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Real Men are Vulnerable

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 12, 2020 1:00 am

Real Men are Vulnerable

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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November 12, 2020 1:00 am

What characterizes a good man? Author Nathan Clarkson talks about the unique role men play in God's creation and points to Christ as the embodiment of all that a man should be. Nathan shares how his pastor-father discipled him growing up, and reminisces about his thirteenth birthday when his father gave him a sword and told him that he was made to be a hero. Clarkson admits that while he's lived independently of God many times, he's learned that a good man admits his weaknesses, and seeks the help of God and others to do this thing called life.

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Nathan Clarkson remembers the time his dad pointed him toward a vision of purpose for his life. My brother and I turned 13, my dad gave us a real life full on medieval Mike Soren had story behind it and with my dad said you are made to be a hero. This is something you can hang on your wall to remind yourself you have a code to live by. You have a purpose to live into. So, did you something very deep inside of me. It reinforced that I was made to live a good story and the choices I made would add up to what kind of story told in that sword in that moment is a continual reminder. Even today of 31 years old that I was made to the story and the choices I make will determine what customer that is this is family life today. Our hosts are Damon and Wilson on Bob Lapine can find us online@familylifetoday.com. Ephesians 210 says we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which he prepared before hand that we would walk in. You know the good works. God created you to walk in talk with Nathan Clarkson about that today. Stay with us and welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us. You know the subject were getting into today. Part of the debate that goes on around the subject is, is there something different about what it means to be a good man. Then what it means to be a good woman the moment when were talking about virtue and goodness send who were supposed to be. Is there a gender differential between masculinity and femininity and how that gets lived out, did God make us uniquely male and female and what is that mean I thought I just roll that out at the beginning of the program for asking what you know I mean I was in my heart immediately. I go to.

Yes, God made men and women uniquely beautifully different. It's incredibly frustrating yet. On one hand understand a woman and understand a man, but it's so uniquely in the heart of God to make a man, woman, different yet they partner together in a beautiful way. I've had this conversation with lots of people you take something like nurturing the quality of somebody being a nurturer and we would I think would all agree that that tends to be on one end of the gender spectrum more than it is on the other end of the gender spectrum. Now sometimes, but then that's a point should a man be a nurturer of course Garrison saloon is a woman more designed by God to do that. Is it easier for her as a more natural for her, probably. So we have to make sure were not getting all boxy and say men are all like this and women are all like that I should introduce our guest Nathan Clarkson is joining us this week. Nathan welcome back to family life to have Nathan's written a book called good man, which is an exploration of what it is to be a good man is an author is a filmmaker is an actor is a poet he's a Renaissance man comes in and I reflected back off and on one of my sons who came home from a youth retreat and he said one confused. I said what are you confused about a simple speaker at the retreat was talking about the difference between guys and girls in the retreat speaker said you know guys like sports and girls like to read books now and my son was like I like to read books and don't like sports that much. So what does that make me this is where we can get into stereotype and confusion than mice. My son calls them gender realities that can be harmful and destructive. So we don't get so boxy as to say men are all this way and women are all that way. But as you were thinking about this book, you had to be thinking about is there something uniquely masculine that I need to be tapping into and is it different than what God called women to be.

I think as a creator as artist what one of the things that drew me to God is that he is a creator who design things so beautifully in uniquely and diversely I love just how colorful his entire creation is out there so many differences in it. I think that's displayed beautifully and how we created men and women both are incredible beautiful creations that have purpose behind them and both are unique and I think that's a wonderful and beautiful thing and I think the world has twisted that and there has been abuse and hurt through people misusing his design but I do think that it's a beautiful design aspect, the God creates things so uniquely, so I can't speak for women but I can speak for men and I can speak for the things I feel that God is called us to be and I think where we often go wrong is when we're looking you know we've all heard the phrase be a real man. You know I've seen this in commercials. I've heard this in sermons I've heard this everywhere I've heard real men, you know, don't eat salads. Real men don't cry real men do this or don't do that and so we I think many men have an image in their head of what that is what a real man is in a talk about this in my book about how I did for many many years. I had this idea will. This is a real man and a lot of it was from my friends or from TV or what whatever it might've been, but I started asking different question. When I found that a lot of those images were failing me failing to make me feel fulfilled or like I really was a real man I and very often I feel like I was falling short. I love reading books. I love singing I love dancing and I was bullied for that in high school and I had to wanted to set make me less of a man because a lot of the image we have our superheroes are which I love. By the way big superior fan are what you see very often in in media be toxic and mean and can fight and if that's the totality of what a man is wanting. That's a pretty shallow image of a man and it's just not something that ultimately brings me to my best self. So when I was searching for what a real man is the start of this book, I decide Asmus of different question rather than what a quote unquote real man is what culture tells me what my family tells me what my church tells me I want to know what a good man is and I want to know who men were created to be and I just know this might be a cheesy answer but ultimately is found in the person of Jesus that everything he is is what I'm trying to be and that the completion of what a man should look like and be is found in him and his character in his decisions. No woman would say the same for her. So is it different for men and women do you think you know that's the journey that you guys will have to go and I am not a leader, buddy. I will drive a bit to manage it is when I read your book. There's 15 characteristics. My favorite number by the way nice and yet everyone is distinctly male but they could easily be read by a woman say I want to be of interest. I want to be devout.

