Best Gifts for HusbandsJanuary 16, 2015
What are some of the greatest gifts a wife can give her husband? Crawford Loritts shares some of the most important things a husband needs from his wife.
What are some of the greatest gifts a wife can give her husband? Crawford Loritts shares some of the most important things a husband needs from his wife.
Bob: Dr. Crawford Loritts believes that most of us are thinking way too small when it comes to our ideas about marriage.
Crawford: One of the great problems in our marriages today is that we’re too terribly pragmatic, and we’re not noble enough. I know that’s a word that’s not used often, but we’ve lost the nobility of commitment and the nobility of sacrifice. So here’s the principle: The richness of your marriage is in direct proportion to the sacrifices that you make for one another.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, January 16th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. Dr. Crawford Loritts joins us today to help us lift our sights / lift our eyes when it comes to our own marriages. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Friday edition. I have to tell you—when I first heard Crawford Loritts say what we just heard him say, I tweeted it. I got out my phone and I just said, “People need to hear that—‘The richness of your marriage is in direct proportion to the sacrifice that you’re willing to make.’”
Dennis: And I elbowed Barbara. [Laughter]
Bob: How’d that work for you? [Laughter]
Dennis: No, I’m kidding. I really didn’t, but you know what? It was a powerful moment at one of our I Still Do®events, back last fall. It’s a sampling of the kind of material—themes/issues we deal with at the Weekend to Remember®. We’ve been doing these conferences—I have no idea how many thousands of these events we have done. We’ve trained right at or over three million people at our live events over the years, but the Weekend to Remember has really been the capstone of, I think, the very finest training you can get, that’s based on the Scriptures, that equips your marriage / your family to go the distance today—
—and to really have a romantic, fun-filled weekend experience with your spouse.
Bob: We’re going to be hearing Part Two of a message from Crawford Loritts from the I Still Do event we held last fall, as you said. But one of the reasons we’re talking about the Weekend to Remember right now is because Crawford and Karen are one of the couples who speak at our Weekend to Remember marriage getaways. We’ll be hosting more than 60 of these two-and-a-half-day events this spring in cities all across the country.
You and your spouse can get away for a fun romantic getaway—two-and-a-half days—at a Weekend to Remember marriage getaway. If you’ll go ahead and sign up now, you pay the regular registration rate for yourself and your spouse comes free. This is a special offer we’re making this week and next week. So, if you want to take advantage of this, you need to get in touch with us. Go to WeekendtoRemember.com and register online, or call 1-800-FL-TODAY to get any questions you have answered.
Find out about dates and locations, and then sign up to be at one of the Weekend to Remember marriage getaways. Take advantage of the special buy one/get one free offer going on right now.
Dennis: I have to tell you—if you’re looking for a great wedding gift, give this as a wedding gift to a couple that you really love—granted, that’s a nice gift—but there are a lot of weddings taking place today, Bob, where the couples have a marriage license, that’s signed, but they don’t have the foggiest idea how to turn that license into a real, authentic marriage that’s vibrant / that lives out God’s purposes and nobility for a lifetime. The Weekend to Remember can help them do that.
Bob: Again, find out more and take advantage of the special offer at WeekendtoRemember.com. As we said, we’re going to hear today Part Two of a message from one of the couples who speak at the Weekend to Remember marriage getaway, Crawford and Karen Loritts. Crawford is the senior pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia.
He’s a well-known author. He and Karen have spoken all around the country. We’ve already heard, this week, as Karen has outlined seven gifts a husband can give to his wife. Today, Crawford is going to talk about seven gifts every wife can give to her husband.
Crawford: Ladies, there are some gifts that you can give to your husband as well, and I’ve listed seven. Part of the problem of always having lists—these lists are not necessarily conclusive. But as Karen shared the seven gifts, guys, that you can give to your wife and I’m sharing the seven gifts, ladies, you can give to your husband—these are some pillars and avenues. Consider them all, as well, as avenues of growth.
The first gift, ladies, you can give to your husband—and Karen mentioned that this is the gift that the husband needs to give to his wife—it’s the same one—and that is the gift of godliness.
