Saturday, October 18, 2008

Men

This morning I watched Andrew walk down our lane with Josiah to go get the paper. I've seen him walk with the girls, too, but today Josiah was the first one up. It's so romantic to see the man you love nurturing and including the children in his life, even in this small task. Last night I was heart broken to hear further news of marriages destroyed or at least badly beaten up by wayward husbands. How many Christian men are going to fall? Each time I'm blindsided by the news. Each time I've said, "No, not them? I can't believe it." I can't. Satan wants the root of our families and the main route to which tomorrow's Christians travel, to be destroyed. He wants the destined leader of the family unit distracted. He wants the nurturer to be overburdened. In too many cases he is succeeding.

Proverbs 6:23-29 For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a
light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to
life, keeping you from the immoral
woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward
wife.
Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her
captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of
bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life.
Can a man
scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?
Can a
man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?
So is he who
sleeps with another man's wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.
It's amazing that these intelligent men ended up so far down such a dangerous
road, willing to risk and lose everything of value. The Bible says that a
woman who fears the Lord is to be praised, her husband has full confidence in
her and lacks nothing of value. What a contrast to a woman who will reduce
you to a loaf of bread and prey upon your very life! How is there a
comparison? Yet somehow the newness, the captivation of secrecy, the bold and obvious availability of whatever might pique your curiosity is too much.

Proverbs 9:13-18 The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without
knowledge.
She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest
point
of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on
their way.
"Let all who are simple come in here!" she says to those who lack
judgment.
"Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!"
But little
do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are in
the depths of the
grave.

And with the ease of access to pornography, and the short lived thrill that one can find even by accident, yes, she is sitting at the highest point of the city and calling out to all who pass by. "She" is right there and they have forgotten the death and stench that follows time with her. Death of a standard, making it easier to go farther the next time. The numbing of what real love feels like, and the long lasting joy of a committed relationship versus the short lived, empty thrill of a fling.

I want to fight against this decay, Andrew and I do fight this in our own marriage, you can not walk through marriage, or life for that matter, and not have these temptations. But, I feel so much like a Warrior, dressed for battle, sword in hand, adrenaline pumping and I can't find the battle field. I feel powerless to stop this obvious destruction.

Sex has always been a topic that I felt was under discussed in the Christian community. As a young person, navigating my dating relationship with Andrew, it seemed like we were mainly on our own to figure out specific boundary lines. I came with ideals and a no sex before marriage commitment, but received very little openness or encouragement as to how to put those ideals into practical action. I wanted to encourage the young people I spoke to at youth groups to set boundaries early and experience the blessing of waiting for more than just sex. I wanted them to know from someone with experience that it's so much easier to set boundaries early than to trip down the road a ways and then try to put on the brakes. All it took was someone saying, "This is what the Bible says, this is how your body works, this is how your mind works, all this is designed by God for a beautiful marriage relationship not for a passionate, hormone flooded moment."

Really, it's the same general message for married couples. I suppose the only way to burn off some of this pent up energy is to make some proclamations and to commit to prayer and seek opportunities to encourage other marriages.

Women: Respect your husbands. This fills their tanks more than we'll ever understand. Respect them with your tone of voice, your facial expressions, and the words you choose. Respect does not come naturally to most of us, it will be an act of your will to behave in this manner. Pray for God to open your eyes to when you are disrespectful and slowly you will be able to make some progress in this area and the amazing thing is it can make an immediate difference in your relationship. For my marriage this has been then magic bullet, the "secret" I was looking for over the years, and I'm so far from perfect in this area. Also, pray for your husbands, they are in a war!

Men: Believe what the Bible says: that easy, seemingly secret path of instant pleasure will destroy you, you will lose everything of real value. Seek out other men who are open and honest, be bold in being the first one to share about your failures and struggles. I guarantee you are not the only Christian out there who has lingered too long at the lingerie ads or pop up soft porn on your computer, or even sought out pornography while you were alone. You are not the only Christian who has masturbated, or struggled with your thought life. I also guarantee that if you think you can fight that battle alone, you are mistaken. Satan has mistaken you. Together you men are strong in this fight, alone you are vulnerable. You were designed to battle side by side, you need people who've got your back. If you do not, in this day and age, you are taking a serious gamble.

That's all I got right now. Please, feel free to share your comments on this subject.

2 comments:

Sherry said...

Christy- you are so on target with this message. I agree that SEX (said loudly, not in a whisper) is a much under-talked about issue in the Christian community. So many people act like it is a big secret that shouldn't be discussed- particularly with their children. Granted, there are boundaries and age appropriateness- but it is a beautiful thing that God gifted us with! We need to teach our young men and women that it is a gift- not a secret- that there is more to intimacy than just the act of sex. That there is more to PURITY than just "waiting until marriage." Some wonderful books I have read recently are:

-Created to be His Helpmeet
-Love & Respect
-I Kissed Dating Goodbye
-When God Writes Your Love Story

I could go on and on.... You have touched on a subject that I am passionate about- if you couldn't tell! :-)

The Nordstrom Family said...

Family Life Today offers a daily devotional "Marriage Memo" and it talked about manhood and growing up this morning. I'll have to forward it to you. I think much of it applys to women as well.

FLT also has these articles on their website: "Portrait of a Real Man,” by Stu Weber; “What Breed of Man Are You” by Dennis Rainey; and “What Will Be Your Legacy?” by Dennis Rainey.

Also, their online store offers a selection of books on manhood, including The Christian Husband, by Bob Lepine, Tender Warrior, by Stu Weber, and Raising a Modern-Day Knight, by Robert Lewis.

Thanks for your thoughts!!

Lord, lift me above my own narrow horizons, that I might fulfill your true vision for me. - B.J. Hoff