If this is all I allow you for now, will you still honor me in it?
In my story "Doing the Difficult On Purpose" I refer to the marking of ski slopes as easy, hard and difficult.  I researched some ski slopes and found descriptions like; "big fat bumps and hidden kickers and hair raising black diamond slopes." These descriptions made me question why anyone would want to ever "do the difficult on purpose" and if they were willing to give such dedication to snow skiing why wouldn't they see the challenges of marriage with the same exuberant challenge?

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
                                                                  EPH 5:25-27



Gentlemen, It’s time for you to have your own source of encouragement, help and accountability.  

By Faith Ministries offers this venue for men to explore the intricate, delicate turns your marriage relationship can take at any given moment.  From truly having no clue what your wife is talking about to dealing with those hormone fluctuations that come in a flash, hot or otherwise!  We want to help you find support and encouragement in developing Godly character and to be husbands who choose God's ways not your own. 

In the process of making the picture of a double-black-diamond for my  "Doing the Difficult On Purpose" movie, I suddenly saw what looked like a bowtie.  This gave me the idea of a web page for men; one side representing your needs as a man and the other representing the needs of your life long relationship with your wife; together the bowtie represents God's complete and perfect workings in your life creating a gentle man. This bowtie represents the gentlemen who are willing to excel in navigating those Double Black Diamond slopes of a marriage that honors God.
Fred and I have been married for almost 33 years and the greatest thing the Lord has shown me is that if I am to stay happily married it is up to me and my attitude.   (see story Make Bricks Without StrawIf I am not 100% totally committed to loving him in spite of any lack of affection and attention we will both be miserable.  Romans 5:8 says: But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Jesus Christ did not wait for us to be good enough or have it all together before He loved us with the greatest love.  He chose to love us in spite of our sin and proved His total commitment by loving us while we were still sinners, taking our sins upon Himself and dying on the cross in our place. 

Having said all that, we also want to encourage you in areas where you can bless your wife; making it that much easier for her to want to bless you.  James 2:18 says; “… "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.  
Fred can certainly help by creating an atmosphere of love, affection and protection, providing all the niceties that I need to be a successful wife, mother and woman of God. Again, the story Make Bricks Without Straw can be both sides of the bowtie.  On the one side we all need to learn to make bricks of joy and contentment without the straw of human effort. Only Christ can provide all of our needs.  But, on the other side we hold great opportunity to be used of God to provide straw in abundance for our spouse.  I know that when my Fred goes the extra mile to do kind and wonderful things for me, especially those things I know might be hard for him; I am putty in his hands.   Gentleman, to be like Christ means to sacrifice the way He did, to love like Him and provide like Him.  
At times it can definitely be difficult but  learning to ski those double black diamonds doesn't come fast or easy.  You promised to love her for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.  God is a God of His Word; with God's help you can and will be a man of yours!



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