John 4:7-19

 

Video –

Why is Caleb so frustrated?

She is stubborn, and ungrateful; she won’t say Thank you for anything, he is tired of her insults and sarcasm.  Caleb is feed up with not being shown any respect and treat as unwelcome and not valued in his own house.  He decided that because of the way she is treating him that she doesn’t deserve to be treat with love anymore.

This is the crazy cycle we talked about last week.

(Handouts – How to love your wife, How to respect your husband- on church app)

 

 

Have you ever felt frustrated with how your spouse responds to your efforts of love and respect?

 

Who is Caleb focusing on, his wife or himself?

The first thought is his wife but really, he is focusing on himself.  He is doing things so she will respond.  (We can easily get caught in this trap.)  His father said He loves his mother not for a reward; he loves her even if he gets nothing out of it.  That kind of love will be hard if not impossible to maintain, but that must be our attitude.

(It is the same attitude we should have toward Jesus – We don’t love Jesus and serve Him because we our promised Heaven – We love Him and serve Him because He is worthy or praise and love and service.

 

Spouse, even if you do not feel like responding, even if you think this is a game that won’t last, you had better respond if you appreciate what is being done, at least appreciating the effort.

(If you do not respond your spouse will give up, not because they do not love you but because it hurts so much to try and give and get rejected.)

Your spouse has tried in the past and then given up, it is only a phase because he or she is really in trouble this time. Maybe they gave up because you continued to reject them, you were thinking they deserve to suffer, but in the end, you will still be the one who suffers.

Nagging never works, try being positive and see if that doesn’t work better.  Treat them like you want to be treated.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. (At least more flies with glue. (Be sticky) Picture of sticky fly trap.)

 

Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

 

This is how we are to treat our enemies. Hear the context.

Luke 6:27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

 

This is how Jesus treated us, we were His enemy as Romans 5 tells us but because of His great love He came and died for us. He treated us as He wants to be treated.  Jesus desires your love.

 

1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

 

That is God’s example and teaching.  Apply God’s principles.  Want the kids to act a certain way then you act that way.  Have you ever said he acts just like his dad?  This was not a compliment; and you should never speak that way about your spouse.

Why do the kids act like their parents? It is all about modeling.  Model love and acceptance and your spouse will get the idea.

 

But you can’t love others if you do not know the love of Christ. To truly love you must know the love of Christ.  So many people say they love God and never come to church.  Many Christian say they really love Jesus but never serve Him.

Do you really love someone if you refuse to talk with them and met with them?  If a husband, solider, in Iraq, emailed or called his wife for the year he was there and his wife never responded could the wife really say with any credibility that she loved her husband?  No – neither can a Christian who does not make meeting with God on Sunday a priority.  Neither can a Christian who only comes on Sunday morning and does not serve Christ and His Kingdom through the week.

Do you accept the excuses your spouse gives you for not doing those honey do jobs? Then why should God except your excuses for not truly being Christ like?

There are many who are setting you an example and asking you to serve.  A family that worship with us years ago could not believe how we seemed to have trouble finding teachers for the kids.  Part of the reason they left was because Christian people were not stepping up to serve Christ.  (We have a lot of teachers and workers and with the number of kids we have it takes a lot of people.  Join us in the work, it is rewarding.

 

Christ first loved us by sacrificing His life.  Will you love Him by making a sacrifice and serving Him?

 

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

 

Jesus is our example – Don’t be selfish, consider others better, look to your interests, but also meet the interests of others. Become a servant.  Do the little jobs, the jobs that get no glory but are necessary in the Kingdom and in your house.

 

We will be able to love our spouse if we know Jesus’ love. Being a good person is not enough, good compared to what.  I love others, compared to what.  Jesus says love your enemies.  People do not do that unless they know Christ.

Is your spouse your enemy?  No and say that to yourself and to your spouse.  I am not your enemy.

Then add I want to be your best friend. Sometimes it feels like your spouse is your enemy but that is not true.  Make sure it is not true in the way you treat each other.  That means you need to love and forgive each other.  You need to pray for your spouse and encourage them.  Help them grow in Christ, read and pray together.

 

Ask God to help you see the positives in your spouse?

What are you focusing on? When you take a photo, you can focus on many things – what do you choose to see and choose to ignore.  You can focus on the background or the people – on the person’s face or their whole body.  You are taking the picture you choose what is focused on.

You can focus on the negatives of your spouse or you can focus on the positives; it is your choice. You will be happier if you focus on the positives – that is what you did when you were dating (others saw the negatives and warned you – but you were blinded by love, put the blinders back on and only focus on the positives).

 

See your spouse as God sees them?

There are positives, just look. Ask your friends what positives they see, listen to what your kids say.

 

Another hint – Take your spouse’s words at face value, don’t read in motives. If you are having a hard time loving your spouse and all you see is negatives you will read in negatives no matter what your spouse says.

 

Caleb was frustrated because everything he was doing for his wife was being rejected by her. She refused to accept his love.

Accept the efforts of your spouse – tell your spouse how you are trying to love and respect them and when you fail apologize.

 

Keep loving your spouse, accepting the efforts and the love so you do not show rejection.

 

Have you rejected your spouses love?  Tell them you are sorry and work on accepting their love.

 

If you are a Christian you know how to love your spouse, you know how to forgive your spouse, and you know how to focus on the positives.

In the movie Fireproof Caleb did not know how to love his wife because He did not know the love and forgiveness of God.

 

If you are struggling to love your spouse refocus on God’s love for you and your love for Him.  Maybe you need to accept His love for the first time today.

You have rejected His love long enough – Jesus came and died on the cross because He loves you.  Accept that love today.

Try Jesus and you will see that you would rather have Him than anything this world offers.