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Can Men Be Helped?
 

Though men need help very badly, there is very little available for men. Many churches have a woman's minister and many programs weekly for women, but hardly any events other than Bible studies for men. The neglect of men is especially sad because as the men go so also goes the church. 

My churches always drew more men than women. As you probably know, this is rare. Perhaps we succeeded where others didn’t because I always saw the men in the Bible as being real men, not girlie men; real men warts and all! I loved to tell people, “If you got guts, follow Jesus.”

 The flaws of biblical men are revealed for all to see. The Bible speaks frankly of David's adultery, murder and cover up, yet God always saw him as a man after God's own heart. He never gave up on David and He won't give up on you or your man. The Bible tells us of Sampson's problem with a bad woman. It exposes Solomon’s addiction to women and that he was eventually undone by his many non-believing wives. The guy who wrote much our wisdom literature did some very foolish things to placate his wives, and got himself into deep trouble with God for doing so.  

Can you relate? It's easy to wish to please our wives so much that we forget our role in leading our family; to so emphasize our softer, compassionate, feminine side that we end up submitting to our wives and children. Ironically, this doesn’t work. Nothing makes a woman more insecure than a man who never leads. Years ago Larry Christiansen wrote a wonderful book called THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY. In it he quoted a woman who said, "We fight you for leadership, but we don't want to win. We secretly hope you will win, even as we struggle for control."  

I always taught men to "rule their households well;" to exercise godly authority; to be servants as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, but not to use that as an excuse to abdicate our God given role as head of our family. We need to become more like Abraham Lincoln who was called ‘a man of steel and velvet’. Toughness tempered with gentleness can improve every man and the women and children he loves. Few things if any in life have prepared us to be such godly husbands and fathers.  

The problems males have start in earliest childhood. Some secular books today discuss the war on boys. It used to be that psychologists just sought to medicate women in order to suppress the emotions they didn’t know how to deal with. Now we medicate boys with powerful drugs largely because they are boys; boys whose problems are compounded by the fact that many grew up with no father or absentee fathers, or sometimes even absentee mothers.  

But let’s get back to the question of this article. Can men be helped? Absolutely, I’ve seen it time and again at my retreats and in small groups in my churches. Men are hungry for authentic manhood. They crave a fellowship of real men who are neither overly feminized nor artificially macho. They yearn for opportunities to open up their lives in a safe environment with other men and women who will listen, without condemnation, and mediate God’s love, wisdom and grace to them.  

Instead of that, men get ‘shoulder-on’ a lot. It’s easy to get down on men. Most women’s magazines and day time TV do that regularly. Even most sermons rail against men’s sins. We love to condemn infidelity, pornography and bad language. Gossip, intemperance, backbiting and other more feminine transgressions are just as bad in God’s sight but few and far between are the pastors with the courage to confront them. 

Why did my events and small groups help men? Most Christian retreats only impact our intellect and will. Consequently, the warm fuzzy feelings evaporate in a few days. To truly change a man’s life we must also impact the third part of the soul, the emotions. The experiential factor in my events makes them uniquely transformational. Everything we do at a retreat is designed to impact the whole person, body soul and spirit. 

Our small groups used a model we also use for groups at my retreats. In them, we encourage people to share openly where they really live; to set aside pretense, advice giving, and scriptural zing so people can open up at the deepest level of their reality and let people in to where they really live.  

Finally, we also insist that those who speak to our events and help guide them do so from a vulnerable posture like the Apostle Paul. He boldly confessed his struggles with pride, feeling overwhelmed and even sexual temptation. No one is truly helped by groups that make them feel like everyone else has everything together but them. When leaders are vulnerable, reality therapy can work.  

I have seminars and retreats periodically where you can experience these things for yourself.  If you can’t get to an event, my e-books help too. Precious Pearls is a blueprint for a powerful growth group in your church. It has everything you need to start one. The 14th STEP goes even further for those who need deeper work. It is like a paper psychiatrist that will guide you into everything you need to know to heal your deepest pain. It also shows you how to start a healing group right where you live. I offer a free newsletter at SunriseRetreats.com where you can learn of events and learn more about how we do what we do.  

Please forward this article to the men you know who need help. We’ll give them a free newsletter. I know they’ll thank you for it. Hope is a wonderful thing, something most men get far too little of. When men change the family changes and all of society gets better.  

 

 
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