It is good to be back. After completing the 31 Days to Becoming a Better Wife series, I very much needed a little break, but I now feel refreshed and ready to get back in the swing of things here at Getting Real and Drawing Near.
After doing a quick evaluation of what has been happening with this blog over the last few months, it is clear to me that I kind of drifted from my original purpose. It is not that I feel I have not been following God’s direction, because I have, I just didn’t really see what God was going to do. I feel I have been true to the “applying spiritual truths to everyday life” part of things, but I have fallen away from talking about books and such. I feel God is calling me back to my original purpose a little bit, so over the next few weeks, I plan to discuss some of the books I have been reading. Well, starting tomorrow anyway because today I would like to share something that happened at church last night.
*DISCLAIMER: The story I am about to share was a joke. Our men were purposely trying to ruffle our feathers and get a rise out of us, so please do not take their words to heart. They are truly good men who were trying to have a little fun (at our expense). Furthermore, what they share about the Act like Men Conference was said at the conference, but they were purposely taking it out of context. So, please, please do not take their comments as something that was “taught” at the conference, nor am I encouraging any kind of mob action or boycott (hehe). Have I peaked your interest yet?
Over the weekend a group of men from our church, including my husband, went to the Act Like Men conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was very excited to see my husband go because of the hard year he has had and I thought God could use it to encourage him. To be honest, I knew very little about it and I chose not to investigate because I was purposely trying to mind my own business. Well, when he got home, my curiosity got the best of me and I asked him what he learned. His reply was something along the lines of “if they wanted women to know, they would have called it the Act like Men and Act like Women conference wouldn’t they?” [He was kidding-sort of] Now, remember, I am still coming of my 31 Days to a Better Wife series, so I am still on my best behavior (hehe) and decided to let that one go and give him some space. He came home looking happy, relaxed, and excited, just as I hoped, so I dropped the subject.
On Sunday evening, a group of us were standing together and the topic of the conference came up. One of us women, I honestly don’t remember if it was me or not, asked what was said at the conference. Well, our men being our men (see disclaimer above) gave us a few highlights:
1. Anytime God wanted something done, he sent a man to do it;
2. The Five Love Languages is a book for women;
3. All men care about is sex and food (and probably in that order).
Now, you can probably guess how that went over , right? Yep, like a lead balloon. Surprisingly, for me, it was not what was said as much as it was how it was said. I quickly recognized there was some truth to what they were saying; it was their pompous and arrogant attitudes that irked me to no end. [Notice I said “some truth.” I realize that God used women in the Bible and “yes,” I have heard of Beth Moore, so I know he is still using women today. Furthermore, I know a few marriages that were saved by “The Five Love Languages,” so please don’t tune me out. If you are honest with yourself you will recognize the true parts of those statements: God used men predominately in the Bible; Men are not touchy-feely and aren’t the ones who like to work on their marriages; and Men like sex and food. No real surprises there.]
What really got me with this situation (joke), is that sometimes it is not about what we say as much is it about how we say it. We are called to speak God’s truth, but maybe it is not the truth that is offending people, maybe it is how we are using that truth.
I don’t know about you, but I have a very hard time with pompous attitudes and those who think they are superior. This is why I struggle so much in my relationships with men (not my own husband, but in past experiences and with men who try to claim some authority over me). I don’t like men who use their biblical role as a weapon or a way to inflate their egos. I hate how we tend to take the parts of the Bible we like, use them to our own benefit, but fail to own up to any of the responsibilities that come with it. Men want to be manly men. They want to be the boss. They want to be top dog. But do they want to lead? Do they really want the responsibilities that come with all that power? Sadly, in the majority of cases, the men want the power but they don’t want what comes with that power.
Ephesians 5: 25-33 (NIV): Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Wow, it seems like there is a lot of hard work and sacrifice that comes with being the boss, huh?
It is clear that men are to love their women as Christ loved the church. Men are supposed to act like men, that part is true; however it goes a step further: men are to act like Jesus; we are all to act like Jesus. Jesus was not a pompous jerk. He didn’t use the fact that he was God to hoard over people. No, he humbled himself and served. He made himself the lowest of lows, and he gave his life for all those under him. So, I say, men, please act like men if that means acting like Christ because that is the kind of authority I can fall under. Can I get an amen?
Now, please understand that I did not share this story to dog the conference or our men because I know it was a Godly conference and it is helping thousands of men. Nor did I share this story to dog our men because they honestly were just messing with us (not that we knew that at the time). No, I shared this story because God really made it clear to me that I have to be careful not just in what I say, but how I say it. We speak truth, but we speak it in love. We are to fulfill the roles we were made to play, and do it by being Jesus. We look to Jesus as our role model and our guide. If I want to know how to say something or how to do something, I should think “what would Jesus say or what would Jesus do?” [Once again, there is a reason that line was so popular.] I am thankful for the Act like Men conference and I am excited to see how God will use it in the lives of the men who attended.
P.S. My husband is not now nor has he ever been a pompous man. One of the things I admire most about him is his big heart and they way he treats and views women. Sorry, I just wanted to clarify.
P.P.S. I may have wrote this post because I wanted us all to be careful in how we share truth, but I titled it they way I did to see if I could get any men (especially the men in the story) to read this blog. Yep, two can play this game. (lol.)
Until next time, stay safe and God bless,