Most Church congregations are blessed with ladies of faith and works. These women actively serve God by doing good deeds on a regular basis. These women of faith are seen dutifully performing services to others. They prepare meals for the sick and needy, offer and participate in Bible study, teach Bible classes to the children, ensure the worship facilities are cleaned and prepared, visit the sick and elderly, send literature through the mail, developed Bible lessons regularly and for special occasions, actively participate in worship services, and numerous other tasks. The work of the Church appears to be the main focus in the lives of the women.
In contrast, is the participation of the men of the congregation. Most men participate passively in the work of the church. This often even includes the worship services. I must include myself in this category as well. We rarely visit those that have strayed and are not attending worship, and we never visit those in the neighborhood to encourage them to attend. We men will readily give money to most any cause, but don’t ask us to sacrifice any of our time. We tell others to let us know if we can do anything for them, but evidently don’t mean it because we never act when they ask. We don’t see to the widows or other needy. We leave that to the women of the church. We, the men of the church, rarely teach the Bible to others. If one attended our worship services, they would seldom hear the men singing. It is as if most men are too embarrassed or participation is not important. There are certainly men who are exceptions to my descriptions and even the men that I do describe are good, God-fearing men.
Men find plenty of opportunity to explore other interests. We set aside days or even months for hunting or fishing. We’ll take a week off to do nothing but hunt or fish, but will only give one hour per week to the Lord. Of course, we would spend countless hours watching or participating in some kind sport. Often we will have one sport in particular that seems to be a major focus in our life. I read somewhere, probably in Sports Illustrated, that NFL now owns Sunday and has replaced Godly preeminence for dominance. For some of us, our occupation rule’s our lives. We can spend countless hours at our jobs at the expense of our and our family’s spiritual life. In a yet much sadder situation, some of our younger men are allowing bars to dominate their lives. I don’t believe it’s because we, men, do not care, and it is not because we do not believe the Lord’s work is important. No man seeks to minimize the time spent doing the Lords work. Time spent participating in worldly affairs seems to become habitual.
Straying from serving God is a gradual process. Although gradual, the replacement behavior happens quickly. Society expects this behavior from men. The lack of spiritual commitment from men is acceptable behavior, even within the Church. Some may even see this as manly behavior when it is really a lower expectation for men than for women.
The most disappointing aspect of men neglecting the Lord’s work is not the damage men do to themselves, it is the damage we do to others watching us for an example. Our children are looking to us for example as to what kind of men they should be, or daughters for what kind of man they should marry. If you want to see what kind of adult they will become, look in the mirror. I regret how I invested a lot of my time as a younger man. Our young people don’t need these regrets, they need better examples from better men. Manliness comes from serving God, not from playing in this world. Regrettably, serving God often is only popular in heaven.
Many of our young people are leaving the Church or they only casually play at obeying God. One of the biggest contributors of wayward young people is the absence of two Christian parents, and by far the most needed is a dedicated Christian father. Which is the weaker sex?
I write this out of concern for my brothers in Christ and for our personal growth.
a Diana resident and former New Diana ISD superintendent, is an occasional contributor to the Longview Journal Saturday Forum. These articles are his submissions.