January 28, 2020
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It was one of those days I stopped by our local post office - sort of notorious there I guess. Not because my picture was on a poster there, but because I kid around with the workers a lot. I wasn't kidding them when I complimented them on their new uniforms. They had just at that point premiered a redesigned uniform, and I actually noticed. One of the women there seemed pleasantly surprised. I said, "Can you believe it? An observant male!" She smiled and said, "I thought that was an oxymoron." Oh boy! Unfortunately, it would be all too many times.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "What a Man Can't Afford to Miss."
Okay, it's true that men are not always the most observant people. We miss a lot of things that we should notice. There are some things we can't afford to miss; especially in the woman we've pledged our life to - the woman we promised to love, to protect, to honor, to put first.
Our word for today from the Word of God doesn't mention a man and his wife, but it promotes a principle that is fundamental to a strong and lasting marriage. It's in the Book of Proverbs. I love to come back to this verse. It's in Proverbs 27:23 - gives this warning: "Be sure you know the condition of your flocks; give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations." Principle: if a man doesn't stay in touch with what's valuable to him, he'll lose what's valuable to him. Let's try this application: "Be sure you know the condition of your wife; give careful attention to the woman in your life."
So often the man is the last to know how badly his wife is hurting. He seems to be the last to know that his marriage is in trouble. Maybe it's because a lot of us have the tendency to ignore warning signs in a relationship; to postpone dealing with those difficult issues; to minimize what doesn't seem that important to us; to deny what we don't want to face. Those tendencies to be an ignorer, a postponer, a minimizer, a denier; these tendencies can cause a man to miss things that are slowly destroying the one he loves most.
So when it comes to your marriage, you can't afford to not know the condition of your wife. There's no excuse for neglecting being that kind of observer. But you have to take time - the thing you have the least of - to hear not only her words, but to hear her heart. Because men are bottom-liners, we get impatient with a lot of detail, right? And it helps if a woman can give us an edited version or at least let us know where all this is going! But if you have to listen a lot to get to what's in your wife's heart, then that is her language of love. You have to allow time in your life on a regular basis to hear what she cares about, what's hurting her, what she needs, and what she sees that you might be missing.
It's all part of being the kind of man God describes in 1 Peter 3:7 - "Husbands, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect." That includes being attentive to this most important person in your world.
At our wedding I prayed something that I haven't always done, but it should be every husband's commitment. Here's what the prayer said, "Lord, may Your voice always be the most important in heaven, and my wife's the most important on earth."