Lance and Dante talk about why many of the popular parenting books fail long term, the lasting consequences of behavior modification and manipulation, and how to use a more positive parenting strategy that addresses the root of behavior issues while developing character. #legacydads
Strength is one of the main biological differences between males and females and throughout history, strength has defined great men. Strength obviously differentiates men and women but strength also differentiates among men. Historically, men who were physically stronger often did better in battle, agriculture, and were seen as more desirable by women and there is no known culture in which weaker men were considered more valuable than stronger men.
Strength is the ability to exert force in accordance with ones will and while history favored physical strength, modern society also leans towards mental strength. Based on the same definition, mental strength could be seen as the ability to carry out tasks or goals based on ones will power and self-discipline. Being a good husband, father, leader, and Christian all requires mental strength, will power, and self-discipline. We all know men who lack these traits and have made their marriages, families, careers, or walks with Christ a train wreck because they lacked the mental strength, will power, or self-discipline required in these areas.
Mental strength, just like physical strength, is an aptitude that can be developed and increased through practice. Angela Duckworth, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, studies achievement. She tracked 2,441 West Point cadets spread across two entering classes. She recorded their high school grades, SAT scores, leadership potential scores, physical aptitude and a number of other variables to determine what develops a great leader. She discovered that it wasn’t grades, IQ, or leadership potential that accurately predicted whether a cadet would be successful. Instead, it was mental grit, perseverance, and self-determination to achieve long–term goals that made the difference.
5 Traits for Mental Strength
Set Goals to Improve. Step one is seeing that you need improvement in whatever area in your life you are lacking. Compare yourself to the best not the mediocre and set achievable goals to improve. According to neuroscientists studying Nay SEAL trainees, they found that trainees who were able to pass the most rigorous tests are the ones who set many goals. Not just any goals but very specific goals with short, mid, and long-term milestones.
Segmentation. Segmentation is the process of blocking out distractions and focusing on accomplishing one task at a time to accomplish something. First, you slowly divide tasks, goals, or objectives in small parts then take on your challenge one small step at a time. You focus on the next immediate objective and accomplish that objective without letting your mind worry about the other tasks or the entire magnitude of your goal.
Visualization and Self-Talk – Performance coaches have long used visualization techniques with Olympic athletes and top performers. One study showed that subjects simply visualizing the successfully completion of a task had almost as much success as those who practiced actually doing the physical task. The process involves vividly visualizing yourself successfully completing a goal, task, or a habit that you want to obtain. Each day, you visualize incorporating all the five senses, what it would be like when you accomplish your goals. Another aspect of visualization is positive self-talk. Top performers “talk” to themselves with positive words to keep their spirits up. They are actively aware of negative or self-defeating thoughts and constantly remind themselves that no matter how tough the situation is…it will always end.
Consistency – Mentally tough athletes, performers, and leaders are also more consistent than others. They don’t miss workouts, they don’t miss assignments, and they always have their teammates back. They don’t let short–term distractions, negative feedback, or hectic schedules prevent them from continuing their actions towards their goal or vision. In addition, they make a habit of building up the people around them repeatedly and sharing in victories rather than touting their own contributions and wins or claiming sole responsibility.
Emotional Control - Controlling your mental state is another very crucial skill in mental strength. Most people commonly have erratic or knee-jerk reactions to stressful situations or circumstances. They react out of emotion or the fight or flight response rather than in a calm, methodical manner. The other common reaction people have is the opposite, indecision or freezing up, they cannot make timely decisions and therefore do not act at all. These responses are not unique to high stress situations but even to everyday decision-making. Some people react emotionally or cannot make a decision and fall into “analysis paralysis” but we have more control over our reactions than we think. We often can’t control people or what happens in our outside world, but we can control our interpretation of it and our decision making process in light of it. In high stress situations, top performers breathe deeply and make decisive actions based on logic rather than emotion.
