Are Men the Weaker Sex?

In a recent article at the Harvard Business Review, Alison Beard doesn’t really come out and call men weak.  She does, however, use the word silent in her description of men today.  Her framework for this description is found in a simple and provocative message:

The feminist movement has been so effective in advancing women over the past several decades that the ability of men to thrive–indeed, their fundamental role in society–is now in peril.

We have, at everyone’s fault, said that it is not okay for men to have any powerful role in the advancement of society anymore.  Books are coming out called The End of Men and Men on Strike that point to this phenomenon of men being afraid to move forward in the world of work because they are potentially afraid to admit their own weakened position–again, by the fault of everyone.

Listen, I am totally okay with women in the workplace.  I am totally okay with women who are stellar candidates for CEO positions.  I am totally okay with women who function as great CEOs.  I would even be fine working for a good woman leader in the work place.  However, I am not okay with men being afraid to speak out, work hard, and move our society forward, even if it steps on the toes of the feminist movement.

So, for example, when a female CEO openly discriminates against a male job candidate, no one says a word.  Conferences and events geared toward helping women in business remain commonplace, even in industries where they’re reaching parity with men.  Research centers focused on women win grants, but no one demands comparable funding for studies on men.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of wimpy men who can’t adapt to an ever-increasing white-collar, female-launching, male-discriminate society.  As Beard states,

No man wants to be branded a whiny antifeminist by the growing sisterhood of leaders who are women.

My question for men (and women) is:  Why not?

This should be something we should talk about.  This is something there should be conferences on.  This is something there should be books written about.  This is something we should talk about in our churches.  This is something research centers should get grants for.

I, personally, am sick of the silence.

Conflict in Marriage is Almost Always the Man’s Fault

Think about that statement for a minute.  Conflict in marriage, I think, is almost always the man’s fault.  In fact, I might even go 100% on this one.  Though marriage is the pursuit of Jesus together, for God’s glory, between two one-flesh companions of equal dignity, value, and worth, it is also a place where sin can be magnified.  As men, we are called to a pretty high standard of leading our wives.  And as we know, leadership is not dictatorship.  Leadership is servant leadership.  What’s more, we, as men, are also called to provide and protect.  We are called not just to protect them physically, but also emotionally and mentally.  And so, where a man neglects his wife, conflict arises.  Whether it is physical, sexual, emotional, etc.  Conflict arises from unmet desires in our hearts.

Husband, you are called to know those desires and meet those desires in your wife.  You, as a man, are called to care for your wife as you would your own flesh (Ephesians 5:29).

And let me tell you, as a man who wants to love and serve his wife in great ways, I am thankful for the gospel.  Because it is in the grace of Jesus that I find unbelievable comfort and forgiveness when I fail… and it happens a lot!

 

Dads, Are You Doing Whatever it Takes to Lead? [AUDIO]

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Tons and tons of research is being done throughout the church toward the question, “How do we reach men?”  If you know me, then you know I am know super passionate about this question.  My life, as of late, has been on a crusade for this (hence, the book), and I think that though churches are, for the most part, attempting to reach men, challenge men, engage men, and spark a sense of courageous passion in them that only the gospel of Jesus can do when it takes root in a man’s heart, there are things that are drowning men, too.

Randy Stinson, author and professor at Southern Seminary, gives two distinct problems.

1) Lots of men are addicted to pornography.  And, in all honesty, we don’t talk about this issue as much as we should.  Pornography is ravishing our men.

2) God could potentially be turning a deaf ear towards men because of how they are treating their wife.  1 Peter 3:7 shows us this, when Peter says, “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (emphasis mine).

I have added 2 things to this list in my sermon below.

Read more of this post

Why Should DAD Purchase ‘Reformational Manhood’ for His Teenage Son?

Here are several reasons:

1. As a dad, you are called to be the primary disciple-maker of your own children. This is a resource that will allow you to walk with them as you do just that.

2. We are a church of wimps, or as CS Lewis says, “Men without chests.” Let’s continue to reverse this and create warrior-men with iron chests.

3. Young men need to learn theology.

4. Young men need to learn the gospel.

5. Young men need to learn to share the gospel.

6. Young men need to learn to defend the gospel.

7. Young men need to learn courage.

8. Young men need to learn to prepare themselves for marriage at an early age.

9. Young men need to learn why they should never, ever paint their toenails.

10. Young men need to learn to be leaders.

11. Young men need to learn to work hard.

12. Young men need to learn to protect women and children.

13. Young men need to learn to make quick decisions amidst numerous possibilities for the benefit of others.

14. Young men need to learn to redeem their time from brainless and stupid activities.

15. Young men need to learn about Jesus, the only perfect man.

16. Young men need to learn how to treat and pursue women, appropriate to their differing relationships.

17. Young men need to be discipled by their dads, or a spiritual father.

18. Young men need stern, relational teaching and correction.

19. Young men need to learn to be servants.

20. Young men need to learn to be gospel-centered warriors.

PURCHASE REFORMATIONAL MANHOOD TODAY!

