We are living in a sad time of despair when you look at what our country has turned into. Many centuries ago there was a nation that rose from nothingness to greatness that is now a memory; a story told in the history books of days gone by. That nation was Rome. Historians and philosophers have stated that America is on the precipice of being the next Roman Empire—not in a manner of becoming the super power of the world, conquering and subduing other nations and peoples, but of being a story for the history books.
How has this come to be?
The truth, from what I can see, is that our country lacks definitive leaders. I hadn’t noticed this until I started to think about TV shows. That probably seems rather weird to use as an example, but you can look at the history of TV and see the shift in our thinking. In the beginning of TV, Dad was the person to go to in times of need. Dad had the answer! Even through my childhood this was true. Sometime in the 1990s, though, there was a slow cultural shift from looking at Dad as the man of the house, as the one with the answers, to Dad being a buffoon. Dad went from being Ward Cleaver to Al Bundy…then to Homer Simpson. Men have been turned from the person the family sought out to the person that is an adult child happily playing XBox for hours on end as if he were still a teenager.
The lack of direction and leadership from men has resulted in what America is today. As men we have a responsibility to reclaim this country. We have a responsibility to reclaim our voice as the leaders of our homes, of our church, of our communities, and of our country. We reclaim this voice by going to our knees in prayer and bowing before God Almighty, asking Him, “Lord, what would You have me do?” Then we must go forward and do what He has placed on our hearts.
I begin by confessing that I have not always been like Ward Cleaver, and even today, I am far from that example. Sadly, I know that I still act much like Al Bundy. A few months ago I was reading through 2 Corinthians, and I came across this verse: “For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord, but also in the eyes of men” (8:21). That verse hit a nerve with me, and I have been praying over it and thinking about it for some time now. It makes me think about how I am living my life.
God sees everything we do. To claim otherwise would be to speak against God’s omniscience. People see what we present them. Do we present ourselves as Ward Cleaver, but live our real lives like Homer Simpson? Are we doing what’s right, not only in the eyes of God, but also in the eyes of men? Look at this verse a little more personally: “I am taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord, but also in the eyes of [my wife], [my children], [my friends], [my family].” When I think about this verse in this manner, it takes on a whole new meaning.
Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. There are a great number of men who are living life the way this verse intended. They are living with integrity—doing what’s right no matter who is around and no matter what it might cost them. To these men I say, “Thank you for your example.” For the rest of us it is my prayer that we would seek God’s wisdom, but also seek out those men who live by this verse. I want to encourage all of us to find someone we know who is spiritually more mature than ourselves and seek out his wisdom. Also, I want to encourage all of us to find someone we know who is not as spiritually mature as ourselves and begin to pour into that man.
We need to create a domino affect. The 90 year old men need to help prepare the 70-80 year old men, who need to prepare the 50-60 year old men, who need to prepare the 30-40 year old men, who need to prepare the 20 year old men, who need to prepare the young college students and high school students, who need to prepare the middle school students, who need to prepare the 4th and 5th grade students. We need to prepare each other for what’s next in life. We need to latch onto one another.
Our goal should be to live our lives in a manner that brings glory to God in everything that we do. We need to strive to get our emotions, our minds and our will in line with the Holy Spirit because if we don’t give all of that to God we “will fail regularly and tragically as the husbands, fathers and followers God intends us to be” (Charles Stanley, Man of God, p. 12)
Men, let’s stand up together and collectively seek God’s wisdom, so we can reclaim our voice.
Junior High and Men’s Ministry Director