Monday, June 26, 2006

Breaking the curse

I was having a conversation the other day with a couple of men, and I asked the question, “When did you become a man?” There was a long pause until one shared the story of his father. He was the classic few words kind of man who grew up in the thirties and forties. He also was in the Navy. When my friend became old enough for the draft, his father drove him down to the draft board. He parked the car got out and did something he had never done before. He looked his son directly in the eye, shook his hand, and then just said, “Goodbye son”. My friend told me that his father had never shaken his hand before. He said that it was a moment that he has not forgotten. It was a moment that told him he was now transitioning into manhood.

Can you imagine that? Something seemingly as small as a hand shake can send a powerful message to a young man? I wonder if we had even more “intentional” moments (as other cultures do) where we create memories and teach lessons, we could change the course of our children’s lives. Many young men are getting no messages from there fathers and are left to themselves. I believe that the cause of Christ suffers greatly because of the present confusion concerning real manhood. In fact the Good News when received is intended to have a direct impact on fathers and their children.

"He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse ." Mal. 4:6

The lack of connection between fathers and sons in our culture, made worse by broken homes and the busyness of our lives, has left many young men with a masculine identity crisis (the curse). Our sons are looking to their fathers for direction. Fathers are searching for real answers in their attempts to not only express an authentic masculinty themselves, but also guide their sons into manhood. This is the critical issue we are seeking to address during this season at New Community. We believe we have good news for men.
In his book, “Raising a Modern Day Night” using the example of the knight, Robert Lewis shows a way to point our sons to manhood with clear ideals:

  • a vision for manhood
  • a code of conduct
  • a transcendent cause

The pattern of advancement from page to knight provides fathers with a coherent process for guiding their sons to manhood. The numerous suggestions for ceremonies equip dads with a variety of means to celebrate and validate their sons' achievements. I recommend this book to all who are raising boys in this challenging culture of masculine confusion.

But before we raise our children to be healthy adults, we must do some work ourselves. This is why we are calling all men to join us in the resistance. The pull of gravity on men’s hearts is strong, holding many down. That is why we have designed this entire month’s church-wide emphasis encouraging men. We are seeking to fire our engines and get off the launch pad with as much thrust as possible to break the force of gravity and create positive momentum forward for as many men who will go on the journey. We intend to break the curse and connect men with a clear vision of authentic masculinity.

I invite all of our men to be present this Wednesday or Thursday night for our first of three men’s gatherings. Only one night is necessary (unless you are hard-headed).

Dinner and part 1 of “Uncovering Authentic Masculinity” @ 6:30-8:00 PM.

Ladies please do everything possible to make easy for your husbands to attend. Men I’ll see you there!


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