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Friday, July 08, 2011

Real men...

I just wrapped a great time with a friend of mine this morning. It was actually supposed to be a golf game but God had other things in mind. So, we chatted over a breakfast sandwich and bottle of water. This guy is a true friend and brother of mine and, as we are prone to do when we are together, our conversation turned to our personal faith journeys.

We started talking about the challenges of being a man in this culture. Let me be perfectly clear. Brian and I agree that being a pure man in this culture is stinking hard. Every where you turn, you are slammed with images of women who are half-dressed (if you're lucky). It's on TV, in magazines and papers, at the movies and...on the pew next to you at church.

I don't believe this is by accident. I was talking with a lady yesterday who was expressing how much she desired her husband to be a leader for her family, a spiritual leader. Any good enemy knows that the best way to destroy your foe is to take out the leader. That's exactly what happens when men compromise their purity by taking just one more look, a lingering gaze, a second trip through the website or justifying what they watch with "it's just part of the show." What happens--whether we want to admit it or not--is that guilt comes in. Guilt keeps us from leading and leaderless families exist in a state of chaos.

You can list a 1000 problems our country faces (most of which I would agree are problems). They include a sense of entitlement, poor work ethic, lack of respect, loss of integrity, drop in education, too much debt, too little income and not enough common sense. Strangely enough, I believe that the core of most of these problems can be traced back to homes where dad just isn't getting it done as a leader. Here is the thing that may shock some of you. I believe most of these dads want to provide for and protect their families. They want to lead. They want to do the right thing. They just don't feel competent.

The media has emasculated most dads by making them look like buffoons on sitcoms. The education system has become more about teaching to a test rather than teaching people how to be life-long learners. Technology and convenience have removed most men from the accountability and mentorship of wiser, older men. We are throwing young men to the dogs and then scratching our heads when they don't come back as 5-star fathers. Here is what you can do to stem the tide:
  • Pray for the men in your life. Soldiers die protecting their leaders. We should be willing to do the same for the men (husbands, fathers, brothers, Congressmen, Presidents) in our lives.
  • Encourage these men to seek the counsel and accountability of others. Do not let them isolate themselves from other men. We need that fellowship.
  • Help your men "purify" the culture in which they live. Throw out the bad influences. Eliminate the temptations. Applaud them when they do the same and encourage them when they are struggling.
  • Be good followers. Whether its your father (who deserves your respect no matter how old you are) or your husband (who longs to fulfill a role he has probably been ill prepared for) or your pastor, don't follow him without questions. Follow him with integrity. You'll learn the difference.
Men, here is my challenge to you. Demand purity...for yourself and all those who surround you. Sink yourself into the only handbook ever written for how to life life on this earth--the Bible. Trust yourself completely to the fellowship of other guys who long to do the same. Be courageous. Following Christ is not for the faint of heart. There is no room for sissies!!

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