Mental strength isn’t about getting an incredible dose of inspiration or courage from an event; this is why retreats and resolutions usually fall short. Mental Strength is more about building daily habits that allow you to stick to a routine, control your emotions, and overcome challenges and distractions on a consistent basis. This could be with your family, your career, or in your spiritual life.
Throughout the Bible, we find numerous stories of men with mental strength. Many did not start out with mental strength but through the course of their lives and with a trust and faith in God, they developed many of the traits for mental strength. Not only did God use these men to build his kingdom but they also now serve as examples for us to emulate. If mental strength is about building daily habits and consistency, I challenge you to apply these five traits each day this next week while also reading some of your favorite stories of men in the Bible who exhibit these traits or simply repeat the following verse 10 times throughout each day.
[shareable cite="Philippians 4:13"]I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.[/shareable]
The next characteristic is Courage.
Imagine you were called upon to travel to a foreign country, in a harsh climate, and lead the fight against ISIL/ISIS. You had to pick a team of five men you know and these men would travel with you and help you accomplish this task. What attributes would you use to evaluate the men you would choose? What character traits would you value over others? Which men would you eliminate from your pool because they lacked the strength, courage, mental fortitude, or trust needed to complete this task?
Masculinity is the opposite of femininity yet over the past 30 years; certain segments of our culture to include academia, media, and the social sciences have implied and tried to get men to think and act more feminine. Masculinity is also not chauvinism, dominance, sexism, or denigrating femininity. In a Biblical context, men and women are equal but have separate and distinct roles in relationships, the family, and society. Even in a non-Biblical context, such as same-sex relationships, each partner assumes one role or the other almost as a basic human relational instinct.
However, as previously stated, over the past 30 years there has been confusion and mixed messages over the role of men and often when I have witnessed anger, resentment, passivity, or unhealthy traits in men and marriages, it often stems from these mixed messages or reversed roles in a marriage.
Manhood is a way to be, a path to follow, and a way to walk in life. Humans are social creatures and prone to tribal/community living. Therefore, who we are as men has a lot to do with how we see ourselves in relationship to other males. If we begin viewing and shaping ourselves through the lens of our culture or through the lens of our wives or other women, this is where men can stray from our identities. It is not that the culture or women are wrong but they often try to change or “improve” men based on what women or our culture wants from men rather than our unique and separate roles and identities.
Therefore, men should be centering our way to be, our path to follow, and our walk in life based on a Biblical context and from the reinforcement of other strong, Biblical men. Until a hundred years ago, men banded together in small tribes and communities where their distinct roles were taught from a young age and then reinforced by other men throughout their lives.
Again, imagine you and a small group of men have brought your families to an isolated frontier outpost in the Western United States in the mid 1800’s. Lurking beyond the perimeter of your outpost are predators, hostile and friendly natives, and other food sources. Given that all you love is within your outpost, which men would you choose to stand beside you and protect your family? Which men are willing to fight for what you believe in and hold sacred? Which men can act decisively and remain calm under distress? Which men will act selflessly and place the group’s wellbeing above his own? Again, what character, mental, and emotional traits would you value over others?
While you might never be charged with leading other men in the fight against terrorists or living in a remote outpost in the 1800’s, God has charged every man to lead his family, serve in God’s church, and stand for righteousness and justice. Over the course of these next few posts, I am going to highlight some distinct, universal characteristics of masculinity throughout history and their Biblical context in relation to God’s plan. I challenge you to reflect on your own life and walk in relation to these characteristics and with the men you currently associate with on a daily basis. Not only will you be able to decide which men to choose to stand with you but you will also see if you would be chosen by others to stand with them.
The first characteristic is Strength.
God has called and challenged us for a bigger role in fulfilling his plan and the work of his Kingdom. The only questions that remains is...will we "Act Like Men" and answer his call?
I respect my wife and serve her every chance I get, I love my child like I've never loved anyone before, I give my time and money to organizations I believe in, but I'm not much of a man (or so society seems to think). Here's why: I'm not a big sports guy. Motor sports, yes. The typical "ball in play" sports, not so much. I can't tell you how awkward it feels when I'm at work in the morning and people are talking about the game the previous day.
