It’s easy to err on the side of inability to protect and even being unaware of the need or being paranoid.
Neither of these is a good place.
If one does not expect that things can go south and are unprepared when they do that man has failed to protect. When I say protect I’m referring to guarding against anything that can destroy one’s self and one’s family whether it be a physical intruder or non-physical assaults that destroy one’s soul and the fabric of the family. Us men can err on the side of physical intrusion and forget that this is only half the battle. Half a battle fought is a battle lost.
Nehemiah 4:14 says, ”And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, ‘Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.’”
This passage was often quoted by Dr. Tony Evans at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship when Jennifer and I attended there while we were in graduate school. That passage was so impactful that I have it etched on the inside of my wedding band. Here, Nehemiah exhorts his people to fight for their family in light of the physical threat of those seeking to stop their rebuilding of the wall as well as the spiritual and emotional threat that existed with the ongoing physical threat. Nehemiah and his men had to fight for the physical, spiritual and emotional security of their families.
Transferring this “type” to us and the kingdom of God, we are engaged in an epic battle to establish the kingdom of God through the preached and believed gospel and the values and will of God being done on his earth and in our homes as it is done in heaven. The kingdom of God conflicts with the kingdom of darkness and that conflict is physical, spiritual and emotional. This conflict has impact on our existence as family units and as the local church made up of family units. Therefore, we have the same charge to guard our families against threats.
Therefore, we must be aware and able but not foolishly barking at crickets. There is a time to fight and a time to be peaceful and use other tactics. A real man knows both and when to use one or the other and he is always ready for both.
I was raised to value both of these things, and for this I’m thankful to my dad for passing them on. I value being strong and able to defend my wife and kids against any threats. There are some who could take me man to man, but by God they’d know they were in a fight and they would be in a severely weakened state after that scuffle. I can take on many. I would lose some and win some. I run. I lift weights. I shoot guns. I have fought and practiced fighting. I teach my boys the same. I want them ready for all threats physical.
The word and the Spirit have taught me to be ready for emotional and spiritual threats also. Truthfully, I have had no mentor in this one. I’ve had to learn through Scripture, observing keen men from a distance in their writings on emotional and spiritual security (no specific books on this specific topic, just a general gleaning from reading broadly in Christian theology and practice as well as other non-christian authors on leading), global exposure and extensive work in other cultures, a discerning and helpful wife, and by God’s grace through the indwelling Spirit. I have learned that the emotional and spiritual battle are as much a threat as a physical intruder.
Just like the man who tried to enter my home at 5:30 am on an October morning in 2014 was stopped because I was too much for him to handle, I must, likewise, be too much for the enemy of my family who would affect our collective soul emotionally and spiritually. Those intruders can be anything that destroys the emotional and spiritual balance of my home from the media allowed to the thoughts allowed to germinate to the demonic entities that attack. There are multitudes more unseen intruders but time won’t allow to list them all. You know what upsets the balance of your home.
Men, we must be aware of physical, emotional and spiritual threats and be ready to win.
- Be in the Scriptures. No excuses. Be a man and know your bible or you’ll be a victim.
- Prepare yourself physically. Just do something to be stronger than someone else. Don’t be lazy. No excuses.
- Develop emotional and mental toughness by leading something, handling the difficulty in critique and criticism, thickening your skin, learning what to listen to and what to tune out (because some people gonna open their pie hole in spite of it not being the best and you have to learn to listen, know when to defend and when to let it pass). No excuses.
- Be in small groups in your church consistently. Make the time. No excuses.
- Hebrews 10:25 it. Don’t be absent from corporate worship. That’s a discipleship issue. Plan around worship. That’s in the manual or you are in sin. No excuses.
- Have friends who you are accountable too in your small group. It’s in 1 John. No excuses.
- Listen to your wife and/or children’s needs and make sure the spiritual and emotional atmosphere is fully in tact. Put a guard over your home. No excuses.
Do these things and you and I will be a long way toward being able to protect our families like real men.