4 more reasons I’m glad I read a book for men

Yesterday I shared a couple of the things I learned from reading The Real Win.  Here are four more thoughts triggered by the book:

3. Men’s sins reveal women’s sins.

There’s a section of the book where Matt and Colt walk through some specific sin struggles that men sometimes face.  As I was reading them I found it pretty hard not to mentally scribble the names of men I know in the margins.

Turns out, reading about the struggles of men managed to highlight for me one of the major struggles of women: comparison.

You know what’s sick?  I think hearing about the way men sin somehow feels like it lets me off the hook – as if my sin is only a result of their sin.  Actually, let’s shift that – I don’t just let myself off the hook – I actually make myself a victim.  I actually start to feel sorry for myself, as if all my sins are nothing more than the result of the ways men have failed me.

I deeply value being a woman – no,  being a christian – who knows that I am the problem with this world.  I wonder what it would look like if I considered all the ways that my sins might have nurtured and promoted sin in men, instead of vice versa.

How has my sin of neediness and over-dependence contributed to the struggle of emotional and spiritual absence in the men in my life?  How has my sin of judgement led to a culture where men struggle to be honest about their sin?

4. Men are called to love women as Christ loved the church, not BE Christ for their wives.

I love the way Matt and Colt charge husbands to love their wives in accordance to the example Christ sets in His pursuit of the Church.

I love that.  You know what I don’t love though?  The way women hear that gracious command of God to their husbands, and somehow form the conclusion that their obedience is contingent on their husband’s faithfulness.

We have made commands like respect, submission, love dependent on the character and faithfulness of other human beings, instead of dependent on the character and faithfulness of God.

Wives: you do need to be loved and pursued.  You will be unable to live in obedience if you don’t have that.  But you have 100% of the love you need in Jesus Christ.  

You know how I know that?  Because I don’t have a husband and still you (and He) expect me to walk in obedience.  You and He tell me I have everything I need.

5.  Are we reflecting Christ to others?

I want to just type out the whole chapter of the book that deals with the distinction between temptation and sin, but I don’t need arthritis at age 40 so, just go ahead and grab a copy of the book. 

The guys painted such a clear picture of our compassionate Savior who stands ready to meet us with grace and help when we struggle.  It got me thinking: how many husbands get that reflection of Christ in the response of their wives?  How many face temptation to look at a woman or porn, and think – ‘second to Jesus, my wife would be the safest person to talk to about this’?

Man.  I’m praying to be a woman who responds to the struggles of ANYONE around me with the compassion of a sister who knows first hand the pull of temptation and the relief of grace.

Wives, you are married so that you can help your husband with his struggles., not judge him or condemn him.

He has a judge already.

He has an accuser already.

Be the person who reflects to him the compassion of Jesus.

6. The real win is not determined by avoiding failure.

There’s a whole chapter in the real win that is devoted to one of the most important messages this world needs to hear:

“winning God’s way does not have to be over for us when we’ve made a mistake”

I think that thought might be one of the biggest take aways from the whole book, and I love that because I think it’s actually one of the biggest messages of the Bible.

Biblically speaking – the biggest win of your life begins with acknowledging your failure – not avoiding it. There is something far deadlier around the corner than failing to live up to God’s moral law – and that’s believing that we have it all together because we follow the law.

Here’s the truth: I’m thankful my pastor can catch a bird with his bare hands.

But, more than that, I cannot believe how sweet God has been to bring me to a church in this crazy climate to work for a man who has the courage to say that he has failed and will fail, and yet he will bank everything on the promise that Christ never fails.

Amen.

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