Tuesday, August 09, 2011

One Man's Perspective

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen.”
(Ephesians 4:29)

This isn’t an easy subject to talk about, and since I am personally going through some of this right now, I do need to be mindful of what I say and how I say it. However, I do plan to be straight forward and direct, so if you are offended or put off by anything mentioned here, well, that is probably a good thing.

One thing I think that most of us can agree with is that men are basically stupid. Don’t get upset. God made us that way from the very beginning. I know you gals won’t argue with me on that one.

It all started way back in the Garden when God declared that it is not good for man to be alone. Any woman who has gone away for any amount of time and entrusted a man to stay home and take care of her houseplants can attest to that. Think about it – God put a man in charge of the entire Garden of Eden! It could be one of the reasons why God said that isn’t really a good idea for man to be alone. (yes, I know it has more to do with the fact that all the animals had mates and man didn’t, but bear with me, okay?)

God knew all about us men from the very beginning. So God decided to make a helper suitable for the man.

So, God made the woman since it really isn’t good for us guys to be alone. But you need to understand how God did it. You know that Eve was created from one of Adam’s ribs, right? You knew that. But do you remember what God did before he took that rib from the man? You guessed it. He caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. Now, I challenge anyone to find anywhere in the rest of the Bible where it says that man ever woke up.

Throughout scripture you will find verses that say things “Arise O sleeper…” (even in Ephesians 5:14). Even Jesus quoted that saying from the Old Testament. I really think He was talking about us! Jesus had to ask His disciples if they could stay awake with him for even one hour! Wake up guys!

So maybe that is why God had to make a helper for the man. We need help. Your husband may be a highly educated man, with a great career and with high standing in the community, but we just are not designed to make it all on our own.

And as for not being to altogether bright, I heard that even Mrs. Einstein was known to say things like, “Albert, you’re such an idiot!

So here are some suggestions to help you two get along a little better. I know beyond any doubt that these things would have been a great help in my own life.

Okay guys, admit it, whenever there is a disagreement or an argument, who is at fault 90% of the time? Yep, that’s right. We are! Remember what it says in Ephesians 5, and 1 Peter 3? Have you done all you can to lift her up, make her holy, keep her washed clean through the Word? Can you present her to Christ as radiant, without stain or wrinkle, but holy and blameless? Yes, it says blameless. Blameless. The onus is on us. The men.

Did you love her as you love yourself? It doesn’t matter if she started it or if she is being totally unreasonable, you are to love her as Christ loves us.

Remember, the first part of the passage in Ephesians 5 tells us to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ

Then it says that the wife should submit to her husband. That is all it says to the woman. It is all that needs to be said. The woman gets it, she doesn’t need to hear any more.

The man however, needs a bit more direction and explanation, so the next several verses tell him what he specifically needs to do. Keep her holy and blameless, washed, clean, lift her up, present her to Christ as radiant, without stain or wrinkle or blemish. Love her as you love yourself!  (We have to be told!)

And ladies, are you loving your husband like the Bible tells you too? Remember, the last part of the last verse of Ephesians 5 is what ties it all together. “….and the wife must respect her husband”. It doesn’t say that the wife shall, which would make it a command, but it says must. You must respect him, even when you don’t feel like it. It is what makes all of his efforts worthwhile.

Please note that this scripture only tells the wife to do one thing – respect her husband (the submit thing is a part of that), but the rest of that passage is an instruction to the husband to behave in such a way as to give her good reason to respect him!

Do you see it yet? It is a team effort! You both have to do your part in order for it to work. But the main part of making it all work for the good of the team falls on the woman. I’m serious about this. But ladies, you need to know a few things before you start throwing dishes at me.

Ladies, we love you. We really do, but please, talk to us. One of the main reasons for marital problems, that I read, is a lack of communication. We cannot read your mind. We would sure appreciate it if you would tell us specifically what it is that you are thinking and what it is that you want. Subtle hints don’t always work, and even flat out telling us sometimes doesn’t register, so you may need to tell us again. But please be nice about it. And remember, the way you say something is more often more important that the words you use. Please speak sweetly, the way you did back when you were trying to get him to notice you.

We know you women enjoy conversation, but most men don’t need all that much. Just because your husband doesn’t say anything doesn’t mean he isn’t speaking to you.

Did he bring you flowers for no reason? Did he open your door for you? Did he help you on with your coat, or hold your chair for you, and remember to put the seat down? (Guys, are you paying attention here?) Did he help with the dishes, help take care of the kids, help out around the house so you don’t feel like a maid? (seriously guys, are you paying attention?!?) While you were sitting together in church, did he reach over and touch or hold your hand? He may not have said more than two words in any of that, but his actions spoke volumes. Were you listening?

Guys, I know it isn’t easy, but please try to use a few more words than just a belch and “Good dinner, Hon”. Women need more than that. They need to feel loved, with kind words and non-sexual affection. But mostly – do stuff for her. Help her out.

And ladies, please understand if you don’t already, your man needs to feel appreciated. Just a few simple words of affirmation go a really long way. Affirm him. You’ll be glad you did.

The bottom line here folks is simply this: Be nice to each other.

Do nice things for your spouse without expecting anything in return. You may be amazed at the response.

[Naturally, if there are problems in your marriage that go beyond all of this, you should seek counseling (talk to your pastor or a professional counselor). But please, do NOT seek advice from your “friends”. Go straight to someone who will actually help you.]


Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you.
(Ephesians 4:32)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
not looking to your own interests
but each of you to the interests of the others.
(Philippians 2:3)

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