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Courageous Living (Part 1)

Almost twenty years ago a man I know called his family together, lined them up in the family room, and beginning with the four-year-old, told each of them he didn’t need them in his life. Last in line was his shell-shocked wife. "I don’t need you. I don’t love you. I’m leaving. The divorce papers will arrive in a few days."

And with that, he left to sleep in the arms of a younger woman and seek personal fulfillment through irresponsibility. His statement to the family as he turned tail to run is very revealing. He thought life was about other people taking care of him. He defined his masculinity by going to bed with another woman. He either missed, or ignored, the fact God intended for a man to be an instrument of redemption who lays his life down rather than pick it up.

A courageous man serves as Christ served, by laying his life down on behalf of those He loves. This may mean stepping into the line of fire, but it can also mean sharing your heart and soul with transparent honesty.

Time is life, and giving your time is like giving your life. A courageous man knows the importance of taking those he loves with him through life. Manhood is a code of honor, an ethic of integrity, a lifestyle of strength, and a confident security better observed than discussed, participated in rather than talked about. When a man gives of himself, lays his life down, and positions himself as an instrument of redemption he is taking up his God-ordained station in life.

We have Jesus Christ living inside us, sticking closer than a brother. The heritage our forefather, Adam, bequeathed to us haunts our flesh and stands in our memory as a profound failure of what our Father intended a man to be. We can opt to walk the same course Adam did, declare ourselves independent agents, discredit our Father’s reputation, nurture shame, and fail in our task as men. Or we can choose to walk the way our elder brother did, depending upon our Heavenly Father, and let Him be our strength, source, significance, and security. In so doing, we determine to succeed in our role as men and take up our station in life as instruments of redemption.

How the enemy of God would love for us to praise the Lord we have found security as men, then fail to realize we will only know the true meaning of life if we lay our lives down.

Men provide life by giving their own life away. This is what those men have done who died for our country. When we walk past the war memorials in Washington, D.C. the reverence we give and the honor we feel is because we know their selfless service makes it possible for us to live the lives we live. On a more routine basis, this is what a man does who gives his life by sharing it with those he loves, even if it is as simple as a walk. And the ability of another person to live as God intended for them to live is the reverence and honor given because we laid down our lives.

Instead of languishing under the weight of shame left to us by Adam, we can cloak ourselves in the courage of Christ as the strong, secure men we are. This is the foundation equipping us to build a life of practical redemption for those closest to us. A courageous man loves, not because those he loves perform like he wants them to, but because of who he is and who they are. He loves because he is a loving person and because they need his love. He loves because Love Himself lives in him

Preston Gillham

About the Author

As a co-founder, Preston Gillham led Lifetime for 30 years. Preston is a writer, speaker, and leadership guide. He has authored numerous articles and several books including No Mercy and Battle for the Round Tower. He blogs on “Life and Leadership”. More about Preston, his writings, speaking, and his consulting practice can be located at PrestonGillham.com.