“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16
The work of Christ can free the human soul from bondage; it really does bring restoration – if you are willing to embrace the process. The promise of “abundant life” actually has a condition to it, and the condition is becoming a student of Jesus and embracing the ways of his kingdom. Those who make the choice to walk “the ancient paths,” are the ones who find “rest for their souls”.
“Adam and Eve were naked and without shame” – we can get that back, rescue the world and get back all that was lost. God seeks to restore “all that was lost”.
Eve is the incarnation of God’s mercy, tenderness and unconditional love. We men tend to take our question to Eve – looking to her for our validation and primary love which are questions we should be taking to God. “Make me feel like a man”
Adam’s fall – He was right there. Passive. Adam was not deceived by the serpent, Eve was. First, it was his passivity – he does not act – but then there is this moment where Eve has fallen and he hasn’t. Adam has a choice…do I go with God or the woman. He chose Eve. How easy is it for you to go toward passivity?
Men worship at this alter of woman. Men have destroyed families, households, churches, ministries, businesses … kingdoms have fallen over this. (Tiger Woods, Marc Sanford governor of SC, John Edwards, General Patraeus) — It goes way past sex. We go to Eve for the validation, love, affirmation we crave. To a fallen man, who isn’t experiencing the Living God, Eve looks like a fountain of life. She is beautiful, she is mercy, she is love, she is intoxicatingly beautiful. And yet, a man with a genuine strength … can walk away. He doesn’t have to go there for his validation.
All these issues that come up with affairs, pornography, masturbation, addiction, sexual fantasies, etc. go way beyond the orgasm – we are taking our core questions to Eve. 1) Am I loved? Does anyone delight in me? 2) Who am I as a man? There is nothing like a woman arousing you sexually to make you feel like a man. And if you don’t feel like a man anywhere else in life – Eve is going to be tough to resist. To have a woman offer herself to you, the bigger the poser, the more unhealed your heart … the more you’re going to be a disaster here.
You know if you’re taking your core questions to a woman instead of God if you find her irresistible. If just looking at a woman’s body is irresistible, you’re taking your question to her. A real man can say, “Wow, she is beautiful … but … I don’t need that”.
You know if you’re taking your core question to her if you’re afraid of her. Most married men are afraid of their woman. She’s got the goods on you. You can fake it publicly but she knows you. When she asks, “Could we sit down tonight and talk about our relationship?” … you want to run! Or when you walk in the door and you see that she’s just furious with you … you don’t feel strong, brave or loving.
The deadly thing is if you give a woman the power to validate you as a man – “Make me feel like a man” … then you are also giving her the power to invalidate you. You’ve given her the power to absolutely castrate you.
The fallenness of Adam – the two things that effect all men 1) the passivity and 2) the worship of woman. The desperate need for affirmation, love and validation and we take all that to her. No wonder relationships get messy. We have to take it back. There is one more dynamic at work here – There is the passivity and the worship of Eve and then there is 3) the dynamic of our wounded heart that we get from multiple places in our childhood, teen years, young adult ages, etc. and we take our already wounded heart here – the sexual issues, looking to medicate, etc. and we try to find comfort. It’s a recipe for disaster. The enemy is all over this. It’s the number one thing that takes men down.
Yes, Eve is love. She is beauty and tenderness however, she is not life. She looks like it until you get into it and you realize Eve is a bottomless well. Get that … a bottomless well. She’s got all kinds of issues, past wounds, emotions, etc. When is the pull to sexual relief the strongest in you? When are you most tempted to cruise the internet looking for a little relief? Isn’t it when you are lonely? When you’re hurting? When you’ve had a horrible day at work? There is this empty ache in us and we go looking for relief. Realize this – that empty ache in you is that you are looking for God. You are looking for God!
When we turn to her with all this – the compulsions, fantasies, masturbation, addiction, porn, affairs, adultery – it is the wounded heart that desperately needs mercy and love and kindness. And she just smiles at you and sweetly says, “thank you, you’re amazing” and BOOM … you feel like a man. It traps us. We addict to it. Compulsion sets in. We can’t resist. And then the enemy just pounds you with guilt and shame and self-loathing. (This is the cycle of porn)
We have to begin to turn this by taking it back and not going to her to fix our wounded heart.
“I don’t want to give my soul away. I want genuine strength to be able to fight the battles I know are coming my way and if I compromise my strength, I know I will be taken out.” Every time we turn to her in weakness – for just a little something to make me feel better – we surrender a little bit of our own strength. Something in us is further weakened for the next time. Every time we look away and say, “No. No. I’m not going to give my soul away” something in us is strengthened and we are stronger for the next time.
The only antidote for the poser and the imposter is the real thing. The more you lay down the poser and experience the real strength and the love of Jesus, the more you will want it. And that man… God will entrust him with a kingdom. God wants to give you a kingdom but not until you’re ready for it. If you’re not ready for it, that power will destroy you.
Loving a woman really well actually starts here … by NOT taking your question to her. She is not a problem to be solved or fixed. She is a woman to be loved and enjoyed. A real man fights for her, pursues her, brings his strength to her and it starts by taking your integrity back. Go to God for your validation, your need as a son and for the healing of your woundedness. This will produce a man of real strength.