I recently wrote the “Women’s” version of this article and it resonated with a lot of people. I think that happened because the information was presented with fresh perspectives that struck a nerve. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t be left out. So here is the Men’s version. The flip side. Before I get into this though, I want to get a few things out of the way.
- A)This article is mainly for mature Christian Men. Mature. Christian. Men. This is not for men who think they are God’s gift to “WOMEN” but can’t be God’s gift to “A WOMAN”. This is not for boys or players who still think that women are “less than” . Why? Because boys (even those posing as Men) are too egotistical to take a second to process this information or even act on it. This is for Men…Men in training to become God’s leaders in the home. Men who desire to make God happy by being his able representatives in the home…God’s sons who want to have the right mindset to deserve God’s daughters.
- B) When I wrote to the women, I tried to pay extra attention to their sensitivity but my tone was still quite direct. The ladies took it and mostly took it quite well. That means while I will be respectful to my fellow men, I will also be as direct in my tone to men if not more. Why? Because I know mature men can take this and I know that mature single Christian men are looking for REAL PRACTICAL DEEP INFORMATION that they can use in their decision making about this critical area of their lives. I know that mature Christian men can take the heat so that they can be forged into the great family leaders that they were created to be.
- C) This is not a quick read. It’s not meant to be. It is a read that will get you thinking, reflecting, and praying. Its one that will encourage you but most of all, it will challenge you. So if you are looking for just a couple of bullet points and a cute quote, stop reading right now.
- D) All your single male and female friends should read this…perhaps your married friends too.
So here we go. Why can’t our great single Christian brothers find their Ruth, Esther or Mary?
- Many single Christian brothers simply don’t understand that a good wife from God is not “acquired” or “gotten”…she is a GIFT: She isn’t something you go out and search real hard and look through the catalogue to select and go acquire. She is a Gift from God. Sure the Bible says that “he who finds a wife finds a good thing” but it is often taken out of context. The context we often look at it from is one that puts all the responsibility on Men to “devise” tactics to “get/acquire” her.
As if the man with the best acquisition plan wins her. What it IS saying is that she is like a treasure you find. Something that you find becomes a treasure because under normal circumstances you wouldn’t have that valuable thing. When you stumble on a treasure chest as a rich man, that chest is not really a “treasure”. It still has value…but it is not a treasure. But when you stumble on that chest as a man in need, THEN it becomes a treasure to you. Think about it this way. You found a job …because you qualified for the job and you could do it.
However, the Job was GIVEN to you by that organization. So who found who? Did you find the job? or was the job given to you? We men read proverbs 31:10-31 and drool over that description of the ideal woman we all want but we ignore the very first verse…the very opening verse of that description: “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies” Meaning that she isn’t something you find based on your own abilities, resources or searching skills because her value is far above all that.
You can’t buy a virtuous woman. No amount of money, good looks, power can buy her. She is a GIFT
Think: Do I qualify for the Job of “Husband to a Virtuous Woman”? Can I be entrusted with this “treasure”?
- Just because you don’t have the DETAILS of the direction of your life, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be in MOTION: Just because you don’t have your direction in life completely figured out, doesn’t give you an excuse for laziness. In the article to the ladies, I mentioned that they shouldn’t go around measuring a man by how much he has his life “figured out” because God’s men often don’t have it all figured out… but make no mistake… Boaz, David and Joseph, Moses, Abraham, Paul and every other great man in the Bible understood WHO they were to God and walked in the direction of the purpose they perceived God was leading them in.
They were in motion. Sometimes God changed their courses mid-way, sometimes God didn’t even say what he really wanted them to do till it was the last minute, but they were in motion.
One of the greatest examples of this was Paul and Timothy in Acts 16:6-10. Paul and Timothy perceiving they were led by the spirit (and they were) moved THROUGHOUT Phrygia AND the region of Galatia THEN attempted to go to Asia but the sprit didn’t let them go through. THEN they journeyed to Mysia and it was a no go. On to Bithynia they went and the Holy Spirit stopped them from entering there too. Same thing when they got to Troas. The Holy Spirit stopped them from entering there too. THEN at night…after all that back and forth and after that period of limbo and what seemed to be wasted energy, a vision came to Paul to enter Macedonia. They immediately set out and that’s how the gospel entered Europe and spread to the world.
You see, I really think that God was testing, shaping and forging their ability to be LED and their ability to be in MOTION and FOLLOW even if they didn’t look successful. Some men have used the “purpose/direction” issue as an excuse for laziness. Don’t.
Yes…I know….some sisters will look at your life as if you are a failure…as if you are not going anywhere. They will say no to you and measure the value of your life ONLY by the size of your current success, power or bank account. That’s ok. Leave Gold Diggers alone. Those temporary failures in your life will weed them out.
