December 7, 2014
Psalm 23 is one of the most famous passages in the Bible of course. Turn if you would to Ephesians Chapter number 5 and I want to preach about being a Psalm 23 husband and I did a short version of this at the Burbanks wedding but I wanted expand on this to do a full sermon out of it because of the fact that this passage is such a powerful passage. It’s a passage that everybody knows. Psalm 23 is something that we’ve all heard. A lot of us memorize it when we were kids. I know it was one of the first things that I’ve ever memorized as a kid. And if there’s someone’s depth on the Bible, it’s amazing how you can read something over and over again. And there’s always more there. I think about how many times I’ve read the Chapter like Genesis Chapter 1 but then you’re constantly reading here and finding new things. I want to point out, first of all on Ephesians Chapter 5, starting verse number 22. The Bible reads, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it.
So, in this passage, God uses Christ and the church as an illustration of husband and wife. And he says here that husbands should love their wives as Christ also loved the church, and that the wives should be subject unto their husbands just as the church is subject unto Christ in all things. And by the way, I want to point out, we don’t believe at our church in this idea of universal church made up of all believers. That’s what a lot of people think they in when it comes from, it’s just a misunderstanding of the word church. If you let the Bible define the word church, it’s a congregation. Because in Psalm 22:22, it says, “in the midst of the congregation will I sing praise unto Thee.” And in Hebrews Chapter 2, it says, “in the midst of the church, I will sing praise unto Thee.” Quoting that verse. So we’ve let the Bible divides of a church as a congregation, are we congregated with all believers in the world right now? Absolutely not.
So as were are (NOT CLEAR), somebody will tell you, “This is church is talking right now. This church… “ No, that’s not church. That’s not an assembly of people or congregation of people. And a lot of times, people will say, “We’re the church.” Meaning that they can just go out and be by themselves somewhere and that’s church. No. Yes, we are the church when we congregate, when we assemble, when we’re here gathered together with the Church. But a lot of people have this idea of a Universal Church. Now, by the way, the word Catholic means universal. And so Catholic means universal, the Protestants came along and said, “Well, we don’t believe in a visible universal church. It’s invisible.” So we believe in the invisible church. But I believe in the literal, local Church. Now, people will take a passage like this word says, “ Christ is the head of the church .” And those say, “See that? The church! You know, church is singular.” But here’s the thing about that. It says the husband is the head of the wife. Is there only one wife? Is there a universal wife? So if it says the husband is the head of the wife, what are we talking about? That every husband is the head of his wife. As an institution, not a literal one husband-and one wife, but rather that every husband is the head of every wife that he has. He only has one, of course. Somewhere that is kind of weird. But think about this. Christ is the head of every church is what it means is what it means. You know it this church, Christ is the head of the church. And if we’re in another church, Christ ought to be the head of that church. So it’s not that there’s a universal church. Part of the proof for that is that the word “church” is more often than not, plural in the New Testament. So if it’s just one universal church, how could you have churches. And yet the word “churches” is used more in the Bible than the singular word “church.” So what we have today in the world is not one church, but churches. Now, someday, all believers will be congregated together. That’s called eterapture. You know when will be caught up together. Yet, then we are all going to be united with all believers from all over the world when we are all caught up together. But until then, no, we’re not united with all believers. We are in separate churches. That has nothing to do with the sermon tonight but I just wanted to throw that out as we’re looking at this passage. Notice that Christ and the church is a picture of husband and wife. Now, Jesus Christ said in John 10 verse 11, “I am the good shepherd. The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” Then He said in verse 14, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep and am known of mine.” Let me point out that He didn’t say I’m a good shepherd. He said I’m the good shepherd. And remember Psalm 23, one of the most famous passages in the Bible, starts out saying, “The Lord is my shepherd.” And Jesus said, “I’m the good shepherd.” And in Hebrews Chapter 13 verse 20, it says, “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.”
So Jesus, by the way, I have to give proof of the deity of Christ because Jehovah, the LORD, you know all capital, L O R D, there in Psalm 23 verse 1, said, “The LORD is my shepherd” and then Jesus said, “I’m the good shepherd.” Because He’s the Lord. Now, if we go back to Psalm 23, let’s see what we can learn from this passage. If Jesus represents the husband in the relationship, and if husbands are to supposed to love their wives as Christ loved the church, then we as husbands should take an example from Jesus on how to be a good husband, right? Because we should look at how Jesus loves the church, and then, that should be how we love our wives. “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church.”
