Several months ago, in response to my article “The Christian Life Is Like…a Box Of Chocolates?” (re-posted below) I received the following reply. It touched me and I asked permission to quote him. It was graciously granted.
Al Hartman: “Perhaps (judging by the described table conversation) the ladies got what they expected, which would be very sad. But the root problem lies not with the ladies themselves, but with the men of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, who both teach and display the example of faithful living for all the people of God. Generally speaking, when professing Christian men congregate in a manner similar to that Anna describes, they talk is sports, cars, careers, kids in college, etc. Ministry in such gatherings is weak at best and too often farcical. Men who ought to be leading their homes in discipleship have settled for regarding the church as a social club.
Now this abdication by men shouldn’t keep women from being godly, but without God-ordained leadership from husbands and fathers women aren’t rightly instructed in godliness.
We men look to the leaders of the church for our living examples of Christian thought, speech and behavior. Sadly, there is scarcely anything exemplary to be found in todays pulpits– not none, but far too little. We have the Scriptures of course, and the biographies and writings of men of God through church history, but few alive today are instructing us in what and how to read and study.
We need preachers and teachers who so trust God for their livelihoods that they are unafraid to call sin by its name and to instruct, exhort and admonish the faithful, without concern for loss of attendance numbers or income. The “church building fund” should be comprised of Scriptures, not dollars, for the church is made up of God’s children, not of construction materials.”
My humble thoughts:
Men of God, you are needed: you are needed to take the Word of God seriously, to bow down to pray, to rise up to lead those whom God has given to you. So many churches, so many families, have been without godly male leadership for so long. Without you we are lost. The strange mix of feminism and paganistic self-help that has been brewed in a feminine-centered culture has invaded the churches and the homes that so many men have forsaken. These false-teachings have put us on the pathways of death. The truth can only be recovered as you seek God and then, after much prayer, take your rightful place as leader.
Whether in the pulpit or at home, your sisters in Christ need you to take a stand for the Truth of God’s Word. We need to hear it boldly proclaimed. Show us you know truth; live truth before us. Teach us by example that God takes His holiness serious; help us to do the same. Be an example of righteousness. Teach those you lead to be faithful to our Lord. Teach us to hate sin. Show us how to pray continuously. Help us to love God’s holy Word and to rightly divide it by comparing Scripture with Scripture. Reintroduce expository preaching. Let us know that each verse of Scripture has a meaning; help us to find it and understand it. Remind us that when we get away from the Word of God, we get away from God Himself.
We need to hear that you care about being the husbands and fathers God has commanded you to be. Put away the childish things and lead us to put away ours. Lead your family from your knees. Guide your daughters into biblical womanhood; teach your boys to be godly men. While your loving your own, don’t forget to reach out to those daughters, those sons, whose fathers have forsaken them; lead them well, too. Satan has long lied about manhood, about womanhood. Many women are listening to him no longer. We hear the Voice of our Shepherd and we are following. We need your prayers for us as we seek to become godly women and re-embrace the life that was meant to be ours; we need you to model biblical manhood and create a biblical framework for our families. Teach us to value children; teach us to value family. Teach us to stand for truth, no matter what the cost. Every movement of God had a beginning; let it start with you. Without you, we will continue to fail.
O brothers, we are counting on you. We cannot do this alone. With your help, we can take back our homes and our churches one man, one woman, one family at a time. Many of us want to be godly examples to our families and to other women but that is only one side of the coin: if we seek to take the leadership in our families or in the churches we will once again be sinning. The onus is on you, as a man of God, to lead. Please, I beg you, take it seriously.