* This article was written about a year or so ago.
** Here is the link to the sermon series that I mentioned in the opening paragraph.
*** Huge props to Pastor Tom Foisy for being willing to share this sermon series with us!
On Sunday, (Pastor)Tom (Foisy) (The Pursuit Minot) started the sermon series “Beautiful”, based on lifting women up to realize their God-based beauty and worth. This is a sermon series (this may sound weird coming from a guy) that hits very close to home. As a married man, I see, on a daily basis, exactly what the pressures that society (AKA the serpent) put on women. My wife struggles greatly with many of the things that Tom was talking about that Sunday morning.
From unobtainable appearance / weight standards to condemnation for using formula instead of breast milk when feeding her two children (even though there was a medical issue for not being able to)…
“You should just keep trying harder” her own mother and others would say – “It’s what is best for the baby”.
On a daily basis, our wives are being attacked by the evil one for their supposed “short comings”.
Like Tom mentioned yesterday, they are pressured to keep up with the latest styles and/or fashion for fear of being “judged” by other women for not “keeping up” (comparison).
They are told that they can never be thin enough by society, and God help them if they are seen eating anything more than half a salad…
Damnation awaits the woman that is spotted eating a hamburger.
But, often times, that pressure to be “perfect” doesn’t come from anyone currently in their life. Many times, that pressure comes from those very same people that were supposed to be lovingly raising them up as children… their parents and family. In a lot of women’s situation a lot of the pressure she feels now is really non-existent… but it is really something that came from her mother when she was younger.
“You better not eat that, you will get fatter… no man will ever want a fat girl will they?” and so on.
My personal “favorite” is the comment that still haunts my wife to this day… a family member said something to the effect of “You would be so pretty if you just lost 15 pounds”.
The other person that often brings a woman pressure is only present to her when she looks in the mirror… herself.
She beats herself up because she doesn’t feel like she is “worthy” of being loved because of whatever reason:
“Maybe if I lose that weight I put on after the baby was born, my husband will look at me the way he looks at those girls on those porn videos”
“Maybe if I try harder at being a mother… do this or do that… maybe then the girls at MOPS won’t chuckle and giggle when I come in late”
Guys… I’m going to be brutally honest here:
I hate society.
I hate it with a passion.
I hate what it causes our wives to do and to think.
Another eye-opening statement….
We are failing.
We are doing our wives a disservice.
We are no better than Adam.
Did I piss you off?
Now I can get into what is stirring in my heart.
Looking at the text that Tom used…
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
(Genesis 3:1-7 / New International Version)
I have some things I want to say (and I plan on pulling absolutely no punches)…
The very first thing that happened was the serpent asked Eve if God really said…
“‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Genesis 3:1 / New International Version)
At this point, where the hell was Adam?
Why was he NOT standing up for his wife?
Why did he just stand there and let her try to fight this fight alone?
Why didn’t he get up off his ass and defend her?
Why don’t we do the same thing when our wives are being attacked by the serpent (society)?
Where are we gentlemen?
“Oh, she is a strong woman…she can fight her own fights”…
B.S. And we know it.
Why did Adam just stand there and allow his wife (the one purposely made from his rib bone to remind him that he is to be her protector) to be filled with lies by the serpent?
Why do we just stand there and allow our wives to be filled with lies?
Instead, shouldn’t we (especially as the supposed spiritual leaders) be reminding them that we chose them because of who they are.
Not who they could be or who we want them to be?
Shouldn’t we be telling them just how perfect they are on a daily basis? Telling them how perfectly made they are in God’s eyes?
Instead of letting Eve (our wives) defend herself… letting her fight the evil one on her own, shouldn’t Adam (us) have manned up and stepped between her and the serpent and fought for her?
And then later on… Adam was given yet another chance to do right by Eve and correct the lies that she had been told, but instead he chose to go right along with the lie that the serpent had told her:
“She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
(Genesis 3:6 / New International Version)
He just chose to go along with the lies that the serpent told.
Notice this time that he didn’t actually do anything to lie to her… but he DIDN’T do anything to correct those lies either.
The same thing happens today with husbands.
We see our wives buying these lies from the evil one about how they are “failing” at this or at that…
…and, instead of telling our wives how wrong the things they are hearing are… we stand idly by while our wives accept these lies as “truth”.
Guys… It’s time we start defending our wives from the constant onslaught that they are fighting daily.
The question is: how?
Is there a role model that we can look to?
There has to be someone that we can model our love for our wives after right?
Well… Paul addresses this in the New Testament.
The answer is…. Jesus.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
(Ephesians 5:25-28 / New International Version)
Well great… but what does that mean?
Here’s what I think it means…
- Stand up and fight for her! — Don’t allow her to continue to fight the same battles, day in and day out. Stand up, put on the full armor of God and fight for her!
- Wrap her in your love and show her exactly what she is – God has given you this beautiful woman that has chosen you above all the other men she could have chosen.
- Be willing to defend her against anyone that tries to break her. – Even if this means fighting back against the people who are supposed to love her. Stand up and push back. Show her that you will fight for her everyday against all those willing to take her down!
- Lift her up and show her how perfect she is to you and to God. – Remind her that she is a child of the one true King. A princess in the line of the King of Kings and Lord of lords. Treat her like the royalty that she is!
Where Adam let Eve down and failed her, setting in motion a continuing cycle of husbands failing their wives… Jesus modeled a love for us that we can apply to our relationship with our wives.
There is a new Christian song out called “Flawless” and in it the singer says:
No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made…
The cross has made you flawless
No matter the hurt
Or how deep the wound is
No matter the pain
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless
Think about that…
We know that to be the truth… not because of anything we have done…
But because of who Jesus is.
The exact same is true about our wives.
The difference is they don’t believe it as easily as we do.
Our wives need us to be their constant reminder that no matter what the serpent tells them, they are perfect just the way they are.
Adam was given a chance to save Eve and decided to let her down.
Was he scared?
Did he even care?
God blessed all of us with wives that we don’t deserve.
He has placed us as the heads of our households.
To a lot of guys that sounds great….
“Im in charge! You have to listen to me and be ‘obedient’!”.
But that’s not what it means at all.
As the head of the household, our job is to fight.
Be courageous for her when she can’t be.
Fight the lies that she is hearing everyday with the truth.
And a lot of the time it will feel like you are getting nowhere… that no matter what you tell her, she continues to buy the serpent’s lies… We have to just keep reminding them of the truth over and over….
…Just like Jesus does with us.