Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Male Dilemma

Hello readers.  Welcome to my heart.  Let's begin.

So right now, you're really getting a chance to view a great portion of my heart.  With my new obsession of biblical manhood and an already growing desire for a men's ministry one day, this issue is always something I'm thinking about.  Literally.  Like, I dare you to randomly ask me what's the latest thought of this dilemma and I'll be very ready to share---it's seriously always on my mind.

So, in my pursuit of biblical manhood I have watched myself begin with a thought, and then enter into subsets from that previous thought.  For example, my first thought began when I was thinking about true biblical manhood, I felt like I needed to see some examples of it.  Then I turned to my church and noticed their were a lack of variety because their was a lack of men in the church.  Then I said, "That's strange.  Why is there more women in this auditorium than men?"  Then I started some research and began to look every Sunday and just saw the ratio between men and women in the church was substantial.  So then I asked myself, "Well, if they're not here, where in the world are they?"

And that question began the burden.  I didn't know what I was truly asking God at the time, but now I do. "God, where are the men?  Where are your sons? Where are the leaders?  What are they doing if they're not here?"  But perhaps the most important question I finally asked,  "What has their hearts other than God?"

So I turned to culture to answer that question.  And, honestly, it was very obvious.  It's obvious because you'll find a common characteristic in men---- when they find something they believe in strongly, they'll give their lives to it---figuratively.  I looked at the culture and honestly just began to listen to them; because men love to show off their gods.  So, I started to find where the men were, and they were rapping, playing sports, and chasing money, in whatever way they feel is the best way to get money.

Have I summed up the men of our culture?

But, let's not focus on specifics and just get into the meat of this dilemma, because I hope you're curious in my opinion of what the Male Dilemma may look like.  And, I'm going to say that the Male Dilemma is that men are looking for their value in the wrong things.

I have to repeat.  I feel the Male Dilemma is that men are looking for their value in the wrong things.  Illustration time?  Let's do it.

So I have the privilege of working at a hotel where a lot of "famous people" come stay while they're visiting Auburn.  And, on this certain day, I had the privilege of working bellhop, and for the ones who don't know these guys, they are the nice gentlemen that help you with your luggage. (tip them!)  So before the day begins, I'm getting briefed on the ins and outs of how to do the job well, and also who I should be expecting to arrive at the hotel.  We have a V.I.P. list at work, which means the people on this list should be known by name so that we can greet them.  Guys on this list were Charles Barkley, Bo Jackson, Lee Corso, Erin Andrews, Desmond Howard, and other guys from Sportscenter.  And, I had the pleasure of coming into direct contact with all of them.  My first was Bo Jackson, the AUBURN GREAT, Bo Jackson.  And there I was, stomach in a knot as this expensive car comes rolling into our unloading area.  The other bellhops recognize the car and they look at me and say, "You want this one?  That's Bo Jackson."  Yes, I'll take this one."  I say to the guys and I rush up to the driver side to meet him.  And, I don't know what I was expecting, but, something happened as I greeted this man with his family.  I realized he was a normal guy.

No Claude, that's Bo Jackson.

No subconscious, this is a regular guy who happens to be very popular.  Then my mind began to race as I'm helping them with their bags.  "What if Bo didn't have the Heisman trophy or the recognition or the Auburn spirit or whatever, what if he didn't have those things, would I have ran up to that car with this silly knot in my stomach?"

Say it with me, "NO, I wouldn't have."

I would have gladly helped him like I did all the other "regular" people.  So it hit me, "Why in the heck do we  value this guy more than all these other people I helped today?  And what are we communicating when we treat them like this?"  And oh baby did it hit me.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  We're communicating to this former Auburn athlete and great that, "You're only valuable to me because you played football and did it so well that you won a Heisman trophy and made us love you."  So, I'm beginning to tap into where a lot of men are finding their value.  Football stars get great respect.  Rappers get all the women and fame and people love them.  I look at Lil Wayne and laugh at the women that find him attractive, because I know if he was a regular guy working a regular job he wouldn't be as popular as he is with the ladies.  So, we're communicating this to these men that they are only valuable if they are, rappers, sport athletes, have lots of money, have lots of girls----SO THIS IS WHERE MY BROTHERS ARE AT!!  GOD! I FOUND THEM! I FOUND WHERE YOUR SONS ARE!  I HAVE FOUND WHERE YOUR SONGS ARE POURING THEMSELVES INTO!  And, we/culture are continuing to feed men this synthetic manhood mush.  And guess who's the blame....