Those are characteristics that are illimitable, but you can obviously take it and say okay what does this look like from a male perspective readily look like I leaning go this far as to say like the first one is the desire to be aware. I think some women have not desire it just me look a little different but denied any that's a good way to put it in my look a little different yeah yes we'll talk about some of these characteristics I mean think anyone you want. I mean if you you start with the verse and Samuel about man looks at the outward guy looks at the heart wise at important words that lay a foundation will I think today or have an identity crisis, especially those who are connected to God in any that's really real way because I think on one hand you have seen this rise over the past 30 years of culture same.

Do what you want sleep with who you want look at pornography acts prideful be greedy go after money, and then the very next day you have them say mentor toxic mentor evil men are inherently bad and ever Trail of men in media today is typically bad and you understand why you look at the statistics you look at the news stories you see that men very often have become predatory and angry and abusive and violent.

They become depressed huge rates of suicide are only on the rise and so you see that men really are an identity crisis right now and I think a lot of this is stemming from they don't know who they were made to be and so for me this book was not written as something will I have all the secret knowledge and I and a share with you and this is how to become like me a good man.

This is more of a a book that is detailing my own journey that is still continuing into trying to discover what that looks like. I thought as I read you put together a business plan for yourself for what you can to continue to pursue have run your life in order to be the kind of man you want to be absolutely this is not a line. I have crossed into good man territory. This is a direction I am on I guess I wanted to write it to men to know that there are other people on this journey because I do feel a lot of the books have been written to men are from a mountaintop perspective will all tell you how to climb the mountain like I did and so is a doubt is looking down on the men who were in very often as young.

I felt like I can never live up to the things that were in these books that you have these pastors and moral leaders who would be telling you how to be a man as I go.

I am falling short, every single day. I am not living up to what I'm told is a good man and so wanted to write a book.

As someone who is still on the journey was still climbing who still searching because I feel at that something is really needed right now for the young and growing up, I thought it was interesting that he said the truth is none of this generation become passive.

He just said that an angry, selfish, predatory firing and board, but none were designed by a good creator with content. We were made to be dedicated peaceful serving protective kind and purpose driven hike every woman would treat and think like that sounds so good. I went on to be with the man and follow man who were on this road together you are, honey, you are just with one of our times this past week and I said you you are a genius.

He said no I'm not in his little five-year-old daughter said why do you say he's a genius you are and continues to because no one was created just like your dad and no one was treated just like a couple mean you can be you, so you will be a genius at who you are. So if you try to become like someone else you lose that identity and a genius that got is printing only you think for men and for women like it's becoming who God designed us to be exactly what you said can I say that those words speaking those words into a man's life means so much. You know Mendel often show emotion and the conflict or whatever, but the word spoken to me that you are genius you are good you can do things. Those words have carried me onto action want to try more more so those are beautiful it looked that as you hear those words from your dad. Yeah, I was lucky enough to grow up in a place in which we were encouraged to speak words of life to each other yet because as I look through your book.

It's the kind of book that a father would want to take his son through a sinner mother couldn't as well. When I was raised by a single mom and my mom would grab a book like this from a mom's perspective say David Lewis to tell you what a man is and walk me through but talk about that. How could a father use this kind of material to walk a son into manhood. I think this is a book I wanted to connect to men of all ages and I think you know I look back and my dad would have these weekly nights that you take us out and disciple my brother and I and it wouldn't be you know a moral time or confess your sins, I would be a time which we were able to ask questions and get to know God better and see exemplify what a man looks like, and so I think it's so important for fathers to be taking the time to spend with their boys and showing them giving them again a vision of what a godly man looks like a what a good man looks like, so I absolutely hope this can be a resource to dads that they can walk through at least a little bit of a structured way. Some of the aspects of what it means to be a good man talk about your 13th birthday and receiving your sword, you know, that's such a great picture of giving a young man a vision for what he can be my 13th birthday in our family. Both Boys and Girls Club the way got something special, but for my brother and I will return 13. My dad gave us a real like full on 5 foot medieval night sword and had story behind it and with that my dad said you are made to be a hero. This is something you can hang on your wall to remind yourself you have a code to live by. You have a purpose to live into and you know I look back and it was nice in shining armor is as a kid. Of course, and then like it but also did do something very deep inside of me. It gave me again it reinforced that I was made to live a good story and the choices I made would add up to what kind of story told in that sword and that moment is a continual reminder. Even today of 31 years old that I was made to live the story and the choices I make will determine what kind of story that is swears that sword today is my childhood room in Colorado is still hanging up right next to the posterior Superman curious what your sisters get there.

