A woman is often asking her husband for the same treatment he wants from Christ. However, men sometimes prove to be hypocritical in that they expect from Christ what they are unwilling to provide for their wives.
Here are a few areas where I find that men show this subtle form of hypocrisy:
Freedom to Express Feelings Without Condemnation
On many occasions in the scriptures, especially Numbers 11:11-15, God’s men offered their complaint before the Lord.
In Psalm 77:3, the psalmist said, “I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.”
In Numbers, Moses said, “Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?
Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?
Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.
I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.”
What I love about scriptures as such is they teach us that it is okay to reverentially offer our concerns, fears, worries, and even complaints before the Lord. What I also feel is fascinating is that one never finds God taking these complaints as though they are an attack against his person, nor do they find God getting defensive or taking things personally.
A woman needs a place to express, complain, vent, et cetera without condemnation. But, if a man is too wrapped up in his own sensitivities, he will fail to provide that which Christ offers to him on a daily basis.
Freedom to Learn Gracefully
Christ supplies an environment that allows men to learn gracefully. In other words, He allows us to trip up over ourselves, rethink our approach to life, and even blow it at times yet all in an atmosphere of grace. (I John 1:9, Romans 5:20, Matthew 11:28-29, I Peter 5:7, and Matthew 12:20) If a man is going to love his wife as Christ loved the church, then I believe he should provide the same atmosphere for his wife.
On many occasions, however, a man will see the shortcomings of his wife, her emotional vulnerabilities, or mood swings and offer criticism rather than grace. If this occurs, then it must be understood that he is failing to love his wife as Christ loved the church in that he is allowing the atmosphere in his marriage to be that of criticism rather than grace and understanding.
Freedom to Respond on Her Own Volition
Men that are trying to win back the heart of their wife can come across as controlling, even while using good Biblical behavior. Whereas they formerly used anger and selfish behavior to secure their selfish desires, even their good behavior can have a string of expectation attached.
A man in this situation will do well to do what we teach in chapter 6 of our marriage book and love his wife because it is right not because it may secure a desired result.
It must be noted that just as Christ loves and then allows us to respond, a man must enter that vacuum of sorts where he does not know how his wife is going to respond. He may be waiting a while, but if I remember, Christ patiently waited for us.
Food for thought . . . Dr. Raymond Force