daily Broadcast

What's a Woman to Do?, Part 1

From the series Marriage that Works

Ladies, do you feel pulled in a million directions? Family, career, marriage, relationships - all competing for your time? If you’re longing to bring some sanity to your world, join Chip for some insights and encouragement, from God’s Word, about the role of women inside and outside the home.

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Message Transcript

And so, what I want to do is I want to give you God’s prescription, ladies, about what to do in a way that will fill the deepest needs of your heart. The “what” for a woman is to step in and support; and the “how” is, let me give you the woman’s top three priorities. It’s to nurture, protect, and provide.

And if you remember from our time with men, a man’s was exactly the same three priorities in exactly the opposite order. A man’s number one priority is to provide, then to protect, and then to nurture.

And here’s what I want you to see. I was walking through Home Depot yesterday. I get illustrations everywhere. And as I was walking through Home Depot and I was thinking about this whole issue of roles.

And the whole issue of roles, what the Bible does is it creates for us, by the Divine Designer, these are complimentary roles. There’s not a good, a bad, an inferior, or superior. There is a role for a man, and a role for a woman, that fits together that brings oneness, and beauty, and design, and intimacy, and love, and creates this thing called a home instead of a house.

And I was thinking of this bolt and this nut and, no explanation about who is who or what’s going on here, but what I want you to understand is, everything that is held together, it requires both the bolt and the nut.

And if you look on the outside, often, everything that’s held in between, if this was in a wall, all you would see is this thing on the outside. Often it’s more visible. Maybe that’s a guy out there doing this or that.

But the glue that holds everything together is the combination. And it’s interesting. These threads go one direction and the threads inside go a different direction so they fit perfectly.

And what we’ve done in the last thirty or forty years is argued about which one of these is most important and who ought to get to do what instead of recognizing the beauty is when they are made and fulfill what they are designed to do and that’s the Divine Designer and what God has for every one of us in our relationships.

And so He says, “Ladies, these are your top three priorities.” To nurture is to create a relational environment that promotes the spiritual, emotional, and physical welfare of those around you. And no one can do it like a woman.

To protect means to minimize the harmful influences that affect the lives that have been entrusted to you. And to provide means to maximize all spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial resources to do good to those that are in your relational network.

And so, what I’ve done is I’ve given three specific passages, as the box top. That these are the three primary things that God says to a woman, “This is what I want you to do.” And then what I want to do, in the rest of our time, is give you some practical ways, just like I did with the men.

Here are some ways to step in so that if these are the strengths of your man and these are his needs, God has made you to honor and respect and step in in a way that a man can never fulfill what God made him to do apart from a woman giving him what he doesn’t have. And the same is true for her.

And so, first of all, you’ll notice it’s Proverbs 31. It says, “An excellent wife, who can find? Her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her.” Ladies, circle the word “heart.” “And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good.” Circle “does him good.” “And does not evil all the days of her life.”

Notice the word “heart of her husband.” There’s a relational nurture. The heart of her husband, something inside of us insecure men, that wonder how things are going to play out when there’s pressure out there. The heart of her husband can trust in her.

It goes on to say she does him good. That’s provision. No evil. That’s protection. 1 Timothy 5:14 says, Paul is speaking to a situation in church. And when a young woman’s husband would die, in this culture, there were only two options.

As a woman, you couldn’t, as a single woman, go out and get a job. Either you dedicated yourself to the church and were full time with the church, and they would support you financially, or you could be a prostitute. Those were the only options.

And so, that’s the context of Paul writing. He says, “So, I prefer that the younger widows get married, have children, and take care of their homes,” circle the word “take care,” “so as to not give our enemies a chance of speaking evil against us.”

And the word “take care” it means “to rule.” It means to be the chief operating officer. It means “to make it happen.”

The third passage is Titus 2:3 through 5. And as I read this one, Titus is a pastor, Paul is writing to the pastor, Titus appointed elders, and the church is on this island of Crete. Now, the women in the island of Crete were known as wild women.

And so, in this very immoral, crazy island, the apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says to this pastor, “Here’s what I want the older women to do. The older women, likewise, are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips or enslaved to much wine.”

