I was listening to favorite Christian station on the way to work. I don’t remember exactly what the context was….but the story of Noah came up. I’ve heard the story from Sunday school, but I wanted to take another look from a different perspective. Based on the post yesterday….I am going to back to challenging the men to be strong.
God is lamenting over the sin that has seemingly overtaken all of humanity. As a result of man’s wickedness, God reluctantly decides to wipe out all of humanity and start from scratch. However, there was one man that was not corrupted amidst all of the wickedness – Noah. I am sure you remember….God instructs Noah to build an ark in order to save him, his family, and two of every species of animal. As God instructed Noah to enter the ark, God says to him, “for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.”
Everyone in the whole world around him was doing wrong, Noah rose up and still chose to do what was right. It was for Noah’s righteousness that he was spared the calamity that was brought upon all the wicked. Even though Noah was alone in his ways, it did not deter him from doing what was right despite what everyone else was doing. He was focused on God’s word.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Do you ever feel somewhat like Noah? In a world where men are expected to loathe their wives, how alone do we feel in our pursuit to love ours? You’ve other men talk bad about their wives, reminisce on the “good ol’ days” before marriage, imply life would be better without a wife, or flaunt their bedroom escapades as if their wife is an object for affection rather than the object of their affection. The list could go on and on. And even though I say other men, the truth is, we do these things sometimes as well. So how can we honestly expect to love our wives and have our marriage to thrive when we fail so often?
We covered many topics over the course of the last year. We’ve talked about our minds, our hearts, our words and our eyes. Satan’s goal is to distract us from God’s purpose as husbands, so here are some thoughts to keep you on track and maintain that integrity that we are striving for.
1. Take captive your MIND and make it obedient to Christ.
Our minds constantly wander and our thoughts are consumed by many different topics. Baseball, football, work, kids, wife, cars, fishing, beautiful women, beautiful women playing football, beautiful women playing (think of the “happy place in Happy Gilmore). Okay, Okay, I was just trying to prove that our minds wander. Many of us can get lost in our heads, and we have to protect our marriages from our own thoughts. If your thoughts wander… Think of Jesus. Dwell on Jesus. Pray to Jesus.
“we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
2. Guard your HEART, its love is only for her.
Oh how easy it is to develop seemingly innocent emotions for someone other than your wife. No, I’m not talking about a bromance. I’m talking about a female co-worker, a fellow ministry volunteer, your friend’s wife, an ex-girlfriend, your neighbor, the grocery clerk, an old friend you recently reconnected with on Facebook (an action that shouldn’t occur unless you’ve talked to your spouse), or even your wife’s family member. It’s easy to find ourselves wanting respect, appreciation, or affirmation from others, but this is the most dangerous territory to venture into. If you find yourself developing feelings for someone other than your wife, confess it to your wife and take every step to cut that relationship off.
“And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Proverbs 4:23)
3. Only speak highly of your wife, your WORDS reflect your heart.
I am sure many of us have been in a situation where friends have vented about struggles in their marriage. There is a temptation among men to turn this impromptu counseling session into a war of words attacking our wives without them even being present. I challenge you to never talk poorly about your wife – ever. In fact, only say positive affirmations of the great qualities your wife has. If you resist bad mouthing your wife, you will be amazed how your heart changes for her. Additionally, if you have an issue with your wife, don’t be a coward and bash on her with your boys, be a man and talk to your wife about what hurt you. I know. Talking about your feelings makes you vulnerable. But it doesn’t make you any less of a man. Just like talking poorly of your wife to your buddies doesn’t make you any more of a man.
“But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” (Matthew 15:18)
4. Keep your EYES to yourself!
I remember hearing my mom say “keep your hands to yourself” a lot when I was growing up. No, not to me, I was the good son. It was always my brothers. I’m just kidding. But I’m dead serious when I say keep your eyes to yourself. If you’re at home, alone, and on the computer where you have access to porn… DON’T LOOK! If you’re out with your buddies and an attractive woman walks by… DON’T LOOK! If a co-worker leans over giving a view down her shirt… DON’T LOOK! Sure, some of you might say you don’t struggle when looking at things like that. You will, if you look long enough. So. Just. Don’t. Look. Keep your eyes to yourself when your wife is not around and squarely locked on her when she is.
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
Be Strong. Act Like Men.