I happen to love the song by Brad Paisley, "I'm Still a Guy".
"I can hear you now talkin' to your friends Sayin' yeah girls he’s come a long way From draggin' his knuckles and carryin' a club And buildin' a fire in a cave But when you say a backrub means only a backrub Then you swat my hand when I try Well now what can I say at the end of the day Honey, I’m still a guy"
It is funny to me because I think it is how men are viewed and in some ways, how we really are...in a satirical sort of way. There seems to be a notion that guys are idiots and that we need women to make sure we "Neanderthals" don't crank our lawnmower with our heads under the deck or to make sure we don't forget to do things like bathe and brush our teeth. I am really proud of my wife because she seems to be more sensitive than I am to the commercials or movies or whatever that show brilliant, gorgeous women having to put up with some balding, undeserving and moronic man. I admit that some of the stereotyping has been propagated because of the behavior and attitudes of men. But in the same way not all women should be considered Gold-Diggers because Anna Nicole happen to fall in love with a man that was close to 187 years old...oh, that happened to be CRAZY RICH...not all men are the simpletons control only by their hunger and lust.
Last night I had the honor of spending time with a couple of guys. Of course, I refuse to go into detail about the conversations, prayers and concerns, but I will say that last night some men of God came together and discussed, prayed and did some amazing spiritual battle on behalf of themselves, their wives and their children. I could not be more proud to be a part of that group and I look forward to many more times together.
What is a forceful man? Probably if someone asked me that I might think of a bully...someone using force to take from others that to which they are not entitled. I think "Date Rape" certainly falls into that category. I think a man who screws over his coworkers in order to "get ahead" could also fall in to that listing. But what about a forceful man that is a positive thing?
Last night God lead me to read from Matthew 11:12-14. Jesus says something really amazing about the Kingdom of God.
"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come."
I firmly believe that in the same way that it is wrong for a "forceful man" to take what isn't his, it is equally wrong for someone to not be forceful when it comes to taking what is rightfully theirs. This verse really hit me yesterday because as a man of God I have to realize that my wife will not find a spiritual leader for her among her friends, with our sons or on TV. Her spiritual leader...whether I am a horrible or awesome leader...is the one that lays down beside her every night. The spiritual leader for my sons will not come from school, the Cub Scouts or their Karate class...it is my job and I think God has called and continues to call God men of God to forcefully take from the world and from our enemy what is rightfully ours.
And what happens if men of God are "willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come"? That was answered for me yesterday as well as God lead me to Malachi 4:5-6...which happens to be the final verse of the Old Testament.
"See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction."
When we forcefully lay hold to the Messiah, the new life we now live will lead to men being real men and men who have children being real Dads. If as men are not forceful when it comes to the spiritual, emotional and physical provisions and protection of our families, we have denied the power found in Jesus and according to God's words in Malachi, our land will be cursed.
What does being forceful look like for men of God? Perhaps it looks like last night...men, tired from a long Monday coming together to go before the Thrown of God on behalf of their families. Maybe it looks like a husband fasting regularly to focus in prayer for his wife and children. Being a forceful man of God may look like a number of things. Regardless of what form it may take or how it may be carried, I know it must be...and I am proud to be with a group of men who are.
May the Father and Love of Our Souls continue to show us how to father and love.