I’ve known more than one pastor who was a sexual predator. And, if it makes the reader feel any better, every one of them is out of the ministry now.
My observation however is that no serial adulterer occupying the pastor’s office entered the ministry with such sordid intentions. He fell into sin and one thing led to another. (Sound familiar? It’s how life works.)
So, what follows is for young ministers in particular who have not been snared in the lust-trap and wish to make sure they don’t. (For your information, I invited my wife Margaret to add her observations.)
Here are 7 lines pastors do not want to cross.
1) Do not use cologne. Women are sensitive to fragrances, my wife says, which is why they wear them in the first place. When a man wears them, he sends out a subtle signal, the type no wise minister needs to be emitting.
2) Do not hug women. One pastor said he hugs no one between the ages of 6 and 66.
To the minister who argues that “Well, I am a toucher and people need to be hugged,” I reply: a) Granted, but let women hug women and men hug men, if necessary and appropriate. b) In most cases, your “touching” indicates some physical or emotional need in yourself, and is not what healthy ministers do.
Even if your intentions are pure, you make yourself vulnerable to charges of inappropriate touching. And–do not miss this–in the minds of many, to be charged is to be convicted. Best to guard against these dangers.
3) Do not be in your office with a woman alone.
A pastor of a large church told some of us why he does not counsel in his office. “All she has to do is run out of the office screaming and your ministry is over.” When someone catches him following a worship service with “Pastor, could I come by and talk with you about a problem?” he answers, “Let’s sit in a pew right over here and talk now!” Their visit is in public, but far enough removed from people so that no one hears their conversation.
4) Do not be in the church alone with a woman.
This is more difficult for small churches that have no one on staff but the pastor. In my first post-seminary church, the secretary worked half-days. Often she and I were in the building alone all morning. In those cases, you do the best you can at keeping your distance, making sure the doors are unlocked and drop-ins are welcome, and when possible, have others in the office too.
A pastor I used to serve with would sometimes ask me to remain after hours because he was counseling a woman, and wanted to make sure someone else was in the building.
5) Do not make pastoral visits alone. If you knock on a door and find that a woman is home alone, do not go inside but visit briefly at the door. Many pastors take a deacon or their wife with them on such calls.
6) Do not compliment a young woman on her appearance. My wife says with women middle-aged and older, you can say, “You’re looking nice today.” But do not compliment a woman on her dress, her figure, tell her that her diet’s really working, and such. You are stepping over an invisible line.
7) Do not fantasize about women. Most sins of a sexual nature had their beginnings long before as the individual imagined certain situations with some individual. Then, when the opportunity presented itself, he was ready since he had been over that ground a hundred times before.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto Thee, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
The “do nots” clearly have no end. But here are 7 “do’s” which a minister will want to observe to keep the enemy at bay….
1) When complimented inappropriately, laugh it off and change the subject.
“Oooh, pastor, you look so good today.” “Mmmm, preacher, I like the way that suit looks on you.” “Have you been working out, Brother Al? You’re looking good.”
The insecure pastor soaks this stuff up like a sponge. But you are not insecure. “You are complete in Christ” (Colossians 2:10).
Do not acknowledge the compliment. It will only encourage her. Laugh briefly, then ask about her family or something–anything!–to change the subject.
2) Anticipate situations that may arise during the day and plan appropriately. That is, if you know a woman is coming for counseling, make sure your secretary or another minister is just outside the door. Pray always the Lord will guard you and give you wisdom about these things.
3) When you are close to some woman other than your wife, and you begin to sense all the signs of attraction–your temperature rising, your blood pressure elevating–walk away quickly. Make up an excuse, even if it’s only that “I just remembered something; I’ll be right back.” Then, get to your office or pretend to make a phone call and talk to the Lord. Ask for His divine protection. Just because your chemistry with that person is strong does not make it right. As a mature follower of Jesus Christ, you are beyond running your life by your feelings. (You are, aren’t you?)
4) Center your love, your energies, your everything on the Lord and your wife. (The Lord does not mind being lumped together with her. He planned it that way. See Ephesians 5:25ff.)
