The Friday Five
Becoming a Snake-Handler: The Friday Five with Brian Goins
Brian Goins has developed numerous study guides, workbooks, and Bible ministries, including Insight for Living (with Chuck Swindoll) and Walk Thru the Bible. The lead pastor at Renaissance Bible Church in Concord, North Carolina, he's a frequent speaker at Family Life's marriage conferences.
Recently, Brian released a terrific new book for men on the subject of marriage, called Playing Hurt. He stopped by today to answer questions for today's Friday Five.
As an avid sports fan, I love how you tie in marriage and sports (two things created in Heaven, right?). How did this idea develop?
And on the eighth day God created the North Carolina Tar Heels...
I was teaching at a marriage conference recently where we split up the wives and the husbands. When we were finished, one of the men attending the conference handed me a cartoon he had just drawn. It featured three panels. On the first panel, a man and a woman walked into their separate sessions. The second panel revealed the ladies walking out of the session laughing and talking. The third panel showed the guys walking out covering a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. And I get it. Even though I was teaching the men from Scripture, the whole hour felt like a kick in the...you get the picture.
I was heaping out guilt more than grace; how to love their wives, but not why men are called to love their wives. We as a church yell at men, "Man up! Love your wife!" but we offer no compelling picture of being a husband outside of duty—it's what you ought to do.
Most men are devoted to sports in one form or another. You don't have to tell them to love their team, sacrifice for their team, cheer for their team, spend money on their team, go out on dates with their team. They do all of those things out of devotion. They do they because they feel, innately, a sense of glory attached to sports. That's why men will sit around the barber shop or at the bar reliving the old "glory days" of big games that get bigger as memories fade.
Men sacrifice, serve, and are devoted when they know that glory is on the line—but it doesn't take long for the glory day of our wedding to start feeling ordinary. She changes from the wedding dress into gray sweats. His hair migrates from his head to his back.
It's time to reclaim the glory God intended for marriage. In Paul's playbook for husbands, Ephesians 5, Paul calls marriage a "profound (great, mega) mystery" that symbolizes the union of Christ and the church. In other words, every marriage—for better or worse—reveals the glory of God to a watching world. When husbands catch that vision, I believe that they will, with God's help, step up and love like Christ.
Daniel Darling is the Senior Pastor of Gages Lake Bible Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and the author of Crash Course and iFaith. His columns appear at Crosswalk.com. Follow him through Facebook, Twitter, or his personal website.