Inspiration

You Own the Power!

Do you ever just wake up and ask yourself, “what’s my purpose?” Then what usually follows is an onslaught of lies that we tell ourselves. “I’m not where I want to be!” Or-“I don’t have the life I dreamt for myself!”

There’s an old saying by someone unknown to me. “There are three sides to the truth. There’s my side, your side and then there’s the real truth.” At my age, what I’ve learned is that it takes tremendous courage to allow attitudes with retrospective actions to redirect our choices to the benefit of ourselves.

Sounds a little wordy, doesn’t it? The point is that your truth, what you tell yourself and what you allow people to tell you may be a lie.

Chances are you have the exact life you thought you wanted. You made your choices and designed you attitudes for the exact life your living. No one came up to you and said, “Poof! Here’s your life!”

You created it, just you, no one else. Which is the good news! If you created one life; even if you hate it, you have the power within you to create the life you want!

Chances are, by now, you’ve made all the important mistakes. Chances are you’ve identified what doesn’t work for you? If that’s the case you can outline what does! Once you do that you’ve identified what will make you happy; and that my friend is powerful!

You will now subconsciously begin putting your attitude in check and motivating others to assist you in your journey to the powerful motivators that begin to give you hope…Little tiny pieces of joy will return.

Inspiration, Uncategorized

Changing Your Perspective to Joy

A long time ago, a woman very harshly told me that joy was my choice. She said that if I could just see it, I could certainly possess it. She was rather insistent that I get out of my bad mood and what is tantamount to an attitude of just “get over it.”

People who are so maliciously impatient with those who are suffering often truly bother me. They say or act in inappropriate ways. If I wasn’t who I was and I didn’t understand that was more about her inabilities than it was about her worry for me I don’t think I would have come to the same conclusions, which was that she was correct.

I was losing my home, I was fighting for my life because doctors could not figure out why my immune system was attacking me, and for the most part I was becoming increasingly frail and thin. I was in a state of shock, despair and I was stuck there.

Here’s the deal, you and me and everyone on this planet has to process through the things that hurt in a healthy way. When we get stuck in one of those four or five stages of grief it hurts us in a more deeply affected way. That hurt lasts a lifetime. That’s where I was. I was stuck, and I blamed. I resented. I hurt.

When I stopped focusing on the pain, and began to focus on the things that made me smile, I began to realize I was capable of joy. That felt like a revelation to me. When I saw the innocence of children playing. When the sun shined. All of the little things that I took for granted seemed to magnify themselves just for my mental health. When I would get dizzy I began to make jokes about it and people felt more at ease. All of the sudden my world opened up to laughter which is the first step toward finding that joy.

Today might be the day that you feel is worse than the last, but Sweetheart, the only person who can turn this day around is you. No one is going to come and take your hand and force you to smile. You have to believe that you are worth it. You have to believe that you have options. You have to believe in the hope that in the huge span of your existence, this is a blimp of a moment that will soon pass. You’re going to be okay. You got this. It’s hard, and it hurts, but find something, anything that will make you smile. Latch onto it. Don’t let it go. Ride it out as long as that feeling lasts and get yourself healthier.

Do it for you. Find that joy. Good luck to you.

Inspiration

Feeling other’s pain

Did you ever just feel the pain with the total understanding that it’s not yours?  That’s where I am today. Just emerging myself in other’s pain and feeling the empathy that cuts through my heart like a jagged knife.

I’m constantly working on me, evaluating my behavior, improving who I believe God wants me to be.  It’s not easy. I find often that I do things not because I want to or don’t want to but because my sense of right and wrong tells me that I have absolutely no choice.  Living a life with the belief that I am on the path to my maturity and learning from my lessons is not easy. Self perspective is difficult especially when things hit so close to home that it shatters.  The point is when I expect others to be just, fair and decent I CANNOT do so without insisting this upon my own character.  This works well for me, until empathy creeps in and all is lost in the emotion of the pain.

I am struggling right now with several factors. 1.  My novel is not getting the attention I believe it deserves. 2.  My family “appears” to be distant and I miss them.  3.  I just learned my bio-dad is not the man I thought, (that’s not such a bad thing) except no one believes me and I cannot find him to prove it.  4.  I am watching people I love go through the worst horrific circumstances of their lives and there isn’t anything I can do about it.

