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10 Big Lessons for Men from Mr. Incredible

The Incredibles

Mr. Incredible (aka Robert Parr) is one heck of a dude. If you’ve never seen the movie, Mr. Incredible starts out as a typical superhero, saving the world repeatedly from destruction. Just before he marries Elastigirl (Helen), he saves a man from an attempted suicide who goes on to sue for damages. Soon the “supers,” of which there are at least dozens, are unwanted and forced to go underground in a kind of witness protection program.

Life, after suppressing the “super” inside him seems somewhat normal for Robert. He has three kids, gains a bit of weight, and works a steady job at an insurance agency. And he’s dying on the inside. His predicament is epitomized by a conversation with a little neighbor boy. When Robert asks the kid why he’s at the end of their driveway and what he’s waiting for, the kid replies, “I don’t know, something amazing!” Robert whispers a soft “Me too, kid,” and then heads inside.

As the story continues, Mr. Incredible is re-activated in a covert operation on a remote island without his wife’s knowledge. Things seem to go better and worse at the same time. Robert is enjoying being a hero again, but it’s all behind his wife’s back so that he doesn’t risk blowing cover again. The whole family is plunged into a bit of an identity crisis. They’re wired to be “super” but are told by their culture that it’s just not acceptable to stand out.

By the climax of the movie, the whole family has managed to patch their damaged relationships up and winds up fighting the forces of evil together under Mr. Incredible’s leadership. This is what he was meant for.

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10 Tough Words for Men

Tough DogI’m a man. I like being a man. Men aren’t better than women, and women aren’t better than men. But we’re different. So I’ve had to do a lot of painful discovery of who I am as a man, and I’ve learned a lot, mostly from my mistakes. I’ve come to some practical conclusions about manhood and want to drop them on you so you can get back to your man things.

  • God likes men with a wild streak – not a sinful, rebellious wildness, but an “I’m gonna do some stupid-big things for God and take risks in the process” wildness. King David, the Apostle Paul, and John the Baptist were all wild men.
  • Being a wild man doesn’t mean being a wild animal. My appetites for food, entertainment, and sex are God-given, but need to be under control. “Under control” appetites are godly. Out-of-control appetites aren’t.
  • I have responsibilities. Paying the bills, serving my wife’s needs, loving my kids, and leading my family spiritually all take priority over hunting, fishing, comic books, and video games.
  • Integrity means being ONE man at home, in public, and in private. The very second I start keeping secrets from my wife, my family life is beginning a slide toward destruction. Secrets are lethal.
  • “Growing up” means being physically healthy, emotionally mature, mentally engaged, and spiritually confident. It’s not enough to be tough in half the areas of my life. I need balanced growth.
  • Strong leaders are few. In a vacuum, bad leaders will fill the void if I choose not to. So I need to show up, speak up, and lead in a culture where men are sheepishly silent.
  • Meekness isn’t weakness. It literally means “power under submission.” Jesus was meek and His tender side changed the world. I should celebrate meekness, tenderness, and affection.
  • Being mad and mean is weak. Bullying my wife or kids provokes the God who made them and assigned me the role of protecting them. Yelling at people doesn’t make me bigger. It makes me smaller.
  • Work matters a lot. Family matters more. And worship matters the most. At the end of my life, I want to look back with a clear conscience at how I lived what I said were my priorities.
  • I don’t have to drink, cuss, smoke, or chew, or run around with those who do to feel more manly. But if I want to be like Jesus, I’ll be a friend to people who drink, cuss, smoke, or chew.

There are more tough words to hear, but these ten were in my heart and I’ve shot from the hip. What would you add?

[bcoxlike]

Photo by Jeff Hill Photo.

Why Don’t Men Ask For Directions? Answered.

Can’t view it? See It On Youtube.

I’m not sure that the creators of this commercial have the actual answer to why men don’t ask for directions. What I do know is that I often don’t ask for directions for reasons of my own…

  • I just ought to know.
  • I do know… I just can’t remember… yet.
  • Who could possibly know, if I don’t?
  • If I’ve started in the wrong direction, I don’t want to know.
  • I’m just enjoying the journey.
  • There’s always another route, and I’m finding it!
  • Trust me, this is a shortcut.
  • I’m afraid to show weakness.
  • Stopping for directions will take too long and if we’re lost, we can’t waste time.
  • Asking for directions can get you maced, mugged, or made fun of.

Some of those excuses are illogical, and others irrational, but all of them have gone through the minds of men in panic.

I remember an episode of Home Improvement in which Wilson, the wise neighbor, explains to Tim that he is better with directions than his wife because men tend to have larger amounts of iron stored in their nasal cavities, which results in a stronger connection with the magnetic poles. Tim recounted this to Jill later in his own defense, proclaiming, “Look, I just have more iron boogers than you!”

When we’re just trying to get back to the main highway on vacation, this is not such a crucial issue. But when men hit real crises in their lives, these tendencies remain. So let me just give myself some advice, man-to-myself, and you can listen in…

  • You need direction.
  • God created you and He created the course you are running.
  • God put you in the path of other, often wiser men.
  • Speak up. Reach out. Dump the pride and admit your need for a Counselor sometimes.

Ask for directions.

The Head of the Woman is the Man

Problem SolvedIt’s funny, you know, how a particular headline can grab attention. I’m guessing that some people are reading this because they like the idea of the man being the head of the woman. Others have their proverbial guns drawn.

Saying that the husband is the head of the wife is controversial in light of the modern emphasis on gender equality. The statement Paul made in 1 Corinthians 11:3 was controversial when he wrote it for a different reason – because of a lack of gender equality. You see, whether we realize it or not, Paul was arguing for balance in the marriage relationship. Let me explain…

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