It is a privilege to be here and to have met with you for the last few months. I am encouraged by your desire to do things right, to honor Jesus while loving one another. So may my words today be of encouragement as you pursue this path.
As you know I wanted to share with you this afternoon from Psalm 45. Scripture holds before us a vision of the ideal marriage: the union between Jesus Christ and His People, His Church. Psalm 45 sings of this union, it sings of Jesus as the Bridegroom and the Church as His Bride. It is, we are told, A Song of Love, a model of wedded love.
The psalmist first describes the bridegroom and then addresses the bride. So, ---, first for you: the psalm identifies three traits, three attributes of Jesus, which I want to highlight as an example of true husbandhood. First, the psalmist praises the words of Jesus, the words of the King.
My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever. (Ps 45:1-2)
Alongside praising the good looks of the king – something I gather --- thinks is true – King Jesus is glorious because grace is poured upon his lips. The words of Jesus give life to His bride and pleasure to God. And this is your task as a husband – to guard your lips and with them to encourage, instruct, counsel, comfort, correct, and cherish your wife. Even as Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, uses the Word of God to sanctify and purify his bride, so we as husbands are to use our lips to bless our wives. The tongue of the righteous, Solomon tells us, is a tree of life. So give life to --- with your lips.
Second, the psalmist praises the strength of the King.
“Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One, With Your glory and Your majesty. And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness; And Your right hand shall teach You awesome things. Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; The peoples fall under You.” (Ps 45:3–5)
As a former military guy this kind of language no doubt resonates with you! Gird your sword on your thigh! Or perhaps better in our day, Sling your M-16 over your shoulder! I have no doubt that this command will be natural for you: you’ve got to protect your wife. Jesus took this call so seriously that he sacrificed His life to rescue His Bride from sin, Satan, and death. So you too are called to protect your bride from threats; and sometimes these threats will come from inside your home – from you or from her. You are to protect her from harsh words, from abdication, from bitterness, from wandering eyes, from pride and selfishness. Your calling is, like Jesus, to in Your majesty [honor, integrity, glory, authority] ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness. Protect ---.
Finally, the psalmist praises the godly authority of the King.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions. (Ps 45:6-7)
Jesus rules his household, exercises his God given authority as Husband, in righteousness. He does not use his authority to promote himself, to seek selfish ends, or to pander to his own sinful desires. Rather, he uses his authority to pursue what is good and pure and right. He loves righteousness and hates wickedness. Consequently, God has anointed him with gladness. So here is your King teaching you that godly authority is exercised for the blessing of those under that authority. God is giving you, as the husband, the opportunity to lead your home in the fear of God, to lead by serving, to go into the difficult places first. As you do this, you can expect God to anoint you with the oil of gladness. So love --- by using your authority to honor God and to bless her.
So --- this is the Jesus we follow, the Bridegroom who provides us with a model of glorious husbandhood: cherish your wife with your lips, protect your wife with your strength, and lead your wife in the fear of God. As you do this, you will be a truly honorable man.
And now for --- – the psalm doesn’t stop with the Bridegroom but moves on to the Bride. How is the Church to respond to Jesus and how does this teach you to respond to your husband? For here is your husband, the man whom you have chosen as your own, the man to whom you are pledging your life under God. How ought you to respond to him? First, the psalmist urges you to leave your father and cleave to your husband:
“Listen, O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your father’s house; So the King will greatly desire your beauty;” (Ps 45:10-11a)
What bride doesn’t want her husband to desire her and pursue her? And so the psalmist advises you: the way to your husband’s heart is to be staunchly loyal to him. Even as the Church is to be loyal to Jesus, to listen to his voice, so be loyal to ---. Don’t undermine him; don’t compare him with others; esteem him and he will greatly desire your beauty – not mere external beauty, but the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. Cleave to ---.
Second, the psalmist urges you to honor your husband:
Because He is your Lord, [honor] Him. And the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; The rich among the people will seek your favor. (Ps 45:11b-12)
The Apostle Peter remind us that in former times, the holy women who trusted in God [made themselves beautiful by] being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord… So your call is to honor your husband, to praise his accomplishments and be his most ardent cheerleader, his most faithful follower. As a wife your greatest challenge will be to challenge your husband to be the man and to lead your home. The way to do this is to honor him by expecting him to do it. “I believe in you, ---! I know you can do it.” So honor ---.
Finally, the psalmist urges you, as God blesses, to train up children to the glory and praise of your husband:
Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons, Whom You shall make princes in all the earth. [The Lord] will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.” (Ps 45:16–17)
God’s design for marriage is that the husband and wife be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Even as the Church is to give birth to new disciples and train them to glorify the Lord, a wife is to bless her husband with children and train them to honor him. So rejoice as God blesses and receive children as a gift from God; but don’t merely receive them, train them, bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, that they may be princes in the earth. Respect --- by treasuring and training your children.
So --- this is the call that God issues to the Bride. Leave your father and cleave to your husband, honor your husband as his most faithful follower, and, as God blesses, train his children to honor him as well. As you do this, your name shall be remembered in all generations and the peoples shall praise you forever and ever.
May God bless you both as you enter into the covenant of marriage.