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Ask Donnell: Why Don't Men Like Marriage Or Family Seminars?

Ask Donnell: Why Don't Men Like Marriage Or Family Seminars?

We received the following question from Melanie;

"Hey Donnell,
Why is it that men don’t like going to marriage or family life seminars? Is it that you guys don’t like people telling you what to do and prefer to figure it out on your own?"

Great question, Melanie. Each man is different but I do get where you're coming from. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to get a man to be enthusiastic about a marriage or family life seminar. It's not exactly the top of most guys' lists when it comes to investing their time and that's a problem.

Woman: Honey, have we booked anything for this weekend?
Man: Nope. Why?
Woman: I have a great idea of something we can do together. Interested?
Man: OK. What is it?
Woman: A marriage conference.
Man: Um.. Um.. Hold on, you said this weekend right? Wow! Wow! I really need a calendar so I don't keep forgetting stuff. I totally forgot I need to fix the brakes on the car. Sorry.
Woman: Really?

I'll throw out a random reason why a man would not want to go to a marriage or family seminar. It is boring. If he's not married yet, he's probably not interested. Unfortunately, that's the best time to learn. You don't learn to swim when you fall in the water. You also don't learn to fight after you get hit with the first slap. It's a little too late. You also don't wait to learn about marriage after you're married. You're setting yourself up. It might be boring to attend the seminar now but if you don't attend you will have a lot more excitement than you bargain for in your marriage. A whole lot more.

I'll throw out another random reason. Too much men bashing. A man does not want to go to a seminar to hear about all that men are doing wrong. He's not interested. He doesn't want to know that he has to step up and be a man. He does not want to hear how fathers are failing their families and husbands are failing their wives. He rather stay home and watch sports because at least he doesn't have to feel bad unless of course, his team loses. 🙂 Now that doesn't mean he doesn't need to hear the truth. He just doesn't want to.

Last random reason... He doesn't think he needs to be taught what he assumes comes naturally. The same way many men think they know how to be real men even though they were never taught they think they know how to be husbands and fathers. They figured out manhood so they can figure out the rest. What's there to learn? A good man should automatically be a good husband and father right? If he could figure out school he could figure out his wife and kids. It's not rocket science.... or is it?

Hosea 4:6(KJV) - My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance can turn into pain, misery and destruction very quickly. One of the biggest problems we are facing today even in The Church is a rejection of knowledge in key areas. People just don't want to know certain information because they don't want to be held responsible for it. They love a finance convention because it's usually about getting money. They love a faith convention because it's usually about getting supernatural results. However, a family convention is about growing as an individual and operating in Godly character. Boring! Who wants that?

I'll be honest! There are few things more awkward than to sit next to your wife or fiance' at a marriage seminar and hear the pastor call out exactly what you're doing wrong. You know your wife is hearing it and she's probably thinking, "Thank you Jesus. Let him know. Give it to him." The man also knows that the next time he does the same thing she will kindly remind him, "Now baby, remember what the pastor said. You're doing it again."

Ask Donnell: Why Don't Men Like Marriage Or Family Seminars?

1 Peter 3:7(AMP) - In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]

The Bible says that being a successful husband is a whole lot more than being in touch with your emotions or making lots of money. It's about intelligent recognition of the marriage relation. That's right, a man actually has to know something about marriage to be any good at it. If you don't learn how to be a spouse you won't know what to do. As one pastor said, bad spouses or parents aren't always bad people, they're just unskilled. They want to be married and have children but they don't want to be educated so they could do it right.

Young couples are getting divorced all over the place and many of them are Christians. Why? Are they bad people? Nope! They just don't know what to do and they've grown frustrated with their marriages. There's no frustration like the frustration that comes from ignorance. Sometimes, it's your own ignorance and other times it's the ignorance of the person you're dealing with. Nonetheless, ignorance breeds total frustration. You've tried everything you know so you think nothing can be done but what if you're wrong? The problem just might be that you just don't know enough.

Titus 2:1-8(NKJV) - But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

For The Church to be successful, the older men are supposed to teach the younger men how to be men of God and the older women are supposed to teach the younger women. If this transfer does not take place the cycle of broken marriages and families will continue. Generational curses are only broken when somebody decides to put an end to them. It just doesn't happen on its own. We have to learn from the generations before us what to do and what not to do. We must not repeat their mistakes. I might be young but I have the wisdom of older men. Do you want to know why? I listen to them.

