It was 14 years ago that I was sitting in a little church in Versailles, MO. It was going to be the first time that I was going to be preaching at the church since the Sr. Pastor was away. I got dressed up in my best coat and tie preparing for the morning. I was ready I had worked all week on the message, I had read it over and over, I even figured out some of the meanings of the greek and hebrew words. I wanted to make sure that I was ready to go. My wife had even sat down right in the front so that she could encourage me during the morning. All I know is that once the music began playing and I was situated up front on the little preacher pew I started to sweat. I even started feeling a little sick. But sitting up there with me was a very special man. His name was Dr. Kellogg from Southwest Seminary he was there to help out with the service so I did not have to do everything that morning. The pastor knew that I could not handle it all at the beginning.
So while the music director was leading one of the hymns Dr. Kellogg leaned over and asked me some questions. First he asked, “Is this your first time preaching son?” I answered yes with out throwing up on the stage. He leaned over again and asked, “Are you nervous?” I answered again yes this time, realizing that I must look really bad. He then leaned over and made a statement this time; “Why are you nervous. No one came to hear from you.” Wow, what a statement all I did was sit there and look at him smiling. Did I stop being nervous, heck no. But that statement has hung with me ever since. One of the things that I always seek to do is make sure that the word that people walk away with are from Jesus, not me. Over the years that statement has meant more and more to me. It has encouraged me to always remember who is the most important voice in a service and that is Jesus.
So I am sitting in a friends house in Jefferson City, MO with my wife when I receive an email from my 16 year old son asking me to read a book report he is about to turn in at school. As I sat there and read the book report I was more and more amazed at what an awesome man he has become and how proud I am to be his dad. It brought me to tears. His mom then came in the room and I said you have got to read this. In a moment Michelle was reading away at the same report. Her face was all a glow as she just sat there and said, “WOW!” I am not going to just sit here and tell you about it I want to give you the chance to read what he wrote, so here is Tyler Bloyer’s report.
The world that we live in is constantly pressuring us to conform to its ways. The book that I read, Hero: Becoming the Man She Desires written by Fred Stoeker and co-author is Jasen Stoeker, is trying help the men of God fight the fight and staying strong to the commitment we made with our bodies. It is taking on the myths of this world head on and firing back using what the Creator says. It is a book for the defense of those who want to keep sex between their future wives and them, and no one else.
The author is just trying to tell me that, just because I am a follower of Christ, it does not mean that I cannot have the same romance and intimacy that my peers have through premarital sex. Stoeker is helping me by suggesting to me what it takes to be a man of God through my actions with the women around me, and with my future relationships. He writes to me that a man of God does not look at women in a degrading and disrespectful way, and that God created them special and of course different than us men. And these differences are not just physical, but also mentally. The way that women view relationships is very different than the way a man perceives them to be. Women are more likely to be dedicated to a relationship, than a man would be. Also, he lays out all the expectations that God has for his men about sex and abstinence (Oh no I said abstinence!), and how important it is for them to protect their hearts from the temptations of our sex driven culture. God created sex, so why would he think it’s horrible and bad? He doesn’t, God created sex for a reason. It is the bonding of one man to one woman. He made it be awesome and pleasurable. What he doesn’t like is when people abuse this wonderful gift, and use it for our own ignorant pleasures with whomever we feel like it. He created it for a man and a wife to have together, when they had made that commitment to each other and God. AKA when they say I do. But our culture tries so hard to make men like me, fall to its low standards of integrity. Men are constantly under attack through the movies and TV we watch, through the music we listen to, and the websites we view. Satan has used many things to break followers of Christ down. He uses porn, masturbation, and other things like premarital sex. And sure man, we are not perfect people AT ALL, and if anyone says they are, they’re liars. We make mistakes just like everyone else. The only perfect person ever on this planet was Jesus. He never sinned. But yet, he came here on this jacked up world, and he died in place for all the crappy things I’ve said or done. And for this, I know that even though I live in a world of constant temptations and pressures, I know that because I believe that God came here for me and died for my mistakes, that I don’t have to worry about where I’m going after I die. It’s a sure fact.
This book is a tool that God has placed in my life, and I now know what I have to do to be the man that He wants me to be, and the man that future bride deserves.
I continue to pray for the young lady that will some day be my sons wife. I pray that she truly sees what being a Hero for Real looks like.
Michelle and I love to listen to Diana Krall when the kids are in bed and we are able to relax and enjoy our time. This is has been one of those areas that we truly knew was important for us to keep for us to be able to be the husband and wife we needed to be. I also believe that it is because we were able to make sure that we had this time that we were able to be better parents. We had time for us to be unified in heart and mind when it came to life and the kids. This may not be your kind of music but I encourage you to find whatever music you and your spouse enjoy turn the music on and then just spend time with the two of you. No matter how many kids you have no matter what ages they are, you need your time together. Because if you don’t have your time together now when your kids are grown up and gone you will have tons of time together and you may not know who you are spending time with.
What kind of music do you and your spouse enjoy listening to while you relax? If you can’t answer that question then you need to find out.
