The Priest is the leader of his home. He will pray over his wife and children and find opportunities to teach God’s goodness to them. The Provider addresses the financial, emotional and relational needs a family has. A financial provider is quickly misunderstood because of how our culture has the needs and wants intertwined. The Protector is the one that looks out for the family’s best interest for the physical, relational and emotional state and direction of the family. An example of this is a father setting the tone for godly morals in the home.
These are all humble approaches before God, our spouse, family and community. Unfortunately, a media minded culture has encouraged men to live in fantasy. What is fantasy? Fantasy is described as an escape and/or quick fix from reality. Fantasy is beyond believing the lies of denial. It’s an escape that desperately longs for comfort or a utopia that simply doesn’t exist. Many will fight to achieve it. The fight can include viewing as much pornography as possible. But isolating oneself to get away from family and friends can be part of the challenge for an addict. But when some men have made that decision to isolate with their sin, they later find that porn never satisfies. Proverbs 27:20 states, “Death and destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes.”
Another example of fanciful thinking is how historical figures have been and continues to be portrayed in the media. These historical figures many times are seen as larger then life figures. A documentary can quickly point out certain successes and a few failures but within an hour point to how wonderful and/or the revolution this person created. There is no doubt that what they achieved is a great work, but everyone has their faults too. We don’t always need to see their “dirty laundry” when they are mentioned from history, but having a basic knowledge about the true person offers a better understanding of how we can overcome our challenges as well. It can also point to how we can be used by God even though we aren’t perfect either.
This example is different than looking at superheroes in fantasy. Superheroes speak for itself when it comes to fantasy. Historical figures can be hard to live up to since many times we aren’t told the whole truth about the person. That is why I like how God writes His story in the Bible. He has men and women rightly portrayed for how they have lived and dies. Their sin and failures are talked about after they have made the decision to follow Him. What God is also telling us is, we will always have a place to repent and confess our sins if we are willing to come to Him as our High Priest and seek forgiveness. He is the one that gives us all our needs which can be given to us in a variety of ways.
Paul is known for writing most of the New Testament and bringing the Gospel to the Gentiles. An area that he was counter cultural in, or counter to one’s pride, is being open with this weaknesses. He writes about his persecutions in 2 Corinthians 11:23-33. He later states that even after asking God three times to remove these persecutions, God’s reply was that his work was seen through weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9. This weakness or pain and suffering are completely different thank what we hear every day from friends, co-workers, media outlets, and etc. So, being a Priest, Provider and Protector in our day and time will look different than what we see and hear about what most men are living like. This is delayed gratification; we have to wait with a good attitude for what is to come. Being able to deal with our own pain without projecting that onto others is part of that challenge. And so Paul was able to accomplish the goal had set before him.
I was teaching recently and a man came up to me and made a common yet heart felt statement to me that many men ponder. He stated that he wants to be closer to God and understands he should trust Him more. His fear was the different tragedies he has heard others go through after they committed their life to Christ. He feared his wife and/or children suffering, accidents or deaths because he made a deeper commitment to Christ. Instead of dismissing this man’s fear for simply lacking faith, I listened to him and he shared more of his fears. Many men want what is best for their families but want to plan out a cause and effect regimen to achieve what others have been blessed to have before us. We are not all promised the same things. This is why we need others in the body of Christ to encourage us in the faith. My responsibility is to grow in my relationship with Christ. Through this process He will change my heart and the fears of this world will begin to fade away. I will still have thoughts and feelings but making a decision to follow Christ and be the leader of my home is not something any man should easily back down from No matter what his sexual preferences are.