 

ON LEADERSHIP: Is Being Task-Oriented a Bad Thing?

As I was driving to the office this morning, I overheard a local Christian radio station doing a segment on being more relationally-oriented throughout your day.  Now, I totally understand this concept, but it seemed to me that they were making task-oriented people out to be like a bad food group.  Don’t fill yourself up only on candy.  It’s bad for you!  And candy is the “task.”  So, stay away!

Studying personality types and gift sets have always been an interest of mine.  I am a choleric/sanguine, Type-A personality, that is bent toward accomplishing the task first and foremost.  I am also a prophet/kingly leader.  Therefore, if I’m not careful, then I can focus on the task… and leading through teaching, not relationships… all day.  However, I am very relational, which is where my sanguine comes into play.  I do love people.  But I also love the task and am bent more toward accomplishing the task.

God gifts us all in different ways.  He makes some relational.  He makes others task-driven.

Though if we’re not careful, especially in our churches and places of employment, we can begin to separate the task-oriented from the relationally-oriented.  Relationally-oriented pastors tend to be more Priestly in their leadership style, and we often set the task-oriented, or Kingly type of leader, in a position of administration where they can focus on one thing… tasks.

The relationally-oriented people tend to make radio segments about how being task-oriented is a bad thing.  And the task-oriented people tend to feel burdened every time a relationally-oriented person interrupts their day.

The relationally-oriented person comes to feud with the “process.”  The task-oriented person lives by it and sees that it is necessary for growth and sustainability.

As you can see, there is a big difference between the relationally-oriented and task-oriented.  But is one better than the other?  Absolutely not.  Much like we need all the different food groups throughout our day, we need both the relational and task-driven to make our organizations, businesses, and churches move forward.  We need balance.  We need relationships.  We need tasks.

The apostles understood this in Acts 6 when they instituted the office of the deacon to serve tables and do… wait for it… tasks… so that the apostles wouldn’t.  In a biblical sense, tasks are necessary.  And in a biblical sense, relationships are also very necessary.

So, all my task-oriented people like me, in the name of Jesus continue to flourish in how God made you, not giving up the serving of tables so others can visit hospitals, serve the poor, and even preach the gospel.  And all my relationally-oriented people, continue loving people in the name of Jesus, so others can sign your pay checks.

Dear Stay-At-Home Mom

This is a repost from Trevin Wax’s blog, Kingdom People. Thank you, Trevin, for these words.  They are a timely reminder for this husband of a an amazing stay-at-home mom.

Dear Stay-at-Home Mom,

You are a gift of God to your husband and your kids.

But you don’t always feel that way, do you?

There’s a low-level feeling of guilt that creeps into your heart from time to time. Sometimes it bubbles over into tears, usually on lonely, difficult days.

You scan blogs and read books about being a good mom. You find some helpful tidbits here and there, often from women who are grandmothers now. Women you can learn from but who seem to have forgotten the struggle. They seem to have it all together.

In your heart, you want to be the kind of mom who trains up kids to make a difference for the kingdom. You know it’s an honor to be entrusted with these kids. You know you’ve only got one shot. You want to be the mom who teaches them the Bible, models how to pray, and trains them up in the fear of the Lord.

But most of the time you feel like you’re barely holding it all together.

Your house cleaning can’t keep up with your kids’ mess-making.

The kids embarrass you by acting up right when your guests arrive.

Your husband doesn’t get just how worn out you are by the end of the day.

You come to the end of your patience. You lose your temper.

Then you feel worse.

The last thing you consider yourself to be is a “good mom.”

And you think to yourself, It’ll be a miracle if my kids turn out okay.

And – surprisingly – that’s right where God wants to meet you. The place where you admit your powerlessness and your need for Him.

It’s only by God’s grace that any kid grows up to be a force for the kingdom.

You see, there are no perfect kids and no perfect mothers.

No matter what you read in blogs, see in magazines, and learn in books. There are sinful kids and sinful moms and dads.

And the only thing greater than both is the grace of God.

The God who says “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The God who loves to forgive, to transform, and empower.

