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As a man, what comes to your mind when you hear the words Priest? Provider? Protector? Do they make you want to try harder in these three areas or make you throw your hands up and quit? As I think about men in the Bible who showed these traits like Moses, Abraham, Jacob, and David it gives us huge shoes to fill. Jesus says we are to do “greater works” (John 14:12) so fulfilling all three traits should be easy right?
Since we live in a fallen world there will be sickness, unemployment, and divorce. These are real circumstances that happen. How does a man feel when he loses his job, get a bad report from the doctor on his health or stop praying because he feels as if God is ignoring him? I don’t blame the church for this next statement but we hear it from pulpits across the country how important it is for a man to keep these traits throughout his life without any setbacks. I totally agree but what happens when the man fall short in one of these areas? What if he’s failing in two areas, what about all three? After years of studying my bible and giving advice to men, here are some of my personal definitions of priest, provider, and protector
Priest: One who prays for himself and his family on the regular. He prays first before complaining and reads his bible daily.
Provider: One who provides financially for his family. Not only financially but provides love, leadership and hospitality.
Protector: One who protects his family from hurt and danger. He also protects his family being faithful (protecting her emotionally) to his wife and keeping his word (protecting them from heartbreak) with his children
This blog is in no way to have a pity party for men. However men get the bad rap for common sayings like “just suck it up” or “take it like a man” that most forget men have feelings, struggles, and doubts. To any woman that’s reading this in a relationship take time to listen to what he’s saying and what’s going on in his world if he’s willing to trust you with discussing his fears. Most men refuse to ask for help when things are falling apart and I believe most of it comes from being looked at as a “failure” or “lazy” when in some circumstances those terms are far from the truth. Then we have the fear of being judged by those we are close to because their struggle is different from ours.
How can we relieve some of this pressure? Here are some helpful and proven tips:
swallow your pride and ask for help: I know this is a tough one for most men. The Bible says “He opposes the proud but give grace to the humble” we have to reach out for help in times of need. God made us interdependent, not independent. We are taught “every man for himself” and “only the strong survive” so what about those who are close to us struggling? I been in the struggle myself and during the good times thought myself to be self-sufficient but God has a way of getting our attention, no matter how rich or strong we think we are.
pull on the grace of God: We have all fallen short in one of the three areas as priest, provider, and protector. Continue to live in repentance and ask God to help you along the way. God told the apostle Paul that “His grace is sufficient” after Paul kept asking God to remove the thorn from his flesh. (2 Cor. 12:7-9) When we come to the realization that life is fragile and we have limitations, we can bask in the grace of God.
support group/accountability partner: I know this sounds somewhat elementary but don’t count this one out. We need men in our life who build us up, yet be firm. I have a good friend and a mentor who I can be transparent to about my weaknesses and failures. Yet they help build me up during tough seasons of life. It’s important for a man to have a wife who will be there and listen to him, but some things I believe a man need to talk to another man about some of life situations.