In Psalm 23, we see Jesus Christ as the good shepherd, and His love and care for the church or a husband’s love and care for the wife. And I submit to you this, and I know this sounds maybe like a tall order for a little tiny chapter like Psalm 23. I feel that Psalm 23 has all the elements that you need to be a great husband. I think it’s all right there in this passage, even though Psalm 23 isn’t traditionally a marriage passage. You know Ephesians 5 is where you turn or maybe you turn to Colossians 3. Most people wouldn’t think to turn to Psalm 23 to talk about marriage. But I believe that Psalm 23 contains all of the elements that you need to be a great husband and to love your wife as Christ loved the church. It’s all right here in Psalm 23.
I have six points tonight because there are 6 verses. And each verse gives a different aspect of what we should be doing as husbands to love our wives and to be a Psalm 23 husband.
Now look at verse number 1, first of all. It says, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.” Now, let me start out by defining the word “want” for you. It means “to lack.” When he says “I shall not want,” if you study every time the word “want” is used in the Bible, it’s things that are wanting, or things that are lacking, things that are missing. And so, when the verse says “The Lord is my shepherd, I shalt not want,” what is He saying? I’m not going to lack anything, I have everything I need. So number 1, in order to be a great husband, in order to be a Psalm 23 husband, you have to be a provider.
What does it mean to provide? To make sure that your wife does not lack what she needs – food and clothing. Now in 1 Timothy 5:8, you know I have to turn there, but the Bible says, “If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” So God commands us to provide for our household and to take care of our household. The Bible says that Christ nourished and cherished the church. Now, let me ask this. What does it mean to nourish? Food. Nourishment is food. It’s the job of the husband to provide food. To put food on the table. To provide, so that his wife will not want anything. That she will have what she needs. And the Bible clearly states back in the Book of Exodus, I believe it’s in Chapter 21, that the husband must give his wife food, clothing and perform the duty of marriage – talking about the physical relationship. These three things must be done by every husband for his wife. Provider of food, clothing and of physical relationship. That’s what the Bible teaches in Exodus 21 and right here, we see, that the husband, first and foremost in this chapter, needs to be a provider. We live in a day where husbands don’t want to provide for their wives. But of deadbeat husbands out there, they don’t want to work hard. They don’t want to pay the bills. And sometimes, there are even husbands that literally stay home, and are jobless, and their wife goes out and makes all the money. That is a backward situation that needs to be fixed as soon as possible if somebody’s in that situation.
We as men, say, “I’m an old-fashioned, traditional.” No, we as men, need to fulfil that role of being the provider, and we need to wear the pants in that family. Let me tell you something. The one paying the bills, the one who makes the rules. That is the way life works in general. And we as men need to be a provider. Our wife should be able to say, “my husband is providing and I shall not want.”
I’m not saying that you’re going to have caviar and everything else. But I’m saying that it’s the husband’s job to provide and make sure that his wife does not want, and is not lacking what she needs.
Number 2. Look at verse number 2. It says, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”
Secondly, a husband should not only provide but he should provide peace and stability. Have you noticed that sometimes when things go bad or you’re in a crazy situation, sometimes, women tend to be more emotional than men and get a little more worked up. Ladies tend to panic, get a little more worked up and upset. And it’s our job as a husband to provide calm and stability and to bring peace to the situation.
Now turn to Matthew Chapter 8. Let’s see this from Jesus. While you’re all turning there, let me quote for you James 1:8. “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” And the Bible says in the same passage, “Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” We should not be unstable. Jacob said to Reuben in Genesis 49, “Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.” If we’re going to excel, we need to be stable. The Bible says we should be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” We need to be stable. We need to be firm. We need to be like a rock. We need to be founded on the rock of the Lord Jesus Christ and not be like water and the shifting sands. We need to provide stability. Listen to me. Women today are looking for stability. They want a husband to keep things stable and peaceful and calm and set their minds at ease. They want to be able to rely on their husband and fully trust in their husband, just like we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to take care of us. Women want to be able to have a reliable husband that they can trust and one that is going to bring peace and stability.
Look at Matthew Chapter 8 verse 24. Here, we have Christ and the church here. It says, “Behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
Here, Jesus literally brings calm to the storm and he calms them down. He doesn’t panic and flip-out. He calms them down and brings literal calm. But we as husbands need to spiritually be able to say “peace, peace be still” and just emotionally calm down the storm, and calm things down and be peaceful. We shouldn’t be panicking and “what are we going to do? I don’t know what to do.” We need to have game plan. We need to be a leader. We need to take charge, to take responsibility and try to bring stability that we might lead our wife beside the “still waters” and make her “lie down in green pastures” and calm her down, and create a peaceful and stable atmosphere. And bring stability to her life, that’s part of our job as a husband.
Number 3. Look at verse number 3 of Psalm 23. Keep your fingers on Psalm 23 because that’s we’re going to be throughout the night. It says in verse 3, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.”
