I got excited about writing a blog a year or so ago. Then, my life took a nosedive and I put it off, again. Over the last week and a half I didn’t feel much inspiration and I injured my back blah blah blah, therefore, I haven’t written much at all. Upon starting this adventure I always had something to say or had a particular thought or idea about this or that, but not so much lately. Things are going well in my life, life is getting on track. My family and I are doing well. I JUST NEED A STINKING JOB! I simply couldn’t find inspiration, and I enjoy doing this. What’s the problem? I also realize that this tool (writing) has been a major healing for me. Maybe, that’s why I didn’t feel inspiration, was I searching to hard? Maybe the Evil One knows I need this and he try’s to keep me away from it? Or maybe I just didn’t have a thing to say. Here I am, pecking away at the keyboard and all these thoughts and emotions come to mind….I”M BACK!
I troll Facebook and Twitter religiously, I enjoy reading news articles, things relative to my favorite bands or music, quotes and just random stuff. I enjoy seeing my friends and families posts about their lives….All is good. However, one observation that is compelling me today, is the assault that is on families and men. Understand this, I am no exception. I have failed my family, but I am no longer that same man and I am working on repairing everything that I destroyed. We are facing a deluge of ideas, thoughts, and lies that we face and fall victim to everyday. Things are popping up in our lives that we never thought we would be foolish enough to fall victim too. Think about these things, money, pornography, extramarital affairs, career, arguments, bitterness, suicide(what man in his right mind thinks about suicide….it happens, I was convinced it was right for me) and the list could go on and on. Are these the things that should keep us from being in love with our wives and families? No, but it’s happening to good people everyday. I have already written about what I thought being a man was, but I’m still not so sure that we as a society knows what a man is. Our churches are filled with women that stand in the gap for their husbands while he just attends with her rarely just so she will stop nagging him. Shouldn’t we be the spiritual leaders!? Everywhere we turn there is something there ready to entice us and take us from the very things we love and cherish the most. Drugs and alcohol, of which I fell victim to, is wreaking havoc on our lives. They make us so blind to the truth, so blind to the fact that we are losing the battle. We walk out on our families because this drug is so superior to everything else in our lives. Then we listen to the lies it tells us….You are no good! This isn’t going to hurt you! I can stop any time I want too! They do not want you! They are better off without you! Bullcrap! The truth is, these substances are way bigger than you are, they will only take you places you do not want to go. You can not and will not beat drug addiction or alcoholism on your own. Ask for help, there is no shame in asking for help.
Having a great career and making money is a beautiful thing. As a matter of fact, it is very honorable. Providing for your family and your self is the right thing to do. However, when that job or career rules your life, it is a problem. Remember that old saying, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Well, it’s true. Nothing should come in between your relationship with God and then your family. Many times we don’t even realize this being a problem til it is brought up by the spouse. Can’t you ever take a day off? Can’t you work a normal 8 hour day, just once a week? Have you ever heard those things. I know, some of you are saying, “Well, this clown doesn’t even have a job, easy for him to say.” Frankly, I have much regret and despair over that fact. I made mistakes, huge stinking mistakes and I and my family are paying for it. But God is my source now, he will not see us begging for bread. My point here is this, if you are more consumed with your work than your God (no matter what you believe; you do not have to believe like I do) then you are creating a problem for yourself and your family. Keeping up with the Jones’s is not what it’s cracked up to be. Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Work, but don’t let the dollar rule you.
