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April 12, 2010

As I sat with a man over coffee this morning, a familiar chorus begins to play in the cafe that I hear quite often from the men that I meet with whether through counseling, discipleship or retreats. There is an epidemic with the men in our country; the problem is worthiness. We seem to be failing at all aspects of our lives. If we work to much our families suffer, and we are considered a poor father. If we cut back on our hours at work to get more quality time with our families we are seen as loafers, or worse not committed to our jobs or companies. Unfortunately, our marriage runs a distant third or fourth place with no time left for intimacy with our wives, and we wonder why 50 % of marriages or better end in divorce. Men are tired, and we don’t receive validation or affirmation from any of the sources listed above. It isn’t supposed to be this way. Each man that enters my counseling office whether because of an affair, pornography addiction, depression, or drug and alcohol abuse says the same line, “There has got to be more to life than this?” Men feel like all they do is give!

Now I know it is better to give than receive, but there is a fundamental problem with how we deliver this message. In the book of Matthew, Jesus is again in conflict with the religious right of his day, the Pharisees. They ask Jesus what is the greatest commandment. He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Now we all know as Christians that being in relationship with God is the greatest of all loves, but Jesus didn’t stop there. He continues by saying, “And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. All of the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Now we have all been taught to love our neighbor, but there is an implied message in the second commandment that you will never hear preached from a pulpit. The verse says “as yourself” meaning you must love yourself as well.

This is the problem in most men’s lives. They don’t feel worthy of the love they receive from their kids, wives, friends and especially God. Most men I meet with have lost the ability to receive love deep in their hearts, and loving themselves is totally out of the question. They don’t know how to RECEIVE!!! You will never understand the benefits of giving true love away until you allow your heart to receive love from others. It is only then will you be able to drink from the love that God offers each of us. We must first receive.

Who do you allow in your life to truly love you with no strings? Who do you receive from?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Holly permalink
    April 13, 2010 6:13 am

    One of your high school friends sent me the link to your blog. I so appreciate your ministry! I am passionate about women’s ministry, and have a real soft spot for those struggling in marriage. It is enlightening to see the “other side”, and reminds us that our perspective is often limited (and self-centered). Thanks for what you are doing.

    • April 13, 2010 6:47 am

      Holly worthiness seems to be rampant on both sides of marriage, women and men. It is satan’s primary tool against the sanctity of marriage. We have lost the ability to affirm and validate each other, and then the worthiness worm begins to work! Thanks for reading my blog. I would love to hear more about your ministry. Send me some of your stuff to read!!!

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