Friday, November 4, 2011

Men: Step Up and Surrender


I went to a ministry conference last weekend and I learned something rather profound.  Men are created in the image of God.  And God made women to be the perfect companions for men.  So, since men are created in the image of God that makes women the perfect companions for God.  I never realized that.  Logically, that makes perfect sense.  And it explains a lot concerning the spirituality of men and women.

In my experience, I've noticed that men seem to have a harder time with spirituality.  It doesn’t come naturally to them.  They have a hard time surrendering to a God they can’t see with their eyes and touch with their hands.  They have a hard time trusting in their faith and defining themselves by that faith.  I think some men see it as a sign of weakness.  Men are made to provide and protect.  They have a hard time admitting that they need to be provided for and protected.  The walls a man must tear down in his heart in order to embrace Jesus as his Lord and Savior are tall and thick.

Women, on the other hand, are made for God.  And that would explain why more women are in the pews.  More women are at prayer groups.  More women are enrolled in bible studies.  Women have an easier time finding God in everything around them.  They have an easier time in prayer.  They have an easier time with surrender.  In fact, I always thought it brilliant that God designated men to lead the church.  Because if the church was led by women, then men would be lost.  They would not be drawn into the Church if there were no male leaders to serve as role models.

This morning, on Facebook, I asked my friends what I should write about for today’s column.  Yep.  That’s right.  I had nothing planned.  ‘Tis the life of a procrastinator.  Anyhow, one of my friends suggested that I write about how the importance of the father’s role as spiritual leader of the family.  This is a topic I have been thinking about since the conference and then last week, our adult cluster group engaged in this very discussion.  Yes, indeed.  Men need to be the spiritual leaders of the family.  But why?  Why is important that they fill a role their wives seem to fit more naturally?

Have you ever prayed with a group of men?  I mean really prayed.  Like on your knees, face to God, heart and soul poured out on the altar prayed with a group of men.  It is pretty awesome.  I have had this experience at our Holy Spirit prayer group which is a charismatic prayer group in our parish.  I don’t think you have really experienced prayer until you have prayed with a group like this.  And our group has several core members who are men. They make it AWESOME.  I don’t know why but they do.  And then there was the time I visited my parent’s Baptist church.  All the men came to the front of the church, got on their knees and prayed.  They prayed hard for rain.  I thought for sure that it would be raining when we left their church service.  Indeed, there is something remarkable about the prayer of men. 

In the family, the most natural role for the man is provider and protector.  I am not saying that women can not provide or protect, but I think men feel more comfortable filling that role.  Therefore, it is pretty remarkable when the man looks to God to be his provider and protector.  That makes an impression upon the rest of the family.  If my Daddy, who provides the family’s income and is trusted with the family’s well-being, can give up that control to God, then I can trust God too.  I can believe in the God my Father depends upon.  A father’s faith in God sends a strong message to the family.

So, I challenge the men to stand up and be men.  Be an example of one who lives a faith-filled life.  Show your wife and your children what it means to love God.  Show them how to surrender their very lives to the God who surrendered his life to us.  It will not be easy.  You are not made to surrender.  The walls you must tear down are tall and strong.  But your family needs you to do it.  They need you to lead them to the Lord.  Your wife is God’s perfect companion which makes you, who is made in the image of God, her perfect companion.  But you can’t be the man she needs you to be unless you allow God into your life.  Surrender those walls.  Pray with your family.  Show your children how to trust God.  You are the person that will bring them to Christ. 

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