Being a middle-aged, white guy, I wonder what young mothers think when I try to interact with them and their children in public. So, I asked my niece what kind of things go through her mind in regard to this topic. Here is her response: "There isn't a whole lot that I expect men to help with when I'm out in public alone with the kids. One of those reasons is because I have played the scenario a few times in my head of what I would do to try to take after someone who takes one of my kids...while I run after him while carrying my other two.
I like it when men hold the door open for the kids and I to all get inside wherever we are going...especially if I have the stroller in tote.
If a man is a real "kid" person and I've never met you, it's okay to say hi and have a very short small talk conversation with my kids, but keep it short and simple and move on. It's different if you're an employee somewhere and I can leave the store with my kids and not worry about him following..again the fear of a kid getting taken.
As for me, I already try not to make eye contact with other men. Small talk is okay if we're sitting watching our kids play at the play area or park. Make sure to tell which kids are yours, and some interaction between them proving it helps, so I know you're not there just scoping out the scene.
If my kids are throwing a fit, it's okay to say something like, "uh oh" or "that doesn't sound like a nice voice" towards the kid with a bad attitude. My kids usually straighten up when they notice a stranger watching their bad attitude. And I appreciate the attitude leaving at that point. Again, be short and simple.
If my kid is walking/running away, look for me, the mom, and go by my gestures. If I'm calm, not saying anything, and have an eye on my kid, I feel in control and I'm testing them to see how far they'll go. If I'm calling for them and looking stressed, get their attention and try to coax them back to me without touching them...i.e. holding a hand/picking them up. I had a lady pick my son up when he was heading a different direction and it totally freaked him out... she was an employee at the mall so I assumed she wouldn't take off with him, but had it been anyone else, I would have been on high alert with adrenaline pumping.
Pretty much, if you want to interact, keep things short and simple. Holding doors open are great...and elevator doors especially so the kids don't get trapped on the elevator and me not on there yet, or vice versa. I don't take the kids on an outting alone unless I know I can handle the time of day and amount of walking, etc. that we'll be doing."I'm grateful for my niece's advice. In short, here are some things she taught me:- Be chivalrous. Open the door and hold the door (elevator door, too) for young mothers and their children.- Don't be alarmed when a child is not standing next to his/her mother. Watch the mother for cues and watch from a distance so that you can help if someone snatches the child.- Say mild comments (at the most) if the child is throwing a fit. Words from someone they don't know may help him/her control him/herself.- Keep things short and simple if you do interact. Don't try to monopolize the mother and/or her children.If you want to follow my niece, here is her youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/godrox
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Let me tell you a tale of three pastors. All successes in their own right. I would be pleased to be a member of their congregations. They are good men, godly men, holy men. They have the same Holy Spirit working in their lives.... yet, they are different. And sometimes, they rub me wrong. At least two of them do...
One pastor was talking about how the Military creates dependency. "In the military, you don't have to make any decisions, all decisions are made for you, you just obey orders. They feed you, house you, raise you into a fighting machine. They tell you where to live and who to make friends with." (Just in case you're wondering, no, this pastor has never served in the military, although he has had numerous military folks in his congregation.) Yet, when I think about this pastor, he went straight from high school, to college, to seminary, to his first church. He serves in a denomination where the pastor is a professional. The churches in which he has served have always providing housing, paid his expenses, and given him a nice salary. (He is well within the top 1% of financial earners in his church. To his credit he does tithe his salary.) His denomination tells him when to move to another church. Does that sound independent to you?
Another pastor was talking about how the new generation of churches will be smaller and transient with bi-vocational pastors. This pastor is a good scholar. He has researched trends in the church and realizes that is what he needs to be training the next generation of pastors to do. Yet, when I think about this pastor, he went straight from high school, to college, to seminary, to his church. He serves in a denomination where the pastor is a professional. The churches in which he has served have always providing housing, paid his expenses, and given him a nice salary. His church isn't a mega-church by any standards but it is a good sized, medium church. He remarked the other day, "I haven't mowed a yard in years. People from the church come over and mow my yard (actually the yard of the parsonage where he lives that the church provides for him as part of his salary package)." Does that sound bi-vocational to you?