The biggest safeguard against sexual transgressions in the lives of ministers is a good relationship with one’s spouse. After numerous cautions against sexual sin, the writer of Proverbs counseled his son, “Drink water from your own cistern, and fresh water from your own well” (Proverbs 5:15). In the margin of my Bible, I’ve written: “Focus on your wife, son!” Read on past verse 15 and he gets more explicit that that, with vs. 19 being one you probably won’t read in church, but it definitely communicates!
5) Have an accountability partner or a mentor. Or both.
If you are truly wise, you will have someone–usually an older, mature minister–to whom you can say anything. Such a veteran pastor has seen it all, has the scars to prove it, and has come up a winner. (The one thing you do not want in such a mentor is someone who has never suffered! Spurgeon said, “God gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”)
Once you find such a friend, you must meet with him frequently enough to be comfortable in speaking what’s on your mind. He must be a man of prayer who will pray with you and for you later. There is no way to over-emphasize this.
6) A healthy fear of the Lord is a good thing.
One pastor’s wife said of her husband, “I don’t have to worry about Frank straying. He’s too afraid of God.” He laughed and said, “You’ve got that right!”
Someone asked Andrew Murray the greatest thought that had ever occupied his mind. He answered, “My accountability to God.” Indeed. It’s enough to strike terror into our hearts and to drive us to repentance and submission. “Knowing the fear of the Lord,” Paul said, “we persuade men” (II Corinthians 5:11).
That said, we also rejoice that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Nevertheless, even the saved will give account for what they have done in this life. God help us to be found faithful.
7) Encourage younger ministers to be faithful.
If you’ve been in the Lord’s work as long as a decade, you are a veteran compared to those just leaving seminary. You have a lot to offer them. Reach out to the new ministers coming to churches in your area. Take them to lunch. Then, after the first session, both of you bring your wives. The ministry can be a lonely profession. No church member understands the stresses you and your family have to endure. That’s why no one ministers to pastors better than other ministers.
The goal is to be faithful. Do this and you will find a strength and courage beyond your own. “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God” (I John 3:21). Yes, and confidence before men, too.
Toward the end of His ministry, our Lord told the disciples, “The prince of this world is coming, and he has nothing in me” (John 14:30). I like that. Readers may recall I told recently of meeting an old couple in a rural Alabama cafe. The man was in his 90s and the woman wasn’t all that far behind. They had been married four years, I think, and were clearly still in love. With a twinkle in his eye, the old gentleman said, “I have iron in my blood and she has a magnetic personality.”
When the devil waves his magnet over us, let there be nothing inside us that responds to his enticements. May we say, “He has nothing in me.”
And nothing “on” me.
This post was written by Pastor Joe McKeever. For the original post, go to: http://joemckeever.com/wp/7-sexual-lines-pastor-cross/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
It is high time you realized that your wives are under attack today! Everything they have been taught from earliest childhood is being subjected to ridicule and scorn. Hardly a day passes when the traditional values of the Judeo-Christian heritage are not blatantly mocked and undermined.
--The notion that motherhood is a worthwhile investment of a woman's time suffers unrelenting bombardment.
--And the idea that wives should yield to the leadership of their husbands, as commanded in Ephesians 5:21–33 is considered almost medieval in its stupidity.
--And the concept that a man and woman should become one flesh, finding their identity in each other rather than as separate and competing individuals, is said to be intolerably insulting to women.
--And the belief that divorce is an unacceptable alternative has been abandoned by practically everybody. (Have you heard about Sue and Bob?)
--And the description of the ideal wife and mother, as offered in Proverbs 31:10–31 is now unthinkable for the modern woman. (She's come along way, baby.)
--And the role of the female as help-meet, bread-baker, wound-patcher, love giver, home builder, and child-bearer is nothing short of disgusting.
All of these deeply ingrained values, which many of your wives are trying desperately to sustain, are continually exposed to the wrath of hell itself. The Western media—radio, television and the press—are working relentlessly to shred the last vestiges of Christian tradition. And your wives who believe in the spiritual heritage are virtually hanging by their thumbs! They are made to feel stupid and old-fashioned and unfulfilled, and in many cases, their self-esteem is suffering irreparable damage. They are fighting a sweeping social movement with very little support from anyone.