God loves you – not because you are a good mother but just because you are His precious child.

God loves you – not because you’ve mastered all the skills of parenting but because He has.

It’s divine grace that will transform your parenting – not guilt.

It’s grace that will keep you going and serving and scrubbing when you’re exhausted and worn out.

It’s grace that will conquer your feelings of inadequacy and remind you of God’s love for you in Christ.

It’s grace that goes for the heart of your kids, not just their behavior.

God has demonstrated the fullness of His love for you through the cross of His Son, even while you were still a sinner.

He has promised you His presence.

He has spoken His approval over you in Christ.

He is the perfect Father who delights in you as a daughter.

Find in Him your Treasure and Joy. Be to others what He is to you.

So walk in freedom. Let Him hold you together when everything seems to be falling apart.

Bask in His unfailing love for you. And rest in His promise of power.

PROPHET, PRIEST, and KING — What Type of Leader Are You?

In the Old Testament, there were 3 primary offices — Prophets, Priests, and Kings.  Jesus fulfills all three of those offices in the New Testament and is still fulfilling those offices today as he reigns from God, the Father’s, right hand.  Today, the church needs all three types of leaders.  It needs both prophet, priest, and king-type leaders.

1.  PROPHET:  CHURCH LEADERSHIP FOCUSED ON THE MESSAGE

Attributes / Focus:

  • Leads through communication
  • Visionary
  • Preacher
  • Visible
  • Larger audience
  • Air war

Spiritual Gifts:

  • Teaching
  • Knowledge
  • Preaching

Prone to Sin:

  • Harsh
  • Cold
  • Self-righteous with knowledge

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2.  PRIEST:  CHURCH LEADERSHIP FOCUSED ON THE PEOPLE

Attributes / Focus:

  • Leads through relationships
  • Care and shepherding
  • Small audiences (one-on-one)
  • Ground war

Spiritual Gifts:

  • Encouragement
  • Mercy
  • Relationships

Prone to Sin:

  • Tolerance of sin
  • Lack of truth
  • Self-righteous with compassion or love

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3.  KING:  CHURCH LEADERSHIP FOCUSED ON THE TASKS

Attributes / Focus:

  • Leads through strategy
  • Vision implementer
  • Often behind the scenes
  • Systems builder
  • Resource manager
  • Logistics

Spiritual Gifts:

  • Leadership
  • Administration

Prone to Sin:

  • Rigid
  • Rules (Methodolatry)
  • Self-righteous with policy

Teaching is Like Taking People on a Journey

Last night at my house we hosted a large group teacher training for our student ministry.  One of the things I am putting more time toward this year is developing and equipping a large group teacher team that can rotate and teach our students on Sunday and Wednesday nights.  I will still be teaching most of the time; however, I will also hopefully be allowing others to use their gifts of teaching as well, while also functioning as a coach to them.

We are starting a new format this year of going from large group to small group in the same night.  We will have shorter services and spend the majority of our time in small group settings.  We will also be adopting Andy Stanley’s one point message concept.  Pick one phrase or statement that makes it stick; one that is as memorable as possible.

For example, the theme of August is Beginnings.  For high school on Sunday, the only point will be:  Before the world existed, God existed.  The following week we will talk about Christianity verse Science/Evolution and the point will be:  Science and Christianity are friends, not enemies.  The rest of the message will be oriented around those points.

Anyhow, here is an excerpt from our training last night:

If you compare public speaking to taking people on a journey, then it follows that the communicator should attempt to pick everyone up at the same station and deliver them to the same destination.

The communicator must have a destination in mind; a single idea you want to communicate; a specific thing he or she hopes to accomplish.  And once that point, that idea, that destination is clear, then the goal is to bend everything in the message towards that one thing.

Most teaching and preaching today is done with several points.  For instance, a man should…

1.  Love his wife

2.  Lead his wife

3.  Learn from his wife

but never

4.  Leave his wife

Allusive, alluring, and alliterated points are not the most effective way to preach and teach if your goal is life change.

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COMMENTS OR CONTACT:  I am always glad to hear from readers.  Leave a comment or contact me here.  Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gregrgibson

If You Want Deep Roots for Jesus, then Water the Affections that Stir Your Heart for Him

I recently heard Matt Chandler preach a message at Student Life Camp on sanctification and he said this:

If you want deep roots for Jesus, then water the affections that stir your heart for him.

