Ephesians 5:18-21

Building A Solid Marriage Part 1 – Building Essentials


A pastor was visiting the 4th grade Sunday School class to talk about marriage as part of the lesson.  He asked the class, "What does God say about marriage?"  Immediately, one boy replied, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they..


A) In Hindsight that is probably true of most of us – when we stood at the Altar on our wedding day.

1) we really didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into


B) I Remember going to Premarital Counseling – wondering why I needed to do this?  I know what the Bible says about Marriage ( Wives Submit )

1) Then the Pastor started asking questions that I had never thought of – I was like Wow – I didn’t know that -


C) Singles:  Premarital counseling – is a must – do it early time to work on the areas

1) Asked a young guy once: What are your expectations – Usual spiritual and Physical stuff – added – Cook / Clean / Laundry / keep house


D) I looked at her and said – You are working part time and going to college correct ? Yes / Looked at him – You Barely have a full time Job

1) Who is busier in this relationship ? Don’t you think you should plan on helping out in some of those areas – { Hung his head } She was Beaming


It doesn’t take long before you realize that when it comes to Marriage we have a lot to learn !!

A) Hopefully you have discovered that Marriage is a lot like taking care of a garden { At least 2 Comparisons – 1st  It needs A LOT OF  ATTENTION 


B) It can’t be neglected – Garden – WEED INFESTED -  problems

1) Same is true in a marriage : Neglect – Weeds of Bitterness / Neglect

    Resentment / Insecurity / tension – begin to Grow


C) The 2nd way that a marriage is like a garden is that what you put into it is what you are going to get out of it  - Tomato seeds = Tomatoes

1) The ingredients that you pour into your Marriage is going to determine the fruit that comes out of your marriage


D) Pour the wrong stuff in – The wrong stuff is going to come out

1) Pour nothing in – and you are  going to get nothing out of it


Think of it this way – you wouldn’t think of walking into a bank – trying to make a deposit – if you didn’t have an account there.

A) Nothing to show for – Well People all the time are trying to make withdrawals in their marriage – where they haven’t first made deposits


B) SO what you put in / what you invest is going to determine what the return is going to be !!!


C) Well for the next several weeks you have the opportunity to invest some time…… { As we consider what God word has to say about marriage

1) So for the next several weeks if you choose to be here – You will be  Making a wise investment – Look at the subject of marriage in Eph 5


D) Ephesians 5 is the classic passage on the BLUE PRINT for Marriage /

      it will be our Starting place –

1) from which we will Spring board to look at other passages in God’s word to see what He says about this wonderful thing we call marriage


E) Our times together will be very Practical – hopefully insightful – as we invest this time to look at what God’s word says to us –

1) But the Biggest investment will be to the degree that we apply these principles to our Marriages – that will determine the size of the Return


So Lets Begin RD V.18-21





A) No I stopped there for a Reason because what Paul lays out  in these verses are really the Building essentials for a Solid marriage


B) What he says here really sets the stage for the verses that follow  – You see  in these verses Paul presents 4 Key principles for our marriages

1) 4 things that are not mentioned directly / but are seen indirectly throughout this whole passage


C) New Marriage? Listen up Building blocks  / Old Marriage – Check points – how are we doing ? /  Where Improve – grow – prune / Maybe remodel


Now I want to begin by giving you a mental picture – We are going to look at these 4 essentials from the picture of Building a house

A) Focus today on 4 things that are Key ingredients to a well built home - / As well as a healthy relationship


B) When it comes to building a home or any structure the place where you want to start is with the foundation

        Setting a sure foundation is key lasting marriage


C) What is the foundation your marriage is to be built upon ?

  What ingredients make for a good marriage ?

1) Lots of opinions / 2 million 620,000 hits on the internet for that Question

                                                        Great Sex – { Prenuptial

Self-disclosure – or Honesty

   A lifetime commitment to marriage

         A desire to please and support your spouse

                A good companion and a best friend in your spouse.


