Recently, I was scrolling through social media and began seeing a quote by D.L. Moody repeatedly shared by many of my friends. It was the typical situation of one of us finding a quote that we liked and then agreed with the statement by sharing it. My friends were quoting the last sentence of the following statement from the famous 19th century evangelist:
If I wanted to find out whether a man was a Christian, I wouldn’t go to his minister. I would go and ask his wife. We need more Christian life at home. If a man doesn’t treat his wife right, I don’t want to hear him talk about Christianity. D.L. Moody
Like most social media quoting, I don’t know the original context from which this quote came. However, the message is fairly clear. A pastor friend once told me that our true selves are revealed when we are at home. This resonated with me as I hope it does with you.
Doesn’t it make sense? How many stories have we heard of leaders in the church proclaiming one thing from the pulpit, or in the lobby of the church, only to negate their words with actions the minute they walk into the house. Children that see this type of imbalance become rightly confused. I’ve heard many stories of embittered pastors’ kids that feel they witnessed a life of protected and fragile hypocrisy in order to support the livelihood or image of a parent.
I’ve also heard the opposite! What a wonderful testimony when we hear about men like Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, and Billy Graham who led their family well and sought to lay down their lives for those that God had given them.
However, the motivation has to be more than simply trying to not be hypocritical. Men, the way we treat our wives is directly connected with the quality of our communication with God:
Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker partner, showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7 (CSB)
While our scope today doesn’t allow us to unpack every feature of this verse, we can take away at least one application from the plain meaning of this verse. If a man feels that he can mistreat his wife and still be in good fellowship with God, he is mistaken. Again, the way men treat their wives is directly connected with the quality of their communication with God.
It is clear that this is a big deal. Now, imagine the implications this can have on family worship. Imagine a man trying to lead his family in worship while habitually treating his wife in an unbiblical fashion. That man would be actively working against even the best intentions he may have.
Reading quotes and passages like this convict me and cause me to thank God all the more for grace and the ability to come to Him with every sin that I commit. I also know that He stands ready to see me continually changed from the inside out, so that any pattern of sin is weakened and real growth occurs.
Husbands, join with me today in acknowledging that how we treat our wives is very important to our Father. Join me also today in running to Him with our inadequacies and failures. He has called us to be sacrificial leaders to our wives and this is an impossible task without Him. Thank God He promised to always be with us (Matt. 28:20).