Posts tagged family life

Men should be investors not consumers



Men were made to invest — to add value, to protect and make life better for others.

man smashing piggybank

Do you know any men who pout or whine when their wife’s idea of frequent sex is different than theirs?

Do you know any men who only go on dates when their wife sets one up?

What makes more than a few young men devote massive amounts of time to video games and social media?

How many husbands need stimulation from more and more porn while their physical intimacy with their wife dwindles away?

Why can many young guys hook up with girls, but not have the courage to ask them on a date or navigate a constructive relationship?

What’s causing so much perpetual adolescence among guys in their late 20s and late 50s?

God has answers to these questions which drive us to passionately reach and disciple men.

We’re facing a crisis in our culture. It’s urgent! When a boy stays a boy for life … when a man doesn’t know what it is to be a man … when he uses girls and women like property … when he fathers kids outside of marriage … when his marriage breaks up … the price paid is compounded for women, children, and society.

Men don’t need to be attacked, however. They need to be welcomed into a Christian fellowship of other men, where manhood can be bestowed. They need to see and learn the manhood model of Jesus, while in the company of friends and mentors.

Men have been tricked, and we need to help them break free from the lies and false vision of manhood. One key cause for the counterfeit versions of manhood and sorry state of marriages today is one we can beat only if we identify it. We need to understand our identity as consumers and rebuild a new identity as investors.

Think about it. Most of us Americans see over 500 advertisements a day. We are trained by Madison Avenue and Hollywood to be consumers and pleasure seekers. It makes us petty, selfish, and little.

Investors not consumers

But men were made to invest — to add value, to protect and make life better for others.  Doing that in marriage for your wife, whom you are to cherish, makes you and your children much happier over time.

In defining manhood and leading men, we need to square up and tackle the passive, selfish, small vision of manhood that shapes boys and men into the mold of “consumer.”  Men want a vision to create something significant, battle for something good, and love a woman and family heroically.

That won’t be possible with a small consumer identity.  We need to wake men up to the devil’s and society’s trick.  God made us to be investors.

Consider pro football.  In the quarterback meeting room and in drills they teach Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick, and Drew Brees to throw the ball to receivers in a target diameter of one foot, perfectly serving the receiver so he need not stretch, bend, jump or dive. And they teach wide receivers, “If you can touch it, you must catch it.” Make the quarterback and the team look good. Lay out. Sacrifice. Those are investor mentalities.

Let’s break the consumer mold, call men up to being relationship investors — guys who protect the weak, bring out the best in others, and love unconditionally. Galatians 5 tells us we were called to freedom, not so we could feed our fleshly desires but so we could serve one another — to love our neighbor. It warns that if we are selfish in our flesh and relationships, we’ll be consumed ourselves.  Philippians 2 tells us to be like Jesus and look out for the interests of others, not just self.

Men investing in other men will help us all rediscover the model of manhood: Jesus, the ultimate relationship investor.

 

Jeff Kemp quarterbacked for 11 years in the NFL.  He is a vice-president and “HomeBulder Catalyst” for FamilyLife, speaking to men and equipping men’s group discipleship with FamilyLife’s DVD men’s experience, Stepping Up™.   You can reach Jeff at jkemp@familylife.com.

 

Copyright 2013 by FamilyLife.  All rights reserved.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie? Here are Bob Lepine’s top 7



Bob Lepine's favorite Christmas Movies

One of the traditions of Christmas in our modern era is to put out a list of favorites … favorite Christmas cookies, carols, etc.  Of all those, arguably our favorite list is that of Christmas movies.  Bob Lepine, cohost of FamilyLife Today’s radio program gives us his top seven favorite Christmas movies of all time.  And, in the spirit of David Letterman, we will count down … here goes …

At number 7… Christmas In Connecticut (1945).  Look for the 1945 original with Barbara Stanwyck, not the remake that shows up on TV with Kris Kristofferson. It’s a classic screwball comedy that’s more about romance than Christmas. But it’s still fun to watch by a roaring fire. Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, Reginald Gardiner, S.Z. Sakall, and Robert Shayne. Directed by Peter Godfrey.

