Filter by: Products Articles
Filter by:

It’s the Men’s Turn!

August 15, 2012

Men, it’s your turn to speak up. Mike will not admit to needing help, but he does want input from men for his new book, In Search Of A Help Meet. We will be asking questions here over the next few weeks, so let us know what you think. Today’s question for unmarried men is “What’s holding you back from getting married?” and for married men “What held you back from getting married?” Email your answer and maybe you will read it (anonymously if you wish) and Mike’s response in the book. Man up and speak up!

6 comments on “It’s the Men’s Turn!”

  1. There were several things that held me back from getting married. The first is that I was't able to be in a relaxed,yet watched, setting to get to know young Christian Women. Another is that I came from a family where my Dad was pressuring me under the flow of things to date and be active in the wrong way,yet say I was pure,etc. Later on when in my very late 20's that pressure relaxed some.Through my teen years I fought hard not to compromise my position even though it looked bad to most people. That made me shy to even talk to young women as I had very little help from my dad and my mother was busy with homeschooling 4 kids and seemed tired and not approacheable in that area. I was diagnosed with a type of spinal arthritis, that developed to arthritis all over the body and I became severely disabled and lost the use of my legs as far as walking and straightening my legs. I prayed to the Lord most of my life to help me get married someday. My disability made me embaressed at first and does still some. My parents ( Mostly Dad) ministered to Kids with a ministry and we had to hold that perfect image for him and the family. I stayed at home and was trying to find a way to get out on my own when my health failed and my dad helped to force me into 'the system' of Nursing Homes and Hospitals. There are very few young disabled people in the same Nursing Home or that type of place in the area I Live. Reading the Bible is harder and hearing it on CD is very helpful when you are quite disabled. So, also the gossip at these places make the Christians look like the culprits as they get the blame for stuff socially when they are honoring God's way. After a few years in Hospitals and Nursing Homes, God led me to find the Helpmeet that God chose for me. We are still amazed that he led us together as we both are in wheelchairs and have similar diseases(but not related). Many roadblocks got put in the way of finding God's choice in my life, but even when I struggled and didn't obey totally in the way He wanted,He still came through and gave me a blessing. Also, another thing that kept me back was when my (wife-to-be back then) and I had to start learning to work together and my parents and hers were wanting us to be cautious and see if this was God's will. I think that they held us back a little too much as it was a yrs worth of wait for marriage and things could have been better if we had followed the advice of our pastor and got married earlier as far as purity goes. We were doing our best,but it seems like there needs to be a shorter wait when 2 people know it is God's will and need not be afraid to voice that and get married. Also,legal things,like becoming my own person or Guardian again kept us back a few months.Another thing is the constant trying to get my wife to be and I apart from each other and constantly lie about our honesty to keep her dad from being ok with marriage as he is her legal Guardian. Thanks be to the Lord Jesus for making marriage possible in spite of obvious interference from the enemy of God. Thanks for reading this and may it be used to help others find God's plan of marriage His Way. Thanks for the help and encouragement you have been to me for several years. God Bless and keep that beam shining for Him that you are to soo many. May I be able to have courage and stand firm as you do. Thanks again.

  2. I tried emailing you this, but it didn't work. So I decided to post it here.

    Dear Mike Pearl,

    My mother brought to my attention that you were looking for input from young men for your new book. I do not meet that criteria, but my mother thought that my comments might be of some use to you. May God show you how!

    Let me give you a little background first. Growing up, my father was very narcissistic. And while I was raised in a Christian home, from generations on both sides, I had many struggles. Because of the lack of input from my father, and with all of the spiritual warfare entailed, I hated my womanhood and anything having to do with the inherent weaknesses and vulnerabilities. I tried to get rid of all emotion, I erased all emotional thought, and even dressed like a man. Near the end of this, some even mistook me for being a lesbian, by how I dressed and talked. The Lord healed me from those days, slowly and painfully walking away. He restored a desire in me for the fight of my womanhood. It took years.

