EMM Main Blog
Every young sports fan dreams of being a professional athlete — the physique, fame and fortune. Unfortunately, when we pick up the Sports page or log on to the net, we see on a regular basis that not all athletes are as strong at home as they are on the field. That’s because there’s one more thing that often accompanies professional athletic success: Adoring women. Sex scandals have taken down some of the most amazing athletes and their marriages. Sitting atop of their game, many athletes don’t know how to deal with the adoration of women, and fall to a lack of self-control and/or short-term memory loss. Then POOF -- their marriage is in shambles, reputation tainted, costly divorce proceedings, and the media hyenas eat up the infidelity stories until there is nothing left on the bone.
Every year, men try to pony up at Valentine’s Day for their spouse, significant other or loved ones with the obligatory purchase of red roses, chocolates, jewelry, a card and perhaps a romantic dinner. Some men dutifully step up. Others go over the top, while others cross their fingers hoping they can do something right. But all men face the pressure of answering the conundrum that has eluded men for centuries, “what does she really want?” Understanding women can seem like trying to solve a broken Rubik’s cube. From historical accounts, and what we read from the wisest man’s “Songs of Solomon,” here’s a little love lesson on how to be the “Valentine” your sweetheart desires.
Children are notoriously impatient – antsy is more like it. Mine were forced to hold my hand, stand in line at the hardware store, and forced to go “shopping” with mom. The waiting game inevitably broke them down emotionally – it’s called a meltdown. We had the “sit, flop, and fume” to the “Slap-the-toy out of your hand you are dangling in my face” to the “pouting Pearl Harbor” complete with explosions of anger and tears. On long drives to my parents every Christmas they all asked “Are we there yet?” Kids, right? Men are just bigger versions of our “mini-me’s” with bigger needs and bigger destinations, but the same impatience – especially with God who, like our parents, does not wear our watch. We are trained by an “easy button” culture to believe that both private and public delays are the enemy. We are trained to lust after the product not endure the process. We work hard to ensure faster, smoother, and easier exactly to avoid slower, more difficult, and harder. Then life happens. Delays happen that we didn’t plan. Denials happen that we never expected.
While holidays provide times to thank God, and celebrate Christ’s birth, so often we get caught up in the familiar patterns we’ve always followed. Turkeys, trees, trimmings. Cookies, cakes and gaining weight. That’s all ok. But I think many men just show up, instead of getting involved and taking the lead. We all have holiday family traditions. Some are handed down, others are created by accident. Some traditions we’d rather never happened. But I think God’s man can play a greater role. What if we intentionally created a new tradition(s) that honored God and others -- and was fun to boot? Here are a couple of traditions in the Luck family:
While the internet brings a wealth of information instantly to our finger tips, it also throws our children into an ocean of risk. Too often, our kids navigate those waters without a life preserver and become bait for the enemy’s piranha-like feeding frenzy to attack the weak. Parents today have more than their neighborhoods, schools and kids’ friends to worry about. The enemy is cleverly casting nets online fishing for their souls and God’s men must be aware of where their kids are swimming. For example, social media has brought the world together, while giving predators tools to connect while disguised in sheep’s clothing. Online video gaming, once a harmless recreation (remember Atari?), now provides realms of obscene and violent behaviors. And with every online search, marketers of all kinds of dangerous material get closer to home.