Encouraging our Men Folk

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My heart is sad. I mean really sad. I keep looking around in this broken and sad world and I see a lot of pain. I see a lot of lonely and sad people. I see a lot of hate, desperation, and crying out for attention and love. I see brokenness.

 

And I don’t want to cast stones here, because I’m broken. I sin. I fail. But God has been working on my heart a lot to encourage the men around me to be the men that God has called them to be. I hear the song Courageous by Casting Crowns. I know there is the movie Courageous which I haven’t seen but know I will love. I want to talk about what has been on my heart.

 

God created men’s hearts to be different than a woman’s heart. I don’t care if you think that gender roles are societal chains placed on us at birth. Frankly, you are wrong. You were created in God’s image. Before He formed you in the womb, He knew you (Jeremiah 1:5). He meant for you to be a man specifically or a woman specifically, and He didn’t get it wrong. But see, now I am side tracked. I will discuss this more later.

 

God created a man’s heart to be special (and as a matter of fact, He created a woman’s heart to be the complement for the man’s heart, hence my previous digression). God created a man’s heart to crave adventure, to a warrior, save the girl, and take risks (Wild at Heart, John Eldridge).  And all of these desires are being put to horrible misuse in our current world. “Men” are making babies and not taking care of them. “Men” are preying on children. “Men” are sitting at home on unemployment and letting other people freely take care of them. And what’s worse – people of this generation are more concerned with their own happiness than how they are affecting the future generation. Gay marriage, pornography, abortion, co-habituating outside of marriage – does anyone TRULY have any idea how this will impact the future generations? Is there anywhere we can look to see what happens to societies who turn away from God’s plan for marriage and family? What about our kids – your kids, my kids. What kind of world are we setting up for them in the next 30, 50 or 80 years? And what kind of world will our grandkids be living in?

 

“Men” are everywhere. And Men are getting harder and harder to find.

We were made to be courageous
We were made to lead the way
We could be the generation
That finally breaks the chains
We were made to be courageous
We were made to be courageous

 

Men, what are you doing to change this generation for the better? Are you encouraging the girl you got pregnant to have an abortion and end a life? Or are you manning up, finding a good job with benefits, and investing not only money but time with that mother and child? O, you don’t like the mother? She nags you and makes you mad? Then why did you sleep with her? Sex has consequences. And you learn that in Middle School health class…

 

Or you’re not just making babies and leaving them? You work hard, a lot, aren’t home much. You are changing your kids too, you know. How do you expect your daughters to find a good husband, if you don’t show them how you love their mother? How do you expect your sons to become men if you don’t show them? You have to make your family a priority. Don’t just go when the going gets tough. Pull up those boot straps and get to work – the real work of being a part of your family, praying for them, loving them.

We were warriors on the front lines
Standing, unafraid
But now we’re watchers on the sidelines
While our families slip away
Where are you, men of courage?
You were made for so much more
Let the pounding of our hearts cry
We will serve the Lord

WATCHERS! That’s what men (and all of us have become). Instead of finding ways to have adventures, we watch TV and someone else’s adventures. Why do men love the History channel, Discovery channel, and shows like Bear Grylls? Because you are craving adventure. But instead of going out and doing something productive, you sit and get fat while watching other people have adventures. I’m not saying you have to go out and kill a reindeer for warmth and food while trying to survive in the Siberian tundra (yea, Bear Grylls). But do SOMETHING! Pick up a new hobby. Take your kids on a walk. While you’re at it, tell them a story where you are the hero slaying the fire breathing dragon. Not only will you quickly become their hero, you will also have an adventure!

 

Think of all of those things you do that get your blood really pumping – when someone threatens your wife or kids, when your job is in danger, when someone cuts you off in traffic – that heart pounding feeling is a gift from God! Use it to glorify him. Run a marathon. Ride bikes with your kids. Cook a big dinner. Go on a hiking/camping/canoeing trip. Have an adventure. Make LIFE your adventure.

This is our resolution
Our answer to the call
We will love our wives and children
We refuse to let them fall
We will reignite the passion
That we buried deep inside
May the watchers become warriors
Let the men of God arise

How can you love your wives, kids, mothers, sisters, grandmas better? Invest in them. Sure presents are great, but I would rather cook and eat dinner with my husband 5 nights out of 7 than get a present once a week. But you need to support them by working long hours? Ok, I get that. Then write some notes. Lose a little sleep. Find ways to invest in small ways.

 

And women, LISTEN UP! You expect your man to do all of this while you nag him, disrespect him, belittle him, and challenge his authority. WAKE UP SISTER! If your man is making ANY effort what-so-ever to improve your financial situation, the time he spends with you and the kids, and the ways in which he can be a Godly man, then you had better be encouraging him. Will he get it perfect, no. But he’s trying. And he needs to know that you see that, respect the effort, and are in his corner. Women, pray for your husbands. Make their lives easier in little and big ways. Encourage them to be the men that you want your little boys to grow up to be.

Seek justice
Love mercy
Walk humbly with your God

In the war of the mind
I will make my stand
In the battle of the heart
And the battle of the hand

Men, have adventures, but realize also that your family is an adventure. Get out and walk, run. Go fishing, camping. Be outdoors. Your heart will lead you. Be a warrior. Fight for what’s right and what you believe in. Be your wife and children’s biggest cheerleader. Defend them. Check to make sure the doors are locked and check for weird noises. Fight to put food on the table and clothes on their backs. Be a hero. Save the girl. Be Christ to your wife. Be a super hero to your kids. Work out. Exercise. Eat right. WOW your wife. Take risks. Start a business if you can afford it. Ask for that promotion at work. Set up a surprise date for your wife and take care of all the details yourself. Try a new recipe.

 

I am saddened by men who have these urges and inherent desires in their heart and instead of doing something productive, or even do nothing, they cause destruction. Drug dealers, rapists, murderers, sexual offenders – jails and communities are full of them. Why do we let this continue? PRAY! Fast. Encourage. There are men in your lives who were never taught me to be men. HELP THEM!! Show them that they were created with this heart for a REASON!

 

I am so proud for the ways that my husband has stepped up to the challenges that been in our life. I try to encourage him, pray for him, and help him any way that I can. I cannot express how thankful I am to have my husband be so involved with our child, a husband who wants to make my life easier, a husband who willingly leads our family, and so much more. Is he perfect? No. But I have no doubt that God is doing a big work in him.

 

You were created to be a man of God! Step up to the challenge and follow your heart. 

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