Let me say it more directly. For the man who appreciates the willingness of his wife to stand against the tide of public opinion--staying at home in her empty neighborhood in the exclusive company of jelly-faced toddlers and strong willed adolescents--it is about time you gave her some help. I'm not merely suggesting that you wash the dishes or sweep the floor. I'm referring to the provision of emotional support...of conversation...of making her feel like a lady...of building her ego...of giving her one day of recreation each week...of taking her out to dinner...of telling her that you love her. Without these armaments, she is left defenseless against the foes of the family--the foes of your family!
But to be honest, many of you husbands and fathers have been thinking about something else. Your wives have been busy attending seminars and reading family literature and studying the Bible, but they can't even get you to enter a discussion about what they've learned. You've been intoxicated with your work and the ego support it provides.
What better illustration can I give than the letter quoted on page 94. It came from a desperate woman whose husband is rarely at home, and even when he's there he has nothing to say. He prefers the company of Paul Harvey, who asks no questions and expects no answers. Furthermore, he's a first-class punkin eater." You know the story.
Peter, Peter, Punkin Eater
Had a wife and couldn't keep her
Put her in a punkin shell
And there he kept her very well....
Yeah, Old Pete has got his little woman right where he wants her. She's cooped up in a house with two children under three years of age, changing diapers and wiping noses and cooking meals for him and Mr. Harvey. That's some existence for living, breathing, female with deep needs to be loved and respected. Not only does Peter not intend to met those needs, but he forbids her to take them elsewhere. He doesn't even want her to go to a Bible study class because, would you believe, he fears his kids will catch a disease. Never mind the disease that is choking the life out of his wife—the disease called loneliness. To the wives of all the world's punkin eaters, I say, "Go to the Bible study class anyway!" Submission to masculine leadership does not extend, in my opinion, to behaviors that will be unhealthy for the husband, the wife, and the marriage. Nor should a woman tolerate child abuse, child molestation, or wife beating.
The message could not be more simple or direct to a Christian man: the Lord has commanded you to "love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, giving His life for it." She needs you now. Will you fit her into your plans?
This post was written by Dr James Dobson. For the original post go to: http://www.drjamesdobson.org/articles/pray-for-america/message-to-husbands-of-homemakers
BE A MAN.
Early in our marriage, we would receive Victoria's Secret catalogs in the mail. Even back then, these catalogs were pornography. They've only gotten worse.
Nevertheless, I told Karyn about the draw those catalogs had for me and I asked her to not have those in the house, especially since we were raising boys.
By starving my eyes from those catalogs, they came to the point of having less attraction for me. Over time, by telling Karyn about the things that turned me on, she was able to help me. We would talk about those things that were tempting. It was liberating to tell her and she would continue to love me and shield me from those things that held my attraction.
After the boys were raised, I accompanied her to a Victoria's Secret store where she was trying on some clothes. Being the dutiful husband, I went with her. I thought, "I've gotten past that Victoria's Secret temptation. I can handle this now."
While I was sitting there, minding my own business and trying not to look at the images of scantily clad women on the walls, a very attractive young lady walked up to me and started talking to me. I was polite and talked with her. Then another attractive young lady and then another. Before I knew it, I was surrounded by three very attractive young ladies.
Well, my ego got the best of me. I started thinking, "these girls think I'm hot. They're talking to me because they really like me." I found myself paying more attention to them while they were flirting with me (or I thought they were flirting with me). Then it hit me. "What in the world am I doing? I'm almost old enough to be these young ladies' father!" Then Karyn came out of the dressing room and paid for some clothes she was buying.
When we got outside, I confessed to Karyn what had happened. She simply said, "of course those sales clerks were talking to you, you're safe. You're much older than them. The longer you stay in the store, the more likely I will buy something." Well, I'll tell you, my ego was instantly deflated. We continued our conversation and Karyn said that the clerks were occupying me so that she would spend more time shopping.
Why do I share this story with you?
Well I learned a few things about temptation:
- I said to myself before going into the store, "I can handle this." God says, "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall." Knowing this was a past temptation, it would have been wise to ask God for strength before entering. It might have been better to just not go into that store.
