Ladies, your man really does want to tell you what he's thinking and feeling, but it can be intimidating. Bob Lepine cracks the masculine codebook for women at a recent True Woman conference.
Ladies, your man really does want to tell you what he's thinking and feeling, but it can be intimidating. Bob Lepine cracks the masculine codebook for women at a recent True Woman conference.
Bob: In the six days of Creation, God created the heavens and the earth. He created the sea and the dry land. The birds. The fish. The animals. The man and the woman. But He wasn’t done yet.
The last thing God creates is a married couple. He’s created the man. He’s created the woman. But, He’s not done until He brings them together and creates one out of two—a “one flesh” Creation. That’s the pinnacle of God’s creation. And once He’s done, it’s also the first place that the Enemy goes to attack.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, August 9th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. We’re going to hear today about the connection between Creation, man’s rebellion, and your marriage.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Monday edition. Always good to get back to the book of Genesis and bring to mind the beginnings and the foundation.
Dennis: Yes, and that was a familiar voice!
Bob: Yes it was!
Dennis: It was the voice of co-host of FamilyLife Today, Bob Lepine, speaking at a True Woman conference in Chattanooga, earlier this year.
Bob: Yes. I had the chance to do a workshop at this True Woman conference, back in Chattanooga.
Dennis: And the title of the message was…
Bob: “What Husbands Wish Their Wives Knew About Men.” And, in fact, I’m going to get a chance to do this workshop again at the True Woman ’10 conference in Indianapolis, coming up in September and then at the one in Ft. Worth, in October. These are great events for women to go to. I’m looking forward to being there.
Dennis: Well you had a lot of fun with the ladies. You can hear them chuckling and laughing. You may have had too good a time there.
Bob: We had a good time. Mary Ann was there with me. I kept looking over at her to see if she was nodding, and she was. So, hopefully this will bring some understanding to our listeners today, as well.
Dennis: That’s right, Bob. And so why don’t we listen to Bob Lepine speaking at the True Woman conference in Chattanooga earlier this year.
Bob: Alright. What I’m going to try to do this afternoon is fill you in, as best I can as a representative of the other half of the race.
I’m going to try to do my best to fill you in on what I think most guys would want me to say to you, most of your husbands would want me to say to you. To help you better understand how men think, and how different we think than the way you think. How many of you have been married for less than a year? Anybody in here married less than a year? Okay, we’ve got a few hands. Did it take you long to figure out that your husband thinks differently than you think?
It’s an interesting phenomenon, when we’re dating what we look at. We go, “The thing that I love so much about this other person is how alike we are!” Right? And then we get married, and we go, “What happened to you? How did you turn into this person?” It’s surprising, in fact, I have to tell you—my wife who is here with me, and would you mind standing up and waving to the ladies? Here’s my wife, Mary Ann. Thank you.
Mary Ann read Shaunti Feldhan’s helpful little book, For Women Only, about five or six years ago, I think. We’d been married 20 plus years at the time. And there was still stuff in there that she goes, “Really? Is this true?”
So let’s set a context for this by looking at what God has revealed in His Word. Genesis 1:27 says this, “In the image of God He created him, male and female He created them. And what we see there is God’s original intent for creation was that His glory would be reflected in two people—two different people—reflecting together His image.
Now, each one of us, in this room, is an image-bearer of God, right? The image of God is stamped on your soul. But when a man and woman come together in a marriage relationship, there is something reflected about the character and nature of God that is not reflected in an individual “image of God bearer.”
In fact, I would suggest this to you. When we think of Creation, we usually think that there are six days of Creation. At the end of the six days, God rests. Well that’s truth. That’s the big story of Creation. But if you read Genesis 1 and the account of Creation, Genesis 2 comes back in and picks up the middle of that sixth day, and elaborates a little bit.
So, for example, you see God creating light and darkness, and then you see him creating plants, and then there are fish and there are birds, and then there are people on the sixth day. Then in Genesis 2, Moses comes back around, and says, “Now, let me unpack a little bit about what happened on that sixth day” because God did not create the man and the woman at the same time, did He? You know the account. Genesis 2, this is fascinating. At the end of each day of Creation, what did God say about what He had just created?
Audience: It was good.
Bob: It was good. When he got to the end of the whole thing, He said, “It’s very good.” You get to Genesis 2:18, there is a shocking statement. God says, “It is not good.” He has been creating; everything he’s created is good. For Him to look at something and say, “It’s not good,”
sin hasn’t messed anything up yet. So what He’s saying when He says “It is not good” is He’s really saying, “I’m not done yet.”