Number 3: the husband is to be the spiritual leader. He restores the soul and he leadeth in the paths of righteousness for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s what the husband needs to do. Not only number 1: be a provider. Number 2: bring peace and stability. But number 3: to be the spiritual leader. The Bible teaches in 1 Timothy Chapter 3 that if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? That’s why the pastor is supposed to be “one that ruleth well his own house, and has faithful children that are in subjection with all gravity” because of the fact that ruling your home is similar to being the pastor of a church in many ways. Because you’re the shepherd of the church. That’s what “pastor” means. Remember “the Lord is my shepherd” but the husband is the shepherd of the wife and his sons also. And the husband is the spiritual leader of the wife. He’s there to lead her in the paths of righteousness.
If you would, go back to Ephesians 5. Because in Ephesians Chapter 5, we see the same thing. A lot of this stuff comes up again in Ephesians 5 and these two passages really call for many each other well. But in Ephesians Chapter 5, it says in verse number 25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Don’t you see the spiritual leadership there? Of saying “washing and cleansing and purifying there.” Leading in a righteous path. And we as men, whether you’re a preacher or not, whether you’re going to the ministry or not, we as men, should actually preach the Bible to our wives, and to our children. Even if you’re not a pastor of a church, everybody is the pastor of their family. If you’re a husband that’s there, you need to be teaching your wife the Bible. You say, “she knows more Bible than me.” Shame on you then. It’s time for you to catch up. Time for you to get caught up and get in this book and read it twice as much as her and get to where she can ask you at home when she has a question because you know the Bible better than her. We as men, need to take the lead spiritually, and I don’t want your wife to get less spiritual. I want you to get more spiritual, and be the leader that you need to be. And not let her be the spiritual leader in the home and let her do that. You need to take over, buddy. You need to get in this book, and you need to say, as for me in my house, we will serve the Lord. You need to be leading in the paths of righteousness.
Number 4. Look down at your Bible there in Psalm 23. It says in verse 4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” He puts her in safety or he’s a protector according to verse 4. Though she walks through the valley of shadow of death will fear no evil because he is with her. It’s our job as husbands to protect our wife.
Turn if you would to Luke 22. While you’re turning there all, I’ll read these modern scriptures. But in John 10:14, Jesus said, “I’m the good shepherd and know my sheep and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father.” Watch this, “and I lay down my life for the sheep.” So Jesus said I’m the good shepherd, I’ll down my life for the sheep. And you what the Bible says in Ephesians 5:25? “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
So, shouldn’t the husband be willing to lay down his life for the wife? He needs to be the one who risks his life to protect his wife. He needs to be a protector and to provide protection to the point where she will fear no evil because he is with her, and he is there to protect her.
Women should be able to rely on their husband to be a protector. Now you’ll say to Pastor Anderson, “how am I going to be a good protector?” This could be different for different people, different situations, different circumstances, different places that you live, different countries, different cultural divides. But if you think about it, having a weapon might be advisable for being a good protector. Having weapon would be a good place. Maybe even just learning some basic fighting skills. And you say, “Oh men, that is so carnal and wicked.”
But the Bible says that God teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. So there’s nothing wrong with learning martial arts, with learning how to fight, learning how to use weapons and so forth. Now you say, “well, but you know, no Christians..” Somebody looked at my gun today and said that it was an abomination. What’s this protests? He pointed at my gun and said, “That’s an abomination to Jesus.”
So how of me is an abomination? But the pointing at this gun and saying that it’s an abomination. People are being brainwashed today. Let me just show you some key scriptures on having a weapon. It says in Luke 22 verse 35, we’ve got to go here because, otherwise, people will say, “Get out of the Old Testament!” So I’ve got to start with the New Testament. Luke 22:35, it says, “And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” Is God against us owning weapon in the New Testament? Jesus said “now that I’m going to the cross, I want you to have a sword, I want you to have a weapon. If you don’t have sword, sell your garment and buy one.” And you say, “Oh, that wasn’t a literal sword, that was just the sword – the spirit the word of God.” But look what is says in verse 38. It says, “they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.” So look, two swords is enough? Zero’s not enough. Now you say, “Pastor Anderson, I can’t afford a gun.” Then you need at least to have a good knife or a machete or a chain saw, a battle axe, a ninja’s car. You have to have something. It’s a good idea. Do you know what actually is a really effective weapon? A baseball bat. Very cheap. Very easy to get. When I was first married? My wife and I were very poor, and I did not have a gun for a long time. We were too poor. Guns were expensive and we barely (unclear) and I had a metal baseball bat under the bed. I mean, that’s an effective weapon, because if anything happens in the middle of the night, it’s going to be close quarters. I just grab that metal baseball bat and start swinging it.