"What do you think about the game, Scott?"
*Awkward silence and crickets*
Me: "I like Formula 1 and Moto GP..."
This is when the crowd dissipates quicker than people headed to the local pancake house after Sunday service.
I own guns, but it has been years since I went hunting. I didn't grow up doing it. At the time of this writing it has been over 6 years since I climbed a tree stand. I wouldn't even know what to do with a deer, or any other animal for that matter, if I ended up getting a lucky shot. No idea how to clean those things.
So What Gives?
I'm not coming to you as an axe wielding, lumber jack beard sporting manly man. Sure, I have a beard but it's nothing compared to Brian Wilson (a reference that I, sadly, had to Google).
What I am writing to you as, though, is a man who realizes he is broken and who needs to find his masculinity in something greater than what team I follow, how much meat I bagged during last season, or what the latest trend says that a man should be.
That "something" I speak of is the man I use as my model and whom I strive daily to be like.
Christ has modeled for us what it means to be a man. I have yet to see any public figure show the humility and service that Christ has.
"You can't polish a turd."
This is a phrase that I constantly heard during my time in the service. It may sound crass, but it has a good meaning behind it. To relate it to this topic, I want us to realize that you may be able to dress a man up and give him all the riches in the world but it's what's inside that really matters.
If a man isn't right on the inside, no matter how much you polish him up on the outside, you're not going to make him a good leader, mentor, father, etc.
Who Are You Really Trying To Impress?
It seems like the definition of manhood changes as each generation passes. How we've gotten to the era of skinny jeans, I'll never know, but that's another story. Regardless, we should refuse to be defined by what's popular.
Paul addressed this very thing in his letter to the Romans, stating, "And do not be conformed to this world (or age), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove (or approve) what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." - Romans, 12:2 (NASB).
Let us constantly remember to keep our eyes on Christ and to use Him as our example of true manhood. Newsflash: You're always going to fall short of this! However, if you dedicate yourselves to constantly chasing after God and what pleases Him then I'll tell you that you've already got a leg up over the next guy who is trying to chase the newest trend.
Question to Think About:
- Have you ever stopped to think who your real role model is?
This was guest post by Scott Friend
Get more of Scott's great insights at his site - The Business of Relationships
Twitter - @relationalbiz Facebook - facebook.com/thebusinessofrelationships Instagram - @thebusinessofrelationships
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” - Yoda
As a disciple of Christ this is a very difficult subject to breach. You pick the topic and the subject and I can show you hundreds of years of conflict that has even divided Christians and religions. Turn on social media and look at all the venom and cruelty of words that are out there (some even from the church that is embarrassing to watch/read). Some of the most controversial topics are as follows:
- Relationships (husband/wife, girlfriend/boyfriend, sexual variation)
- Death Penalty
- Global Warming
- Legalization of Drugs
- Plastic Surgery
- Stem Cell Research
In the church, alone, we see each other argue over denominations, sexual orientation, baptisms (infant vs adult), politics and so on. No one person or group is exempt from controversy. The real issues are what we do when we reach conflict. How do we resolve conflict and what does God expect from us through this process. (Note: Already in some of your minds, you are saying, "No way" you don' t know what happened to me and how can you ever expect me to forgive?).
Personally, I can share numerous times when life has not been fair or when I have been made a victim. Sometimes I still think about certain events in my past and quietly long for God's vengeance of these past wrongs, but then I am humbled and reminded that I do not want this negative attitude to turn back toward me instead of the aggressors. God is everywhere at every time no matter how we try to spin that mind-blowing thought. That being said, when this God sends His only Son to die for us and pay for our sins, then how can we say that we cannot forgive?
