Today I preached.
My hubby took the weekend off to have some male bonding time with his dad and big brother. They took a bus trip to northern Ontario to follow our town’s junior hockey team around. They almost didn’t make it home tonight because of a massive blizzard in northern Michigan.
I want to share a few notes with you on what I spoke on. I went into the weekend with the intention on preaching what I talked about in the last post. Raising apostolic children, kids who are participants (in the home, church, life) and not just spectators who will become producers and not just consumers. I preached a couple of months ago on our children being a heritage from the Lord and arrows in our hands. I knew I wasn’t finished so I automatically thought this is when I’ll finish my “series”. God had other plans.
I finished typing up my message at 12:30am this morning, less than a full night’s sleep away from when I was going to get up in front of my Spiritual family and share. God had his hand on us from the moment we walked in the church, through our pre-service prayer, through those who shared Scriptures before – during – and after the worship service, to the songs we sang… everything was connected. It was an amazing service.
This will be long so for those still interested… thanks for reading.
Eph. 5:26 (The Message) Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage. No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body.
Can you tell who I was speaking to today? At first I’m sure the boys would have wanted to run for the hills but I’m sure glad they stayed.
Did you know that not only will our leaders/pastors one day stand before God Almighty and give account for how they lead the church but our husbands / fathers will stand before HIM too and give an account for how they led their families (our leaders / pastors will be doubly judged… you wanna go into ministry now?!) Wives… don’t think you’re in the free and clear here, don’t check your responsibilities at the door!! You will be asked to give an account for how you followed that man – how you loved him!
God holds the husband / father responsible to keep the family together. Husband in Latin means “House Band”. What picture does that evoke in your mind? A rubber band! (This is where I handed out, to all those who are male, an elastic band.)
In Eph. 5 God tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. What does that look like? What did Christ do? Don’t worry… I doubt she’s asking you to nail yourself to a cross… although sometimes I’m sure she’s thought of it… 🙂
He’s telling husbands here in this Scripture to make SACRIFICES ~ it is the forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of someone or something considered to have greater value.
#2 ~ NOURISHES ~ The Greek word for nourish is “Ektrepho”, which means to feed, to bring up, to care for. Sometimes it’s translated “to pamper” or “to rear”. The groom is called to help his bride reach her full potential in Christ. To nourish her is to do whatever is necessary to see her become all God wants her to be, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically.
#3 ~ CHERISHES ~ “Thalpo”, can mean “to heat” or “to soften by heat”, or it can men “to keep warm” the way birds keep their young warm by covering them with their feathers. It goes beyond meeting her needs (which is what nourishes does) – it’s making sure she knows she’s special, she’s “the one”, she’s top priority. Think of it this way, picture a dog sled team. There are many dogs working for the team so that they can win but only one dog is treated above all the others. The work dogs sleep in the shed and are nourished with food and water but the lead dog is brought into the house, sleeps on a bed, is fed the best food, is groomed and pet and loved differently than the rest. The owner goes the extra mile for that dog. He is a priority, top dog. He is special. He is nourished but more importantly… he is cherished. Do you go that extra mile to let your wife know that she is “top dog” in your life?
1 Peter 3:7, “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
#4 ~ HONOUR ~ “Time” (tee-may) is something you give to acknowledge value and worth. Something priceless. To esteem is such a way that you affirm their dignity.
God says in His Word that if you don’t do it… your prayers will be effected – diminish, hindered, be cut off. If that’s not a big red letter warning… I don’t know what is?!
In 1 Cor. 11:7 is says that a wife reflects (is the expression of) man’s glory (man is a reflection of God’s glory). Ask yourself: Am I treating her well? Am I making her feel secure? Does she know I’m proud of her? She is a reflection of your glory – you should see it in her smile – in the way she carries herself.
My favourite Scripture verse to prophetically pray over my children is Prov. 31:28, “her children rise up and call her blessed.” but it goes on to say… her husband joins in with words of praise (he boasts). Solomon started off his day by praising and encouraging his wife, “Many women have done wonderful things, but you’ve outclassed them all!” (The Message) There’s something to write down for the next card you give your wife!!
Unquestionably, when a husband praises, boasts, encourages, blesses his wife… the children sit up and take notice. They will follow Daddy’s example. How a man treats his wife will have a profound impact on how his children will respect and honour their mother (and their future spouses).
Dads… your daughter will more likely than not… marry someone just like you. How do you speak /treat your wife? Imagine your little girl —- jump forward 20 years — do you want her marrying “that man”? You need to treat your wife the way you want “that man” to treat your daughter. Where have you set the bar? Will she aim for greatness or settle for mediocrity? Where will you set the bar boys?!
How can you show her honour?
1) Open the door for her. Who said chivalry was dead?! (they’re probably still alone)
2) Tell her how beautiful she is to you often (and not just before bed!).
3) Always speak honourably of her in front of others – especially your children.
4) DATE HER
5) Leave her little love notes around the house, romance her.
6) Put special attention on important events and dates, attention to the details and put some thought into it.
Don’t do: Compare your wife to another! (and a bunch of others too)
This isn’t your view of a “manly man”? Being born a male does not make you a man. Taking care of your wife and your family makes you a man. Speaking blessings over your wife and your children makes you a man. Fighting for your wife, your sons, your daughters, your homes – makes you a man. When you do this, when you fight for them and not against them…. then God will fight.” (Neh. 4:14)
(I have a bunch of stats on fatherhood and father-less-ness and parenting in general that I’ll share with you later. One thing I will say to you wives/mothers – don’t leave all the discipline issues on your hubby’s shoulders, discipline is team work, don’t let him always be “the bad guy”, stand with each other and stand firm together, which means wives/mothers following his lead/decision with respect and honouring him the way God tells us we’re to do! We’re to come along side of him and help make his leading easier not more difficult.)
#5 ~ UNDERSTAND HER ~ first of all, let’s address “the weaker vessel” 1 Peter 2:7 talks about. It means fragile. Peter was saying that a wife is more like a fine, handcrafted crystal wineglass – to be handled with care. Not because they’re inferior but they are preciously handcrafted, irreplaceable vessels of beauty.
Know your wife! Know her needs. LISTEN for the purpose of understanding and knowing her. What is her favourite perfume or flower? Surprise her with it. What’s her favourite thing to do? Take a Saturday, get a babysitter (you arrange it) and go and do it. And when you listen… a head’s up to you men. DON’T TRY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM? We’re not looking for you to fix it or make it right, we just want to share it with you.
The good news is… it’s never too late! Even if your children are full grown and you have grandchildren… it’s never too late. If you’re still breathing air… there’s time for restoration. It’s time to move forward. Ask for forgiveness if you need to, forgive yourself and start a new day.
Don’t get too comfortable ladies… you’re next!
(done with the help of incredible books by H Dale Burke, Creflo A Dollar, Denise Mira, Joel Osteen, and James MacDonald and by the example and words of wisdom from my dad)