Brave: People of Character in a World of Chaos

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This morning. I just have the privilege to introduce a special speaker to our church family. Some that you’ve some of you have gotten to know this weekend at Men’s Retreat and doing an introduction for him. It’s just it’s a little bit difficult because when you’ve known someone your whole life and Lord’s use them instrumentally in as God’s tool to to your own faith, there’s really not much you can cram into 30s that will give that justice. But. Pastor J. Holland is a pastor in Stuart, Florida. I’ve had the privilege of knowing him since I was in of high school into college. He was actually my wife’s youth pastor. So all the great stories you want to hear about Stacey J. Holds in his hand. Don’t let him leave without hearing those. But I was also the punk kid that was lost and desperately needed Christ and didn’t know how much I was in need of Christ in my life. And I was a rude kid. On top of that, living for the world’s pleasure. And J was the one that the Lord used beyond that rudeness that I displayed towards someone that loved the Lord and continued to reach out his hand towards me because of what Christ has done for Him. And God ultimately used that in my own life and coming to know him and just giving my life to him to the point that he even performed the wedding for my wife and I.

So it’s been a few years since he’s been able to be here. He’s kind of seen the history of our church as we’ve grown throughout the years. So it’s been a while since he’s been able to come back and visit, but it’s with joy. This morning I get the opportunity to introduce Pastor J. Holland to us. And so everyone give him a welcome for coming being with us. Thank you. It’s nice we can do introductions without crying. So we’re we’re progressing in our relationship a little bit, so that’s good. It’s really good to be here, guys. It’s it’s really a joy to be here. My my first trip to Utah. I’m going to play with this a little bit tonight. My first trip to Utah was about 11 years ago, and Nathaniel was actually interning at a church in Eagle Mountain. And I remember driving up here with him and him just talking about Lehigh and how there’s there’s really no established Christian church that’s really kind of gotten outside of somebody’s home. And just hearing him talk and praying burden for this city and then driving with him to Utah or not Utah, Wyoming to pick up Stacy, who was at Frontier of the Bible School of the Bible. I think it was in that trip. I don’t know. Life runs together, but. Let me just tell you, I’ll say some of the things that maybe pastors are never allowed to say.

And and I do this like I love this couple so much. And, man, you’re getting some of the best of West Virginia, let me tell you that. You got, you know, West Virginia, by the way, West Virginia is like bleeding dry because all of the best people are coming to Utah to work. So. But this couple gold, they’re just if you’re just visiting Alpine, I don’t. I don’t know who’s here for the first time or who’s been here forever. You just you just. This church is led by just one of the. God’s choices couples. And. And if I lived within 50 miles of here, this is where my church home would be. And just spending time with you guys at men’s retreat like you have something very, very special. Very special. And so I encourage you to be thankful for that and to take care of it. And then also, I just want to encourage you guys. Because this is one they’re never allowed to say, take care of your pastor and his wife. They have gone and and I know they’re not the only one. I know that this church just wouldn’t happen without tremendous sacrifice from a lot of people. You guys are really involved. And I know with them, too. They have left family. They have left what would now be grandparents of their kids. And they carry the burden of of all of you guys. Like that’s just a weight that they have.

And so what I want to encourage you is, look, this this is probably never going to be the biggest church in the world. This may not be the biggest church in Utah ever. You may not ever have the greatest financial resources. But there is one thing that you have a choice on. You can have a pastor and his wife who are the most cared for by their church of any church in the country. And that’s your choice. And you can do that. And I just encourage you to do that, because otherwise I’m going to recruit him to Florida so hard and I would have no problem getting my church to hire them on. And then once he gets there, figuring out why we hired him and what he’s supposed to do. So same thing for Tyler. All right. I’ll just take them both. But no, then God would be really mad at me if I did that. So you’re probably safe. Let’s pray. Lord, thank you for this day. Thank you for this time that we have together. And, God, I just. It’s so special to be with the people of Jesus here. And Father, I pray that you would use this time to encourage and teach and instruct each of us. And, Father, I pray that your Holy Spirit would be the teacher. God, I know that everybody walks in here from a different, different place in life. And even though sometimes our stories have some similarities, everybody’s got different stuff on their mind this morning and everybody’s heart’s in a different place.

