This morning we had a guest speaker at church, Dr. Danny Akin. Dr. Akin is the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the author of many books, including God on Sex.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Our church is emphasizing marriage this weekend and Dr. Akin spoke on the topic this morning. He was clear, Biblical, funny and to the point. I really enjoyed hearing him speak. He made several statements that especially caught my attention. He addressed both husbands and wives, but because I'll never be a husband I mostly focused on what he said to the women in the audience.
Dr. Akin encouraged us ladies to honor, respect, and submit to our husbands - and he gave us some really practical ways to do it. He talked in detail about how important it is for a man to come home to an environment that is joyful and peaceful, a haven, if you will. He acknowledged that although every woman has a bad day once in a while, a woman who whines, complains and nags is not creating a peaceful, harmonious environment for her family. And we all know that it IS true (unfortunately) that if "Mama ain't happy, nobody is happy!" Most Christian women have read the verses in Proverbs that describe the "contentious" woman. Dr. Akin mentioned those verses and then in a very matter of fact manner said, "Men simply cannot stand a woman who whines, nags and complains. We just can't take it. We would rather live in a desert, live on our roof top or in our attic than live with a contentious woman." He then noted that men who live in this kind of unhappy home will always have one of two responses: Fight or take flight. He said most Christian men will fight (verbally) at first; However, they usually come to the realization that they simply cannot win an argument with a woman. And so they often take flight. This does not necessarily mean they divorce, but they may become workaholics or find a hobby they enjoy that keeps them away from home as much as possible.
I can't say that I heard anything this morning that I have not read or heard before. But I can always use a good reminder. Most Christian women will hear this type of admonition and whole heartily agree. Yet, we often are unable to recognize areas in our own lives where we fail to be the kind of wife God intends for us to be. I am often surprised (and embarrassed) when I hear women criticize their husbands publicly. I think sometimes we forget that the things we write on our facebook are being read by hundreds of people! Every woman knows her own husband's weaknesses. Nobody has a perfect spouse and while I can appreciate the desire to be transparent, I also think we need to use some discretion and be careful about what we share. If you think your husband is just another one of your kids that you're trying to raise, or that he is an idiot sometimes, or even if you believe him to be a jerk, you're better off keeping those thoughts to yourself. No man feels respected when his wife is critical of him. I often remind myself of something Mike Pearl once said, "No man has ever come out from underneath his wife's criticism to be a better man - no matter how justified her condemnation." Whenever I hear a woman verbally tear down her husband, it's often not the wife I feel sorry for. I came across this in a book I'm reading: "A man's ego is a fragile thing. How can a man cherish someone who cares so little for his reputation?"
After this morning's message I have a renewed desire to create a home that my husband loves to come to at the end of a long, hard, tiring day. We may have conflicts with friends, disagreements with coworkers or frustrations with church or extended family. But I want "home" to be a peaceful place where everyone is accepted, treasured and loved - a place of real rest and comfort. It is my job to create this environment. And again I was challenged when I read this: "When a woman does not provide for her husband a comfortable nest and a reverent attitude, she has to rely on his goodness to keep him faithful. She is a fool to expect him to be a good husband when she is not being the help meet God has created her to be. A man coming home to a tense or messy home, lousy meals, and a wife who is critical, might not have the 'goodness' to remain faithful . . . Women take it for granted that a man will be faithful because it is his Christian duty to be faithful (and it is). It is also a woman's Christian duty to be a help meet: honoring, obeying, serving, and reverencing."
I'm so thankful for my church and for the emphasis they place on the importance of marriage. I need the encouragement and the conviction to be a better wife. I'm not a perfect wife and I never will be, but I'm going to keep working at it. I want my marriage to be the best it can be and that doesn't just happen. It takes a lot of hard work but I'm up for the challenge!