Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Men in Crisis Part 3

This is a continuation of a message I gave on Father’s Day and on the Saturday before to a men’s group. Whether you are a man or a woman, I hope you will read this and take heart. Below are ways we can encourage men.

b. By Fellowship and Worship

Second, we can encourage men by inviting them to a church event or worship service. Pray about whom to invite, invite them, and give them a ride. Even if the person declines your invitation, they are usually appreciative that you thought enough of them the ask them.

c. By Resisting Temptation

Third, not only can we can encourage other men by our example in resisting temptation, but we can keep reminding them of the cost of doing wrong. Think about how the mighty have fallen:
-Tiger Woods; -Arnold Schwarzenegger;
-John Edwards; -The French guy (Dominique Strauss-Kahn);
-Elliott Spitzer; -And of course the latest, Anthony Weiner.

Their careers are ruined, their families torn apart, and their reputations destroyed, all because they yielded to temptation to do stupid things. Is it worth the resulting disgrace, pain, and humiliation? We may not be rich or famous, and our indiscretions may never make headlines. Nevertheless, we still should remind ourselves and other men of how destructive sin can be and how vulnerable we are. We may face pressures to do something unethical at work, or we may be tempted in many other ways. Sadly, we live in a sex-saturated society, so it’s difficult to remain pure in an impure world, but with God’s help, we can do it. Let us always keep in mind what it says in 1 John 2:15-17:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world — the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches — comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever. NRSV

The world’s desires and pride try to pull us from the godly path – that’s why it’s so important to stay close to God all the time. Instead of the world’s fleeting and often destructive pleasures, see what God wants us to have from Luke 12:32 (NLT): For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. God’s Kingdom – worldly pleasures? It’s your decision.

3. Support Our Fathers

Lastly, we should not just encourage other men, but we should support our own fathers in various ways – if they are still with us. No matter what stage in life he is in, he still needs your love and support. Your support of your father can take many different forms – pray for guidance as to what to do, and pray for your father as well.

IV. Conclusion

As God’s children, we should always make room for Daddy in our lives. Yes, we’re busy, but we shouldn’t be too busy for our heavenly Father. If we have children, then we should strive to be the best fathers we can be – with the help of God. The father-son and father-daughter relationships are critically important to your children’s healthy emotional and spiritual development. You don’t want to be filled with regret later on, agonizing over why your children turned out the way they did. We can’t be great fathers in our own strength, but when the branch is firmly attached to the vine, we’ll be the kinds of fathers God intended us to be.

If our kids are older, we still have the opportunity to continue to support them in age-appropriate ways as well as to be godly grandparents. We practiced on our kids, and now we can perfect our skills with our grandchildren. Be the best you can be by making room for your heavenly Abba, remembering what Ephesians 1:4-6 says about our own sonship:

For [God] chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. NIV

So let us always and everywhere remember we are all children of our heavenly Father, and we should live our lives accordingly.

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