But there is one commonality. We just desperately need Jesus And Lord, without you, without your guidance, we’re lost and we’re hopeless. So I pray that we would walk out of here more encouraged in your word, and also with a clear vision of what you would have us do in our life. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen. All right. Have you guys ever walked in in the middle of a movie as it’s going on and you like, you just see something bizarre happening in the movie and you’re trying to figure out, like, how did they get to here? Like, this is a strange spot. You guys ever had that experience? I can’t see you because these lights, I’m just going to assume you’re all going like this right now. Well, I think that’s like you could you could kind of make a similar parallel to where we are in culture and society right now. Like if you just dropped in to our culture and you turned on any news channel, you’d be like, how did we get here? And and it reminds me of a particular passage in the Bible that I’m actually going to just drop in on the middle of because I feel like this is kind of where we are. And in in Romans chapter one, I’m going to figure out how to do the clicky.

What do I press here? Whew. All right. Romans Chapter one, starting in verse 28. And by the way, there’s been a build up to this section where God, where Paul has said that people saw God and even though they saw the truth of God, they didn’t acknowledge it and they decided to do their own thing. And it just kind of catalogs depravity. And then you get down to this section and it says, And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Excuse me. And though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them, but they give approval to those who practice them. And doesn’t that just sound like what we’re in the middle of right now? Like if you just look at so many different areas of culture and society, it’s just like we’re right in the middle of that. And this morning, my my point is not to rail against culture and society. We know what’s going on in the world. The question is not even like, how did we get here right now? But.

But how could we go back? Like, how could my concern I have a 14 year old daughter, an eight and seven year old boys and a five year old girl. And if I just leave it to their schools and to their media and to their culture to give them a vision of what they should be and who they should be, I have no hope at all for how they’re going to turn out. And so the question then is, what could we do in order to set some kind of standard, some kind of biblical, godly standard to go by so that wherever we are in life, whatever stage we’re in, in life, whatever stage our kids are in, we have a core understanding of who we are, what we should be, and where we should be headed. So our purpose this morning is we want to lay out a clear vision of biblical manhood and womanhood. So we talked about this a lot. If you were at men’s retreat, we talked about manhood the whole time. And this morning I’m going to fire hose manhood and womanhood into like 30 minutes of what we did for three days this weekend. So hope you really got your daylight savings time sleep on because you’re going to be a lot. Our purpose is a clear vision of biblical manhood and womanhood that you can understand, that you can practice, that you can recognize when you see it in others and are able to affirm it in them, and also that you can teach to others.

So my goal by the end of the day is that you would be able to see this, grasp this, be able to figure out how to put it in practice in your own life and be able to teach others as well. And so the basis that we’re going to go off of for what does the Bible say about manhood and womanhood is all the way back to the beginning of the Bible. And in Genesis chapter one, verse 26 and 27, we see the true essence of who we are. We see in Genesis chapter one, verse 26 and 27, it says, Then God said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing and the things that creep on the earth. So God made man in his own image, in the image of God. He made them male and female. He created them. All right. There’s so much packed into that one little passage here. But God says, let’s make man in our own image. And then it says, he made them. And when he made man in his image that word man, the first time you see it, it’s meaning humanity because he goes on in Moses in Genesis.