What does Scripture have to say on this:
Romans 12:17-21 ESV Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Steps to take (in no particular order)
- James 1:19 ESV Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
- Matthew 18:15-17 ESV “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
- Proverbs 15:1 ESV A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
- Matthew 5:9 ESV “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
- Luke 17:3 ESV Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,
- Philippians 2:4 ESV Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
- Colossians 3:13 ESV Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
- Proverbs 16:7 ESV When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
- Leviticus 19:18 ESV You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
- Matthew 5:24 ESV Leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
- Ephesians 4:26 ESV Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
- Ephesians 4:31 ESV Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
As Yoda so eloquently states, Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate and Hate leads to suffering. There is so much truth in these words that I can hardly contain myself in typing this. Think about prejudices (= ignorance and misunderstanding ON BOTH SIDES - which births from fear and then anger). Think about Sexual hot topics (homosexuality, cohabitation, pornography, you pick the vice - again, this all leads to suffering). Pick your topic (being a victim = fear leads to anxiety and bitterness and then leads to anger and then suffering).
This is a big ask of all of our readers (including yours truly writing this) but think of the Author of lies and of hate (malice) and deceit - none other than that old Serpent (Lucifer, aka Satan). He is the Father of all lies and loves to tear good in half given any opportunity that God gives him. Think of those that do not know Christ (ignorance and fear which leads to anger and hate which leads to suffering) - this all happens for reasons beyond our comprehension. BUT (there is a big BUT here) there will come a time when all knees will bow and every tongue will confess and God will judge those who are not in the book of life for their transgressions (not knowing His Son) and He will judge the saints for what they have done being His stewards (of His time, talent and treasures).
What are we waiting for? Let's try to forgive as we have all been forgiven!
Thoughts? Remember fear is the path to the dark side. If God is for us, then who could possibly stand against Him?
In the Book of Job, we read the following text: Job 29 English Standard Version (ESV)
Job's Summary Defense
29 And Job again took up his discourse, and said:
2 “Oh, that I were as in the months of old,
as in the days when God watched over me,
3 when his lamp shone upon my head,
and by his light I walked through darkness,
4 as I was in my prime,[a]
when the friendship of God was upon my tent,
5 when the Almighty was yet with me,
when my children were all around me,
6 when my steps were washed with butter,
and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
7 When I went out to the gate of the city,
when I prepared my seat in the square,
8 the young men saw me and withdrew,
and the aged rose and stood;
9 the princes refrained from talking
and laid their hand on their mouth;
10 the voice of the nobles was hushed,
and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.
11 When the ear heard, it called me blessed,
and when the eye saw, it approved,
12 because I delivered the poor who cried for help,
and the fatherless who had none to help him.
13 The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me,
and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
my justice was like a robe and a turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy,
and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.
17 I broke the fangs of the unrighteous
and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
18 Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest,
and I shall multiply my days as the sand,
19 my roots spread out to the waters,
with the dew all night on my branches,
20 my glory fresh with me,
and my bow ever new in my hand.’
21 “Men listened to me and waited
and kept silence for my counsel.
22 After I spoke they did not speak again,
and my word dropped upon them.
23 They waited for me as for the rain,
and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
and the light of my face they did not cast down.
25 I chose their way and sat as chief,
and I lived like a king among his troops,
like one who comforts mourners.
Following up on a previous post that I wrote about manhood, we discussed the following in our Men of Faith Group this morning: What does biblical manhood look like for a disciple of Christ. How does God want us to be true men:
DIVINE PURPOSE Jeremiah 29:11-12 (ESV)11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
1 Thessalonians 4:3- (ESV) 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification:[a] that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body[b] in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV) 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
Psalm 119[a] א Aleph 1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.
STRONG AND COURAGEOUS
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (ESV) 13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Kings 2:2 (ESV) 2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man,
1 Timothy 3:2-7 (ESV) 2 Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
Wherever you are in your journey as Christ's disciple, it is never too late to fear the Lord (in awe of Him) and confess and repent and move toward the man that he wants you to be. For me, on vacation recently, I realized that one of the things that I was struggling with was a divided heart. I love the Lord and I read His word and pray everyday, but the Lord revealed to me that I was not pursuing him, rather I was be routine with Him instead of relational.