I would suggest to you that Creation is not completed until the man and the woman have been created and then brought together, and this new oneness is created in marriage. The end of Creation is the wedding. The last thing God creates is a married couple. He’s created the man, he’s created the woman. But He’s not done until He brings them together, and creates one out of two—a “one flesh” creation. That’s the pinnacle of God’s creation. Once He’s done, it’s also the first place that the Enemy goes to attack. Let me suggest to you, today, the pattern has not changed.
The first place the Enemy wants to undermine and attack, in your life, is in your marriage. Why? Because, in a unique way, you reflect the Trinitarian nature of God, he does not like that reflection. So he’ll martial his forces to try to keep you from representing the oneness of God in your marriage. Do you see that? Do you see how critical this is to the plan of God? How essential it is to Creation. And how what the Enemy says when he comes in, in Genesis 3, is “I’m going to see if I can disrupt this relationship because I know that as soon as I can disrupt this relationship, the next thing that’ll happen is this relationship is going to ‘go south’ real quick.”
So you know the account. Eve is in the Garden. She’s been told that there’s this one tree in the middle of the garden, both the man and the woman—have been told not to eat of this tree. The serpent comes in. He tempts her with, “Has God really said?” And she, by the way, I don’t know if you noticed this, when she gives him what God has said, she adds to God’s word. Have you ever noticed that? She said that “God said we shouldn’t even touch it.” Eve is the first legalist! Really!
She is adding something to God’s word and taken it up a notch. Satan knows as soon as he’s got her doing that, he’s got her. So he says, “Oh, you won’t die. You won’t die, in fact you’ll live. You’ll be as smart as God. God just doesn’t want you to be in control of your own life. Don’t you want to be in control of your own life?” When the woman saw that the fruit looked good to the eyes, it was the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life to make one wise unto salvation. She took it and she ate it, and she gave it to the man who was…where? With her. Did you notice? Who does God come looking for at the end of this?
Bob: “Adam, where are you?” Eve was tempted and fell. Adam was passive. And in his passivity, what Adam should have been doing was, “Sweetheart! Do not listen to that snake! What are you doing? No, no…honey, no! Snake! Get out of here!” He should have gone and gotten the axe, gone after the snake, and told his wife to go back and be quiet. Right?
So God comes to hold Adam accountable for what has just happened to the human race. But notice this. They both start to feel guilt—which they’ve never felt before. So they hide themselves. They start to feel shame—which they’ve never felt before. So those who were naked and unashamed, now start to hide themselves with fig leaves from one another. And then the next thing they do when God comes and says, “What happened here?” Adam says, “Well, she did it! It was the woman You gave me! I think You’ve sent a defective model” is what he’s saying.
So God turns to the woman and He says, “What happened here?” And she says, “Well, it was the snake.” So there’s this blame-shifting going on. There’s no accountability. There’s no repentance. There’s no confession. There’s just blaming. There’s just pointing the finger elsewhere. God, graciously in the middle of that, performs the first sacrifice of animals
to provide animal skins for the man and the woman. And gives them the promise that the seed that comes from the woman—that snake may bruise your heel, but that seed will crush his head.
Hallelujah. That is Christ who is prefigured in Genesis 3, and the rest of the story is pointing to him and to the cross—both before and after, until we reach the consummation.
So, there’s something so profound going on in the garden, I want to make sure that you are aware of that. But I also want to go back to Adam, before the fall. Actually, I don’t want to call it the fall, because it sounds too passive. Before the rebellion because that’s what it was. Before the rebellion, Adam was in the garden, and God gave him an assignment to name the animals.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at Genesis 2 this carefully, but He says to Adam, “It’s not good for man to be alone. I’m going to make a helper suitable for him.” He doesn’t say that to Adam, He says it to Himself. And then He goes to Adam, and He says, “I’ve got a job for you. I’m going to bring the animals by, and I’m going to have you name them.” So Adam says, “Okay, whatever You say LORD.”
So the animals come by, and God—in show and tell time—points out to Adam that what He’s bringing by, there are two of each kind, that are kind of alike, but not exactly. So Adam is going, “Buck and doe. Rooster and hen.” You know, he’s naming all the animals. Adam may not have been the smartest guy—well I guess he was the smartest guy in the world, but…
But he was also the dumbest guy in the world, so we’ll go with that.