He goes on to explain. That in the image of God you have male and you have female. And so one of the first points you want to understand is the crown work now. And this is awesome. When I think of being in Utah and seeing the Majestic Mountains and out here at nighttime, you can see the starry skies of the night and the beauty and majesty of creation. But when you go to the Bible and you see what is the crown work of creation? The crown work of God’s handiwork is human life. Human life. And it’s not just male life. All right. So when it says God made man in the image of God, God made male in the image of God, God made female in the image of God, that’s really vital because we are in a time and a culture. And this I don’t think it’s I don’t think this has ever been different. Just the way it goes about is different. Females are just devalued, right? You see that in our culture. But you see that in the Middle East. You see that in Asia. And if you go back through the history books, it’s just been the way things have been. But it’s not the way that God created it. God created us of equal value. But. Different by design. Different by design. And. My understanding of this.

God. God is making man. God is making woman. God is making us to be the the chief image of his creation. Only creation made in the image of God. These mountains out here, even though they reflect the power and majesty of God, they’re not made in the image of God. The stars you see at night and then seeing in the Hubble telescope and all of the beauty of the galaxies, phenomenal, reflecting the power of God, the creativity of God, but not made in his image. But male and female made in his image. And and I think the reason that he made male and female in his image and some of this is, again, my opinion, but not just based out of thin air. Number one is God is God, is Trinity, father, Son and Holy Spirit. So part of God is image is loving relationship from eternity past. God has always been and God has always been in loving relationship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And so to be made in the image of God means to be made capable of loving relationship. You know, you can have pets and it can look like they love each other, but they don’t. We just project Disney emotions onto our animals. You and I are made in loving relationship, not only to be in loving relationship with one another, but to be in loving relationship with God. And you go to to John 15 and Jesus says, My prayer, Father, is that my disciples would have the same love for one another that you and I have for each other, and that we could share that fellowship with them as well.

So part of the image of God is that we are made to be capable of loving. Fully loving relationship and fully loving interaction with God. But the other part is that we there’s a command that comes right after this in Genesis where he says, be fruitful and multiply and replenish the Earth, have dominion over it, over the fish of the air, fish of the air, birds of the sea. Something like that. We have been created by God to be his representative, rulers and stewards of creation. We are to bring order to things that are chaos because that’s what God does. He sees that he does it in our life. He brings order to the chaos, and he’s created us to reign and rule on this earth in a sense over his creation as his representatives, not as God ourselves, but as his representatives. In the end, the end picture in Revelation is not just we die and go to heaven, but it talks about a new heavens and a new earth. And the picture of the Bible is that we will reign and rule with Jesus over his new heavens and new Earth. To the degree that we’ve been faithful stewards of what he’s given us here.

That’s way off of what I meant to talk about. So I’m going to come back. Men and women are different by design, but I want you to see all the other side is I think that God, because he’s so powerful, because God is so complex and so majestic. There’s no way that just mail can reflect all of the image of God and there’s no way that just female can, you know, God is omni everything in a sense. So I think I think when we say that they’re made by God, but they’re made different by design, it’s because God has made men to reflect certain characteristics of him and women to reflect certain characteristics of him. And when you see the beautiful perfected picture of it all together, you get a better understanding of who God is. So here’s one of the examples of the way men and women are different by design. Okay. And some of you may have heard this example before, some maybe not. So when I think of men and the way that men think about things, men’s brains, I think if you just open this up inside and I know some of you guys may be doctors don’t don’t dispute me on this. I know what I’m talking about. If you open up a man’s brain, it’s shaped like a waffle. All right. How’s that? So and guys lives. Guys have this incredible ability to compartmentalize everything. So this is how guys can have friends who, like, share one common hobby.

And they may be total trash in every other area of their life, but we can have a lifelong relationship together. Like my basketball buddies can break every commandment before breakfast, but as long as they’re cool on the basketball court, we can sustain a 30 year relationship together. Same thing. My work. Guys, this is fine in the work environment. I don’t care what they do at home. Like I can compartmentalize women. If you open up their heads, it’s like a big bowl of spaghetti. And what do I mean by that? Everything touches everything else. Everything touches everything else. So, you know, that’s why a lot of times, you know, women in relationships, they can never stand for the way guys do relationships because, like, how can you if a guy can have one commonality and everything else be off? It’s it’s kind of like the women struggle sometimes. And the other way, if one thing is off, like it’s kind of an irritating source in the whole relationship. Now you can see as these two get together, how difficult this could be, right? Because a guy could say something like, hey, you want to go out to eat and. And a female can interpret that as like, I wonder why? He said, Hey, do you want to go out to eat? Is it because he doesn’t like how I cook in my. Am I devaluing? Does he think I’m fat? You know, do I even really know who he is? And.

