Monday, November 07, 2016

Monday Morning Rewind: Is There a Man in Your House?

Since 1945, the age at which a boy becomes a man--a fully functional, responsible adult--has lengthened from 18 to 27.  From 1970 to 2000 the percentage of 30-year-old men who had taken a wife dropped from 85% to 33%.  They spend more on pornography each year than is spent on professional baseball, basketball and football combined.  On average, they spend three hours daily in front of a PlayStation or XBox.  They rape more than 683,000 women every year, and the wake of trauma they inflict on women and children in our culture is astounding.

We have a man crisis in our culture!

Yesterday, we continued our series "A Marriage Made on Earth" by looking at this crisis, and challenging men to be the kind of husbands God expects.  And for those who call themselves Christian, we have a perfectly ideal model for manhood in the person of Jesus Christ Himself.  But because too many men reject Jesus' model for manhood (regrettably, even in the church), we tend in our fallen natures to either become barbarians, or cowards.  Acting this way in relationship to our wives produces emotionally traumatized women and children, emotionally distant sons, spiritually starved daughters, and a family that doesn't grow toward Jesus together.

Men, God holds us responsible when that happens!

Thankfully, we saw instruction from Peter yesterday regarding how we overcome our fallen tendencies.  In one sentence, the Apostle gives to men--to husbands--a life-long challenge.

"Likewise husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered."

Men, study your wives!  Live with them, Peter says "according to knowledge."  In all areas of our life guys, our call as the head of our homes is to be sensitive to the needs, fears, and feelings of our brides, and live accordingly.

Do you really know your wife?  I've learned much about marriage over the past 22 years of my own marriage relationship from older men who practiced what Peter talks about here.  Conversely, I've been highly disappointed to meet too many men--men married longer than I have been alive--who knew nothing about their wives.  We can't love them as Christ loved the church if our needs don't become subordinate to hers.  And that can't happen if we don't know them.

Men, empower your wives!  The "weaker vessel" reference here isn't about inferiority.  Its about difference.  Our wives are created and wired by God for a specific purpose.  And our role as husbands is to help her discover and reach that purpose.  Guys, that means we need to invest in our wives!  Too many men strangle their wives by giving them no time away from the kids, no opportunities for fellowship and spiritual growth with other women, and high expectations that drain her energy and suck the spiritual life right out of her.

Men, honor your wives!  We do this because they are an heir with us of the grace of life.  That fact is rooted in your wife's identity as your sister in Christ, and as a daughter of the most high God!

Men, do you show your wives the honor that is befitting a daughter of the King?  Do you abuse her physically, verbally, or emotionally?  Do you speak to her with disrespect?  Do you speak of her with disrespect when you are around the guys?  Here is a good question to gauge your level of honor for her:  If I were to ask the other men you work with, or play golf with about your wife, would their perception be that she is a daughter of God?  Or do they think less of her because of how you speak of her?

Men, fear God because of your wives!  Peter explicitly states that mistreating your bride can stunt your own spiritual growth.  And when you think about it, it only makes sense.  I have a daughter.  If you abused her, or treated her disrespectfully, and then had the audacity to ask for my help with something, what do you think my response would be?

The longer I'm in ministry, the more convinced I am that many men are actually so stupid as to think they can mistreat their wives and everything be OK between them and their Creator.  Many men--ALL of us actually who are married--will one day stand before God and answer for how we have treated His daughters.  And many will pay dearly on that day for their behavior.

So our study of, empowerment of, and honor of our wives should be motivated by a sincere, "keeps me up at night" legitimate fear of Almighty God.

And there is a reason all of this is important guys.  Its because we are dangerous men.  I would protect my wife from harm, and I believe most of you reading this would too.  But the most dangerous man in my wife's life isn't the thief, the murderer, or the rapist.  The most dangerous man in her life isn't the one who hides in the shadows waiting to snatch a purse or jack a car.

The most dangerous man in my wife's life is the man she goes to bed with every night!  And for me to be the husband God has called me to be, that man must be CRUCIFIED--DAILY!

But this is the great hope of the Gospel--that through Jesus' own death and resurrection, you and I can become like Him--we can live after the pattern of the PERFECT man.

So for the sake of your wife, your kids, your community, and the glory of God, put that old man to death, trust in Jesus, and watch a new man arise!

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