The men had a Saturday morning seminar back in September led by Dr. Gary Yagel called “Strengthening Your Family’s Foundation.”  Gary was the pastor at Shady Grove Presbyterian Church before leaving that calling to pursue working in men’s ministry full time.  Gary is one of the top men’s ministry leaders in the PCA and it is wonderful for us to have him in our Presbytery where he serves as a ready resource.  As an outgrowth of the seminar we are doing a men’s small group meeting at the church for a short six-week study of a booklet entitled “Loving Our Wives Well.”  This booklet study has been outstanding for those who are choosing to participate with us Tuesday nights.  We have men in the group ranging from “hoping to be married” to those who have been married for over 50 years.  So I’m excited to say it is a good mix of younger men along with the more mature.  When we think about the needs of the church, we try to be balanced in the discipling opportunities that we provide.  I hope the ladies who are giving up having their husbands at home on Tuesday night are finding the sacrifice is bearing good fruit.

Just by way of information, so far we have studied the “Noble Calling” of being a husband, a  woman’s need for “Emotional Intimacy,” and a woman’s need for her husband to a be a “full partner” at home.  We began our study of our calling as husbands with Ephesians 5:25,Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…  The hard truth that Paul tells us is that marriage is not about me, nor meeting my sinful desires.  Marriage is about sacrifice, it is a sacrifice worth making as we give up our independence in order to love and serve our spouse.  That is a great concept, but what man can do that on his own?  It is only through the work of the Holy Spirit applying the Spirit of Christ in our lives that we are able to overcome our passivity and complacency to really nurture and cherish our wives.  It is great to see men praying for the ability to truly love their wives in a sacrificial way.

Building on the idea of sacrificial love, we studied the need for men to be emotionally intimate with their wives.  Becoming “one flesh” emotionally means a joining of their lives through the sharing of their minds, wills, and emotions.  For some men, this is the most daunting aspect of marriage because they not only have to listen to and engage their wife’s thoughts and feelings, which is no small thing, they also have to open up and share themselves.  Another area of study has been complimenting our wife’s strengths and weaknesses in helping around the house.  God said it is not good for the man to be alone, so He created the woman.  Women work, they work in the home and sometimes they work outside the home, but by and large, they work.  They need a husband’s full partnership in that work in order for the family to grow and thrive and for her to feel his love and care.  Find out where she needs your help and help her.  Think about those things where she is better suited than yourself and free her to do those things.  Those are a couple of way you can build intimacy and strength in your marriage.  So there you have a quick run down of what the men have been studying on Tuesday nights.  Let’s pray together that the Lord would bear much good fruit from our study.