And the guy is thinking, I want to go out to eat. All right? Like, so. So when she says, Well, what do you mean by that? And you see that deer in the headlights look on his face. It’s it’s because that is the total depth of what he was talking about and really what he’s capable of. So you understand that there’s going to be some struggle in this relationship. This is why in my in my relationship with my wife, like I’m really good at strategy. I’m really good at focus. But she is the radar for the house, right? I can plan and vision out my kids lives, but I am blind to what they’re actually doing sometimes. And she picks up on these little, little subtleties of like Brooklyn capitalized that in her text. Okay, maybe her finger was stuck on the caps lock button and like, she’ll unweave it and find out this entire conspiracy that was happening because God has God has gifted many, many women in this way and it’s not 100% right. So like, I probably have a little bit of spaghetti on top of my waffle in my brain. So it’s not 100%, but just in general, this is really often how men and women are. So when you see that there’s this difference and you see that they’re different by design, and I’m not talking about different by design, like a man should always work and a woman should always stay home or a woman should be great at cooking and a man should be great at eating like these are.

These are cultural stereotypes that don’t really help. All right. Because if you go around the world and you see the core of way different cultures work, look, sometimes it’s the men that do all of the gardening in a culture because that’s the man’s work in that thing. And the women have to go out and chase down live animals. It just changes from culture to culture. So we’re not talking about tasks this morning. You know, who would I recommend cooking your house? Whoever’s better at cooking, that’s what I would recommend. Who would I recommend? Set the budget in your house. Whoever’s smarter with money. You know, it’s not like this is a man’s work. This is a woman’s work. You are. God made them male and female to work together as a helpers and to work together as a team to accomplish the will of God. But in their core identity of who they are. We do need some kind of fundamental vision of manhood and womanhood so that we see and take that off there for a second so that we see what’s the standard of what we should be and how can this affect the way that I interact with other men in my life? How does this affect the way that I interact with other women? And so what I want to lay out just for the rest a little bit of the time we have this morning, is a biblical vision of manhood and a biblical vision of of womanhood that that kind of goes to the core of who you are.

And so some of it is is a stiff arm against the sinful tendencies that we have inside us. And some of it is a positive affirmation of what God would have us do. So let’s start with men, and we’re going to use an acronym for both of these. We’re going to talk about a real man and a real woman. And so the first one, this is what we spent all weekend on at Men’s Retreat with the men, a real man. And it’s four things here. I’m waiting. Oh, that’s not it. There should be something come up, is it not? Coming up. Is there a is there a screen up there that says a real no before that? I wonder if it transferred blank, because if not, I can do it and you just might have to memorize it and write it down. There you go. Go ahead and lay all those out because apparently I’m not good at clicking. So a real man, number one rejects passivity. A real man rejects passivity, kind of at the core of what guys are. A lot of times in their sinful part is we like to kind of go on defaults and take a back seat when things need to be done.

We see the problem, but if we just hang back, somebody else will fix the problem. And so a real man, a godly man, doesn’t sit back and wait for it to solve itself, doesn’t wait for somebody to step up and do the job. A real man rejects passivity and gets involved. Number two, a real man expects God’s greater reward. What does this mean to expect God’s greater reward? A lot of this is delayed gratification. You know, a boy in our culture is filled with boys or stimulus response. Stimulus response. I have a craving and I need to immediately fulfill that craving. I have a relationship and I’m going to just pursue it to get what I want and what I need out of it. But a real man takes the long view. A real man expects that if I deny myself now, if I self sacrifice now, then God will reward me over the long term. God will reward me on this earth over the long term with better finances, better relationships, much more spiritual fruit. And God will reward me in eternity with with, you know, treasures that I can’t even fathom at this point in my life. So real man accepts God’s grace, expects God’s greater reward. Number three, a real man accepts responsibility. A real man accepts responsibility.

