Guest post by my husband, Wayne…
I know this little corner of the internet is usually reserved for words intended for women. However, this month I felt the need to speak to the hearts of men.
Ladies, if the man in your life isn’t in a small group, if he doesn’t have a group of Christian men that he can relate to, that he can share with and confide in, he needs to find one.
I implore you to share this him.
Up I-70, in the foothills west of Denver, Colorado, lives a small herd of American bison owned by the city. They are the descendents of seven of the remaining wild animals found in Yellowstone National Park in 1914.
If you know much about the American Bison, then you know that they were once nearly hunted to extinction. Privately maintained herds like Denver’s were bred with domestic cattle in an effort to boost their numbers.
And while these efforts saved the bison from extinction, they fundamentally changed the animals… they stole the wild from them.
For years, Denver’s herd was celebrated for its tameness.
Police and firefighters often served cream soda to a bull named Nickel, who would come running when he heard the crack of a can being opened.
As Christian men, we’re supposed to be warriors for Christ.
But many of us have been… tamed.
Sure, we go to church on Sunday.
We have a Christian station preset on our car radio, but no song on our lips.
We keep a Bible on our nightstand, but not in our hearts.
We’re like those early captive herds; we look like Christians on the outside, but underneath… we’re just passive cattle.
Worse than that, we’re isolated.
God created us to be in community.
To encourage one another.
To grow in our faith together.
But that takes more than just sitting together in a building on Sundays. It takes courage to open up and pour out our hearts, and effort to pour into others.
Some of us try. We might join a small group with other men in our church. I was in a such a group for years. Good guys. Nice guys. We did some nice Bible studies together.
It was all very… nice.
But most of the men didn’t want to open up. The biggest struggle anyone would admit to was looking at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.
Unless we are willing to get messy… to open up and be vulnerable with others… to let them share their hearts with us… we will continue living in isolation, with the illusion of community.
And the Devil loves that.
Because… it makes us easier prey.
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Yes, God created us to live in community.
But when all we do is sit in the same building with a crowd of other nice people on Sundays, or in room with other guys not willing to be real, we’re no different from cattle in the yards… waiting passively to be slaughtered.
But take heart.
A change is taking place in that bison herd outside of Denver.
They’re reverting back to their wild past.
They’re no longer tame.
When one of their number bleeds from scraping against a fence or a tree, the rest of the herd rolls in its blood. In doing so, predators can’t identify the weak member of the herd.
If someone is foolish enough to jump the fence that surrounds their land, they lick their lips, curl their tails, and charge.
Don’t you long for that kind of fellowship?
To have men you can truly call your brothers?
Guys that will put themselves on the line when you’re in trouble?
Friends who hold you accountable when you fall short?
Whoa… wait a minute. Accountability?
That’s an uncomfortable word for many of us, I know. Especially if we’ve got habits we know are wrong. You’re afraid of being chastised… called on the carpet… shamed.
But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
I love what Graham Cooke has to say about accountability.
“When we speak the truth in love we are reminding, teaching, and exhorting people about who they are in Christ. We are reinforcing their true identity in the spirit. We are not calling them out because of inappropriate behavior, we are calling them up to the truth of who they really are in Jesus.”
Now that is what I’m talking about!
If you aren’t sure you’d like to be a part of a men’s group like that…
pray about it.
And if you’re positive you don’t have any desire to get real with others…
pray about that, too.
Come on guys… let’s get wild.
REALITY CHECK: Our husbands need to encourage one another to be the men God created them to be.
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