I’m not saying bring your baseball bat to a gun fight. But I’m saying that a baseball bat is better than nothing. The Lord knows what you have and what you don’t have. He knows your financial situation. And if you’re poor, and you can’t afford a gun, then you could get some kind of a weapon, go find the lead pipes somewhere for crying out loud. It wasn’t that in somebody killed, somebody would that in the board game clue, right? I mean, what in the candle stick for crying out loud. Do something to be able to defend. You say, “well, I’ll just kind of rely on the Lord to protect me.” You know what? People in the Bible always relied on the Lord to protect them but they also built a wall around the city when God told them to. And they also built machines of war. And they also learned how to use swords and shields and things. So yes, we’re going to rely on the Lord. Here’s a key verse. “The horse is prepared against the day of battle but safety is of the Lord.” So we should prepare. But at the end of the day, we trust the Lord. But that doesn’t mean just no preparation and trust the Lord. No. We do what we can humanly and then we rely on the Lord to do the rest. So I recommend owning a weapon.
Go to Deuteronomy 23. Now that we’ve got the New Testament. Let’s go to the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 23. And look, you say, “Well, Pastor Anderson, what gun should I buy?” I think that the best gun is a shotgun. It’s cheap. It’s effective. It’s going to stop an invader. It’s going to stop somebody. You load it with buckshot. It’s not going to spread out too crazy at close quarters. You can do a lot with it. And then, “well it only holds 7 rounds” or whatever. They call it rounds with the shotgun. I’m not really a gun-nerd. I don’t know all the right terminologies so excuse me if I’m saying it wrong. But I definitely know how to shoot my shotgun. And I’ve shot it many hundreds of times and I know that, even though it only holds 7 of the shotgun shells, each one has 9 projectiles in it if you’re running buckshot. So you can pull the trigger 7 times, and you’re sending 63 projectiles. That’s a lot of it.
So a shotgun is a good home-defence. I even joked even Joe Biden once to have a shotgun for crying out loud. Our liberal democrat Vice President tells you to buy a shotgun. If he’s telling you to do it, goodnight. Just do it. But until then, a baseball bat. Until then, a butcher knife, I don’t know, whatever.
Deuteronomy 23 verse 12, it says, “Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.”
This is tying up basic camping sanitation because the children of Israel are camping for 40 years in the wilderness. They are wandering in the wilderness and they don’t have a permanent dwelling place. And he says “don’t use the restroom in the middle of the camp.” You always have to tell that to the new people that are camping. Go far from the camp to use the restroom. So he says “don’t ease yourself in the camp. You need to ease yourself abroad so you should have a paddle on the back of your weapon so that you can dig a hole to deal with that which goeth from you.” But here’s the thing, he just assumes that you have a weapon. He didn’t even tell you “get a weapon and put a paddle on it.” He just says “put a paddle on your weapon” that you already have. Because you’re normal. You are a man. You have a weapon. It’s just like expected that you have a weapon.
Some people have said, “What was this weapon that you’d have a paddle on, that you could dig with?” Obviously, was this stuck of their AK 47? It had a paddle. It had a little shovel stuck. No, I’m just kidding. Obviously, they didn’t have guns back then. But whatever weapon – whatever, the spear, or whatever. God said that they needed to have something to dig with, other than like the Swiss army knife. Because the Swiss army knife has all these different tools and things, so this is like the Swiss army weapon – the Israeli army weapon with that little thing to dig with. Whatever the weapon, I’m sure it was something sharp or something blunt or something that would hurt somebody, whatever it was. So anyway, I’m just showing you the scriptures, to show that Deuteronomy 23 kind of assumes that the children of Israel have weapons and then Jesus is saying if you don’t have one, buy one. And again, I’m not telling you to go put yourself in a financial straits and borrow money to go buy weapons. I’m not even telling you to sell your garment and buy one because honestly, you can’t really sell garments today bringing amount of money, unless you’re wearing a Meg coat. If you own a Meg coat and you don’t have a weapon, by all means, sell it and buy a shotgun. But otherwise, just get something and then, you slowly upgrade your weapon. Start with the baseball bat. You move up to the katana. You move up to the shotgun, then you need the bazooka. No, I’m just kidding. I mean, a shotgun is a great home-defence. The only downside of the shotgun is you can’t really take it with you, as easily as a handgun. Most times you just use it for home-defence, because at night, it’s when evil people do their thing at night.
So, anyway, be a protector. Learn some basic fighting. Don’t just be so (unclear) that you can’t even learn a little bit of fighting, and learn a little bit of shooting. And just kind of man up a little bit and it’s going to be good for you anyway. Your wife’s going kind of like you more anyway when you do that. And then, you could be a better protector, and she can feel safe for that hour with her.
