Summertime means fun time.
For kids, school’s out, free time is in.
For families, special memories, trips and other adventures will be made.
For men, the juggling act continues keeping the balls at work in the air, while mixing in some time away from the office for some time with the family.
For Satan, summer breaks provide ample opportunity to ramp up temptation, distraction, flirtation, and ultimately destruction.
For many churches, regular meetings press the pause button and men’s groups take a summer break…Wait…
- Mon Apr 25, 2016
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Some holidays come and go with little circumstance. Others are little more than an inconvenient bank holiday (think Columbus Day). Then, there’s Mother’s Day, which is a road bump en route to Father’s Day, right? Think Mother’s Day is another Hallmark marketing strategy to boost sales of sappy cards, and dust-collecting knick-knacks? Is it a day to make the obligatory visit with your buttoned-up shirt and flowers in hand? Has Mother’s Day become a joke?
Not to God. In fact, an argument could be made that it’s the one holiday we are commanded to honor. Not even Christmas and Easter have the distinction of being a commandment to celebrate.
Taking it 364 steps further, the Bible says numerous times to “honor your father and mother,” which means not just on one day, but every day. If you do, there’s a promise of reward.
- “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” -- Exodus 20:12
If we are really honest with ourselves, I’m guessing the majority of men don’t give enough credit for their moms. But they should. I’m sure there are exceptions, but moms deserve a lot more than a one-day token holiday.
They carried us inside their wombs for nine months, and endured the birthing! That alone deserves a medal of honor. And, that’s only the very tip of the iceberg. If we think about all the mothering that goes on in life, there’s nothing even close to what moms do for us. Nobody can argue that moms give significantly more sacrificial love than men or kids, on a daily basis.
Honoring you mother synonymous with loving God. Did you realize that? In 1 John 4:20, the Bible says essentially that “you can’t love me and not love others.”
We at EMM encourage you to think of ways to honor your mom throughout the year. Consider motherhood a celebration of life itself! So for the upcoming holiday, here are some fresh, and not so fresh but tried-and-true, ideas:
I have heard the expression “He carried the mantle of leadership well” my whole life. Privately, I always wondered, “What is a mantle exactly?” Is it a masculine baton you receive, carry, and then hand off? Who gives this to a man? Or, is it a male candle? My wife says it’s that shelf over the fireplace. A herd of praying mantises maybe? A mantle. Lacking the true scoop, it’s not surprising to discover my idea of a mantle was both off and somewhat on. A mantle, I discovered, is nothing more than something that covers or surrounds something else. The fuzz covering the horns of a male deer, for example, is called it’s “mantle” because it completely encapsulates the actual horn until it wears off. Key words: covers and surrounds. To be sure, a deer was not the first image of leadership that popped into my head but the idea driving it in my man-brain was spot on. So let’s complete this round trip: men carrying a mantle of leadership.
They are single by default, by circumstance, or by choice. They may have visions of marriage and family while others have totally given up. The rarest of all in the Body see their relational context as a gift. But regardless of perspective and desire, all these men face unique moral and spiritual struggles which require more, not less, character than their married friends. Strong beliefs are required to support stronger (but culturally disapproved) behaviors that preserve spiritual integrity. It’s ironic that the most influential man who ever walked the planet was unmarried and possessed a sense of self rooted in God and his purposes that transcended the broken male culture of his day. Jesus, as well as a host of other examples in the Bible provides the template for our conversations with and ministry to unmarried men. Here are the top three issues, examples and principles we should be addressing with this group of men God wants to use mightily.
Understanding the heart of a woman is an oxymoron.
Key word? Moron. That’s because only a moron would be arrogant enough to bloody their nose on the rock of the unthinkable. But I am not your average moron. I am a conflicted moron on a mission. The Yin in me says to the Yang “just give up already, accept emotional kindergarten.” But the Yang fights back and says, “the pay-off dude, think about the pay-off if you figure out what she wants!” The prospect of the pay-off wins again and the Yin taps out. But that’s another bone of contention: the pay-off. That certainly has changed over my 30-year dance in the shifting sands of relational intimacy. What once was the effortless and easily secured warm fuzzies of the dating years (complete with over-laughing and pretend listening) has morphed into the intentional, quasi-mature pursuit of communication and emotional intimacy. That last admission will cost me a 100 point debit off my “man card” but I have learned that the risking for my relationships reaps “phat” rewards.