Haha! Another church-men thingy.. just interesting.. :

Why Judy’s husband hates going to church?

The pianist was just concluding the prelude as Judy slipped into her
usual pew. Smoothing her crisp cotton skirt, she took her seat,
exhaled deeply, and tried to prepare her heart to meet with Jesus.
It had been a stressful morning.

Her 12 year old son, Matt had refused to get up. He said he hated
church and never wanted to go again. Judy argued with Matt, but the
young man played his truimph card : “Why should I have to go to
church if Dad doesn’t?” In a moment of anger, Judy ripped Matt’s
cover off and ordered the rebellious boy into the shower. She left
his bedroom fighting back tears.

Matt’s attitude was beginning to affect his little brother and
sister. All through breakfast they asked if they could stay home,
complaining of mysterious stomachaches. With herculean effort Judy
managed to get 3 kids scrubbed, fed and seated in their Sunday
school classes on time. Judy won the battle, but she was losing the

For years Judy had invested heavily in her children’s spiritual
development. Her kids rarely missed church. She volunteered in their
vacation Bible school and Sunday school classes. She prayed for each
child daily, and she rejoiced as, one by one, they invited Jesus
into their little hearts. But now the children were turning their
backs on the church, following the example of Judy’s husband, Greg.

Greg. At the moment he was sitting at home in his pajamas, remote
control in hand. In their fifteen years of marriage he had attended
church exactly 31 times : at Xmas and Easter each year, and the day
they were married. Greg was a good husband and a great provider, but
he was not the spiritual companion Judy longed for.

Judy tried to turn her eyes upon Jesus, but she could think only of
her spiritually dead husband. In that moment she was overcome with
emotions: loneliness, anger, resentment, and an overwhelming sense
of defeat. Tears welled in her eyes as she thought, I knock myself
out to develop the kid’s spiritual lives. Greg does nothing, but
still the kids are following his lead.

She tried to hear the voice of God, but another voice whispered :
Why did you lose your temper with Matt this morning? Now he’ll never
turn to Jesus. You never should have married Greg in the first
place. It was a big mistake.

Judy grasped for a Scripture. Her mind took her to the verse she’d
claimed for the past 15 years. “Wives, in the same way be submissive
to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word,
they may be won over without the words, by the behaviour of their
wives” (1 Peter 3:1 NIV). That passage was food for her soul in the
early days of her marriage, but now it pierce her like a dagger.
Hadn’t she been holy enough? Tender and loving enough?

Judy looked up from prayer, trying to focus through her tears. She
spotted several couples seated near her. Ed and Nancy. Tom and
Erica. As Tom place his arm around Bonnie and gently kissed her
cheek. Judy felt another emotion : jealosy. “GOod I want a christian
husband” Judy prayed. “Will my husband ever come to church with me?”

The answer is no. Greg will never come to Judy’s church. To
understand why, let me tell you a story from my childhood.

THe Story of the Termostat.
============ ========= =======
I grew up in Houston, Texas. On a typical summer evening my dad
would come home from work and crank down the thermostat to 20
degrees. This would sent my mother to the hall closet, where she
kept a wool jacket.

When Dad wasn’t around, Mom was free to set the thermostat where she
liked it. So it is in most churches. Men have been absent or anemic
for so long that spiritual thermostat in almost every church is now
set to accomodate the people who actually show up and participate :
women, children, and the older folks. But men suffocate in the
environment, so they leave.

When I say spiritual thermostat, I am not talking about the
temperature inside the church building. Rather, I am talking about
the culture of today’s churches, a culture that values safety over
risk, stability over change, preservation over expansion and
predictability over adventure. Ignore what’s preached from the
pulpit, and look at what actually happens on Sunday morning. Almost
everything about today’s church – its teaching style, its
ministries, the way people are expected to behave, even today’s
popular image of Jesus – is designed to meet the needs and
expectations of largely female audience. Church is sweet and
sentimental, nurturing and nice. Women thrive in this environment.
In modern parlance, women are the target audience of today’s church.

Why? Because they show up! Adult women outnumber adult men by almost
two to one in a typical congregation. Women are much more likely to
volunteer, and more often show up for church events. Without the
superhuman commitment of women, the church programs would grind to
halt. Pastors know this, so they work very hard to recruit and
retain women.

Judy likes the warm family atmosphere of her church. Ever Sunday is
like a big family reunion. But Greg hates it. He can’t tell you why,
he knows he can’t stand it. The last time he was in church, he felt
as out of place as a ham sandwich at a bar mitzwah. So he offers the
usual excuses :”Its boring. Its irrelevant. Its full of
hypocracies. ” Press him and he’ll say “Church is pointless. I see
no value in getting together once a week to say nice things to God
and about each other”.

Despite their spiritual differences, Greg and Judy have a good
marriage. They see eye to eye on just about everything – except

So what does today’s church emphasize? Relationships : a personal
relationship with Jesus and healthy rships with others, By focussing
on rships, the local church partners with women to fullfill their
deepest longing.

But few church model men’s values : Risk and reward, accomplishment,
heroic sacrifice, action and adventure. Any man who tries to live
out these values in a typical congregation will find himself in
trouble with the church council in no time.

This is why Greg hates to go to church. He finds it boring and
irrelevant because he does not see his values modeled here. He finds
church dull for the same reason he finds chick flicks dull : neither
one reflects his masculine heart. Greg has no desire to fall in love
with a wonderful man, even one named Jesus.

Since women are much better at doing church. Greg doesn’t bother to
compete. To really win at Judy’s church, Greg would need more than a
conversion experience, he need a personality transplant.

Today’s church does not need Greg because it does not need his
gifts. In fact masculine gifts often gum up the works of ministry
machine. If only Christianity required risk taking and heroic
sacrifice, Greg might find his place in church.

Men like Greg turn away from church looking for environment set to
their liking. Sports, career, hobbies, outdoor recreation, wealth
building and even video games reflect men’s core values.

Truth is men need a relationship with God, but most guys can’t get
past the church’s negative image.

Dan Erickson and Dan Schaffer write :

Most men who are not involved with church believe that the church
does not offer any lasting value to their lives. The typical adult
male in our society is more likely to spend his Sundays watching
sports on TV than attending a church service. A majority of
unchurched men believe that participating in church life cannot be
justified because the return on investment of time, attention and
energy is too slim.