Relationship 101: ManUP

This week at Grace Church we are starting a brand new series called ‘Relationship 101’. The first week we are looking at ‘ManUP’, which is going to be a very challenging call for men to love like Jesus. The next week, we’ll look at what it means for wives to respect their husbands.

This week’s message is a call for the men of Grace Church to love their wives as Christ has loved the Church. It’s a tall order but by the grace of God we will seek to love with wisdom and courage. Please note, this blog entry is not an attempt to define or argue complementary and egalitarian positions. For more information regarding Grace Church’s stance on this debate please contact www.grace@GraceOK.com.

Well, without further ado, here is PART 1 on practical ways for men to ManUP.

1. Take the Initiative~
• Ask how you can be praying for her and what God is doing in her life…this is an amazing opportunity to hear what God is doing in her heart and it allows you to be a part of this.
• Share what God is doing in your own life. Even if it seems small, share anyways.
• Look for ways to serve together as a family.
• Ask your wife if she’s happy with your marriage and be prepared to take her answer like a man. Then, seek to improve where you can. Don’t get defense. She’s sharing her heart with you. ManUP and do/be better for God and for her.

2. Lead Humbly~
• Ask your wives opinion. See what her perspective is. It’s probably different than yours and will help you communicate and lead more effectively.
• Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I don’t know’. This is an amazing opportunity to lead your family to the throne of grace by saying ‘I don’t know but I trust God does so let’s pray and seek Him.’
• Empower your wife. Don’t withhold or take power from your spouse. She’ll resent you for it. Instead, know her well enough to encourage and challenge her to use and refine her gifts and talents.
• Consider her better and more important than yourself. Take on the role of servant.

3. Serve Faithfully~
• Do the dishes. Take out the trash. Get up with the kids in the middle of the night. Your wife will love and respect you for it because she’ll see your heart and faithfulness. This is more important than sleep, your IPhone or the game on TV. Nothing shows love like laying down your life for another.
• Don’t complain. Do all things with a joyful heart, praising God for the opportunity to bless those who you hold most dear. Or if you can’t do that…just don’t say anything and do it anyways.
• If you say you’re going to do something…do it. Be a man of your word so she can trust you.

4. Provide Diligently
• Work hard. God will honor your integrity and character in providing for your family.
• BUT don’t forget your primary job is to provide spiritually and emotionally. This is essential.
• Keep in mind why you work hard and who you work for. You’re working to bring glory to God and good to others. This attitude will spur her on to love and good works. Lead by example.
• Learn to say no to work and yes to rest. If you don’t have time to rest, cut things out of your budget so you can.
• Give your wife the best part of yourself. Do this by protecting your time with her and prioritizing your life around the things that really matter to you and her.

5. Speak and Live Gently
• Don’t be harsh or critical of your wife. She needs to see you be tough but also tender.
• Build her up don’t tear her down. Use your words to encourage and edify your family. Don’t be sarcastic. They don’t need or deserve it.
• Be careful with your words. Think of it like this…your wife’s spiritual and emotional health is like a bank account. It’s hard to withdraw from this account if you haven’t put anything in it. Lead with your words.
• Don’t ever try to intimidate your wife. A real man is self-controlled and doesn’t need to act like a jerk to gain respect. Love her like Jesus loves the Church and you’ll be respected.

Check out PART 2 on Friday! Men, God is calling you to be a leader in your household and by His grace He will empower you to do it!