The events of the past few days easily land on my top 10 list of most encouraging experiences.
I was honored to spend Thursday noon through Saturday noon with 4 very special, Christ-seeking young men. They joined me for Christian Home and Family’s first “Compass Weekend,” and it was an event I will remember for years to come.
We came together on purpose to seek God’s purpose for the life of a Christian man. We investigated and discussed what the LORD has revealed in the scriptures regarding 3 specific areas of life:
- Becoming a man of God.
- Becoming a godly husband.
- Becoming a godly father.
I started the weekend by asking each guy to share his own story. It was encouraging to hear how the LORD used each circumstance, experience, pain, and joy to draw each man to faith in Christ and toward a deep desire to know Him more fully.
We went on to consider how a man cannot lead the members of his family until he is first able to lead himself. Vital relationship with the LORD and the self-discipline that flows from it, along with dedication to the priorities that form a mature life are some of the building blocks the guys learned about and began to evaluate in their own lives. The guys were eager to share their own experiences and ask questions about the things they struggled with. It was a very rich time of equipping and encouragement.
I had the guys take out a sheet of paper and make two columns on it. On one side they wrote down what our culture says a man is to be… on the other they wrote down what God says a man is to be. The contrast was clear. In that session each of us confessed areas of failing and our desires to be more for the sake of Christ. It was inspiring and motivating to all of us to realize that what God calls us to become He also empowers. None of us is alone in our journey as a man of God. Jesus is faithful to live in us and through us so that we can maximize our lives for his sake.
We discussed the calling and role of Christ-following men to be Godly leaders of their families, starting with their marriage relationship. There is a very clear and necessary progression that must happen in a Christian family. The parents love the LORD > the marriage becomes Christ-centered > the children are able to be raised in a Christ-honoring way.
Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 helped us on our way as we investigated the way that God created the marriage relationship to be. Adam was created to lead and provide for his wife and family and his refusal to do so is what led to the tragedy of sin. This was one of the most powerful and impacting sessions as we got into the specifics of what it means to love a woman the way that Christ loves His church (Ephesians 5:25). It was encouraging to watch the lights go on for these guys as they realized how relevant the word of God is to their role as a husband. They highlighted…
- the self-sacrificial nature of a husband’s love.
- the husband’s desire to see his wife grow in holiness.
- his calling to nurture and cherish his wife.
One of the concepts that hit home the hardest was that leadership is characterized by taking initiative. A husband doesn’t have to be the smartest, most biblically educated, or most spiritually mature in order to be the leader. But he does have to initiate. We talked for a long time about how simple yet powerful this concept is. The husband is the one who is expected by God to get the ball of conversation and spiritual connection going. When he does so, he is taking the spiritual lead. It was encouraging to see these guys so eager to apply this simple but powerful concept.
We also discussed what it means for a husband to live with his wife in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7). We discovered that this command has to do with how we talk with our spouses, how we relate to them, how we listen to them, and ultimately how we care for them. As men, we can’t expect them to see things like we do because they are not like us. They are women, not men… and there are very natural and understandable differences that makes in the way we relate to them. We learned that this understanding requires tenderness, care, and a desire to treasure our wives as the wonderful gift God has made them to be.
Our next conversation centered around a video message given by Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. It’s a powerful confrontation of the abusive and neglectful attitudes that most men in our culture have about the women in their lives. The guys were rocked by what Mark had to share and were eager to talk about it in light of their own desires for their future relationships. I was greatly encouraged to hear the guys saying how they do not want to be the typical man: abusers, neglectful, or passive. These guys desire to lead out in compassion, care, and self-sacrifice for the sake of their wives.
We wrapped up our weekend addressing the topic of fatherhood. Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Psalm 78:1-8, Ephesians 6:4, and Colossians 3:21 led the way as we discovered that a Dad’s role in his home is powerful and life-shaping for his children. His responsibility to guide his children is one of the most important things he accomplishes in his lifetime and it has to do with more than his own children. It extends for generations, into the lives of his grandchildren, and their children, and their children.
The Compass Weekend was a time for these four young men to discover their purpose in life… and it had nothing to do with a career path or means of making a living. It was more about making a life and a home that are patterned after what the LORD Himself intends.
If you or a young man you know would be interested in future Compass Weekend events, please contact me. Each event is limited to 4 young men and is filled on a first come, first served basis.by