For Men Only: A Word of Warning

This post is for men only. You women have to go read something else today. May I suggest Rachel Held Evans post Thou Shall Not Let Thyself Go?

Men.

Some of  you have a problem.

And it’s growing.

The women have asked me to speak to you about this matter. It seems some of you spend more time watching sports than you do playing them.

You’ve given into temptation.

There’s no use denying it, you know.

It’s beginning to show.

I understand the pressure to keep yourself fit, really I do. But c’mon, you’re a man, after all. You’re free to let yourself go, whereas we women are constantly bombarded with the message that if we do, we might lose you.  So we pluck-n-tuck, and wax-and-wrap.

While you float-and-fish.

Now, granted, you are never likely to hear a sermon preached on this matter given that the bulk of preaching in this country is done by men who like to float-and-fish.

Besides as far as I can tell, Jesus liked to fish as much as the next Bubba, so who am I to argue with that?

And while I looked and looked I couldn’t find any scripture warning you that if you don’t shape up, your woman might ship out.

But I did find one rather disturbing story from Judges 4:

Meanwhile Sisera, running for his life, headed for the tent of Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite. Jabin king of Hazor and Heber the Kenite were on good terms with one another. Jael stepped out to meet Sisera and said, “Come in, sir. Stay here with me. Don’t be afraid.”

So he went with her into her tent. She covered him with a blanket.

19 He said to her, “Please, a little water. I’m thirsty.”

She opened a bottle of milk, gave him a drink, and then covered him up again.

20 He then said, “Stand at the tent flap. If anyone comes by and asks you, ‘Is there anyone here?’ tell him, ‘No, not a soul.’”

21 Then while he was fast asleep from exhaustion, Jael wife of Heber took a tent peg and hammer, tiptoed toward him, and drove the tent peg through his temple and all the way into the ground. He convulsed and died.

22 Barak arrived in pursuit of Sisera. Jael went out to greet him. She said, “Come, I’ll show you the man you’re looking for.” He went with her and there he was—Sisera, stretched out, dead, with a tent peg through his temple.

Kind of gruesome isn’t it?

Consider it  a word of warning the next time the neighbor lady invites you over for some milk and cookies.

Keep on running instead.

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • http://middletree.blogspot.com James Williams

    errr….thanks. Duly noted.

  • http://www.butnotyet.com JoelR

    I have heard it said that the exhaustion that knocked Sisera out came from doing the horizontal bop with Jael. Ever since I heard that, I never go to sleep until I’ve the argument is resolved and I’ve profusely apologized for what moronic thing I’ve done.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      I hope my husband reads your remarks.

  • Holly

    Word.

    That’s Hilarious. And I tend to agree. Sheesh.

  • http://www.theleadershipvibe.blogspot.com Rhonda

    Too true to be funny. Converstation between me and Norm…”I carried three humans in here, what’s your excuse?”

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Yes, but I get to say to Tim: I carried two babies at once in here!!!

  • http://cornerretreat.blogspot.com BILL

    Yes! Yes! The battle is on!
    Jesus Love,
    Bill

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      I might mention that I wrote this post while drinking Diet Coke and eating peanut M&Ms

      • Rick Hutto

        Those two cancel out one another. The little Pac-Men in the Diet Coke eat the calories in the peanut M&Ms. It’s a known fact.

        • karenzach

          Thanks Rick! Love the way you rationalize…you tall drink of water, you.

  • http://www.timthurmansblog.blogspot.com Tim Thurman

    OUCH! I was going to write about the double standard, i.e. no one will ream you if you write this about men, but if I wrote it about women….Then I got to think about it. There have been plenty of men who have said it about women. This is just a little payback. But if we men are not supposed to be concerned about the weight of women, then should you women be concerned about our weight? I think neither men or women should let themselves go, party, if I am honest, for how how society and the opposite sex will look at them. But mostly for what it does for themselves. As someone who has always struggled (and yes, I mean struggled) with his weight, I know I feel better about myself when I am “thinner.” And, a couple years ago, I had sort of let myself go because work was busy and stressful. It had serious health issues for me. Let’s make this about health and not body image.
    And really, we have to always be careful about this because does God really care? When we focus on this too much, we miss the real point — making sure our hearts (I mean heart metaphorically, not literally) are in good shape. I know that is the Sunday School answer, but that does not change the truth of it.
    Am I off base?