Today I cried. I sat and I sobbed because when it rains it pours. One friend doesn’t have faith in their abilities, another doesn’t have trust in others, and yet another doesn’t feel anyone hears them.  One friend is struggling with cancer, another still in the closet and yet again… one more cries alone believing their depression is without any understanding.  How do I deal when I feel as though there is nothing I can say? No words beyond “I love you.” No words.

There’s a line that is crossed when a burden is taken on that no one knows. That’s the weight of the world no one sees is piling up because although one person is going through their torture unfortunately they’re not the only people I know walking down the path of despair.  It’s unfortunate they don’t know of each other or their pain may increase, but where does that leave me? I am stuck in the middle trying to decipher where I can make any difference whatsoever with my lack of verbal content. I show up. I do but is that enough? To be the listener?

At what point I ask is the burden too much. My answer? Just as Jesus said to Paul, “Until you can stand no more.” Since I am a pretty tough cookie and I know God knows this of me, all I can do is cry. Because tomorrow I will make that call and I will listen. I will show up. I will wait until I can be needed. I will understand the anger, feed the hungry, organize the weak. I will be whatever it is they need if only for a moment because it is not enough. This is not my pain. It is theirs. I can cry all I want but there comes a time to wipe those tears and get back in the game. Same as I expect from them.

Inspiration, Opinion

A mother’s plea-leave mine alone!

There’s no kind of heartache that can match what happens when you see your child or someone you love about to hit head on into something that is going to end badly. Whether it’s drugs, or friends, or choices or mates; it hurts to watch them grow through some pretty painful human things that young people go through.

You want so badly to shout, “STOP” but they won’t. You want to define the hurt, to identify it for them and give them a path to either get through it, or avoid it altogether. That doesn’t work. The only thing you’re left with is an undeniable sense of powerlessness.

There’s no advice, no words, no wisdom, no mercy that will be accepted or even considered. They will undeniably come to education or experience all on their own without your incredibly unwanted help.

For all those people who would come into my life, I want to scream at you, “Knock it off!” Stop the drama, the conflict, the chaos, the manipulation, the games, the toil and the turmoil and just leave me and mine without you. Just go away. Just take whatever that makes you feel good when you do evil things and move on down the road. Just be done with us.

Some say that people (even I do) are both good and evil. That people are basically great and they do bad things, but what about those people who wake and think negative. They always have an angle, they’re always looking for someone to control, to overpower, to use, to manipulate for their bidding? What bout those broken people? Are they the ones you need to throw out of your life?

I have learned in my long life that people do change. They are capable and that I myself have been what I call a manipulating person. I certainly don’t even think I could do that today if I wanted to but I can recall a far away youth that presented those opportunities that sadly I took advantage of. I hear my hypocrisy on the issue, but to my credit; although admitted, decided one day to take a change… and switch. Deny what was and move into a more thankful being. Because I got the help I needed. I truly believe when they do too, the end result will be either loving and generosity or unforgiveness and bitterness. It will be there choice.

The thing with time is it takes time for this butterfly effect to happen. In the meantime, my children will be in harms way and potentially broken. As the doctor’s say, you cannot fix broken people by loving them more. They have to want to be fixed. They have to want that They have to want that. Yes, I am repeating myself. The people I’ve met don’t even think they have a problem. I find that so heartbreaking…

Inspiration

It is Tough to be in Pain

Sometimes I forget that life can truly be painful when it’s not so much for me. Pain is a relevant thing in my life… that being said, it isn’t a constant but I have had tremendous burden of it throughout my whole life. So, for someone such as me to admit that I am one of those ‘take a pill and get over it’ individuals it is not because I haven’t walked a mile in your shoes, it is because I am not currently walking in them. Speaking to you about your woes pulls me back into my own and like a crab trying to get out of the water while other’s pull them down, I run the opposite direction. Shame on me.

There is a moment when we realize maybe someone could feel less wounded if we took a minute not only to share our burden but to life someone else’s above our own. The loss of a child, a man, a job, may seem merely an obstacle for some while for other’s it may be their biggest burden. The measure of main is indescribably difficult from person to person and it shouldn’t be up to those of use who have endured to sit in judgement of what that actual affliction should be.