- I have a big ego and I need to keep it in check. "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." If I stay humble, God will give me more grace.
- Temptation changes. I thought that I had the sin of lust conquered. However, this temptation played into something different. I was on my guard for lust but not on guard for my ego.
- My ego got in the way of my ability to think clearly. These young ladies were just doing what they had been taught. "Keep the hubby happy and his wife will buy more stuff." I was being played and never realized it.
So, my conclusion, my goal of this post is this:
Do you let your ego go unchecked?
Do you humble yourself so that God can give you more grace?
If you think that you have temptation conquered, get ready. You will find yourself tempted in ways that you haven't been considering.
BE A MAN.
This is a landmark day. This is the day that the first pope to resign in over 600 years occurs. He officially resigns tonite (Vatican time). By my standards, the Pope is a young man. He is only 85-years-old. The Pope has decided he wants to live the rest of his life only reading and praying. He is quoted as saying, "...I can continue to serve it (the church) with the same dedication and the same love which I have tried to do so until now, but in a way more suitable to my age and to my strength." I'm glad that the Pope has defined what is suitable for someone his age. However, my dad must not have heard that idea of what is "suitable" for his age.
Today, my Father turns the young age of 89. Actually, he turns 89 tomorrow. No, it's today. Truth be told, my Dad doesn't have a birthday this year as he was born in a leap year. He has only had 22 birthdays. And he acts like it. If you look at the picture above, you will see a screen shot from a conversation that I was having with him during "face time" on his iPad. That's right. You read that correctly. He's 89 and he's using "face time." In fact, he and my mom taught me how to use "face time." I was a little computer phobic when it came to this form of communication. However, I have found that our conversations go better (even though the internet can be wonky at times) because he can read my lips. I just wish "face time" had a typed chat feature so that I could type in some words that are unclear because I have a tendency to speak quickly.
Why is he a young 89-year-young? He regularly does puzzles, reads the newspaper daily, keeps up on his investments, tracks how well his invention is doing, follows his sports teams, checks out information on the internet, as well as praying and reading God's Word. In fact, he told me, "I've always enjoyed working but now that I'm retired, I work harder than I ever have and I'm enjoying it more because I'm doing more of what I want to do." He plants and tends his garden, harvests pecans, goes fishing when he wants and finally bought mom a wedding ring after 65+ years of marriage (he is so romantic...).
He's also written a memoir of his life as a pastor. Here's the first entry:
As a student pastor in a country church we had a number of young couples as a part of the congregation, many of them had no church relationship in the past. The young men requested from the church board the privilege of repainting the church sanctuary. So in the evenings and on Saturday, we had painting times. I was working with one of the young men painting in the platform area. He mentioned that he would paint in the area around the bull pit. When I asked him what he was talking about, he pointed to the pulpit and said, "that is what you call it, isn't it?" In thinking about it afterwards, I thought perhaps he wasn't too far off, at least in his own mind. Though he made the statement in ignorance, it is a reminder that the pastor needs to take his responsibility seriously when he is proclaiming the Word from the pulpit. He needs to make sure that it is the Word of God and not just bull from the pit.
What I like about my Dad's lessons is that he can make common, ordinary circumstances into an insight about God, The Bible and/or Holiness. So, at 89-years-young, he's still going strong and not acting suitably. I hope he never does act his age.
Happy Birthday, Dad!
I love you.
BE A MAN.
Roughhousing teaches your kids morality
We all want kids who end up like Atticus Finch
–moral, upright, compassionate. That’s exactly why you need to body slam your kid every now and then.
When we roughhouse with our sons and daughters, they learn boundaries and the difference between right and wrong. If they start hitting hard, aiming below the belt, or becoming malicious, you can reprimand them and then show by example what’s appropriate roughhousing behavior.
Also, roughhousing teaches our children about the appropriate use of strength and power. As I mentioned earlier, when we roughhouse with our kids, we often take turns with the dominant role. Because we’re so much bigger and stronger, we have to handicap ourselves. The implicit message to your child when you hold back is: “Winning isn’t everything. You don’t need to dominate all the time. There’s strength in showing compassion on those weaker than you.”Roughhousing Gets Your Kid Physically Active
Dads have a profound impact on their children’s physical fitness. Studies have shown that the father’s, (not the mother’s)
, activity level and weight strongly predict what their children’s activity level and weight will be as adults. If you want your kids to be healthy, active, and fit, then you better be healthy, active, and fit yourself.
