Real Men Cry About the Right Things 3

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As I have been continuing to think about this series of posts, I want to conclude these by looking at scripture so me, and you, will not be focused on me or my ideas, but on God.

I in no way have meant to imply that if you don’t cry that you aren’t a real man.  My hope for both you and me is that we will be exactly what God created us to be.  If that includes crying, then no need to hide it.  If it doesn’t, then don’t fake it.

To wrap up this series, I want you to read some of God’s opinion of what a real man is really like.  I focused on 3 identities that are pretty common for most men: God’s child, a husband, and a father.  I feel like I have not even scratched the surface of what God has to say.  Please read through these verses, and feel free to add the ones that I didn’t.

Mark 10:6-8 (NIV) 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Ephesians 5:31-32 (NIV) 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

1 Peter 3:7 (NIV) 7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Ephesians 5:21-28 (NIV) 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Colossians 3:19 (NIV) 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Colossians 3:21 (NIV) 21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20, 7:1-5 (NIV) 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Proverbs 19:18 (NIV) 18 Discipline your children, for in that there is hope;
do not be a willing party to their death.

Proverbs 23:13 (NIV) 13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.  14 Punish them with the rod and save them from death.

Hebrews 12:7-11 (NIV) 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

2 Corinthians 5:16-20 (NIV) 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Real Men Cry About the Right Things 2

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As I continue my thoughts about this topic, I have to say that most of my life I have felt embarrassed when I cry.  In fact, I have been putting off writing this post for days partly because of that embarrassment.  Yet, as I think about what makes me cry I should feel honored, not embarrassed.

I cried when I was baptized.

I cried at my wedding. 

I cried at the birth of all three of my boys.

I cried at my ordination service. 

I have always said “the only 2 things that make me cry is my family and when God works.”  As I think back to all the times I have cried (like the times listed above) and the times I have not cried (like when I felt the most intense physical pain of my life after my bike wreck) that statement really is true.  My struggle and embarrassment about being a crier comes with how our world defines “a man.”  The traditional world view is that men don’t cry, or feel emotions, or ever say I love you.  A friend and speaker recently said “if your wife knows you will die for her submission is not a problem.”  This statement really made me think, and truthfully challenged me.  I tell my wife I love her every day, but does she know I will fight for her, even die for her and our boys?  I hope she does because I would.

I disagree with the traditional world view of manhood. 

I think real men cry about the right things.  I think real men love their wives and kids so much they will die for them and actually tell them that.  I think real men lead by example.  I think real men invite accountability.  I think real men find a balance between discipline and love.  I think real men are strong enough to be the Spiritual leaders of their households.  I think real men work hard, play hard, and love even harder.

I love it when I see other guys striving to be real men.  This past week I had a former student from our youth ministry, who is now married, call and ask to use me as an accountability partner in the X3 program he was putting on his computer.  He was nervous and embarrassed, but I am proud of him for stepping up.  I was also proud to tell him I have the same accountability software on my computer, and have my report emailed to my wife so she never questions my online activity.

If you need help with online accountability go here and get the free program from XXX Church.

Are you a real man?  Are you striving to be one like I am?  I hope so because our world seems to be short on them.  From my own boys, to the guys in my youth ministry and church, they need to see a lot of good examples of real men.  So do the guys in your world.    Whether you are a crier or not, you can be a real man with God’s help and grace.

 

Real Men Cry About the Right Things

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Have you heard about the movie Courageous, if you haven’t you should.  Here is the official movie website: http://www.courageousthemovie.com/

Seeing that movie, and the message it screams loud and clear, has pushed me to write this post.  Truthfully this post has been on my heart for a long time but I have been putting it off, mainly because it hits so close to my heart.  It is close to my heart for several reasons:

1. I am a man

2. I am Dad to 3 boys

3. I am mentoring other men

4. I am in a place of authority over teenage guys as a pastor

5. I love God with all my heart

6. Anyone who knows me fairly well has seen me cry

My struggle with this is based on what our society views as “manly”.  Number five and six in the above list could have the phrase “un-manly” tagged on them.  In a recent marketing campaign for a beer company they poke fun at un-manly things, which just drives home the fact that our society (and you) know what I am talking about.

I think our society has for the most part given men a free pass from being real men.  It is OK for Dad’s to be disengaged with their kids if present at all.  It is OK for men to engage in pornography and ignore their wives.  It is OK for mothers to take the initiative and be the Spiritual leaders of our families.  It is OK for men to ignore their emotions and never tell their wives or kids they love them.  The more I read scripture, and get to know God better, the more every ounce of my being wants to scream IT IS NOT OK!!

As this has been stewing in my mind over the past few months I have heard and experienced a few things that just showed me more and more how true this is.  While listening to the radio I heard this quote “men in our society are passionate about things that don’t matter and ignore the things that matter most.”  One thing that I like, and a lot of men can be very passionate about is football.  By living in Boise, ID and being a Boise State football fan I automatically get into the middle of “heated” conversations about the BCS and how we don’t belong and little kids tables and yada yada yada (Yawn) with anyone outside of the treasure valley.

A few months ago I was at a conference with a lot of youth workers from all over the nation.  At dinner one night the conversation at the table turned to football, and once it did I started preparing myself for what was about to happen, and then it did happen.  One of the other youth workers brought up the BCS and quickly became visually agitated about sitting at the table next to a BSU fan.  From that moment his body language and the tone at the entire table shifted.  Suddenly there was an invisible wedge between me and rest of the room, which lasted for days with this specific guy.

If you want to talk football then fine, I have no problem with you being passionate about your team.  My problem is that this topic has NO eternal value, and yet it created tension between me and this other youth worker.  I assume he is a good guy, and I am sure he loves God and loves students, but I don’t know for sure because he would not talk to me after that encounter.  I don’t understand how something like football can hinder us being on the same team for God, and working together to further His kingdom among teenagers.

To be continued…