Men's Work - Women's Work
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You actually didn't have to wait for the Fourth of July to have fireworks at our house. You just had to be one of my sons declining an assignment with certain explosive words, "Nah, that's woman's work!" Oh, now my wife and daughter are nowhere near being women's libbers, but they had a real problem with that idea that there are certain jobs that a man is above. Actually, I have a problem with that idea. Actually, I think God has a problem with it.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from John chapter 13. I'll begin reading at verse 2. We're going to read an episode from the life of the most secure man who ever lived; a man who had nothing to prove - the ultimate man, Jesus Christ. "The evening meal was being served," scripture says, "and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power and that He had come from God and was returning to God; so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist."
Now, here is the most complete man that ever lived, and He is demonstrating His sense of manhood and identity in a very graphic way, in a surprising way. He knows who He is. He's coming from God; He's going to God. He's got it together, and He demonstrates that as it says in verse 5, "He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him."
The only Son of God is not too good to do the lowliest job in the house. Well, the real man is man enough to choose to be a servant; to pitch in on the dirty work; to be as manly doing the laundry as he is lifting some heavy furniture; to be as macho changing a diaper as he is changing spark plugs.
Not too long ago there was an interesting comment from the wife of a friend of mine who had just come back from a great tour of speaking...kind of the conquistador, you know, and they loved him where he was. He came in and he wanted to tell all his war stories of how much they loved him, and his wife said, "Honey, you know you always come home like a spoiled king." Huh... and you know what? He had to admit, she was right. "I want the world to revolve around me."
Well, I'll tell you there's nothing very manly about coming home like a spoiled king. It's small; it's selfish. Jesus was just coming off Palm Sunday with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in His ears, and yet He went and washed the disciples' feet. How many of us men make our wives feel totally insignificant by implying that what she does all day long is too unimportant for us to touch?
See, the sign of a real man is that he makes a woman feel important. And he does that when he arrives in her world like the Cavalry arriving just in time. He demonstrates his manhood when he serves his wife. Not because he's a wimp, but because he's secure and strong enough to love her in the ways that really mean something.
You demonstrate your dignity, not by how many people do things for you, but how many people you do things for. That's manhood! Jesus, the ultimate model of manhood - a muscular carpenter - can be a foot washer. The mighty Son of God can be a servant. That's the kind of real man that a woman loves to love.