Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Men love stories. I had breakfast recently with a brother in Christ. Our purpose for meeting was to further study the subject of salvation and to clarify some teaching that confused him. We started our meeting at 6:25. Soon the stories were flowing. Stories of bow hunting, fishing and golfing. It wasn’t until 7:10, after the food had been eaten, that we got down to the real business of the day.
Stories captivate the hearts of men, so I have a story for you that will help bring to light the truth of yesterday’s admonition to husbands to be considerate and respectful of their wives. The story comes from Howard Hendricks, preacher and professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.
“We had one of the Dallas Cowboys come to Christ a few years back. What a testimony! He came to me one day and said, ‘Howie, I’m going out to Thousand Oaks for the training camp and need an assignment.’ I said, ‘Okay. I want you to read the Book of Ephesians.’
“The Book of Ephesians.”
“How you spell it?”
“Have you found Matthew?”
“Yeah, yeah,” he said, “I got it right here in the front.”
“Okay, find Matthew, go right, and you’ll run into it.”
“I found out later he read the Book of Ephesians six times, every single day. When he came back he called me up and said, ‘Hendricks, I’ve got to get together with you. You know that assignment you gave me?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Man,’ he said, ‘it blew my mind! That’s a wipe out.’ I said, ‘Okay. Come on over.’
“So he comes over, he opens the book, and says, ‘Here … here it is right here! Here: ‘Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church.’ Whooo!’ he said. ‘That’s impossible!’
“I said, ‘Fantastic, man! You have made the greatest discovery in your Christian life, and that is that the Christian life is not difficult; it’s impossible. Let me ask you a question. What does your wife do that you appreciate?’
“In typical male fashion, he says, “Oh, lots of things.” “Well,” I said “name one.” “Well,” he said, “for example, she’s a good cook.” I said, “Great. That’s your assignment. I want you to go home and tell her how much you appreciate her cooking.” “Oh, man,” he said, “I—I couldn’t do that. That’d take a miracle.” I said, “Great. That’s what God specializes in.” “Well,” he said, “we’d better pray about that.”
“We got down. I’ll never forget this guy’s prayer, “Oh, God, you’ve got a rough assignment here.” Then—you know, the Lord’s so beautiful—the guy gets up from his knees and goes home. His wife knocked out the best meal he’d ever seen: six courses, beautifully spread table, candlelight, the works.
“I said, ‘How’d you enjoy the meal?’ ‘Aw,’ he said, ‘it was horrible.’ ‘Why? What’s the matter?’ ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘I just sat there saying ‘God, you gotta do it.’ ‘Well,’ I said, ‘what happened?’ He said, ‘Well, finally the Lord encouraged me, and I got up and I ran around to the other side, and I grabbed her. She went as white as the tablecloth. I really think she thought I was gonna clip her. I lifted her up so that I could talk to her eyeball to eyeball, and I said, Woman, that was wonderful! And I knew we were off the ground.’
“He gave his testimony last Friday in Dallas. It just blew the minds of the guys. He said, ‘Man, I want you to know that I was the most yellow man in America behind a closed door. I’ll take on anybody in the NFL. It usually takes two or three in the pits. But you put me behind a closed door, and I’m yellow.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus Christ came into my life. How do I know it’s real? I’ll tell you. He took a self-centered, great-big football stud like me, who had all of his life revolving around him, and he began to deliver me from myself.’
Start today to get delivered from yourself, so you can truly care about your wife. She is your equal heir in life.