This is a guest post by Jennifer Still from Still Jennifer.

Loving a man. What does that look like? I would like to start by sharing a scene from Cinderella man. He is getting ready to go to the big fight. He may lose his life. There is a lot on the line. Her and the kids go to see him off. You can see the pain in his eyes as he reads her eyes. He does not have her support.

After dropping her kids off she goes to the church to pray. She gets there and says, “I am here to pray for Joe.”

The preacher says, “so are they” and you can see the church is packed. “They all believe that Joe is fighting for them.”

Like I said there is a lot on the line. I do not remember the whole jist.

She finally realizes this is so huge and he can not do this without her support. She goes to Madison Square Garden and sees him before the fight. She says, “you can’t win without me behind you”. He says, “that’s what I have been trying to tell to you.”

She gets close and looks into his eyes and her tender mercy comes for him fiercely as she starts to speak out who he is. Reminding him, he is the bulldog of the county, he is the pride of New Jersey, he is the hero of his children and the champion of her heart.  She of course, is outstanding and says it better. You can see him now. He is able to fight the dragon, climb the highest mountain, or save all humanity. He is believed in by the one person on this planet who can offer that to him.

We are a picture of God’s tender mercy as woman. I believe that mercy is vulnerable, wise and fierce (meaning it wont leave us to battle alone). I want to remind all of us that our men need to know we believe in them. If you are reading this most of you have a good man in your life. I hope you hear me on this….he is a GOOD man. He is getting taken out by something in his world.  Job, finances, ministry, volunteering, parenting and everything concerning you is constantly being tested. His strength is constantly being tested. Who he is, is constantly being weighed. There is a lot at stake. He has a huge fear that he won’t be able to come through….for you. The question constantly churning for him is “Do I have what it takes?”

Now of course, he must first have that core question answered by God. That deep validation has to come from God first. But God also called us to play an irreplaceable role in our men’s lives. They can not do this without us. It is not good for man to be alone. Genesis. Then God creates a helper for him. Not hamburger helper, but more like a, ‘I can’t do this without her support, her mercy, her sight, her love, her trust, her respect’….an irreplaceable role kind of helper.

All it takes is one role of the eyes, one correction, one “whatever” out of your mouth, one way of underminding his authority (whether that be with kids, finances, job, or social setting) to leave him feeling completely unneeded and not respected. We have the capability to strip them of their strength and masculine role(s) in just one disrespectful gesture. It says, “I do not trust you, I do not need you, I do not believe in you, and I do not respect you.”

But our design is that we are called to fit perfectly together with him and be his helper, mercy, sight, love, trust and respect. No other on this planet is close enough and shares in that oneness with him. No wonder it is so hard. No wonder it does not always come naturally. It is something that must be fought for.  Something that must be chosen. It is one of a very short list of things in this life that are actually worth fighting for.

That saying, behind every good man there is a better woman….is birthed from this very design. We are meant to be one…truly one. We can not do it without each other.

I know as women we tend to immediately go to…he doesn’t deserve my respect or my support in whatever it is. God doesn’t love like that. It is not conditional. We are not called to love like that either. Ephesians 5:33  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. It doesn’t say, if you feel like it, if he deserves it, or if you agree. Your hope can not be in your husband but it can be in God. God is telling you this is the way to go then their will be fruit. You can trust in God to fulfill it if He says to do it.

I know this might be a little harsh for some of us, myself included, but God has moved me to share it.  It is worth fighting for.

It is another part of my identity in Christ.  I am still the Jennifer that He called not as “hamburger helper”  but as “my husband can’t do this without my love, respect, support, sight and mercy.”

Just in case you were wondering, the answer is “NO” you are not off the hook if you are not married.  This is a picture of how we fit together with men.  I have changed how I parent my boys, how I respect my dad, and how I respect men in general.  I have found that when I choose this view of who I am as a woman that men respond differently to me.  I am in a place that allows men to be men.  They are then inspired to come through as men.

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