Friday, 4 September 2020

Man Talk

Scripture: 1 Peter 3 v 7 - 12:  "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 
9  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
10  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
11  Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
12  For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."

This message is for all men, not just husbands.  It's needed because not all men know how to treat women properly and this lockdown time has exposed a pandemic of violence towards women that is worse than serious.

In South Africa alone there have been over 21000 charges laid since March 2020 by women who have been abused, battered, raped, emotionally broken and demeaned.  

Many men in this country are very pampered from  birth by their mothers, producing adult sons who would like this adoration to continue into marriage.  When the status quo changes and they find themselves having to do chores around the house, change the baby, cook a meal, take care of a sick wife, or go without sex because of a teething baby, that they find themselves unequal to the task.

The wife, who has replaced his mother, is being "difficult" in their minds and as resentment grows punishment for this "crime" begins to be meted out.  Some men are born with or acquire a violent streak as teens, and it shows itself when they lose control of a situation and lash out at their wives.

Of course they are always sorry it escalated to that stage and promise it will never happen again.  If we add alcohol into this volatile situation then the loss of control, with violence and fear, continues and a cycle of abuse is put in place.  

As Christians filled with the Holy Spirit we walk in love, joy, peace, patience, self-control and kindness.  But even some Christian men lose the plot and abuse their wives.  Couples therapy can do wonders for a relationship that has been bruised but many men do not want to be counselled believing they can handle this better themselves.  Mostly, this is false.  Mostly, they are embarrassed and want it pushed under the carpet.

John 4 v 13 - 18:  "Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15  The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
16  Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17  The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
18  For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly."

Jesus knows everything about us.  EVERYTHING!  We cannot hide our sins, failures and abuse from Him.  If we pray together and bring Him into our marriage and lay our lives before Him together with our spouse, He will work things out.  He will heal and deliver us from wrong tendencies and restore our souls as He promised, but He needs our full co-operation.

He may send the pair of you to a competent counsellor who will use scripture, prayer and discernment to sort out whatever got twisted and messed up in the marriage.  The first hurdle is always communication.   When there is a major problem the wrong thing to do is not talk for days.

The guilty party must speak out about problems he is having.  If the wife is having problems in the marriage she must not tell everybody she knows on social media, and her mother and sisters.    She must confront the problems with her husband, and if she is afraid, ask her pastor to join the discussion.  

Her pastor will know how deep the problem is and give direction and prayer to the couple.  He will determine if the marriage is too far gone to be mended or whether some intense therapy can save and heal this marriage.

If men are willing to take the challenge and start completely fresh then the lessons to be learned are very powerful and worthwhile.  Somehow, we must start to address GBV and make inroads into solving it so that women will feel secure in their own homes.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, You say woe will come upon those who hurt Your children, that they would wish they rather were thrown into deep oceans with concrete boots on.  We pray that those men doing violence to women and children will repent and mean business with You in making amends and changing for the good.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.