Friday, June 16, 2006

Women, Let Us Pray For Our Men Like This:

1. That all of your life-in whatever calling-be devoted to the glory of God.

2. That the promises of Christ be trusted so fully that peace and joy and strength fill

your soul to overflowing.

3. That this fullness of God overflow in daily acts of love so that people might see

your good deeds and give glory to your Father in Heaven.

4. That you be men of the Book, who love and study and obey the Bible in every area

of its teaching; that meditation on Biblical truth be the source of hope and faith; that you

continue to grow in understanding through all the chapters of your life, never thinking

that study and growth are only for others.

5. That you be men of prayer, so that the Word of God will be opened to you, so the

power of faith and holiness will descend upon you; that your spiritual influence may

increase at home and at church and in the world.

6. That you be men who have a deep grasp of the sovereign grace of God which

undergirds all these spiritual processes; and that you be deep thinkers about the doctrines

of grace, and even deeper lovers of these things.

7. That you be totally committed to ministry, whatever your specific calling; that you

not fritter away your time on excessive sports and recreation or unimportant hobbies or

aimless diddling in the garage; but that you redeem the time for Christ and his Kingdom.

8. That, if you are single, you exploit your singleness to the full in devotion to God

(the way Jesus and Paul and Mary Slessor and Amy Carmichael did) and not be

paralyzed by the desire to be married.

9. That, if you are married, you love your wife the way Christ loved the church and

gave himself for her; that you be a humble, self-denying, upbuilding, happy spiritual

leader; that you consistently grow in grace and knowledge so as never to quench the

aspirations of your wife for spiritual advancement; that you cultivate tenderness and

strength, a pattern of initiative and a listening ear; and that you accept the responsibility

of provision and protection in the family, however you and your wife share the labor.

10. That, if you have children, you accept primary responsibility, in partnership with

your wife (or as a single parent), to raise up children in the discipline and instruction of

the Lord-children who hope in the triumph of God; that you establish a pattern of

teaching and discipline that is not solely dependent on the church or school to impart

Bible knowledge and spiritual values to the children; and that you give your children the

time and attention and affection that communicates the true nature of our Father in


11. That you not assume advancement and peer approval in your gainful employment

are the highest values in life; but that you ponder the eternal significance of faithful

fatherhood and time spent with your wife; that you repeatedly consider the new

possibilities at each stage of your life for maximizing your energies for the glory of God

in ministry; that you pose the question often: Is our family molded by the culture, or do

we embody the values of the Kingdom of God? That you lead the family in making

choices not on the basis of secular trends or upward lifestyle expectations, but on the

basis of what will strengthen the faith of the family and advance the cause of Christ.

12. That you step back and (with your wife, if you are married) plan the various forms

of your life’s ministry in chapters. Chapters are divided by various things-age, strength,

singleness, marriage, employment, children at home, children in college, grandchildren,

retirement, etc. No chapter has all the joys. Finite life is a series of tradeoffs. Finding

God’s will and living for the glory of Christ to the full in every chapter is what makes it a

success, not whether it reads like somebody else’s chapter or whether it has in it what

only another chapter will bring.

13. That you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life

is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the

love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars,

houses, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of

living for Christ with all your might and maximizing your joy in ministry to people’s


14. That in all your relationships with women (not just in marriage) you seek the

guidance of the Holy Spirit in applying the Biblical vision of manhood and womanhood;

that you develop a style and demeanor that expresses your God-given responsibility for

humble strength and leadership, and for self-sacrificing provision and protection; that you

think creatively and with cultural sensitivity (just as she must do) in shaping the style and

setting the tone of your interaction with women.

15. That you see the Biblical guidelines for what is appropriate and inappropriate for

men and women not as license for domination or bossy passivity, but as a call to servant

leadership that thinks in terms of responsibilities not rights; that you see these principles

as wise and gracious prescriptions for how to discover the true freedom of God’s ideal of

complementarity; that you encourage the fruitful engagement of women in the countless

ministry roles that are Biblically appropriate and deeply needed.

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