Remember that it is easier to steer a ship that is already in motion, than one sitting on the dock. So wake up and get in motion. Even if you don’t have the perfect direction right now, get moving. It is easier for God to turn a ship in motion, than one sitting on the dock.
Just because you don’t have the DETAILS of the direction of your life, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be in motion
- Many single Christian men are too concerned about getting a trophy for themselves that they can’t see what God placed inside of her. It’s the truth. They are so consumed with the acquisition without fully understanding the responsibilities: They are approaching this like buying art or stocks. You know…thinking how it will make them look, how it adds to their portfolio and ignoring the maintenance needs.
You know who you are….If God had given Mary to you, you would have quit on her instead of remembering that God was at work in her. You’re the guy that would have been so concerned about how she will make you look (given the circumstances surrounding Christ’s birth), rather than focus on what God is telling you about her , focusing on what is inside of her and how she fits not just in your portfolio but in Heaven’s portfolio as well.
- Many single Christian men want to lead but can’t be led: Need I say more? A lot of single Christian men are so eager to get their own “team” so they can make rules and be in charge and lead a woman but they themselves can’t be led. They have no mentors or teachers that they are accountable to and they certainly haven’t learnt how to be accountable to God. Romans 8:14 says “As many as are LED by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God”
Want to get God’s daughter? Be His son. Want to be His son? Be led by His Spirit.- Tobi Atte
- You are not willing to work to EARN what you think is a RIGHT: I am going to share one of the most successful personal principles I operate with when it comes to my wife. This was a decision I made just before I got married (I was still engaged) and it has served me beyond what I can fully describe in words.
Here it is:
I will strive to actually earn all the things that are “supposed to be” my right as the head of the home.
Think about that: Respect, Submission, Leadership, Love, Acts of service and all those things that we men expect from our wives. I knew that my wife would gladly give me those things but I decided that as much as I can, I will behave as if I have to literally earn those things, not as though they were simply a right just because I was “male”. It has served me so well. Many single men are looking for a woman with whom they can simply demand what they consider their rights instead of looking for a woman with whom they can earn these rights. Why is this important? Because:
- Many single Christian men don’t have a Marriage Mission Statement: I have taught about this at my seminars and many places I have gone to speak. It is one of the most fundamental steps a single man must take when it comes to marriage.
Someone shared this with me and I think it goes along with what is saying. The date was May 14th, 2011. It was a Saturday morning and I had such a heavy burden on my heart about not “finding the one” I was at a wedding event the night before and woke up in a really dark place. This was highly unusual because up until that moment, I had zero pressure about getting married. There wasn’t a side comment (about why I wasn’t married) that I didn’t have a smart comeback to.
Not this morning. I had nothing.
So there I was at the side of my bed …on my knees sobbing to God. It all came out…every suppressed frustration, sadness and anger…it all came out. After a while, I stopped crying and just stayed there…and then the best thing happened. I literally heard a voice say to me (Quite matter-of-factually):
“If I gave you a wife, would you know what to do with her? If I gave you a wife, would you know how to lead her and in what direction? Do you think that the purpose of marriage is simply to fulfill social norm? You want me to find a wife just for you out of 4 billion women because you’re old enough and making enough money to have a wife? How will your marriage fit in heaven’s plan? What kind of home will you build? Do you have a Mission Statement?
On and on it went. It was like a truck hit me. But it was a hit I gladly took. I just shut up and wrote everything down. It was like a light bulb went off in my heart. Right away, my prayers changed from “who is she….when will she come… is it this one or that one?” to “What is my Marriage Mission Statement?” What should my family look, feel, walk like? What should my marriage accomplish for the kingdom of God? What should that union do for the kingdom?
The smallest unit in the army is the squad (based on the U.S prototype)…made up of 7-14 soldiers and led by a Sergeant. For men, having a family is like being in charge of a squad within Gods army. But a squad that is not connected to the army is pretty much referred to mercenaries. So do you want a squad in Gods army? Or are you looking to be a mercenary leader?
- You don’t know how to IDENTIFY, PROTECT and NURTURE the virtues in a woman: Let me explain. When you have a Ruth, Esther or Mary… when you have a virtuous woman, you have to be able to identify, protect and nurture those virtues in her. This is another of one of my personal principles that I run my marriage with, which has served me incredibly well also.
Here is an example of how of what I meant shared by someone else to me.
A few months before we got married, my wife and I went on a trip and it just so happened that it fell on “that time of the month” for her. However, she didn’t want to ruin the time together so she tried incredibly hard to hide the pain. In fact I didn’t really realize it until the evening of the second full day and she was in a lot of pain. I couldn’t believe she went through both days like that because she didn’t want to ruin the time together.
