On this Father’s Day, we celebrate our men for what Jesus has done for them

5 min read

I have done this before, I’ll do it again. Here we go. Grab a mic or open your voice memos app, walk up to both men and women on the street and ask them this question, what do you think manhood is? Define who a man besides his physical form. The answers will be varied and based on the cultural context.

If the person responding has adopted the individualistic belief system (mostly lived out in the Western hemisphere and North America) they will convey something to this effect. A man is someone who takes good care of themselves. They work and play hard. They are modern and educated. They love the good things in life. They are gentlemanly, romantic and are not afraid to show their emotions. They frequent massage parlours and do facials, pedicure and manicures. They have a vision and a plan. They know what they want in this life. They are religious or spiritual. They also love to have a good time—a drink here and there, and some good music. He has a six-pack, preferably.

If the person responding has adopted the more traditional view (mostly lived out in Africa, Asia, and Latin America) they will say something to this effect. A man is someone who works hard and takes good care of his family. He is a protector and defender. He is a leader. He is religious or spiritual. He is very much involved in the religious or local community. He has integrity. He is loyal. He has worked for the same company for the past twenty-odd years. He has been married to the same woman for God knows how long. His children have turned out great because he raised them well. He is always at home. He is a good man. 

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Healthy competition in marriage? Is this​ possible?

5 min read

A friend of mine read my blog on how grace helps us deal with competition in our marriage. He and his wife are good friends of ours and they had a nagging issue they wanted me to help address. In a nutshell, their issue was this, is there healthy competition in marriage? Can a married couple healthily compete to build each other, to make each other better, and build a great life?

Our ensuing conversation went something like this. I asked him to define the term healthy competition. I had to probe his definition so I could understand what he means. He said something akin to this. He said, “It is bringing your talents, gifts and experience together to win in life, to build a great life. When we compete we make each other better.”

Then I said to him, “Your definition has to assume that a rival, a competitor exists, right? You are not just competing in a vacuum. There is an opponent and a prize, right?”  Yes, he said. Then I asked, “Who is the competitor? Your spouse? Is it your wife?” He mumbled and sounded lost. I then gave him a hint, “Or, is your rival, your competitor, an outside force? Something besides the both of you that may try to defeat you or establish superiority over your marriage and family.”

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