This was worth the entire price of the camp for me and my students.  As I have thought about this quote since then, my entire view the ‘obligation’ of spiritual disciplines has changed.  Before you cast me as a heretic allow me to explain myself.  I absolutely believe that the common spiritual disciplines such as bible reading, bible meditation, a fervent prayer life, scripture memory, fasting, journaling, fellowship with other believers, service in the local church, and the like, are all primary ways one grows in sanctification as a follower of Jesus.  I also think, though, that God could possibly give us each different things that stir our affections for Christ in different ways.

For instance, nature AND cities are two of those things for me.  When I am in God’s creation, my heart stirs with Psalm 19:1.  And quite the contrary, when I am in big cities, my affections for Jesus are stirred in different ways.  I think of the mandate to cultivate the earth in Genesis 1 and the Great Commission attached to that mandate by Jesus.

This understanding of growing deep roots for Jesus by watering the things that stir your affections for him has really become a staple in my life lately.  It honestly has made sanctification, at least in my own heart, change from duty to delight.  In my own mind, spiritual disciplines have become left to the consciences of believers… to the liberty of what stirs our hearts for him.  Although we are all to be in our Bibles daily, we all have different things (i.e., nature, cities, etc) that stir our affections for him in quite different ways as well.

On the other side of the coin, we all also have different things that rob our affections for Jesus.  We all have things in our life that make our affections for Jesus more passive and less stirring.  I am not necessarily talking about sin here either.  Maybe they are things, or mediums, that might cause sin but aren’t actually the sin themselves.

Here is my list of things that stir my affections for him, followed by my list of things that rob my affections for him.  The point of this being that I must water the things that stir my heart for Jesus and kill, or moderate, the things that rob them.

Stirs Affections for Jesus:

  • Fellowship and meals with friends and family.  When I sit down for a meal with close friends and family, my affections for Jesus are almost always stirred.  Even when we do not necessarily open Scripture or talk about the gospel, I am reminded of the evidences of grace he has given me in these people.  Because this is something that waters my affections for Jesus, then I try to do this thing often.
  • God’s Word early in the morning.  I have recently been waking up at 5am to get in God’s Word.  I am simply reading a couple of Psalms and meditating on the riches they bring.
  • Books about God.  When I find myself reading books about God (i.e., theology books or Christian living books), then I find my mind thinks about the things of God more than when I am not.
  • Nature and cities.  Nature and cities are quite opposites but they both stir my affections for Christ in different ways.  Because this is the case, I try to venture to big cities and to the campsite as much as possible.
  • A disciplined day.  When I find myself going to bed early, waking up early to spend time in God’s Word, and giving myself enough time in the morning to get ahead, reply to emails, workout, and spend time with family… all before I head to the office… then I find that I am more likely to stay disciplined with the rest of my day, as well.
  • Good worship music.  Good Christ-centered worship music also stirs my affections for Jesus.
  • Good heroic movies.  I don’t watch a ton of movies, but movies that have good conquering over evil with an iron fist almost always stir my affections for Jesus.  Movies such as Braveheart and Act of Valor, in all honesty, stir my affections for Jesus.  It always reminds my heart of his ultimate victory over sin and death.
  • Working on my house and yard.  The discipline of stewardship allows my affections to stir for Jesus.  When I find myself working on my home with my wife or taking care of our yard and landscape outside, my heart is almost always stirred for Christ.

Robs Affections for Jesus:

  • Competition.  Competition is something that definitely robs my affections for Jesus.  I don’t find myself playing much competitive basketball anymore because this is a constant reality.  I have not found a way yet, at least in who I am as a believer, to play competitive basketball and still love Jesus as I ought.  I find myself in idolatry more often than not.
  • Television.  TV robs my affections for Jesus if I am watching it too much.  If I water my desire for entertainment all of the time then I find my heart longing for evil things.
  • Popular music.  Same concept applies here.  If I water my desire for popular music often then I find my heart longing for evil things.
  • Most Movies.  In all honesty, most movies created today are not Christ honoring.  When I find myself watching a lot of movies, then I find my heart wandering from the things of Christ.
  • Staying up late.  I have recently switched from a night person to a morning person.  This has given me greater discipline to water things that stir my affections for Christ and kill the things that don’t.  When I would stay up late, I would find myself watching more TV and movies that don’t honor Christ than I should be watching.  I would sleep in, feel lazy, and be grouchy and grumpy for most of my day.
  • Sleep in too late.  This just makes me feel lazy.  My wife gets up with our daughter at 7am.  I want to be up with them leading the way in watering our affections for Jesus.

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COMMENTS OR CONTACT:  I am always glad to hear from readers.  Leave a comment or contact me here.  Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gregrgibson

 

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