Another pastor, now at the end of his ministry due to his age, reflected with me regarding his life as a minister. He never had a church of over 250. He accepted meager salaries in spite of having seven children. He told me stories about God's provision: coats for his children that suddenly appeared on the doorstep one frigid winter morning, receiving "blue milk" and cheese from the local dairy, having an abundance of fresh farms eggs from an unnamed person in the community, working side-by-side with parishioners in painting and refurbishing the church (and telling of the wonderful theological truths and friendships that occurred during these times), caring for the church building by cleaning toilets, mowing the yard, taking out the trash, etc. Also, he never had a parsonage. Every home he lived in he either rented or owned (ironically, now at a ripe old age, on his meager salary, he owns several homes and they are rented by pastors or parishioners of his former churches). Each of these homes, he cared for in painting, refurbishing, caring for the lawn and shoveling snow. (Oh, that reminds me, he shoveled the snow at his churches. He wanted his church to be welcoming even during bad weather.) He stated he would never cancel church. "What if someone found their way to the church during bad weather only to find the doors locked? What if that was the time that they decided they needed Jesus? If even only one person showed up, I still had church." He NEVER wanted to count on the church to take care of him. He told me that he knew that he was called to be a pastor and in doing a pastor's work, he KNEW that God would take care of him. His salary was just to pay what expenses that he had as he never went into debt, owing no man anything.
Like I said in the first paragraph, three pastors: All successes in their own right. I would be pleased to be a member of their congregations. They are good men, godly men, holy men. They have the same Holy Spirit working in their lives.... yet, they are different. And sometimes, they rub me wrong. At least two of them do...
BE A MAN.
When living in Europe, I was on a business trip kilometers away from Karyn, my wife. Several of us went to a restaurant to have a meal. Over time, the group dwindled down to me, a female colleague and two other men. One of the men was dropping hints on the female saying that he wanted to see if her hotel room was bigger than his, to see her dog that she had back in her room, and other "seemingly" innocuous things.
I excused myself for a moment and as I stepped out of the bathroom to head back to the table, the woman was standing there at the door. She told me, "I don't know if you've noticed but "George" is hitting on me. I am really uncomfortable with him doing that. Could you make sure that I am not alone with him?"
She and I had become fairly good friends, we both had similar supervisory positions in the same company and I was kind of mentoring her since she was new to the position. I said to her, "what would you like me to do?" She responded, "when we back to the hotel (we were all staying at the same hotel), could you walk me to my room? That will discourage George and he will get the message I don't want him in my room."
I had no reason to believe that she had designs for me, but being a male with a big ego, I was taken aback for a moment. I had to make a decision. Which is more important at this moment? To respect and honor my female friend's request and risk people thinking I went to her room or choose to not be alone with her and avoid even the appearance of evil?
Do I choose to walk her to her hotel room and risk rumor or do I not so as to avoid any gossip? Do I choose to honor her or protect my reputation? It should be noted that she apparently did not have designs for me, she was wanting me to help send a message to a man who was engaging in sexual innuendo.
So, why the tire? Let me use this tire to illustrate the decision-making model.* Imagine at the center is my desire to please God in all that I do. That is the axle of this model. Now, imagine this tire divided into three parts. Each part representing the three goals of Ironstrikes. All of these goals are admirable and God-honoring. However, I was now faced with my personal integrity or honoring a woman , a choice between two good, yet seemingly conflicting goals.
This tire, separated into three parts, the three goals, is constantly on the move. For the tire to sit still and lay flat on one goal results in an out of balance tire. It will become flat if it doesn't rotate. At times, one goal is hitting the ground, at other times, another goal is in play. So, in following this illustration, no goal has precedence over the other. In making this decision, I had to keep those three goals in mind with full consideration of the axle, pleasing God, as the central basis. Pleasing God is what these goals revolve around.
I told my female friend that I would be glad to walk her back to her hotel room. As we went back to the table to conclude the conversation, I was praying about my decision and asking God for His wisdom. "Lord, did I make the right decision? Is honoring my friend's request more important at this moment than protecting my reputation?" The answer came pretty clearly.
Now, lest you think I'm crazy, no, I didn't hear God's audible voice. I felt a calm, a real peace at this decision and then in my head, God spoke thru my thoughts, in my own voice I heard, "You do what is right and I will protect your reputation."
We dismissed ourselves and I walked her back to her room. It was about a 15-minute walk. We got to the hallway that led to her room and she thanked me and went to her room. I then went to my room and called Karyn letting her know what happened so if she heard any rumors, she would know the truth.
So what do you think? Did I make the right decision? You may be thinking, "Dale sure made a big deal out of nothing." Maybe I did, maybe not. However, I learned how little things can become big things. I'm hoping that my example encourages you to be sensitive to God's leading in your life.
* I am indebted to my parents who devised this decision-making model. I have altered it here to fit this illustration.
BE A MAN.
Tom Brown’s School Days (free on kindle) was a popular nineteenth-century novel that followed eleven-year-old Tom Brown, as he adjusted to life at a public boarding school for boys and learned how to become a young gentleman. The following excerpt introduces an account of Tom’s only big fight at the school. The headmaster had given him a student to look after, and when a large bully attacked the frail and sensitive boy, Tom stepped in to stop the beating and fight the bully himself.
From Tom Brown’s School Days, 1857
By Thomas Hughes
Let those young persons whose stomachs are not strong, or who think a good set-to with the weapons which God has given to us all an uncivilized, unchristian, or ungentlemanly affair, just skip this chapter at once, for it won’t be to their taste.
It was not at all usual in those days for two schoolhouse boys to have a fight. Of course, there were exceptions, when some cross-grained, hard-headed fellow came up who would never be happy unless he was quarreling with his nearest neighbors, or when there was some class dispute between the fifth form and the fags, for instance, which required bloodletting; and a champion was picked out on each side tacitly, who settled the matter by a good, hearty mill. But for the most part the constant use of those surest keepers of the peace, the boxing-gloves, kept the schoolhouse boys from fighting one another. Two or three nights in every week the gloves were brought out, either in the hall or fifth-form room; and every boy who was ever likely to fight at all knew all his neighbors’ prowess perfectly well, and could tell to a nicety what chance he would have in a stand-up fight with any other boy in the house. But of course no such experience could be gotten as regarded boys in other houses; and as most of the other houses were more or less jealous of the schoolhouse, collisions were frequent.
After all, what would life be without fighting, I should like to know? From the cradle to the grave, fighting, rightly understood, is the business, the real, highest, honestest business of every son of man. Every one who is worth his salt has his enemies, who must be beaten, be they evil thoughts and habits in himself or spiritual wickedness in high places, or Russians, or Border-ruffians, or Bill, Tom, or Harry, who will not let him live his life in quiet till he has thrashed them.
It is no good for Quakers, or any other body of men, to uplift their voices against fighting. Human nature is too strong for them, and they don’t follow their own precepts. Every soul of them is doing his own piece of fighting, somehow and somewhere. The world might be a better world without fighting, for anything I know, but it wouldn’t be our world; and therefore I am dead against crying peace when there is no peace, and isn’t meant to be. I’m as sorry as any man to see folk fighting the wrong people and the wrong things, but I’d a deal sooner see them doing that, than that they should have no fight in them.For the original post, go to: http://artofmanliness.com/2013/03/16/manvotional-fighting/
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
A common problem that men have is how to handle it when a coworker has pornography at work. This is a very touchy issue.
What do you do when men are gathered around on the work site looking at pictures of naked women?
If a guy doesn't participate, he is "hen-pecked" or "gay" or.... The name calling starts and the accusations fly if a guy isn't "one of the guys." He's not a "team player." What's a man to do in these situations? After all, he has a reputation to protect.
Reputation is the key word in this story. Reputation is the answer. Jesus took His reputation and laid it all on the line for us so that we could have strength in times like this. Jesus could have been satisfied to leave things the way they were and stayed in heaven. However, He put aside His reputation, His Deity, to become like us. He risked, knowing that His Father would take care of His reputation.
Like yesterday's post, honesty is needed. Asking God for strength to be vulnerable and transparent is how you handle porn at work. Have the gumption to step up and tell your coworkers why looking at porn is not healthy. Let them know that there is much more to a woman than just what she does to make a man feel sexual.
You know what will happen if you take this step? Like Jesus, you may be crucified. I don't mean that these guys will string you up and kill you but they will belittle you. They will tell you that you are not a real man. They will tease you because they want you to participate in their sinfulness.
You know what else will happen? There will always be at least one guy who agrees with you. He may not publicly, but he will at least come to you privately or at least not join in when the teasing starts.
If you stick to your integrity and respect women, you will make a statement. You will only have to say it once. Your statement will have an impact. If you never participate with them in objectifying women from that point on, God's Holy Spirit will work on these men. They will watch you. So, if you have integrity in everything you do at work, they will see it and they will change.
Your reputation? Don't worry about it. God will protect your reputation if you are doing what He wants. A real man respects and honors women. A real man stands up for what is right, even if it means standing alone.
BE A MAN.
There once was a couple who loved each other very, very much.
They loved each other so much, in fact, that every act of kindness, every gesture of service, was considered pure privilege. Whichever one of them woke up first would cook breakfast for the one who slept longer; they would surprise each other with gifts, small tokens of affection that were monetarily valueless but sentimentally priceless because they were laden with meaning; and they would tell each other constantly how much they loved each other, mainly because they just couldn't keep it in.
Over time, however, the relationship became a series of behaviors. They would still cook breakfast for each other, but only because breakfast was now the responsibility of whomever woke up first. They would still surprise each other with gifts, but only because the absence of gifts would have broken a long-standing tradition. And they still told each other how much they loved each other, but only because they had trained themselves in the vocabulary of love. The actions were the same; the motivation had subtly, drastically changed.
During those first years of their relationship, the couple overflowed with life. The latter years, however, were a slow, daily death. A kind of love was still there, but all the affection was gone. As soon as their acts of love became a to-do list rather than an overflow of desire, the shell of the relationship hardened and the inner joy gradually, achingly seeped away.
How Love Fades
Love turns to ritual quickly. The spontaneity and affection that fill a relationship with life can become rote behaviors almost overnight. Whenever we want to recapture those early exhilarating feelings, we do the things that accompanied them, assuming that the actions will spark the emotions again. But they don't. In all matters of love, actions are only a product, never a producer, of how we really feel.
This dynamic is apparent all too often, widely observable in cinema, literature and, sadly, in the firsthand experience of many. Every married couple, presumably, has at least occasionally wavered between form and feeling, trying to manufacture the former in hopes of cultivating the latter. But manufacturing form usually doesn't work. Love has to be felt.
That's the way it is in our relationship with God too. I know that doesn't jibe with most definitions of "agape," that ideal form of biblical love allegedly based entirely on fact and never on emotion. But try bringing that kind of love into any relationship that matters. Would your children be glad to know you're fulfilling your parental duties in spite of your lack of feelings for them? How about your husband or wife being content with your explanation that though the feelings have gone, the commitment to honor the piece of paper that says you're married remains? No, I didn't think so.