God doesn't just want a part of us, he wants all of us including our attention and focus (He wants a relationship with each of us).
Are there any things that you have to let go of and/or repent of to be the man that God wants you to be?
Looking forward to hearing from you,
One of the perks of being a Legacydad writer is a website called RightNow.org in which I can listen to books and messages by various speakers. I am currently listening to the sermon series by Pastor Tony Evans called Meaningful Manhood. Questions like why are we hear and what the men should be doing along their path of manhood. This is a very good sermon series and he begins by quoting from the movie with Mel Gibson "We Were Soldiers" based on a true story of the US Army in Vietnam. [youtube id="TqKLtp6MRv4"]
At one point, when the Colonel is overrun by enemy troops, instead of evacuating the leader from safety, which is want the brass back home wants them to do, the Colonel (played by Mel Gibson) calls for Broken Arrow. From the website www.military.com, we read this, "Before dawn, Moore orders his company commanders to meet him prior to an attack to rescue the still cut-off platoon. Before this meeting takes place, the PAVN launch a heavy attack which shatters the early morning stillness like a huge explosion. The attack is carried out by the 7th Bn, 66th Regiment and the H-15 Main Force Viet Cong Bn. C Company of the Cavalry Battalion bears the brunt of the assault and is soon involved in hand to hand combat. The right portion of D/1/7 is also struck. The code word "Broken Arrow" is sent out over the radio by the Battalion Forward Air Controller. Within minutes, all available fighter bombers in South Vietnam are headed for X-ray to render close air support to "an American unit in grave danger of being overrun". A 3 hour battle that features non-stop 105mm artillery, aerial rockets, and determined American Infantrymen, results in Charlie Company holding it's ground in a stunning display of personal courage and unit discipline. But it pays a terrible price - no officers left and only 49 men unhurt. 42 officers and men killed; 20 wounded. Scores of slain North Vietnamese and their weapons litter the bloody battleground."
When we take a look at our daily jaunts of life as husband, father, employer (employee), church member, citizen then we have to ask ourselves these questions:
- Do I believe in the word of God as the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
- Do I believe that God is Sovereign?
- Do I believe in Good and that there is evil?
- Do I believe in Spiritual Warfare?
- Do I believe in the saving and redemptive power of Jesus Christ?
If you answered these questions, like me, then you answered yes and most definitely yes to all of them. (if you did not, please private message me to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat further). If you agree, then keep reading please. Jesus Christ calls each and every one of us to disciples - being his disciples. I do not want to mislead you, there is a cost discipleship, no doubt, how we spend our time, talent and treasure will be measured by Jesus Christ at his Judgement Seat.
What are these costs:
- We no longer own everything (everything belongs to God)
- We no longer have excuses (read Luke 14)
- We no longer use terms such as "I" and "Me" (instead we use "May His Will be done")
- We no longer are selfish
- We have to consider the cost before we can truly follow
- We have to not only "hear" the words of the Bible, but he wants us to do what they say!
- Doing what is right (even when others do not see what we are doing)!
Sometimes, as men, we get caught into the daily struggles and routines of our lives. The pressures, the stresses, the monotony of life:
- We forget to date our wives
- We forget to pursue our wives
- We need to spend my quantity (instead of just quality) with our kids
- We need to be more involved at home and at the church (it's not just about the $$$)
What sin, what circumstance and what situation(s) is holding us back from true discipleship? How can we change this? What needs to be done?
