Recently, I read a sobering article by Patrick Morely (national director – Man in the Mirror ministries, from his article entitled: “A Look in the Mirror”, spring – 2014). In that article, Pat drills down to the root cause of so much of the misery in our world today: dysfunctional men! Now, before the collective “amen” rises from my women readers, let me say that we all know of many exceptions to that provocative statement – godly, selfless men who’ve modeled the character of Jesus Christ and have punched countless holes in the darkness of this world. In addition, I’m sure there are a few women who have created their own share of “hell on earth.” Yet, the more I think about Patrick’s statement, I can’t deny that it is true. This is what he says:
“The ‘men-problem’ has become a crisis that is virtually out of control. The collateral damage among families is staggering. Men under 40 are especially vulnerable to an alien worldview that is gutting the institutions of marriage and family. Our government agencies, social sector organizations, and businesses are overrun trying to cope with the downstream damage of an increasingly fatherless, angry, and dysfunctional generation. By all means, let’s continue helping single moms, pregnant teenagers, and fatherless boys. But, we’ll never solve these ‘symptomatic’ problems without treating the underlying disease – the cause – that men don’t understand biblical manhood. If you are trying to solve the wrong problem, you can only succeed by accident. Behind virtually every human tragedy you will find the failure of a man. No problem we need to be working on is more important than ‘men’s discipleship.’”
Patrick Morely goes on with a focused strategy for restoration:
“If you want to restore healthy marriages – restore healthy men. If you want to restore healthy families – restore healthy men. If you want to restore healthy churches, restore healthy men. If you want to restore healthy communities, restore healthy men!”
Whether or not you agree with Pat’s conclusions, I don’t think you’ll disagree with the fact that a focused and intentional strategy to help restore men to godly health is a critical need for our church! We’ve made some great strides toward this goal at South Baptist, but we have a long way to go. This in no way lessens the need or importance of our efforts to help women grow as disciples of Christ. How thankful I am for a vibrant and effective Women’s Ministry at our church! Still, I can’t shake off the lingering awareness that we must do more to reach out and help men.
Would you please pray for the men of our church? Pray that God will give each one the desire and strength to break free from the cycle of dysfunction that holds many of them back. Pray also that the South Baptist Church family can have a part in restoring the health of men. We want collateral blessings to flow out of men’s lives instead of collateral damage.