We live in an era in which we can have almost anything with the push of a button. As men, we can swipe through pictures of girls as we pursue a quick fling or a one-night stand . We don’t have to hunt if we don’t want to because meals can be delivered right to our door. We don’t need to know directions to places because the GPS in our hands always gets us from point A to point B. Life as a man has never been more convenient, but does this era of convenience invoke a false sense of confidence in ourselves?
When was the last time you spent a morning talking with God? When was the last time you prayed over a meal when your friends were present? When was the last time you read your Bible? Don’t get me wrong, I am guilty of relying on my own strength and ignoring the Lord when everything is going okay at work or at home. What happens when times get tough and we find ourselves with our backs against the wall and we don’t think we’ll ever be able to make it out alive? More men are finding themselves alone and are inviting thoughts that have not only taken a toll on their physical health, but on their mental and spiritual health as well. Millennial men need Jesus and it’s time we dust off our Bibles and get to work.
It’s not always going to be convenient. The timing is never going to be perfect. What time was once spent scrolling through Twitter may have to turn to time spent reading our Bible. I’m not saying that we have to abandon everything we once knew, but time management is everything. Think back to college when you were a freshman and just learning the ropes in how to balance your homework load, work schedule and social life. Something had to give in order for you to be successful, right? We must be open to His plan and be willing to adapt. What you do is not always going to be successful or normal in society’s eyes. He will call you to unknown territories and it may cause your knees to shake. Don’t worry, your plans will succeed at the time and in the way God chooses.
What’s beautiful about pursuing a relationship with God is that He’s always up. When you can’t sleep, guess who’s there? God. He’s the 24/7 hotline that we can call at any time. We never have to worry about Him not picking up on the other end. There’s no time too early to call Him or a time when it’s too late to reach Him. Think about a friend you have that always seems to answer whenever you call. In this day and age, nobody really answers phone calls anymore. “Text me,” is what we often say because calling is seen as an inconvenience to many. We always seem too busy to find half an hour to talk to a friend over the phone. God’s not like that. He prefers phone calls. We can call Him when things are going well and when nothing seems to be going right. I am thankful that we serve a Lord that doesn’t hang up on us.
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.
Whether we like to admit it or not, fear still plays a factor in our lives. It might appear in different forms as we grow older. As a boy, a common fear might have been of the darkness and we remedied it by using a night light. As a man, a common fear might be losing our jobs, losing our home, or never finding the right woman to marry.
Whatever your fear is, we can find comfort in His presence. It’s easier said than done, but hear me out. I used to worry too much about death and it finding me and my loved ones. I had never experienced a death in my family until I was a sophomore in college, but then my grandpa passed away. Since his passing, I have always worried about my family members. I would hang onto the last words that I shared with my dad or my mom when I left their house. I did this because I never got to truly say goodbye to my grandpa. A week before his passing, I was back in town from college and saw his truck at a gas station just before I was about to head back to school. I thought about stopping, but convinced myself that I would just catch up with him during Thanksgiving in a month or two. I know I needed to let this guilt go, but it was hard to. This guilt haunted me for a while and caused me to have many sleepless nights. But once I came to the realization that death is a part of life that I have no control over, I was able to find rest. I was able to rest in Him. Whatever it is that you are fearing now, take it up with the Lord.
Pornography has also become a societal norm amongst millennial men. It's seen as something that "we all do" and if somebody doesn't watch it, then they are viewed as an outsider or even gay. What would happen if we were able to shift this societal norm? How would the relationships we have with women change? Would our relationships last longer? I have had my fair share of struggles with pornography over the years, but everything began to change my senior year of college when I would tell myself that I am not that kind of man anymore. I would turn to exercising to replace the impulse that I had. It wasn't an immediate victory; it's a tough battle, but the good news is that you don't have to fight this battle alone. The Lord and other men that you trust to hold you accountable can see you through.
I’d like to think that most men like to get their hands dirty and get stuff done. It’s part of our nature and is a hallmark of what we pride ourselves in. We like dirt on our boots, calluses on our hands and a sweat line on our ballcaps. What if we pursued a relationship with the Lord like we did with deer hunting? What if we spent time building our foundation in Him like we do when building something in the garage? What if we engaged with Him like we react with posts on Facebook? How would our lives change? What would our families look like? How would our relationships change? It all begins with the pursuit.
Start with something as simple as five minutes a day. As you begin to dive deeper into the Word, maybe that five minutes turns into ten or fifteen minutes. Eventually, maybe that fifteen minutes turns into you joining a Bible study with other men. We can’t rely on our own strength to get us through this life. We will never get the job done alone.
“We will never become the men we are called to be unless we learn the art of friendship and intentionally cultivate deep, meaningful, rowdy relationships with other men.”
- Stephen Mansfield, Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men
Are you up for the challenge? It’s going to take a lot of patience and won’t be an overnight success like a viral video on Barstool Sports, but I promise you a relationship with Jesus is worth the pursuit. Those small details that you focus on may seem time consuming in the moment, but I promise you that they are worth it.
Books to Get You Started: