Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Encouraging Men to Provide and Protect

Leslie Basham: Mary Kassian says that when a wife submits to her husband, it doesn’t mean she should never speak.

Mary Kassian: If I’m perceiving something, I need to tell my husband that. If I am sensing a “check,” spiritually, I need to tell my husband that. If I’m afraid we’re heading in the wrong direction, I need to tell him that. I need to give him all that input that God has put into me in a respectful manner that gives him as much information as he needs.

So we consult and we talk and we wrestle with things together; but ultimately, I know and understand that he has that responsibility on his shoulders. When we stand before Christ, He’s going to take Brent to the wall for what happened in our family.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, March 7. Is there anything a woman can do to encourage her husband to provide for and protect his family? That’s one topic we’ll touch on today while exploring God’s design for men.

Today’s discussion is based on chapter two of a brand-new workbook by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Mary Kassian called True Woman 101: Divine Design. Nancy and Mary invited some friends to discuss this chapter.

In order to fulfill God’s call on us as women, it’s helpful to understand the way He designed men. Nancy and Mary will talk about it with Kim Wagner, Karen Loritts and Carolyn McCulley.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  . . . That’s something else that is core to manhood, that comes out in that verse.

Mary: Yes, it’s very core to manhood . . . working it and keeping it . . . here you’ve got your provision and your protection. I think that’s also core to what it means to being a man. Have you ladies seen that?

Karen: In our church, with the economy as it is, we’ve seen a lot of men who have lost their jobs. One of the heartbreaks is to listen to some of the wives who feel so sorry for their husbands because the husbands are so sad that they can’t provide for their families.

How to encourage her to encourage him is really going back to the Word of God and helping him.

Mary: It affects a man in a different way than it does a woman.

Karen: It does. How do I encourage my husband who is going through depression, because he has a God-shaped need to provide for his family, yet by no fault of his own, he’s without a job.

Nancy: Yet, it’s interesting that in our culture, for most of our lifetimes, there’s been this push that “it doesn’t matter who provides.” There’s no strong sense in the culture of a husband or a man having responsibility to provide for his family, but it’s built into his DNA.

Karen: I take difference with people who say it doesn’t matter, because it does matter. You see a man who’s depressed and he becomes so self-absorbed he loses himself. And they don’t even have to be men of God. We’re seeing that in this society.

Mary: I think men are connected to work in a way that women are not connected to work. Women are connected to relationships in a way that men aren’t, and men are connected to work in a way that women aren’t.

Now that’s not to say that women don’t work, and that women never work, and that women’s sole existence is tied up in the home and they don’t contribute in any other way.

Kim Wagner: At this table we’re all hard workers; we’re very, very busy. You can’t say that women don’t work hard.

Nancy: And in the home, women who don’t have vocational, paying jobs outside the home, they’re working hard within the home. God honors that.

Mary: God really honors that, and I think God expects that also. A woman’s nurturing is that work flows through her grid as a woman to nurture her family, but it’s kind of got a different flavor and a different emphasis for women than it does for men.

I think we do ourselves and we do men a disservice when we say it’s all the same, because it isn’t.

Nancy: It’s interesting Mary, I’m thinking about a woman who came to one of the first True Woman Conferences. She’s a professional woman. When she and her husband got married, they had this agreement that she would be the provider for the family.

Mary: I had a girlfriend just like that.

Nancy: That’s the way their thinking was. She enjoyed her career, and he was fine for her to enjoy it, and so they were young when they got married. Well, she came to the True Woman Conference and listened to your session on the history of how we’ve gotten to where we are.

Mary: I probably shared the story, because I share it often, of a particular woman that I observed with this pattern of interaction and how it didn’t go well.

Nancy: She was so challenged by what you said in that session; the “light” went on. She started processing this and working it through and realized that God had gifted and wired and called her husband to be responsible as the provider for the family.

That doesn’t mean she doesn’t bring in any income, but that he had that responsibility. Well, she went back to their marriage and wisely didn’t just dump this on him. She was grappling with this when I met her a year after the conference, because her husband was so much the product of a culture that says, “whoever, whatever . . . it doesn’t matter" . . . this amorphous female, male, it doesn’t make any difference. She was sensing that God’s calling on her was to be more connected to her home, but he wasn’t “there” yet.

We realize that there are all kinds of situations that people are in, that maybe are not God’s ideal, and that there’s a process of getting to what it really should look like in your situation.

Mary: There’s the ideal, and then we live in a broken and fallen world.

Nancy: It’s not just in the leadership area, in this whole think of provision. I think our whole consumer culture and mindset has made, not just women but men and families, not content to live with what God can provide through the husband.

I realize there are some husbands that physically, or for whatever reason, are not able to provide . . . we have unemployment issues, but we’re talking about an ideal here. Our “have to have” two cars and certain kinds of schooling and clothes, and whatever . . . Our whole economy now has become very dependent on two incomes.

So, it’s very tough, but this whole contentment issue really becomes important for us as women . . . and the willingness, as God enables, to live within what God provides, so that the woman can focus, in that season of life, on the home, managing the home, and being willing to live within what God provides through the husband.

Again, I realize there are many different situations.

Karen: I think of the word you used, contentment. When is enough, enough? When are we satisfied? When are we being creative as we manage our homes? Those coupons? (I’m not a coupon person, because I always forget to take those coupons to the store.) But just doing those creative things to help. We don’t need all this stuff that is going to burn up anyway.

Nancy: How many women do we know, and maybe have been at times, who are stressed off the charts because of trying to manage the home, and be the provider, and do more than maybe what God has really given us to do, and feeling that constant stress and pressure?

I think that if we were willing to do with less, in some cases, and to live with what God provides through the husband’s income, where that’s possible, there might be fewer things in the house, less stuff, but maybe more joy and peace.

Carolyn McCulley: I want to circle back to what you said about there being women who are listening or watching whose husband’s leadership, for whatever variety of reasons, is going to look different. That made me think immediately of friends of mine who have been in a dating and now marriage relationship for five years.

The first (almost) year of their relationship he was fine, but then he had a car accident, had a traumatic brain injury. They thought he was going to die . . . and long story, wasn’t going to talk again, wasn’t going to walk again. God slowly healed him on a variety of levels, but he’s still not able to hold a job.

What she’s done has been to be very creative in building up his leadership in whatever ways. He had started a phone company with friends of his, so they’ve made sure to keep him involved in that, at whatever level. They always refer to him as one of the founders of the phone company; in fact, it’s headquartered in their home.

So he has these people around him. He has that sense of participation, even though she actually brings in the paid work. She’s always looking to him for counsel. “Help me sort through my feelings. Tell me about God. What are you reading?” She's getting him involved in whatever capacity he can be.

So I look at women who are creative in where the boundary lines have fallen in more difficult places, and yet they’re still trying to live this out.

Mary: They’re still trying to really encourage that foundation in their men, of manhood.

Nancy: And it’s not the boundary lines that are really the issue. It’s the disposition, the heart, the inclination to honor how God has made men, and to be how God has made us to be as women.

Mary: Another thing the passage talks about in terms of how God has wired men is to keep the guardians as protectors, and we see our men as protectors. It’s been so amusing to me to watch my own sons rise into that protector.

At a very young age, as they started getting to be bigger and bigger boys, they started to feel the sense of protection and benevolence and responsibility for me, which is really kind of fun—cute to watch in the boys—but also for their female cousins.

We ran into a few incidents. At school one time there was a boy paying some unwanted attention to a female cousin. So my son felt that it was his responsibility to take this boy and hold him very gently up against the locker and tell him, “You mess with my cousin, you mess with me!”

It’s just interesting to watch that just come out of them. The same thing happened a couple months ago when a thirteen-year-old cousin celebrated her birthday. My twenty-four-year-old son said, “I just wanted to be there so those guys knew that I was there.”

Nancy: It’s interesting how that provision and protection mirrors what Christ does for His Church. As men step up to the plate on those matters, isn’t that what it’s all about, reflecting Jesus, giving an earthly picture of who Christ is?

They’re showing Christ to the world, as they fulfill those roles.

Karen: And it all comes down to a measure of trust. Do we really trust God, who’s sovereign, to do what He needs to do? And He knows what He’s doing. Really. That’s the bottom line.

Mary: He knew what He was doing when He created men different.

Karen: Right. My second little grandson is such a sweetie. He’ll be nine pretty soon. He has three brothers and a sweet mom and dad. He shows the protection of his Mimi (I’m his Mimi). They were here, and he would open the car door for me, and make sure the door was locked, “Are you locked in Mimi?” “Yes, Mimi’s locked in.”

Mary: Where did he get that?

Karen: Well, first of all he sees that modeled in his dad, and he just knows that, “I’m the man; I have to protect my Mimi.”

Mary: There’s such joy that comes into a man’s life, I think, when he can do that for a woman. And there’s such a blessing when we welcome it and we receive it.

Carolyn, as a single woman, I’m sure that you’ve had instances where you’ve really welcomed that kind of input from men.

Carolyn: Oh, definitely. I’m going to use the term chivalry, because I appreciate that. It’s kind of an old-fashioned word and may throw some people off. But there are small moments of consideration when you realize that the man in the situation realizes that you are a woman and there’s a difference.

Whether it’s from small customs—you usually see this in the South, where the man walks on the outside of the sidewalk—but it’s handy in certain cities. When we travel internationally, we’ll read, “If you walk too close to the street and you’re carrying a bag, there’s going to be somebody who comes on a motorbike and takes that.”

So when I’m traveling with the guys on my film crew and they know these kinds of things, they say, “Okay, this is how we’re going to lead and guide and protect.”

As meaningful to me as the physical protection and the small courteous efforts that are made is the spiritual protection. When men take the initiative and they see a problem, they see it coming, so often it’s so easy to think, “I don’t want to get involved.”

But I appreciate, especially the colleagues I work with who are dealing with me on several levels (not only whatever goal we have) but also as fellow believers when we are all believers working together—what’s the spiritual goal?

I’ve had many a film trip where I have been tired and cranky and uncomfortable. It’s my responsibility as the producer and director to make sure we’re all working together. But one of the guys, who’s a brother in Christ, will take the initiative to take me aside later on and say, “You know what? You’re actually really setting a bad tone for the crew. I’m hearing the pride; I’m hearing the anger. I just want to pray with you.”

Normally, in the film world hierarchy, that’s your employee . . . 

Nancy: We see that all the time in Revive Our Hearts ministry, in the True Woman ministry. We have wonderful women but also some godly men on our team who serve this ministry because they care about this message and mission.

Carolyn: You have an incredible group of men. One of the things I love about being around this ministry when we’re here and when we’re able to work with all these men is, they’re not afraid of being around women.

The celebration of the differences isn’t the, “Ugh! Don’t make me look in your purse,” phenomenon. It’s more a matter of, “Yes, there are differences, and we celebrate them.” They’re encouraged to be fully secure in their masculinity, and to be helping in what you’re doing.

Nancy: And they provide so much of that practical protection and also spiritual covering and blessing, and I’m just so thankful for that.

Karen: One of the things I’ve really loved and enjoyed at the True Woman Conferences is the men that were praying. We had this big circle of men that were praying over us. That was our shield, our spiritual bodyguard. I felt so safe that they were in the rooms, not only praying, but there was something about men standing there.

Nancy: It was so sweet. It pictures the way that Christ intercedes for His Church. This whole thing of biblical manhood is intended to reflect who Christ is, as our womanhood is intended to reflect Christ as well, but also how the Church responds to Christ.

Carolyn: I have a really tender story about that. A friend of mine was saved out of a background of prostitution. She became a Christian, and few years later met a man and said to her pastor, “Okay, when do I tell him what my background is?”

He said, “We’ll keep tabs, we’ll let you know as he gets closer to engagement. That’s a precious piece of information, not to be shared with everybody, and so we’ll just wait.” So as the relationship grew more serious, he called her and said, “Okay, tell him.”

So she brought him over one night and she laid it all out. She said, “I will understand if now you don’t have faith for the relationship to go forward. I want you to feel released.”

He paused for a second and, this isn’t an exact quote but it’s to the point. He looked at her and he said, “It would be my privilege to represent Christ to you, because He has chosen you and washed you and redeemed you. I don’t see you through anything else except that. If He’s called me to represent Him, to love you on this earth, then that would be my privilege.”

It was an incredible response, but it was incredibly theological as well. It was so reassuring to her, because he wasn’t saying, “You can count on my love,” but he was saying, “You can count on Christ’s love.”

Leslie: Carolyn McCulley has been giving us a powerful picture of Christ-like servant leadership. She’s been talking with Karen Loritts and Kim Wagner. They’ll be back in a minute.

Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss served as the facilitators of that discussion. The two of them have just released a helpful new workbook called True Woman 101: Divine Design. The Table Talk you were just hearing was based on chapter two of that workbook.

At Revive Our Hearts we believe that understanding godly masculinity and femininity will transform the way you view God, the body of Christ, and your relationships. You can discover the peace and joy of knowing why God created you the way He created you and serve Him according to your divine design.

This new workbook will give you a thorough understanding of what it means to embrace biblical femininity. You can get a copy of this brand-new workbook at a twenty percent discount when you call 1-800-569-5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com. When you’re there, you can get more details on how to use this workbook and the videos that go with it for your small group.

As you’re learning about biblical femininity, it’s helpful to keep a constant reminder in front of you. One way you can do that is by subscribing to the True Woman blog. A team of women contribute helpful posts each day, including Mary Kassian.

Our team asked Mary what post stood out to her, as one of the most interesting.

Mary: I think one of the most interesting posts I’ve done on the True Woman blog has been about female beauty. It was interesting because it was so controversial.

I think that people have very passionate ideas both ways, and it was interesting to read the comments. There were such strong opinions on both sides. My thought in writing the blog was that we as women are so drawn to beauty, and I think that that’s a natural and a normal impulse that God put into our hearts.

So women are drawn to beauty and yet oftentimes women feel guilty about being drawn to beauty. They feel guilty about that part of their spirit because inner beauty is more important than outer beauty (which it is . . . eternal beauty is far more important). But I think that what we see in the temporary always informs us of the eternal.

What we see in our earthly realm really gives images and pictures for us that are instructive of that eternal truth that is far more important. I think beauty is like that. I think women are drawn to beauty because we want to be beautiful for our husbands, we want to be deemed attractive. I believe the reason for that is because the Bride of Christ, spiritually, has a desire to be attractive for her Groom, Christ.

Of course, that’s a spiritual beautification we’re talking about, and that’s the one that’s really important. The eternal spiritual one is the important one; however, I do believe that as women, who we are as women, representing the Bride of Christ, and being created in a way that we’re to tell that part of the story, that some of the natural inclinations of a woman’s heart really do inform of the larger spiritual truth.

So that was the most interesting. It was interesting to me because some women really got it, and some women really didn’t get it. It was interesting to me because it evoked a lot of discussion, a lot of responses on both sides.

Also, it was interesting because you could see how painful this issue was in many women’s lives. The reason it was so painful, and is so painful, is because there is that desire and they’re not able to fulfill that desire in an earthly way, which also informs us that the earthly is just temporary.

What we need to keep our eyes on and our focus on is that true beauty of the heart is what God desires for His Bride.

Leslie: You can follow a link to the True Woman blog by visiting our website, ReviveOurHearts.com. There have been plenty of examples through history of men dominating women. When we talk about godly headship, what are we not talking about? Our True Woman Table Talk panel will be back to address that tomorrow.

They’re back with a final thought. We talked a lot about the way husbands can reflect the heart of Christ. What about fathers? How do they show us a picture of God?

Mary: Karen, you’ve talked a lot about what is was like growing up without a father, and fathers bring so much into our lives in terms of imaging the Father heart of God. Where did you get that?

Karen: Yes, I think in my early Christian experience it was a struggle for me, because I didn’t have a father. But when I met my husband, my father-in-law was a godly man. I watched him love his family, care for his wife, train his son to love sacrificially. He really served his family well. I saw a picture, even though it was a human picture, of God the Father who loved me, that had been absent all my years as a teenager.

So I could just submit to my Heavenly Father because I saw this earthly father, and I said, “Yes, that’s what a real father does. Loves, sacrifices, and serves.”

One of the things that was helpful to me was that my father-in-law’s word was his word. He never changed. So in my relationship with God, I saw that God’s Word was His Word. He never changed. So I had these two great pictures of that, and that really helped me in my growth as a Christian and a married woman.

Mary: It’s so sad, because so many children are growing up without fathers in their homes. I think the statistic is forty, or even fifty percent of children will go to bed tonight in homes in which their fathers do not live.

It’s such a blessing when men will step up, even men like uncles, brothers, the body of Christ, elders. What a role there is for men, mentors, brothers-in-law, because we need that. Children need that, and I think particularly women need that in terms of having that father influence, that care and protection that really has no sexual connection, but is just fatherly in a very positive way. Those men can bring that type of blessing into our lives.

Karen: And I think it would be a great blessing to go through the Word of God and see every time you see either the word Father or God the Father, that men would say, “Am I really representing that?”

Nancy: And to say to women, even if you’ve never had that kind of earthly father, God is still the ultimate father—the Father of the fatherless.

Mary: There’s a special place in His heart for women who have missed that.

Nancy: And we need to get our view of God, not from men we may have known who didn’t represent God well, but ultimately from God’s Word, to see who He really is.

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

 

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