Pretty soon, it dawns on Adam as he’s petting his golden retriever, who’s got another golden retriever laying right next to him. He’s going, “Where’s mine? Where’s mine?” And God said, “Exactly. I wanted you to realize, Adam, that you needed something. I gave you this whole exercise, so that before I give you the gift, you recognize the need. You value what I’m going to give to you.”
Adam realized he had the need, only after this animal naming exercise. So God causes Adam to fall into a deep sleep, the Bible says. And that’s, by the way, why men snore and sleep as deeply as we do. It’s the vestiges of the Garden still in us.
Adam falls into a deep sleep. God takes a rib from his side. He creates the woman. Creates Adam out of the dust of the ground, He creates the woman out of the bone of Adam’s side. Then He wakes Adam up. And Adam looks---just after naming all the animals—he looks at Eve and he says, “This…this is now bone of my bone. Flesh of my flesh. There’s one like me. She’s different but she’s like me.”
And then Adam names her, “She shall be called Ishah. She shall be called, ‘Woman,’ for she was taken out of the side of man.” He thinks he’s pretty clever because of his play on words…he’s Ish…she’s Ishah. I know a good name for her; we’ll call her “Ishah” for she is flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone.
The next thing that happens is God immediately gets them married. “For this cause man leaves father and mother, cleaves to his wife, the two become one flesh, and they were both naked and not ashamed. The reason He immediately got them married, is when you’ve got two naked people in the garden, you want to get them married. So He gets that done.
Now listen. I believe that God intended for that husband/wife, man/woman relationship to reflect His glory. So why doesn’t it? Well, we have to go to Genesis 3 to see that when things got corrupted between us and God, things got corrupted between one another. And conflict has entered the picture that was not there before. Why is there conflict in a marriage relationship? What causes the conflict to come? If we were—as husband and wife—in perfect unity, in perfect alignment; if we were as Philippians 2 says, “of the same mind, having the same love, intent on one purpose.”
If we were that, would we have conflict? No, because we’d be in agreement—which is what God wants us to get to in marriage. But, we have conflict. Here’s why we have conflict—James 4:1. James asks, “Why is there conflict and fighting among you?” He says, “Because your members (that is, inside you) there’s a war going on. You want and you cannot have, so you murder.”
You go, “Now wait a second. I’ve never murdered anybody.” Jesus said, “If you look on someone with anger, you’ve murdered them in your heart.” Okay, now. How many murderers do we have in the room? We’ve got a room full of murderers. And why do you murder? Because you want, and you don’t get what you want. And that creates conflict.
So you take a man and a woman, who both want what they want. You put them together and say, “Now, work it out.” As long as they want what they want, and aren’t getting what they want, then they murder each other. Satan delights because the picture of unity and agreement and alignment is broken. The image of God is marred in the world, so he is as happy as a clam when that happens.
What we’re going to talk about here is some of the ways that conflict happens that are fueled by our differences. God made us different to complement one another. Sometimes our differences annoy one another. And we’re going to look at some of what we’ve observed as differences and see how that leads to conflict, and how it leads to marring the image of God. I’m going to try and give you a list of about 10 things that I think are true for most men. There may be some of these that don’t apply to your husband. This is for most men.
Here’s the first thing. Your husband may not even realize, but it’s true because the Bible says it’s true. Your husband needs you to be a helper. He needs you to be a helper. God said to Adam, “It’s not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable.” Now some of you may have, at some point in your life, recoiled at that term. Somebody coming along and calling you a helper. That just sounds second class, demeaning, and not very exalted, right? To call someone a helper, if you’re in school, there’s the teacher and the teacher’s helper. Well, the teacher is the important one. The helper just gets the paste out when it’s time for paste stuff, right?
Bob: And you think to yourself, “I don’t want to be a helper. I want to be somebody. Helper doesn’t sound like anybody. That same word, “I will make a helper suitable for him,” is found other places in the Bible, like “God is our help in time of need. Like Jesus saying, “It’s good that I go away because if I go, I will send to you another helper.” Who’s he talking about?
Audience: The Holy Spirit.
Bob: Holy Spirit. When he says, “another helper,” who’s the first one?
Audience: He is.