Now, notice what they’re to do, “Teaching,” literally, the word is “training,” “clearly communicating God’s truth. Teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women,” to do what? “Love their husbands, love their children, to be sensible, pure workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands,” and notice the premise, “that the Word of God may not be dishonored.”

You see, if the Christ-centered relationship, if walking with God doesn’t work at home, he says, don’t export it. When people in your neighborhoods and my neighborhoods, when people at work, if they don’t see a transformational home where there’s love, and acceptance, and affirmation, and intimacy in a marriage, and a following for Christ that makes a difference, he says, “You know what? It calls into question everything we say that we believe.”

And so what you’re going to see, ladies, is there is a role that only you can fill. And when you fill it, the deepest levels of fulfillment occur in your heart.

And what we’re going to learn is that there are three specific roles and there are different seasons and different times for these roles. Some of you have more energy and less energy. Some of you have come from different backgrounds and so how you will apply what I’m about to say, the Holy Spirit is going to have to show you.

But there are three critical roles, from Scripture, that are absolutely, this is what God made you, as a woman, to do that no one else can.

Number one. So, how do you step in and support to lead your family in righteousness? A wife’s number one priority is to support, affirm, and here’s the key word, empower her husband to fulfill his God given calling, both within and outside the home. Empower. Affirm. Support.

We don’t like to think about this but a man’s biggest, biggest need is for respect or for honor. We can take a lot of different things. But a man, down deep, really wonders, “Am I a man? Do I have what it takes? Can I provide? Can I lead?”

And so, the areas that it’s easier for us is work and sports and things outside the home. And we can compensate. But when it comes to spiritual leadership, being a good dad, being a good husband, all those things? Those are tough. And the only way you can do it is when you have a wife who respects and honors and asks the kind of questions, and lives with you in such a way, that says, “You know what? You can do this. I’m for you.”

And here’s the role. It’s the role of a champion. It’s when the wife is the teammate and the best friend.

Any organization that thrives always has a champion. A champion is someone who champions the cause, the values, and the course, and the commitment. It’s someone who says, “We can do this.”

The most powerful influence in any family is whom? Always in every family. It’s the mom. Who’s the glue in a family? It’s the mother. And she champions the things that matter most.

Let me give you five practical ways, ladies, to be the champion to your husband. First is to make time with God your number one priority. The spiritual, emotional, physical. It’s, you have the most demanding job in the world.

The multi-tasking, the pulls from multiple people, the ability to meet needs here, meet needs, running a home. See, a home isn’t, do people have food and do they have clothes? A home, rightly understood, is a transformational organization where love gets created, received, and exported and the complete direction and trajectory of human lives are changed because of their experience in a home.

Ladies, the only way you can run a home in a way that makes it a transformational, loving experience is you need God. You need strength. You need wisdom. You need, as a woman, as hard as it is, with all the demands, to make time in His Word a priority for you.

Time where you’re unhurried. Time where there’s time for yourself. Time where, you know what? You can take some time away and be with some other women, either a mentoring relationship or a Bible study.

And I’ll use my wife as a few examples. I will tell you is when she understood one thing, she understood even when we had small kids, I’d find my wife five, five-thirty in the morning. And sometimes because kids get up early, it was only five minutes here or ten minutes there. She made meeting with God the number one priority in her life.

God, and His wisdom, and His power needed to be in her because she couldn’t impart what she didn’t possess.

You can’t love a guy that’s insensitive like a lot of us are. You can’t give yourself to kids and all their needs and their demands apart from God giving you what only He can give you.

Second thing is pray for him regularly. A woman’s power and influence in the home is often as much informal as formal. And it’s often indirect.

Ladies, jot down Proverbs 21:1. This is a powerful verse for allowing God to do things that only He can do. It says, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord. He turns it whatever way He wishes.”

See, a lot of times, as a woman, I’ve watched this in my wife, she would have an issue with me and she’d talk with me and she made suggestions or we would read a book and there’d be no change. Or we’d have a problem with one of our kids or there’d be a circumstance here.