Last week I felt God asking me to take a step and try something that I had not done before. I felt the need to fast for the whole week from Monday through Friday. I felt that this was an opportunity to really rely on Him as well as to see what it is like to live like most of the world that we inhabit.
Monday was no problem I thought to myself this is not gong to be that bad at all. By Tuesday afternoon I had such a raging headache that I thought that I was going to need to get rid of something, like my head. I have to be honest that Jesus and I were then beginning to have some serious conversations. I had now not had any food or coffee in at least 48 hours, I realized that I had much more of an addiction to coffee then I thought. Wednesday the headache went away but I could feel that I was beginning to get a cold. That was not what I was planning on. Thursday was even more fun I had the opportunity to go down to the 16th street mall and meet with someone at the Cheesecake Factory. THE CHEESE CAKE FACTORY! With all honesty it was not as hard as I thought not to eat that afternoon. It was that night while watching “Survivor” with my family that I proceeded to count eleven commercials that focused either on restaurants or food. Friday I was blessed to be able to spend some great time in extended prayer and I found myself focused on really being able to see some amazing things through the bible that applied to my life. Friday afternoon we went to the movie theater and we saw a movie, the popcorn smelled well let’s just say that it caused some stress. So late Friday night my wonderful wife made me some scrambled eggs and I eased my way into eating food again.
It was a great experience and it is one that I pray I will continue and even extend in the near future. It was an opportunity to seek Jesus in an amazing way and gave me some clarity like I had never had before. Let me ask you “What are you willing to give up to grow closer to Jesus?” ”What are you willing to sacrifice?” Because He sacrificed a lot to get closer to us.
Did you know that every day that I have a fight? I have a fight with myself. No some of you may automatically think like me and picture Jim Carey beating himself up in the bathroom in the movie “Liar, Liar”. I want you to know that is not what I am talking about. I don’t know if I could literally give my self a right cross to the face.
What I am talking about is that every day I fight myself the side of me that wants to do what I want and not what God wants. I fight with the way that I spend my money, the way that I talk to my wife and kids, I even fight with weather or not I want to even spend time with Jesus and His word. Because you know what it would be much better if I just slept in at least a half hour. I deserve that don’t I? I believe that this fight is what leads to affairs, divorces, abuse, addiction, and the loss of our families. I even believe this fight is what is allowing men to stop leading the families that God has called them to lead.
Galatians 5:17 (NLT) “the old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.”
We are always going to be at odds with ourselves. We are always going to be virtually in a fist fight with ourselves over what we are to do or not do in this life and our choices will always have some conflict. But there is hope. There is a way to deal with this fight. It is to trust in the complete work of Jesus Christ. It is to know that the distractions of this life were nailed to the cross and crucified. We need to seek to learn from the greatest fighter that ever walked this planet, Jesus.
Let’s learn to fight and fight with the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, because that will only be the way that you will ever be able to defeat, YOU!
In my office I have several pictures on my wall of my family. There are the pictures of the kids doing different things like football and volleyball. There are the way out of date family pictures where they are all shorter then me. (Not so now.) But there in the center of all of those pictures is the one that you can see below. It is two pictures of my wife in a frame done by some very special friends in Miles City, MT at “Unique Creations”.
In between the pictures you can see some typed up lines. Those lines are some verse from the bible that I think are important for me to remember when it comes to being a husband. They are the following:
Proverbs 5:18-19 (Msg) Bless your fresh-flowing fountain! Enjoy the wife you married as a young man!  Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose— don’t ever quit taking delight in her body. Never take her love for granted!
I can imagine some of you asking the question, “Why are these verse important to being a husband?” That is a great question and I am glad that you asked it. It is important for me to remember as a husband because a husband needs to remember that his wife is a fountain of love in his life. That just like a fountain that we see in a mall that if not taken care of can become unpleasant. If the fountain is not always being refreshed it eventually can become stale.
That I am always to enjoy the wife of my youth. That whether we are twenty five or seventy five she is the standard of beauty in my life. That everyone and everything can not compare to her beauty. That as we grow old together she will always be the wife that I fought for, the wife that I wrote poems for, that wife that I chased after, and that should always be the way that I treat her. As the young husband that worked so very hard at making sure that she knew she was the only one for me.
That I am always to be sexually active with my wife. Now I am sure that some of you are thinking well that is not something you have to work at you are a male. Your right, but there are things of this world that are very busy trying to get me to not focus on my wife whom I love. The things out there are pornography, strip clubs, jobs, sports, and even friends. These are things that can if I let them, keep me from making sure that I am loving my wife emotionally and physically. I believe that for some reason men have bought into the idea that when it comes to sex that their needs are the ones that are the most important. Unfortunately if you are a husband and that is the way that you think then at least one person is enjoying the whole minute of pleasure. I am just saying. Maybe if we took the time to make sure our wives were pleased or wives would take the time to make sure we were. I am to take delight in her and only her.
