In this day and age, it seems there is increasing pressure from secular contemporary culture for men to become effeminate. This has resulted in celebrating the “gay man,” “metrosexuality” (men who are not really gay, yet not masculine either), and other forms or expressions of manhood that do not resonate with the average American male.
All of us have numerous areas in our lives that are broken and out of place. This is the result of a chain reaction through multiple generations due to the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve.
Although all human beings have been confronted with the guilt of their own sin (whether they have heard the gospel or not, the Holy Spirit was sent to convict the world of sin; read John 16:7-8), those of us who are believers have responded to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
As a pastor I have studied human nature for more than three decades and have come to the conclusion that some people are actually under the control of other people. It is almost like a spell (or witchcraft to be precise)!
Whether it is a wife who stays in an abusive relationship with her husband or a mother who allows her drug-addicted child to continually take money from her. There are many people in the world who manipulate others for their own satisfaction, caring nothing for the other person. Although I have just mentioned some extremes, most cases of control are far more subtle and do not involve a person physically abusing another person. (In fact, it could be a petite woman controlling a large strong man!) In many cases, the issues presented in this article can be true in a marriage.
As we approach Valentine’s Day many are thinking about relationships, marriage and romance. Although we all know the divorce rate is over 50% in the USA, I have observed that many divorces occur with couples who have been married well over 20 years and are each over 45 years of age. This has astonished me.
As a pastor for more than 30 years I have seen many people serving in ministry burn out in the name of Christ, then fall away from their purpose. This is even very common among senior leaders but it can be avoided. In the past several years, I have personally experienced my mind being tired, requiring me to pull back for several months lest I burn out! The following are signs that show whether you are on the verge of burnout or breakthrough:
It is an old adage that “hurt people hurt people.”
It is well known that those who have been emotionally damaged tend to inflict their hurt and pain on other people. For example, a large percentage of those who have been sexually abused become the abusers of others; those who suffered under an alcoholic parent often themselves cause their future family to suffer because of their drunken stupors.
In this day and age, it seems there is increasing pressure from secular contemporary culture for men to become effeminate. This has resulted in celebrating “metrosexuality” (men who are not really gay, yet not masculine either), and other forms or expressions of manhood that do not resonate with the average American male.
There are certain seasons in my life when ministry and other responsibilities are so difficult and my schedule so demanding that I feel like I am doing violence to my soul. (It’s as if I were taking a knife and intentionally sticking it into my body.)
As I analyze what I do and how I feel during these seasons, I have come up with several ways I have done violence to my soul. (Whether or not these seasons can always be avoided is not the point of this article.)
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