Saturday, November 7, 2015

Marriage Renovations: Rebuilding HIS Way

Photo credit: mikeg1968 Etsy Shop
In this series, Josiah and I are talking about the "renovations" God has recently made in our marriage, and how to negotiate your own marital renovation project.

When you're building from scratch, you start with the foundation and build up. In a Christian marriage, the foundation is Jesus Christ. He is the cornerstone. He is the rock you build on.

Josiah and I had this part already, praise God. (If you don't, but you'd like to know how, get with us!)

Nevertheless, even when you've built on a strong foundation, and you sincerely love your home, there are times when you need to do renovations.

Today, Josiah discusses how the Rebuilding phase of the remodel went down for HIM. You can catch up on what's already been written here:

Marriage Renovations: Intro
Marriage Renovations: Demo Day HER Way
Marriage Renovations: Demo Day HIS Way
Marriage Renovations: Blueprints HER Way
Marriage Renovations: Blueprints HIS Way
Marriage Renovations: Rebuilding HER Way

This is a hardhat area, folks. Strongholds are falling.

PHASE 3: Rebuilding - Josiah Style

Where there is no guidance, a people falls,
but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety.”
Proverbs 11:14

Unfortunately, I've come to a point of realization when I look at the churches across America, and men in general, and I see few mentors.

I feel like we are watching the decline of Christian leaders and Christianity because of a lack of guidance.

Like with our dance lessons, the only way to be an effective leader is to have followed close enough to someone who is an effective leader and who takes time to invest in you.

Our men's ministry is not non-existent, but as far as I'm aware, there aren't really men reaching out to other men and training them for anything in any capacity. Our church does a fantastic job at children's ministry, but I feel that's where a lot of masculine input and time ceases.

In speaking to one man, I asked him why the men's ministry at our church was stagnant, and would he be involved in it if it existed.

The answer? “It would have to be worth my time. I don't get very much of it, and I don't want it to be wasted.” Not word for word, but that was certainly the message.

A friend of ours, and I chimed in at almost the same time, “Okay, so what WOULD be worth your time?”

I feel like this is a common thread, but more than likely it is NOT the right question. In order to get the right answer, you have to ask the right question sometimes, right?

Perhaps the right question should lie along the lines of “Why on earth don't we care about teaching men on how to be men, fathers, on things of God, on how to not just follow rules but to develop a true love and passion for our God and for our spouses in such a way our childrens' lives will be changed?”

There is a shorter phrase for this statement...

“Why are we content at failing the call of The Great Commission to make disciples?”

I have had people teach me along the way on how to paint, how to write, how to read, how to drive...

I've had input on how to be a Christian, what a man of God looks like, and on how to parent, but I don't feel like I've had a lot of input on what it is to be a Christian leader.

I need it, though.

Not only that, I know other guys need it. And I know a lot aren't getting it.

I can't help but feel like that is why this generation of young people are leaving the church in alarming numbers.

There is a severe lack of men who are willing to lean on other men when they need it, because they don't feel there are other men they CAN lean on.

I firmly believe that a lot of the men who don't feel they have someone to lean on when they need it is because no one has invested the time or the energy in them in order to guide them BEFORE they needed it.

An ounce of prevention IS better than a pound of cure, right?

Our wives are begging us to lead. They need it whether or not they act like they want it, or would even admit that they want it.

I left the marriage retreat weekend KNOWING that if we truly care about the marriages in our church, and we truly care about marriages period, then the focus can't be to try to save marriages so much as it has to be to train and disciple men.

I don't know exactly what this will look like yet, but I've had some walls that have had to come down in this remodel.

I've had to face walls of pride and of excuses. I expect to face other people's walls of pride and excuses as well.

But I will plan, I will move with purpose, and I will persevere.

It's much like going to the gym.

You can say you don't have the time, but you do. You have to make it.

You don't have the time? Put your cell phone down for a minute. Turn the video games off. Turn the TV off.

Your high scores won't make a difference to anyone, or in anyone. Certainly not in 5 years.

You knowing the results of a game, catching up on the latest TV series isn't going to help much either in the long run.

Sure, it may be a conversation entry point, and I'm not saying there shouldn't be any down time.

But instead of finding ways to wind down, we should be focused on ways to train up.

I liked this quote a lot: “Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.” - Albert Schweitzer

I have to break through.

James 1:5-6 says: 

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God,
who gives generously to all without reproach,
and it will be given him. 
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting,
for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea
that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

This is my prayer. It may have been James' prayer, and he certainly encouraged others to pray it.

So now it's mine.

I have to be a better leader.

I know no better way to do that than to be a better follower of God.

For my wife. For my kids. For me. For my Church.

For my God.

God isn't done with me, and I'm sure there are more walls to come down.

Alissa's isn't the ONLY life under construction, after all.

I am God's temple for renovation.

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