Man Up Barak
Women can be intimidating. You can talk all you want about patriarchal societies, but I am telling you, a strong woman can cower any man (Spousal abuse is about weak men trying assert themselves). Even strong men, men of character, decisive men, and successful men have their moments when they are faced wth the reality of a woman with such high moral character that he must give way to the power of her personality.
"Barak said to her (Deborah) “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” Judges 4:8,9
Sounds romantic until you put it into context. Deborah was known for her wisdom and godly judgement. While still under God's discipline the people of Israel came to her for advice and judgement. Barak was a leader too. He was probably known for his military capabilities. But twenty years of cruel and powerful military occupation had tempered his trust in himself and in God. God had told him, commanded him, to take men and fight against his oppressors, and God would deliver Israel. Barak just didn't listen.
It took Deberah calling him out in front of his peers to motivate him. He was unsure of himself. He didn't know if people would follow him or not. What he did know was that everyone looked up to Deborah. If only she would go with him, then everyone would listen. Barak wanted to be successful, he just lacked the confidence to make it happen. He was willing to give up the final glory of capturing the pagan king to a woman if it meant being successful. It wasn't that Barak didn't have character, the people would have followed him if he had stood up and taken charge, he had just lost the will.
I know what it's like to live with a strong, godly, woman. I also know what it feels like to be unsure of myself because life can be harsh. I'm suppose to be the man, make the tough decisions, hear and listen to the voice of God. I am suppose to rally the troops and lead he way, strong, confident, and victorious. Most of the time I am hesitant, unsure, doubtful, and a little intimidated by my wife.
You see, Barak heard from God too. Deborah reminded him of what God had commanded. I know it sounds sexist, but few men like being told what to do by a woman when they are suppose to be in charge. Barak was the leader, so there were people who were willing and waiting to follow him. Barak's problem was confidence and he knew it. It takes a man of character to know his weakness and submit his public image for the sake of the community.
I am thankful that God has put in my life a woman who listens to Him and is willing to support me when I lack the confidence to do what God, not only calls me to do, but knows that I can do. I don't lack the ability, but there are moments in my life that I can't walk alone.
We all have Deborah's in our life. They may be our mothers, girlfriends, wives, or just a godly woman friend who isn't afraid to talk sense to us. As rough and rugged as we want to portray ourselves the world can be an intimidating place. Sometimes we just need a push from the right woman. I'm just saying...