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Tim:
      It is just a little payback. Rachel does a great job of highlighting all the pressures put upon women — ridiculous really, I mean did you see the woman that Gov. Terminator took up with rather than the lovely and extra-thin Maria Shriver? Or how about Jesse James trading in Sandra Bullock? Or Tiger Woods?
      Everyone of those women were fit and beautiful and yet their husbands up and cheated on them. Just to point out to those men and women who assume that cheating is justified if their spouses “let themselves go” that they are deceiving themselves and no one else. They are looking to justify their bad choices and blaming someone else is the best way to do that.
      I think everyone who reads this post knows that they feel better about themselves when they are healthy. Me included.

      • http://www.timthurmansblog.blogspot.com Tim Thurman

        The guys you mentioned are …schmucks. There is never a justification for cheating. Now I am off to eat some bon-bons.

  • http://simplydarlene.wordpress.com/me/ Simply Darlene

    I wonder what this says about us women who didn’t heed your warning, but kept on reading. I reckon it serves me right that I about tossed my cookies because of those belly-bursting images.

    But… you know about healthy options, like green smoothies. I think mister man ought to make a run for it even if neighbor-lady offers up a glass full o’ green. Do the Gumpy-Run, dude!

    Dang, I’ve also gotta go poke out my mind’s eye now. Thanks for that.

    Blessings.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      I always think a little visual goes a long ways, don’t you?

  • http://www.kenwords.com Ken Summerlin

    I think you’ve just stepped across the line from preaching to meddling!

    OK … guilty as charged. I’ll try to do better but I’m gonna finish the last glass of sweet tea first!

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      No fair. I can’t get that out here.

      • http://www.kenwords.com Ken Summerlin

        How about making it? BTW, we refer to sweet tea as the “House Wine of the South.”

        Sweet tea is an odd drink: you boil water to make it hot, pour it over ice to make it cold, put sugar in it to make it sweet, and lemon in it to make it sour. Maybe that’s why it’s so good? I think I’ll have another glass!

  • http://www.unlikelychristian.com Unlikely Christian

    Fun post! I’ll gladly continue my fight in the battle of the bulge. However in my war against excess unwanted hair, I’m about to wave the white flag. I just can’t fight on that many fronts. ;-)

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      I know how you feel.

  • http://middletree.blogspot.com James Williams

    You would go and post this on National Doughnut day, wouldn’t you? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/03/national-donut-day-2011_n_870719.html

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Two days after National Running Day? You’d think they’d do it the other way around.

  • http://larryshallenberger.com Larry

    This is exactly why women can’t be ordained in many denominations. They can’t make the minimum weight class.

    /rimshot

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Great shot, Larry. You punk.

  • http://larryshallenberger.com Larry

    For the record, I don’t believe that a woman’s changing body is usually the reason men cheat. I believe that men and women cheat because they find that easier than having the hard conversation with their spouse- whatever that topic is.

    The changing body thing? A rationalization.