Speaking words of appreciation & demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways

    Realizing the little things are big things.

       Never being too old to hold hands.

          Remembering to say “I love you”.

             Giving each other an atmosphere in which each other can grow.

                   Common search for the good and the beautiful in life.

D) Now Those are all good things – but not the foundation –


Kids idea: Alan, age 10 "You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming." 


"Tell your wife that she looks pretty even if she looks like a truck."  Ricky, age 10


A successful marriage for a man is when he makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful marriage for a woman is when she can find such a man. - Lana Turner



There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than sixty years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything.

A) They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoebox in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

B) For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day, the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoebox and took it to his wife's bedside.


C) She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted doilies and a stack of money totaling $25,000.
He asked her about the contents. "When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily."

D) The old man was so moved, he had to fight back tears. Only two precious doilies in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in sixty years


"Honey," he said, "that explains the doilies, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"
Oh," she said, " that's the money I made from selling the doilies."

Moral of that Story – Key to successful Marriage ? Knitting doilies !!!

What is the TRUE Foundation that our marriages are to be built upon ?

A) Now Most of us here would say  well of course Jesus is the foundation – but what does that mean ?


B) A marriage built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ is going to have  2 key components


C) 1st key component is Your own personal relationship to Christ

Notice V.21 Paul says being submitted to one another in the fear of the Lord

1) That last phrase is key – the fear of the Lord = Reverence a deep respect for Christ – Utter Dread of displeasing Him / Any Sin is against Him first


D) Word Lord = Master – Jesus is my Lord & my #1 Desire is to Please Him


So the first and foremost component of the Foundation is my own personal commitment to Christ ! ASK - IS JC the Lord of my life

A) Am I walking in the fear of the Lord – Am I living my life with this goal in mind – that I want to please Him – before even pleasing my spouse


B) Even more than not wanting to hurt my spouse/ there is a motivation in my heart that – I don’t want to do anything that would not please the Lord

1) I don’t want to grieve the Spirit


C) On your wedding day not just making a commitment to my spouse – but even more so I am making a covenant with God !!! Commitment to Jesus


D) So 1st Having a marriage that is built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ means that my life personally is going to be committed

          1)          He is the Lord of my life / spouses life / have to start there!



2nd Aspect of the Foundation is once that couple starts to date & definitely after Marriage – They need to make Christ the Lord of their relationship Notice v.21 again submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord

A) What Paul is describing is two people who have come together w/ a mutual desire – they want to have a relationship under Christ control


B) Paul is describing two people who are submitting to one another in their relationship because they have submitted their relationship to the Lord

1) Two people who are saying Lord we want to do this Your way !!!!


C) Some of you might be thinking – Isn’t that a given for two Christians

  Answer is no – not at all - 


D) This is one of the main reasons why you can have two strong single Christians who get involved in a relationship and end up struggling physically { Never submitted that relationship to the Lord


E) Might be yielded personally – but must come together – Didn’t Place that relationship before the Lord – His Mandate


This is also the reason why you can have 2 seemingly strong Christians have marriage problems – It is usually a struggle of Submission

A) Unwilling to submit their relationship to God’s Plan & Pattern


B) So A marriage that is submitted to the Lordship of JC is one that is going to place itself under the authority of God’s Word

1) Pt. Of the Parable of the two builders :  Wise & foolish / STORMS

          Wise hears & obeys   / learned to put into practice!


B) A couple that is submitted together to the Lord is going to seek to figure out what God’s word says about marriage & Apply it to their lives

1) Not taking – cues from Good Housekeeping / Oprah / friends / or Dr. Dobson – or Zig Ziglar unless those sources are applying Scripture


C) Interesting today we have more material written & preached – on the subject of marriage than any time in History – More Divorces in the Church

1) Why is that ? Answer is couples refuse to take God at his word – Put their marriage relationship under his Lordship – seek to do what He says

90% of the problems we see in marriage stem from the Fact that People refuse to do what God’s word says –

A) They come up with all kinds of excuses as to why they can’t follow the word – They blame each other Well he is not doing this – so I am not doing that


B) Listen show me a place in the Bible where your obedience is predicated upon someone else’s response { Won’t find it -

1) But that is so often our mentality – They are being jerks so I am not going to forgive – not going to show love


C) The Bible preaches quite the opposite – Love your enemies do good to those who hate you    That is  Impossible you say!