Believe me, there are some things I do not want to learn from experience. If I can learn it from someone else I will. Long before I knew I was getting married I started learning about marriage. I attended seminars, watched videos, studied books and consumed the scriptures. I learned all I could because I knew that marriage is no joke. Even though I couldn't learn everything the least I could do was learn something. Whatever I didn't learn from someone else The Holy Spirit would teach me through the scriptures.

Too many Christians are getting divorced. Too many wives are complaining about their husbands. Too many husbands are complaining about their wives. Too many children are complaining about their parents. No man wants to believe he's a lousy husband. No woman wants to believe she's a lousy wife. We just think we're awesome in our own eyes and the problem is always with the other person. Marriage and family seminars are for everyone because you're either there to learn or you're there to help someone else.

Anyway, why don't men like marriage or family life seminars? I really don't know if there is any good reason. All I know is that we can't remain ignorant any longer. We need to get as much knowledge as we can and we need to apply it immediately. Knowledge is not power. Knowledge is potential power. Applied knowledge is power. Let's get some power and save our families.


Ask Donnell - How Was Jesus The Role Model For Husbands?

Ask Donnell - How Was Jesus The Role Model For Husbands?

Today's blog is Part 4 in this week's series on Biblical manhood. If you're a man, a woman with a man or one who wants a man this series is for you. Click for Part 3; "Manhood According To Jesus"

I received the following question from Nick;

"You said that Jesus is the perfect role model and He set the standard for manhood. If a man just models his life after Jesus he's a real man. Isn't that correct? Well Jesus never married during his 33 years walking the earth so how was He the role model for husbands? What's the pattern He left behind that we should follow?"

If you've been following this series you would know that it all started after I attended a men's breakfast last Saturday. So today's blog is based on a follow up question I received after giving my answer to the initial question; "What is a man?" I ended my response by saying Jesus is the ultimate man and if we could just model our lives after Jesus we would completely grasp manhood at its finest. I then outlined a few qualities of note that Jesus exhibited while He walked the earth. After receiving a few smiles, a muffled "Amen" and some nods of approval, today's question came in.

Nick gave some background information before actually asking his question so that the men would understand where he was coming from. I thank God for that because the extra time it took for him to finish his question gave me an opportunity to think. I was initially stuck for a few seconds but The Holy Ghost laid it on me in an instant.

How is it possible for Jesus to be the ideal husband if He never married? Who exactly are husbands supposed to model their lives after if our perfect example was a single man? I responded to the question at the time in a different way but when I got home this is what The Lord showed me.

How was Jesus Christ the role model for husbands?

The relationship of Christ to The Church is the standard for marriage.

Ephesians 5:22-33(NKJV) - Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

This is the best teaching on marriage in The Bible in my humble opinion. You really can't beat this. As I stated earlier, no man that ever lived on the earth could compare to Jesus. How was Jesus the role model for husbands? Though He never married a woman, His relationship to The Church remains the standard for marriage. When Apostle Paul was looking for a relationship after which to model marriage he could find none better. Therefore, he said husbands love your wives as Christ loved The Church. How did Jesus show us love?

John 15:13(KJV) - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus loved us so much that He gave Himself for us. His love cost Him everything, even His physical life. That's how high He set the bar for husbands. With Jesus as the example, if you are a husband will you give yourself for your wife? That doesn't only mean would you give up your life to save her. That hero stuff is only necessary when she's in danger. What's interesting is that when Apostle Paul talked about Jesus giving Himself for The Church He made no mention of The Cross. Yes, husbands show love when they give their lives for their wives but it means more than dying for her in Ephesians 5:22-33.

Ask Donnell - How Was Jesus The Role Model For Husbands?

Ephesians 5:25-26(NKJV) - Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

This is what Jesus did for us. He gave us His Word. He spoke words that were spirit and life according to John 6:63. His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection gave us eternal life but it's those words He spoke while He was alive that guide our lives everyday. Jesus spoke words to strengthen us and cleanse our hearts. His words hidden in our hearts keep us from sin (Psalm 119:11). His words help us to live holy. He sent His word and it healed us (Psalm 107:20). His word enlightens us and shows us where to go (Psalm 119:105, 130).