It is with powerful reverence that I can even utter this retrospective conclusion given that my admission to the offense is certainly evident, however, I will pause to give a forlorn gaze upon you as I whisper, “You are not alone. I am ready to hear.”

There are moments when people want to know that their worries are held in high regard. The one denominating characteristic is that they want to be valued. How dare I not give credence to that basic acceptance we all feel?

I do value yours as you have mine. I do see you for what you in see me. I hate the things in you that I hate about the things I see in me. I am you, further, distant, different having past through the torment you currently suffer. I am hope, and light, and forgiveness and you in the infinite wisdom of time healing all wounds will be resolute in the completeness of knowing that you too will one day erect from whatever feeds your life a living hell right now, much more victorious than I should have ever or ever will be. For you have the benefit of acknowledgement and affirmation and that my friend is the first step to the momentous climbing out of the depths of despair you find yourself in.

You are worthy, admirable, and possess great strength and courage. All things are possible through these actions. I do have faith in you. You should too.

To learn more about me, check out http://www.RebeccaNietert.com or catch me on one of my social sites through twitter: @RebeccaANietert or Facebook: BexNietert

Inspiration

You should have passion!

I wonder, at what point in someone’s life when they were either successful or not what it took to push them over the edge? When does a musician know he’s not going to be a national rock star? When does a chef know that he’s not going to be on TV? When do people with life-long dreams realize when they were going to push forward and not stop? What makes one person stop and give up their dream and another keep going and if they keep going what if they never get there? What if they never become a success? What if they fail and then there’s a new dream? What if….

As a writer this question is the fundamental question we all ask ourselves. What if my work isn’t good enough. Will I have to self publish and what if that work isn’t worth publishing? What if it’s not even good enough to be self published? ACK!?

Whether or not it is there is the basic concept that I wholeheartedly believe and that is that everyone has a story in them. They may not be able to tell it the way that it needs to be grammatically introduced, but they have their story. Every story is worth listening to. Everyones.

With that said, find whatever passion that lies within you and feed that. If you don’t believe that passion is worth fighting for? That’s not your passion. The thing you have to remember is that as we age, many of us grow in ways we couldn’t imagine. What may be your passion today may not be your passion tomorrow. The key is to know when to pursue and when to give up and try another passion.

Here’s the skinny. If you still get that adrenaline rush when you think about, the passion burns in you and it’s not time to quit. If you could care less anymore….you’re burnt. Take a moment, think, pause and reflect on whether or not that was ever your passion, if it can ever be again and if not what can replace it.

Good luck to you because everyone should have passion in their lives!

Inspiration

Lift Someone Else on Your Journey

Everyone has a moment when they ask themselves, “Am I being played?” That’s usually followed with “Are my needs being met? Am I happy? Why do I seem upset? What caused this? Can I fix it? Is it my fault?” Our self worth is undeniably attached to everything around us whether we want it to be or not. Acceptance is a general feeling that we try to achieve since early childhood. It’s the fundamental denominator of a series of accomplishments in work or relationships or child rearing that gives us our sense of belonging in this world. Few who don’t succeed generally have lower esteem than those who might exhibit a little narcissism and therefore reject criticisms and force themselves to think more positively. Of course, even a narcissist has depressive moments. Enough on the behavioral science of it, but suffice it to say that our wins in life is what gives us that ultimate sense of “I can do it.” Someone who believes in us is the icing on the cake. Even further someone who shouts our name from the rooftops because we touched them in a profound way is still even better. For some, however, those accolades never really come. They make bad choices, fail miserably and then cannot see the hope through the despair. Unfortunately these people don’t approach everyone and say, “I’m broken.” You have to be careful who you come into contact with because these people are fragile, on the verge of self destruction. How you reject what they wear, how they speak, the content of their words, matters. More than you probably know. So today, when you’re out feeling all confident in your abilities and you realize the limited patience you have with those who are not as capable as you are; remember, they have the same needs that you do and maybe a little more. Their emotions are exposed, and they might just need one small affirmation to get them started on a path that was intended for them. Don’t stop being who you are, but lift someone up along the journey.

Inspiration

Need Help? Seek Help!

