Be Kind in 2022

The great disease of the modern era is not Trans vs Women debate or Gender Identity crises.

The disease that has beset us all is the inability to dialog at all. To debate and argue and agree or disagree. This is nature of a true civil society. Where words offend, say so, argue succinctly why, seek to enlighten others about how they offend.

And should the offender apologise, accept it with dignity not abuse. But if they don’t rise to a higher place and use the words of another sacrificial lamb “forgive them for they know not what they do”.

But to cancel the offender, to have them sacked from positions, to have their lectures, books, blogs, websites blocked because they offend one group but are cheered by another group is not the path of democracy but a repetition of the evils of the past. Cite Marxism, Cite Nazism, Cite the CCP, Cite Pol Pot.

And finally, whatever position you take on these challenging questions of philosophy, find a new cause in 2022

… be a better person and “Be Kind to one another”. Ephesians 4:32

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Love Always Protects

The Real Men Challenge manual is focused on the Love Chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 as a template to help men in their relationships and provide insight and guidance for a world where family violence has become an epidemic.

“Love… it always protects …” 1 Corinthians 13:7
The Love Chapter says “Love Always Protects”. Here are some thoughts on that theme.

True love is a sacrificial love. 

Jesus said: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13

So question, men, what are laying down in your life to protect your relationship.

  • Your position as ruler of the home?
  • Your money?
  • Your job?
  • Your right to a Saturday night boozer?
  • Your right to sex whenever you want it?

What positive steps are you taking to fulfil the challenges of “Love … always protects.”

Protecting is not control. Who put you in charge anyway? Protecting is a partnership but for men, here are some guidance as to what non-controlling protection looks like in your love relationship.

  • Protecting your faith
    • quality time with God
    • Prayer (alone, with partner, with kids)
    • Bible reading
    • Worship
    • Service
    • Good works
    • Instructing the kids in the things of God
  • Protecting your wife
    • from your anger and frustrations – “In your anger do not sin: Do not Let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26
    • from her fears – “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them” Colossians 3:19
  • Protecting the marriage bed  – “Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure…” Hebrews 13:4)
    • from lust
    • from pornography
    • from the temptations of this world
    • from adultery
    • from neglect – “The husband should fulfil his marital duty to his wife …” 1 Corinthians 7:3
  • Protecting your children
    • from witnessing your anger – “Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
    • from your alcohol and drug abuse
    • from “helicopter parenting” instead of allowing them to take risks as they grow
  • Protecting your finances
    • You are your partner working together to ensure the needs of your family are met. This is not about the man being the sole provider but together with your partner ensuring the household finances are secure
    • Financial wisdom
      • Tithing to support the work of the Kingdom
      • do you have a budget
      • do you have control wasteful spending
      • do you have a saving plan
      • Avoiding the quick rich quick scams
    • Not being trapped by the love of money

One of the best books on managing fianances that my wife and I read and use is “The Barefoot Investor” by Scott Pape. “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22

What else in your life do you need to protect?

  • Protecting the peace in your home
    • “Blessed be the peacemakers” Matt 5:9
    • “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:18

I hope that these thoughts will provoke self reflection and discussion in your home as you live out “Love … always protects.”

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Good Dads

An addendum to my Father’s Day thoughts:

Good Dads are Spiritual Leaders

  • Love their God
  • Love their Church
  • Love the Word of God
  • Love to Pray
  • Love to Worship
  • Love Righteousness
  • Love Holiness

Good Dads are Leaders in their Homes

  • Love their wives
  • Love their kids
  • Love to give

Good Dads are Leaders in their Community

  • Love their work
  • Love justice
  • Love the unlovely
  • Love sinners

Good Dads are Prophetic Leaders

  • Love the Truth
  • Live the Truth
  • Call out evil
  • Call out ungodly philosophies of the world

Good Dads are Leaders in being Healthy

  • Self-Reflective
  • Physically
  • Mentally
  • Spiritually

Each of these points need exploring in depth and self examination. How am I doing in each of these areas of life. I know that in some of these I fall short but being able to be self-reflective and seeing my own shortcomings allows me to try and improve and provide that example to my family and others.

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The Lost Path of Masculinity

I initially wrote these words while in the United States visiting my family when I went back through my old note books from that time and realised they were as important for now as they were then. It is timely I write this for Father’s Day.

Prayer

A Christian man is a man of prayer. One who stands in the game for their family in spiritual warfare and bringing the needs of their family before the King. Phil 4:6; 1 Tim 2:8; Eph 6:18; Col 4:3

Persistence in Faith

A Christian man is one who stands firm in their faith. Not tossed to and fro by the waves of post modernism, doubt or the temptations of the world. The Christian man provides the example to his family through his life of Faith. Love of Bible reading. Life of Prayer. Life of Service. Life of Good works. 1 Cor 16:13; 2 Chron 20:17; James 1:12; Rom 12:11-12; 2 Thess 2:16-17

Provision

A Christian man is one who knows his call from God. A call that that ensures his family is cared for. Ensuring their physical needs are met. (This does not automatically mean that men must be the main financial provider). Ensuring their emotional needs are met by being the “present” father, not the “absent” father. A man who knows how to deal with tough times by faith in God, trust in His word and Prayer. By ensuring his leadership as a Christian man shines through in his home, his relationships and his work place. 1

Protection

A Christian man always, always protects his family. Physically, being prepared to lays his life down for them. Spiritually, but standing in the gap in prayer for them when the tough time comes. Ps 46:1; 1 Pet 5:8; Eph 6:12-13; Ps 82:4; Matt 5:44

Purposeful

A Christian man’s life is a planned and purposeful life. Planned by God for good works, not accidental, not living for self, sin and pleasures. A life that is an example to his family, in his workplace, in his community. Eph 2:10; Jer 29:11

Peacemaker

The Christian man is a peacemaker. When conflict arises they shine in their Christian values of the fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, forgiveness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. Being a peacemaker is not a sign of weakness but of inner strength from the Lord. The Christian man will still stand and defend those in danger and stand in the gap against those that want to inflict evil. Matt 5:9; Gal 5:22; John 15:13

I am challenged by reading and then typing these words again. In a world that has lost its way, men need to find the lost path of masculinity through their faith in Christ.

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Being kind in the time of isolation

There is no doubt that couples forced to live together 24/7 due to Coronavirus “stay at home” orders increases the risk of conflict and violence in the home.

That is why we need to all take an attitude stock take and look at two key words.

Am I being kind?

Am I being tender?

I was reminded about this during the week when I was at work (yes, someone who still had a part time job) and came into a dispute with a work colleague.

The very next day a friend sent me these words about tenderness.

I read these and applied them to myself and when next at work … worked hard to apply these principles. Try these for yourself and see how you go.

  • A gracious touch, a gentle spirit, an expression of kindness; someone who so values the worth of others that they refuse to be mean or spiteful or vengeful.
  • Hearts that refuse to remain hard, unmoved and disengaged; hearts that are full of compassion, kindness, warmth and gentleness.
  • Hearts that guard and nurture new life and new dreams welling up within.
  • Hearts that are receptive to listen, quick to respond,  ready to act, determined to obey.
  • Hearts that attract the presence and power of God and are catalysts for His transforming  grace to work in them and through them. What God can do and reveal through our tender hearts.
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