Thursday, December 1, 2016
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There's this poignant scene from the epic novel and movie, "Grapes of Wrath". You might remember that's John Steinbeck's story about families that were living in the Depression-era in the Dust Bowl of mid-America, and that's a time when lives and families were changed forever. Huge dust storms were wiping out the life's work of a lot of farmers. In this one scene, an Oklahoma farm family has gathered in front of their house to watch the approach of this massive, foreboding dust storm. The working men in the family are looking toward the horizon, no doubt wondering what this storm is going to do to their world. The children are hanging onto their parents' knees, and their eyes are on the horizon, too. But not the women. No, the women are watching only their men's faces. What they need to know is there.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Women Watching Their Men."
That scene actually is a pretty revealing picture of where a wife's sense of security and well-being is supposed to lie – in the man she married. In fact, our word for today from the Word of God in Proverbs 14:26 describes the home of a real man this way: "He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge." Wow! A secure fortress – that's the kind of environment a man should provide for his wife and for his children.
God seems to have designed the home in such a way that the man is the thermostat – his marriage and his home reflect whatever climate he sets. That climate can be peaceful or stressful, it can be affectionate or cold, it can be communicating or just silent and disconnected. I mean, a man could be setting a climate that's sort of harsh, or it could be selfish or it could be unselfish, positive or negative. The woman seems to be the thermometer of the family, reflecting the temperature that's set by her thermostatic man. And I guess you might say that the children are the seismograph who register every disturbance.
When Eve ate the forbidden fruit, do you notice who God came looking for? He came looking for Adam, because it was the man God that held accountable for the condition of that first family. When Sarah laughed at God's promise of a son in her old age, God didn't come looking for Sarah. He came looking for Abraham and He confronted him about her unbelief. The buck stops with the man. Guys, it's us!
In our wedding ceremony, I asked God to help me be for my Karen – and these are the words we used – "the harbor for which the heart of woman truly longs". I don't think I always was that harbor, but I knew that that is what God expected of me and what I needed to try to be more and more.
You know, it's hard for a woman to feel secure in her husband's love when he doesn't even take time to listen to her heart, when he often criticizes her, when he seldom praises her, when he speaks harsh words to her in anger that he forgets and she can never forget. It's hard for her to trust him when his eyes keep wandering, when he doesn't seem to value what she does. A man has incredible power to build a woman up or to tear her down.
And she has every right to expect what God expects – that the man will be the spiritual leader in his home; leading them to pray, leading them to consult God's Word, leading them into godly choices.
The man may be scanning the horizon, weighing what he needs to do. But if you're married, your wife is looking at you to decide whether she's safe or not. See, you're her horizon. Don't let her down.