The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua: “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among those standing here.”
In case you didn’t know, I used to be a pastor, so I apologize if the preacher in me comes out once in awhile. Don’t worry. If you come to see me in therapy, I’m not going to beat you up with my faith. It guides the advice I give. I might mention, for example, that if you, ah, continue in your affair, your life will be a life of chaos. But you certainly don’t have to a Christian to believe that.
In the verses for today, I’m taking great liberties in applying it to marriage. I’m not going to parse the verbs and discuss this vision of Zechariah and all the historical nuances and prophetic mysteries. I’ll leave that for better biblical interpreters than me. There is a broader principal behind the words that I’d like us to think about: namely, that
if you don’t live a consistent, upright life, you don’t deserve to lead.
This is important for me because every day I have people coming to see me because their lives are in chaos from affairs or whatever else and they are wanting a road map back to some civility, at minimum, and maybe a signpost or billboard showing them the turnoff for a little peace of mind.
Since we live in such an immoral, god-denuding society, folk are indulging in all kinds of darkness and it seems attractive and alluring because the smiles are pretty and the hair’s just right and confidence outstanding, but we’re looking at and long for mostly a façade and in the end it doesn’t deliver.
What made me think of this topic today is when I read the verse above I immediately thought of all the wives and girlfriends who tell me about the key men in their lives and too many of these women are really tempted to dump these guys, not because these women happen to be selfish, self-absorbed beeeaches, but because these guys’ lives are totally degenerate and wastiing their time as if their total goal in life is to see how much misery they can bring into their sphere of influence. Don’t get me wrong. There are no shortage of selfish, self-absorbed beeaches. But what catches my eye are the men that are unbelievably unrespectable.
Now the Bible does say somewhere else that wives are to respect their husbands and I’m guessing, on average, the typical wife would just love to respect hers. But how are you supposed to respect your husband if he:
-spends all night sitting on the couch and not lifting a finger
-works at his job and never called or came home
-drank like a fish and acts all put out and testy if she comments on it
-is happy to help the neighbor work on his deck but can’t find a minute to fix his own leaky faucet
-complains about the house being a mess but leaves his crap all over
-yells at the kids for yelling
-comes to bed smelling like he’d been napping all afternoon in a dog kennel
-leaves his dirty underwear all over
-dresses like he absolutely thinks of himself as a total loser
-his hobbies consist of watching TV, doing porn on the internet or playing video games, drinking beer and belching (Wow! What a way to get your motor running!!!)
-got all mad whenever you asked him to help with the kids or to take out the trash or could you pick up some milk or did you remember to mail the Visa payment or you say “turn here” or you wonder about his day or ask if, maybe, once in awhile, you could, you know, take me out for a date or something that you actually planned and thought about and got excited to do and made an effort to show me that you actually liked me and wanted to spend time with me or told me about your problems once in awhile or asked for my input or told me about the frustration you had with your boss that day and what does your boss think when you said that and how could he treat people that way and expect them to actually want to do their job, but, NO, he doesn’t want to bring work home with him so you don’t have a clue what’s going on at his work so he appears to you as aloof and indifferent and arrogant and self-sufficient and thinks why would I need a wife except to clean the house, mind the kids, pay the bills and, you know, a-hem…
Gee, guys, come on. Grow up already. Set an example for your wife and kids. Be respectable. Make them proud. Stand tall. Bend your knee to a proper LORD (like, ahh…not yourself). Earn the right to lead your family. Come home when you say you are going to come home. Call if you can’t come home when you thought. Ask your wife what’s going on with her. Actually listen. Ask her some questions about it. (Really? No way? I can’t believe that.). Tell her about your stupid boss or coworkers or clients or venders. If you are in a bad mood say, “Hey, Honey, if I’m coming across a little crabby it’s cuz of this thing at work that’s really bugging me.” Memorize that statement. Then tell her what it is that’s bugging you. Really. She can handle it. She’s a big girl. Ask HER out for a date that you actually plan. Pick up your crap. Pick up her crap. Don’t complain about picking up her crap. Help without being asked. Turn off the TV or the computer. Hold her hand in the car or while you sit on the couch or when you walk together in the Mall. Actually take her to the Mall. Enjoy your time at the Mall. Help her pick out some stuff. Give her your opinion. Fix dinner. Do the dishes. Ask Junior what’s up. Take Sally to McDonalds and find out what she’s thinking about, dreaming about, how her friends are doing, does she have any worries? Be in a good mood. Tease your wife and kids…gently. Don’t be mean. Find things to compliment her and the kids about. Go to bed with your wife…but clean up first. Really. This is a big deal. If you don’t believe me, ask her. Cuddle with her. Without sex. You know. Just lay there. Don’t try to get anyone’s motor running. Ask her what’s up. Read a good book. Get rid of the porn. Take her out to breakfast on Saturday morning. Every Saturday morning. Talk about your week. Ask her about hers. Read the paper. Chat about the news and sports. Talk about how the kids are doing. Go over your bills. Really: The one’s that are due, the one’s coming up. Are we saving enough for this? Are we paying this off fast enough? What do you think? That’s a good idea. Take your family to church. Actually sing. Actually enjoy it. Set an example.
Be a man.
See wife and kids relax.
Enjoy your life.