But let’s go to the next scripture verse 5. It says, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
So far, in the passage, we’ve seen that the husband should be a provider. He’s to provide peace and stability. He should be the spiritual leader. He should be the protector and gives safety. But you know what? That’s not enough to make you great husband. Just paying the bills, leading spiritually, protect, provide stability. Calm down! That’s not really everything it takes to be a good husband, is it? Because where’s the love? Where’s the fun. Where’s the friendship? Where’s the relationship? Where’s the affection? Where are the good times? Being married is not just some business agreement. You cook and clean, and I pay for everything. That’s not really the way that you propose, right? Where would that is, somebody you proposed that’s why you’re still single. But marriage also is a friendship. Go to Psalm of Solomon. In Psalm of Solomon, she talks about her husband and she says, “this is my beloved and this is my friend.” So she says my husband is my friend. And there’s an aspect of marriage that is about pleasure and about joy and friendship and having a good time and loving each other. Not just “I’m doing my job as a husband.” You need to actually also bring some joy and happiness to your wife. And as the Bible says, “Cheer up your wife.” Bring some cheer to her life.
Doesn’t Jesus Christ bring joy unto us? He gives joy – unspeakable and full of glory. And the Holy Spirit is called the Oil of Gladness. And the Bible says “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” So the Lord brings us joy. We as a husband should try to strive and bring joy to the lives of our wife and make her life enjoyable, and give her pleasure and fun. What does the Bible say in Psalm 23 verse 5? You’re in Psalm of Solomon, stay there. But in verse 5, it said “thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.” What’s this? “thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
When I see the phrase “my cup runneth over,” you know what that is? That’s extra. That’s not the minimum. That’s not just “I shalt not want.” Because if I have a cup, then I shalt not want. When my cup runneth over, that’s something extra. That’s additional blessing.
Being anointed with oil isn’t something that you need for survival. Survival is food and raiment. Let us be there with content. That is going to make us survive. But anointing our head with oil is something that is for joy, the oil of gladness. It’s something that’s cosmetic or something that is just for enjoyment or beauty or something that is beyond the survival minimalistic needs of our lives. The oil and also just the cup running over, and just preparing the table before me. When I read that verse, I think of spreading out a picnic because when I think of “walking through the valley of the shadow of death” in the previous verse and then “preparing a table before her in the presence of the enemies.” It’s like, you picture being in a valley and you make a picnic and you feel safe that hour with me. That’s what I get from this passage.
So I think verse 4 shows us the aspect of giving joy and pleasure, doing something special, something above and beyond, something where the cup is running over, not just the minimum. Forget half-full, half-empty, the running over cup of bonus. Psalm of Solomon. And really, we could almost turn anywhere in Psalm of Solomon. And we could really read the whole book of Psalm of Solomon and see this aspect of marriage – the joy, the fun, the excitement, the love, the friendship, the intimacy. It’s all there in the Book of Psalm of Solomon. Let’s just look at a few highlights from Chapter 7 and 8. It’s hard to pick a section, but just a few highlights. Verse 9 of Chapter 7 says, “And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves. The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.”
So here we see just as sweet, loving relationship, of planning, of a nice outdoor activity where they’re going to go down to the fields, in the villages, in the vineyards. And they’re going to eat fruits together, new and old, that have been especially prepared. Again, the image of a picnic kind of comes to mind. And a lot of people might think, a lot of husbands might think, “Man, forget the cup running over. I’m just trying to pay the bills, or just scrape and buy.” There’s nothing wrong with that because I’ve been there. I remember the early days of being married. That’s how it was, and you scrape and buy, and you pay check to pay check. And you don’t have money for the thrills. I remember the time when I could never afford to take my wife out to eat. Until times that we went out to eat, we would (unclear) to my parents and they were paying. And every Friday night, we’d go over to my parents’ house and we’d go out with my parents and they paid, and we would hang out at their house. And that was our out to dinner night because we couldn’t afford to go out, and go out to dinner because we were just paying the bills. Just getting by.
So look, God didn’t expect you to be a wealthy man, to be able to just wine and dine your wife all the time, and spend all these money. For this to me doesn’t sound expensive – preparing some fruit, preparing some things, going out on a picnic, getting outside. By the way, a lot of people, they think they’re going out a date just equals out to dinner. I’m going to go out on a date with my wife. It’s out to dinner. I’m going to out and date every week with my wife. It’s out to dinner. Out to dinner. Out to dinner. Out to dinner, out to dinner. And honestly, it’s expensive. Going out to dinner is expensive and it also gets boring, and it’s not usually the healthiest option. Usually, you can make more nutritious better food at home. My wife and I do go out to dinner on dates from time to time. But honestly, there are a lot of other nice ways to have fun and be together and make memories than just going out to eat. I’m just thinking over the course of the last few months, and I’m thinking of the most memorable fun times that I’ve had with my wife – we’re not out to dinner. She’s like “no, it was the dinner.”
