When I was growing up,
I read and watched (on television) many accounts of heroic people. Some were real, others were fictional characters.
Here are some who were on my list back then…
I always wanted to be a hero…
But my boyhood dreams of heroism were all about me….
the glory, the prestige, and the “coolness” that came with what I imagined the role of “hero” to be.
I didn’t understand the cost, the pain, the sacrifice involved in being a true hero.
I didn’t have the maturity to grasp it.
As I’ve grown as a Christian man…
I’ve come to see that I have the opportunity, almost daily, to be a hero… and it’s NOTHING like what I thought when I was a boy.
It’s not about the honor or prestige I get for being a hero.
In fact, there’s very little of that stuff that EVER comes.
The kind of heroic work that Christian men are called to do is self-submission, self-sacrifice, and persistent and patient love for those the LORD has given us to lead.
I have seen some Christian men lately who get it…
- A young husband who is fighting alongside his wife, to help her find freedom from her abusive past. It’s an emotional cauldron that is not easy to endure… especially when his periodic mistakes cause her to lump him in with the abusers from her past. It’s painful. Agonizing. And he endures it for the sake of his bride… to help her overcome the wounds that threaten to ruin her… to experience the freedom of Christ.
- A Dad who is struggling to support his wife as she bravely carries their third child to term, even though they both know the child’s congenital heart issues may take the child’s life shortly after it is born. Can you feel the fear? The anxiety? The helplessness he must be feeling? Yet he presses ahead, leading the family to hang tightly to the LORD in spite of the unknown that lies ahead.
- A man who works 3 jobs so that his wife can stay at home with their 3 young children. They decided long ago that whatever cost had to be paid for their little ones to be raised by their own parents (instead of daycare), they would do it. Even with 3 paychecks, they still barely make the bills each month. He comes home weary every day, concerned that he’s not doing enough, but engages with his wife and children anyway, because he knows that his real job is at home.
These are just a few of the many heroic examples I’ve seen…
Christian men who have given of themselves for the sake of those they lead.
That is leadership.
That is sacrifice.
That is heroic.
It reminds me of Jesus… who gave Himself for His bride.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her – Ephesians chapter 5, verse 25.
Christian men… you have a valiant calling
Part of the problem I see in our day is that too many men (Christian men included) still think that being a hero is about them.
But that’s a juvenile attitude… the kind that characterized my youthful ambitions.
Men, you have a valiant calling, one worthy of a true man.
You are called to guide those you love into greater godliness, self-sacrifice, and commitment to the good of others.
You are called to teach them when the opportunity arises, even if you are bone tired, have nothing left, and don’t feel you can take another step.
You are called to give of yourself, just like your Savior did for you.
You can only do it if you are a CHRIST-ian man.
Without the power of Christ in you… you cannot do it.
The job is too big, the complexity of it will overwhelm you.
But if you will learn to walk in the Spirit, you will find that His grace is sufficient… His power is perfected in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Don’t get yourself all worked up over this issue and go out there and do it in your own strength.
You need the LORD of heaven and earth to empower you… and He will if you will submit yourself to Him (James 4:7).
A Christian man can, and should be a hero to his family… when Christ lives powerfully in and through Him.
If you’d like to discover more about how it’s possible, I teach on this issue in my video curriculum “New Life is No Joke.”
What are some of the heroic things YOU have seen Christian men doing for the sake of their Savior and for their families? Leave your comment below.