Monday, March 4, 2019

Devotion 3.4.19

When you think of manhood, who comes to your mind?  Who do you picture . . . ?

No picture with this devotion is provided - I want you to really imagine something.  A person, maybe even a place or an object.  Maybe there are a few images that come to mind.

Why do these things come to your mind?  And given the devotions we’ve studied the last couple of weeks that discuss manhood through the lens of “king”, “warrior”, “magician”, and “lover” what would some good images be.  And when I say that, I  mean what are some mature images that are associated with these types of manhood?

Part of the struggle we have is that it’s one thing to reflect on being a mature man, but during our day we’re assaulted by a million things which challenge that. We have coworkers who belittle or betray us.  We have kids that talk back. We have media that surround us showing immature men or tempt us to go places in our minds that betray our values.  So what do we do in the midst of this struggle?

One technique mentioned in the book is to put an image squarely in our mind that is mature.  Maybe even to pair that image up with a phrase.  To borrow an earlier illustration, maybe you imagine General Patton and hear in your mind the phrase, “We are not holding anything, we are constantly advancing.”  So when the day is overwhelming you from a million directions and the instinct to pull back comes, you imagine Patton, you see his face, and you hear that quote, and you remember that God would not have you retreat, he would have you look the challenges you’re facing in the eye and strategically decide what you’re taking on next, where you’re advancing.

This is the concept of invoking and imagining.  Each of the traits we’ve mentioned have Scriptures I’ve associated with them and you can find others.  (e.g. for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Tim. 1:7)   Memorize just a few and put some image with them, so that when you feel that side of yourself challenged, you’re prepared and you have a place to go for strength, a place to go to remind yourself that masculinity is not toxic, but in its maturity,  it is an incredible gift from God.

Dan Borkenhagen
Associate Pastor
Hope Lutheran Church & School

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