The young woman's father abused her mother and repeatedly committed adultery. To this day, she does not know how many siblings she has. Her father had too many mistresses to count.
In addition, she is married to an irresponsible man. He does not keep a job for more than a few weeks at a time. He is an alcoholic.
However, the young woman has become interested in something better than she has experienced in life. She has become interested in following Christ.
While listening to a radio program one day, she heard a man explaining Ephesians 5:25 ("Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her"). The preacher encouraged men to step up and love their wives by protecting them and providing for their needs. He told them to care for their wives and children.
After listening to the program, she asked a penetrating question: "Are there really men like that?" The men in her life had been nothing like that.
Her question prompted me to consider two important thoughts:
1. Many people have never seen the Christian faith in action...at least not up close and personally. They have lived without the benefit of really knowing a committed Christian. They need to see that there really are "men like that."
2. It's okay to be different. A man who loves, protects, and provides for his family may be atypical among some people, but he is playing a vital role in making the Christian faith attractive. Followers of Jesus Christ do not need to think and act like everyone around them in order to be relevant to the culture. As Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet" (Matthew 5:13, English Standard Version).
The world needs a few more men and women who are different, who are involved in the lives of hurting people, and who think and act like they have been influenced by the Spirit of God.