What does that mean when something goes wrong? Instead of shifting the blame, instead of looking for somebody else to pass the buck to? A real man steps up and acknowledges what they’ve done and takes responsibility for it. And sometimes what this means is you take responsibility even when you weren’t the cause. You take responsibility because this just we can’t live and what’s happening in politics right now. Whenever something happens, it’s deny, shift, blame, deny, shift, blame, deny, shift, blame. And nobody wants to take responsibility because everybody’s covering their own tail. And if just anybody would step up and say, you know what? I’m going to take I’m going to take the blame for mine. Like even in apologies that happen now, there was in the in the city that I’m in, in Stuart, Florida, there was this incident where the mayor was in a grocery store and a police officer came in. And the mayor trying to be funny, I guess, turns and says a comment. I didn’t know they were serving pig today. And this isn’t the first bad comment that this mayor has made over time, like really, really socially awkward comments to do with the police department. And it didn’t go over so well, surprisingly, with this police officer. And so what the mayor did was first denied that she ever said it and then said, no, I was I was making a comment on what they were selling in the store today.

Like I you know, I didn’t realize that they had salami or ham in there. And then finally, when like she’s totally pinch and hold and there’s a meeting of the city council. What she says is, I regret that the incident happened. Like, that’s not taking blame. That’s that’s not accepting responsibility. And the mayor at this point was a female. And it’s not just I’m giving you an illustration of that’s what happens in our culture now. Nobody you know what? You know how this could have ended so fast. She could have said. I was trying to be funny and I’m just not funny. And and I really apologize. And I’m going to make a commitment to never try to be funny again. And I’m just going to be the mayor. And it would have blown over completely. And it’s not like women shouldn’t accept responsibility, but I think the core sin tendencies of men are to shift blame or to shift blame. You know, you find this in arguments and husbands and wives both do this. But what happens in an argument if you get pigeonholed? You’re arguing with your spouse about something and you get pigeonholed and you get caught. What do you do? You bring in some other subject immediately, right? You deflect, Oh, I’m trapped. I got to bring in something else. And then all of a sudden you’re arguing about something that has nothing to do with the issue because you can’t just say, Oh, you’re right.

I’m sorry. I need to do that better. So real man accepts responsibility. And then finally, a real man leads courageously, leads courageously. So what does that mean? Why do you have to lead courageously? Because when you’re leading, you’re the one in front. You’re taking the hits, you’re taking the shots, and you don’t necessarily know where you’re going sometimes. And it’s real easy to stay in the middle of the pack and grumble and complain about what they should be doing. It’s really hard to be up there making the decisions. And men in our culture love to stay in the middle of the pack and critique everything that’s going on and never stick their neck out and not lead. So a real man leads courageously. This is important, ladies, for you all to see as well. This is very important. And I’m a youth pastor. I spend a lot of time every year teaching my teens this. Every single year I go over this manhood and womanhood stuff. And not only am I trying to build men, I’m trying to build the vision of women and say, Ladies, this is what you need to look for in a guy. And if you don’t see this, you need to run. You need to run. Because what happens is, is in relationships, a girl will often just look at how does this guy treat me? How does this guy treat me? And as long as he treats me okay, then, then then he’s good.

