Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Encouraging Men to Be Men

Leslie Basham: I wish these men would be more mature and less passive. Do you ever think that way? Nancy Leigh DeMoss says that instead of complaining about men, we need to focus on our roles as women.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: It is not our job to make these men godly or manly. That is God’s job.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, March 9. 

All this week we’ve been exploring biblical femininity and masculinity with Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Mary Kassian. They just released a workbook called, True Woman 101: Divine Design. Chapter 2 is about God’s design for men. Mary and Nancy have been discussing this chapter with their friends Kim Wagner, Carolyn McCulley, and Karen Loritts. Karen will pick things back up today. She says that showing men appropriate respect begins when they are young.

Karen Loritts: We had little boys. Moms that have little boys, we have to be very careful how we are raising our little boys because they will back off if they’ve had a mom who is always in their face, always stripping them of who they are.  

Mary: Even in our interaction with teens or any man. I think that you can interact with any man you come in contact with, whether it is your man or not, whether your little boy or your husband. Any man you come into contact with as a woman, you can affirm him as a man and you can affirm his masculinity in a way that is very God-honoring and that builds him up.

Kim, you had some male comments that you brought along today when you knew we were talking about this topic.

Kim Wagner: I did. On the blog I asked men to let us know . . .

Nancy: Is it the True Woman blog you’re talking about?

Kim: Yes, the True Woman blog. I just asked men, “What is it that women can do to encourage your leadership?” It was interesting. I love to hear from men what they think helps them to step up to the plate as men, to be leaders. 

One man said, “Stop treating men like little boys. Even in some cases like little girls. Let them be rough around the edges, dirty, loud, and stinky. It’s okay. They will be fine in the end and they’ll grow up to be men that their wives will love and more importantly respect."

Another man said, “Accept us for who we are and stop trying to change us. Accept us. And chances are, we'll come around closer to what you’re looking for. So many women feel they need to straighten their men out. It is an attitude issue. We need to feel respected as much as women need to feel loved."

Mary: I love that. We need to feel respected as much as a woman needs to feel loved. I found that to be true in my own marriage—the respect.

Nancy: And as women, we tend to think men ought to love us regardless of how loveable we are or aren’t. Unconditionally. But we should only respect men if they are respectable, which is kind of the mindset. If men only loved us when we were loveable, or showed kindness to us when we were worthy of it . . . That is a real paradigm adjustment that so many of us women need to make. This is a man created in the image of God. We’re all fallen; we’re all sinners; we all have rough parts of us, but we need to show the respect. Even a husband or a man who has almost nothing that is respectable but to respect him as a man created in the image of God.

Kim: This man’s response says, “Trust us to lead, provide, and protect, realizing that in doing so your trust is really not in us at all but in God. Refrain from saying things like, 'I’ll just handle it myself.' You may well be better equipped to do so than us; however, in doing so you are taking matters not out of our hands but really out of God’s hand. 

Then a couple of women responded as they were reading all of these men’s comments, and I though it was interesting. One woman said, “I am absolutely amazed at what I’ve read so far.  Reading through all of these posts is eye-opening.” 

Another one said, “I never knew men were so fragile. These comments are helping me immensely. My husband is getting a new wife today.”

Carolyn McCulley: The difference between perseverance and expediency is something that really struck me late in life. The fact that we want to encourage men to persevere through to a solution or problem. But what often happens is we say, “I’ll take care of it myself," or "Don’t worry about it” because I am more about the expediency. 

I actually, remember that time we were all on vacation together and the DVD player wouldn’t work. Your (Kim's) husband LeRoy showed up. I was saying, “Hey, I don’t know how to make this work.” So he labored for hours to make that work. I was sitting on my tongue, wanting to say, “We really don’t need that DVD player.”

Kim: He was determined to accomplish that task. You had asked him, and he was ready to jump in and help a woman in need and fix it.

Carolyn: But my attention span was, “Okay, I’m done, we'll do something else. We don’t need the DVD.” 

But you encourage perseverance in men and not discourage them from it just because it didn’t fit my time schedule. We joked about that because it is a really minor thing, but I think the world of you and your husband both. We can be so impatient with men—shame on us.

Nancy: I think as a result of a study like this, a week like the one we’ve just had of talking about manhood, it would be easy to take these things that are core to what it means to be a godly man (and men aren’t doing this study, women are doing this study). So it would be easy for us to start comparing men unfavorably to the standard and thinking, "Oh, I wish my husband was more of this. Or the men in my workplace, they should be more like this.” And to be frustrated over the gap. It is so much easier to see other people's failures and flaws than our own. 

An expression of humility and one of the most important things we can do for the men in our lives is to pray for them and to ask God to transform them. He’s transforming us; He can transform them, too. It is not our job to make these men godly or manly. That is God’s job. 

Mary: I think the way that you encourage men to be more manly is for us to be more womanly.

Nancy: And that is an inspiration to these guys. When they step up to the plate it inspires us. When we step in and fulfill God’s calling in our lives, that is inspiring to them.   

Okay, now as we’ve talked about husbands and what their role is and their calling—provider, protector, leader, stepping up to the plate. Of course, we’re talking about the ideal here. God’s ideal for men and for women throughout this whole study. We’ve got to recognize that none of us are at the ideal. 

I know we have a lot of women taking this study who are thinking, “My husband is nowhere close to that ideal. He’s not a believer, or he claims to be but he is addicted to pornography, he is just not there at all.” What does my response to him as a man look like in that situation? 

Kim: Nancy, there are so many women that are struggling in relationships like that. When I have an opportunity to speak with them or share with them the truth from the Word, I always encourage them with, “I’m not giving you something to try and fix your marriage or improve your man or make it better.”

Nancy: Because there really are no guarantees, like: If we respond God’s way then wallah! He’s going to be a true man.

Kim: There are no guarantees. Women who I sit down with after their husband has committed adultery against are saying, “I can’t trust him. How can I go back to this marriage? How can I ever trust him again?” What I share with them is, “Your trust is not in this man; your trust ultimately is in God.” How do you respond to this man? You must think of it as, “This is my response to God. What God would have me do?”

Nancy: Which is more difficult because God doesn’t act that way.

Mary: And I can tell you I have walked this path with many, many women.

Nancy: We probably all have.

Mary: It is excruciating. It is heart wrenching, and it is not easy. I think that is where we really need the guidance of the Holy Spirit and prayer and the counsel of godly sisters and knowledge of the Word above all and the Body of Christ. Because in some situations the counsel that you give, you always aim for the ideal. For me, I always ask the woman, “Are you doing what you know to be true and right and godly?” And sometimes that is even difficult because of bitterness, anger.

If the man is asking her to do something ungodly or is interacting with her in a way that is very harsh and difficult, I’ve counseled women to exercise humility. You express your opinions and you appeal in a way that is gentle. You pray. There are so many different aspects of how you need to interact. I think we really need to avoid being simplistic and saying, “Oh, here is your one size fits all solution.”

Kim: If he is caught in a pattern of sin, thankfully Scripture has given us recourse—Matthew 18. Once you’ve appealed to your husband and you say, “I see this in you, and I’m concerned for you,” then you take it to your church leadership. Even if he is non-believer and a woman is enduring physical abuse . . .

Nancy: That is against the law.

Kim: You go to the civil authority, so we do have some recourse.

Mary: You appeal to other authorities. There is a danger on one side, and I know there is a camp on one side that would say, “Oh, just submit to your husband." Women have heard that. And I say, “You have not walked this path with woman if you’re saying that simplistically.”

Karen: Or they are not biblical; they are not using the Word of God.

Mary: Exactly. It is not simple, and it is not simplistic. We need the Word of God; we need the counsel of the Holy Spirit to guide us; we need to be wise women, and we need to be women who are responsive first and foremost to our God.

Carolyn: To women who suffer in these relationships for a really long time or who have been deserted or abandoned, there is one perspective to offer that can be helpful, and that is our life is but a breath, according to Scripture. It is a very short time. It feels very real, very long.