What better way to teach your kids to live an active lifestyle than by getting down on the carpet with them for some vigorous roughhousing instead of everyone vegging out in front of the TV? All that running, tumbling, and tackling helps develop strength, flexibility, and coordination in your child.Roughhousing Builds the Father-Child Bond
Some of my best memories of my childhood were when my dad roughhoused with my brother and I. When we were smaller he’d do the obligatory “ride the horsey.” When we got a little bigger we moved to slap fighting, which consisted of my dad dramatically swirling his hands in front of him like you see fighters do in the old kung fu movies and then very lightly smacking our heads with quick open-handed jabs. Slap fights were the best.
You probably have similar memories of roughhousing with your dad. Roughhousing offers dads a chance to physically show their affection to their kids in a fun and playful environment. When father and kids wrestle, there are lots of hugs and kisses scattered in-between pretend sleeper holds.
When you throw your kids up in the air and catch them or swing them upside-down, you’re building your child’s trust in you. As they take part in somewhat risky activities with you, your kids learn that they can trust you to keep them safe. How to Roughhouse With Your Kids
The beauty of roughhousing is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Roughhousing is just spontaneous, improvised play that’s both rowdy and interactive. Don’t think too much about whether you’re doing it wrong or right. Just have fun.
With that said, the The Art of Roughhousing
provides a few guidelines to keep in mind while you’re tossing your kids in the air:Safety first.
While you want to get rough and rowdy with your kids, you don’t want to get too crazy with them. Just be aware of your surroundings and keep your kids away from areas where they can get hurt. Also, keep in mind that a child’s joints are prone to injury when roughhousing. Save the joint locks for when your kids are older and fully developed.Don’t roughhouse right before bed.
But just like adults, kids need some time right before bed to relax and ramp things down so they can get into sleep mode. Unless you want a little night owl joining you on the couch to watch late-night TV, roughhouse earlier in the day.Roughhousing is for girls, too.
While boys are naturally prone to engage in roughhousing, make sure you don’t leave your daughters out of the fun. Studies show that girls who roughhouse with their fathers are more confident than girls who don’t. And some studies even indicate that roughhousing can prevent your little angel from growing up into one of those Queen Bee, Mean Girls that psychologically terrorize other girls.
If you’re looking for specific things to do with your kids while roughhousing, I definitely recommend picking up a copy of The Art of Roughhousing
. The book features some great suggestions for roughhousing fun, along with helpful illustrations showing you how to do them. Also, you can visit their website for roughhousing ideas
The original post for this two-part series
can be found here: http://artofmanliness.com/2012/02/07/the-importance-of-roughhousing-with-your-kids/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Roughhousing Boosts Your Kid’s Resilience
Helping your child develop a resilient spirit
is one of the best things you can do as a parent. The ability to bounce back from failures and adapt to unpredictable situations will help your kids reach their full potential and live happier lives as adults. And an easy way to help boost your kids’ resilience is to put them in a gentle headlock and give them a noogie.
Roughhousing requires your child to adapt quickly to unpredictable situations. One minute they might be riding you like a horse and the next they could be swinging upside-down. According to biologist Marc Bekoff in his book Wild Justice
, the unpredictable nature of roughhousing actually rewires a child’s brain by increasing the connections between neurons in the cerebral cortex, which in turn contributes to behavioral flexibility. Learning how to cope with sudden changes while roughhousing trains your kiddos to cope with unexpected bumps in the road when they’re out in the real world.
Additionally, roughhousing helps develop your children’s grit and stick-to-itiveness. You shouldn’t just let your kids “win” every time when you roughhouse with them. Whether they’re trying to escape from your hold or run past you in the hallway, make them work for it. Playtime is a fun and safe place to teach your kids that failure is often just a temporary state and that victory goes to the person who keeps at it and learns from his mistakes.
