”Be good husbands to your wives.  Honor them, delight in them.” I Peter 3:7 (The Message)

Recently I have the experience of being in a retreat with a small group of women.  I normally do not give retreats for women, since over the years Judy has worked with groups of women.  But during this particular retreat I had an experience that was very meaningful.  During a quiet time at the beginning of the retreat, as we were in silence I had an impression of sorrow and sadness come over me.  Along with this impression came the words “the male voice.”  As I trying to discern the experience, it struck me that I was in a group of women for whom the male voice was not nurturing, encouraging or loving.  After our quiet time I shared my experience, saying that I wanted to be a loving masculine voice during this retreat. 

I am writing this post mostly for men.  As I write, I am being convicted for the times that my voice toward Judy has neither been loving or nurturing.  I find myself reacting to her from a place that seems to be out of my control.  I know when it is happening and I feel bad about my response. I want to always have a caring and gentle tone to my words.  But often the tone is one I would not want others to hear.  It could be that others might not even pick up my condescending tone, but my wife does.  I know when this happens, it is coming from a place of hurt in my own soul.  I am reacting to Judy, as being my mother.  My wife is THE WOMEN IN MY LIFE.  Now I know that sounds silly, but I have no other explaination.  In those moments, if I am honest, I am reacting out of the heart of an inmature young boy.

Because my mother formed many of the early impressions of the feminine in my heart, I still carry in my heart those impressions.  They have been long forgotten.  But they are alive in my soul.  The good impressions are beneficial in relationship to the feminine in my life.  It is the negative impressions that have hurtful results.  As a man, I need to continue to process these impressions and give them to Jesus for healing.  In the stress of the moment with my wife, I want to be loving and assuring, and not condescending.  Men, we need to become aware of how the emotional tone of our mothers affected our young male heart. Remember your wife is not your mother, even thought if you are honest, you are reacting to your wife like your mother. If we neglected the pain, it will come out in a hurtful way with our wives or other women in our life.  That  is what I was learning with that group of women.  They have been hurt by the negative male voice.