Now I don’t want to assume the obvious here. My view is that most of us here are probably followers of Jesus, but one of the problems that we have is that we move toward the practical stuff and forget that the greatest gift that we bring to any relationship that we ever will have is our relationship with Jesus Christ. That is the greatest gift that we give—it is the godliness that shapes the future / it is the godliness that will shape that marriage. You can have all the principles in the world; but if you don’t have the power of God, operative in your heart and life, transforming you, you are doomed to a hopeless, frustrated legalism. [Applause]
I can’t stress that enough—it’s the reality of God’s work in your heart and life that is the greatest gift you can ever give to your husband, your children, and all your relationships. Romans 12:1 and 2—the Apostle Paul says:
“I urge you, therefore, brothers, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It is a visible demonstration of the transforming work of Christ in your life that brings hope, and integrity, and flavor, and substance to your family.
We have four children. Two of our sons are in ministry today. Most people think that our two boys are pastors today and our daughters are following Jesus because of my influence. But I have to tell you—if you talk to my sons, what they would say more is this—that every morning that they would wake up, they would see their mother, Karen, at the kitchen table with a cup of tea, her open Bible, and her prayer journal. And both of them say that influence just drilled something in their hearts and lives.
So the very first gift that we bring to our household, which really is the centerpiece of everything that we are, is our own personal godliness.
The second gift that we bring—that you can give to your husbands, ladies, is the gift of what I call unrivaled priority—unrivaled priority. The grand vision for a marriage is found in Genesis 2:24-25—that whole line that says, in verse 24, that “a man and woman shall leave mother and father, cleave to themselves, and become one flesh.” There is no other relationship in life that should ever trespass / ambush, in any way, the priority of that man in your life—zero/none!
Your children are not more important than your marriage. Your mother and your father are not more important than your marriage. Your job certainly is not more important than your marriage. We’ve got to stop importing idols into the relationship and realize that that person is number one in my heart and life.
Never let another man or interest occupy the heart or emotional space which you committed to your husband—that is the vision of marriage. I can’t tell you, as a pastor, how I see the busyness of our culture cratering and cannibalizing otherwise wholesome marriages.
What they end up doing is negotiating a peace, within the household, but neither one of them are priorities to one another. The reality is—dollars are, and square footage is, and private school is, and other stuff and things represent that. To live out the vision of marriage means that I’m committed to this person and they are number one in my life—they come right behind Jesus—the gift of unrivaled priority.
The third gift that we give is the gift of respect.
There is this incredible line in 1 Peter 3—Peter is talking to wives. He says to them in
1 Peter 3:1: “Likewise, wives be subject to your own husbands so that even if some do not obey the Word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”
Now, to be sure, everybody needs respect. That’s not just unique to men, but men particularly need to be respected. We’re living in a culture where men are hellaciously disrespected. We’re portrayed as jerks and buffoons on most sitcoms, as something a little bit less than an idiot. We need to know that there’s a place where we can go where we’re not going to be dogged out / we’re not going to be put down—not going to be told how inadequate we are.
So, ladies, you need to honor your husband for his assigned place, in God’s order and in your life and in your home. Don’t ever embarrass him or demean him. Ladies, I don’t mean this to be cute—you may have married an idiot, but he’s your idiot. [Laughter] Respect him—respect him for his position and don’t dog him out.
The fourth gift that we give is the gift of support—support. In fact, I want to read
Titus 2:4-5. There are three gifts lodged in this text alone, but let me just read these words in Titus 2:4-5. Pick it up in verse 3—it says: “Older women, likewise, ought to be reverent in behavior, not slanderous or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled.”
Here, the Apostle Paul says some pretty strong words. He says biblical Christianity is discredited or it is enhanced based upon how a wife treats her husband—those are pretty strong words. I’d like to extract the next three gifts here from this passage. The first implication is that—and this happens to be the fourth gift—the gift of support—support. What do I mean by that? Well, there is one person in the world who is with him, and that’s you—that’s you.
There’s one person in the world that, no matter what happens, is with him.
