We are an enigma of sorts, but then again pretty easy to figure out. We are hunters, conquerors, and protectors; we are strong and carry a lot of responsibility, we are problem solvers, warriors; we are men.
There are also many things about us that aren’t nearly as impressive, but don’t worry I won’t go into the details here:) My focus is singular today, it is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. Neither the church leadership or the guy sitting in church on Sunday morning is comfortable addressing the areas in us that are dark and guarded secrets we want no one to see. Talking sports and weather, not a problem. Lets play some golf. oh yeah! How about we get together and do some charitable work using our awesome construction skills, great! It all feels good when we keep things on the surface.
What is it with guys? I am kinda sick of it really, and you should be too. Men, we will never become more without a real sense of dissatisfaction in keeping our secrets and protecting our “manliness.” Our “always have the answers”, tough and invincible exterior is nothing but an illusion. We have severe woundings and handicaps, but we cover them over with attitude and bravado, makes me wanna throw up, and I am not the only one!
15-17 “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless. Revelation 3:15-17 (MSG)
I am going to get to my point now, and it is time that you actually listened and took this seriously. Pornography is destroying men from the inside out.
The fact is that 60-70% of the men in our churches are using porn, from casual to addictive levels. It is a blight that isn’t limited to the new believer only as you might want to contend, but from the pastoral leadership right on through; all men are susceptible, and most of us are already caught in it’s slimy grip.
The issue that will topple the church is turning its back on the secret lives of men. Its more than just having a Bible study, it is authenticity that goes beyond that trite solution and having conversations you have never had with a brother in Christ. (I am not minimizing Bible study here, that of course is an integral part of our life, but pointing out that more directed focus is needed) It is developing trust and safety within a group of men that realizes we all are struggling, we all need help, no one is better than anyone else. We must be on common ground and united to fight this ugly and destructive enemy. It’s more than just trying to be a better man, but going after and destroying the source of this terror.
IF we continue to ignore this problem….oh please don’t do that, I plead with you not to. I won’t even put that option out there, it is too horrible to contemplate.
A quick story: Have you ever had a warning that you didn’t take seriously and then suffered the consequences of your failure to act? Many years ago I had a car that I couldn’t afford to insure, young family, kids, yeah I was dumb, I let the insurance lapse. I received a warning with a near-accident that I had no way of avoiding other than a miraculous intervention. What did I do with that? Blindly and ignorantly I wiped the sweat from my forehead and did nothing. It was a couple weeks later that the car was wrecked in an accident. It rolled and was drive-able, but the windshield was shattered, all the body panels were dented and banged up: I had to bungee the hood down! Whats the lesson here? I should have done whatever was necessary to get insurance on that car, instead I did nothing and suffered the penalty. I had to pay for that busted up wreck! That is just one lesson I should have learned which I didn’t. Do you have any stories of your own? I bet you do!
This is your warning men. Consider this your two weeks notice that it is time to deal with this issue and not put it off, again, ignoring it until you have a big and devastating crash. If we don’t act, marriages will continue to fail, we will grow more and more selfish, our jobs, our kids, and our testimony will all be victims of our lukewarmness. The monster that feeds on our mind, soul and spirit will continue to eat away our insides until we are a hollow shell and nothing close to resembling a true man of God.
Men, go to your pastors with conviction and passion and help them see the need for a real men’s ministry! Pastors, take the lead and provide a place for men to start the process of healing and freedom. All of us need to pray that God would show us how and what to do in our local faith community.
18 “Here’s what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that’s been through the refiner’s fire. Then you’ll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You’ve gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.
19 “The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!
20-21 “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That’s my gift to the conquerors!
22 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.” Revelation 3:18-22 (MSG)
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