THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH WINNING ALL
5007 SOUTHSIDE DRIVE
LOUISVILLE, KY 40214
TEXT: Ephesians 6: 1-11
TOPIC: Mother's Day
Rev. (Dr.) Stephen K. Awoniyi
Mother’s day is an important day dedicated to celebrate and honor all mothers. This is done to express gratitude for the hardship they bear in bringing up their children. Mother’s Day is usually celebrated the second Sunday in the month of May. In reverence to L. James Grold, the first person to proclaim Mother’s Day was Ms. Julia Ward Howa in 1870, due to the pacifist reaction to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. Some people believe that the modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial celebration for her mother. Anna Jarvis then started campaigning to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the United States of America. This was finally approved by the then United States of American President, Woodrow Wilson, on May 8th, 1914. Since then Mother’s Day has been celebrated with great joy and devotion, says Grold, L. J. in April 1968. (Mother’s Day American Journal of Psychiatry 124:1456-1458).
In today’s sermon we will focus on some important “Ways to Build Blocks to a Strong Marriage.”
- Life Long Commitment
When we think of the word “commitment,” we often think about how it applies to our personal relationship with our spouse. Yes, that is true and very important but commitment can also be analyzed in other ways. This is not only commitment to our spouse, but also commitment to God, to our spiritual life, and to living a good life. The Scripture says:
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
God’s Everlasting Love
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us (Romans 8: 28-34 (NKJV).
Timothy’s Faith and Heritage
3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, 5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Not Ashamed of the Gospel
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:3-10 (NKJV).
“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14-15 (NKJV).
Dearly beloved, in the Gospels of Matthew 5:31 and Luke 16:18, our Lord Jesus Christ teaches about divorce. His purpose is to instruct us that we should not make marriage commitment lightly, but a lifetime and we should try by all means to keep it. Although there are extreme difficult circumstances but He wants us to be careful not to commit to marriage and then just give up when the going gets tough. Be assured that it is not an easy road, but our Almighty Father is always with us.
- Absolute faithfulness
The Scripture also continues by saying;
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Blessing and Admonition
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5: 9-24 (NKJV).
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart (Psa. 91: 4).
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lam. 3: 22-23).
3. Unreserved Love
What does unreserved love really mean? This could be viewed thus; if we love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, and mind, loving our neighbor will become a natural result. But the question is, who is our neighbor and how do we love him or her? The Scripture narrates it thus:
The Greatest Commandment
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your entire mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt. 22: 34-40).
The Scripture continues by saying,
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matt. 5: 43-44).
But who is our neighbor? Is our neighbor more than the person next door? Could he or she be someone in our community or anyone we meet? Could our enemies also be our neighbors, and how could we love someone who did not love us or acts hatefully toward us? Brethren, what we must fully understand is that, when we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, we will then grow to recognize that everyone is part of God’s creation.
4. Mutual Submission
Instructions for Christian Households
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Eph. 5: 21-25).
Dearly Beloved, I wish some phrases such as “Open Communication, Tender Respect, and Spiritual Communication” among others could be viewed. One of the root courses of divorce in today’s society is due to lack of maturity. We need to fully understand that the home that stays together and walks together uses the key to unity which is known as “Maturity.” Maturity builds a strong relationship and it is the willingness to act respectfully and responsibly. For any marriage to be successful, faith in Jesus Christ is the antidote.
Today’s world is full of life’s pressure therefore; marriage is difficult to build, to nurture, and to stay for long. But when husband and wife allow Jesus Christ to be at the center and the foundation of their lives, they will surely laugh at the world’s storm. It goes without saying; it takes three to make a strong marriage: Husband, Wife, and Jesus Christ. Hardly can any marriage fall apart when the husband and the wife faithfully, honestly, and wholeheartedly pray together and worship together. Husband, do you truly love your wife? Wife, do you truly love your husband? If this love and great relationship is lacking between both of you, the home will be divided. Therefore, be assured there is good relationship between both of you and you will laugh at the storm of the world. God bless you!