Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Praying for Men
I have taken a sabbatical of sorts---I've been trying to get my life back on schedule by trying to include regular exercise. I'm not where I should be yet, but I'm doing better in the physical activity area.
My husband and I have a busy schedule this week. We are very excited to be heading to Apache Junction, Arizona and participating in a Valentine Banquet at Pastor Kevin Cowling's church on Friday. My husband is the speaker, and we will also be singing a couple of love songs together. We have many friends in Apache Junction, so we are definitely looking forward to the trip! We are having our first Valentine Banquet at First Baptist Church of 29 Palms on Monday, February 14. We (and several other church folks) are busy making preparations for that special event.
Our Bible study group has been working on the book, Disicplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes. Every week we are challenged in areas of our live that we need to bring under submission to God. I have also been studying on my own, reading my Bible and commentaries, and listening to my husband's messages at church about the order God has set in place in the home and the church. Through all of the studying I have done, my heart has become more and more burdened for men. I am married to a man, and I have three sons. My soul's desire is to have men around me who are free to lead according to God's plan. Isn't it amazing that the first sin committed in the Garden of Eden was committed by a woman who was deceived into thinking that God didn't really mean what He said when He said not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? "Hath God said?" the serpent coyly reasoned with Eve. How many times do we as women hear that same old hiss in our minds. Satan has used that same old trick on women for thousands of years now, and we keep falling for it! Why don't we let our men lead? Here are some excuses: I know more than he does about finances, raising the kids, making decisions, or fill in the blank with any other excuse; I don't need him to do ___--I can do it just as well or better, and I'll prove it; I can take care of myself--I don't need a man to protect and provide for me. Every time we let that thought pattern take over, the old serpent is once again hissing in our ears, "Hath God said?"
My husband was at the grocery store the other day and a female employee asked a male employee to do a job which required some lifting. His reply was, "You can do it!" She was frustrated, but then said to no one in particular, "Well, we got what we wanted with the women's lib movement." Did we REALLY get what we wanted? We live in a day and age in which some men are happy to stay home with the kids and let the wife work. Is the wife happy? Maybe some are, but I have heard plenty of women in that situation long to be able to stay home with the kids and clean the house. Men have heard so much griping and complaining through the years about how women aren't treated equally, that they are ready to hand over the reigns in the workplace, in the home, and unfortunately in the church house. What man really wants to have a woman having an emotional meltdown every time he tries to be the leader? After a while, he is just going to say, "You do it." In churches all across America, women are leading and teaching the men. I feel sad about that. My heart breaks for men who are not allowed to be men. My prayer has been, "God raise up some men who lead. Use me to build up the men in my life so they can be used of You to be leaders in the home and in the church."
In practical terms, how can you, as a woman build up the men in your life to lead?
1. Don't question every decision they make. How would you like it if your children, friends, or co-workers questioned everything you did? You would probably get very frustrated possibly even to the point to not wanting to make decisions any more.
2. Don't have an emotional meltdown every time something doesn't go your way. I'm a crier. In the first few years of our marriage, if I got frustrated during a conversation with my husband, I would start crying. He hated that! He started coming to me, and saying, "Now, I need to talk to you, but I won't if your going to cry." I finally got the message! He never had to deal with guy friends who cried or co-workers who cried every time there was a serious discussion. It was very unwise and unfair of me to turn on the waterworks every time things got serious. If I hadn't gotten control of myself, I do know that our ability to communicate would have been seriously damaged. If you get frustrated with your man's decisions, take your disappointment to God. Pour out your frustrations to God. He already knows the turmoil that takes place inside of us. It's not about being a doormat--it's about having order and stability in your life. I'm also not saying that discussions should not take place and that disagreements won't occur, but make them brief and remember that God made your man the head of your home, and hopefully God has put men in the leadership positions of your church.
3. Encourage your husband to be a leader. Point others to him. Tell others (especially in front of him) of instances in which he did a good job in leading his home, in leading at work, or leading in spiritual matters. Some men think they don't have much to offer at church. Tell your husband, "You would be good at such and such (Sunday school teacher, deacon, etc.). Have you ever thought of doing that before?" For many years I told my husband he would be a great pastor. I knew he had so much to offer. I knew that God could use my husband mightily. Now he has been my pastor for 6 months--he is the best pastor I have ever had!
4. Ask your husband spiritual questions. You know, the Bible tells the women of the church to do that. If we have questions about the Bible or about the church, we are not supposed to run to other men first (even the pastor); we are to go to our husbands. He may not know the answer, but then he can search the scriptures, ask the pastor himself, and take the answer back to his wife. I Corinthians 14:34,35-Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for a woman to speak in the church."
I hope you will join me in praying for the men in your life and the men in your church.