Bob: Jesus. Father, Son, Holy Ghost identified Themselves to us as our Helpers. Is that a demeaning term? No. Is it an exalted term? Yes. So why don’t we like that term, helper? Because we’ve got pride and pride wants us to be something better than that. Better than God. That’s why Eve ate the fruit. Because the snake said, “When you eat it, you won’t have to depend on God anymore.”
God calls you “helper,” you go, “I’d like to be called something a little more noble than that, God.” Well, here’s the thing. He calls you a helper, but the implication…you’re married to a guy who needs help.
The very fact that you are called a helper, means your husband needs help, whether he knows it or not. The great theologian, Rocky Balboa…
Some of you can go back to 1976. The “Best Picture” was Rocky 1. How many of you saw Rocky 1? Here’s the great moment of theology that happens in Rocky 1. Rocky, you know, is kind of sweet on Adrian, right? She’s shy and works at the pet shop. Rocky goes by, and he’s kind of clumsy and awkward. It’s just so cute to see them trying to like each other, and they can’t, right? But, Adrian’s brother, Pauly, is trying to protect his little sister. He knows Rocky is on the prowl, so he has this man-to-man talk with him at one point. He says, “Hey, Rocky. What is it you see in my sister?” And Rocky says, “I...I don’t know.”
(laughter and applause)
Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. I’ll have a dinner show tonight at six, and one at 10 pm.
Rocky says, “I…I don’t know. Huh…I got gaps. She got gaps. Together we got no gaps.
Do you know what theologian Balboa was saying there? Here’s what he was saying, “I need help. And she fills in where I need help. And together we got no gaps.” Isn’t that a beautiful picture?
You know, it is interesting to stop and think about our differences, and how they are fertile soil for there to be much marital discord.
Dennis: No doubt. In fact it’s our differences that attract us before we get married. And then after we’re married—it’s like the magnets that couldn’t stay away from each other? Somehow you turn them and all of a sudden you feel that…
Bob: (laughing) The push back?
Dennis: The repelling occurring? Well, that can happen in marriage. So you really have to take a step back and look to the One who gave you your spouse in the first place. And realize that your spouse’s differences have a divine purpose in your life. Now, do you believe that? Sometimes it can be difficult to believe that.
Dennis: Especially when your spouse’s weaknesses encroach on your needs or your wants, or how you’re feeling. And that’s why I think marriage is so redemptive. It forces us to be dependent upon God, and ask Him to empower us to be able to better love our spouses when they’re not lovable—when we don’t want to. And you know what? Jesus Christ can give you the power and the ability to love another imperfect person.
Bob: And that kind of perspective alignment was what I was watching happen, as I spoke to the women at the workshop, at the True Woman conference, in Chattanooga. You could tell that some of these women were pulling back and just recalibrating and re-thinking the job that God has given them. The assignment He’s given them to come alongside, to help, and complement and love and respect their husbands.
And let me quickly mention that there are going to be two more of these True Woman conferences coming up this fall. In September, there’s going to be one in Indianapolis. And in October, there’s one in Ft. Worth, Texas. I’m going to be on hand for both of those, along with a great line-up of speakers. Nancy Leigh DeMoss will be there. Mary Kassian will be there. Keith and Kristin Getty are helping to lead the worship.
There’s a link on our website at FamilyLifeToday.com, if our listeners would like more information about the True Woman ’10 conferences. Two conferences this fall, and again, the information can be found at FamilyLifeToday.com.
If you are interested in getting a copy of the message we are featuring this week, here on FamilyLife Today, it’s available for free download. You can go to our website, FamilyLifeToday.com, and download the mp3 file, for no cost. If you’d like to get the CD, you can call or go online and request a copy of the CD. We’ll send it out to anybody who can help with a donation to the ministry of FamilyLife Today this month.
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Again, we’re hoping that 2500 of you who listen regularly to FamilyLife Today, but have never made a donation, will say, “I can help.” And you’ll step up and either go online or call 1-800-FL-TODAY, and make a first time donation to support the ministry. If you are a regular supporter of Familylife Today, again thanks for your ongoing financial support; and we want you to feel free to request a copy of the CD of the message we’re featuring this week. When you make a donation of any amount, just type the word, “HUSBAND” in the key code box on the online donation form, and we’ll send that out to you.
Now tomorrow, we’re going to start to look at some of the specific things that husbands wish wives understood more about men and marriage, and relationships. And I hope you can tune in for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team, on behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey. I’m Bob Lepine, we’ll see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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