Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our Men..............

Good Afternoon Blog World. This is a topic that has been swirling around in my mind for sometime now. It may seem like an odd topic for an Easter afternoon but it is actually because of the power that Jesus released upon his Resurrection that allows for miracles to occur and prayers to be answered. I am also somewhat avoiding anything largely productive so it seems like a great time to chat. In addition to my current reclining, this is a topic that I tip toe towards with great precaution. Anything I mention doing "right" is ONLY by God's grace and I could write a much longer blog on the things I have done wrong. I want you to know that by the time this blogs hits post it will certainly have been read and approved by my man who proofs each and every one. We are an open book around here but I never want to display a page that he doesn't see fit for reading. The topic is "Our Men" and on that note please know that Jeremy could also write a blog on the way he has so faithfully backed me a million times over when my faith was in the gutter or my sin was soaring high. He has corrected me in love more times that I would ever like to admit so please don't dare hear me saying that I have been his "rock" because nothing could be further from the truth. This is just a blog I (personally) write and it is most often for the encouragement of women so I am telling this from the side of a woman and what we can and can NOT control but also what we can and most certainly should claim. OK, disclaimer DONE.

I honestly think the main reason I am writing is because SO very many women through out the years have chatted with me and been praying for their men. I told a gal the other day, when your man is struggling with his faith it may be one of the hardest things we women ever endure. Over our 6 1/2 (very short) years of marriage God has shown me some holy wisdom that to me has meant everything. Some He showed me in love and through books and some I learned by a good smack in the rear. Regardless I think it is all worth sharing. NO matter who you are or how long you have been married, if you are walking with Jesus you want your man to as well. And if you are reading and you are not married this will be a wonderful blog to remind you that IT AIN'T ALL FUN AND GAMES around these here parts. I am more thankful for my man than anything on this entire earth but I will also say that my man (and my children) have brought out more of my junk and taken more work for me to fight the flesh than anything on the earth. I am constantly reminded of the fact that anything I want to complain about my man on is something that God has ordained to work out something in MY own flesh. I heard a friend say recently that if you want to serve Christ, stay single and if you want to look like Christ, get married. OUCH I would say that is very true and I would say my man would certainly give a strong AMEN in return.

So Jeremy (he has faithfully surrendered himself to you as an example so we approach this with much love), when I met my man there was no more sold out Christian on earth, none. He LOVED people, he loved Jesus and everything else in between was just details. I was so excited because I wasn't up for phonies and certainly not up for religion so this man was the one for me and God had blessed me 100 fold. AND THEN THE HONEYMOON WAS OVER, literally. Oh sweet Jesus, that first year of our marriage I would have used a lot of words but sold out wouldn't have been one of them. JERK would have been what first came to mind and I am sure his words to describe me would have been along the same lines. I watched a man who read his Bible all day every day begin to slowly lay it down and let it at times begin to collect dust. I was in sheer panic wondering what on earth this would mean for our family. We fought in public, that's always attractive and we went to church together but at times I felt like that man's heart was far from God and certainly far from mine. God showed me a VERY valuable lesson that first year and that was this, whatever junk he has is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, God (oddly enough) was worried about MINE! Another huge turn for me personally during that time was being introduced to Joyce Meyer and her saying "study what you are struggling" which meant if your marriage was struggling, study marriage and so I did. I read book after book after book and one even started with the phrase "don't be mad that you are the only one reading books on marriage right now". Good gravy were they reading my mind?

Another thing (besides a new library and a new focus) I had going for me was SPUNK. My personality comes with a whole collaboration of sins. I can get myself in trouble in 2.2 seconds if I am not under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit but every once in while that spunk pays off and in marriage I have just had no intentions of settling. I didn't want a church boy I wanted a radically sold out man of God and in marriage I didn't want to just kind of get along and stay together, I wanted to be madly in love and still do. So that spunk and about 100 books later, things started to change. I don't know how to explain it but I started working on my junk one thing at a time and what do you know, my prayers for J started being answered as well. I started serving him and treating him like the man I wanted him to be not the man he was. I started getting my crazy emotions in check and keeping my big mouth SHUT and he started to be nice. I stopped trying to be his Holy Spirit and what do you know, the Holy Spirit spoke to him. I would pray through when to say truth, when to nudge him to do something at church and then when to just stay still and trust Jesus even when I was seeing nothing in return. But most of all, I started to submit to my man! It actually became a "game" to me because I do like to give satan a good smack in the mouth and because my flesh fought this topic tooth and nail I had to get radical in my efforts. If that man said "Johnny's Big Burger" we ate at Johnny's Big Burger (I would have much preferred frilly). If my man said no I said ok, if he said yes, I said sure thing. I just had to learn how to let him lead EVEN when he was not "walking" per say hand in hand with Jesus. I had to trust that Jesus would lead through him regardless and that all I could control was me and my actions and that God would handle the rest. I am not kidding when I say this, the next thing I knew my man surrendered his life to a call to ministry and started seminary. It was 2.5 years into our marriage but looking back it seemed to literally happen that fast. He was sold out again, not at all because he was going to seminary but because he was hearing God and obeying him and our marriage was bliss and I do mean bliss. Oh Praise You Jesus, I had my man back!