More to follow,
This blog, www.legacydad.com, talks a lot about manly things, dad things and building our relationship with God in order to be the man that he wants us to be. Lance and Gary have talked in great length about their journeys (road maps) and right to passage for their kids/grandkids. As the merchant in this group of three (one already home and two homeward bound) I have sat back and watched their progression and slowly ebbing and flowing what that will look like for my son. I have a great dad. A dad who taught me that a man needs to have his integrity and honor and to do what he says he is going to do. He has taught me the value of being and living debt free. I have not always heeded that advice, as you have read in several previous posts, but I can tell you the older that I get the more I treasure what he has instilled in me. The world (Culture) tells us their definition of what it takes to be a man. How to be a man and the pleasures that we can have by pursuing this manly stuff. The wisest man in the world said that without God this is all vanity. Lance had asked our readers some things that they wanted to hear from us and the question arose on how to be man. An excellent question if I do say so myself. There are three things that we need to concentrate on and I will address them all here shortly, but first, I want to match some things up with Scripture. First off, turn to John 12:26, (ESV) “26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” Jesus was asked by religious leaders of their time what was the greatest commandments. Without missing a step he said the first is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, body, soul and strength. And the second was to love your neighbor as yourself. All other commandments hang on these two. Did you catch it? As a man we not only have to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, we have to center our lives in him. Secondly, we have to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Here is a list of traits that we think a godly man exudes: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship, Courage, Perseverance, Loyalty, Duty, Self Service, Honor, Integrity, Grace, Justice, Humility, Mercy and Discipline. This is a life-long process and even the best men do not always get each of these cylinders going at the same time. However, you will note that a godly man has a humility like no other. A spiritual maturity that can only be explained by God’s redemptive love for us. Some can argue that these traits are inherited while others say that they are taught and others say that they can be learned. I like to think (and believe) that when we align ourselves with God and his will, then he gives to those who love him. In the Book of James we are told to ask for wisdom. If we don’t have an earthly father figure (or a father that was never around or let alone a good example) then we have confidence that we have a heavenly father that loves us so much that He sent HIS ONLY son to die for us.
Here is a self-examination to see where you are at on the road to how to be a man:
1) Know that God has made each one of us our own way. Each one of us are fearfully and wonderfully made. For instance, Gary rightly coined us three: The Cowboy, The Warrior and the Merchant. We are all different but we share the same passions. We love, we learn, we grow and we are comfortable in our own skin. We have to know our self. We have to be content with who we are and where God has put us. That doesn’t mean that we cannot strive to be better, we just have to be content with each day God has given us. We have to respect ourselves as men.
2) We have to know right from wrong. C.S. Lewis has excellent books on this (read them all to find out what I mean). We, as humans, have this inherent code of right and wrong. If you are fortunate enough to have kids you can see that as early as of two years of age the child knows right from wrong even if they don’t know how to convey the wrong – they know. WE have to be able to admit when we are wrong (to our neighbor), we have to confess our sins and trespasses to our God the Father. We have to admit to those we love when we are wrong. We have to be able to expressly state that we were wrong, that we can say “I’m Sorry” and be able to express why we are sorry.
3) What we put in is what we get out. This is true in mind, body and spirit. We have to make sure that we are in God’s word daily. We have to pray continuously. We have to repent from sin. To repent means to turn away from and to avoid doing it again. That being said, many of us think that we can serve two masters, that is, that we think we can have destructive sin in our lives and yet be in fellowship with a Holy God. That is not possible. We have to humble ourselves. We have to breathe in the grace of God and walk out our salvation with fear in trembling. Knowing that we can never earn our way to heaven, we then can confidently except this amazing gift of love and after accepting this incredible gift we can find that our faith is alive in both works and deeds to give thanks for this incredible gift of love.
4) Has True Grit –my dad always quotes Shakespeare to me, “not a lender or borrower thee be, pay thy debts or it dulls the edge of husbandry.” To me, this was more than just about lending money. With my dad it meant so much more: Character, Integrity, and so on. We have to be willing to be the stewards that God wants us to be. The stewards of His Time, His Treasure and His Talent. These are all things that God, the most high, has given us. The best way to describe integrity to you is to say how we act when no one else is around and whether or not we make the right choice. Job puts it best in chap 29 (Read Job 29 here).
5) Memorize and lives Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.
6) Have a Kingdom Purpose – It is not about us, it is about God. The sooner that we learn that the freer we are to make a difference in the short time that God has given us. To love our neighbor, our wives, our children and so on. To give without expecting anything in return. To serve as a servant leader.
