Created for Covering: How to Restore the Covering
Created for Covering: How to Restore the Covering
Categories: RECENT RESEARCH
Robert Shaw, D.Min.
Excerpted with permission from Created for Covering: Understanding the Concept of Safety and Covering in Relationships for Men and Women.
God’s design has no flaws. Adam’s behavior caused an opening in the “hedge”, and sin and evil influence walked right on in to harass relationships and the family. The hope rests now on the “Last Adam” (I Cor. 15:45), Jesus Christ, and His shed blood and His finished work. He made it possible for us to be restored in relationship with God, then with each other, and finally to the original design. But, it is an ongoing battle. The victory is sure, however, but we need to fight for peace.
When a covering has been damaged or destroyed there are several ways to restore it. The first is to make an absolute firm decision as to whom you are going to serve. Even one of the more influential poets of the 1960’s, ‘70’s, and ‘80’s, Bob Dylan, wrote, “You got to serve somebody”. Since it is true that men are not without a covering, we need to decide if we are going to submit, or come under, God, or are we going to submit to earthly influences and self-centered agendas.
In the true sense of the word, there really is no such thing as an atheist. While an atheist is either anti-God or he believes that God does not exist, he is still submitting to something that guides and influences his life. Essentially, whatever controls us, is a god to us. Jesus said, “…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). We all serve whatever the most important thing is in our lives. Matthew 12:35 states, “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.”
As coverers, we respond to what is important to us. So, first, the question we are to ask ourselves is, who will be our covering? Will it be the ways and deceptions of the world and the devil? Or will we submit to God, the One we can truly count on to guide us into His benefits and into a peace that passes all understanding? Gentlemen, it is really in our best interest that we accept Jesus Christ and come under His covering. As a result, our decision to do so will set us free to cover as God designed it. We will see God empower us to make a positive difference.
Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:14-15).
It is simply not enough to be “religious” and yet dead in our iniquity. Joshua made it clear that he and his house would serve God. His house would follow his lead. He believed his influence would be passed down to the rest of his family. His decision would also impact his effectiveness in other areas of his responsibilities and of his world. Joshua was acknowledging that his ability to cover, was based upon choosing to be covered by God.
Marriage is not simply a love and commitment issue. It is a faith issue. Eggerichs writes:
Whatever I do for my spouse, I do it for Christ as well. A husband’s unconditional love for his wife reveals his love for Christ. The husband who loves God should love his wife also. If you are not loving your wife, then you must ask yourself, “Am I really loving Jesus Christ?” A wife’s unconditional respect for her husband reveals her reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21-22; 6:6-7). The wife who respects God should respect her husband. If you are not respecting your husband, then you must ask yourself, “Am I really loving Jesus Christ?”
Sacrificial love brings safety and security to women and children. Respect and peace bring safety and security to men. Feeling safe encourages the continuation of sacrifice in relationships and allows faith to grow. Growing faith often encourages individuals towards creative expressions and endeavors, and even towards taking positive risks.
As men, we are first to submit to God, our Covering. It is our only resource that never fails! Submitting to God means that we are to follow His ways and do what is right. When we do that, we will see our families respond with respect and the willingness to submit to us. Our families will know that we can be trusted. Trust is when we believe that someone else has our best interest in mind. We can believe that about God. Our families need to believe that about us.
Another way to restore the covering is for men to intercede for their family members and the direction of their family itself. Too often in churches the “intercessory prayer” groups are comprised almost entirely of women. Also, “researchers have found that adolescent girls are more religious than are adolescent boys (King & Roeser, 2009). Gentlemen, we should be ashamed of this. While we can be thankful that faithful women do pray for others, their church, their pastor, their families, etc., God desires to hear from men as coverers. Women are good at intercessory prayer, for intercessory prayer is prayer for others. Men need to intercede for their families as well, and not just leave it up to their wives. Women know that they need a covering. Men need to be taught that they need a covering as well. Can you picture the famous painting of General George Washington kneeling on snowy ground in prayer? It is a powerful painting to reflect upon, especially as we have learned of Washington’s integrity, humility and influence during the early stages of our nation. This man of prayer made a difference! I believe if men were to pray, we would witness the power of God in a life-changing way, in our families, churches and communities. Why? Because we are called to be coverers!
Want to read more? Purchase Created for Covering here!
Dr. Robert B. Shaw, Jr. is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor in both Virginia and North Carolina. He works at the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) in Forest, VA in professional development and as membership divisions director. Dr. Shaw is an adjunct professor at Liberty University and a Clinical Trainer for graduate counseling intensives. He is also an ordained minister, serving as an elder and executive pastor in churches for over 25 years. He has also been a middle school and high school teacher and athletic coach in both the public and private school environments. Dr. Shaw spent several years counseling military personnel and their families near FT. Bragg, NC and specializes in abuse and trauma related issues, addictions, depression, anxiety disorders, life adjustment issues, loss and grief, counseling church leaders and pastors, and adolescents and adults. Dr. Shaw has a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from Wagner College, New York where he attended on an athletic scholarship in track & field; a Master of Divinity Degree from Christian International Theological School, Florida; a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Liberty University, Virginia; and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Formational Counseling, from Ashland Theological Seminary, Ohio. Dr. Shaw is a National Board Certified Counselor (NBCC), and a Board Certified Professional and Pastoral Counselor (BCPPC). Dr. Shaw and his wife, Lorinda, a registered nurse, have been married since 1978, and have five children together and six grandchildren. He enjoys running, the beach, sports, music, traveling to historical sites, and spending time with family.