So let's fast forward a few years, we get a little surprise named Cross, we move to North Carolina and then resign from a job there and move home and then we walk into the darkest most difficult times of our marriage. We lost a baby, and what felt like everything we had owned and my poor man couldn't find a job to save his life. To say these past few years have been a hard time spiritually for both of us would be fair. So what had I learned to do when my man was struggling with his faith?? You buck up and you pray and you fight again! You learn to be very intentional about what you say, when you say it, and how you say it to him. You serve him even when you are shaking in your boots that he may walk away from it all any day. You have the house clean when he comes home because that makes him happy or less mad. You put Scriptures on his bathroom mirror until he tells you to take them down. You pull out the pocket size "Power of a Praying Wife" and you pray that man UP! YOU FIGHT FOR YOUR MAN!

I don't understand it but ladies it is our honor and our privilege to get to fight for our men. I DO believe that behind every good man is a good woman and that to date has been my most rewarding calling in life. It is not rewarding when day after day after day you see nothing change. It is not rewarding when you think to yourself, seriously, we have come this far and now he is going to fall off the wagon. It is not encouraging when you know he hasn't read his Bible in weeks or even months, it is not encouraging when you feel like he almost makes fun of you for your walk with Christ. BUT WHEN THEY RETURN, oh for the glory of Jesus, when I watched my man worship Friday night it was worth it. It is worth it when you watch God finally give him a career and watch him flourish doing it. It was worth it when he led a Bible Study Thursday night. It was worth it to hear him set his alarm Saturday morning to go to a prayer breakfast and it will be worth it when we die after a life of serving Jesus radically TOGETHER!

So ladies (and men really) let's all have some godly spunk. Don't want your man to "go to church" or say to yourself, oh well, things are never going to change around here. THAT is an attitude that minimizes the cross at it's core. Claim some things over your family and your man. Pray they encounter Jesus in a way that changes their lives forever and be willing to work out your own junk so that you will be worth the man you are praying to have. Our men could do things for the Kingdom that no man has ever done but what if we have the prayers and the charter to release it. What if our submission was in the way or what if our weakness being worked on was the missing piece to his puzzle. You expect more out of your men than they remotely expect out of themselves, but you give them grace when they are a long way away from reaching their potential. You love them madly (and I mean that in ALL ways) and you care WAY more about their needs and wants than you remotely care about your own. You serve them and honor them in public (even if you hardly believe a word that you are saying) and you build them up in person even if inside your mind is circling words that would completely tear them down. I have opened my mouth a hundred times to "let J have it" and forced myself to instead say "honey, did you say you wanted tea with your dinner". It hurts the flesh to do the right thing but smacking satan somehow makes the pain go away. Your man is worth it dear friend. You probably married them because you thought they hung the moon, well by golly, you just didn't know you were going to have to help them get it there. You are the only one fit to be his helpmate, and sometimes the only opinion on earth that he deep down cares about. And certainly you are the only one up in his business enough to know his each and every weakness in need of prayer. I have seen ladies radically back their men through divorce, addiction, infidelity, and a slew of other strong holds. I have felt like the least of victors when talking to friends that were smacking satan through much more difficult times. But I have YET to meet a lady that wasn't being blessed by her Jesus for backing her man, never, not one. I have seen prayers answered radically and I have seen women still in the war with no true sign yet of victory, but fighting on with joy. So let's back our men and believe we will watch them storm this world for Jesus one day.

Jeremy Bullock I thank you that you care way more about other people than you care about our junk being aired. I thank you that you put up with a very broken person through a lot of years of marriage (even if they have only been a few they have at moments seemed like a lot I am certain). But most of all I thank God that you have never lost your faith or walked into sin this entire time. You are still the godliest man I know and I wait with anxious anticipation for all that you are going to do while on this earth to glorify our Jesus!



Kelly said...

Thank you Kelly for encouraging me and all other women through this post. I may need to print this and keep it in my Bible for those times when I want sooo bad to live in the flesh and not in the Spirit.

Julie Ormord said...

Thank you for the reminder that we all need!! I have prayed fo you in your adoption journey and been BLESSED by your testimony!! Praise the Lord!!