I was 21 and I was failing miserably at trying to take care of myself. I had no real education. On my own since 14, I barely managed to squeeze a high school diploma and college wasn’t affordable or obtainable. I was desperately trying to pay the rent but the jobs I got weren’t more than $4 bucks an hour. It was slim picking too. In the 1980’s America suffered the worst depression since the 1930’s. Many don’t remember walking in and finding entire neighborhoods with boarded up homes. Houston’s “addicks” had just that. People were getting rid of Cadillacs and buying Volkswagen Rabbits to conserve the gas. CNN brought the rest of the world to us and it was scary. I just needed food. With one can of “Chicken and Stars” in my cupboard I realized I was a few days from being homeless, and then I was. There’s really nothing like the pain of hunger. If our basic need is security and food then one of mine was missing. The ache is do deep it’s in your bones. Your head gets foggy, your mouth stops watering and a sense of nothing comes over. The only thought, concept, goal, is food and shelter…but food first. I wanted to live, to be alive, to survive, but I wasn’t making it. I was hungry and after cleaning up in public restrooms and using what money I did have to scrounge enough together for meals, I was flat broke, skinny, tired and angry because I couldn’t figure out how to get where I wanted. It was then I met someone who offered to teach me how to be independent. This is the lesson….when you’re hungry, and starving for whatever it is that you need, values, morals, and a real sense of right and wrong no longer become your focus. When you’re at your lowest and the pain is so powerful it’s hard to think of anything other than exactly what you need because human survival is such a powerful drive. Intellect, and it’s rationalization is a non factor. People make choices that determine their whole life because the moment they are in is so bad the piercing reality is to harsh to bear. Pause. If you live to be 80 then the moment you are in right now will soon be a blimp on the radar of your life. Taking time to really let someone know you need help can save you and your whole life. Get help. Get fed, even if it’s just your soul. If you’re hungry there are people out there like me who give a crap. Seek them.

I’m always available for a phone call or an email or comment if you’re really in trouble and need immediate help.

Inspiration

Disappointing Reflections of my Season

The heart once light and amiable to receive now rests heavy upon my chest. It’s as if the hearts very lobes have coarse thickened blood that now runs through its hollow caverns. The beats which are generally musical in their tune only remind me of the looming burden of my sorrow. Thoughts of surreal confusion have eliminated any prior sense whatsoever. I stand before you broken hearted my friends.

I cannot tell you to what lengths, with whom, or why this time for fear that perceptions should change concerning someone that I very much care about; but what I can tell you is that the pain that has so desperately clutches the very depths of my soul is there because of the unconditional love that I have for the offender.

It takes but a moment in this lifetime to pause with enough courage to contemplate a world that is often without compassion. To engage in it and navigate through it is harsher than any human promises. To truly look the behaviors, the attitudes, and the general moral decline is a sight that few want to truly witness. Turning backs to further themselves from the tragedy, is sadly, I feel the norm.

I am reminded that God is with me, and that in He alone can I find my acceptance, but the humanness in me is crying out for justice. On bended knee I ask with reverent feverish hope, this offender will find all that helps him receive the love he so generously begs. I seek awareness from him, without the benefit of harms so that he may understand to the depths of his soul the love that we have for him. To those ends that love shall bring out a kindness or compassion and turn the perception of hate and discourse into one of loving thy neighbor abundantly.

I cannot give this to him for I have not been a role model in my own actions. I am no hero, for I have been so reluctant and screamed the human injustices from the top of my lungs for anyone to listen. I have slandered, I have fought what I thought was the good fight only to learn it was my own, and I have raised my temperament and my voice unwittingly while he listened. An example, I am not.

Lord, I beg for your forgiveness in my seemingly selfish escapades and needs to be filled with my own affirmations. My sins I repent with irreverent understanding that now it has caused some deep seeded need to further the cause for those who cannot stand for themselves and those who would harm for the sake of their own selfishness. That is a fight I am not sure I should have commanded that anyone join me. It is with great sorrow that I bow my head not only in shame but it respect and esteem to wield my words with elegant fury for the fight of inspiration only.

