Friday, March 14, 2014

Gentlemen...This Blog's for You!

As I was getting my self primped and ready for work this morning one of my favorite songs came on my itunes playlist.  For me it's one of those songs that I've used, ever since it was released, to pump me up and encourage myself.  Even at 32 I have my moments where my self-esteem is less than stellar, and through my posts, you can catch up on another time I've shared on self-esteem and inner beauty (Strip Me... What Will You Find?).  But I digress, for today's inspired blog comes not just from this song, but as my mind started to wander and I found myself contemplating why there's not as much focus on encouraging men in the same way.  Now, I could be completely off base, there may be 5000+ bloggers out there purely dedicated to boosting the self-esteem of me, but I cannot help but wonder, how many of them may bring God into the mix.

Let me give you a small taste of the song that inspired me this morning...

He's on the edge of giving up tonight
He's feelin' like he's wasted the best days of his life
Afraid he'll never be the man he thought that he could be
When he looks inside he's so ashamed of who he sees*

I cannot help but wonder how many guys feel this way when they look at themselves, or think back on decisions they've made in their lives or are in the midst of making?  I know men and women are different, I'm not so naive to completely miss that.  But are we really that different when it comes to struggling with our self-esteem.  Let's be honest though, in a crowded room of men and women, you're more likely to see women raise their hand when answering the question, "who here struggles with self-esteem?".  But being that I have two older brothers, a brother-in-law, a father, and a boyfriend...I wonder what's my role in encouraging them when they are discouraged with how they see themselves? How can I help boost in them all the great and wonderful things that I see in them?  

For starters, we gotta be consistent in prayer...trusting God's hand in it and not trying to do it by our own will and strength.  The truth is, each individual person is created and identified by God, not me, not anyone why would we or how could we depend on our own selves to define ourselves or anyone else for that matter?  Quite frankly, left to our own will we'd continue to change and rework everything on the outside to find a definition of self, for God's word says:
"'For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.'" - 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)

This is such a tough verse for me to remember, and not just in how I interact with others, but with how much pressure I place on myself to encourage and edify the men in my life that I love and care so deeply for.  So, in the same way I have to look to God's word to identify and describe me, I also have to dig deep into His word to trust in encouraging the men in my life.  For when I look at those 5 men (and the 4 little men growing up behind them) what I see is their heart, not what's presented to me on the outside.  

Honestly, this is not one of those super deep/rocket science type blogs.  It's pretty straight forward and simple.  My final say on this particular topic is especially for those women with a significant other (boyfriend, fiance, husband) in which I remind you as the women these men trust with their hearts, we are called to pray and lift them up to the Lord.  I truly believe that as we are obedient to that the result is this...

"The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good, and not harm,     all the days of her life." - Proverbs 31:11-12 (ESV)

*Mark Schultz - Father's Eyes