The fact is that the Christian life can degenerate into a set of rules suddenly and imperceptibly. There's nothing wrong with rules; they're great when the heart just isn't in it anymore and you need a temporary framework. But they're always remedial. As a long-term norm and the basis of a relationship, they drain us of life. The answer is to have the heart fixed.
That's what the Christian life is all about. It's a heart issue. The Holy Spirit didn't come into us to teach us which rules to obey—"the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Corinthians 3:6). He inhabits us for an entirely different reason: unbridled, passionate love. The kind that serves because serving is a privilege, that fulfills rules even when unaware that there were rules to fulfill. The kind that gets up and cooks breakfast for the beloved. The kind that gives gifts because giving is what naturally happens. The kind that declares and demonstrates "I love you" constantly because the love just can't be contained.
Does that accurately describe your Christian life? Yeah, mine either. Oh, sometimes that kind of love is there, and it's incredible when it is. But as a pattern, we substitute obedience to form over a natural response to passion. And it's a slow, aching death. If we're not exuberantly in love with God, we're missing the essence of the Christian life.
When that's the case, what's the solution? Pardon my lack of conventionality, but the answer isn't a recommitment. Neither is it a deeper resolve or an increase in the spiritual disciplines. Not to criticize, but I've found that those things only accelerate the death of desire in a relationship. They don't make the heart beat faster. They do nothing to rekindle love.
How Love Returns
Rekindling love is all about spontaneity, adventure, passion, and pleasure. It certainly doesn't violate the character of the other person—God forbid, as in this case the other person is actually God—but it does recognize the true nature of the new heart. Rekindling love begins by understanding that God is a romantic in love with His bride.
Some generations would blush at such a notion—or worse yet, condemn it—but God makes it very, very clear in His Word. He portrays Himself as a lover in the Song of Songs and a jealous husband in the Law, the prophets, and the parables of Jesus. Are we, like most insensitive spouses, completely unable to take a hint?
If your faith is in need of revitalization, imagine what advice you'd give to the couple in the first four paragraphs. How should they get the sparks flying again? Would you tell them to focus more on the fact that they were married? Or would you encourage them to go away together, to spend some time rekindling the flame that was once there? Whichever advice you would give them, turn around and give it to yourself.
God's heart of love is not a sterile heart. He approaches you with enthusiasm and desire. If you return His passion with formulaic living, the Romantic is sadly, seriously disappointed. If you return His passion with passion, the Romantic is thrillingly, gloriously... well, wildly in love with His beloved. A relationship defined by such love is never defined by the rules within it. And it is never, ever unsatisfying.
This post was written by Chris Tiegreen. You can find the original post at: http://www.walkthru.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1048&Itemid=559
BE A MAN.
I’m pro-marriage. I always have been, always will be and I’ll make no apologies for it. As a matter of fact, most of you should be apologizing to me. Yeah, I said it. Whether you're one with a successful marriage who's remained silent on its myriad virtues, or merely a single, lonely critic... America, you've got some 'splaining to do.
Sadly, marriage has become a punchline in today’s society. From referring to the wife as “the old ball and chain” to nearly every poorly written sitcom that we watch, the message we’re sending to today’s generation is clear… Marriage = no fun.
Men on TV constantly joke about how wives are incredibly expensive, demanding and overall vacuums of all things fun. By that same token, the women complain about their fat, lazy, insensitive husbands as they swoon over their trimmed, manicured and chest-waxed Hollywood counterparts.
Ever see a commercial with a wife and husband shopping together? Yeah, we always play the idiot.
I know plenty of people my age that will never get married because they genuinely believe the false cultural meme that marriage has sadly become. There’s only one problem. It’s completely untrue.
Even more of a problem, those who know it to be untrue often do nothing to correct the lie.
As someone who comes from a family of lifers (along with my wife), I just want to say, flat out…
… Marriage is a really good deal.
