A men’s small group is a great place for getting four things absolutely essential to your spiritual well being’things every bit as important as the vitamins and nutrients needed for physical health. The Four ‘Cs’: confession, consistency, caring, and completion. You’ll be spiritually malnourished without them.
Guys who meet frequently in a small group setting care about the spiritual welfare of their brothers. They feel safe to honestly talk about their struggles and challenges. Secrets aren’t allowed to fester and thrive. They lose their power as God’s word’and the encouragement of one another’are brought to bear upon them. And guys in a group watch one another’s backs.
Men who are connected to one another in small groups move toward spiritual maturity much more quickly than their brothers who remain in isolation. And they’re able not only to stay there more effectively, but to help others move forward as well. Instead of being spiritual castaways, God’s men have a supporting cast around them.
Many men are discovering the life-changing difference such relationships can make. They’re becoming close allies in the battle to help one another run the race of faith well, and press strongly toward the finish.
Brothers, there are few things in life more precious than Christ-centered friendships. Don’t be a spiritual castaway. Connect with your Christian brothers ‘ find a group ‘ start a group. You’ll be glad you did.
When you’re feeling depressed, it can be very helpful to read encouraging passages from the Bible out loud. Everyone goes through ups and downs. We all seek spiritual renewal. And we all struggle with conflicting emotions’sometimes even teetering between the extremes of despair and hope. Confessing God’s truth out loud can remind you that His truth supersedes anything you may feel or think on your own.
Set some time aside to reflect on Psalm 42 and you’ll see exactly what I mean. The psalmist spoke the truth to himself when he was feeling down, saying, ‘Why am I so downcast? Why am I so sad? I’ll put my hope in God! It’s true; I’m deeply discouraged right now. But my present discouragement doesn’t define my life, my God, or me. Therefore, I’m committed to remembering your kindness, oh Lord. I’ll confess it openly. Each day You lavish your unfailing love upon me.’
You see, despite the psalmists’ troubling situation, he remembered that God really is a good and loving God. He was stubborn in his refusal to let his present circumstances blind him to the fact that God is God! One important way he did this was speaking this truth to himself. Then he wrote it down for our instruction, and ourexample.
Men, the greatest truth we can speak is that the Lord has been good to us in the past, and that He’s still good to us today. Meditate upon it; confess it; impress it upon your heart, and be encouraged.
I recently read three pearls of wisdom from a Christian educator that I want to share with you. They pertain to God’s command to parents to provide spiritual leadership for their children.
First, try not to go anywhere by yourself. Whenever you can, take one of your children with you. Errands, trips, sporting events’wherever a father goes with his children, opportunities arise to communicate spiritual truth and wisdom. You have to be in your children’s presence in order to influence them.
Second, don’t buy the lie that ‘quality’ makes up for ‘quantity’ when it comes to time spent with your children. Quantity of time is equally important. When a man becomes a parent he can write off the majority of the next twenty years of ‘free time.’ The majority of that time needs to be spent with his children.
Third, the best way a father can love his children spiritually and emotionally is by loving their mother spiritually and emotionally.
In other words, a father’s spiritual leadership is more about lifestyle than specific, scheduled events. It requires bringing a deep love for God to your everyday life: meals, walks after supper, bike rides, games, earning and saving money, serving those less fortunate, and so on. All these things’and every aspect of life’can be skillfully ‘exploited’ for the benefit of spiritual development if only dads will learn to see and seize their opportunities.