You have to live with the idea that one day you will stand and look at your Savior face to face. You will rewarded for what you did, not what you changed in someone else, but what you did that reflected Him and the hope of knowing that He is in the process of restoring all things—even these things that seem so heavy that you can’t possibly change, and you have a struggle day to day that anything will ever change.

But if you live in light of eternity, you will realize that out of His grace He is going to give you a crown to reward you that will wear for all eternity from the grace He gave you to enable you to respond. He’s going to reward you for that. 

Nancy: And this "light, momentary affliction," which seems very heavy and long, is shaping and sanctifying and molding us, conforming us to God’s image. Even with a good husband, a great husband or father, or men who are worthy men, there are still issues that rub, and God uses those differences. He uses even the failures and sins of others to sanctify us. Pressure sanctifies. It’s not like you say, “Okay, bring on pressure.” But it is going to come, and God uses that to mold us.

Karen: Isn’t it refreshing to know that God is sovereign, and He just didn’t start and step back and let everything happen.

Mary: He is engaged in my life, and He’s engaged in my girlfriend’s life who needs some good wisdom in knowing how to deal with her horrible situation.

Karen: I want to have a word for the women who aren’t married yet. This is instructive to you. When you go into a relationship, know that it has to be God-honoring and God-directed. You don’t marry a possibility. You are marrying what the deal is right here, you’re not going to change that. 

I’ve met a lot of women who wished they had listened to godly counsel. “I’m going to change my husband. He’s going to be this type of person.” Then a couple years down the line there is a splitting of the home, the children are at a grief stage, and it just breaks your heart. It’s good to listen to godly counsel and listen. Don’t let the hormones or the biological clock or that everyone at the family reunion wants you to be married and have this beautiful marriage . . .

Mary: It goes back again to the picture that we’re talking about. I think even girls who are dating need to understand that this is who God created male and female to be. And this is how it will function in the marriage. And is there enough wholeness in this man? Is he on the right path? Is he a man whose heart is inclined to going in that direction? 

Carolyn: A great picture I think of that is . . . I always encourage single women about this. Watch the way a man you’re interested in treats not only his mother, but the bride of Christ. He’s supposed to be representing Christ who gives Himself all for the bride of Christ. So if he’s not interested in the church, if he’s not serving in the church, if he doesn’t consider that of value and a priority, and if he’s not accountable to other men in the context of the church, those should be huge red flags. 

I have a friend who when she got married, her husband took her aside after they returned from their honeymoon. The first day in their new home together he said, “I want you to understand something. If you ever feel like I’m not listening to you, that you have no voice in this marriage and that I am in a hardened heart place, I want you to know that you not only have my permission but you have my urging to go around me to our pastor right away, because I’m in a place where I’m not listening to God. I need you to get my back.”

That was incredible! You know why he had that perspective? Because he walked with other godly men in the church. He knew that he was accountable to them in the relationship and in the function of the church. It’s not just, “I’m the head, so I’m accountable to no one.” No, you’re accountable to God and that authority is going to be exercised through His Church.

Nancy: I just feel prompted here for us to take a moment and stop and pray for our men, husbands, dads, brothers, sons, pastors, church leaders—these men, friends, brothers in Christ. I’m going to ask Karen if you would just lead us. Let’s join hands and join our hearts in praying and asking God to bless, to encourage those men, and to help us be women who inspire them to be all God wants them to be.

Karen: Oh Father, you know our hearts. You know our desire to honor you. Lord, we as women have such a responsibility to fulfill our roles, our God-given roles, to honor you and what you called us to walk in.

So Lord, we do pray for our men. Oh God, it is the strategy of the enemy to strip our men from who you created them to be. Their manhood is being traipsed upon. Lord, forgive us.  May we be women of courage who will pray for our men, and do all that we know to do. May we listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, to walk in His power each and every day. Lord, that You will bring to mind all those areas in our lives that speak loudly only about ourselves, our pride, what we want. Lord, give us Your servant’s heart that will honor who You are. You are the great servant leader, and may we walk in the image of God every single day, powered by the Holy Spirit.