Today I am pensive with the thoughts of words used to harm lingering over a fresh conscious mind. I feel burdened with guilt and remorse over my undoing. This is certainly not a course of life I imagined nor is it what I would have wanted. The loss, the sadness, the acclamation of my proclamations of love ignored and yet unconditionally it is given without a moment’s hesitation.

Inspiration

Who Your Man is Supposed to Be…

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16-19

Ladies, I want to talk about the role that men have in your life. My daughter asks me a lot of questions about what kind of man she should be searching for. Throughout her relationships she asks me about the behavior along the journey and my advice seems to be failing her. Do you ever have a moment when you think that you know the information but are just incapable of passing it on effectively? Well, that’s how I feel too.

First I think it’s very important for women to understand what to look for in a friendship with a man as much as she wants to understand the characteristics she should look for in a husband. Second, it’s important to understand how his roles and her roles can create a union that no man can tear apart. Lastly I believe a woman needs to take responsibility for her behavior and the way in which she reacts or encourages her husband.

God is not asking you as a woman to respond to all men equally. It is very important to understand that intimacy is or should only be reserved for the covenant of a mutual understanding. Passages such as “submitting to men” in the bible are not talking about every man. Those passages are talking about the covenant relationship. There are many men who take advantage of a woman’s lack of understanding those bible passages and use that information as a means to control women. It’s not the truth and every woman needs to fully understand that.

I read this passage today from the site below. If you would like to learn more about this topic click this link:
http://www.virtuousreality.com/questions/2011/02/what_is_the_bible_saying_about_1.html

“God designed marriage to function differently than all other relationships. Within marriage the man is supposed to sacrificially, gently and humbly serve his wife, even to point of laying down his life for her, and the woman is supposed to respectfully submit to that kind of servant leadership. He’s supposed to use Christ as his example instead of bossing his wife around and forcing his will on everyone in the house. That’s not leadership – it’s just being a jerk.

Part of the reason for this is the current cultural confusion about what men are supposed to be. In times past, society held that certain characteristics were to be expected in men and the culture itself sought to develop those traits in their sons. Men were expected to be courageous and strong, have high ethics and act with integrity. They were expected to be courteous, kind, respectful to others. They were to be gentlemen. A real man was expected to be able to act with a certain decorum of good manners. While knowing the fine details of proper etiquette at a high society banquet was not mandatory, men were to know how to treat a lady, and if invited to a banquet, they were to find out how to act and then do so.

In the past few decades, there have arose several anti-cultural movements that have sought to redefine the role and desired characteristics of men. There has been an increase in the emphasis of individual rights and a promotion of amorality. Children in the public schools are encouraged to question the authority of their parents. The family has been breaking down. This is seen in both the rate of divorce and illegitimacy. In some segments of our society, seventy plus percent of infants are born to single mothers resulting in boys growing up without fathers. They are confused as to what they are supposed to be. Young men simply follow their own selfish impulses and so “what is right in his own eyes.” They act like animals because they are treated as such. Free condoms are available in the High Schools because the basis for expecting teens to make moral, self controlled decisions has been removed.

For the rest of this morning I want to point out certain characteristics that the Bible sets forth as the marks of a real man. We are going to be challenged by the list that is generated, but the encouraging thing about Scripture is that any Christian can develop these characteristics. In fact, God wants you to develop them. Any Christian male, that includes you and me, can be real man!

HUMILITY – humility demands that you know your weaknesses and that you are modest about strengths. Popular culturally celebrates the man that is proud, arrogant and boastful, but being that way is no big deal. Men are naturally that way because of their sin nature. If you doubt that, ask your wife. She will tell you the truth about yourself! Pride is one of man’s greatest pitfalls. It always gets him into trouble.

The Bible says much about the importance of humility. Jesus says that being “poor in spirit” (Mt. 5:3), which is recognizing that you have nothing to offer, nothing to bargain with and can only come begging for God’s mercy, was the key to entering into God’s kingdom. Man will not come to God if he thinks he can do it on his own, and God will not accept a man that tries to come to Him on his own merit. 1 Peter 3:6 says that we need to “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.” Why? because (vs. 5) “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

A humble man recognizes the truth that there are others more powerful than he. He recognizes his own weakness and failings. Instead of fighting against those powers, he welcomes their aid and gives praise where praise is due and not to himself.

