The spiritual battle for the hearts and lives of men is very real. Our struggle as men, is not against flesh and blood (though is all too often where we put our focus) but is against the powers and principalities of the dark world and the spiritual forces of evil.
I have spent much of my life learning how to be the right kind of man, husband, and father. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to watch other men attempt to live a godly life. Of course, as I look back, I can see times when I really fell short of what I was called to be as a man, a husband, and a father.
Most men I know would do anything to protect their families against harm. Most would do anything to protect their families against someone who might be physically threatening to their spouse or their children.
Yet, the greater threat that our families face is the threat initiated by the devil’s schemes.
A few thoughts:
- When my children leave the house in the morning, they step into a broken world in which the evil one roams, wreaking havoc and destruction on people. A major threat is that the hearts of our children will be turned toward the evil one instead of toward God.
- The evil one desires to destroy our marriages, and as a result, impact generations of family members. This can occur through various kinds of sin, resentments, immorality, unforgiveness, and seeking our own comfort instead of the kingdom of God.
- The evil one also wishes to disrupt the lives of our children. Homes where Christ is not the center, but where conflict, cold silence, and constant discord and disruption reign, can rob a child of what might have been.
- Real men do not behave like 12 year-old boys wearing adult clothes. Churches are full of godly men who have high character and who daily honor Jesus by their lives. Yet, there are far too many guys who do not step up and take responsibility for their own lives and behavior. Instead, some are preoccupied with their ego, toys, and narcissistic pursuits.
- Men who are prayer warriors are men who are truly fighting the battle. They are intervening in prayer for their spouses and children. Why would a husband not cover his wife in prayer? Why would a father not intervene before the Lord on behalf of his children?
- Some men are assertive when it comes to their work. They are willing to do whatever it takes to deal with the challenges of their work. Yet, sometimes men can be very passive when it comes to their marriages and families. Far too many men seem to be waiting for something to happen instead of being intentional about their role as a husband and father.
- Men who honor and bless their spouses through their words and behavior are honoring God. At the same time, their children are blessed by the display of love and devotion of their fathers and mothers. When husbands and wives hurt and destroy one another, they are shortchanging their children. When I hurt my spouse, I am hurting my children. This is reality.
- Someone asked me once, “Are there any good men left?” (This person asked this after being hurt by a man.) The answer is “Yes!” There are men who have high morals and character and who love God with all their hearts. There are men who have made great comebacks and are now passionately loving and serving Jesus.
- The best men I know have often survived many challenges to their faith, their marriages, and their integrity. These men have learned to pursue the will of God with all their heart and soul. They have learned to love and forgive their neighbor. They have often come through very difficult chapters in their lives but they have trusted God and pressed on.
- The best men I know set an example that is worthy of imitation. They are modeling something honorable in the midst of challenges.