What do men identify as their greatest spiritual needs?
Where Men Want Spiritual Help
- With their marriages-the number one request on men’s surveys.
- Battling sexual temptation-the temptation men struggle with most.
- Getting control of their anger and becoming more patient.
- Managing their personal/spiritual lives, sticking to the right priorities and spiritual disciplines. Investing their lives not just for success, but for significance.
- Being the spiritual leader in their homes and knowing how to disciple their kids.
- Seeing their job as a calling from God and receiving Biblical wisdom for tough, job-related issues.
- Being more faithful in outreach to the lost. Most men feel like spiritual failures because they are doing little to share their faith.
- Finding a brother for encouragement and accountability.
- Knowing how to satisfy their hearts more by delighting in God.
The Root Need:
True discipleship is not behavior modification; it is heart transformation. It is not piling more discipleship tasks on the tired backs of men; it is leading them to the feet of Christ, in whose presence the inner desires and motivations of his heart are changed. The root need of every man is the gospel of grace deeply taking root in his soul.
Many men today are tired of the constant demands upon them to perform. They can’t provide for their family as they want to without working long hours. Instead of their home being the place where they feel appreciated and refreshed-it is full of exhausting demands to perform more.
Today’s Christian man is supposed to suck it up, rub it out, and keep performing. He carries a 100 lb pack on his back called his responsibilities. The daily pressure to perform increases the lure of various kinds of escape. More than one man has found that escape in a return to his drug days, an illicit affair, a growing dependence upon alcohol, a gambling addiction, or in the secret pleasures of viewing Internet porn.
The only true escape from this constant pressure to perform is the gospel of grace. Basking in God’s unconditional love, letting our failures drive us to our savior, is the only way the soul of a man can be refreshed, his strength renewed, and his heart re-energized to follow his calling.
The bigger the demands upon us, the more we need to shun the myth that we are self-reliant and let that pressure drive us to Christ for help. In his presence, we see that some of the pressure comes from our idols of success, respect, pleasure. In his presence we realize that God specializes in impossible situations and our faith is renewed. When we do fail, we remember that the greater our sin-the greater is the love of our savior in forgiving us.
Only the gospel of grace can transform the heart of a man-and that is the ultimate goal of discipleship.