EMM Main Blog
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.
In the “dating” universe predictable is synonymous with forgettable. But research shows that unpredictable and risky brings great rewards for the relationship – mainly memory muscles! Any man who wants a serious win with his woman (the bragging to friends kind) must understand this one thing: she loves thoughtfulness and imagination. They are the two main ingredients of unforgettable memories. New girlfriend? Wife of many years? This reality with you never goes bad, spoils, or fails to elevate her relational adrenaline and connection with you. Now – add God. After unconditional acceptance and emotional intimacy, women rank spiritual intimacy at the top of what they want and desire from a man. That’s right, they like to see and sense a man of faith for sharing what’s most valuable with them interpersonally. So for your next date do the math before that nice(ish) dinner and movie. Thoughtfulness + imagination + God’s purposes = unforgettable The “anything-but-typical date” might look something like this:
Women want to love men who act their own age. That is, they are looking for 20 year old men who act like they are 20 years old. Women are searching for 30 year old men who act like they are 30 years old, and for men who are 40, 50 and 60 years old and act like it. The problem is that women can’t find mature men. In the crudest analysis, that means men who are grounded in responsibility, respect, commitment and sacrifice because men worldwide are diving into fantasy. It appears that men young and old are more interested in the “product” versus the necessary process required to make a good product. More specifically, men of faith are bypassing God’s process, “growing up” quickly instead of letting God mature them by using their circumstances to cultivate them and teach them discipline, patience and how to connect with women in a loving and caring way.