Roughhousing also helps children learn how to manage and deal with pain and discomfort. You shouldn’t intentionally hurt your kids while roughhousing (obviously), but little bumps and scrapes are bound to happen. Instead of cuddling and kissing a child’s “boo boo,” dads have a tendency to distract their kids from the pain with humor or some other task. Learning to deal with and manage minor discomforts while roughhousing can help your child handle the stresses they’ll encounter at school and work.Roughhousing makes your kids smarter
Go ahead. Toss your kid like a sack of potatoes onto your bed. It will help turn him into a Toddler Einstein.
Psychologist Anthony Pellegrini has found that the amount of roughhousing children engage in predicts their achievement in first grade better than their kindergarten test scores do. What is it about rough and tumble play that makes kids smarter? Well, a couple things.
First, as we discussed above, roughhousing makes your kid more resilient and resilience is a key in developing children’s intelligence. Resilient kids tend to see failure more as a challenge to overcome rather than an event that defines them. This sort of intellectual resilience helps ensure your children bounce back from bad grades and gives them the grit to keep trying until they’ve mastered a topic.
In addition to making students more resilient, roughhousing actually rewires the brain for learning. Neuroscientists studying animal and human brains have found that bouts of rough-and-tumble play increase the brain’s level of a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF helps increase neuron growth in the parts of the brain responsible for memory, logic, and higher learning–skills necessary for academic success.Roughhousing Builds Social Intelligence
I’ve talked to several parents, especially moms, who are afraid to encourage roughhousing because they think it will turn their kids into little bouncing-off-the-walls hellians who will someday wind up in a juvie center. I guess I can see the reasoning behind their concerns–five-year-old play fights with dad; five-year-old thinks violence is fun; five year old turns into violent sadist bent on human destruction.
The problem is that research actually shows the opposite outcome: children who engage in frequent roughhousing are almost always more socially and emotionally adept than kids who don’t. Dr. Stuart Brown, an expert on play (Yeah, you can be an expert on play. Who knew?) says that the “lack of experience with rough-and-tumble play hampers the normal give-and-take necessary for social mastery and has been linked with poor control of violent impulses later in life.” That’s right. Wrestling your kid around in a play fight ensures that he doesn’t turn into the next Ted Bundy.
Roughhousing builds social intelligence in several ways. First, when kids roughhouse they learn to tell the difference between play and actual aggression. Dr. Pellegrini found in a survey among school-aged children that the ones who could tell the difference between play and real aggression were more well-liked compared to kids who had a hard time separating the two. The kids who mistook play for aggression often ended up returning their classmates good-natured overtures with a real punch in the kisser. The ability to differentiate between play and aggression translates into other social skills that require people to read and interpret social cues.
Roughhousing also teaches children about taking turns and cooperation. You might not recognize it, but when you horse around with your kids, you’re often taking part in a give-and-take negotiation where the goal is to make sure everyone has fun. Sometimes you’re the chaser and sometimes you’re the chasee; sometimes you’re pinning down your kids and other times they’re pinning you down. Your kids wouldn’t want to keep playing if they were constantly on the losing side. Everyone has to take turns in order for the fun to continue.
What’s interesting is that animals even take part in this back-and-forth role reversal. Adult wolves will expose their bellies and necks to their cubs and let them “win” the play fight. Stronger rats will handicap themselves during bouts of play and let the weaker rat win so play can continue. Roughhousing may be a way that God instilled into His creation a way of teaching cooperation to animals and humans, a necessary skill for the survival of a species.