John 17:13-17(KJV) - And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

How are we sanctified? Through the truth of The Word of God. That's what Jesus gave us when He gave Himself for us. John 1 says that He is The Word made flesh. So by giving Himself for us, He gave His Word to us. When Jesus came to earth He showed husbands a dimension of love that we don't always recognize and that's the power of our words. One of the most powerful ways we can show love to our wives is by speaking The Word of God into her and over her on a daily basis. That way, The Word would sanctify and cleanse her heart from everything that shouldn't be there.

Every hurt, every pain, all bitterness, every failure from a wife's past should meet The Word of God face to face everyday as it comes out of the mouth of her husband. That's what Christ has done for The Church and that's the standard set for us. Don't just watch what you say to your wife. Speak The Word of God with the authority you receive as the head of the house so that it would do to her life what it has done to The Church.

Ephesians 5:27-29(NKJV) - that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

Pay close attention to something here. Why did Christ invest all the time and energy into sanctifying, cleansing and washing us with His Word? So that He could present us back to Himself. Do you see that? He knew what kind of church He wanted so He invested Himself into building us up to that level. That's exactly what God expects of husbands. It's our job to pour The Word of God into our wives to fashion them into the women God has called them to be.

We're not supposed to assume they'll get there on their own. That's why they have us. They're not alone anymore. If The Church needs Christ to help shape us into who He wants us to be wives need their husbands to help them develop into who they're supposed to be. That's right! God expects us to help them. If we're the leaders we're supposed to lead them into the fullness of what God has for them.

The same way we take care of our bodies we're supposed to nourish and cherish our wives. We're supposed to feed her with God's Word and protect her heart from the enemy. If Adam was covering Eve in that way, the devil would have had to go through Adam to get to Eve in The Garden of Eden instead of going through Eve to get to Adam.

In sum, Jesus didn't have to marry a woman to teach husbands how to be husbands. He set the standard by His relationship with The Church. God has given husbands authority to speak things into the lives of their wives. Why not speak The Word of God today? Let it mold and shape her into the woman of God you always dreamed of. She's not going to get there on her own if God put you there to do it. That's how Christ loved The Church so let's love our wives the same way. Jesus gave Himself for The Church. He gave His heart. He gave His time. He gave what was important to Him. He modeled the role of the husband in a marriage. It's our turn to follow His example.


Manhood According To Jesus

Manhood According To Jesus

Today's blog is Part 3 in this week's series on Biblical manhood. If you're a man, a woman with a man or one who wants a man this series is for you. Click for Part 2; "Jesus - The Ideal Man"

5) Jesus was a Servant Leader.

"I'm the head of this house! Do you hear me? This is my house! I pay these bills! Roooooaaaaar!"

"This is my company! I run this! You either shape up or ship out! Now get in my office with that report before I fire you! Roooaaaaarrrr!"

"This is my Government! I'll run it how I feel like! You cannot vote me out. I'll change the laws if I have to. Roooaaaaarrrrr!"

Matthew 20:25-28(NKJV) - But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Men in positions of authority in this world can be very bossy. They can push others around and use their positions to feed their own egos. They can play by their own set of rules while they create different rules for others. This is why it is said that power corrupts. If you get in the way or have a problem with what a man like that chooses to say he can make your life a living hell. A man like that is nothing like Jesus.

Jesus was a servant leader during His time on earth. Though He was very aware of His authority He never took advantage of others because of it. He was a servant first and then a leader. His service to those who followed Him caused a deep love to develop in their hearts. That's why people were and still are willing to give their lives for Jesus. People follow bossy leaders because of their position but follow servant leaders because of their influence. If both types of leaders lose their positions people will disregard the bossy leaders but still follow servant leaders.

John 13:3-17(NKJV) - Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

"The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature." - Source: The Servant as Leader, an essay by Robert Greenleaf (1970)

According to Robert Greenleaf, founder of The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership there are ten basic characteristics of Servant Leaders. Let me share them with you in my own words.

The Character of The Servant Leader

1) Listen - It's important to listen first, then respond so that you can tailor solutions for those you serve.

2) Empathize - Recognize people's worth and value them.

3) Heal - Use your position to help make people whole.

4) Be Aware - Know what's going on around you and also what's going on inside of you.

