Sunday, April 11, 2010

How Women Can Help Men Find God


Twelve Marks of a Man-Friendly Church
Written by e-Mom. Share on Twitter or FB. Subscribe in a Reader

Have you read Wild at Heart by John Eldrege? This popular author knows that males have an “undomesticated” dimension to their personality that's completely foreign to women.

Let’s be honest. It’s that take-a-ride-on-the-wild-side behavior that makes men attractive, isn’t it? Yesiree! There's a strong chance you married a man who had strength of character and kindness, but who also climbed a few mountains and jumped out of airplanes to win your hand.

Why Iron Man Resists the Gospel

Today, I want to talk about that inner drive in all men—those attractive iron man qualities. Paradoxically, it's his competitive risk-seeking temperament that works against a man when it comes to growing in the Christian faith.

As you know men like action, rules, performance-based recognition, and hunting (for deer, the big sale, or golf balls). Old Testament Judaism, with its system of animal sacrifice and a morality based on the Law was completely male-friendly. Add kinesthetic body movements to ritual prayer and it’s not hard to grasp why the religion of Islam also has a strong appeal to men.


What men really need to know is that God accepts and respects them unconditionally, is calling them on a dangerous mission, and he wants them to follow him wholeheartedly—even to the point of death.


Christianity, on the other hand, is much more female-friendly. We’re taught that God is offering us a secure and lasting relationship of unconditional love and we don’t have to do a thing to earn it. It’s a gift of God’s grace. While that's completely true, this modern salvation message says nothing about the subject Jesus talked about most frequently: The Kingdom of God. It shouldn’t surprise us that this message falls flat for more than a few of our men.

What men really need to know is that God accepts and respects them unconditionally, is calling them on a dangerous mission, and he wants them to follow his leadership wholeheartedly—even to the point of death. According to David Murrow, author of How Women Help Men Find God (2008, Thomas Nelson) that's the way the Gospel message should be presented in order to stir the masculine soul.


Why Many Men Think Church is Only for Women

In his illuminating book, Murrow points out that most modern churches are set up to minister to women. Sitting still for long periods, listening to well-crafted lecture-sermons, praying in circles, emotional praise songs, personal testimonies, hugging strangers, quilts on the walls, doilies on the communion table, and flowers in the chancel do little to attract men—in fact they repel them.



“By the time Harley escapes to the parking lot, Harley’s masculinity bank is punctured and leaking badly. He is so far out of his comfort zone he’d need a GPS to find it again. The early church did away with mandatory circumcision, but today’s church unwittingly emasculates its men.”—David Murrow

The Kinds of Churches Men Love

Over the last decade, I admit, our current denominational church home has brought far more satisfaction to me than to e-Dad. Although he’s a strong Christian believer, "doing church" my way has been a challenge for him. So we decided it was about time we address his wish list too. To help us achieve our goal, I’ve taken to heart what David Murrow calls the
“twelve marks of a man-friendly church.”

a large church… tends to approach gender balance.
non-denominational… men are leading the exodus from traditional churches.
strict adherence to Scripture… churches that attract men have a bottom line: The Bible.
a multi-racial crowd… racially diverse equals growth.
a young congregation… church plants do well with men.
energized men in the pews… engaged men transmit fervor to others.
a man in the pulpit… men follow men.
a pastor who is astonishing and authoritative
like Jesus (Matt 7:28-29).
informal attire… men don’t like playing dress-up.
modern technology… men think technology is cool.
fun & humor… a little humor helps men drop their guard.
a clear unique mission… helps men to gauge if they’re winning. e.g. “purpose driven” churches are a magnet to men.


Three Chapters on Reaching Unbelieving Husbands


Murrow’s book, How Women Help Men Find God covers so much more—especially for ladies in spiritually unequal marriages. I strongly recommend you get this book (buy it used online like I did) so you can glean from Murrow’s unique insights in the following chapters:

• What You Do. What God Does
• Your Words Whisper: Your Life Shouts
• How to Talk to Men About God
• (Bonus) How to Lead Boys to Faith


Ten Ways Women Can Take Action in the Church

Click here for more infoMurrow offers ten ways church women can take action to attract more men through the doors. De-feminizing the church décor; supporting man-only events; letting men police themselves; and supporting the placement of men in high-profile leadership positions are a few of them.


