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Be Bold, Be Strong for the Lord our God Is With Us

Faith, Youthwork and Family…

Gillette Vs Samson

In the last few years there has been a back and forth public debate about gender equality, “male privilege” and “toxic masculinity“. I wrote a while ago about men needing to grow up and take a positive role in lives of the next generation. Unfortunately, my fellow males have not got a great track record with acting appropriately towards women, children and youth!

I have come across many families which have been damaged by aggressive husbands and fathers (i should note that there are however times that that the wife and/or mother has been the aggressor instead!).

There are lives which have been almost ruined by men harming young people and women. There is no excuse for it! It angers me and my heart breaks for those who have suffered in that way.

My father never physically harmed my mother and I have never harmed my wife, I want to bring up my son to respect women, I want my daughters to look for a man that respects them and treats them right, I try my best to show them a good example of that.

Gillette have created an advert which has caused a massive ruckus in the media, some praising it, some condemning them. A bearded friend of mine was “sitting on the fence” as he hasn’t used a razor for years and I haven’t let one touch my face for over a decade!

Samson was a man who never let a razor touch him until he was an adult male, he was set apart as a nazirite and was given almost super-hero strength! But he had an eye for the ladies, that was his weakness, like a lot of men, a pretty female walks past and their biological urge to act kicks in, but that is no excuse as we have been given a brain to control our urges and bodies!

Men could actually learn a from Samson:-

God’s idea of “manhood” begins in Genesis, he tells Adam that he will have toil and labour in the fields, males are the majority of leaders of the Hebrew nation, there are important women in the bible too, women like Esther, Ruth, Miriam, Mary and Elizabeth. No man should be foolish to think that women are inferior and women should not believe the lie that they can do without a male in their life.

I know as a male, some may accuse me of “male privilege” but even the bible warns men of the pressure they may face, Paul reminds single men that if they cannot control their urges they should marry that woman, but a married man will have to balance serving God and worrying about looking after his wife and providing for her needs.

Nowhere should men feel that they have a right to use and abuse women or make them feel worthless. The Gillette advert is right in challenging men to step up and not allow bullying or other men forcing themselves upon women.

I recall one of my teachers in high school dismissing the fact that older kids were spoiling my friends game by saying that “they are just having a laugh!” Within minutes, one of those got hurt and it was all his fault for not stopping it.

I wrote about the role of fathers, the physical, emotional and psychological effects of having a strong male role model in lives of boys and girls has been recorded in many research papers.

Most females want someone to support them, to provide for them and to love them. Which is what the Bible tells men to do! When males fail to show respect and love, they put their own needs and desires over the needs and desires of other people. That isn’t due to toxic masculinity or male privilege but purely a minority of males who either have not had good role models or they simply need to grow up!

The Gillette advert would have been praised if it began with positive role models and examples of positive things men do like fight for their country, inspiring the next generation and encouraging them to believe in themselves. But unfortunately it began with negativity and false ideas about how most men behave.

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Love despite…

I was watching a movie with my wife and there was a scene where a woman was at her engagement party and remarked about something her old relative used to say:-

“You like because., but you love despite”

I have been thinking about that recently, I am blessed to be married to an amazing woman and have three wonderful children, all of whom I love and who love me. Of course there are disagreements at times, but as long as I am loving and explain my actions, I do not think that will ever stop.

I am in a church, as it is a body of human beings, I know there are occasionally gripes and disagreements, but I love my pastors and those in the congregation. I may not agree with them all the time but if we all are following Christ’s example of loving others and not judging others “specks” of issues when our “planks or logs” issues are huge, we will remain a loving body of followers of the most loving human being who ever lived!

Relationships may begin with a physical attraction, but as I wrote in a blog years ago, if that’s all your relationship is about, when things get hard or the sexual desire is jaded by life and exhaustion, you won’t feel the need to hang around and work on the relationship. Whereas, if your relationship has a basis of friendship and even better, having God as the “third strand“, when things get tough or the lusting attraction wanes, you will still have a strong relationship, even more so if you believe God put you together and you ask for him to be a part of your daily lives.

God has loved the inhabitants of the world, despite all our faults, as the Bible says “While we were still sinners Christ died for us!“, he didn’t choose us because we are perfect, because noone is, he didn’t choose us because we are good, because noone is!

Churches are not perfect environments, in fact the phrase “don’t let stress ruin you, let the church help” is sometimes accurate! People are sometimes hurt by church leaders and other church members, but this shouldn’t be a reflection on God, although it often is taken as one! Just because people hurt you or say something you don’t like, it doesn’t mean that God has done it to you!

God loves you despite your flaws, he created you, is proud of you and wants you to love him back and then love others despite their flaws and put others needs before your own!

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