As a woman, do you ever look around the Christian Church and feel discouraged? Do you feel the void of Christian men filled with a burning passion for Jesus, hungry to study the Word of God and willing to serve and sacrifice for the Kingdom of God?
Have you ever heard of the term “man cave”? It’s the term men use for the place in the house where they can set up their man zone: sports memorabilia all over, a fridge full of cold beer, and a big screen TV for their sporting events with the guys. In our culture, this is portrayed as the ultimate man accomplishment. A room where they can embrace manliness at its best: friends, TV, sports, beer and snacks, and no comments from the wife.
I’d like to say this is a goal of men who don’t know the life-changing truth of Jesus, but this “man cave” mentality is alive and well in the American Christian Church. Too many men in the Church are addicted to pornography. Too many in the Church can tell you statistics on the latest sports teams, but can’t memorize Scripture. Too many men are fighting fake wars on video games, but standing on the sidelines in the real battle for the souls of their children. Too many men are sitting in their self-serving man cave and missing out on serving their families, the Church, and the neighbor next door.
We have a desperate problem, a huge gaping void in the Church where we should see Christian men rising up to take their place as Jesus followers in our time.
But, this isn’t a blog to bash men!
You see, I see these things and I’m incredibly saddened. Our men have been deceived by the unsatisfying pursuits the would has been feeding them at every turn:
- Our men are bombarded by sexual temptations everywhere.
- They have been told that their value comes from their career.
- They have been brainwashed by our culture that they can’t do any task with competence.
- They have settled for finding adventure through pixels in their video games, movies and TV shows.
So, what are we, as women, going to do about it?
Demand another night out with our friends where you can vent about him.
Stop being intimate with him.
Give up on him and settle for a stagnant marriage.
Satan wants us to choose this option. Why? Because then he wins the battle. He keeps men trapped and useless, and the Church weak and ineffective in the world.
I hope you see that this option is not an option. So, I’d like to offer you a second option - a much better option - a biblical option.
Think about this. God placed you in your husband's life by no mistake. God knew everyday of your life before you even breathed your first breath.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. - Psalm 139:15-16
When God made Adam in the very beginning, he said it wasn’t good for the man to be alone and so he made a helper suitable for him.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” - Genesis 2:18
If our men are struggling, we need to evaluate how we are doing as their wives in helping them, encouraging them, and fighting for them.
Your husband has only one live-in coach.
One live-in cheerleader.
One live-in encourager.
One live-in helper.
THAT IS YOU.
He needs you! And the Church needs him. So, let’s do this!
So, what do we do?
1. Start warring for him in prayer.
I’m not talking about “Lord, be with Jim today” type prayers. I’m talking about committing to fervent, daily prayer for your husband. You cannot change him. Let me repeat. You cannot change him. You may be able to change some of his behavior, but you cannot change his heart. However, God can. God has a beautiful habit of turning lives around and changing people from the inside out! Commit to draw a line in the sand and tell Satan, “No further! I will no longer sit sidelined in battle.” Take an active role and do the most important thing you can do for him: ask God to build him into the man He desires him to be.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. - James 5:16
2. Encourage him to read and study God’s Word.
He might tell you no 100 times. Don’t give up. Go back to item #1 and add this to the top of your prayer list for him. Ask God to give him a desire to read the Bible. Then, keep reading it for yourself. Keep talking about it with him. Keep encouraging him (not lecturing him) to read it for himself.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. - Hebrews 4:12-13
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16
3. Build him up.
Your husband is a sinner (like all of us are) and he has and will make mistakes. I can almost guarantee that he questions his ability to lead and be the man God has called him to be. Don’t underestimate the weight of your compliments, encouragement and praise. Find ways to build him up. Show him respect and honor. Be intimate with him. These things give you the opportunity to speak truth in his life and also challenge him at times without destroying your relationship. As women, we all know what kinds of conversations encourage our husbands and what type of words put them on the defensive and backfire. Pray for wisdom to address conflict and issues.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. - Hebrews 10:23-25
4. Live out your own faith boldly.
While you have the role of encouraging your husband. You don’t have to wait for him to grow in your faith and live it out in your own life. The humble way that you serve others, seek God in his Word, and live out the Bible has a huge impact on your husband. Let the actions of your life speak so loudly into his life that he cannot help but see the mark of Jesus in every area of your life.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:16
5. Focus on the mission.
Live your lives together for the things that matter. True adventure in marriage isn’t found in building your earthly kingdom, but in building God's kingdom. It’s found in following Jesus on the adventure he has planned for your life. We are here to take the news of Jesus to the world, to lay down our lives for those around us, to fight for those trapped in darkness, to go on the offensive for the kingdom of God fearlessly following Jesus wherever he calls us.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. - 1 Peter 2:9
6. Don’t give up.
I’ve lived long enough now to have given up on the delusion that God’s fixes will always come quick and easy. In fact, I believe quite the opposite is true. Sometimes the most important things take years and years of perseverance before we see any change start to come and fruit begin to grow. Don’t lose heart. Don’t give up. Even if the fight for your husband is a long, drawn out fight that takes years and years, once God allows you to start seeing fruit, won’t it be worth it?
It’s not Martin Luther, William Carey, Hudson Taylor, Erik Liddell or Jim Elliot’s time in history. God has put us here and now at this point in history as the men and women responsible for carrying the banner of Jesus to every dark corner of the world and passing this incredible truth of Jesus down to the next generation. So, I don’t know about you, but that sure doesn’t leave much time for things that don’t matter. There is just too much at stake to sit back and let things continue on as they are.
So, do you see it? The incredible opportunity God has given you to make an eternal impact on your husband and, more importantly, on his Church?! Don't waste it! Rise up and fight for your husband, praying for him and encouraging him on until he rises up to the calling God has for his life!