5) Influence - As often as possible, use your position to influence people to change instead of forcing them.

6) Envision - Dream big. If you don't know where you are going, why exactly should people follow you?

7) Have Foresight - Learn from the past, recognize the present and shape the future.

8 ) Show Stewardship - Treat your leadership role like a steward. You are entrusted to lead by others for a limited period of time. Leave the position better than you met it.

9) Grow People - Don't use people to grow your organization. Grow the people in your organization and as they grow so will your organization.

10) Build Community - Don't lose touch as you grow. The bigger your organization the more effort you have to make in this area.

Manhood According To Jesus

6) Jesus spoke with authority.

Matthew 7:28-29(KJV) - And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Matthew 8:23-27(NKJV) - Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Matthew 28:18(NKJV) - And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

"The loudest dog is usually the one that's afraid. It has to compensate for it's lack of bite with an extra loud bark."

From a young age my father taught me that a man with real authority doesn't have to attract attention to himself. He doesn't have to announce his presence. He doesn't have to be loud. He doesn't have to push people around. When he opens his mouth people listen and when he closes it people wonder what he's thinking. He knows the power of his words so when he chooses to speak he speaks words of substance.

When Jesus spoke, John 6:63 says that His words were spirit and life. They were no ordinary words. They could change circumstances and situations in an instant. They continue to change lives today. John 1 and Hebrews 11 say that His words created all that's ever been created. His words were weighty. You couldn't play around with His words because He didn't play around with them. His words were the answer to all of your problems. That's the standard of manhood.

Matthew 12:36(KJV) - But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

James 1:19(KJV) - Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

1 Peter 4:11(KJV) - If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

We are responsible for our words. Once they leave our mouths they go to work. If we only say what God says, all of our words will have supernatural power because God will back them up. Consider that as you choose to speak today. Jesus didn't waste words so neither should you. Let your words be tools of The Lord to bring His Will into the earth.

Let's continue from here tomorrow with more on manhood according to Jesus.


Jesus - The Ideal Man

Jesus - The Ideal Man

Today's blog is Part 2 in this week's series on Biblical manhood. Click for Part 1; "Ask Donnell - What Is A Real Man?" There is so much confusion about manhood in our society. As a result, many men have gotten out of position and the devil has taken advantage of that by attacking their families. Unfortunately, a popular reason why these men are out of position is that they grew up in households where their fathers were also out of position making their actions the continuation of a vicious cycle.

Role models are like precious metals. They are rare and extremely valuable. Since men are visual, it really helps when we can see someone model the type of man we need to become. In a perfect world that person should be our fathers. They don't need to be perfect, they just need to be good examples. Every man is unique so it's impossible to be a carbon copy of another man but the core principles by which our role models live are transferable.

Regardless of our personal situations, there is one ideal man after whose life we can all pattern ourselves. His name is Jesus. He walked the earth as a man for thirty three years and set the standard of manhood before returning to heaven. He operated in such dominion that one day His disciples asked the question in Luke 8:25; "What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him."

In another instance, in John 7:46, the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to seize Jesus. Yet, they were so mesmerized that they went back empty handed and said, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” Also, the scriptures say in Matthew 7:28-29; "And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." Jesus was some man and nobody else was even close! Let's now take a closer look at what made Him so special.

Jesus - The Ideal Man

1) Jesus knew His purpose from a very young age.

Luke 2:42-52(NKJV) - And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

What's your purpose? Do you know it? Can you articulate it clearly? When purpose is not known, abuse (abnormal use) is inevitable. Before we get into any other characteristic of Jesus let's start when He was twelve years old. Jesus was about His Father's business. He knew what His Heavenly Father sent Him to the earth to do and that's what He was doing. Even though His family didn't yet understand He was already focused. He knew His purpose. That's the first step to being a man like Jesus.

The earlier you know your purpose the better. It will save you valuable time and energy. When a man knows his purpose and exhausts his life working to fulfill it, he is demonstrating Biblical manhood. Discover your purpose today. God called David a man after His own heart in Acts 13:22 because he fulfilled all of God's Will. Can God say the same of you?

