September 15, 2021
I think a lot about what it means to be a good man. And no, it’s not just because I’m the Pastor of Men and Families at River West Church. I think about it because I want to be the best man I can be for the people in my life, making the most of the time and opportunities the Lord gives me. Growing in Christlikeness is a lifelong pursuit. And as I’ve said before, the world needs good men.
I started this 3-part series on being a good man by talking about the fruit of the Spirit.
Lately, I’ve been contemplating the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) as descriptors for true masculinity. Clearly, Jesus personifies these things. A good man embodies and expresses:
There are many words that I would use to describe a good man. This list is not exhaustive by any means, but I find these nine words to be very powerful. There is nothing “soft” about them! When I see these qualities in other men, it’s evidence that they are walking in step with Jesus. I review them every morning before I start my day and I want to share what that looks like with you. It’s basically a conversation I have with myself that turns to prayer.
“Mike, why wouldn’t you love well today? Is there something keeping you from loving well? Is your pride or ego getting in the way? Remember how much you are loved by God! That’s so liberating! What’s the opposite of love? Is it your goal to hate? That’s ridiculous. Is it your goal to be indifferent? No. Mike, you are called to love. God, help me to love the people you put in my path today.”
“God, I have every reason to be joyful! I am so overwhelmed when I think about your blessings in my life! My life should reflect that gratitude. Why would I choose NOT to be joyful? Who wants to hang out with that guy? I want my joy in you to be evident in my life. There is freedom in joy! God, help me to be a man of joy today.”
“God, I can be at peace because you are sovereign! I trust you fully. Why should I worry? I can be at peace regardless of my circumstances because I know you are at work. Being anxious sucks! God, I don’t want to be anxious. I want to be at peace. Help me to be a man of peace no matter what I encounter today, knowing that this is the day that you have made.”
“God, there is a lack of kindness in the world. Jesus, you are incredibly gracious and kind even when you faced persecution on every side. What do I have to lose by being kind? Is it better to be rude, brash, harsh or mean-spirited? Of course not! That’s completely unacceptable behavior for a son of the Most High God. But God, I get caught up in my own world sometimes and I’m not as kind as I should be. Help me to be a kind man today.”
I think you get the idea.
Here’s the bottom line. Regardless of age, personality, wiring, occupation, background, etc. these are the character qualities that Paul selected as evidence of one who is walking in step with Jesus. If Jesus, the ultimate man, embodies these virtues then so should we.
As an experiment I encourage you to try this as you start your day. Have an honest conversation with yourself using these words or any other words you choose as descriptors of the man you want to be. It will bring great intentionality to your day!
-Are there other words that would be on your “good man” list?
-Do you use the morning as an opportunity to spend time with the Lord and bring clarity to the man you want to be that day?
-Are you willing to try this for a week and see what happens?
River West Men | Upcoming Opportunities
4th Quarter | Senior Men’s Ministry
We’re “Re-gathering” on the lawn this Saturday, September 18th at 9 AM. Come and share what the Lord has taught you over the last 18 months and hear about new and on-going ministries in this community of men. Coffee will be served. For more information, contact Don Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Man Night @ the Fisher’s
September 23 | 6:00pm-8:00pm
A night of man stuff: axe throwing, pickleball, cornhole, spikeball + dinner.
Real men RSVP! Do it HERE.
Father + Son Adventure Day
For sons in 1st-5th grade
Dads, because of Covid restrictions we aren’t able to do the two-night camp. However, we are cramming all the fun of the weekend into a single day! We are still getting things straightened out with the camp and will have details posted ASAP.
Living Lionhearted Men’s Study
October 9-December 18
Saturday Mornings 7:30am-9:00am
Perhaps now more than ever men need a clear understanding of what biblical manhood looks like. “Living Lionhearted” is my vision for manhood that I developed for myself and my son over many years. It’s now packaged as a journal with weekly reading and questions for reflection and discussion.
Men will gather in person at River West for live teaching and small group discussion for this 10-week study. Sons currently in high school are welcome to participate with their fathers. This is not an inductive Bible study. This is a deep dive into manhood.
Marriage Ministry Monthly Dinners
October-May | Register HERE.
This ministry is designed to foster small group communities where honest conversations about marriage thrive and couples are encouraged, equipped, and challenged to strengthen their bond while deepening faith in Jesus.
Key components of this experience will include the following:
· 1 Host Couple with 3 participating couples = small group community
· 8 gatherings over dinner (1/month, October-May)
· Materials for use: book and study guide/workbook by Francis and Lisa Chan
Father + Daughter Dance
For daughters 3 years old-5th grade
More details to come
Father + Daughter Camp
April 29-May 1
For daughters in kindergarten-5th grade
More details to come