Moses was a real man without a doubt. He certainly displayed all the attributes even modern culture values. He withstood the greatest military power on the earth at that time – Egypt. He boldly challenged Pharaoh face to face and held the power that devastated that land. He led two million people across the wilderness. Strength, leadership, courage were all his. But Moses was also characterized as being “the meekest man in all the earth” (Numb. 12:13). It is when he became proud that he got into serious trouble. In Numbers 20:10 Moses did not do what God commanded in providing water for the people, but instead took it upon himself to provide the miracle saying, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” Moses then hit the rock rather than speaking to the rock as God commanded. The result? the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

Pride only gets man into trouble. A real man has the maturity to be humble. Rising out of humility is the next characteristic. A real man is meek.

MEEKNESS – SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY
Meekness is not weakness. It is submission to authority. It is the combination of humility and trust. The meek man understands his own limitations and relies upon the one that is more powerful, God. As already mentioned, Moses was a meek man. He was not weak. He was strong, bold, and courageous, but those aspects of his character were true because he trusted God. Moses’ pride and sense of doing things by his own wisdom and might were broken by 40 years in the desert tending sheep after fleeing Egypt because he had taken the law into his own hands and had killed a cruel Egyptian taskmaster. Moses was in submission to God’s authority and willing obeyed God’s commandments. Moses recognized that God wanted him to be part of a plan much bigger than himself. God had given Moses a mission and because He trusted God to keep His promises, God was able to use Moses mightily. No wonder God so often referred to Moses as “My servant.”

A real man is meek. He in submission to a higher authority from which he can draw strength and courage. Want to know how to gain victory over a superior enemy? Rely on an ally that is even stronger. That is why that even in spiritual battles when we face the devil and his minions who are more powerful than us the key to our victory is in meekness. James 4:7 puts it plainly, “Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Victory begins with submission to God.

Out of meekness arise two more characteristics of real men –
STRENGTH and COURAGE.
By strength I am not talking about the physical so much as the mental & emotional state of the person. A person of relatively small stature can be very strong in this sense. The apostle Paul was not a man of great physical strength. Paul’s detractors saw him as “weak,” “a spectacle,” “poor & without honor.” Yet Paul was the powerhouse in taking the gospel throughout the Roman world.

William Wilberforce was cut from the same cloth as Paul. He small in stature and his appearance was “uncommanding,” yet, to hear him speak, it is said that his stature would grow to that of a whale. Wilberforce was committed to the cause God had set before him, and with diligence and perseverance over several decades eliminated slavery from the English empire. Wilberforce was a real man.

But notice in both of these men that strength of mind and emotion was accompanied by fearless courage. They were willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause God had given to them, and sacrifice they did. Both men spent their lives pursuing their cause. They lost their standing in society and were held with contempt. Both suffered physically, and Paul eventually became a martyr.

Strength and courage mark real men. It is there because they know they are part of a mission much bigger than themselves and in meekness they submit and follow their Lord’s commands. To be honest I think this is one of the areas most lacking in men today. Who is willing to stand up and be counted? Who has the courage to face the scorn of this society by standing up against its debauchery? Who is willing to rise above the mundane things of life to see the bigger picture and get involved in that? Praise the Lord that there are a few. But there are even fewer that have the next characteristic.

* LEADERSHIP –
A real man knows where he is going and brings others along. A leader has convictions and he inspires others to hold those same convictions, join with him and do something. This is a commodity sadly lacking in America today. That is especially true on the national level. Too many politicians have convictions that change with the opinion polls. They do not lead, the simply assess where the crowd is going and then try to get in front of it. Leaders state where they are going and why we all should go there. Ideology is important.

As important as this is in the political realm, is there is another area where the lack of leadership has been even more devastating. That is in the home. How many men are not just letting, but forcing their wives to wear the pants in the family because of their complacency and refusal to lead? Guys who father a child outside of marriage are males, but they are not men. Guys who live with a woman but do not marry her are males, but they are not men. Guys who let and/or force their wives to set the direction for the family are males, but they are not men. Guys who do not lead their family in the worship of the Lord, including taking them to church and making sure there are family devotions, are males, but they are not men.