You, Mr./Ms. reader.
All of us.

We're the blame for this.  Manhood in modern day culture is being defined by these foolish things.  So of course men are going to want to be rappers. Of course we're going to want to be superstar athletes. Of course we're going to want to be rich, because the world is telling us, THAT'S WHEN YOU'RE VALUABLE.  It pains me that a man that God created in His own image is finding his value in how well he can run,catch, throw a football, or how well he can charm women, or how well he can rap, or how whatever.  And we've fallen into the cultural trap, pushing our men into pursuing other things besides their true reason for being in existence. And I'm not saying doing or participating in any of these things are necessarily wrong, but they're wrong when a man feels that's who he is.

I watched a football campus last regular season, walk into Jordan Hare stadium to watch just a guy that transferred to our school.  Some of us knew he had the potential of being awesome, but many didn't.  He was just another quarterback that transferred into Auburn University.  But then, we watched as this young man began to shock us with his talent and his popularity grew.  And by the end of the season, we were praising him.  Facebook status and Facebook pictures and stadium signs and t shirts and we communicated to this guy, "You were nothing, insignificant, a nobody----until....until you blew us away with your talents and showed us you're an amazing athlete. NOW, you're valuable.  NOW you're worth loving.  NOW, you're worth having my attention.

I bet you think this is a stretch.  Claude, you're being extreme.  I can understand that, especially if you're guilty of doing this.  I know when it first came to me I was hesitant about it, completely ignored it.  But the more I pursued biblical manhood and saw the desperate need for it in our society, the more this was exposed to me.  We're hurting ourselves.  The world needs more strong and true men of God but we're not valuing them at all.  The world needs more Godly father's but we're not valuing them at all.  So, since Christian men and good fathers aren't valued, is it plain and simple why men choose to consume themselves with the other chases of value?

I should end it here, because I can talk for days about this.  I heard one of my favorite pastors, Pastor Craig Groschel of Life Church say this, "Find your misery, Find your ministry."  And this topic burdens me, bad.  Because I know now that God wants His sons back.  He's righteously angry for their love.  See my previous blog about that called You God, Jealous?  

Thanks for reading,

Friday, December 2, 2011

What Have WE Done?

Hello readers.  Welcome to my heart.  Let's begin.

I really think I need to stop praying for God to break my heart for what break His.  Because, the more I gain spiritual eyes to see what God sees, the more my heart breaks for our generation.  And it just makes me ask the question, What have we done to ourselves?

The fact that sin and brokenness entered into the world from simply disobedience.... wow what!? Wait a minute.  Our culture loves to rank sins, but there's only two categories that God is focused on.  Obedience and Disobedience.  And all the sins fall into the disobedience category.  So the REALLY BIG SIN, the one we should all look out for and avoid--- if we really want to rank them is simply disobeying God. 

Yeah, I hope that puts a higher value on the decisions we make, I know it did for me.  Because the understanding that we're broken only because Adam and Eve wanted to do things their way, puts a much higher value on the decisions we make.  And here I am, with the still sharpening spiritual eyes and able to see train wrecks and broken hearts, people who are hiding behind their sins and thoroughly enjoying them to say the least and it makes me wonder, "God, how in the world do we correct this?" 

Wrong question.

God, how can we humble ourselves enough for YOU to correct it?
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
And, since I'm a guy, naturally I'm looking at the women of my generation first. I have no idea what is going on.  Like, look what we've done to our women.  Look at what the men have done to the women of our days.  Modern day womanhood is completely against and far from what God created it to be.  God says modest, the world says revealing.  God says gentle, the world says arrogant.  God says dependent, the world says independent.  God says helper to the man, the world says they're the same and should be treated as equals.  God says beauty is fleeting, the world says beauty is competing----competing to see who has the best hair, the best clothes, the best make up, the best eye liner, how beauty is only outwardly.  

Why? Why are they thinking that?  Why are they behaving like that?  Hey men, these questions are directed at you.  It's our fault.  ITS OUR FAULT.  We are held responsible for this.  Just like coaches are held responsible if his team plays bad, so are we held responsible for this.  And, I watch women close to me deliver their hearts on silver platters to underseving men who have figured out that showing affection gets women to fall for them. Or women giving over their bodies because they've been convinced that's how you get a man to pay attention to you, to be interested in you, show some value to you.    