We do pray for these men. Lord, raise up a new generation of men who will be courageous enough to believe and accept You and who You are and who You made them to be. We love You, Father. We pray for these men of faith that they will continue to walk in the power that You’ve given them and that You will continue to raise up more and more men that will honor You and celebrate their maleness. Thank You Lord, for who You are. We believe in You, Father. In your name, amen.

Leslie: Karen Loritts has been praying that we as women will encourage men to be men by embracing godly femininity. We will hear a final thought in just a minute. 

Karen has been talking with Kim Wagner, Carolyn McCulley, Mary Kassian, and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. They’ve been talking about Chapter 2 of a new workbook by Mary and Nancy called True Women 101: Divine Design. At Revive Our Hearts we know that understanding your design as a woman is crucial as you reflect on who God is. We also know that you can search God’s Word for yourself, understanding your God-given role, and enjoy living out His purpose for you. 

This new workbook, True Woman 101, will help you do just that. When you contact us today, you can get a copy at a 20% discount. Call 1-800-569-5959 to get your copy, or you can visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Doing the work of the Lord is a great joy, but there are some potential pitfalls that threaten anyone serving in ministry. Nancy will share some of those potential pitfalls next time on Revive Our Hearts

To close our time together, Nancy and Mary are back. The concepts they’ve talked about this week are not easy. Each of us needs God’s grace to apply these ideas in our own messy situations. Nancy and Mary are joined in this final discussion by their friends Erin Davis, Dannah Gresh, and Holly Elliff. Here is Mary on the challenge of living out the message we’ve heard this week.

Mary: It can be difficult. I just want to encourage women because I remember when I was a younger woman, and encountered really for the first time some ideas about true womanhood, about what the Bible has to say about womanhood, I got to a place in that book that I didn’t like and boom! It went across the room and smacked against the wall and papers . . .

Nancy: You really did?

Mary: I really did. I pitched a book. I confess. I pitched a book. But here is the point. It is that we come at this topic with so many questions, so many preconceptions, with so many ideas of perhaps ways that we’ve seen stereotypes emerge or thinking that we are talking about a check list here. Are you going to put me in the dentist chair and drill my brain or my  personality, or are you going to make me look like everybody else? Am I going to need to buy the pearls for when I’m vacuuming, high heels . . . So we come at this with caricatures! There is fear.

Erin Davis: We all felt that fear, and we still feel fear. But the truth has been so liberating in each of our lives. It’s not like we’re at the end of that. It is a journey, but here is the thing that helped me. Knowing that God is good. Knowing that God’s ways are good and trusting the Word of God. I think we have to trust Him enough that we’re willing to say, “Yes, Lord.”

Nancy: It’s not so much after we figure all this out, after we know what God is going to require. "Let me read the fine print, and then I’ll decide whether I want to say, 'Yes, Lord.'" The way to real joy is to let God just hand us a blank piece of paper and say, "Will you say yes, Lord to My design—whatever it is, whatever you find it to be and to start at that point?"

I think that is our heart. We want that to be the heart of every woman going through this study. Yes, there are some fears. Yes, we don’t know where this all will take us, but we know that God is good, that He is faithful, that His ways are true. W know that there is hope of this great wedding, completed, consummated picture at the end that we have to look forward to. And so we can trust him enough to say, “Yes, Lord.”

Holly Elliff: And trust Him for the courage to keep pursuing as God shows us truth to keep pursuing that truth because we don’t have to create the ability to do it. We just have to relax into that and let God take us there.

Dannah Gresh: I so love the fact that marriage, whether you are in the betrothal period or whether you’re in the married period, I love that picture that is it displayed from Genesis to the Book of Revelation. I love it so much that I’ve studied it from front to back, and there is one word throughout the Old Testament that is associated with the marriage covenant, and that is the word hesed. It is faithful friendship, covenant-keeping love. When everything is put to the test, the faithfulness exists. No matter where we are in our lives, no matter whether we are single women, teenagers, sixty-year-old widows, in the middle of our busy parenting lives, middle age, messy or good, happy or sad; that we be found faithful because He is faithful. He will not ever quit loving us with that type of love.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

 

 

 

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About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love …

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