My Personal Recommendation


If you're serious about discovering how to reach your husband, your son, your brother, or your father read these amazon.com reviews. Better yet, I highly recommend you get yourself a copy of this book and commit to applying Murrow’s closing challenges—something I'm currently attempting. Pray for me!

Related


1. David Murrow’s websites: Church for Men &
Speaking of Men


2. Why Men Hate Going to Church by Chrysalis

3. For more book reviews, be sure to check out Jennifer's monthly carnival I Read It! at 5 Minutes for Books.

Photos: LukeRobinson, RandySonofRobert & randylane (Flickr)

Do you agree or disagree with this author?

9 Comments:

nice A said...

I really thank God for giving me the wisdom and patience in winning hubby to join me in my faith. At first, he seemed to be an iron man resisting the gospel but God gave me the strength to persevere. He would always drop us off to the church and pick us up again after the church service. God works miraculously in many different ways and He softened my iron man with beautiful music by the choir in which he joined in later until he finally decided to be baptized (just 4 years ago). That's music ministry in the making and I thank God for giving me strength not to give up on him when he had all the vices I hated. And yes, "it's what we do and what God does. Our words whisper: our life shouts".
Thanks for this post, e-Mom.

Donetta said...

So true.
WE went through the Eldridge training retreats . It really does change the perspective when a Man can be A MAN

Faith said...

My husband is currently reading the Eldridge book.....for the second time! he loves it....I have read portions of it and really think it is excellent!

Tracey said...

Very insightful! Unfortunately church does appeal more to women than to men. We flock to the nuturing environment, the relationships and the tender message of Christ. Men need strong male leaders who are able to bring the balance of the OT masucline nature of the God the Father and righteous judge with the NT nature Jesus the loving, forgiving savior.

Jaime Kubik said...

Thank you for this post!! Being the mother of two boys, I don't want to repel them from God, but draw them closer!! This was very insightful -- always the thinker e-mom!!

Kimmy said...

Wow, E-mom, your post struck a chord with me. I have been struggling lately with the fact that it "appears" my husband's spiritual life is dead, and mine is changing for the better all the time. I feel there is a rift between my husband and I because of our unequal spirituality. I think I am going to buy the book you suggested and hopefully it will give me insight into what's going on with my husband. I recently purchased, "The Power of a Praying Wife", which apparently is very good (for different reasons, but still, I think it will help me in my situation). I am finding that as I open up to other women about my marital struggles in this area, they too are experiencing the same thing. One of my friends told me she heard a quote the other day: "Church is full of bored men and stressed-out, overworked, tired women." I think there may be some truth in that statement. Anyways, I haven't visited for a while . . . it was good to come back again.

Sheila said...

It's a great point, and one that women often forget because WE like church.

But churches are often very condemning towards men. Take Father's Day. I don't know why men go to church on Father's Day, because the sermons are always: you men shape up! You're wrecking our soceity! Whereas on Mother's Day moms get roses and chocolates and we're told how God loves mothers.

Men need to feel that a) it's okay to be a man; and b) my participation matters. They don't see that their participation matters because most churches aren't actually DOING anything, they're just TALKING about doing something. We're holding endless meetings where we talk about visions and plans and goals and feelings, but we're not accomplishing anything.

If men could see that the church was about DOING something, they'd likely get on board. I know my husband refused to be on a church board recently because he just couldn't handle all the meetings.

If churches want to be relevant, let's stop talking and start doing. Then men would feel engaged!

Sheila from To Love, Honor and Vacuum

e-Mom said...

NiceA: Thanks for sharing your story. God is good, and you were very patient and persevering. When so many women are still waiting, it's encouraging to hear testimonies like yours my friend! :~D

Donetta: I think lots of men are confused about what it means to be a man of God. I'm pleased your DH has found inspiration. :~D

Faith: Your DH is a keeper!

Tracey: Well said: Men need strong male leaders who are able to bring the balance of the OT masucline nature of the God the Father and righteous judge with the NT nature Jesus the loving, forgiving savior. Thanks for stopping by!

Sheila: Yes, yes, yes: If churches want to be relevant, let's stop talking and start doing. Then men would feel engaged! Thanks for visiting. :~D

Buffy said...

What an interesting article :)

I've just read "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldrege. From what you say the companion title about men is well worth a read.

BTW I think a pastor who is astonishing and authoritative (like Jesus) would appeal to women as much as men!

 

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