If you want to attract an honorable lady, be an honorable man.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Soft Men

We've all seen the movies - ripped guy taking on millions of foes, wiping the field clean and dirt from his forehead. Sword swinging, guns blazing, bullets and blades seeming to bounce off of him as he does his daring deeds of duty. 

And then we've all seen the contrast. In some cases, stark contrast. 

No comments needed there. 

Anyway, with all the wimpy guys in today's society, the reformed circles have seen a shift away from the wimpy-Jimmy syndrome, and towards embracing a more masculine figure. We wear jeans and leather boots, with a tan on our arms, and a few scars here and there telling stories of braving the hazards of cattle chutes and sheep pens.

That was the country boy version, just for your information. Feel free to substitute whatever manly attributes you prefer to give you the proper mental picture.  

We have tried to shun that whole softie thing - were tough boys now. You can bounce rocks off our chest and watch us take on a charging sheep single handed. 

We are doing our best to restore the Biblical image of manhood, like David's mighty men of old. We don't usually run into 800 men in one sitting that all have the collective need of being given a one-way ticket to the other side of eternity, all stamped and signed with a sword swung by us - but we do our best to handle whatever runs in our way. 

Let me tell you, I am all for that. I am all for the muscles and camo and guts and glory, but I want to bring a slight caution to the wooden table where all the hot-chocolate of victory is drank and the war stories are swapped. 

Although there is such a drive in our society for soft men, there is also an equal force driving the society towards hard men - just hard in different areas. Surprisingly, the messages are coming from the same guy - the bad guy. 

Let me see if I can give you a visual.

Picture Dwayne Johnson.  

Dwayne in usually pictured in movies as a whopping tough dude - with big muscles, big guns, cool moves, and a 'you can't touch me' attitude. The picture perfect tough guy. 

But his hardness is instantly revealed - if you try to picture him holding a baby.


Wow - talk about a visual train wreck. 

Holding babies is too .... soft ..... for tough guys. That's just not for tough guys.

The hardness that runs from all appearance of weakness, tenderness, and sympathy, even down to holding a baby.

There is the hardness - an internal hardness - a cold hardheartedness that reaches out to modern men's actions, and gives us the impression that to be a tough guy means you have to be invulnerable on the inside - nothing can touch that core of....whatever is down there. Or actually, the real tough guys don't even feel - no feeling of happiness, pain, joy, heartache, remorse, guilt, or worst of all - love. 

Nothing touches heart strings - no blood, guts and gore, romance, reunions or relations - nothing penetrates. 

Folks, that was me. I was a plank in the outside, completely cut off from what was inside.

But this isn't about that whole 'letting the real you out' topic. This takes another - but similar topic.

It's about being soft with those who don't require lessons to be taught with a six-shooter or sword. People like your mom, your siblings, or if you are one of that privileged upper class, your wife.

1 Peter tells us to live with our wives in an understanding manner - and being as hard as nails towards them doesn't quite qualify.

I heard a girl say once - through a third party - that no girl wants a hard-hearted man. A man that is so cold-hearted towards his wife and kids that it drive them further and further away. Girls - wives - want love. Not sensual love, but the real kind - the kind that doesn't come from a hard heart.

In fact, God puts a boot in the seat of Israel several times for having hard hearts - granted, it was for having a hard heart towards God, but it still was a hard heart. Pharaoh had a whopping hard heart - look where that landed him!

My Pastor says often that our earthly relationships are a glance at our heavenly relationships. If we are being hard-hearted towards our family, our wives, or anybody for that matter, it probably is a good sign you are hard hearted towards God.

God urges us several times to soften our hearts, and warns that a stick-necked person who is corrected time and time again, will be destroyed once and for all 'and that without remedy'.

So this is kinda a warning - warning against being the Dwayne Johnson kinda tough, where we shun all appearances of tenderness and weakness, and go for the visual of a stone. Maybe that's how Dwayne Johnson got his nickname "The Rock".....

This is a call to be the kind of tough where you are tough on the outside, but are soft inside.

Soft men - it sounds so gross, but it actually is what God calls for.

I hope this doesn't sound preachy. : ) It's just been on my mind lately, and I thought I would throw it out there for you all. Sorta a random ramble.

This is just a reminder to be soft on the inside, soft to our wives and families, soft to the ladies in our lives, soft to the men in our lives, and most importantly, soft towards God. Let him guide you, and don't get hard towards him.

I was going to end this post with some fitting visual analogy about being soft on the inside and physically tough on the outside, but I couldn't think of any. Phooey.

So I guess I'll just end it here. : )


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ready to be a Mom?

So you gals out there all want to be moms some day - you up for the challenge? : D

Try not to die laughing - I nearly did. My parents gave up trying to understand me reading it to them.

Long live mothers! 
.... and look cheerful. :) 

Thursday, January 9, 2014


There is a a movie I enjoy - The Patriot as a matter of fact - that has a stunning line.