I can think of all kinds of fun, exciting memories that we made going places and doing fun things, and none of it, none of the highlights were being at we’re being out to dinner and spending bunch of money. In fact, the ones that we did that we’re most fun were free or cost very little. So it’s not just about just blowing a bunch of money. And if you have money and you can blow some money, well, women like that too. But there are a lot of things that you can do. And by the way, this can even go for singles that are dating. Basically, you don’t always have to just blow a whole bunch of money. And that doesn’t always impress the girl anyway. Because anybody can pull out their wallet and buy some expensive dinner. You could be a little more creative. Do something a little more memorable. You say “What? Give me some examples.”
I’m thinking back about the dates, and a lot of them, I can’t really share with you. It’s too personal. It’s too private. And my wife is saying “no, don’t tell.” Some of them was illegal. I’m just kidding. Anyway, but it was creative, and we had fun. See me after the service. I’ll tell you some ideas. But anyway, we did all kinds of cool stuff and fun stuff but honestly, you can go out, you can get outside. And when you look at this, they’re outside, aren’t they? In Psalm of Solomon 7. You can get outside and we have so many wonderful things in this area to do outside. In the winter, in Phoenix, the weather is perfect everyday. Beautiful weather everyday. You can go hiking. You can go on a bike ride. You can go, “well, we’re not that athletic.” True, but you can still go out and have a picnic, take a walk. If you’re not athletic enough to go on a walk, you need to get more athletic, OK? You can’t even walk. But you can go out, and basically, spend time in the outdoors, prepare a little picnic – same stuff you’re going to eat at home. But when you chop it up and get it all ready and take it outdoors to a scenic place, it all taste better. Because you’re out in nature.
Let me just give you some places around here. Kiwanis Park is like a mile and half or two from my house at the (unclear). And it’s a couple of miles from here. The Kiwanis Park has just all these beautiful trails and the little artificial lake. They have little paddle boats you can rent and paddle around the lake. (Unclear) lake has the same thing. You’ve got all these bike trails. You’ve got all these nature trails. You’ve got all these hiking trails right in Phoenix. So don’t have to spend a bunch of money.
In the summer, you have to go far to be outdoors because it’s so hot. But this time of year, it’s paradise. Go wherever you want. Get out there. Get outside. Have some fun. And it’s good for you anyway. It’s healthy anyway. And be a little more creative of how to have a good time with your spouse. Go out and spend time. You say, “I’m poor and we can’t afford a trip to the zoo.” You know what the poor man’s zoo is? The pet store. You go to pet store and you just don’t buy anything. Just look at all the animals and treat it like a zoo. When we were tiny little kids, and we were poor, we did that and they didn’t even know the difference. Little kids, you show more of the animals and the puppy. Here’s the reptile house kids. It’s all pet codes. It’s all pet smart.
And honestly, sometimes, my wife and I just go to the thrift store, and just go shopping together at the thrift store. You don’t even have to buy anything. And if you do find something cool and you end up buying it, it’s going to cost you a couple of bucks anyway. And you find that all in. Sometimes we just go there and laugh at stuff and just look at stuff. It’s our job as a husband to have some fun and bring some pleasure and joy to the lives of our spouse and not just to be this total fuddy daddy. “Yeah, I’m paying the bills” “Yeah, I’ve got the shot gun clean and loaded” and “Yeah, I provide stability here.” OK, but do you love your wife? You’re having a good time with your wife? Or are you giving her any pleasure and joy and fun? That’s also part of your job I believe. And look Psalm of Solomon is filled with it, every chapter. This type of things.
Let’s keep reading in the Chapter 8, Psalm of Solomon Chapter number 8. It says in verse 1, “O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised. I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate. His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please. Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.”
Those are good old days – you were born under the apple tree, instead of being born at the hospital. But it says, verse 6, “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.”
That sounds like a business arrangement to me. Right? Just a business arrangement – roommates, business arrangement. I pay the bills, you cook and clean. No. This is a fiery relationship. This is love and affection and good times and passion. And it’s our job as a husband to provide these things for our wife, and to lead the way in this area as well. Not only to be a spiritual leader but also to lead the way to make sure that you have a good marriage. And a good marriage, in my opinion, is not just defined by no fighting. Or defined by “we’re still married.” Or defined by whatever. I’m striving for a Psalm of Solomon type marriage and a Psalm 23 type of marriage, where the cup runs over.