7) Know your purpose – why are we here. What am I good at? Where can I serve best? What has God made me to do?
8) Walk with other men – no one should do this alone. That is not God’s plan. He wants us in community. He is the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He knows community and he knows what we need.
9) Take care of your vessels (body) – eat healthy, sleep healthy and make the right physical choices (exercise, diet, healthy choices).
10) When in doubt of how to be a man pray – more to follow
Psalm 112:1-10 (ESV) The Righteous Will Never Be Moved
112 [a] Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! 2 His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever. 4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. 5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. 7 He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. 8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor. 10 The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish!
In order for us to move from Part 1 to Part 2 – let’s take another self test (please read Psalms 139).
More to follow on this awesome question: How to be a man.
Thanks for the challenge!
Please give me your thoughts,
The 10 Commandments of the Old Testament: Remember that whether you live by your own standards of life, or by the standards set forth by the living Word of God, then you have to believe that evil does not prevail. That people have to answer to a higher "source". Some call it "karma" while others call it the inherit code of law that is engraved in each one of our DNA. Whether you believe it or you don't, one thing is for sure, no question, is that everyone will have to give an account - will have to testify that there is a God. If you can read this and agree with it, then we can look at what's God's law was for those of us that are under the curse (the original sin) and remember that if we are guilty of one transgression of the law, then we are guilty of them all. Here is the list of the Old Testament:
New Living Translation
Then God gave the people all these instructions:
1. You must not have any other god but me.
2. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
3. You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
4. Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
5. Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
6. You must not murder.
7. You must not commit adultery.
8. You must not steal.
9. You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
10. You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.
The Commandments of Jesus: What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments?
Commandment 1 "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve" (Mat 4:10). "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and the great commandment" (Mat 22:37). "
Commandment 2 "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve" (Mat 4:10). "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve" (Luke 4:8). "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24).
Commandment 3 "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men" (Mat 12:31). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,...blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man" (Mat 15:19-20).
Commandment 4 "What man is there among you who has one sheep, and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath" (Mat 12:11-12). "And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath" (Mat 24:20); there would be no reason to pray this if the Sabbath was not going to be in existence. "And He said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath'" (Mk 2:27); this verse tells all who will see which day is the Lord's Day
Commandment 5 "For God commanded saying, 'Honor your father and your mother' and 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death'" (Mat 15:4). "Honor your father and your mother" (Mat 19:19). "Honor your father and your mother" (Mk 7:10). "Honor your father and your mother" (Mk 10:19). "You know the commandments:...Honor your father and your mother" (Luke 18:20).
Commandment 6 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder', and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment" (Mat 5:21-22). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders...These are the things which defile a man" (Mat 15:19-20). "You shall not murder" (Mat 19:18). "...murders...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mk 7:21,23). "Do not murder" (Mk 10:19). "You know the commandments:...Do not murder" (Luke 18:20).
Commandment 7 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery'. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Mat 5:27-28). "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery" (Mat 5:32). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...adulteries, fornications...These are the things which defile a man" (Mat 15:19-20). "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery, and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Mat 19:9). "You shall not commit adultery" (Mat 19:18). "...adulteries, fornications...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mk 7:21,23). "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery" (Mk 10:11-12). "Do not commit adultery" (Mk 10:19). "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery" (Luke 16:18). "You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery" (Luke 18:20). "'Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery'...And Jesus said to her...'sin no more'" (John 8:4,11). "Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation" (Rev 2:22).
Commandment 8 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...thefts...These are the things which defile a man" (Mat 15:19-20). "You shall not steal" (Mat 19:18). "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer', but you have made it a den of thieves" (Mat 21:13). "...thefts...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mk 7:22-23). "Do not steal" (Mk 10:19). "You know the commandments:... Do not steal" (Luke 18:20).