Let’s assume for a second that you don’t think of humans as inherently spiritual beings. So let’s remove the fact that married people claim to be happier, more fulfilled, complete and purposeful. Some of you are even thinking,
“Love? Who needs love!”
Okay. Here are a few purely statistical reasons as to why marriage (when done correctly) is conducive to an undeniably better life. Hold onto your butts.
1. You’ll be richer – Yes. Not only do married couples make more, save more, have a higher net worth and qualify for more benefits/financial incentives than lonely, single folk… but your kids will be richer too. Which brings me to my next point
2. Would somebody please think of the children!! – The single biggest indicator of child poverty is whether both original parents are still together. Not only that, but children in married households get better grades, are less disruptive in class and less likely to develop behavioral disorders than children from non-married households. So be married long and prosper. Your kids will too.
3. You’ll have more sex… A LOT MORE SEX – Okay so you may not want kids. You may despise them. I get it. Sticky hands. Let’s say you’re just another selfish, narcissistic bachelor (or bachelorette) who quite frankly, isn’t deserving of the unconditional love you may oh-so-luckily find. You just want the sex. Statistically, not only do married people have more sex, they have better, more satisfying sex. If the two of you should hold off on sex until marriage, those statistics become even more promising. Here’s a perfect example of where Hollywood gets it wrong. In the real world, while Alfie fruitlessly toiled away at picking up harlots from the bar, suffering a mean case of whiskey-wiener, Mr. Cleaver was getting busy on the regular. Them’s the real breaks.
4. You won’t be such a pathetic sloth – Married people are more productive. Married men in particular, have higher employment rates, work longer hours and receive better wages. It’s time to stop wading through puddles of your own filth as you reach for the hotpockets and have a dame whip you into shape. You’re welcome.
5. Don’t die sick, miserable and alone. This would seem to be self-explanatory. Sadly, it’s not. Young people think that being young and single is the “fun and free” time of your life, while marriage is something that can wait for the days when you’re ready to grow fat, boring and settle down. Married people not only live longer lives, they live healthier lives. There are too many factors at play here to even list. From married people statistically maintaining healthier weights, being more active and having lower mortality rates, to married women incurring less severe illnesses, enjoying better cancer survival rates and of course… lower rates of domestic abuse (as opposed to those merely cohabitating). Yes ladies, it’s true, living with an uncommitted, self-absorbed jackass can be hazardous to your health.
All of this to basically say that people need to start being more honest and vocal about the virtues of marriage. Americans need to stop feeding and buying into the lie that we’ve all been fed. Whether you’re young old, male, female, marriage (when done correctly) will make your life, and this country better off. The facts are undeniable. If the facts aren’t enough, maybe this’ll help…
Picture coming home every night to your best friend, your greatest fan, and your number one supporter. She (or he) makes each good day better, and each bad day good again. Every day, you get to live what is essentially a 24/7 sleepover party with the greatest friend you’ve ever had.
… Now add sex and sandwiches.
Get married, like, now.
This post was written by Steve Crowder. For the original post, go to: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/01/26/man-top-5-reasons-to-grow-up-and-get-married/
BE A MAN.
When a woman marries a man, she’s trusting him with the rest of her life that he won’t hit her, cheat on her, that he’ll work hard, that he’ll pay the bills, that he’ll love their children, that he’ll finish the race well, that he’ll walk with Jesus until the end, that if she gets sick, he’ll look after her, that if she is dying, he will be faithful to her.
Gentlemen, it is a terrifying thing for a woman to trust a sinful man.
Every man who reads this, even the best men among us, has areas of repentance and growth that are required.
As a man, I don’t think I fully understood this until I had daughters, and now I have some understanding of that fear. The thought of taking one of my daughters and walking them down the aisle and handing them to a man and trusting that he will love them and protect them and serve them and care for them and look after them, it causes me fear and grave concern.DON'T GIVE WOMEN A REASON TO FEAR
Women have legitimate fears, and what Peter is saying is that men need to be a particular way so those fears are alleviated. And I love his words, “in an understanding way, showing honor.” That’s a man.
