Fathers are different from mothers. Fathers are the ones that make sure that mothers are honoured. We insist on it from our children, training them to make their mothers feel awesome. I love my mom and I am glad to honour her but I understand the importance of it because my father trained me in it. And that is what fathers do. We don't put ourselves in the center of things but instead we make sure things happen. Our reward is not with gifts and breakfast in bed. In fact it is very difficult for a man to allow that to happen because we are the doers, or at least we would be if we are allowed and encouraged to be. Our reward is not our children showering gifts on us but the success of our children in life, love and faith.
We want to be respected and appreciated but most of us have forgotten that men who take short cuts are not deserving of respect and appreciation. This is the day and age of expecting big returns on very little investment. The world is a mess because people think they can invest $1000 and get a million in return. Whole companies have been lost with thousands of jobs disappearing because investors were not receiving enough return on their investment. What a greedy world we have become and the idea of sacrifice is out the window. We have turned men from doers into spectators.
This translates into our relationship with God as well. We have a Cain attitude. Cain got into trouble with God because he did not honour God with his best. His brother Able brought sacrifices from the first born of his flock but Cain brought left overs, keeping the first fruit for himself. Contrast this with Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice his son. This was not just any son but represented his entire future, the promises of God. So in showing his willingness to give up his son Abraham demonstrated that he was willing to sacrifice even his future for his relationship with God.
Now we find it hard to sacrifice a mere hour to read our Bible, or pray. We complain in our spirit about the length of worship service and rarely think of giving up anything else for God. And as long as we are attending church we are never challenged to live as Jesus commanded us. Yes, commanded, not requested or even suggested. It is not a portion of our life that belongs to him but the whole thing. He purchased us with the blood of his Son and this is what Jesus laid down as our attitude:
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Mark 8:34
This is what needs to be presented to men and especially fathers. I say especially fathers because fathers need to teach this to their children. Mothers understand sacrifice because they are the epitome of sacrifice. But mothers often what to protect their children and do not always want their children to experience sacrifice and challenge. But men understand that sacrifice is often the backbone of life and is a key part of our relationship with God.
For the Church to be what Jesus has always intended her to be, men must receive the revelation of the knowledge and understanding of sacrifice. It is not that we gain anything from it, because God has done everything we need, but the Body and the world gain through us. It is in a sacrificial life that the world becomes curious. It is in our generous, self-sacrificing love that the world sees Jesus. It is when men set aside their own interest for their wife, sacrifice their down time for their children and give up their golf game or their night out with their buddies for the Church that the world sees that there is a difference here. It is when a man walks the streets of his city looking for the lost, or builds a home for a destitute family in Jesus name, or befriends a penniless stranger that he comes close to the heart of God.
Men who have received this revelation don't ask themselves, "What about me?" because we have already received Jesus' answer when Peter asked him that question:
Enough said. So, the decision is for us men to make. Do we want to have a Cain attitude or an Abraham blessing? Stop chasing after entertainment in the Church and let it become the great halls of instruction, inspiration and worship that she is suppose to be.