    I remember many years later having a very vivid dream, where I was sitting in on a Sunday School for High Schoolers. The teacher was going around the room, asking everyone who they felt they had been called to do by God. They all stated the most obvious callings, pastor, evangelist, healer, missionary, working with the homeless, writer, etc. He was well pleased. I didn't know what I was going to say and so was silently praying this whole time. Then he came to me and asked me the same question: what had I been called to do with my life. I answered simply and with a strong conviction that I was called to be a woman. He was surprised and chuckled a little and said simply that there was no way that I could be called to something that I was inherently, and for me to try again. I said again that I had become a woman again by choice, in all its strengths and weaknesses and that my calling was to be a woman. He got very mad at me, started shouting and jeering at me in front of everyone. He set everyone else to mocking me as well.

    It is that strong in me, this knowing. I am now married, recently, and have a little daughter. I have carried this calling with me and have done what I felt I needed to.

    I suffered in much agony for many years over the fact that I did not find any man who was interested enough to marry me. I cried out to God, that He would fulfill my desire. I had read some book on dating and none of them seemed to talk to the recent issues, one that Shalom had recently written about: the women seem to be ready, where are the men?! The more intellectual a man seemed to be, the less practical he became. I live on a farm, so that obviously wasn't going to earn my respect. The more spiritual he became, the more smoke and mirrors was his talk, either being too condemning, without confronting anyone directly, or too lenient, allowing sin to go unjudged completely. The young men seemed quite distracted with their own issues and couldn't get to the whole this-girl-means-responsibility aspect. I longed to be much more than just "cute."

    I came up with my own set of dating rules, after having observed modern-day etiquette and praying about how to do it right and safely. There comes a point where friends are more interested than just friends. To me, (and this is geared more for those who are of the marrying age), if the discussion is geared towards seriously trying to figure out if marriage is an option, then the guy should step the relationship up to boyfriend/girlfriend. It shows some commitment/attachment and gives the girl some security. I think it also gives the guy a sense of the responsibility that he is thinking about assuming. I wouldn't talk about marriage with a guy if I didn't have any security in the relationship. So, you see, entering into even this stage of the relationship was not something I took lightly.

    During that relationship, it was time to get down to business, more than an excuse to have a physical relationship. It was a time to explore questions and answer, to have a chance to be in all sorts of settings and situations and evaluate that one as a prospective life-long mate.

    The thing that was of greatest importance to me was whether we worked well together, whether we were growing and maturing at the same rate. I knew that nothing else matter as much as that. And that God could work out anything else with greater ease than this fundamental issue of speed.

    My next criteria to myself was that I would never break up with a guy simply because I didn't like him anymore. I think this is the number one aspect of dating that sets young people up for accepting divorce. No, I would pray and work through it, try to deal with it, talk with them about it, etc. to see what could be done before ever considering breaking it off. I felt it was a very important litmus test to myself, how much did I want to be in a relationship, could I deal with this, is God want me to deal with this, how, why, etc.

    The guy that I was wanting to marry (the typical good Christian man who had his career and house and was at least somewhat moral), he didn't even look at me. He was more looking for the career woman. I didn't want a career as much as I wanted to be a housewife and homeschool my children. I had many guys laugh me to scorn just for this resolution or set me down and seriously explain to me how this really wouldn't be possibly, or that it was as possible as desiring to become queen. They did it, desiring to 'let me down easy' I know, but it hurt very deeply. I love all hope of marrying.

    So, like the master in Jesus' parable, who invited his friends to his banquet and none could come, so I too went out in search of ANYONE who was even remotely workable. I needed a man to become a full woman and I was desirous that the Lord use me any way He could. I was determined to not sit my childbearing years out. I never asked that God make me happy in my marriage-- I think this is irrelevant. The greatest piece of advice that I have and give is that God marry you to another that will make you a better person. So, in effect, the person you marry may be extremely unpleasant and what they do is between them and God (ultimately). Marriage, especially for the woman, is about complete sacrifice of being. And being emotional creatures, this sometimes is such a great sacrifice.

