Life can be hard if we try to do everything on our own. I have owned a business for 12 years and I know first-hand how difficult things get when I do not put people in place to help me. God created us in his image and believe it or not for all of you lone rangers out there, He also created others to help us thrive in life. In the book of Ecclesiastes we learn that though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves and a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Teamwork is a word that helps define us as men. When those people are working in the area of their strength, we all accomplished more. This is true in sports, business and other areas of our lives. The men’s bible study that I am a part of at my church is a place where I see teamwork at it’s finest. We get real with one another, confess what is going on with our lives and learn that we are not alone in the things we are dealing with. It is nice to know that we are not alone.
”Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. “
I was having a hard time the other day dealing with my own personal issues. I am the father of 2 very rambunctious boys and there are times where they completely wear me out emotionally. The constant fighting and arguing makes the mercury in my thermometer push up into the 100s. You know what I am talking about? However, just last week I talked about being a thermostat versus a thermometer, so I needed to check my anger at the door.
I don’t exactly remember what happened, but the boys were fighting, and I verbally let them have it. I yelled loud enough at each of them to make them cry, which basically equated to a smack in the face. Yeah, the Christian dad that a bunch of people look to as a model for fatherhood just lost it on his kids and now I feel like a big pile of, well you can fill in the blank. I went into the other room to gather myself and give them time to lick their wounds. We all needed a minute to calm down.
I heard a sermon long ago when I was living back in Chicago with my buddy Darryl McPherson. It talked about being a peacemaker. Essentially the message told us to be the first to apologize and to keep peace in the family. As the father I need to create an atmosphere of peace in our home. I place where my family feels safe. I need to be a blesser, not a curser. Someone that my boys can come to when they are in trouble and not be afraid how I would react. They know that I have their back and will respond well.
Be a blesser, not a curser
So, I go back into the room where the boys are at and get down on my knees so I am at eye level with them. I tell them that I am sorry for yelling and the words I said. I ask them for forgiveness and once they agree to forgive me, we hug it out. I talk to them about bad anger and righteous anger and that I used the former in this situation. We go on the rest of the day doing what we do best- play together, and I pray that my yelling doesn’t damage them long term.
The next morning I am reading the bible and I find myself in the book of Hebrews. In chapter 2 it talks about how Jesus came down in the form of man and eventually died for our sins. Ok, I already knew that, but for the first time I really was enlightened to something else in verses 17 and 18.
Hebrews 2:17-18 ESV
“He had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
We are not alone
This passage made me feel so wonderful that Jesus, God’s only son, understands what I am going through because he went through it! When I pray for forgiveness I am not talking to someone who judges and chastises me for what I did wrong. He understands what temptation is. He went through it in the desert for 40 days when Satan was hounding him! The difference between me and Jesus is that he didn’t give in. We are in this together with Jesus and he wants to help us. He is the best coach out there and the best friend you will ever have!
Jesus is the ultimate example that I want to be to my wife and kids. The man who checks his anger and responds well to whatever life throws at him. We talk about being more Christ-like, but how do we do it? The one thing that helps me is this. I get around other Christian men who have the same life goals as me and ask them questions. I get transparent and vulnerable by sharing my testimony with them. I confess my sins and listen to their stories. I have them hold me accountable for my words and actions.
The worst thing you can do is keep all these things harbored inside and seclude yourself from others. There is a time and place for self-reflection and praying alone with the Lord. Just remember that Satan wants to alienate you from others so he can speak lies to you. He is the same one who tempts you to do something and then shames you after you do it. Get around other strong men. We are in this together!!!
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