permission to be honest with yourself and your life. And what happens in a group like this, there’s always the young guys who are hopeful, there’s the young fathers who are exhausted and the older guys who are worn out and frustrated. Amen? And the question is, is it too late to get a new marriage? And this is not in my notes, it’s just something that God’s laid on my heart, so maybe this is for you. Some of you think you need a new marriage. Let me tell you this. You probably do. But that doesn’t mean you need a new spouse.

– Woo.

– Okay? Doesn’t mean you need a new spouse. Grace and I always like to say you can get a new marriage with the same spouse. Somebody like, “I need a new marriage.” Great, that doesn’t mean you need a new wife. It may mean you need to get some healing and some help for your wife, ’cause if you get a new wife, you may get a new marriage. And what happens is, oftentimes men’s ministries like this, it’s where men who are suffering at home come to get a break. We love you, we’re glad to have you, we appreciate you, but I would like you not to enjoy just being in God’s house, I would like you to enjoy being at your house. So there’s three kinds of marriages, I’ll close with this. There’s shoulder-to-shoulder, back-to-back, face-to-face. This is one of Grace and my’s favorite lines in the Bible on marriage. She says, “He is my lover, my friend.” That’s the first Hebrew friends with benefits right there, lover and friend. I’ve shared this a lot, but I’ll share it again. So there are three kinds of marriages. Shoulder-to-shoulder most men have, most of our relationships is shoulder-to-shoulder. You’re like, “Well, who are your buddies?” Well, I played sports with so and so. I worked with so and so. I served in the military with so and so. you know, I have season tickets and sit next to so and so. I go to the bar and I watch cage fighting and eat chicken wings and drink beer and sitting next to me is so and so.” For men, most of our relationships are shoulder-to-shoulder. My wife, Grace and I, this is our default. We’re really good at getting stuff done. How many of you and your wife, you’re like, “You put us together, we can get stuff done.” That’s me and my girl. We worked together before we were married. We planted churches together, raised kids together, done tours together, written books together. We get stuff done, remodeled multiple homes together. We get stuff done. If a marriage is in shoulder-to-shoulder too long, it eventually turns back-to-back. And that is, he’s got his work, she’s got her work, he’s got his vision, she’s got her vision, he’s got his friends, she’s got her friends, and what they’re starting to do now, they’ve really turned their back on one another. This is where you’re not, you’re not warm, you’re not loving, you’re not close. You can even be adversarial. Sometimes this is where literally you’re so sick of her, you literally just turn your back like, “I ain’t gotta hear this.” You walk out of the house, you go into the garage, you go back to work, you literally just turn your back. You’re like, “I’m out.” Every marriage at some point gets into a back-to-back. You’re gonna get there. The question is, are you gonna stay there? The longer you stay there, the more opportunity you allow for bitterness, demonic foothold and destruction of your marriage. Because the distance between you and your wife, that’s a good spot for Satan to set up shop. The best marriages are face-to-face. Face-to-face is the Bible’s language for warm, healthy, loving relationship. It says in 1 Corinthians 13 that when Jesus comes, we will see Him face-to-face. It says when Moses met with God, he met with Him

face-to-face. The key to your marriage is face-to-face, meaning you turn your phone off, you turn the TV off, you tell the kids that you love them, but this is mom and dad’s time, not their time and you get time to look one another in the eye. So much is communicated non-verbally looking into the eye. And what happens is when we’re dating, true or false, we get quite a bit of face-to-face time? You’re looking at her, she smells good, she looks good. Then you get married and you’re like, “We’re so busy. We got kids, we got mortgage, we got yard, we got in-laws, we got outlaws. You know, we got taxes, we got elections, we got soccer. There’s so much to do.” Eventually back-to-back. The key is to get as much face-to-face time as you can, building your friendship with your wife. Where are you right now if you’re a married guy? Is it back to back? You’re like, “We’re kind of… We’re not even really talking about it or working it out.” Is it shoulder-to-shoulder? We’re so busy with the kids and the job and the responsibilities and the duties, we don’t really have time for our marriage. Is it face-to-face? Take some time every week. Look your wife in the eye, pray with your wife, pray over your wife, talk to your wife. Here’s a crazy idea, listen to your wife. They find that sexy. So try. And I’ll close with this, every man I’ve ever met gets it wrong and then needs to humble himself and invite God to help him get it right. I’ve never met a guy that got marriage right the first time. Never met that guy. I met guys who thought they got marriage right the first time, and then I asked their wife and she said, “He’s a liar.” And so if you’re hearing this and you’re like, “We’ve screwed some things up,” guess what? We all have. Grace and I started dating. She was a Christian, I wasn’t. We were not virgins. We started sleeping together and then I got saved and then we had to stop sleeping together. And then 10 years into marriage, we realized she was a trauma victim so I needed to get her help. Like I’m telling you, we have made a number of mistakes. And here’s what I know about God. He forgives and He heals and He helps.

– [Congregation Member] Amen.

– He forgives and He heals and He helps. My goal is not to put condemnation on you, but to encourage you to not settle for anything less than a marriage that glorifies God and is enjoyable for you and your spouse. Let me pray. Father, thanks for a chance to teach a little bit. God, I thank you that there are some great men in this room and online. There’s some great husbands and great marriages. But God, we would just admit that the the relationship where we struggle the most and sometimes we sin the most is with our wife. And God, I pray that you would put a lot of grace on Your sons and that they would take that grace and put it on their wife. God, I pray that the marriages would be enduring and endearing. I pray against the enemy of servants, their works and effects. I pray against all the demonic attacks and generational curses and dysfunctional family systems that wanna perpetuate cursing instead of blessing. I pray for the single guys, Lord, that they would follow the success sequence and not the failure framework they’re given by the world. And God, I pray that we wouldn’t be beating ourselves up seeking perfection, but we would be encouraging one another toward progress that this week can be better than last week, and next week can be better than this week, and this year can be better than last year, and this decade can be better than last decade. And God, we just pray that our marriages would be different, that our wives would be loved, that we would look forward to coming home and that home would be a little foretaste of the home that you have prepared for

us, a place where there is love and joy and peace and patience and goodness and kindness and gentleness and faithfulness and self-control. And God, for men who have a word from You through this word, I pray they’d be obedient to it in grace with mercy and humility. I pray they would not weaponize this message to come at their wife, but they would use this message to come alongside their wife and be a good friend to bring out the best version of their marriage they could. In Jesus’ name. Thanks for letting me teach guys. Love you guys.

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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