Then finally I am to “Not take her love for granted.” As a husband I am to always be seeking to make sure that she knows that she is loved. Not that she feels that she is loved because feelings can change with the weather. But that through my words, my actions, and my life that she and those around her know that she is loved. That is why these verses are important to me as a husband. I heard this statement a long time ago, “Maybe if there was more courting in marriage there would be less marriages in court.” Guys it is time to be step up and be the husband that your wife needs and desires. So why not ask her today if she knows that she is loved. Maybe, if you have the guts ask her friends if they know she is loved because if she is not then they will surely know. Take the time to work more on your marriage and the relationship with your wife then you do your fantasy football league.
With our church going through a series called “Man vs. Wild” I have felt that there are some areas of life that a lot of churches tend to shy away from when it comes to being a man of God. So with that I have been taking some time to really evaluate the area of sex and how we present sex to the Christian man.
When it comes to the single man we are always saying wait until you are married. Which is the biblical standard that with out the biblical union of marriage sex is something that is not complete, is not perfect, and not fulfilling the way God intended it to be. It also is not great. Sex between a husband and a wife is to be great, awesome, incredible, fantastic, what ever word you want to describe it. At least that is the way that I feel. (My wife is embarrassed now) This is the way that we present it to the Christian man. There is only one problem though, they are now building something up in their head that if it does not deliever to his expectations then there is something wrong and they see this as a problem. In the book “No More Christian Nice Guy” by Paul Coughlin he makes this statement; “Then at last he marries and crosses the finish line, yet instead of fabulous banquets, he gets frozen dinners for years to come. Such men will tell you they feel robbed, resentful, victims of false advertising.”
So what are some things that we can do as churches, families, parents, and leaders to change this thought for young men that feel like they are being robbed? Take some time and think about your own experience of entering into marriage and the sexual relationship, what were the things that you thought and were they a proper perspective? I think that this is an area where we need to talk not just to men about but also women, if we are to enable marriages to survive and thrive.
What are your thoughts?
Today as a husband I am so encouraged by the woman that I am able to call my wife. As we both seek the Lord in the choices and directions of life the encouragement that I receive from her is incredible. I mean it is so awesome to know that I have a partner that is really seeking the Lord in all that we do. I mean last night as I am watching a football game I noticed that Michelle was not around and so I thought the loving thing is I am going to find her and mess with her (I love doing this with all my family). But as I opened the bedroom door for a sneak attack I found her curled up on the bed with her devotional book, bible, journal, and IPOD with worship music going. It is such a humbling experience to see my wife in a position of humility before the Lord. I had to just stop and enjoy the moment has a husband as well as a fellow traveler with Jesus. She looked at me and asked if she could use my IPOD for the worship music that I had on my playlist, I ran to get it so she could continue with her time. I went back to the game not praying for who I wanted to win but thanking the Lord for the wife he has loaned to me.
Proverbs 12:4 (NLT) a worthy wife is her husband’s joy and crown; a shameful wife saps his strength.
This morning I spent time with just her and I praying. If you want to be a real man of faith, a real husband then pray with your wife, because there is no hiding who you are before her and the Lord when you place all of life at the feet of Jesus. Ladies you have no idea the power that your encouragement and prayers bring to a husband, I could not be the man that I am today with out the wife that I have been loaned and the prayer that she places before the Lord for me. When I know that she is behind me and going before the Lord for me, watch out!
Take the time to pray with your wife!
My heart is not my own
Because of the love that Christ
Placed in my heart through . . . my wife.
No matter what challenges or strife
May come our way in this life
I know that I have a best friend in . . . my wife
Doors may open and doors may close
But as we walk each time through those
I am content with the hand that I hold . . . my wife
As the world spins and we handle loses and wins
She has become a part of me within . . . my wife
We have traveled far and wide
And always at my side is . . . my wife
There are children in the house now
Although there will come a day
When they have all moved away
We will walk through that life stage
To a brand new page as husband and . . . my wife
I pray that we will then visit
Friends, family, and grand kids galore
Going from place to place
All the while gazing at the face of . . . my wife
And as my hair continues to fade and hers turns to gray
I am thankful for previous and future days
With the beautiful lady that God gave and I call . . .
Proverbs 18:22 (NLT) The man who finds a wife finds a treasure and receives favor from the Lord.
Just celebrating Thanksgiving with the thoughts about my wife.
So what can I say I feel that I am living the life. I have an amazing wife whom I love and adore, she had me at NFL Package. No really my wife got us the NFL Package and surprised me, I did cry. She has made being a husband a wonderful adventure and that I could not be the person that God wants me to be with out her.
I am a father to three kids that make me excited about the future because of how I see God at work in them. I see them becoming beautiful on the inside and the outside every day. Ok, I can’t say beautiful about my son that does not sound very manly. He is becoming more and more adventurous inside and outside when it comes to chasing after what it means to be a man of God. But each and every day I am able to catch a glimpse of how much love a father has for his children and I can only equate that to what God feels for us. I am sure what I feel is just a flash of what He feels for us.
I get to do what I was created, love, and called to do, I am in ministry to students. Every day I am excited to see what is going to happen with my job and how God is going to show up. He is amazing and I have the opportunity to see Him change lives through the church, His bride. What else can you ask for?
I am living the life!
Tell me about how you are living the life?