And what I tell the girls and I tell the guys this too, but I especially tell the girls because girls just get trapped in relationships a lot more. I say, if you have an interest in a guy, then start hanging around him in groups. Don’t. Don’t agree to go on a date with him. Start hanging around with him in groups. And while you’re in groups, don’t watch how he treats you. Watch how he treats the person that he has nothing to gain from. Watch how he treats the person that maybe is a little awkward or a little annoying, somebody that will in no way elevate his status because that’s who he really is. And there’s going to come a point where he has nothing to gain from you. And the way he treated that person is the way he’s going to treat you. And if you would just do this, you will save yourself so much heartache and so much pain. So that’s a real man. Let’s talk about a real woman. And you can go ahead and click those up because I can’t click a real woman. Four things. Number one, rejects worldly identity. A real woman rejects worldly identity. And what do I mean by worldly identity? Look, this world is trying to force all kinds of different false identities on women. One of them is that you are your body and your value is your body.

And as good as your body is, that’s as good as you are and you are a commodity for consumption. And your body is very important because without your body, we couldn’t sell cars or cheeseburgers. And you need to reject that. You need to reject that. God made women to be beautiful, but not to. You’re not a piece of meat. You’re not a piece of meat. And when a guy looks at you and just like if if you’re leading by displaying your physical assets, then you’re saying that is the thing of most value about me. This is the best that I have to offer. And a real godly woman can be confident in her beauty, can be confident in who God made her and doesn’t have to lead with it. So that’s one worldly identity. Another worldly identity that’s being pushed a lot is that men and women are exactly the same, that there’s no difference and that they they can do everything the same and they are the same. And we’re kind of getting to the point where and you can choose which one of them you want to be. It’s like, I can’t choose to be a porcupine. I just can’t. Like, I can call myself a porcupine, but it doesn’t make me a porcupine. And you need to reject this identity that we’re all the same. We’re not like, you’re amazing value of God the way that he’s made you.

Also the rejection of the fact that you’re inferior because you’re just not. You’re just not. You are made equal in the image of God, absolutely equal in the image of God. So the first one rejecting worldly identity, the only one that’s the same between these two is expecting God’s greater reward. And ladies godly ladies need to also expect God’s greater reward. What does this mean? Sometimes this means passing over a guy that maybe there’s potential in. But you see these gaping holes and you want to ignore them because it’ll work out and saying, You know what? If I just trust God and if I just if I just don’t rush into things now, God will reward me because either this guy will change and he’ll ultimately be what God wants or God will bring along that one, because I’m expecting God’s greater reward. That’s just one area. This is like you need to look at this in every area of your life and the way that you spend your money and the relationships that you’re willing to surround yourself with. And sometimes this means relational loneliness right now, not just on a male female level, but on a friendship level, because sometimes you look around and you’re like, You know what? My friends are just pulling me down. And I have two options right now. I can be with these friends or I can be lonely, and I’m going to choose loneliness with Jesus for a short period of time.

Trusting that God will bring the right people into my life. Trusting that God will bring the right people into my life. I remember having I had this friend who I had known for a number of years, and we were. We were both single at a time and I didn’t I didn’t have any interest in her. But like we were we were kind of close friends and around each other for a while. And my friend was, was trying to pursue Jesus and trying to follow Jesus. And she was also deciding to move in and live with a guy as a roommate. There was no romantic relationship, but she was aiming to move in and live with the guy as a roommate. And we were talking about relationships and I just told her, I said, Hey, you know what? If I was a guy who was pursuing Jesus and I met you. And I got to know you and got to like you. And then I found out that you were living with this guy. Even if you told me that there was no romantic interest in all, I would automatically cross you off my list of people I want to be around. Because you’re showing such poor judgment in this that I would walk away immediately. And so part of being a godly lady is saying short term sacrifice for long term reward.

