Men, are you prepared to make a stand?

A man who says “I’m not going to die on that hill” but never fights on any hill is not a man you can trust to fight for anything that really matters.

Burke Parsons

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Another look at sexual abuse

A few years my time as a White Ribbon Ambassador it is very sad and concerning that sexual abuse continues. Rather than point to a single group, the issue of sexual abuse and violence toward women is a widespread cultural issue that will not be resolved by just “educating” men to be be better men. Or women marching and shouting at men and berating men for “toxic masculinity”.

Instead the solutions lay in the bedrock of our society, the family unit and the way that men and women raise their children.

Unfortunately the secularization of modern society is at the root cause of these and other social problems as modern society has abandoned the Christian values which were once the guiding principles by which we live. For those who have no exposure to Christian values think on these points:

  • We are God’s creation
  • God sets the standards for life
  • We are Individually accountable to God
  • Jesus Christ died and was resurrected as an atonement for our sins and failures

God provides the personal values that we should reach for:

  • Love
  • Forgiveness
  • Kindness
  • Respect
  • Sexual relations within a marriage (consider what “fornication” means as a contrast)
  • Hard work
  • Self discipline

Then with that the institutions that bring guidance and foundation to our society:

  • Family
  • Marriage
  • Church

And so the list goes on …

But it is not merely following a set of rules, Christianity is a transformational faith. Confess your sins and accept Jesus as Lord. Make every thought captive to Christ. And live the precepts of the love chapter 1 Corinthians 13.

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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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