The Problem with Every Man’s Heart 2022

Why does God appear so hard on men versus women? He says, “Husbands . . . do not be harsh with [your wives].” (Colossians 3:18) And He follows that up with, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” (Col. 3:20) Since God is all-wise, why did He not address the women, teaching them not to be harsh with their husbands, and urging them also to refrain from provoking the children? God is not giving women a pass. He expects both spouses to be kind toward each other, and both parents to be loving toward their children. Here is the reason; men have greater issues with harshness and anger than women. In our society, the majority of inmates in our prisons are men. Many of the illegal acts they committed involved anger. Violent crimes like murder, rape, assault, robbery. Ask any police officer about domestic abuse calls, and it is mostly due to the husband or boyfriend. Ask any school teacher about fights or bullying, and boys are most often the culprits. In the home, a man is more likely than a woman to hit, push, grab, sexually abuse, threaten, curse, intimidate, be demeaning, condemning, demanding or overly strict. Do women have problems with harshness and anger? Yes, but for men it is clearly more significant, especially when the presence of their size and strength is considered. Why do men struggle with this? For the answer, we have to go back to Adam and Eve, the first two human beings. They were created by God and were in perfect relationship with Him, until they disobeyed and the curse of sin entered the world. Consequently, all of creation, including men and women, have suffered for this. To Eve, representing the future of all women, God said, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16) God had appointed man to be the leader of his household and to do so in love and humbleness. But due to sin, his leadership was corrupted with a selfish inconsiderate, controlling and domineering spirit. This results in at times, treating his wife with harshness and provoking his children toward anger and discouragement. Is it possible for a father to overcome these tendencies and lead his family with a heart of service and selfless love? Yes! Instead of being harsh, God tells husbands to “love your wives.” (Col. 3:18) Rather than provoking the children to anger, God states to fathers, “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) What is God saying here? He is declaring to men that change is possible! “Bring them up” refers to nourishing and cherishing. How can a man shift from being controlling and domineering over his family, to serving and treasuring them? This is how. God says to “put off your old self” and “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:21,24) Within yourself, you do not have the ability to become this kind of man. You have a heart problem that has only one remedy – Jesus. He took your anger and harshness upon Himself when He died on the cross. Then when He rose again, He conquered it. And when He ascended back to heaven, He sent His Spirit to indwell His followers so they will have the power to live transformed lives. Through Jesus, you can lead your home by loving your wife as you ought. Through Jesus, you can cherish your children as you should. Today, put off the old and put on the new. A prayer for you – “Lord Jesus, make us like you. You are kind, good and loving. We are sinful, angry and controlling men. We do not want to live this way anymore. For the sake of our wives and children, change us. By your power, help us to put off the old and put on the new. In your holy name, Amen.”