She got little daggers, but they also got rings so they got more than a little jealous but they got the warrior dagger and this beautiful not a purity ring but a beautiful ring to signify them grow into adult women beautiful.

I know the sword image of me right you get an actual sword, and I never got one is a boy but we we did it for our son.

I'm in that same sign that the end said your genius is the one who I think when he was 15 or 16. Said I want to pipe height is so unique like a pipe because I was smoking as want to look at hold my head. That's a real theologian now sure that he loved many of these in literature today anyway beautiful but the thing is you know what you think in their swords all over house. Now they food be an awesome they'll take maybe someday to their house but they still have one hanging in my office because it wasn't given to me as was sword to get our kids and they literally had so many that some of the left and house, but I look at it when my mom my office and I think as a man. It's an image that says I am called to protect is this woman in my legacy. In a sense, not empty, really Jesus is only one that can do that but he is entrusted me as a man, not that he has entrusted my wife is a mom but there's a unique call on my life to hold that sword strong.

I member here in Dennis Rainey 30 some years ago say I think in a probably from the stage.

Do not let your life be the door through which sin enters your family and I am never forgotten that just as simple quote. He said in Ike I got a picture myself literally standing at the front door my house protecting what's behind me and thinking is sin to come into my legacy through this door me or my guess dinner with the sword and say no I am called to act like a man to be strongest in firm to do everything in love. That's of this role call on a man in it absented as we are getting in this book a good man except that sword you know it's hard in stands firm and by the way, you have a whole chapter on any can't do it alone. He's with brother absolutely in this book, I wanted to kind of address. A lot of these aspects of men we take for granted ago. Yeah, you know, and I think for many years my life I had this idea amended alone until we figure out ourselves that we don't need help those kind of things and so in this book, I wanted to address some of those aspects of men that will discounted just accept without thinking about and you know they look back the times I'm try to do to lower the times that I openly end up in the worst and hardest place my life.

I think when you see men together you see in Scripture very often you know Jesus didn't choose one manages 12 to take his message to the world kissing there's community know their support and so I think there's something that really is special about men supporting men about needing brothers and mentors. I'm so blessed to have people my life who are wiser than me and people walking alongside of me. You know, even in the form of I have a therapist and I know that's kind of taboo for a lot of men now that you know to be emotionally vulnerable with some and told the problems we just figured out yourself but I have someone who speaks wisdom.

Godly wisdom into my life and I'm open with. I confess to.

I talked to in this such an important part of my journey is that when I am humble enough and again Jesus reiterates humility. And I think being in community and mentorship, and around people requires humility, but ultimately when I have open myself up to people, wise people allowed them in my phone my life better off for having done that, and I found myself closer to following God in the life that he is calm and live every wife wants her husband had that male friend and yet so many men don't lie is that why don't they reach out anything or something have two questions. Is there something we can do is win into help and I said this before. If there's anything that a wife or mom or anyone can do it would be when your husband or whoever it is in your life become vulnerable. Don't punish his vulnerability because men already struggle with vulnerability and if we are confessing or talking or just talking about something really deep in her in her life. I would encourage anyone if a man is trusting you enough to open up and be vulnerable respect that vulnerability and support him and love him and that because that's what a lot of men need when you think of that image of a man standing. Like I said, like let's say at the front door and a storms coming foreign enemies coming and he's holding that sword to protect his family. I think a lot of times we think that man strong man look at him. He's a warrior and I want to be that man. I don't think we understand that man. Five minutes goes on his knees where that man was sitting in a room with five other men asking questions and getting their wisdom any maybe standing there at that moment looking like he's alone but he's not alone. I member I think is Bob Carlisle he's a one-room butterfly kisses that I wasn't in that song. There was another song he wrote the lyric was if you see me on my knees is not because I'm getting weak I'm getting stronger and we often see a man weaker in tears. And we think they're weak and it's like that and I'll unite your see what's going on he's meeting could be a therapist could be a buddy. This could be Jesus he finding strength in Christ right here and when you see them standing at the doorway fighting that storm it's out of that weakness that God's strength meets him to be able to lead and protect his family, as he's called to do yeah want to pick up on that because I wondered if evening you saying and I meet with the therapist you feel kinda like I feels a little unmanly to say that there are a lot of hardships of my mental illness, but because of you did a few things because of them having blessings to me and because I had to accept very early on that I had things of struggling with that I couldn't deal with my own be that my OCD or depression. Whatever it was I started seeing a therapist very early in my life so I got over very quickly that this is not what a real man does because I saw the benefit and I know how much I needed it, but I have felt that in telling people throughout the years that oh really, you know, guys want to, that's what girls to got girls or vulnerable men just you know they must love and just power through it and I've heard men so I can never go to a therapist I couldn't talk about my problems.