So I went shopping. I bought her a pair of shoes and a matching wallet. (I had never spent that much on shoes even for myself!!) When she got it, she had that look like “This is amazing!!!…but eerrrmmm why am I getting this…what’s the occasion?” I explained that it was specifically for those days and how she put US first and served the interest of the TEAM. I told her how much I appreciated the fact that even though she had the “right” to make a fuss and PMS all day and let her hormones hijack her attitude, she dug deep for the team and I appreciated that. (This doesn’t mean I know a single thing about what a woman goes through that “time of the month”)
But we have been married going on two years now and I don’t have to go into hiding in fear of her attitude during that “time of the month”…. funny how that works (you see Men, doing this is not just a favor to her but a benefit to you as well…because the things you appreciate, she will continue to do)
Boaz did it too. In Ruth 2:5-17 Boaz found out how hard Ruth had been working all day, and how she had stayed committed to her mother in-law and how she left her comfort zone to come to a land she did not know… and he didn’t let it fly over his head.
He IDENTIFIED those virtues. Then he PROTECTED the virtues (Vs 8-9) when he said to her “Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here, stay here …I have told the men not to lay a hand on you”. Then he NURTURED those virtues by creating an environment where those virtues could continue to thrive. (Vs 15-16) Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”
- You think you OWN when you are only a CUSTODIAN:
It only means that God has placed you over her to nurture, protect, care for, and love….on HIS behalf. She is still HIS daughter and when He comes back, I am pretty sure He wants to find her in better condition than when He handed her to you. That doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy. That doesn’t mean it’s always going to be cute. Lord knows leading a woman has its…challenges…but that’s why you’re the one with the big shoulders and hair on the chest.
- Many single Christian men have the wrong interpretation of submission: Yes…the famous (or should I say infamous) issue of submission. How do I make this simple?
You can’t say on one hand that you want a virtuous woman and then on the other hand have no intention of deferring to her decision making process, or her ability to lead.
If you really do have what you consider a virtuous woman, then you must be able to defer to her as well.
Even the Spartan King Leonidas in the 300 Movie (Part 1) looked to his wife Queen Gorgo as to how to handle the situation when the Persian emissary came to negotiate the Spartan surrender….and he followed her lead. It is no coincidence that SHE led the movement to unite the entire Greek empire to avenge his death at Thermopylae.
Same with Queen Esther in the Bible. In fact all her people including the uncle that raised her knew when to follow her leading. (Esther 4:15-17) “Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish. So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.”
Same thing with David and Abigail (1st Sam 25) Abigail spoke such wisdom to David and prevented him from making a terrible mistake in the heat of the moment. He followed her wisdom and prevented a major mistake. He said to her (Vs. 32-33) “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.”
Read proverbs 31 really well. Read Esther again. If you can’t submit to that type of woman, if you can’t defer to her and value her opinion …If you can’t take direction from her when it calls for it, then you don’t deserve her.~Tobi Atte
- You want her to leave her father and mother, and cling to you but you are not willing to leave yours: Yea…Many men are looking forward to having the woman leave her parents and take up his last name. That’s all well and good. Its culturally and socially ok but we often miss one critical spiritual element.
Have fun at your wedding bro, but I but I am not sure what version of the Bible you are reading but eerrmm the Bible says OVER AND OVER AGAIN “For this cause shall a MAN (…yea…a MAN) leave his father and mother and cling to his wife”. Matthew 19:5, Ephesians 5:31, Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:7. All those verses say that! Even I was blown away by that as I was researching for this article. So what does that mean in the context of being ready for a Ruth, Esther or Mary? It means that:
- You are ok with Sex before marriage: You think waiting to have sex before marriage is a favor to her, you don’t realize that it is critical and beneficial for YOU as well. Listen… I know that even men with the best intentions can fall. The problem is when you are ok with it…when you don’t realize that it’s wrong not just for her but for you also.
When you violate that, you’re like David on that rooftop. (2 Samuel 11)
Joseph considered his master and how it wouldn’t be FAIR to him but he considered it a SIN against God. See the difference? Sure it’s a nice gesture to your lady to wait…shows her you care and all that cute stuff. But that doesn’t help you when SHE gets horny. Doesn’t help you when SHE drops her normal guard because she wants to elicit commitment from you, or simply has a moment of weakness (or whatever other reason she “allows” you this time). In order for this to work, in order for your desire for purity to be sustainable, you must want it for yourself and there must be a greater reason than your lady that you desire sexual purity before marriage. (More on this in a future post)
I know that there are so many good men out there who really desire to be God’s generals in the home. God honors that desire and I pray that He provides you with that great virtuous woman.