I love the Rocky movies. They have never won any Academy Awards and never will, but I love them. They keep making them. Rocky’s going to be fighting at 97, but—[Laughter] —one of my favorite ones is Rocky IV, when he fights Ivan Drago. Drago has just killed Rocky’s buddy in the ring. Rocky’s wife, Adrian, thinks he’s absolutely nuts going over to Russia to fight this beast of a man. They have this argument, and Rocky is over there and the training is only going so-so. He is running around in snow and picking up big boulders, and it’s only going so-so.
Well, one day, as you know, he comes back from this long run in the snow. There, standing in front of the cabin, is Adrian. All of a sudden, the wind is behind him.
I’ve gone on record to say this to a bunch of people—I’ve said this to the leaders of our church, I’ve said this to my staff, I’ve said it to a bunch of people—I am married to two people, Jesus and Karen. As long as those two are with me, I believe I’m going to be alright—I’m going to be alright. [Applause]
But you have to give them—and by support—I’m not talking about blind allegiance, I’m not talking about you don’t tell them the truth, I’m not talking about you don’t give them constructive criticism—but he’s got to know that you’re in the foxhole with him, and you ain’t one of the ones shooting at him. [Laughter/Applause]
The fifth gift that we give, that is associated with the fourth, is that of encouragement, meaning that you are his constant cheerleader. Encouragement is transformative / it is powerful. You’re married to a man, perhaps, that has a job where he’s always being critiqued or evaluated on how things are going and this kind of thing. People are taking a pound of flesh out of him, but he needs to be able to come home and realize that he has a cheerleader on the other side of that door.
He has somebody who is not withdrawing more than they are depositing in his life. He needs to come on the other side of the door and realize he can put his guard down / that he’s not going to be critiqued when he walks in the house. He’s not going to be told how deficient he is or how much more he needs to improve. That’s not to say that criticism can be very encouraging, if it’s taken the right way, but he needs someone who’s going to put wind in his sails.
One of the things I love about Karen is that—often when I go out of the country or almost all the time when I go out of the country and I open up my suitcase—there are notes from her, putting wind in my sails. I think every single day—and this goes for husbands as well—we ought to make it a habit/a discipline, every single day, to figure out: “How I can encourage my spouse? What can I say / what can I do to lighten her load? What can you say and what can you do to lighten his load?”
The sixth gift is the gift of loyalty—loyalty. Again, that’s extracted from the implications of Titus 2:4-5. Once again, the point here is that there’s no question as to your primary allegiance and whose team you’re on—you’re loyal.
You don’t ever put him in a bad light / you don’t ever let people run him down in your presence. You just don’t do that.
I remember—a number of years ago, when I was with another organization, Karen was helping to do something—a special project. There was a young man on my team who didn’t like what Karen was doing or how she was approaching it. He came to my office and said, “Crawford, I have a problem with Karen.” I said: “Time, Jack—time out. You might want to rephrase that. I think I may know what you’re saying—you’re having a problem with something that she did, but here’s what I need you to understand. If you have a problem with Karen, you have a problem with me. [Applause] I know that might sound a tad bit defensive to you, but we are a package deal.” Loyalty is terribly, terribly important.
Again, as I said earlier, it’s not necessarily blind allegiance—
—that’s stupidity. Love tells the truth; but loyalty says, “I am with you.” Karen’s commitment to me has been remarkable. We’ve moved from Philadelphia to Dallas, Texas; to Atlanta, Georgia. We have been with Campus Crusade for Christ for 27 years. I made a huge decision, nine years ago, to become the senior pastor of a church. And the only thing this woman has ever said to me is, “Crawford, if you believe that this is what God wants us to do, I’m with you, no matter what that is,”—loyalty. [Applause]
And the seventh gift is the gift of confidentiality—confidentiality. There’s a little telling insight over here in Proverbs, Chapter 31, verses11 and 12. This is the woman who fears the Lord—the virtuous woman we have called her.
The line goes like this—verse 11: “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will not have lack of gain. She does him good and not harm all the days of her life.” The heart of her husband trusts in her. You know, the fastest way to destroy trust is to betray confidences. Protect your business and don’t make it anybody else’s business. Be careful of getting around groups where you’re venting all of your stuff and your issues in your marriage.