Short term loneliness sometimes, again, not just in male relationships, but sometimes in friendships. You’ve got to back out of friendships and it’s going to be hard and it’s going to be lonely. But you’ve got to trust that God will reward it. God will bring in the people in your life and in the loneliness. He’s going to mold and shape things in you that he could never do otherwise. Sometimes you’ve got to be alone to be able to hear the voice of God. And when you’re surrounded, especially by idle chatter of of of drama and problems of those who just are leeches in your life. I mean, how are you going to hear the voice of God in that? So sometimes you expect God’s greater reward by this short term sacrifice, knowing if I do the hard thing, if I do the right thing, if I do the hard thing, if I do the right thing, God is faithful. God is faithful. The next acts with strength and wisdom acts with strength and wisdom. Women have a type of strength to them that I think is very unique. There’s a strength that comes with with women, let’s call it the like labor and delivery strength, maybe. Like that’s a good example of it. Like women endure things for a long period of time that guys would just check out of immediately. Like I can tell you, if God had designed it for men to carry babies, then the medical profession would have boomed 7000 years ago and we would have figured out C-sections, like right out of the Garden of Eden, because there ain’t no way that I’m going to be inconvenienced and carry this and be in that kind of excruciating pain.

So God has gifted women with this kind of long term strength and endurance. And women are called by God to act with strength. You’re not victims. You’re not, you’re not pushovers. But in this strength, there has to be wisdom. You know, part of the strength of women is a lot of times women. And I think because of maybe the spaghetti connections in their head when it comes to discussing things and when it comes to to reasoning things out, I’m not going to say arguing, but when it comes to like reasoning and discussing things, you see all of the connections and you can build this incredible case. But in doing so, sometimes you can just blast whoever you’re talking to. And so you like you have this verbal strength and reasoning strength, but you’ve got to bring wisdom into it. Sometimes it’s the time to talk and sometimes it’s the time not to talk. Sometimes it’s the time to step forward in something. And sometimes you just need to step back and let it be what it is and trust God for the wisdom. And then finally loves others, boldly loves others boldly.

What does that mean? How many? How many testimonies over time have you heard? Of a guy. Who is broken, who is rebellious, who is messed up. And it’s a praying mom. Was a praying grandma. Who brings him back to Jesus. It’s that. It’s. It’s that willingness to step into the mess. And love when it looks like all hope is gone. And this is something that God calls ladies to. Now, look, this is why you have to act with strength and wisdom, because you have to be careful like you can’t rescue everybody. Some people are in a spot where you just have to let things happen. So this is why you have to have all of these character qualities. You’re going to act with strength and wisdom and you’re going to love love others boldly. You’re going to get messy in the stuff of life and God’s going to use it. So these are the kind of the long definitions. These are the grown up adult definitions. But again, I’ve got kids and I teach teenagers, and in the heat of the moment, I have no expectation that my my guys are going to be like, you know, what I need to do is I need to I need to reject passivity right now. And I and I don’t expect that they’re going to be like, okay, I’m going to lead courageously because they can’t like, they just have a hard time remembering this stuff.

So. So we have dumbed this down. Not dumb this down. We’ve probably smartened it to like the five year old definition. And I’ll. And I’ll, I’ll give you a actually. No, I’ll just tell you about it. All right. Go to the next one. This is what from a little child I’ve taught my boys and it’s the core of this teaching here. You’re a man. That means that God made you strong to take care of others. You’re a man, that means that God made you strong to take care of others. And whenever my boys start to get out of line, I say, Hey, are you using your strength to take care of others? And it’s a way to call them back. And it’s really cool because every once in a while from their bedroom, I have my boys share a bedroom and they’re close to the same age, which means they fight. And the younger one, I’ll hear sometimes, Elijah, you’re not using your strength to take care of me as he’s, like, sitting on top of him, pummeling him. And I’m like, My heart gets so happy when I hear that because he’s getting it. He’s owning it. And this is this. This is a simple definition that you can own, that you can teach. And look, strength is not just physical strength. There’s a work ethic. There’s there’s intelligence, there’s finances. Whatever strength that God has given you in your life, he hasn’t given for you to take care of yourself.

