The “Not So Amazing Man”

1 Peter 3:7     Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

There are a few “Knights in Shining Armor,” and then there are many “Not So Amazing Men.”

We see this sad predicament from the beginning with Adam who greatly harmed his wife. He was with her when she conversed with the serpent who offered contrary advise to God. He was with her when she partook of the forbidden fruit. And in the beginning, he appeared to do nothing to love her soul.

Then, at the beginning of the Hebrew race, Abraham harmed his wife. For a season, he led his wife away from the Promised Land and into danger. Then twice, he saved his own skin by allowing his precious bride to be taken into the harem of another man.

Later, his nephew Lot followed his leadership and harmed his wife and daughters. He led his family away from the chosen patriarch and the worshiping community, and he showed sinful sexism and poor chivalry when, in order to save two traveling men, he offered his own daughters to the ravenous crowd in Sodom. Later, his poor leadership and love was proven in a wife who longed for that which God despised, and in two daughters who sought to have children by their own father.

Jacob, also known as Israel, harmed and scorned his wife Leah. She knew he wanted nothing to do with her.

And these men are not rare in the ancient Hebrew Scriptures. While there are some exceptions, many of Israel’s judges and kings ran roughshod over their wives. Men were unfaithful and polygamist in their practice, and they seemed to be not so troubled by being “Not So Amazing.”

The same is true in some Hebrew circles today. Many still pray forth the following from one of their prayer books, “Blessed are you … King of the Universe, for not having made me a Gentile; blessed are you … King of the Universe, for not having made me a slave; blessed are you … King of the Universe, for not having made me a woman.”

However, this is not just a Hebrew or Jewish thing. Egyptian wives were buried alive with the Pharaohs. And in Scripture we know of one famous Persian monarch who dethroned his wife because she would not dance before his drunken friends. This king then harmed a large number of future brides by forcing them into his harem for one night with the king.

The plight of women became slightly better under Greek Philosophy, but it was hardly ideal. Aristotle gave women a promotion; they were higher than animals, and higher than slaves, but vastly deficient compared to men. And while the wise Greek husband should honor his wife and pursue a monogamous relationship with her, she was not exactly his equal. According to Aristotle’s teaching, “Women were more mischievous, less simple, more impulsive … more compassionate … more easily moved to tears … more jealous, more querulous, more apt to scold and to strike … more prone to despondency and less hopeful … more void of shame or self-respect, more false of speech, more deceptive, of more retentive memory [and] … also more wakeful; more shrinking [and] more difficult to rouse to action”[i]  One can also read the works of Xenophon who wrote extensively regarding the woman’s weak character and emotional fragility.[ii]

Following the Greeks, the Romans granted women a bit more liberty than other cultures, but at the same time women were still kept in a highly subservient and degraded position. The common view was that all women should be under the control of some male guardian – father, husband, uncle, friend, executor, or son.[iii]  Consequently, in Roman society, wives were expected to worship their husband’s gods, have their husband’s friends, keep their husband’s house, make their husband’s food, bear their husband’s children, endure their husbands flings, and keep their mouths shut. Cato, the Roman historian noted, “If you were to catch your wife in an act of infidelity, you could kill her with impunity without a trial; but if she were to catch you, she would not venture to touch you with her finger, and indeed, she has no right.”[iv]

Well, times have changed and so too have regimes, philosophies, and cultural norms, but sinful tendencies remain the same. Still today, it is very easy to find those who are in “strong positions” dominating and harming those in “weaker positions.” Stronger nations like Iraq sought to plunder Kuwait. Wealthy individuals seek to harm those with less capital. Those skilled in law seek to control those who have not such mastery or assets to obtain such. Parents harm their children. Men harm women, and husbands harm their wives.

Yes, today, it is not so hard to find the “Not So Amazing Man” in a Middle Eastern country ruled by Sharia Law.

And it is not very hard to find the “Not So Amazing Man” in the United States of America. In 1976, Waylan Jennings wrote a song about such a man. It was entitled, ‘Put Another Log on the Fire.” Here are the lyrics:

Put another log on the fire.
Cook me up some bacon and some beans.
And go out to the car and change the tire.
Wash my socks and sew my old blue jeans.
Come on, baby, you can fill my pipe,
And then go fetch my slippers.
And boil me up another pot of tea.
Then put another log on the fire, babe,
And come and tell me why you’re leaving me.

Now don’t I let you wash the car on Sunday?
Don’t I warn you when you’re gettin fat?
Ain’t I a-gonna take you fishin’ with me someday?
Well, a man can’t love a woman more than that.
Ain’t I always nice to your kid sister?
Don’t I take her driving every night?
So, sit here at my feet ‘cos I like you when you’re sweet,
And you know it ain’t feminine to fight.

So, put another log on the fire.
Cook me up some bacon and some beans.
Go out to the car and lift it up and change the tire.
Wash my socks and sew my old blue jeans.
Come on, baby, you can fill my pipe,
And then go fetch my slippers.
And boil me up another pot of tea.
Then put another log on the fire, babe,
And come and tell me why you’re leaving me.

Perhaps country music is not your thing. You prefer Hip Hop or Rap. However, I don’t dare print the lyrics here of the many songs comparing women, wives, and daughters to female dogs and whores.

However, for some reading this devotional, they do not have to listen to the radio, look on TV, scan the office, or walk down the street to find the “Not So Amazing Man.” No, they are near and they are plenty, and they can be found in your church, in your house, in your bed, or in your shoes.

You see him. You are offended by him, and so too is God. And because God is holy, he is filled with wrath over how men treat women and how husbands treat their wives. The same God who created the Lake of Fire for Lucifer – that angel with power who sought to harm God’s children – plans on eternally separating himself from all men and husbands who are Luciferian in the way in which they treat his daughters. Jesus once told his audience it would be better for a man to be cast into the sea, with a huge stone around his neck, than for him to harm one of God’s little ones. The same principle applies to the “Not So Amazing Man” and his mistreatment of God’s girls.

However there is good news for the “Not So Amazing Man” and the hurting women in his life. God loves tax collectors, prostitutes, gluttonous individuals, and “Not So Amazing Men.” He saves such. He sanctifies and changes them. And in the end, God is better worshiped by “Not So Amazing Men,” becoming “More Amazing Men,” due to the “Amazing Grace of God,” before an “Amazed and Thankful Spouse.”

[This is the introduction for a sermon entitled, “He’s So Amazing” which was preached at Palmetto Hills Presbyterian Church on Sunday, March 29, 2015.]
[i] From Wikipedia      (History of Animals, 608b. 1-14).
[ii] Aristotle’s and Xenophon’s Views … Karen Jobes, 208
[iv] Cato … Serendipity Bible Study Series, 21

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