The Cruel Suffering of Godly Women
Well, I have just returned from the Big Island of Hawaii, which is a wonderful place to visit. I didn’t have much time to be a tourist, even though it is a beautiful island. I went there to teach a class at the Youth with a Mission base which has about a thousand young people coming through it at the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii. I was invited to teach at the maternity school and to help them go through a class to prepare them to serve in pregnancy help clinics and maternity homes all over the world. It was a very exciting situation. In fact, I wonder if it’s the only school of its kind. We’ve been trying to encourage certain Christian universities to start thinking about pregnancy crisis intervention as its own career path. But we haven’t really been successful yet in making that case. But Youth with a Mission has figured that out and they have created a school that’s training women particularly to serve in the mission field in the context of pregnancy health centers and maternity homes around the world. It was very exciting.

I taught them the Four Questions Monday through Thursday of last week. Some of these women were married and some of them had children, but the vast majority of them were young women in their twenties or thirties. One woman there was 45 and still single. And this is what I want to address today because most of these women are not single by choice. They really want to be married and the history of world missions shows that women do much better in terms of their emotional health, their stability and their long-term effectiveness if they can serve with a partner, unless they are among those women who are uniquely called to live and stay single. But most women are not. They want to be married. And many of these women I meet are single, not by choice, but because of a lack of manhood in our culture today. That’s the real problem I see. It’s a cruel reality that the failure to raise young men with a sense of strong masculinity, servant leaders in relationship to women, has left women in the very cruel position of waiting and waiting to be wooed. Men are called to be the wooers, but today they lack the initiative that was very common when I grew up. Christian or non-Christian, most young men knew that it was their job. It was their responsibility to see what they wanted and to go after it, to be the risk-taker in terms of relationships. Today it’s just heartbreaking to see all these beautiful, godly women pursuing the Lord as best they can, wanting to serve Him, but also wanting and longing to be both wife and mother as well. Yet men today don’t seem to be driven in the same way that my generation and certainly my father’s World War ll generation were. They knew what it was to be manly and a lot of that is gone today with women suffering as a result of it.

I think besides the failure to teach young men to be manly, to have initiative, to be the initiators and risk-takers, to lead the relationship in a godly way, the second problem I suspect is the access of pornography that is so widespread now in our culture. When I was growing up you had to overcome a lot of fear if you wanted to access pornography. You had to go into a store, pick up a magazine, and pay the woman behind the counter. There was a lot of built-in protections for young men like me, just by our timidity. We weren’t going to do that. But today, as you know, pornography hunts you down on your phone, on your iPad, on your computer. The God-given gift of a sexual drive in young men to help push them toward being initiators in relationships and to do whatever they need to prepare to be a good husband and provider, which is attractive to a young woman, all that is diverted through pornography today.

So my challenge to all of us who might be reading this is that every single Christian young man in our life needs to be challenged to grow into godly manhood. By which I mean to get a vision for being the leader in the relationship, to be the initiator of that relationship, to take the chance. Don’t be afraid that women are going to say no if you ask them out. If they say no, well that’s tough. Go ask somebody else. It falls to us to be the initiators, not to calculate and remove all the risks before we take a chance. We need to encourage young men to embrace godly manhood and to go out and find a good wife, and to take the lead in finding that person to be their life partner.

Am I talking about men and women? I’m really talking about the gospel and missions because all these women are waiting to be wooed as Shakespeare said. Godly men need to get to the wooing right merrily. So let’s encourage manhood at every place that we can because I see godly women everywhere, waiting to be a life partner in the service of the kingdom, including the work that we do around the world. Thank you.