Today is the 99th day of lock down. It so happens that today I have three stories and I’m going to share them from the last to the first. On the radio this afternoon we heard a man’s SMS read as follows: “If all the women died, who would look after us and point us men in the right direction?”
Earlier in the day, around 9.30am, a WhatsApp came through from the street’s WhatsApp group saying, “Does anyone know the reason for all the police vehicles and ambulances in the avenue leading into our street?”
Shortly after this, a policeman living in our street messaged, “I went to investigate. It is a case of domestic violence.”
The last story comes from our brother in Christ, for whom we have been praying, whose wife died in the early hours of this morning. I want to link all these messages together.
In the first story I find a tragic truth coming through. From my experience in our country, very often men abdicate partial rights to the throne. That is, when leadership is too difficult or tough, men leave it to women to sort out the mess, care for the children, deal with monetary affairs, run the home and respond to legal matters. Yet, when it comes to being the boss, living as a king and doing as he pleases … men want to reign.
In the second story I find real tragedy! Our country is riddled with gender-based violence (GBV). This crime (sin) is evident in all sectors of our society. Just picture that the neighbourhood is very quiet and peaceful and suddenly a street is blocked off by many police vehicles and ambulances because of domestic violence. I do not know who is to blame but on the statistical probability, the man (husband, boyfriend, son, uncle) would be the perpetrator. It is terribly sad because GBV has such huge prominence in our country at the present time. Equally sad is the fact that many men become the reason for men in general being labelled as the cause of GBV.
In the third story, which is bitter sweet, our friend died this morning. It’s sweet because she has been delivered from this earthly shell (which includes the dementia she struggled with for many years) and is right now in the presence of her Lord and Saviour, King Jesus. For her, Psalm 116 is so true:
Ps 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
Her death is precious to the Lord because she is in heaven and her death is precious to the Lord because her Saviour’s sacrifice is proved good yet again. The bitter part is for her husband. He loved, supported, cared for, provided for and protected her for over 55 years of marriage. She was his other half. They fulfilled Genesis 2:24:
Ge 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
She was a model wife living in Biblical submission to her husband (Her husband has shown us many verses in her Bible that are underlined … and many apply to her role as a Biblical wife). But then, he, to me and I am sure to the Lord, fulfilled his marital vows to the letter of the law! We have known them for about 26 years and in all that time he has demonstrated his love for her in amazing and practical ways. Nothing was too expensive, too hard, too out of the way to care for her. To me personally he has set the bar high. He has been the example of manhood, a gentleman, a lover, a friend and a husband. After God, his wife was number one in his life … and that is exactly how it ought to be. His life was lived out as her earthly lord and king. So we have a bitter sweet story … and that is exactly how it ought to be.
As you read this note, I need to emphasize the fact again and again that men need examples of Biblical manhood if they are going to fulfil the roles God requires of them. For a man to want personal luxury and satisfaction at the expense of his wife is downright wicked and must be condemned. For a man to raise his hand or his voice to his wife in anger, jealousy or bitterness is equally to be condemned as evil (note there are many other aspects to abuse that must also be condemned). The first two stories will find such men on the wrong side of God, irrespective of how they portray themselves to the greater family, work colleagues and neighbours. It is easy to deceive people … but God is never oblivious to any form of sin … especially against the ‘weaker’ partner:
1Pe 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Modeling Biblical manhood is so crucial because no boy (son, nephew, cousin, friend) will ever know and understand how to behave around, care for and protect women without seeing what God requires of them and without action before their eyes.
Tit 2:6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
Brother, who is your model of a godly man? Friend, are you setting an example for younger men? Do you yourself seek to model against Jesus’ character? If you are a husband or boyfriend, do you treat your wife or girlfriend the way God expects you to? Mothers, are you raising your son to be godly? Young ladies, are you refusing to have anything to do with a man who treats you like dirt? You serve better!
Dear God, thank you for our friend and his example to us. Help us men to treat our wives, daughters, sisters and lady friends in the manner you desire of us. Please help us to protect, love and care for our women. Help us all to pray regularly about these pressing matters. We ask all of this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.