Leadership is the mark of a real man, but leadership is not becoming a little dictator. There are males that do that, but they are not men. Real men lead by example and persuasion, not raw power. No wonder the apostle Paul made leadership in the home a qualification for leadership in the church (1 Tim. 3:5; Titus 1). If you are not doing it in the home, you will not be doing it somewhere else.

This type of leadership also demands another characteristic in the man. A real man is a mentor/teacher.

MENTOR/TEACHER.
Mentoring is the process of passing on the characteristics of a man to someone else. It is much more than the teaching of facts. It is the impartation of convictions and a lifestyle. Real men sharpen each other (Prov. 27:17). In the church we call it discipleship. Men find another man and train him so that he can train a another person so he can train another person, etc. etc. (2 Tim 2:2).

The primary people for a man to train are his children. That is the importance of Deut. 6:4-9; Eph. 6:3,4; Col. 4:21; 1 Tim. 3:4,5; etc. A father is to train his children in a such a way that they will know God and be obedient to Him. That is no easy task. It will take all the characteristics I have already mentioned – humility, meekness, strength, courage, leadership. It will also take integrity – the next characteristic of a true man.

INTEGRITY.
What is integrity? It is moral soundness, wholeness. A man with integrity is honest, he keeps his word, he holds fast to his principles regardless of personal cost. There is no question about this is scripture. Col. 3:9 – “Do not lie to one another…”. Prov. 10:9 He who walks in integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will be found out.

Integrity is lacking in our society. Long and detailed contracts are written to try to keep businesses honest enough so trade can continue. At one time a man’s word was enough. How many of you actually believe the claims made in advertisements or by most politicians? Our highest institutions have shown their own lack of integrity including the Supreme Court which has cast aside the rule of law in favor of political whim in many of their decisions. Church scandals abound. Even denominations turn away from the Bible in order to be accepted by society. Men who are supposed to be godly disregard what the Scriptures teach and what they preach to follow the lust of their flesh, eyes and pride.

Integrity is important in institutions. It is even more important in a man. Your employer, your friends, your wife, your children all need to know that you can be trusted. They need to know how you will act and what you will do in a given situation. If you cannot be counted on, then you can have little positive impact in their lives. You will not be trusted with greater responsibilities. You will not be able to teach or lead others to godliness.

Real men keep their promises. Dads, don’t tell your children you will do something and then don’t follow through. Be up front and honest with them. Continued disappointment goes deep into the heart of a child. Dads, be consistent in front of your children. Practice what you preach. If you don’t want them to lie, then they had better not see you lie, even if it is something so simple as asking your wife to tell someone on the phone that you are not there.

What are some other characteristics of a real man?

PROVIDER – He looks out for those entrusted to his care. 1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever. A real man is not lazy. He does not look for a handout. He takes the admonition of 2 Thess. 3:10-13 seriously that those do not work should not eat. He has a disciplined life in providing for his own family and for others as Eph. 4:28 directs “. . . let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.”

FRIEND – By this I mean a friend in the truest sense, not just someone with a lot of acquaintances. A real man is friend to his wife following the Lord’s command to love her in the same way that Christ loved the church (Eph. 5), giving Himself up for her. That is sacrificial love. He puts the needs of his wife ahead of himself. He willingly does the same for his friends even as Jesus has done for us.

The bottom line of it all is that a real man is godly. In the Old Testament the Psalmist described a real man in Psalm 15:1 (A Psalm of David.) O Lord, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the Lord; He swears to his own hurt, and does not change; 5 He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

In the New Testament the real man is seen in Jesus Christ – the second Adam, the perfect man. Every characteristic is perfectly displayed in Him: humility, meekness, strength, courage, leadership, mentoring, integrity, provider, friend.

If you want to be a real man, then you need to be like Christ. The good news for Christians is that is the very thing that God has been doing in your life since He saved you because He has predestined you to be conformed to the image of His son (Rom. 8:29b). Set your eyes on Him and continue to follow. You will become like Him in the process.

For those of you without Jesus Christ, you may be able to develop a lot of these qualities to some degree, but you will never be a real man according to how God describes it in the Bible. Isn’t it about time you started the process and humble yourself before Him. The Lord will take it from there.”

I pasted this because honestly, I couldn’t have written it better myself and I had to share it with you.