Commandment 9 "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord. But I say to you, do not swear at all" (Mat 5:33-34). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...false witness...These are the things which defile a man" (Mat 15:19-20). "You shall not bear false witness" (Mat 19:18). "Do not bear false witness" (Mk 10:19). "You know the commandments:...Do not bear false witness" (Luke 18:20). "And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars" (Rev 2:2).
Commandment 10 "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on" (Mat 6:25). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...These are the things which defile a man" (Mat 15:19-20). "...covetousness...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mk 7:22-23).
"I have kept My Father's commandments" (John 15:10).
So it is clear that Jesus taught everyone of the ten commandments and that he also kept them.
Therefore, what did Jesus do for you? Listen to the song, again, at the beginning! Blessings, Dante
This past Saturday, I had the privelege to be a bystander and watch and listen to a group of men that really made me appreciate our men's ministry. First of all, the morning started with a few songs led by a guy who wanted us to start the day out with praise and worship a while ago. The last song that he played (we sang) was from Jesus Culture called One Thing Remains. It was powerful to listen to words that are not about us, but about who made us and who loves us more than we ever could. The two facilitators that morning decided that the group was just too big for everyone to share, so they split the group up and we discussed our lives and the Bible verses we read and what each meant to us. It was a great morning and a powerful morning. Holiday weeks can be a bit taxing with everything going on and since my mother died back in March, I, for the life of me, cannot catch up with all the paperwork and responsibility that comes with responsibility of being the executor and my father living in assisted living. That being said, I have been really thankful for my family. First of all, for my wife, Kate, who loves me no matter what I do - you see we married each other for better or for worse - no "ifs" "ands" or "buts"...When we said "We do" we meant it. I am thankful for that.
I am thankful for our three wonderful children that God has blessed us with. I love the way that God has made each of them and I appreciate how much they show me how much God must love me!
I am thankful for my friends that I pray for. When I first got into ministry I prayed for spiritual friends like I have today, I am thankful for that.
Today, even in my own personal trials and tribulations, I am thankful!
What about you? What are you thankful for?
Still way below the radar, the netherworld of media has taken untold young people in the grip of irresistable diversion, often sin. Grandson Taylor is offering his idea in a 2.5 minute video. Preofessional presentation will come in due time. At 13, we can be glad this one's from the heart...and from some bruises.
Talk about a Dad with Legacy...It wasn't until the Good Friday service followed by the excruciatingly real "Passion of the Christ" that I discovered how much in His final moments Jesus modeled characteristics of a good fathering.
When the boots are hanging over the door, it is time to ask why. If I told you I want mine hanging over my oldest grandson's door on his way out to do battle, do you wonder why? It's all about the shoe leather of legacy.
The independent streak built into the American character by our wild west heritage can work against best practices fathering. We need help, but books, conferences, and pastors' declarations don't fill the bill. This weekend, Legacy Dads, the three of us, are meeting to bond, to encourage, to share and to grow our fathering savvy. Join us.
Your heart sometimes just won't stay still as you think of the children of your legacy and the challenges and the troubles they'll face. So you pray. They run, they play, they bump into things and owies are abundant. So you pray. They do bad things and you wish for them better. So you pray. We talk about "Grandmother's Prayers." Fathers and grandfathers pray, too. The effect is an investment in their legacy.
What is it in our heritage that lays the tracks for our legacy? Framing our future legacy depends on how we live it out now. THEY DO WHAT THEY SEE is a truth that should frame our stories and our examples. Visit with us for some ideas.
Life insurance is all about preparing your legacy for the future. That's why your legacy is Life Insurance. Popped into my head after a morning on T and FB and other blogs. Why? Because of the law of thermodynamics. Expanding universe and growing human and earth history means the energy comes from somewhere. My vote is the slowing pace of Hope in the future is what’s being lost to the universe. WAIT, that's all wrong.
If I had one character trait to instill, this would be it. As I see it, from any culture or generation, INTEGRITY is the keystone. Holds all the other vital character assets in place. It's like the keystone on top of the doorway arch. Entrance is permitted so long as the keystone--as long as INTEGRITY--is in place.