He’s given it for you to help people and you to take care of others. So that’s for our men and for our women. This is what we teach. You’re a woman. That means that God made you graceful to heal others. You’re a woman. That means that God made you graceful to heal others. And let me tell you, this one’s a little bit more complex to explain for a few reasons. Number one, I’m a guy, so I’ve never been a woman. And. I find women much more complex, which means a lot of times they understand this even more than me and I’m saying it. But what do we mean by graceful? You know, sometimes there are things that happen that direct strength just can’t undo. Right. Have you ever seen two hotheads kind of like, get up in each other’s face and neither are going to back down? Neither are going to. But you’ve never seen that, right? Neither are going to back down. And it’s like, well, if I just out strength them, then they’ll back down and it doesn’t work. And so sometimes, like this curveball has to come in and change the situation. There’s a story in the Bible of David one time and he’s he’s out in the countryside, and there’s this guy named Nabal who has a lot of sheep. And David goes and asks this guy, Hey, can I have some of your sheep since it’s harvest time and I’ve helped take care of them.

And he was like, Who are you? I don’t want anything to do with you. I’m not sharing my stuff. David gets so mad that he and his soldiers arm themselves and are going to go in and slaughter every male in the household. So you’ve got hotheaded, nabal hotheaded. David And you’re about to have a bloodbath over dinner. And what happens? There’s another lady in the story. Her name is Abigail. Abigail is the wife of Nabal. And poor Abigail has had to live with Nabal for a long time. And Abigail sees that it’s going to be a really messy clean up here in a minute. And she grabs. She grabs some salt, some of her servants. She does what her husband probably doesn’t want her to do, but she tells the servants, Quick, grab some bread, grab some raisin cakes, grab this food that’s already ready. Go. I’m coming. And when she goes, she comes to David and she says, I need to apologize to you because I should have seen you out there. And I. And I know my husband and I know how he’s like. So I should have already met your need. And will you just please forgive me and accept this gift? She’s accepting responsibility for something that’s not her fault whatsoever. But you know what happens? It absolutely melts David’s heart and he realizes that he was acting wickedly.

And the grace of Abigail stops what might have turned into a civil war. Because what do you think would have happened if David went in and slaughtered all the men in this family? Then his tribe comes up, then David’s tribe comes up. And you might have had a civil war over dinner. And it’s the grace and wisdom of a lady that stops the hot headedness of men. So you’re a woman. That means that God made you graceful to heal others. And it’s that long term endurance that God just does amazing things with. Look, this stuff is not easy. And it’ll take your life to kind of work it out. But what should we do with this? Can I go back to what I said earlier? First, I want you to be able to understand it. That’s why we give the real simple definition. Number two, to recognize it, recognize it. When you see it and affirm it in your kids, affirm it in your spouse, affirm it in the people around you. Number three. Practice it yourself and then also teach it to others. Because what would happen if one of the distinctives of Alpine Bible Church here in Lehigh, Utah, was this was a group of men that used their strength to take care of others and women who were so graceful that they just there was some kind of like, healing balm when people came in their midst. What do you think Jesus would do in this community if it wasn’t just a guy and a girl who got this, but it was a community who got it? What do you think Jesus would do here? So that’s the hope.

That’s the prayer and that’s the vision. I want to just give you guys a couple resources as I close up. I one of the things that I started doing for our parents is I realized I needed to teach our parents the same stuff I was teaching our kids because if they’re hearing it from multiple directions, it’s going to stick a lot better. So I started a blog and a podcast called Let’s Parent on Purpose. And it’s it’s it’s free. Although if you want to send me $1,000 a week, you can. But this stuff like I already do it for our church we make it available to public. The podcast is on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. The blog is at Let’s parent on One lesson every week drops on Monday mornings. There’s about 15 of them so about 11 or 12 of them so far. A couple of the episodes I go into detail on this manhood stuff and womanhood stuff and I would encourage you look at it. If you like it, share it with others, reinforce it, have these discussions with yourselves, teach your kids, and create a community of real men and women in the midst of a culture of chaos. Let’s pray. Lord, thank you for this time. And I do pray that you would help us to get.

Asking Questions of God

Tithes and Offerings