Now as I say this, many of you guys will nod your head and say, “Yeah, that’s me.”No, you’re not. So let me practically unpack this for you. Every man who reads this, even the best men among us, has areas of repentance and growth that are required. This week, I want to talk to you men about some ways to honor and love the woman that has committed herself to you.
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.
We in the United States are in a heated presidential election. When the political temperature rises so does name-calling, character assassination, and confrontation. Even committed Christ-followers, unfortunately, get caught up in the partisan political whirlwind of the moment and join in the fight. We as Christians should seriously engage in the ongoing debate in the political public square, but in doing so we must demonstrate a citizenship seasoned by God’s wisdom and love.
Jesus says, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”
Over the years, I have watched many Christians zealously become active in partisan politics and actually “lose their souls”; that is, they lose their public, uniquely Christian witness, act contrary to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and become divisive agents within the church.Biblical Guidelines.
Below are ten biblical guidelines to assist Christians to engage in the upcoming presidential election without “losing their souls.”
1. Don’t equate the biblical kingdom of God with any human political party or nation.
We must maintain the distinctiveness between God’s kingdom and the kingdoms of this world. We must never fuse the two (John18:36; Matt.6:33).
2. Don’t elevate a politician to messianic status.
People often falsely think a politician can single-handedly produce supernatural social results. We have one Lord, and we must resist any attempt to exalt politicians to unrealistic heights (Matt.7:15; 1Pet.3:15).
3. Don’t just vote, but pray for the leaders of all political parties
. Christians can be tempted to bless the politician of their choice, and curse his or her opponent, but remember, we must pray even for our enemies (1Tim.2:1–2; Matt.5:44).
4. Don’t forget that your ultimate security is in the unshakeable kingdom of God.
Many Christians often elevate the outcome of presidential elections to an apocalyptic status. If a particular presidential candidate does not win, we begin to think or act as if the world will end. In so doing, however, we express an unbelief in the active sovereignty of God over human affairs (Heb.12:26–29).
5. Don’t bring the polarization of partisan politics into the family of God.
Every Christian has freedom of conscience before God, and we must guard against allowing political perspectives to divide the church (Rom.16:17; 1Cor.1:11–12).
6. Don’t demonize anyone.
Every person has been created in the image of God, and Christians must not demonize or dehumanize other people, whether we agree with them politically or not (Col.3:8; James4:12).
7. Don’t engage in angry, hostile confrontation.
Present your political convictions through civil debate and rational dialogue instead. Confrontational arguments demonstrate an ugly pride that demeans Jesus Christ (James1:19–20; 2Tim.2:14).
8. Don’t become so intertwined with one political party that you forfeit your independence
. When you do, you lose your right to be heard and to speak and clarify biblical truth to all politicians and political parties (1Tim.3:15; Rom.3:4).
9. Don’t allow yourself to support attempts to divide races, male and female, rich and poor, or young and old
. Partisan politics often divides society into voting blocks, and separates society instead of uniting it. Christians should function as peacemakers and reconcilers in the public square and should resist every temptation to join the game of dividing people for political gain (Matt.5:9; 2Cor.5:18–19).
10. Don’t simply curse the darkness, but constructively engage it.
The cultural and missional mandate of kingdom Christians is not to curse the darkness in our world, but to act as illuminating light and preserving salt. We must share the light of God’s truth and work to maintain the common welfare of our nation by overcoming evil through doing good (Matt.5:13–16).
I am aware that the outcome of the 2008 presidential election could have significant, and even negative, consequences for people’s lives, but we don’t need to worry. In the larger scheme of history, no matter who becomes our next president, God is still King, and He is still in control!This article first appeared in the Viewpoint column of the Christian Research Journal, volume31, number4 (2008). For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: http://www.equip.orgBE 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."