Get free email updates as I write new articles:

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.

[Read more…]

5 Reasons Why Men Just Can’t Win

Go Fight Win

I try. I fail. I try and fail again. Why can’t I just win? Why can’t I get this right?

I ask myself those questions a lot, but even as I ask them, I know the answers. They’re on the tip of my tongue and God’s spirit often reminds me of them right in the middle of my pity party, which is so inconvenient. And I think that, as a man, I’m not alone. All men struggle. All men have internal battles. And all men wonder if they’ll ever really win.

For your benefit and mine, for the sake of all men, let me just spill my guts about why I just can’t win. Or at least, why I don’t win when I don’t win. Reflect on how you see these in your own life.

[Read more…]

Husbands, Treat Your Wife Like the Treasure She Is

RingsMy wife is a treasure! She’s precious. In addition to all of the many personal qualities about Angie that make her awesome – such as her tender, sweet heart, charming smile and her beauty – there’s this, and it’s from the Bible…

The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.

– Proverbs 18:22 NLT

Here’s a blunt truth… when all a guy can talk or think about is how much of a nag or a burden his wife is, it tells us way more about him and his attitude than about her.

Let me open that up just a bit. Man, you have a choice to make about your own attitude. If you appreciate your wife, care for her, honor her, and choose thoughts about her that are good and positive, you’re going to enjoy God’s favor and marriage will be a rich and satisfying experience for you. But if you stay focused on yourself and your own wants, you’ll create a standard she can never meet.

Dude, if you’re married, she’s a gift. God has been good to you – far better than you deserve, in fact. Therefore…

  • Cherish and value her, like a found treasure.
  • Honor and respect her as a gift from God.
  • Show her off by speaking well of her and refusing to talk about her faults to others.
  • Protect her and provide for her.
  • Desire her, pursue her, and be the first to show your affection for her.
  • Listen to her heart. Then listen some more, before responding.
  • Lead her, not because you get to be the boss, but because she needs and wants you to be in front spiritually.
  • Stare at her and remind yourself how good God has been!

Here’s a tip (from a guy who is still figuring all this out myself): Make your phone’s lock screen a picture of her pretty face smiling back at you.  

All couples go through tough times, and there are times when we need to honestly confront the faults in our spouse, but our view ought to always ultimately be for her good, not for our own.

Remember, you’re responsible to God as a steward over every relationship in your life. And if you’re married, no other relationship is as important as your marriage. Someday, you’ll stand before the Creator God of the entire universe, whose name is Holy, and answer this question: How’d you treat the treasure – my daughter – that I gave you? 

Photo by Alexis Arnold.

Meekness is the Leverage of Leadership

In today’s world, meekness = weakness. God does not view it that way, however. The Bible says of Moses,”Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3) And in a world where power is everything, Jesus entered the scene in a wooden manger surrounded by barnyard animals. He grew up in an humble village, the son of a carpenter, of modest means. He lived His life serving others, yet Jesus was certainly the most influential leader in all of history.

If you study the lives of Moses and Jesus you’ll find something interesting – they were both great leaders. Both were willing to boldly confront sin and error. Both would rebuke those who believed and lived lies. Both were willing to venture out into the future with faith. Yet they were the meekest men in history. How can this be? You see, we’ve misdefined meekness. Biblical meekness is not weakness, it is really just the opposite.

The Bible’s word for meekness is used in reference to a broken horse, which has all the power to destroy its rider but refrains out of respect for authority. The word is also used to refer to a soldier who has all the might to take on the enemy, yet submits himself completely to the authority of his commanding officer. Meekness is the key to having leverage in leadership. It’s the refusal to demand respect in exchange for commanding it with a life of integrity. It is “controlled power.” Meekness is the willingness to supress those urges to lash out at the wrong time, opting instead to wait for further orders from our commanding officer, Jesus.

Is meekness displayed in your life? How can you submit yourself to Jesus more today? How can you lead others with boldness and courage?

The Life Plan of a Courageous Man

Men! In western society today, we’ve typecast men as unable to be responsible, intelligent, or relationally healthy. Boys will be boys. Men just can’t control themselves. Girls rule. Boys drool. We aren’t doing our boys any favors by hold up this particular caricature. Equally dangerous is the other extreme, embraced in various generations of history in which men are domineering overlords of the weaker sex. Between and beyond these two models is the model of a godly man.

When David was turning the throne over to his son Solomon, he gave him this charge, “Take courage and be a man. Observe all the requirements of the Lord your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go.” (1 Kings 2:2-3 NLT)

This is the life plan of a godly man. Step up to your responsibilities. Take courage and rise to the occasion. Take ownership, in the sense of taking responsibility, for your life, your family, your workplace, your community, etc. Follow the example God has set. He loves unconditionally and lays down His life for His friends as well as His enemies. And live within the parameters of His Word and His wisdom.

The sure result of this kind of life is success – perhaps not the kind of success you seek, measured in dollars and trophies, but the kind of success that matters for eternity. So men, throw off culture’s assumptions. Take courage and be a man!