Thursday, July 28, 2005

I've never seen the TV show, and based on what I've read about its moral content, I don't plan to see the show. But there's no denying it has skyrocketed to being a hit from its very first season. Maybe, in part, because so many women can relate to its provocative title, "Desperate Housewives." There are more than a few of those.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why There are Desperate Housewives."

Proverbs 31 in the Bible presents God's idea of an awesome woman. She's not a desperate housewife. In fact, she's a wife who's strong, secure and satisfied. She's really making a difference for her family and her community. And one of the big reasons she's this kind of woman is revealed in our word for today from the Word of God in Proverbs 31:23-24. The Bible says: "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." Here's what he tells her: "'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.'"

No wonder this is God's "Wonder Woman." She's married to a man who makes her feel wonderful! I'm guessing the reason her children praise her is because they've heard their dad treat mom that way. If we look at this from the flip side, we could surmise that one reason some wives are desperate or discouraged or negative is a husband who is failing them in his most basic responsibility - to be a provider. Yes, he's supposed to supply for his wife materially, but that's the easy part. What a woman needs most from her man is Triple-A treatment: meeting her need for affection, for attention, for affirmation.

So each of us married men should be giving ourselves a little three-question test about how we're treating our wife. First, am I loving her in the ways that make her feel loved? Secondly, am I offering her my exclusive attention on a regular basis? Thirdly, am I building her confidence by frequently praising her for specific strengths I see in her? The man who can answer "yes" to those questions is really a man - a provider for his woman's greatest needs.

Ephesians 5 lays out a beautiful picture of how a husband and wife are to love and support each other. In the verses that precede that marriage blueprint, God says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building others up" ( Ephesians 4:29). For Husbanding 101, this means lose the comments that tear your bride down - critical comments, insults, putdowns.

Then, Ephesians 5:1 tells us to "live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us." That's love demonstrated, not just with words, flowers and cards - although those aren't bad ideas - but with sacrifice. Pitching in to help her when you're really tired, listening to her heart when you're all listened out, and putting her needs ahead of yours. God reaffirms that a few verses later when He says, "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.

One day at an altar, you pledged to cherish and protect and love and care for the woman you were marrying, and she believed you. God was there as a witness, and He believed you. He entrusted her life into your hands. She entrusted her life and her happiness into your hands. The most manly thing you'll ever do is to keep those promises - provide for her deepest needs. She won't be a desperate housewife. She will be a woman who knows that she's safe, knows she's treasured, and knows she's loved. And she'll live like it because of a husband who was, in God's eyes and her eyes, a real man.