And finally, what she learned is, you know something? “Father! Chip isn’t listening to me. I want You to take him on. Get under his skin. Show him what he needs. Do what’s, this child of ours is making me crazy. I want You...”

And what she learned was the greatest ally to do an impossible job to create love in the heart of human beings, that will determine their future, is a woman who understands ask, seek, knock and you’ll receive and the door will open and the heart of God longs to hear a mom pray for a husband and kids and He’ll answer you.

Third is plan for him daily. Life doesn’t just happen. With all demands that happen to a woman’s life, overwhelmed, I watch. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know how you all do it. And most women are juggling all kind of things.

And some it’s kids, and work, and home, and a husband, and outside responsibilities. And one of the first things that goes is you don’t plan for your husband. Special deeds of kindness. Remember you used to write him a note and put it some place where he’d find it?

Or when you’d have a special dinner, he’d come home, and there are candles lit? Or you got rid of the kids in a nice friendly way to a friend or a neighbor so that you could have some time alone?

Or you wanted to make him think it was his idea and so you hinted a little bit and then created something so you guys could actually get away for a weekend together? You’ve got to plan time.

Whatever you invest in grows. Whatever you neglect dies. And what happens, when you’re a woman, there are so many demands. What you hope for is not what happens. What you plan is what happens.

You’ve got plan in – “How do I invest in my husband in ways that honor him, and respect him, and remind him that he’s loved, and keep our love alive?” And, by the way, ladies, when you do that, at first he’ll go, “Hey, what’s going on here?”

And then he’ll love it. And often, as systems work, as you begin to meet some needs in his life, he’ll start to lead a little better. He’ll start to love a little bit more deeply.

Prepare for him daily. What a woman does to attract a man often in the early days is smothered and depleted by kids, and work, and fatigue. And let me just be sensitive here. But do you remember, some of you it’s a long time ago, when you were dating and we all did the dance, right? And you wanted to attract your husband.

Can you imagine, like, when it was starting to get serious and you thought, “I think I really, really love him.” And he says, “Hey, I’m going to be over in about an hour.” Would you greet him at the door with like, brushing your teeth going, “Hey! Really good to have you!” Right?

But here’s what happens, under pressure and over time, pretty soon, we get too familiar with each other. Men are visual. God made us visual. A very wise woman understands: how I look and how I prepare myself for when I see my husband, because, guess what – he’s out in a world where everyone’s looking their best everyday. And smelling their best.

And he’s getting all kind of strokes for what he does, not who he is out there. And this is one of the areas I have to say Theresa did a great job. I, probably a half hour before I got home, we ate at a real regular time, my wife, about ninety-eight percent of the time, greeted me looking nice with fresh makeup on and has worked very hard over the years.

Now, life is life, right? So, ladies, the figure you had when you were twenty usually isn’t quite the same at forty. And there’s usually a little slippage by about sixty, right? And it goes on.

But, and I’m not saying that we all need to work out seventeen hours at a gym. What I’m saying is this: we get sloppy about how we look and we don’t invest in the things that matter and that makes a big difference in how a man thinks. And one of the ways that you can love your man is to prepare. Prepare for him daily. Emotionally. Physically. Relationally. Communication.

You know when you come home or when you see each other and many of you, both of you work. If one person’s on the phone, when my wife, when the cell phones got real popular, I still remember one time… every time we were in the car I had this thing in my car and this good little gadget.

And every time we were together the phone would ring and I’d be answering the phone. I remember one day, it was a Friday, it was our day off. She looked at me and she goes, “Do you want to be with me or are you going to talk on the phone all the time?” I said, “I was just taking a quick call.” She goes, “You’re always taking quick calls. I feel like taking that thing and throwing it away.”

How many times, ladies, do kids occupy your attention? This occupies your attention or you’re on the phone with someone. Ask yourself, “What am I going to do the first five to seven to ten minutes that I connect with my husband?” And plan for it and do it well and you’ll be glad you did.

Final thing here is protect your time with your husband. This may come as a shock but he’s the number one responsibility, the number one human relationship that you have on this earth. And something that’s very empowering is he needs to see you say “no” to the kids if you have children, and “no” to some other demands, and “no” to some hobbies that make him feel like you really think he’s number one.