top of page

Arise And Build Up The Men In Your Life


“When the princes in Israel take lead, when the people willingly offer themselves––praise the Lord!”

Judges 5:1


A Withering Hope

One will become their mistakes and failures if that’s all that’s ever talked about. I remember feeling this way at a previous job I worked for. Each weekly meeting felt like there was a huge magnifying glass zoomed in on new mistakes and shortcomings I made as an employee. The nit picky criticisms gnawed at my identity. Insecurity and the fear of failure paralyzed me as it became an unwanted friend in my life for the next few months. The consistent criticism crippled me as I would curl up in a fetal position on my bed crying to my husband intensely afraid that something was deeply wrong with me. If my boss saw me as a lost cause that he regretted taking a chance on, then I began to believe it. Was I beyond all hope? A record too broken to be fixed anymore? His hope in me began withering and so did mine.


Withering hope is like a weed that sucks good nutrients and prevents other plants from growing. If left unchecked, it can slowly overtake and darken a person’s heart. Losing hope in someone can stem from stored up bitterness towards those who fail to meet your expectations. It breeds contempt towards people who repeatedly show no progress. It’ll make you want to jump ship before it crashes and plunges you in with it. Is there someone in your life that you’ve lost complete hope in?


However, hope based on outward appearance and human performance does not last long. Steadfast hope doesn't come from seeing change in someone’s life. It comes from trusting in God rather than your circumstance.

This is not the case for Deborah who is a godly female judge and prophetess (Judges 4:4-5). Despite Barak’s failure to accomplish a task given by God, she remains by his side to build him up. Deborah trusts in God’s incomplete work in Barak’s life which prevents her from giving up on him. In the same way, God invites women to raise men up to who He has called them to be by having steadfast hope in a redemptive God.


The Man that Ran Away

Judges 4 sets up a unique story of God using unlikely people to save the Israelites from the Canaanites. This story highlights the stark difference between fearless women who run towards challenges and fearful men who run away from them. Barak is a man who is tasked with a marvelous calling of partnering with God to lead ten thousand men to kill Sisera, the Canaanite commander (Judges 4:6-7). What more can Barak ask for if the almighty God is on his side in this battle? But instead of courageously saying yes, he’s hesitant. Barak will only go if Deborah goes with him, but he won’t go if she doesn’t (4:8). He has little faith and lacks courage. It’s easier for him to trust in Deborah’s relationship with God than trusting in his own.


You will be discouraged and tempted to tear the men in your life down when they fail to meet your expectations. Instead, trust in God’s sovereign plans that He is still doing mighty works that have yet to be completed.

Oftentimes it may feel discouraging when the men in your life seem to run away and neglect their God-given responsibilities and calling to be a husband or father. They might tend to only think about themselves which often hurts you. Your husband is absent in your children’s lives, rarely prays, doesn’t know how to encourage you with wise godly advice, or lacks the zeal to bring your family to church if you don’t nag him to. Maybe your father is unreliable, doesn't protect you, feels distant, or hardly shows up in your life when you need him to. So you’re exhausted after years of waiting and praying for them to change. You’ve been let down and disappointed. You’re exhausted from nagging them all the time and are on the tip of losing all hope.


The Woman Who Stood Her Ground

Do not lose heart during these moments but have steadfast hope in God so that you can believe in the impossible. At my job I needed my boss to trust and believe in me when I couldn’t, but he didn’t. His hope in me was based on my performance and what he saw me as in the moment. However, hope based on outward appearance and human performance does not last long. Steadfast hope doesn't come from seeing change in someone’s life. It comes from trusting in God rather than your circumstance. Deborah could’ve been scared or nervous after hearing Barak’s reluctance in going to battle by himself, but she wasn’t. She could’ve given up on him after seeing his lack of courage, but she doesn’t. His reaction does not waver her hope in him because her hope is rooted in God’s character and sovereignty.


Building our husbands or fathers up means that we need to completely trust in a redemptive God even when it seems hard or impossible. You must have hope for them when they don’t. Don’t wait for the day they finally have their life together. Hope cannot wait for human results because it will wither and falter. You will be discouraged and tempted to tear the men in your life down when they fail to meet your expectations. Instead, trust in God’s sovereign plans that He is still doing mighty works that have yet to be completed. When you begin fixing your eyes on God rather than the physical circumstance, then you will be strong enough to love and build the men up to be who God has called them to be. Your hope will be unshakable. It will be the lighthouse in their life when all feels dark.


He welcomes you, as a daughter or wife, to be part of an incredible transformation of men faithfully obeying Him and looking more like Jesus one degree at a time.

Raise men up by reminding them of God’s presence when they are afraid. When Barak feels insecure and afraid of the enemy, Deborah reminds him of God’s greatness, presence, and power. In Judges 4:14, she says, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” God raises women up to build men through their words by reminding them of a God’s presence in the midst of their fear and battles.


We don’t know the hidden insecurities that men face. Maybe they retreat from embracing their calling and responsibilities because they are scared of failing. It might be because they have no idea how to lead, especially if they didn't have a good father figure growing up. Some might not have the right words to communicate nor even understand why leading is such a struggle. Yet this is the moment where you can encourage them with uplifting and kind words. Intentionally take time this week to speak blessings over your husband or father. This might look like spending some time during dinner to kindly share something you’re grateful about from them this past week. Write a letter reminding them of how big God is compared to their fears. In the next car ride to somewhere, have a conversation about how God’s not done working in their life and truly believe that. Text them one thing that you’re proud of that they’ve done. Call them and share the amazing things God has been doing in you so that they could see His presence.


Arise

The book of Hebrews has a chapter dedicated to heroic men and women of the faith. There is an honorable mention of a military commander whose name is Barak (Hebrews 11:32). One would think that Deborah would’ve been a better fit after knowing how afraid Barak was to lead an army without her help, but I don’t think that was ever Deborah’s intentions and desire. She didn’t want recognition nor fame. She was just a woman who truly loved God and His people. She delighted in seeing others rise up for Him and fulfill their calling (Judges 5:1).


God raises women up to humbly teach the men around them. He welcomes you, as a daughter or wife, to be part of an incredible transformation of men faithfully obeying Him and looking more like Jesus one degree at a time. Maybe one of the ultimate tests of our faithfulness to God in this season is to wait for His timing to change others especially when it’s slower than how we’d like it. Maybe the test of faithfulness is persevering and remaining hopeful for others when we don’t see any progress. But I want to encourage you with this: do not grow weary in the waiting but be expectant in a good God. Don’t be tempted in letting impatience from silent prayer requests dry up all the hope inside of you. Do not give up on others when they’ve given up on themselves, but remember the God who never gave up on you. Arise into the woman who reminds others of God's redemptive work in their life even when they don't see, feel, or live up to it because you were once there too.


 

Grace (N. Vincent Thoj) Vang


Grace Vang is the founder of The Sojourney Co and Hill City Podcast. She received a B.A. in Communications from Moody Bible Institute. Grace lives in Charlotte, NC with her lovely husband Vincent and their three cats: Luna, Momo, and Milo. She is passionate about creating content that inspires others to encounter a deeper love for God and encounter His beauty. 

761 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment


Thank you for this encouragement. Many times I've wanted to give up on my husband and at times, resent him for not leading the family as God had created him to. This is a beautiful reminder of how we as wives/women can build up the men in our lives instead of tear them down.

Like
bottom of page