Men?  What have we done?  

I had the privilege of being at work while the Miss Glometra Pageant was going on. My University has this pageant I'm sure every year to promote the yearbook and blah blah.  So, I'm watching as these contestants come out onto the stage, smiles and dolled up, looking extra beautiful to really be able to get the judges to like them.  And I'm sitting there and my heart is aching like, this is what we're doing to our women?  This is where God's daughters are ending up?  Prancing around on a stage in hopes of winning this pageant which will confirm her value for her.  Sure, none of them are literally thinking that, its all subconscious.  And the entire time I'm thinking, "They're more than this."  

And my mind continues to stay on Adam and Eve because my goodness they're the perfect example of a lot of things.  I see God's disappointment in man.  Like, "I brought you Eve.  I delicately crafted her from your rib, created her after you to show you her importance to Me, and also gave you headship over her.  You had the law before she came, and you didn't protect her.  You didn't lead her Adam.  You didn't show her that she's more than just a pawn to the crafty serpent.  You didn't protect her Adam.  You stood there and watched her destroy herself."  

Do we see the need for biblical manhood?  Wooo, do we need it NOW more than ever!  And, it haunts me that I know so many Christian woman that would willingly settle for a man that cannot lead them spiritually and are not walking out biblical manhood.  Here's a quick news flash, Sin came into the world because of poor spiritual guidance. And I love it because God addressed Adam first when He knew they sinned.  Then He followed the chain of blame all the way to the serpent. 

So, I titled the blog what have WE done?  As men, we're the blame for a lot of this.  I'm annoyed now when I hear the "strong independent woman" soliloquies done by SOOOOOOO many women around me. Hey, I understand, you have to be.  A lot of you are raising families now.  I was raised in one of these single mother homes.  But it would be a lie from Hell to say its ideal, because now I'm seeing the dysfunction, the hurt, the voids that were present because of it, so stop bragging so much about it.  It's not a good thing that you HAVE to be in this role. I say that bluntly so you'll value a husband that can provided you the spiritual guidance that's necessary, not optional, necessary.  Not just a good paying job and all his teeth. Not good enough.  Not well he goes to church and he kind of love Jesus.  Not well he was raised in the church. LOL, love that one.  Pursue God, and pursue the best He has for you.  And this right here, is the best He has for you.  The best for you is you actively walking out what women were designed to be.  Let's see, in Genesis 2:18, Eve was created to be a suitable helper for Adam. I hear a lot of women take great pride in things opposite of that, which, again, I understand because of the lack of biblical men.  I'm not against you pursuing self accomplishments for yourself.  I'm just asking that you not find your identity in your accomplishments or confuse that with that is what makes you a good woman. Here's an example, lets say a point guard takes great pride in how well he can rebound and block shots, but he's unable to bring the ball down the court and run the offense.  Not a basketball fan?  Ok, lets say a quarterback takes great pride in how well he can catch the snap and run the football but he's unable to lead the offense, call the plays, and throw the football, which is HIS ROLE ON THE TEAM.  Assuming everyone is a sports fan Claude?  Ok, a company hires an accountant.  And this accountant takes great pride in how well they can fix computers and run the company, but cannot balance spreadsheets and handle payroll.  Useless right?  Now, don't get me wrong.  Its great if the quarterback has great hands and can run the football, i.e. Cam Newton, Tim Tebow, hence the Heisman Trophies.  Or its great that the point guard can rebound well, Rajon Rondo, Jason Kidd, but if they couldn't do their TRUE roles on the team, the reason why they're quarterbacks or point guards or accountants, (sorry I don't know any famous accountants,) they're useless.  So, don't be a useless woman focusing on the wrong things.  You're designed to be in Gods best.  And, whatever capacity that looks like, that's between you and God and your husband.  My job is to plant the seed--- to point in the direction.  Go see Dad about this issue.  I've already sought Him about the role of men and this blog was produced. 

So, if this sounds a little tough to accept, I understand.  Our minds are wired culturally so if we're trying to understand God through our culture modernized corrupted minds, then I understand how you can disagree with this.  But, instead, try this.  Only if you're placing your mind on heavenly things and sincerely seeking God's best for your life, then, run this by Him. See what He says.  Don't just take my word----because it's not even my word. Crazy huh?  

Take care.