One of my passions in life is building into other men. I guess I look at it from the perspective of how important men are in our society. Now please, do not get me wrong, I truly see the valuable, important role women play in our society. I do not discount the impact my wife has made on my life, my kid’s lives, and just in society in general. I believe those contributions are true and just, but that is for another writing.
Being a man, I have come to realize the importance I have as being a husband, a father, and a leader. I see where God has used men to be the leaders of the church, leaders of the family, and the leaders of men. I have also seen in society where families, especially children who have suffered in the lack of a man in their life. I have witnessed moms struggle to raise kids because there was no man there to help her. Men have such a great responsibility in our society, and I can’t help but notice the absence of men everywhere.
I have been that absent man. I have been that man so consumed with my aspirations of greatness at work and proving to others I am whatever they envision me to be in the moment. I have been that man trapped in sin and selfishness, and that man who only thought about themselves. Oh, from the outside I played the “I got it all together image,” all the while my wife was lonely and my kids missed their daddy. I have been that man so consumed with a project or so consumed with what was going on in everyone else’s life, that I was too blind to see what was going on in my own home. So naturally, since I am an expert in failing to be the man I need to be, I might as well write about it.
But, as I grow older and I see other men, and the impact they have on society, it reminds me that God created us men for a purpose. Looking at the first book in the Bible, Genesis tells us that man was made in God’s image. I believe as God formed Adam He had a plan for him, and other men. We were to cultivate the ground, be husbands, be fathers, and be leaders. I am not going to go into the countless number of reasons I believe we as men have failed to be men or what society tries to tell us. The truth is, we can use excuses, we can look at the reasons we fail, but to be honest, we know the answers. We need to be men that make our wives a priority, we need to be men that are actively involved in the lives of our children, we need to be men that work hard to provide for our families, and above all else, we need to be men who are living lives that are seeking to follow Jesus’ example and being that example to our family and friends.
What kind of impact do you think our society would experience if men would just be the man God desires us to be? Would we have broken homes? Would we have such a high divorce rate? Would there be all this hate? If you are a man reading this and you are saying how can I be that man God created me to be? My answer to that question would be to pray and seek Jesus. We need to humble ourselves before our God and seek Him out as the ultimate example. Talk about a man who lived out what He preached. Jesus walked this earth, lived the life of a man, and taught with great authority. Jesus was a man’s man. He was a carpenter, He was a leader of men, and He loved His family to the point of making the ultimate sacrifice of death on a cross.
The second thing I would do is latch onto a mentor. Having other men in your life, especially experienced men who have been through the fire and live out what it means to be a man is an excellent first step. Mentors are people who are not afraid to tell you where they have screwed up. Mentors are people who will pray for you, share wisdom, and be there to listen to you. The next thing I say is, stop looking inward, and see outward. Our society tells us that it’s all about us. The truth is, yes you are important, and yes you matter, but so do others. When we can truly look at our wives, our kids, our friends, and our communities to see where we can best serve, it’s then we can truly engage lives that will make a greater impact on others.
Finally, I would keep the words ‘self-care’ in the forefront of your mind. So many times us men can get caught up in trying to do a lot different things that we truly forget to take care of ourselves. We need to rest, we need to eat properly, and we need to have fun. Life is too short to only be ‘cultivating the ground.’ Rest, relax, and enjoy this life God has blessed you with. Take family vacations, take a just you and your wife vacation, have a guy’s night out, eat dinner together as a family, and have some alone time where it is just you and God.
I cannot express how much it truly means to be a man and the impact on the hundreds of lives you can have by simply being the man God has called you to be. We have our own set of skills, we have our own talents, but we all share in the responsibility of being Men of Integrity and Men of God! I want to encourage you to go forth starting today. Maybe you have been like me, absent from your kid’s lives, maybe distant from your wife. Today, you can carpe diem, which means seize the day! The impact on other lives may not be immediate, and your carpe diem may not move a mountain right away, but trust me, as you change and look to be the man God has called you to be, the change will happen.