The original post for this two-part
series can be found at: http://artofmanliness.com/2012/02/07/the-importance-of-roughhousing-with-your-kids/BE HOLY.BE A MAN
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.Peter is very clear here. As husbands we are to:1. Be considerate as we live with our wife
- Do you put up roadblocks to her happiness and to her success? Being considerate is thinking about how to make her life better and easier. Being considerate is acting upon those thoughts. Consideration is asking, "can I do something for you?" and "is there something you need done?" Consideration is trying to anticipate her needs and doing them before she asks. 2. Treat our wife with respect
- Being respectful is treating her like she is the most important person in the world. Having the niceties that a gentleman displays: Saying please, thank you, excuse me, etc. To respect her is to honor her. Do you dishonor her with your actions? Do you take her for granted? Do you tell your children how wonderful she is and that they need to respect her like you do? Are you brave enough to challenge your children to treat her like you do?3. Remember that she is an heir of the gracious gift of life
- Most importantly, she is a child of God. The Maker of the Universe, the Creator, has made her uniquely to serve His purposes. Do you treat her like a Christian sister? Do you encourage her spiritual growth? Do you encourage her to spend time with other godly women? Do you offer to take care of your children so that she can have some alone time with God?"Christian husbands and wives share a common experience of grace and a common destiny of salvation. A husband must honor his wife since she, as much as he, has access to God's grace in Christ. In addition, since husbands and wives are partners together in grace, a husband's relationship with God will be affected for good or ill by his relationship with his wife. When husbands treat their wives with consideration and honor, they are true to the nature of grace. They are acting as God's people, and thus their relationship with God may be deepened through prayer (p. 1193)."Peter is very clear here: If you don't honor your wife, your prayers will be hinderedBE HOLY.
BE A MAN.
Gentlemen, your wife wants you to love the kids. She wants you to help raise them. She wants you to love them, to pursue them. She wants you to get guy time with your sons. She wants you to get daddy dates with your daughters. She wants you to do Ephesians 6
and be their pastor. She wants you to read the Bible with them. She wants you to pray with them. And you know what? You should want that too.
DO YOUR JOB
So many guys who are Christians think “I pay for Christian school, I send the wife and kids to the Christian church. I’ve done my Christian duty.” No, you’ve abdicated your responsibility to others. It’s your job to love your kids. It’s your job to pray with your kids. It’s your job to teach the Bible to your kids.
It’s your job to encourage your kids. It’s your job to discipline your kids.Christian, husband, father, employee.
Those are your first four duties; it’ll take most of your life. You’re not going to have a lot of time.
A wife will be so forgiving of so many things if she actually knows her husband desperately loves their children, that he serves them, that he cares for them, that he’s tender with them, that he’s Pastor Dad for them. So few children actually have a father. So few of those actually have a Christian father and how few of those actually have a dad who’s doing his job.
And I’ll tell you what, guys, this is not something you have to do; it’s something you get to do.
This is wonderful. Every night, my daughter Alexie, blond hair, blue eyes and looks like Tinkerbell says, “Poppa Daddy, I need a piggyback ride and a Bible story.” You know what? I do too.
I need that as much as Alexie. I weep thinking of the day that I’m not going to be giving her piggyback rides, so I give her as many piggyback rides as I can because it’s a great season and a wonderful opportunity.
HONOR YOUR PRIORITIES
What this means, gentlemen, is your priorities will be Christian, husband, father, employee. Those are your first four duties; it’ll take most of your life. You’re not gonna have a lot of time. You're probably gonna need to put down your tools, your hobbies, your car, your projects, your golf clubs, your Xbox and probably going to need to put down the remote control, and your laptop, and your iPod to honor your wife parentally. You’re not going to have a lot of time for a lot of other things. Gentlemen, your goal is not to stand before God and tell him what level you got to on “World of Warcraft”.
HONOR HER SPIRITUALLY
All of this comes down to this point.
There are between 11 and 13 million more Christian women than men. Many women go to church on their own. They have to drag their husband to church, they drag their children to church. It is your job, men, to lead spiritually. You pray with the family. You read the Bible with the family. You pick a good church, become a member of it, submit to it.
You pick the community group or midweek class you will be in. You are the one to lead the family spiritually.
START WITH A PRAYER
Some guys say, “Well, I don’t know what to do.” Just start by praying with your wife.
There are women who will read this sermon and deep down in their heart, this is what they want the most, “If my husband would just pray with me.”
There are some of you guys, you pray with all kinds of people, you don’t pray with your wife. Do you pray with your wife? Do you pray with your kids? Do you read the Bible with your wife? Do you talk about Jesus with your wife? Do you talk about Jesus with your kids? Leading spiritually is the foundation of everything else.
This post is adapted from The Mars Hill blog. It can be found at: http://marshill.com/2010/12/14/how-to-honor-your-wife/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
One of the many things I like about God is His ability to speak to a person, especially when it is least expected.
