November 24, 2014

Man of Mystery

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

Ephesians 5:31-33 (NIV)

 Part of the mystery in marriage is trying to understand your mate!  Men and women are definitely wired differently.  I love how the Phillips translation paraphrased 1 Peter 3:7.  It tells husbands, “… you husbands should try to understand the wives you live with ….” The emphasis is on the word “try.”  It seems like Peter is conceding that it is the best a man can do!  But, what about men?  Are they as complicated for women to figure out?  When it comes to how a man thinks, one woman said, “Never let your man’s mind wander – it’s too little to be out on its own.”  The truth is men are a little more complex than we may appear on the surface.  This week, we are going to take a closer look at a man’s heart and reveal the truth that every man wishes a woman understood about him.  We’re also going to see what the Bible says about how a man can keep his way pure in an impure world!  This would be a great blog to discuss with your mate after you’ve both had time to reflect a bit on it.  I’m praying it will open a dialogue between you that will take your relationship to another level.  Let’s begin with what the Bible says is a man’s deepest need.  In Ephesians 5:33, the Bible instructs wives to respect their husbands.  While the husband is instructed to love his wife, the wife is told to respect her husband.  God knows the deepest needs in each spouse.  A man longs to be respected.  Many men try to gain that respect through the wrong channel, and it creates frustration and dissatisfaction.  Men often try to gain their respect through success.  They work hard to make their way to the top of the corporate ladder only to discover that, when they get there, it was leaning against the wrong building all along.  Solomon talked about that in Ecclesiastes.  When he reached the top and achieved it all, he said, “But when I turned to look at all that I had accomplished and all the hard work I had put into it, I saw that it was all pointless. {It was like} trying to catch the wind. I gained nothing {from any of my accomplishments} under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:11 (GW) I call this death by success!  While there are some men who bottom-out, there are even more who top-out.  The respect men desire will never ultimately come from success.  As great as it is to be successful in business, real respect, self-respect, comes from significance.  A man must find his significance in who he is, not in what he does!  This is why every man needs Christ.  When Christ is our life, we discover significance and life takes on meaning and purpose for us!  We are designed to be inhabited by God.  Apart from Him, our lives are dysfunctional because we were created in His image and after His likeness.  The Bible puts it like this in 2 Corinthians 5:17.“When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!” Have you been struggling to find respect through success and still feel empty inside?  Open your heart to Christ, and receive His life and forgiveness of sin.  In Christ, you will discover your significance and real purpose.  Don’t make the mistake Jesus warned about in Mark 8:36-37 (NKJV), “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  Choose significance over success. Don’t lose your soul.