Now, there are places in which that is highly appropriate—and I’m not talking about that—where you do need a third party / you do need some intervention. It might be that way. But I’m talking about the ability to be at home with one another and to have open, transparent conversations with each other.
You know that that is not going anywhere unless one or the other gives permission for it to go someplace. Discuss what is sharable and what is not. When in doubt, don’t. Karen and I don’t share private matters unless we give each other permission. That is a habit of ours. We just don’t go there—we don’t share it. Don’t tell your mother, don’t tell your friends, and don’t tell your private prayer group stuff, unless your partner gives you permission to go down that road.
Marriage is like a long train ride. You start off together—it’s just the two of you. You make some stops along the way—babies are born, friends and associates get onboard and you do life with them, job and career and all that stuff, and the network of relationships and all these things, and grandkids and all of that.
The train gets full. But you reach a point in your life where people start getting off the train. Your kids graduate, they go off to college, and they leave the house. Friends begin to die off. Things take place; and all of a sudden, it’s just the two of you again on that train. The depth and intimacy of that relationship will have depended upon the intentional sacrifices that have been made along the journey.
What do you want your marriage to look like 30/40 years from now? It will be what we make it to be.
Bob: Well, again, we have been listening today to Part Two of a message from Crawford and Karen Loritts. We got to hear all Crawford here in Part Two of this message. It’s just good, solid wisdom—to hear Crawford speaking to wives about what every husband longs for, desires, and ultimately needs from his wife.
Dennis: And there is a session—in fact, two sessions at the Weekend to Remember where the husbands and the wives are separated. The wives are spoken to by one of our wives about how to be the kind of wife God designed you to be and the mom as well. There are not a lot of things in the culture today that are encouraging women to be really a good wife/a good mom. There is a lot of promise about power in the marketplace, but there isn’t a lot of conversation about how to be powerful at home in the most powerful institution that God ever created, I believe.
The family was how God started it off. He intended it to shape the moral conscience and backbone and the spiritual health of the nation.
If you’re looking for a way to have a great romantic getaway, the Weekend to Remember is a great investment. I only advise you—because of this special we’re running this week, which is buy one/get one free—that you need to sign up soon because many of our venues, last fall, filled up as never before—we had to turn people away. Come and join me, and Crawford and Karen Loritts, at Hershey, Pennsylvania, on Valentine’s weekend. You know, it doesn’t get any better than Hershey chocolate, Valentines, and a Weekend to Remember.
Bob: Well, you say that—I’m thinking the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, where I’m going to be on Valentine’s weekend—
Dennis: Let’s have a contest then, Bob.
Bob: Well, your ballroom is bigger than my ballroom—no, it’s not a fair deal.
Dennis: [Laughing] Details, details, details.
Bob: Here’s our contest—we’ll see who sells out—I think I might be able to sell ours out.
Dennis: Oh, yeah? Well, we’ll see about that.
Bob: You can register, right now, for one of these upcoming events—either the Hershey Weekend to Remember,Valentine’s weekend, or the Colorado Springs Weekend to Remember,Valentine’s weekend. I think we have another four or five happening, that same weekend, in other locations around the country. Then, throughout the spring, we’ll have Weekend to Remember getaways happening in cities all across the country.
Get the complete list of where we’re going to be hosting these events, and start making plans to attend. Go to WeekendtoRemember.com—WeekendtoRemember—all one word—dot com. You can get the details there. You can register, online, or you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY to register. Again, register today—no later than at the end of next week—and you will be able to register yourself at the regular price and your spouse comes free. Take advantage of the special offer—the buy one/get one free offer—that’s going on, right now, for the Weekend to Remember marriage getaways that will be happening all across the country this spring.
And with that, we have to wrap things up for this week. Thanks for being with us. Hope you and your family are able to worship together this weekend, and I hope you can join us back on Monday when we’re going to hear what I like to call “Dennis Rainey’s Greatest Hits.” This is a message that includes 40 principles / 40 things Dennis has learned about marriage and family in more than 40 years of marriage. It’s great stuff, so I hope you can be here for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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