Hmmm?, let us talk about pornography. This is a very serious issue. As a matter of fact, I did not realize it was as serious as it is. I am not addicted to pornography, let me clear that up from the start here. However, I have fallen victim to the lure from time to time throughout my life. Pornography has to be the most seductive lie that has ever been told. It will steal your very soul. It will entice you til you are so entangled that it seems impossible to escape its grasp. Here is my question about pornography, is this something I would look at if my wife or my kids are around? Will I clear the history or quickly X out of this screen if someone walks in? I am quiet sure that this is one of the most hidden things among us men. According to author Laurie Hall, studies show that 40 to 50% of christian men are involved in pornography. Now, I know that some of us men are not ever going to tell the truth, so what are the real numbers? Dr. Mary Ann Layden says that studies show that pornography is more addictive than cocaine. Drugs are tough to break, breaking the addiction of pornography is tough. Ask for help, It is ok. If someone points their crooked little finger remind them that they have 3 pointing back at them and find you someone you can trust. MEN!, ASK FOR HELP! It is ok. Pornography has been proven to cause sexual dysfunction, sexual anorexia (which is the unwillingness or the inability to engage in sexual intercourse with your spouse). This all sounds too gnarley or sounds like something that could never happen to me. Men, it happens. Another thing that pornography has proven, is its ability to take your “natural affection” away. Now, I am not here to argue homosexuality etc., I am warning us men that these things happen. If we do not guard ourselves we will fall victim. Remember, the evil one roams around seeking whom he may devour, I don’t want to be caught with my pants down. No pun intended! Further studies have shown that porn causes abuse. A recent study of 1700 jr. high students found that 65% of boys and 57% of girls believe it’s OK for a male to force a female to have sex if they have been dating for six months. That does not make me happy as the parent of a daughter and a son. I found that so disturbing. There is help for this, but you have to ask. There is no shame in asking someone you trust. Please ask for help if you find yourself in this situation. God can take this away from you, if you believe!
Over the last couple of years, my wife and I had become bitter toward one another. We never had a fist fight, we just had become very isolated from each other. Although we were in the same house and the same room we just didn’t connect for some strange reason. My addiction had become a problem and she had so much loss in her life we just became angry and bitter toward each other. I no longer wanted to be married to her and I left. Little did I know, what the next 7 months (From Nov 2013 until present) were going to do to me. I can’t speak for her but anger, bitterness and resentment just became all I could see. I was PISSED at her. Just for, well, it didn’t matter. Our 22 years together became a crutch and we took for granted our relationship. I guess we always thought things would be good between us. It didn’t seem that way at the time. After I left, I really became more and more angry and I wanted a divorce and she wasn’t gonna stop me. I was using again and nothing really mattered. We spiralled from a long secure marriage to a broken relationship that only God could fix. Needless to say, Kim went to “work” on herself after I left. She began to seek God for herself and when she felt comfortable with herself, she started praying for me. At first, our communication was limited but eventually I started noticing a change in her. I didn’t need to change, HaHa, joke was on me. After a couple of months, I started to feel God wooing me back. I resisted. Ultimately, Kim became the girl I married and she was in love with God and my heart began to change towards him, her and everything in my life. God restored our marriage and made things brand new. Do not Give Up, Men. God has a plan and you may have no idea what he has in store. I love her more than ever and we are good again, only this time God is first in my life and she is second! It Works, trust me!
Lastly, suicide seems to be another lie that is making itself known to us. Daily I see FB posts or twitter feed about someone committing suicide. Lots of time, it is a wounded warrior that has returned home from war. Sometimes, it is John Doe, the average everyday man trying to live his life the best he knows how. Back in November, November was a Gnarley month, I was so close to purchasing a gun and ending my life. I was minutes away from it, thank God I chose not to do that. Gander Mountain was in my sights and Fortunately for me it was getting late and time didn’t allow me to go through the process of purchasing a gun. Other times, I was just gonna drive into a tree and end it. Again, thank God, I chose not to do it. My family and my kids needed me. My relationship with my parents and siblings was not good and I would have ended it with a very bad ending with them as well. I thank God daily for giving me the wisdom and courage to live out what he had planned long ago, I just took a detour. Please Men, know that suicide and depression are nothing to be ashamed of. Depression made me such a miserable man. I was ashamed and I thought that I was no more a man, than anything. I should be strong. Depression is real and if you do not guard yourself it will show up and destroy your life. Again, talk to someone, please!
These are just some of the issues we face, there are many more. Point is, if we do not become aware to these things we could fall victim to them, quickly. I hope to share more as time goes on. There is a war for us. Pick you a team and go fight or lay down and fall prey to something that ultimately will steal your happiness. It has taken me 40 years to figure out some things and I am still working and learning. As long as I work it and learn, I am good. I have to do things daily to ensure my safety…..I try and put positive things in my brain, I try to think before I speak, and I love God, first. It has changed my life. Thank God for grace and redemption. Rise up Men! Love your wife and family, but be on guard because life has a way of kicking you in the teeth and the way we respond can determine the outcome of life. Fight!
Going Forward in Reverse,