One phrase that spoke volumes to me was spoken by Bishop T.D. Jakes. He said in his book He-Motions: Even Strong Men Struggle “Every boy needs a father, and a man does too”. It gave me the opportunity to reflect and think about my childhood, growing up into life, finding my path in life, discerning God’s plan for me, and finding my identity and significance. The challenges of being a man is high, being a man of God requires more of the man.
Not often do you hear men share their struggles, failures and need for support and help. Different societies, cultures and families have set stereotypes for bringing up male children. The stakes are often set high and the boy is taught that being emotional is a sign of weakness. We tend to portray the superman we often aren’t in order to hide our insecurities, doubts and fears about the struggles that lies ahead. Some take it a step further by intimidating others by making them feel so small is they feel high up and have arrived.
The male world can be a struggle and it takes a man to survive in it. The desire for significance, personal fulfilment, overcoming peer pressure and sexual temptations, providing for the family and leading the home are all challenges the man faces. Failure in any of these battle fields would create a dent in his ego, especially when his peers seems to be winning their battles. It is in situations like this that the spouse is invaluable to help and support.
A man needs a father to point him in the right direction, to give him assurance and hope for the future. How so true this is! Facing life on your own can be a fierce battle, not knowing what lies ahead can be daunting. You need the best help and advice you can get and who else can be the best source of wisdom, the father of course.
While some men could be orphans, have fathers that neglected them or that are never around, the father that gives you your identity does not necessarily have to be the biological father. In this sense, the father figure is a mentor, a man full of wisdom, one that you can look up to, the man that believes in you and is able to draw out the best in you. The man that even in your darkest hour would not abandon you but stand by you cheering you on as you run the race of manhood. You can have many teachers but true fathers are rear.
Bishop TD Jakes also said that “there is a king in every kid and in a kid in every king”, the one you speak to will be the one to respond. We have gifting enough to be kings, but issues enough to be kids. We show people our king and hide our kid, the issues we have and don’t want the next man to know. Our innermost prayer most often is ‘don’t let the kid in me kill the king in me’, don’t let the immature part of me drown the talents, gifting God has given to me.
The stakes and expectation are even higher as a man of God. Men of God are expected to be infallible and perfect, without emotions and able to provide solutions to every problem. Many people fail to realise that men of God are first men and then men of God. They fail to realise that they are human with flesh and blood. It can be difficult trying to be perfect but the grace of God is always sufficient. No wonder the bible admonishes us to accord our leaders double honour as they labour in the faith. The Lord is our strength.
Dallas-based preacher Bishop T.D. Jakes turns his attention to “a man’s relationships,” using the many-sided King David as his starting point. Jakes is by no means the first writer to troll David’s story for insights into masculinity, but he brings an inimitable combination of street smarts and worldly panache to the task.
He also draws on the stories of countless men who have come to him for advice on coping with success and failure, sex and love, and relating to their fathers and sons.
Bishop T. D. Jakes offers clarity, healing, and restoration to a generation of men-both believers and nonbelievers-confused about their purpose, vision, and roles in today’s complex culture. He urges men to let Jesus take hold of their limitations and bondages and to come forth into the light of all God has planned for them.
Now the book and easy-to-use workbook are combined in one volume for individual study and small group discussion.
The story of Samson is the perfect vehicle to reveal the twelve tendencies that can bring down strong men, including disregarding their boundaries, struggling with lust, ignoring good advice, and overestimating their own cleverness.
Written in a compassionate, funny, and practical style, The Samson Syndrome offers men powerful ideas for making sure they use their greatest strengths to honour God in every situation. Includes study questions for personal or group use.
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.