My mom and dad divorced when I was just a year old. I never had the chance to meet my dad, he died a few years back at the age of 63. Since, I never had a father figure in my life, I never had a negative or positive role model to look to in learning how to be a dad. I had to find other role models, and ultimately my heavenly daddy, to show me how to be a man, a husband, and a father.
Over the past 11 years of having the opportunity of being a dad, I have had many successes and many failures in raising my children. There have been times when I should have been more patient and understanding. There have been times when I should have been more strict and not as lenient. Times when I should have listened when I ignored. Times when I should have shut my mouth and let the children talk.
God has never found himself on one side or the other in the discipline department. He is precisely where he should be. He is never too harsh, and never too soft. When we fall down, he picks us up. When we are in need of a little discipline he gives it with a firm but loving hand. We may have this idea that God is a pushover. That he is weak and that he lets us get away with things because he loves us too much to punish us. God loves his children in such a way that he will lead us to the truth and a radical change in him. Love does not mean sitting on the sidelines and letting your kids do things that is wrong. Love means disciplining them for the wrongs they have committed, but showing them the right way and the way out of the trouble they are in.
God is kind, but he’s not soft.
>Recently I have been reading the book by John Eldredge entitled “Wild at Heart”. Although I don’t believe in a lot of things that Eldredge espouses in his book, the premise of the church losing it’s masculine identity, I can definitely agree with. We as a church have let the popular culture make our saviour( and hence our men) weak and frail. Meek and mild, is not weak and frail. We as men need to stand up and reclaim our house, and our church and become men that are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do what is morally right.
Having said that, I have been subscribing to a blog published by the “Council of Biblical Womanhood and Manhood”. Many of the articles I receive on a daily basis are well written and have a very valid message. But one recent blog made me rather upset. The title of the blog was “A Man’s Summer Reading List…” When I first saw the title, I thought that this could be interesting and was excited to see what books were out there that might be a good read for a hot summer. When I began to read the blog, I was stunned by what I saw. Every single book that was recommended for “manly” reading was based around military generals, war, battles, or murders. One of the war books even tried to use Isaiah in its title to invoke some sort of “God’s service” in the battle.
Now I like a good war book, and have read many. I even like learning about 1920’s mafia and the like. But I take offense that this is the type of subject matter that has to be in books to make them a “manly” read. How about books talking about humility and servant hood. Or, if you want adventure, even a good story about some missionary?
The church needs to figure out what true biblical manhood really is. But in doing so we need to make sure we don’t fall into the same trap as everyone else. In stereotyping genders, we are causing just as much harm as we would if we are trying to homogenize the genders.
If you would like to read the blog for yourself, here is the link.