6. Meet John Doe (1941).  Another film from the legendary Frank Capra (It’s A Wonderful Life) that has its climax at Christmas time. Starring Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan, James Gleason, and Spring Byington. Directed by Frank Capra.

5. Miracle on 34th Street (1947). See the original 1947 version in black and white. We love the scene where a woman who has had too much to drink says, “We would love to have Santy Claus come and stay with us!”  Starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Natalie Wood, and Porter Hall. Directed by George Seaton.

4. All I Want For Christmas (1991).  The Parent Trap meets Christmas.  It’s all about making a marriage and family work.  Starring Leslie Nielsen, Lauren Bacall, Harley Jane Kozak, Jamey Sheridan, Ethan Embry, Ethan Randall, and Kevin Nealon.  Directed by Robert Lieberman.

3. Holiday Inn (1942).  Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in the movie that the song “White Christmas” came from first. Not technically a Christmas movie, but it’s still a seasonal favorite. Starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Dale, Walter Abel, and Louise Beavers.  Directed by Mark Sandrich.

2. White Christmas (1954). Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye sing and dance to songs by Irving Berlin. It’s a “must see” every year.  Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Dean Jagger, and Mary Wickes.  Directed by Michael Curtiz.

And, Bob Lepine’s all time favorite Christmas movie (shocker alert):

1. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946).  It’s a wonderful movie.  My all-time favorite.  Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Henry Travers. Directed by Frank Capra.

So, which ones did Bob miss?  What movie would you put at #1?  Help poor ol’ Bob out here.

BONUS:  The image in this post is from a movie NOT on Bob’s list. Who is he (actor AND character) and what movie is this from?  Extra credit:  What year did this movie come out?

 

6 non-negotiables for training young men (part 2)



The previous post discussed the first of 6 non-negotiables for training young men so they might grow into mature, godly men: They need help assassinating selfishness and pride.

Today’s post focuses on the next two non-negotiables:

Training young men to be men of God2. Young men need to learn and apply fundamental convictions and character qualities to real-life issues.

What are the fundamental values and truths of your life—the lessons you want to pass on? I developed a list of more than fifty items. Here are a few:

  • To know how to love, forgive, and ask for forgiveness. Too many young men know how to make a living but don’t know how to resolve a conflict.
  • To demonstrate common courtesies and communicate honor and respect to others, especially women.
  • To know how to turn away from temptations that men face, such as lust, greed, idolatry, stealing, cheating, and lying.
  • To know how to handle success and failure — some of the best lessons I taught my sons were from my failures as a father and a man.
  • To know how to lead others in the valley when facing tragedy and suffering. I wanted my sons to know that courage is ultimately built on convictions. And convictions are developed as they learn the truth about God and life, and about who they are as men. Convictions and courageous actions occur when life and truth collide. I’ll never forget celebrating a courageous choice to withstand peer pressure that our son Samuel made in college. We cheered him on.
3. They need a relationship with their dad.

A dad’s relationship with his son is the bridge over which truckloads of truth, wisdom, training, and character lessons are driven. If the bridge doesn’t exist, or if it washes out, a boy is dangerously isolated. Dads must keep that bridge in place so the supply lines can flow during the battle. The natural tendency of teenage boys is to push their parents out while inviting peers in. To counter this, dads can map out what their sons like to do and develop common interests so they can enjoy one another and experience life together.

Relationships are built as we are transparent and authentic with our sons. Share your failures and struggles, as well as your successes with your son.

What questions do you have?  Or what successes have you had with your teen or in mentoring a young man toward maturity?

Read the next post for training young men in non-negotiables 4-6

Adapted by permission from Stepping Up, by Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife Publishers, 2012.

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