As many of you know, yesterday I took a vacation day and relaxed. Since my husband is traveling on business this week, I decided to spend part of my evening bumming around the local bookstore near my home. I selected two or three books, and proceeded with my usual routine by heading over to the nearby café for a cup of coffee. After ordering my beverage, I began to scope out the biggest, deepest chair around, but none were available. So instead, I ended up selecting a small table in the corner. There, I sat with my yummy drink and began to peruse my selections.
While enjoying this quiet time alone, I noticed that a few men had come into the café and began pushing several of the nearby tables together. As time progressed, more and more men arrived and joined in the gathering. With every new debut, the established group that was already seated would welcome the new person by name in a unified chorus... "Ed-waaard!".... "Joe-seeeph!"..... "Matt-theeeew!".... an so on. It seemed like this macho sport of two syllabled name singing was a regular activity for these guys. While their numbers grew, their need for more tables and chairs also grew. Soon, there were about 15 men huddled around 4-5 tables. Their ages ranged from young singles to old retirees. However, despite their vast age differences, these men were clearly happy to see one another and be together. While waiting for everyone to show up, they talked sports, women, sports, music, sports, technology, sports, cars, sports, work, sport and.. hmmm, what else.... oh yes, SPORTS! (What is it with men and sports?)
As I sat back and half read/half listened to these cheerful fellows, I realized this was no ordinary group of men. These men openly loved the Lord and were meeting for their weekly Bible Study together. Soon, their conversations changed to topics such as service, evangelism, church, family, faith and Jesus. How wonderful! Don't you just love godly men!? What a blessing that these simple blue jeans and t-shirt wearing "dudes" were actually taking time out mid-week to just hang out, check in with each other and chat about the Lord and their lives. Considering the lechery, greed, vulgarity and overall wickedness out there, it was truly refreshing to see a group of real men meeting openly and comfortably in a public setting to talk and support one another toward living a holy life.
Of course, once I realized they were their to discuss the things of the Lord, I couldn't help but listen in on their discussion. Suddenly, I felt like a special agent... listening in on behalf of all women out there. What secrets would I learn? What mysteries awaited? Interestingly enough, the topic they threw on the table could have been one of DW's topics. Here is the question they discussed... "What is one thing that you have been putting before God in your life?" In short, their impromptu answers broke down into four categories: (1) A powerful desire to have a family... this was from the singles in the group; (2) To be the best at work and to be successful; (3) Lust... this was a big, BIG issue and they discussed it for some time; and lastly, (4) Those who were married said that they had ongoing challenges putting their wives before God.
The gentleman in charge of the group encouraged each person to consider that the Lord must be the first love of their life. They resolved together in prayer to bring their matters before God. Then, they read Psalm 139:23 & 24... "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Lastly, their facilitator discussed how they should approach God when issues arise. He wanted them to consider when they cry out to the Lord, do they ask, "Why God?" or "How God?" His point was that they should make an effort to surrender more of the "whys" over to God. Rather, they should be more concerned in asking God "how" to proceed. He noted that when you ask "why" to the Lord, you are blaming Him or doubting His intentions. When you ask "how" to God, you are requesting guidance and instruction from your Teacher. I couldn't agree more.
Finally, they ended by talking about how every day is a new day to "live for what is up there rather than what is down here." (Sounds similiar to DW, doesn't it? WOO HOO! This is the day!!!)
So, why am I sharing this with you, ladies? I have to admit, the encounter of being a "fly on the wall" to such a meeting made me revisit how I could better support the men in my own life. How could I encourage them to further seek God and live a pleasing life for Him? It made me wonder what more I could do as a wife, sister, friend... woman... to further respect and help these warriors of the faith while they strive to be leaders in a lost world filled with sinful distractions. For me, this was a terrific reminder and wake-up call. Especially as a wife, I realized that I must make sure that I am not so demanding of my husband that His focus turns into pleasing my interests over serving God. For those single, it made me understand that there are men equally longing for a wife and family but are waiting and praying for that special someone who loves the Lord with all their heart. Regarding modesty, I was reminded how difficult it is for men to take the high road and avoid sinning when everything around them is sexually suggestive and aggressively available. And with regard to leadership, I know that every man needs to feel like they are valuable and successful in their work. They need to lead. They need to fight the good fight.
Ladies, today I would like to ask each DW to consider the godly men in your lives. How can you love and respect them better? How can you lift them up? How can you help them become strong leaders? Rather than finding ways to tear down, complain, overpower and place selfish demands or blame on your husbands, co-workers, friends, brothers, etc.... how can you build up their confidence and pray for them? Today, I'd like to ask you to focus on the value of our godly men and think about how you can encourage them to be honorable and courageous in their walk. Praise God for such men.
To all the real men... the godly men out there... WE SUPPORT YOU! Thank you for continually striving to be the leaders God has called you to be!!!