  • http://bramboniusinenglish.wordpress.com brambonius

    Auch, those pictures. I must say don’t like sports (watching nor playing) except for that I’m walking and taking the bicycle a lot. But I hope thos pictures do not depict the future of my body… That would not be taking care of my ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’…

    Aboput women: if you’re not able to see the beauty of your wife when she’s wearing somthing ‘unfancy’, you’re not able to see it and you’re only watching superficially. No need to babble about ‘inner beauty’ needed, you only watch for outside appearences then. it’s an injustice to make such attitude biblical…

    And frankly, I’m still weirded out by the idea that male preachers would talk about such a thing in a sermon, and call it biblical. Never seen such a thing… You funny Americans surely do have some weird culture from time to time…

    (Maybe I’m lucky because I’m Belgian, maybe we have it too but I just don’t know it)

    My reaction when I read Rachel and Mr. Challies blogposts was writing about ‘conceptural adultery’ see http://wp.me/pqPD4-7R , an idea that I think I have to work out more. But the double standard you (and a lot of others) point to is also somthing that’s beyond ridiculous, as wel as the western privilege of being able to dress fancy…

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      I really love the way you summed it up in your post — Train yourself to see her beauty in her ugliest moments.
      This is the admonition to us from Christ towards all people, is it not?

  • C. Ehrlich

    The assumption seems to be that, generally speaking, obesity in a woman is a greater sin than obesity in a man. A Christian should not accept this assumption.

    Suppose, for example, that Adam himself was created by God with an ample gut, with a strong aversion to jogging; whereas Eve was a Barbie doll, inclined to such things as yoga and to nibbling on salads without dressing. Wouldn’t this speak volumes of the divinely ordained order, undermining our modern and liberal tendency to minimize differences between the sexes?

    At any rate, when they do find a good photograph of that original pair buried somewhere in the Vatican, do we really expect it to show Adam heading out for a run while Eve is munching bonbons on the couch?

    • karenzach

      The Vatican has a picture of Adam and Eve they’ve kept hidden all these years? Does it look anything like the one of John Lennon and Yoko on that record cover from the 60s?

    • http://www.christineascheller.wordpress.com cas

      Where in the Bible does it say obesity is a sin? Gluttony is a sin, but it and obesity are two different things.

      Miriam Webster defines Gluttony as: 1. excess in eating or drinking; 2. greedy or excessive indulgence.

      Greedy or excessive indulgence could apply to any number of food related sins.

      An obese person’s sin patterns are on display for the whole world to see in ways other people’s are not, but when we talk about the obesity epidemic in the United States, we’d better be prepared to talk about it as a communal sin that includes corporate greed, agribusiness, marketing, etc. There was no such thing as a Big Gulp when I was growing up, or video games, or lifestyle pressures that make fast food a reasonable dinner option for overworked parents.

      Centuries ago, art depicted beautiful women as ample ones. Men less so, I think, so when looking at bodies for evidence of sin, perhaps we should include the exercise addicts with near-perfect physiques in the the mix.

      • Erin

        cas: That is one of the most intelligent comments I have read in 19 years of internet usage.

        • http://www.christineascheller.wordpress.com cas

          Thanks so much Erin!

  • C. Ehrlich

    Oops. The assumptions that Christians cannot, in good conscience, accept is this: that, generally speaking, obesity in a woman ISN’T a greater sin than obesity in a man.

    The “isn’t” here is of course crucial. The assumption would otherwise seem fairly innocuous.

  • http://www.garynelson.wordpress.com Gary

    Oh, yeah, Guys, today is National Donut Day! May be a good day to head out to Krispe Kreme and get some coming off the line mmmh.

    • karenzach

      No fair. We don’t have Krispy Kreme here!

  • http://www.stateofformation.org/author/ben-devan/ Ben DeVan

    And here I thought you weren’t going to tell the story of Jael from Judges, but this little ditty from Judges 3 instead:

    Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a cubit[d] long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing. 17 He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man. 18 After Ehud had presented the tribute, he sent on their way those who had carried it. 19 But on reaching the stone images near Gilgal he himself went back to Eglon and said, “Your Majesty, I have a secret message for you.”

    The king said to his attendants, “Leave us!” And they all left.

    20 Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his palace[e] and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly. 22 Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it. 23 Then Ehud went out to the porch[f]; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.

    • karenzach

      LOL. Wish I had! Glad you did.


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