And again, no marriage is ever going to be perfect. Marriage has its ups and downs, and that brings me to my final point – point 6. Look at Psalm 23 verse 6. It says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
Who does the Lord Jesus Christ represent? The husband, right? So (unclear) dwell in the house forever? This is the wife who could say “I’ll dwell in the house of my husband forever.” You know what this is? The husband needs to be there permanently and provide security. Thank God that we have eternal security. Thank God that we have eternal life. Thank God that Jesus will never leave as, go to Hebrews 13, last place we’re going to turn, that he’ll never leave us nor forsake us. But our wife should know that we are never going to leave her and should provide permanent, or she can say “surely goodness and mercy shall fall on me and I will dwell in the house of my Lord forever,” “I’ll dwell in the house of my husband forever.” Permanence, security, is what that last scripture teaches. Because marriage’s going to have its ups and downs, my friend. If you think you’re just going to be living a Psalm of Solomon lifestyle everyday, that sounds unrealistic. And if you wives are sitting there and think “well, my husband is not doing this.” Look, it’s not going to be like that everyday folks. If you’re a husband that expects that or if you’re a wife that expects that, you’re living in a dreamland. You’re watching too much TV. You’re watching too many romance movies. You’re getting all these crazy ideas in your head that it’s just everyday is just like the day we first met. Everyday is like we’re newly weds. No, that’s not life. That’s not real. In real life, there are going to be ups and downs. But that’s where the commitment comes in that says “’till death do us part.” I will never leave.
Look at Hebrews 13:4. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Why follow up a statement about marriage in verse 4 with that statement in verse 5? I’ll tell you why. Because the number one thing that God said not to covet is wife. Your neighbour’s wife, that’s number thing. So he says “marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have.” One of the number thing that you should be content with is your wife. And ladies should be content with your husband. And so the contentment in marriage will lead us not to covet someone else’s spouse and then remember “hey, he’ll never leave me nor forsake me.” Hopefully, you husbands can think of your wife that she’ll never leave you nor forsake you. It’s permanent. That’s what I love about being married. It’s just the permanence, the security. I hate to be in a relationship where I felt like I was on trial all the time, where, if I don’t do it right, if I don’t play my cards right, she’s going to be gone. Or if she doesn’t play her cards right, she’s constantly thinking “my husband’s going to leave me.” It’s good to know that you’re just both there for each other for life, and you will never leave and you have that security, and that stability, and that permanence and you can really open up and be friends and have trust. That’s what I’ talking about.
Trust is a key component. But how can you trust someone that won’t even put a ring on it. And you’re going to sit there and move in with him, sit there and open up. Look, you’re foolish. Don’t you dare. First of all, foreign occasion’s wicked thing. But second of all, as young women do not go to bed with the men that you’re not married to, you’re foolish if you do. Because foreign occasion does not equal love. Foreign occasion does not equal commitment and marriage. And you need to wait until you get married. Because there are a lot of guys that all sit there and “Oh yeah, we’re going to get married and oh yeah I love you so much!” But until it’s official, you don’t know if that commitment is real. Sometimes, there’s a lot of talk, and then he’s gone or she’s gone or whatever. It needs to be official. You need to be married. Even just from a practical standpoint. But forget that God said that He’ll kill you a lot of times. A lot of times He killed people in the Bible because they committed foreign occasion. God said that He’ll punish us severely. Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. A lot of people committed foreign occasion in the Bible and they didn’t get killed. But a lot of people got killed. God killed 23,000 people in one day the Bible says. 1 Corinthians 10, it says that’s example for us where God poured out His judgment upon foreign occasion. So a lot of good reasons not to commit foreign occasion, my friend.
But we need a marriage that’s permanent and that’s secure. And marriages will go through ups and downs. There are going to be times when your marriage is going great. Other times, where it’s the commitment that’s keeping you together. But you ride it out. You ride out the rough times and a lot of single people are thinking like “We’ll never have rough times.” Newly weds are thinking that in ghettos. They’re engage. Those who are young and say “when I marry my wife, it’s going to be butterflies and unicorns, and there will never be a bad day, and we’ll wake up every morning and sing love Psalms to each other, and we’re going to sleep in each other’s arms. We’ll wake up together and a dove will fly out the window, of our white sheets, of our white bed and the white bedroom, and the white drapes. I’m going to step out unto the porch and open the windows unto the balcony of our terrace condominium, and the sun is shining and my husband will wake up to the smell of bacon and eggs.”
