Thursday, June 15, 2006

The kind of man I want to be

We have begun a month-long discussion about masculinity. If you will permit me today, I would like to tell you the kind of man I want to become. I suspect other men have similar desires. After all, no man wants to be a loser. He wants to be a winner. I think what sometimes happens to us as men is our vision gets blurred after a few hard years and hard knocks that life inevitably gives us. We can lose sight of what is most important.

For over fifteen years now I have admired a particular man that embodies so much of what I want to be found in my life. King David from the Bible is that man. A Warrior poet is the best way to describe him I think. He had a heart as big a Dallas and fierce desire. It is no secret that his desires got him in trouble from time to time but his desire always led him back to God whom he had learned to love and trust deeply.

David was not afraid to fight for what he believed in. He fought many battles throughout his life. Often he was out-gunned, out-matched, but still faced the odds and prevailed. In spite of early success, for many years David probably felt like a failure as he waited for his dreams to be realized. It was during these difficult years that he developed his ability to write incredible music and literature. David had a passion for the arts and still inspires people today with his amazing work.

I connect with the desire to fight and inspire. I want to fight for the hearts of men and women-to inspire them to pursue God and His vision for their lives. I enjoy artistic expression and believe it is a gift from God to be used to lift people-to speak to their lives and call out the best in them.

I also want to be an unselfish lover and friend to my wife. I desire to deeply enter into our relationship-to explore her heart like I used to explore the woods near my house for hours on end as a boy. She truly is an amazing woman who has much to offer to so many. I am amazed by her as I watch her continually blossom as a person and pursue her goals. As her friend I am learning to support her dreams as if they were my own. Don’t get me wrong, I can just as selfish and insensitive as the next guy but that is not who I want to be and I am learning to do so much better in our marriage. I want her to truly know that I love her. I want to stay with her for the rest of my life.

Another desire I have is to be a strong and compassionate father. My son Sam is calling new aspects of my heart forward. The way he looks at me is humbling-I have no other way to describe it. He depends on me. He trusts me. He admires me. He sees me as his model replicating my moves and behaviors-yikes! He needs my strong heart to emerge. He needs my interest, attention, affirmation, wisdom and my compassion. Am I up to this? I had better be!

When Samuel Wise Bennett was born I named him after Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings”. He was such a loyal friend to Frodo that my heart was deeply moved by his example. No one achieves anything of consequence in this life without key, difference-making friends.

According to scripture a “faithful friend” is hard to find and my greatest desire for Sam is my own personal desire-to be a good friend to those close to me. I have failed at this a couple of times. I hope I have learned better as I move into the future. I want my friends to know my protection, support and encouragement. I also want to be their friend for the rest of my life.

Most importantly, I want to be a committed follower of Jesus. I want to honor him throughout my life and grow to become like Him. His challenge to come and “follow Him” is without question the hinge upon everything else I have mentioned today swings. If I fail here, then I will likely fail everywhere else. His teachings are filled with wisdom, encouragement, and demand discipline and focus. I want pattern my life after Him.

Jesus was the most courageous leader the world has ever seen. He took ordinary men like myself and caused them to believe they could do the impossible. He was not afraid of anyone or anything. He took risks and made decisions. He developed people who changed the world. The church that I lead deserves Christ-like leadership and I want to provide it. I want to influence the world around me for Jesus Christ. I want to be a courageous leader who makes a difference in this world.

This is the man I want to become. Will I make it? By God’s grace I will!


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