1) For you Yes/ For God living thru you by His Spirit No !!!!!!


Ps. 127:1 "Unless the Lord builds the House they Labor in Vain who try & build It!

A) Vain means it is futile / worthless effort !


B) How do we keep from building in Vain?  Realize the Lord is the builder

which means that the two of us must be submitted to Him & His word / together!


C)  SO the first thing we make note of is the foundation – House with a shaky foundation is going to fall – Same with a marriage

1) Foundation – Two people who as individuals and as a couple are walking in the fear of the Lord which = Submitted to His word !!!!!


Now a foundation doesn’t make a house – although it is the Starting place & it is key – but no one wants to live on a slab of cement

A) Look at that Cement slab and I can’t really Picture what that house is going to look like –{ So what comes next – Walls – Elevations


B) Begin to frame up the Walls – the walls give depth and perception

1) The walls give Character to the house – add Dimension


C) The WALLS in our Analogy represent – COMMUNICATION

Because COMMUNICATION brings depth into a relationship – two people grow in becoming who the Lord desires that they would be

A) It is thru communication that the relationship has a chance to grow in depth and perception –


B) You can Expand the way that you look at the world – when you start listening to your spouse express their view of things –


C) In Building a house – Frame walls – Place doors – doors are points of entry & access into the home

1) Communication in a marriage works in the same way – Point of Access into a deeper more intimate relationship –


D) Healthy & consistent communication can take a relationship to a new level


Another thing that goes in those walls are windows – Windows – add light  - again the Parallel is perfect communication adds light into a relationship –

A) Healthy communication is able to illuminate for you your spouses feelings and emotions


B) Reactions can often be misunderstood – how many times have you and your spouse been at odds over a misunderstanding

1) But  when you talked about it – once communication happened – it brought illumination to the misunderstanding –  Denise & I first married


C) Communication is one of the keys in discovering how God’s Plan for marriage is supposed to work for you –


See Most Christians are very familiar w/ Eph. 5 & what it says about the subject of Husbands & wives / Know the Principles

A) But the problem is they don’t know how to apply those principles to their own marriage situations ! 


B) Every marriage is different - because every couple is diff.)

Example One husband might read Husbands love ….. Church


C) For that Husband that might mean He needs to write his wife little love notes / bring her flowers & candy /

1) always reassuring her in that way - he loves her


D) But for another gal / not really into that stuff at all- foo/ foo / She doesn’t want you to write her little notes / she wants you to keep her car running

1) She needs him to mow the lawn / take charge of the home exercising discipline and leadership


Point I’m am making is we are all diff. & that is why I believe the Lords words here are not intended to create a formula

A) But rather as we submit to Him & seek / Him and communicate w/ each other we discover how to apply these principles to our situation – He blesses


B)  So Where is communication seen in our text – Again v.21 –Found in that Phrase  Submitting to one another – idea there is mutual respect –

1) communication is a big part


C) We see it in Peter Ch. 3 Dwell with them in understanding – One important component to understand them is Talking and listening


D) We see it when Paul says v22 Wives submit – Well in order for you to rightfully submit to hubby / to follow / to help and support –

1) you need to know where he is going – Communication is Key


E) We see it in v. 28 when Paul says that a Husband ought to love his wife as his own Body – { High level of sensitivity – Communication is key

1) My Stomach communicates – I am Hungry / My Muscles I am sore 


F) I need my wife to communicate to me as well – can’t read her mind



In all those things we see the importance of COMMUNICATION  -

A) For that reason we are going to spend a whole study talking about Communication: What breaks down communication


B) How do we build communication / What does healthy communication / look like – And If communication has been lost -  how it can be restored


C) So Picture – have so far – Foundation – Walls – doors /windows / Starting to see what the house is going to look like –

1) But it is still not ready to live in -  Needs a Roof



A) 1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."