Get real. Now look. Sometimes, my marriage is like that. I’m serious. It really is sometimes. I’m kind of spoiled. My wife has brought me breakfast in bed more times than I can count. My wife is a wonderful amazing wife. But it’s not always like that. Sometimes they get ugly. I’m just kidding. No, I’m not kidding actually. Sometimes, it gets all good here. It’s just life gets ugly. Sometimes life can be rough. And people are stressed out, and your wife’s stressed out and you’re stressed out, and you’re going through bad things and you’re mad and they’re mad. And there’s anger. And then there’s hormones on the wife side of things. Go on like this all the time. And then, look, life is never going to be easy and perfect. Life’s a struggle. From start to finish. It’s a battle. It’s a struggle. So what you have to is decide is that you love your wife and that you’ll be faithful to her and true to her and that she will dwell in your house forever, and it’s “’till death do us part” and we will love each other no matter what. And when things get bad, you say “How do I get through this rough times?” You just have to go through those rough times and stay cool. Don’t jerk the steering wheel. Don’t do anything crazy. You just can’t have this type of mentality. “Uhh It’s going to be like this for the rest of our lives!!! I can’t believe I married you!” No, it’s not. Because everything will blow over and be fine. But you have to ride it out. And honestly, I can stand here. I can put my hand on the Bible, I’m not going to, but I can put my hand on the Bible and swear to you. But the Bible says we’re not allowed so I’m not going to. But I could sit here and put my hand on the Bible and swear to you that I’ve had some of the greatest times in marriage, the greatest moments, the best times, the funniest times, the most exciting time in recent years of marriage. In the last few months, in the last few years. Being a newly wed’s great. You can relive those days. You can have those times again later in marriage. But you have to stay with her. And a lot of people, what they do is when marriage gets bad, they fail. You just have to ride it out and go through the rough path and eventually, you’ll get to the good times. And honestly, the good times get gooder (better) and gooder (better) as you go. And I realized that’s bad grammar. But it really does get gooder (better) and gooder (better) as you go. Why would it get better? Because the fact that when you first married, you hardly know each other. OK, that was just me and my wife.
My wife and I just dated for a few weeks. I’m not recommending that but it was kind of a unique situation because she lived on the other side of the world, and she was here only for a few weeks. It’s a long story, but anyway. I wrote it up. You can read about it. But what I’m saying is that, you don’t know each other as well that the love isn’t as deep. Because you haven’t been through as much together. When you go through trials and tribulations together, and when you have children together, raised children together, and you have good times and bad times, and you’re there for each other. You take care of each other when they’re sick or injured or ill or in the hospital. You go through all that. You give more depth to the relationship whereas in the beginning, it wasn’t that deep. It was more shallow. I’m not saying that in a bad way. It’s just new. But the longer you’ve been together, the deeper it gets, and then when you have the great times, when you get through trials and rough patches, you have a deeper, better relationship, and honestly, you know each other better. I don’t know what to say. It just gets better. Marriage gets better and better if you stay with it. You experience good times and obviously, you need to follow the Bible and follow a good town wisdom and advice from God’s word and from successful people out of good marriage. And you go through that, and you succeed that and it gets better and better. But a lot of people bail out and they never get to experience that.
These people that sit there and get married. These Hollywood people, they get married for a couple of years, 2-3 years, 5 years. They don’t understand marriage. Because they’ve never really gone through the tough times and made it through, and come out the other side stronger and loving each other, and a deeper bond. I’m telling you, marriage is a beautiful, wonderful relationship. And we need to get these 6 things in our life as husband. I can think of anything that’s not covered in Psalm 23 to have a great marriage. I feel like it’s all here.
Here’s the thing. I’m always striving to have a sermon with actual points in it and especially if they would all letterate, and start with the same letter. That always sounded nice, but it never happened. I’m lucky to preach a sermon that even has points. Usually, my sermon is more like a stream of consciousness. But Pastor Roger Jimenez, that guy is just, point 1, point 2, point 3, and it starts with the same letter. That guy just nails it with his points. So how things are like? Man, I want to preach the Roger Jimenez style sermon, and I’ve thought that so many times, I can never get it done. I feel like tonight I’ve done it. And let me tell you why, I’ve actually figured out how to make these all start with the same letter, and it was hard. It was hard and listen, I’ve got 6 letterated points in this sermon.
Number 1: The husband SUPPLIES.
Number 2: He provides STABILITY.
Number 3: He’s the SPIRITUAL LEADER.
Number 4: He keeps her SAFE.
Number 5: He does things that are SPECIAL.
Number 6: He gives SECURITY.
You didn’t like that? Let’s do “P.”
Number 1: He PROVIDES.
Number 2: He brings PEACE.
Number 3: He’s the PASTOR.
Number 4: He’s the PROTECTOR.
Number 5: He gives PLEASURE.
And number 6: PERMANENCE.
There you go. Don’t expect that again for a few years but I alliterated it. Let’s rise and have a word of prayer.
Our Father, thank you so much for this great chapter, Lord. That’s a wonderful, beautiful chapter, Lord. And I pray that since people in the church know it so well, it would be something where every husband could pull this out as a mental checklist because they already know the passage. A lot of people already have memorized, that it would provide just a mental checklist where we could just run through. “I want to love my wife, I want to be a good husband, what’s my wife looking for, for me to treat her right and be a good husband?” and help them to just run through Psalm 23 and run through the six keys to be in a Psalm 23 husband. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.