Recently our church’s men’s committee launched a new opportunity for men called “The Forge.” We meet once a week at 6am and are done by 7:05. We are working through John Eldredge’s “Wild At Heart” video series about true manhood. We completed Day One of the series and I am compelled right up front to admit it has changed the tone and direction of this blog. I have no doubt it was a “God thing” – the timing, the topic, the men who chose to get up before work and get real with each other. Totally God.
This blog has been in the works for months. It was bouncing around my head before I ever dreamed I’d be writing a blog. It looks a lot different today than I thought it would. God took “Wild At Heart” and scrambled up my ideas; He said, “Your Heart is right, your desire is right but you’re a little off target. Meet with these guys and let me show you.”
Have you ever bought a new car, or for most of us a new-to-you car, and suddenly, as you drive around all happy with it, you see all the other cars on the road identical to your new one? If you’re like me you didn’t notice them before but now they seem to be everywhere. I’ve lived the majority of my life as an addict, in secret, hiding from everyone, including God. Now, having been set free from it, like getting that new car, I am keenly aware of my old self in the sea of males around me. Everywhere, everywhere, males are making Men look bad.
This is where this blog has taken a mighty turn from the destination I originally pictured. I’ve now spent two weeks with “Wild At Heart” and God is showing me that He has set me free from my addiction, healed me, but that I still have a lot to learn about being a Man; His man. I have spent two early mornings now listening to men share their struggles with finding their identity in true, Godly manhood. There is a wild side of Manhood that Mr. Eldredge supports in a deep Scriptural manner that I thought was simply bravado, ego, testosterone. The “baser” parts of males.
Mr. Eldredge said we are made in God’s image and He is described in Scripture as a “warrior God.” That we need to have battles and we need challenges. We need identity. We need to compete. But we need these things in God’s image; not society’s male counterpart. True Men. Men whose vocabulary consists of more than four-letter words. Men who can enjoy each other’s company without utilizing bodily function humor. Men who know that in order to know their Creator God-Father intimately they must get His Word into their head. Then allow it to flow freely to their Heart where it will radically change them. Men who know the biggest, baddest, most important earthly “battle” they can enter into is vulnerable transparency with their wives.
I listened to men admit their façades. I listened to men who really, really want what God offers – Freedom. The BEST. The best relationship with Him. The best relationship in their marriages. The best relationship with their children. The best relationship with other men who will keep them accountable to all these “bests.” I sincerely believe that those men will rise to the challenge, wage a holy battle and their wives and children will call them blessed.
I pray you will choose that path as well.