I was rummaging around the basement of an old house, looking for interesting things, antiques, valuables, etc. I happened upon a trophy that was sitting in the corner. It was a good size, had the person's name on it and the inscription, "1985 State Bowling Champion, Adult Division"
As I looked at it, I noticed that the stand was broken, parts of the trophy had chipped off and it was covered in a good 1/4" of dust.
I thought to myself, "that trophy represents a lot of hard work and accomplishment, too bad that it is discarded and just thrown away in a basement."
My next thought, which I think came from God, was "that could be your trophy. What kind of things are you working hard for?"
What was interesting was the timing of this find. I had just received my PhD* and was getting prepared to speak to a group of men about what God desires for men.
What went thru my mind next was the hard work that I endured to receive this degree and then, in my mind, I saw my diploma laying in a trash can. I felt such unworthiness. What God was telling me was that I need to spend my life in doing things that have eternal value.
Some day, I'm gonna be dead and what are people gonna say about me? "He was smart. He knew his stuff. But look at all the people he ignored while he was being so full of himself."
I imagine my diploma being placed in the casket with me and being placed into the ground as if it was my greatest accomplishment. I don't want my education to be the greatest thing that I have done.
What does God say about what is important? What does He desire of men?
Here are just a few verses that instantly pop into my mind:- It is God's will that you be sanctified: That you should avoid sexual immorality.- To follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts- To keep oneself from being polluted by the world- To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God
What do think? What does God desire of you?
What kind of things are you working hard for?BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
*Anyone who knows me, knows my joke, PhD means "post hole digger" or "push here dummy."
We were in inner Jamaica, away from the major cities visiting a church where I was to give a brief talk for the service. We were fortunate enough to be able to arrive early to attend Sunday School. As we arrived, there were other people there, mostly Jamaicans. Unfortunately, the teacher seemed to be a bit intimidated. She was an older woman, probably in her 60's and was a pillar in this church as well as the surrounding community. It was obvious she was well-respected for her leadership. As she moved to the front of the room, she made a little "nest" for herself with pillows and sat very regally speaking to us.
What she said next made me think she felt intimidated (maybe not), "I have been teaching this class for many years and I know the answers for the questions that you may have. But, please don't interrupt, you can ask your questions at the end of class, when I am thru telling you God's truth." I was intrigued by her accent and her use of colloquialisms that were unfamiliar to me. But, at times, I got lost in what she said as she introduced her lesson and the way that her body position displayed a person of authority.
Now, there are many ways that this post that I am writing could go. This post is not about this Sunday School teacher and my probable misunderstanding of her pride as I am sure there are so many things culturally that I missed. This story is so rich in cultural/spiritual/psychological applications. I enjoy studying cultural anthropology and coupling it with my counseling and my feeble attempts at representing Christ to others. I try to understand people without looking thru my white, middle class, American male biases. Nevertheless, this post is about my pride.
That evening, as I lay in bed, swatting mosquitos feeling very uncomfortable in the sweltering humidity, I was reflecting upon my experience that morning in Sunday School. I got to thinking, "she was a very proud woman. She had no formal college education and lives in a small village teaching in a small church in a small island country. She has no reason to act so proud." With that thought, I clearly heard in my head a reprimand from God that filled me with remorse over my own pride. Who was I to judge this woman who has been teaching God's Word for years?
God has clearly stated, "So when you, a mere man, pass judgment and yet do the same things, do you think that you will escape God's judgment?"
As I continued to listen to God that evening, I felt God's loving reproof for attitudes that I had been displaying. It wasn't much of a struggle because God's Holy Spirit was on target and I needed correction. He was right.
At times I become prideful and God doesn't have to say much to remind me of how He has worked and is working in my life. Just a simple recollection of that woman or my time in Jamaica usually gets me back on track and less self-protective.Protectionist attitudes, IMHO, represent a spiritual dysfunction. I believe God protects our reputation if we serve Him in humility.
C.S. Lewis puts it much better and serves as a reminder, "How is it that people who are obviously eaten up with Pride can say they believe in God and appear to themselves very religious? I am afraid it means they are worshiping an imaginary God."Ouch.
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.