Proverbs 29:18(KJV) - Where there is no vision, the people perish (run wild, lack restraint, stumble over themselves): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Many young men don't have a vision for their lives so they run wild, lack restraint and stumble over themselves. It's impossible to have a vision for your life if you don't know why you were put on this earth. Maybe this explains the epidemic of issues with men in our society. They don't know their purpose. Jesus was the ideal man and He knew His purpose from a young age. That's the standard set for us.

Jesus - The Ideal Man

2) Jesus was anointed.

Matthew 3:13-17(NKJV) - Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Luke 4:16-20(NKJV) - So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.

Before Jesus stepped out into formal ministry He was anointed. The Holy Spirit rested upon Him after He was baptized preparing Him for the task ahead. He no longer operated as a mere man, He had the power of God upon His humanity. The Anointing transforms a natural man into a supernatural man. If a man wants to be anything like Jesus he must have The Anointing on his life. For more details on The Anointing read the following blog; "Ask Donnell - How Do I Recognize The Anointing?"

3) Jesus successfully resisted temptation.

Matthew 4:1-11(NKJV) - Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

Jesus destroyed the devil in the wilderness! Satan knows that the best way to bring down a strong man is not to fight him where he's strong but to lure him into areas of weakness through temptation. Think about Samson. The Philistines had no chance when they tried to physically fight him so they found his area of weakness and sent Delilah to exploit it. Goliath could not stand against the power of David. King Saul had no chance against the power of David. Powerful armies were brought to their knees by David but one look at Bathsheba and he was done.

Hebrews 4:15(NKJV) - For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus was the ideal man because when He was tempted He did not fall. He responded consistently with The Word of God. He understood what was written in Psalm 119:11; "Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You." Jesus taught us by example that even though we are human we don't have to let sin control our lives. He also gave us another key to defeating temptation in Matthew 26:41(NKJV); "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

4) Jesus carefully selected His inner circle.

Matthew 4:18-22(NKJV) - And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

One by one, Jesus handpicked His inner circle. This is rarely taught but it is an important factor in His successful life on earth. In many ways, your life is defined by the people you surround yourself with. We sometimes confuse the people Jesus interacted with while carrying out His ministry with His inner circle of friends. He was willing to minister to and interact with anyone but showed great discretion when selecting the people He would share His heart with. He described His disciples as His friends in John 15:13-16.

Proverbs 13:20(KJV) - He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

1 Corinthians 15:33(NKJV) - Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

If a man wants to be like Jesus he should handpick his friends. We'll continue from here with more tomorrow.


Ask Donnell - What Is A Real Man?

Ask Donnell - What Is A Real Man According To The Bible?

We received the following question from Georgia;

"What is a real man?"

This is a great question. However, before I answer the question I have a question of my own; "What is real?"

2 Corinthians 4:18(KJV) - While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Spiritual things which cannot be seen with the natural eyes are more real than the natural things which can be seen. Spiritual things existed before time was created and will continue to exist after time expires. So in the grand scheme of things, all that's natural is a mere shadow of true reality because it's here today and gone tomorrow. Therefore, the "realness" of a man cannot be measured only by natural criteria because they don't last. The spiritual side of a man is eternal and that's what matters the most. Nonetheless, let's get back to the question; "What is a real man?"

The answer to this question will differ everywhere you go. Manhood in usually defined by the prevailing culture. In some cultures, the boys don't even have to prove themselves. Once they reach to a certain age they are considered men. Therefore, for them, age is the only determination of manhood. There's nothing more to being a man than living long enough to reach the specified age.

In some tribal cultures a boy becomes a man when he can withstand a certain level of pain and carry out certain physical tasks. Therefore, they hold these elaborate ceremonies during which boys "cross over" into manhood after they prove themselves by purely physical and mental standards. From a Western cultural perspective, we may not agree with the tribal approach but at least they have a clear definition of manhood. We, on the other hand, are all over the place.

There are rogue elements of Western culture which have greatly influenced some of the most popular characteristics of manhood. This is especially true in urban "hip hop" culture which still has strong elements of slavery. I've heard many historical accounts of the strongest male slaves being required to sire children "at will" to provide an increased workforce for their masters. These men or "bucks" were not required to take care of their children. They were only used like horses to breed more strong Thoroughbred slaves. Every one of them was considered the master's property anyway.