Prov 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife,  love covers all sins.


B) Throughout this passage we see this Theme of the need of a Husband and a Wife to have a self sacrificing love for one another

1) A love that says I am willing to lay down my life, my rights, my           desires for my spouse


C) Seen in Paul’s words to the Husband  : V.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,


D) Describes a love that says I want to bless you / I want to sacrifice for you/ I want to meet your needs / help fulfill your dreams

1)I want you to be all that Jesus wants you to be, I want to help you get there!


Seen in the Phrase Wives submit –

A) That goes against your sin nature – desire to rule over ….. it that takes a self sacrificing love to not give into that temptation to do that


B) It takes a self sacrificing love for a woman to submit  – Especially if in areas where you feel – I am better than him in that

C) For those who are Single: it is a love that will help you stay pure: "Don't want to do anything - hurt their relationship with Jesus!

1) Sacrifice every urge within me to want to get in the flesh – and be satisfied in the flesh- 1st because I love & am submitted to Christ

2) 2nd Because I love her/ him – Don’t want to damage them


D) Now we will talk more about this kind of Love & what it looks like as we work our way thru this series – Clear Definition / Clear Application


Foundation – Submitted to Christ – Individually / together / Walls Communication – Points of Access / Illumination

A) Roof – That covering of Sacrificial Love -  Still not a home that we can live in – what is missing ?  POWER SUPPLY


B) Turn on the power supply Eph 5:18  Don’t be drunk w/ wine in which is dissipation but be filled w/ the Spirit !


Filled" is the Greek word pleroma, which has a couple of meanings that apply here.

A) First, it could mean permeated. Permeated is what happens to your cup of coffee when you put sugar into it. It becomes permeated.


B) After you stir, there is no part of the coffee that doesn’t have sugar in it.

1) HS wants to permeate every area of our marriages – every avenue

C) Pleroma is also the word that would be used to describe a sail when it is full of wind.

1) A filled sail is what empowers or propels a sailboat. We need the Spirits Power


D) I believe this is so significant that before Paul gives one word about marriage & family life he gives this exhortation be filled …….

1) Reason is:  you & I can not be the husband or wife we are called to be w/ out the HS Power & influence working in our lives 

       Incredibly High Standard { Christ love for His Church

C)   See The Lord want us completely dependent on Him !

    1) John 15:1-5 - Apart from me you can do nothing!


D)   Need to Realize the only way you are going to be able to live a life           committed to the Lord - His word - in spirit's power!

1) Only way we can even begin to love sacrificially is by & thru the spirit's



E) For that reason  Paul begins this whole subject – with these words DON’T BE DRUNK ….. FILLED W/ THE SPIRIT

1) Literally – Be continually being Filled – empowered …. Present tense – indicates daily need


F) Paul did not write, "Get (yourself) filled," or, "Fill yourself," - Instead he wrote “Allow yourself to be filled,”


Then Paul proceeds to show us what the Spirit filled life looks like

How being filled with the spirit should affect us

A) Affects our speech - 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,


This indicates a happy heart, a joyful heart, a rejoicing spirit. Where you have a Spirit-filled person, where you have a heart full of joy, you have hope for a good relationship.


Another mark is the Presence of song in the life –v.19  singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,


Where the Spirit of God controls a life, where there's a life devoted to the Word of God and obedience to the Word of God, there is praise... w/ Praise there is JOY  


Another mark is the Practice or thanksgiving in all things 20giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

So we have seen today – The Building Essentials – 4 things we will keep coming back to as we work our way thru this passage

A.)          How's your house look?  May the Lord give us the grace to make           changes!


B) How is your foundation?  Life committed to Christ – or are you still calling the shots ?


C) Marriage committed to Christ or are you resisting his plan ?