Benjamin Martin - Mel Gibson - is asked why he is not willing to fight nor vote to send other people to fight against the British. He says that he has a family to look after, and he has to take care of them. The man questioning him throws in a nailer.

"Mr. Martin, I thought you were a man of principle."

Mr. Martin swallows, and says 
"Apparently I don't have the luxury of principle,"
and sits back down.  

The luxury of principle - as if we can only stick to principle when it's sunny and balmy, and then eventually real life sets in and we have to enter the real world and compromise. 

I ran into that the other day. I had my first job interview, and had high hopes. Trying to get a good paying job so I can start towards getting a family going. I was qualified for the job, and could do well at it. 

I was offered an ultimatum - work on Sundays - or no job. I told him my stance - I was a Christian, and Sundays were important. I'll work long hours on any other day of the week - but I want Sundays for Church. He understood, but he had a business to run.

The luxury of principle - did I have it?

I was told that the line of work I was applying for was retail - with retail, the busiest days of the week are weekends - Sunday especially. If I was to work there, they needed me to come in when they needed me. After all, it wouldn't be fair to give me all Sundays off and none to the next guy. We have a business to run here, and we need you to be flexible on days. 

So I was told, as I sat in the managers office and pondered my next move.

Wow, that makes it sound more like a chess game doesn't it? 

Anyhow, I got a few days to think it over, and left in a pretty sobered mood. 

This post isn't meant to argue the point of whether or not you should work on Sundays - or whether or not the Sabbath is Saturday, should we move Church to Saturday, is Sunday a pagan thing, and all those interesting and time consuming topics. 

This is a post about what you believe in.

Basically, the situation came down to this - what you believe, or a job. Pick one, but they don't come together in these four walls. 

So, what do I do? I have lots of good sounding arguments both ways. One way, I will honor the Sabbath, attend the gathering of the saints, and stick to my (maybe naive) principle. The other way, I use my liberty on the Sabbath principle, and do the manly and Christian thing and start getting the preparations ready for marriage, provide for a family and such. 

Which side of the fence do I fall on? Either way I land has some rocks that won't feel so pretty.

But lets step back and look at this for a minute from a larger perspective. In reality, this is a tiny thing - it's just a job - this isn't life or death, food or famine situation. I don't have mouths to feed, or bills I can't pay. 

So what do I do with my conviction on Sundays? Does principle or practicality win the day? 

The situation boils down to a bigger issue than just jobs and Sundays though. It goes all the way back to something way bigger with way more potential. 

Your Character. 

There are two types of convictions. There is preference, and there is belief. Preference is my opinion of facial hair, jeans, makeup and music. I have opinions, backed with principle and a few verses here and there (and a few cases of sheer dogged determination...). 
Then there is belief. Stuff like Biblical patriarchy, purity before marriage, self defense, and yes, Church. 

Fudging on preference as the case may need, can sometimes be wisdom - sometimes not.  

Fudging on principle is downright deadly. 

Shaving isn't a sin - I don't like it but it isn't a sin. I could (God forbid.....) fudge on that. I believe makeup is OK on girls, and won't get all bent out of shape if someone says they think it is wrong. I think they are wrong, but hey, liberty is the right to be wrong...

Belief is something that we can never fudge on - ever. It's one of those things that is like a crack in a windshield - once it's there, you know it will grow, and grow, and grow, and grow.

Then shatter.

If you were willing to fudge on Sundays - which for the sake of argument, lets just call in the preference side, since we know God had given some liberty there in the NT -  what difference does it make? Really? What's the big deal?

I was even probably going to get afternoon hours, so I could get to stay through most of church, then just bug out for the last tiny bit. Did it really matter?

I decided it did.      

If I decided to compromise on my beliefs here, where would I be willing to compromise next?  If I was willing to fudge on the small beliefs, what would stop me from fudging on the big ones?  It was church this time - what if it was modesty the next time? What if was drinking the time after?

And what if it was my purity at stake the time after that? Would I have compromised so far already that I would have no ounce of moral spinal-cord left?

Once you start compromising, it is a slippery slide downwards towards mediocrity and spinelessness.
The windshield of your life will crack further and further till it finally shatters all over you and your loved ones, leaving everything a wreck.

People all over say to get along in the world - politics especially - people - those rigid legalistic Christians especially - need to learn to compromise. They say only when we set aside our personal beliefs and such and meet halfway, can we ever find a happy medium.

I say never on my watch.

I called the manager back yesterday, and told him thanks for all his time, but I would keep looking.

Thank God, I decided to stand on the little things. I don't regret it one bit, and will keep looking for jobs, knowing that God will provide when I do my best to honor him.

So this is a man/woman up post. Stand on your conviction, no matter the consequences, or no matter who doesn't stand with you. After all, you can't stand out if you fit in.

I have a line on the end of my emails, paraphrased from General Stonewall Jackson.

"Duty is ours - Consequences are God's"