Fast forward to our time and boys cross over into manhood when they lose their virginity and start having sex with girls. Therefore, the age when boys start having sex keeps dropping until now there are kids in middle school passing on sexually transmitted diseases to each other. They are influenced by images in entertainment and want to become "pimps" or "players" like the guys they see on television. The man with the most ladies is the most "manly" man because his manhood is measured by his sexual prowess.

Sadly, they are completely unaware of the roots of their actions in slavery. Maybe it's time for a history lesson. If it's true that having sex "at will" with women and siring children is a sign of manhood all these deadbeat dads and absentee fathers are real men. I doubt their children and single mothers would agree. It's only cool to be a "player" when you're young and fly. When you become an old player people start hating you.

Ask Donnell - What Is A Real Man According To The Bible?

Another area of Western cultural confusion concerning manhood is evident when boys are taught that their manhood is connected to their money. "That's right Johnny. You ain't no real man until you can bring home some real money. When a brother can get that "paper" he's the man. So go out there and get money." Guys then have no choice but to find innovative ways to earn cash and in turn earn the respect of their women and their peers. They feel insecure when their cash flow is not at the level it's supposed to be and it lowers their self esteem.

In the end, men with money get treated with more respect than men without money because their manhood is measured by their money. Western society continues to perpetuate this with the reverence and worship we give to celebrities and rich people in general. Regardless, if it's true that money makes a man, every male professional athlete and entertainer is a real man because they have lots of money. Every drug dealer, thief and Ponzi schemer is a real man. Also, if they mismanage their money and end up broke do they become boys again?

Last and definitely not least, our culture likes to portray a real man as a tough guy. We love those heroes on television who can beat up all the bad guys with their brute strength or supreme fighting skills. Ladies love the big strong guy with the big muscles because he makes them feel safe. The little boy who can fight gets respect from his friends. The teenager in the gang gets respect from his peers. The grown man with the gun gets respect from everyone. "If you mess with me, I'll shoot first and ask questions later. I'm a real man. Hear me roar. Roooooaaaaaar!"

Real men don't cry! They suck it up! They don't express any emotions except joy and anger. They just hold things in until they can't handle it any more then they get angry and hurt people. If that's the case, the jails are full of real men. There are tough guys all over the jails. Guys who beat each other up. Guys with big muscles. It's cool to be the tough guy with no regard for people's feelings until they get put in a cage with other guys just like them. Suddenly, it's not cool anymore. They just wish they could go home but that's no longer plausible.

Ask Donnell - What Is A Real Man According To The Bible?

What's a real man? Last Saturday, I attended a men's breakfast and this was the first question asked. As men stood up to express their opinions it was refreshing to hear the array of positive responses that were given. They included; "A real man is responsible. A real man provides for his family. A real man is a leader. A real man follows God. A real man is selfless. A real man is faithful." After listening to all of these great answers I was asked for my input. Instead of just adding a few more characteristics to the list I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to approach it from a big picture perspective. Today, I'll share my response with you.

My car came with an instruction manual. My phone came with an instruction manual. Everything in my house came with an instruction manual. Even my watch came with an instruction manual. Just like many other intelligently created things on the earth, men also came with an instruction manual. We don't need to create an original definition of a man when The One who created us was very intentional in voicing why He created us, who He created us to be and what He created us to do. He made clear His exact intentions when He created the first man on the earth. Therefore, if this is all we ever know about true manhood we're on the right track.

Genesis 1:26-28(KJV) - And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God's original intention for mankind was laid out in Genesis 1:26-28. Therefore, if we're looking to define manhood we must start there.

1) A real man is a reflection of God. He looks and acts like his Creator.

Galatians 5:22-23(KJV) - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

When God first thought about making a man He thought of making a being that looked and acted like Him. Therefore, the first sign of a real man is the character of God. If you're a man, can someone look at your life and see elements of Godly character? Do you exhibit the fruit of The Spirit? That's the standard of Godly character. Any man without Godly character might be an adult male but he is not a real man.

A real man is a reflection of God and since The Word of God is God according to John 1:1 a real man is directed by God's Word. As Jesus said in Matthew 4:4; "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Hence, real manhood is defined by The Word of God. A real man has love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.

2) A real man has dominion in the natural and spiritual realms. He is a leader who walks in Godly authority.

Revelation 5:10(KJV) - And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Kings have dominion in the natural realm. Priests have dominion in the spirit. A man who walks in dominion has a handle on his life and those who depend on him. He manages his surroundings well and navigates through each day with some level of competence. He doesn't have to know everything but he should at least know how to find solutions when needs arise. He's a problem solver.

God created man to have dominion over created things. That requirement has not changed. A real man lives with order in his life and knows how to restore order when things in his life seem to be getting out of hand. He doesn't let his environment control his life, he keeps his environment under control.

3) A real man walks in The Blessing of God.

Proverbs 10:22(AMP) - The blessing of the Lord—it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase i].

Ephesians 1:3(KJV) - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

When God created the first man He blessed him. Therefore, it should be easy to assume that The Blessing of God is required for man to walk in the fullness of his creation. Life is hard for a man who only operates in his own strength. He has to make things happen for himself and if he can't, nothing happens for him. Male adults trust themselves to make it through life but a real man trusts God. That's why God's blessing is on a real man who stays in Christ and receives all spiritual blessings. The Blessing makes things work out much easier.

Ask Donnell - What Is A Real Man According To The Bible?

4) A real man is fruitful.

John 15:1-8(NKJV) - “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

A fruitful man is one who has turned potential into accomplishments. Boys have potential but men have accomplishments. If you're a man, what do you have to show for your life? What have you done? God has given you gifts, talents and opportunities. Over the years people have invested in you starting with your parents. Where is the fruit to show for all of it?

A real man is more than a big talker. He doesn't just say he's going to do something. He gets it done. When God made the first man He told him to be fruitful. Seed is potential. Fruit are accomplishments. God provides the seed. You have to produce the fruit. A real man is fruitful and the only way to bear fruit is to stay closely connected to Jesus.

5) A real man is always advancing. He knows how to multiply what's in his hands.

Job 8:7(KJV) - Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.

Luke 16:10(KJV) - He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

Luke 19:17(KJV) - And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

When God told the first man to multiply He was giving him an instruction. Hence, multiplication is not an option for a real man. Real men are supposed to multiply their resources. It doesn't matter where you start, God expects you to keep advancing. You must increase from where you are and go to another level. A real man is not satisfied with stagnation and refuses to remain stuck in his situation. He works with what he has to make his situation better.

6) A real man is a problem solver.

Isaiah 58:12(KJV) - And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

When God told the man to replenish the earth, God basically instructed him to fix the problem of an empty earth. In the same way, when problems arise, real men spring into action. If we know what to do we do what we know. If we don't know what to do we seek help from someone who does. Regardless, when things are presented to us that need to be fixed we fix them. If we could fix the earth on God's behalf, we can fix the minor issues we face in our lives. A real man is a problem solver.

7) A real man knows how to subdue the enemy.

Colossians 1:16(KJV) - For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Ephesians 6:12(KJV) - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Luke 10:19(KJV) - Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Ladies, the same way you won't marry a punk that runs into a corner every time he's challenged or faces obstacles you should never marry a spiritual punk. Your man could be 6 foot 5 inches tall and 250 pounds of solid muscle but if he cannot pray he is not a real man. He cannot defend himself against his real enemy nor can he defend your house.

He cannot protect your children from the devil. He cannot cover you when you are under attack. He is an adult male but he is not a real man. He is helpless against the only enemy that really matters. When God created the first man, God gave him dominion over creation then God told him to subdue the earth. Why? The enemy had already been loosed in the earth and God knew that at some point Adam would run into him. Therefore, God gave Adam instructions ahead of time to subdue the enemy if he ever ran into him.

In sum, by just looking at Genesis 1:26-28 we can grasp a good idea of God's intention for men. These instructions were the first ever given to the first man on the earth and they are as relevant today as they were then. These are very general principles from which more specific characteristics of real men can be based. They apply to all men; single, married, rich, poor, young or old. Once we understand these general principles we are ready to deal with more specific principles outlined in the scriptures that address specific groups of men.

Since Adam sinned and dropped below the standard of manhood that was set for him God had to send the perfect man to replace him. That man was Jesus and He walked the earth for approximately 33 years before He was crucified. If you're looking for an example of a perfect man, look at Jesus. He is the ideal man and set the standard for all of us to follow. A real man is just like Jesus. Let's continue tomorrow with more on the characteristics of Jesus, the best man to ever walk the earth.

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