Thursday, April 15, 2010

Men Want Spiritual Help With...

Found this on the Family Builders Inc website:

Men Want Spiritual Help:
  1. With their marriages—the number one request on men’s surveys.
  2. Battling sexual temptation—the temptation men struggle with most.
  3. Getting control of their anger and becoming more patient.
  4. Managing their personal/spiritual lives, sticking to the right priorities and spiritual disciplines.
  5. Investing their lives, not just for success, but for significance.
  6. Being the spiritual leader in their homes and effectively training their kids.
  7. Seeing their job as a calling from God and finding encouragement and motivation for the daily grind.
  8. Knowing how to reach out effectively to their lost friends and work associates and take a stand for Biblical truth in the culture.
  9. Finding a brother for encouragement, strength, and accountability.
  10. Knowing how to satisfy their hearts more by delighting in God.
The Root Need:
True discipleship is not behavior modification; it is heart transformation. It is not piling more discipleship tasks on the tired backs of men; it is leading them to the feet of Christ, in whose presence the inner desires and motivations of his heart are changed. The root need of every man is the gospel of grace deeply taking root in his soul.

Many men today are tired of the constant demands upon them to perform. They can’t provide for their family as they want to without working long hours. Instead of his home being the place where he feels appreciated and refreshed—it is full of exhausting demands to perform more. In many ways he feels better suited to performing at work. He finds it very difficult to figure out what his wife wants and what his children need. He is supposed to tell his wife how he feels, but if he does, it often ends up hurting her or leading to a fight. He righteously fights to keep his sexual appetite directed towards his wife, but is often ridiculed about the way God has hard-wired him—“All you ever want is one thing.” He is challenged at church to work hard at meeting his wife’s needs but wonders why she is rarely challenged to love him the way he wants to be loved.
He is supposed to suck it up, rub it out, and keep performing. He carries a 100 lb pack on his back called his responsibilities. Some Christian men are so weary of the pressure to perform that they one day just chuck it all, and run off with another woman or resort back to their drug days. Others look for escape in the secret pleasure of viewing Internet porn, gambling, or having a secret affair.

The answer to the constant pressure to perform and the feeling of not being valued can only be fully met by the gospel of grace. Basking in God’s unconditional love, letting our failures drive us to our savior, is the only way the soul of a man can be refreshed, his strength renewed, and his heart re-energized to follow his calling. The bigger the demands upon us, the more we need to shun the myth that men should be self-reliant and let that pressure drive us to Christ for help. In his presence, we see that some of the pressure comes from our idols of success, respect, pleasure. In his presence we realize that God specializes in impossible situations and our faith is renewed. When we do fail, we remember that the greater our sin—the greater is the love of our savior in forgiving us.

Only the gospel of grace can transform the heart of a man—and that is the ultimate goal of discipleship.