Aldersgate Men

Friday, April 14, 2006

"Integrity"

Christian men are called to be men of integrity, although that term often slips by me sometimes. The simplest definition that I cling to is this:

"Do what you say, say what you do."

That goes beyond the 'lying' aspect. It is a given that we should not lie. It also means that we keep commitments, that what people see on the outside is also what is on the inside. That our word is our bond, our honor.

Perhaps the biggest commitment a man can make is to his spouse. The vows of marriage have been cheapened by society's acceptance of a spouse running when times get tough.

Everyone knows the 'that which does not kill you makes you stronger' quote. That applies to marriage as well. The couple that sticks through the tough times, and makes an honest attempt at coming out together, becomes stronger. That is as true the first year of marriage as it is the 35th year.

The advantage that Christians have in that area is that Christians know 2 things:
- They are called by Christ to love. There is no one more 'neighborly' than our spouse. And Christ demonstrated repeatedly what He meant by love, and it never looked like the love of Hugh Hefner. It was service, healing, lifting up the subjects of His love.
- They can rely on the strength of Christ. When you give up chasing your own desires and let Christ drive the car, you benefit from divine strength. You may feel like you are in such a bad place there is no way to love another, even or especially your spouse. With Christ you have strength to love no matter where you are at.

A Christian loves their spouse during and out of the bad times. They muster the strength to do that by relying on Christ. They do not rely on their spouse to lift them up, because there is no guarantee that will happen. Often both in the relationship are worn down, and the relationship needs to be bootstrapped like a computer, with Christ providing the BIOS. One of the partners needs to insert that Christ BIOS diskette and press CTRL-ALT-DEL.

If you are in the middle of a mediocre to bad relationship or marriage, my prescription is to try another relationship, one that will NOT make you give up the first: a true relationship with Jesus. If you're reading this you probably already have an acquitance-level relationship with Him ("I say Hi to Him when I see Him or on Sunday"). It's time to ratchet it up, time to upgrade your BIOS.

When you accept Him as Savior and Lord, your life will change like you never imagined. Your assignment today: Read The Great Divorce, paying close attention to the man with the lizard. There are amazing things waiting for you, if only you'll take that step.

Be a man of integrity, make promises and vows. And keep them.

4 Comments:

Blogger Vile Blasphemer said...

'that which does not kill you makes you stronger'

The man who wrote this also wrote:

God is dead.

Sickening irony, isn't it?

1:29 PM  
Blogger Vern Hyndman said...

Actually, when he said "God is dead", most believe he did not mean that the God that created the universe is dead. He was making an observation that God as seen by the religious of his day was one dimensional and dead. he was pointing out religiousity and churchianity was worshiping a dead God.

-vern-

2:00 PM  
Blogger The Spaniard said...

He also suffered a mental breakdown and died in an institution. To him God really was dead - because he rejected God and the things of God in his life.

One of the things that he seems to have detested the most about Christianity was its emphasis on selflessness and how this allegedly leads to the elevation of the weak-minded. He chose to live his life in a very dark place.

6:45 PM  
Blogger bob redding said...

How about the marriage relationship thing? I'd like to hear more Behr.
YBIC

10:25 AM  

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