I can give on a bike that allows figure them out and that always makes me sad because I know how much benefit is been for me to have places in my life or I can be vulnerable, but absolutely that's still something I find a lot of and really struggle with. I think there are a lot of guys who we feel inside like if we can't do it on our own. There something wrong with us know that men are supposed to be able to solve all their problems and not need input from the outside than if we if we don't know all the answers were weak somehow and can we just push that button right here and just say look were all messed up.

We've all got weaknesses in flaws and absolutely we need one another and we need help and there's no shame in fact there is more shame in being a poser than there is in being a real man to say I need some help on this so I can figure this one out on my own and I'm coming to get. I remember a leader calling Marianne and me and asking if we would get together he was going through a real struggle time in his life. He got the two of us and a couple other couples got together and said here's what were dealing with and were not sure what to do and we need your counsel. It was an extremely raw and vulnerable time and I thought that's first bulge, wisdom, and second of all, it's real strength to say I'm not just gonna fake it and make everybody think I got this covered I'm the one essay I need help and get wisdom from others and I would just add it to the man is listening right now if you don't have men in your life. It's on you because it's real easy to say well you know I couldn't find them at my church and I get it that's can be.

But at some point you gotta take a step and say dude I need help or I need a friend. Can we be here just take that journey. I know in my life. The men that God is brought in my life and finally I went after him.

Yes, in honestly, when I moved to Detroit in 85 the work Detroit Lions iced I tried.

I bet seven different men's soda small groups in if I would acquit. I wouldn't have these minima left. They weren't the right guys. There are different reasons why, but man I kept pursuing a pursuant and found these guys and we been together over 25 raise her kids have done their daughters weddings doing another one, I miss just and there's been real hard and real brokenness. Two of our meeting. These are men that if if you came to church. He saw me say all those are the leaders and strongest men at that church and you like you have no idea this guy's wife had an affair.

This guy had an affair in their marriages have been saved because of this group. We've laughed, we've celebrated and so many men don't have that I'm to send dude I'm looking you ready I said get men in your life. It is in your book.

Good men are brothers and they seek out brotherhood. You can't do it without him it's on you to do it God's got some men for you make the call. Send the text. Do whatever takes your gotta be a better man. Your legacies can be changed because you you step out make it happen just five guys and say I heard on the radio about this book, maybe we could all go through it together. Take a chapter go to your title like Denny's earlier there. Still, this is moving fluidly. We've got copies of Nathan's book good and available. Our family like today resource Center. You can find out more about the book order multiple copies when you go to family left@a.com or call us at one 800 FL today to get your copy of Nathan's book again. It's called good man a look for it online@familylifetoa.com.

Also check out the video series that family like produced a few years ago, based on Dennis Rainey's book, stepping up a call to courageous manhood that's available for guys to go through as well either in the socially distanced, setting, or online check out the stepping up video series. When you go to family life to a.com and again order a copy of Nathan's book good man. Call us if that's easier.

Our number is 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today. Speaking of small groups. We have just started taking preorders for a new small group study for couples called love like you mean it. This is based on my book which is all about. First Corinthians 13.

The chapter on love looking, phrase by phrase at what real love is supposed to look like a marriage relationship. This is a 10 part video series there's an assessment that goes with it so you can see how you're doing.

Strengths and weaknesses when it comes to loving one another in marriage and if your group doesn't have 10 times to get together. Maybe you've only got four or six or seven whatever you want to do. There are ways to use this series and pick the topics that fit your group best.

Find out more about the new love like you mean it video series. When you go to our website. Family life to a.com or call if you have any questions, one 800, FL, today is the number one 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today, not tomorrow to talk about the characteristics of godly masculinity. Is there a portrait we can look at something we can see that says that's it something we can aimed toward Clarkson's can join us to help us think about that tomorrow. You can join us as well. I want to thank our engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson about the pain. See you back next time for another edition of family life today family like today is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. Accrue ministry help for today hope for tomorrow


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