    My husband is a good man. We were friends for many years so I had a chance to see his character in action. He grow up in a relatively New Age family, his parents divorced and remarried to others, jaded with the world, done with women, an alcoholic, struggling in his faith in God, and essentially waiting for the day he would die. He had been injured many times during his lifetime, including a massive brain injury from which he almost died, but made a nearly full recovery.

    He was born and raised in a city, although he knew his cars, worked on them, knew how to shoot guns, was very protective of his family and had proven to be more than talk, putting his life on the line on several occasions. Pain did not matter in a crisis; knowing what he needed to do, what the right thing to do, was what mattered. He was very eager to learn farming and showed an interest in it that pleased me very much. He was a broken man, a jaded man, and I knew it would be difficult. But I knew it would also be workable.

    And it has been difficult, VERY difficult at times. But I keep ahold of the gratitude I have towards God for allowing me this opportunity to help this man learn more about God, of letting my womanhood push him into being more of a man than he ever thought to be or that was possible of him to be; of allowing me to become more than I could ever have been on my own. Our daughter hasn't has the perfect start, but I keep trying up and up and up we go! It's not perfect, but I teach her, even at 11 months old, that you can become stronger because of it, you can become overcomers in Christ! That is a great lesson: how to deal with adversity and pray through it.

    I have been hard on my husband, but I do love him with all my heart. He has, in his brokenness, exceeded my expectations, though he is still very far from perfect. The Lord put it on my heart, a few months after I had met him that I wished to be near him all my life. I knew then that all his injuries would catch up with him someday and that he would have to have help. I wanted to be there for him when that day arrived. I had no idea that God would use me to deal with his brokenness. So, in a sense, I feel very fulfilled.

    Perhaps, as much as the men are lacking, the women aren't realizing the reality of the brokenness of our circumstances as a nation right now. There are some sacrifices that need to be made and only God can say what those should be for a person. If your honoured friends will not come when you invite them, then I would emulate the master in the parable: go out and find anyone, even the beggars and the poor, changed them, give them what they do not have and invite them to come! Feast!

    May God be with you,

    Camille Sheil

    1. Wise beyond age, Camille. I like the dating rules you came up w/, wise & practical that can be followed. I will show this to my sons for good suggestion. In addition, I think the promise you made to yourself of not breakng up when you don't like the guy any more is a wise one. I often wondered: during the dating & engagement, what is the right thing or when is the right time to break off that wouldn't be similar to a divorce in marriage (giving up on the spouse).

      About going out to bring in "beggars & the poor", I cringed at first. BUT, it is following the master's pattern, how can it be wrong?! But, we have to remember it TAKES work, sacrificial work. And your perpetual gratitude to the Lord for giving you this opportunity to love & help your husband will keep you impervious to the pain & frustration the work might cause and make you achieve it.

      I'm so encouraged by your story. It helps me take a look of my own & remember that true love is always sacrificial and active, esp to a woman thinking. I will faithfully pray for you & your young family. One thing for sure: follow all the advice from NGJ mags, esp all the articles in the Jan-Feb 2013 issues and always go after the Master's patterns, and you can't go wrong.

  3. Greetings Mike and other men. I wanted to see if NGJ had a study guide for Created To Need A Help Meet. We are putting the ground work together for a mens book study and could use help putting the book into questions and answer form. Any help would be awesome.
    I personally have been transformed by Gods Word and the combination of perspective from this book to be freed from pornography and perverse thoughts every day. (1 cor 10:13) Thanks Mike for your obedience to serve our Savior and bring glory to His name.
    In the deep, dark waters we cast out our nets,

  4. Married 15 yrs:
    Several areas that “held me back” when I was single:
    1. The overly-dominant parents of girls.
    2. Discoveries about the girl: Turn-offs that showed she wasn't ready for the real world.
    3. Immaturity in myself and lack of logistical effectiveness to be able to bring things from point a to point b.
    By providence however; God did make excellent use of my immaturity, my inaccurate judgments, and my clumsy perception of things.
    But aside from any miraculous intervention on God’s part to bring things together for my wife and I, I think the development of self-respect is a key component in this topic.