Blogger Charlie Hoehn (“Thoughts on Vegas, and Why Men Keep Doing This”) postulates that there are at least three reasons why we are seeing a tragic increase in men/boys committing atrocious acts of violence such as the recent tragedy in Las Vegas.
- Men in the US are chronically lonely
- Men in the US are deprived of appropriate play opportunities
- More and more men in the US suffer from being shamed
We have a growing crisis on our hands. Men/boys, who are we? Church, what do we have to say?
In no way am I suggesting that this removes accountiblilty from those who commit such atrocious acts. Hardly.
Boys/Men, do we know how to preach the Gospel to our relational wounds and struggles? Do we know how to preach the Gospel to our ongoing deeply rooted shame? Our fears? If we do not, how will we be able to speak that same Gospel into the real lives of other real men in the real world?
If you are a Jesus-follower, did you know that because solely of what Jesus did for you 2000 years ago, God loves you as much as the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father. He can’t love you or like you any more than He does right now, or any less. If you could just hear Him, you just might hear Him say to you, “Do you know how proud I am of you?”
I get it. You don’t always feel it here. You may be lonely. You may feel awkward and out of sync with other boys/men. You may feel like an underachiever, someone easily overlooked. You may feel bullied and afraid. Not from God. I promise. The trick is to take baby steps of faith to experience God’s love for you just a little more today than you did yesterday. How? Simply put, pray. Ask for it. Specifically ask the Spirit in you to make you feel the love that Jesus purchased for you.
Paul models it in his letter to the Ephesians.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph 3:14-21)
Boys/men, this is real heady stuff, real life-changing stuff.