Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Man: The Lion and the Lamb....A tender warrior

Man: The Lion and the Lamb....A tender warrior
As I child I was small and quiet, a child that did not even know how to cry. I was bullied at home physically and mentally which lead to low self esteem, which led to further bullying at school.  I finally accepted the message that the world gave me, a message which said I needed to be tough. Through my teenage years the tough aspect grew stronger. You see, I have never experienced or seen a tender man. My father is old school and never displayed tender love, just tough love. Consequently tenderness was never a learnt behavior for me.
My time on the inner city streets as a young gun soon taught me that tough was the only way to survive and people got hurt along the way as a matter of course. I justified this by telling myself it was every man for himself and that’s how I am supposed to be in order to be a man. That’s the reason we see young men killing each other, even children as young as 14 and 15. We see this heartbreaking news every week because the world programs us to accept it, to believe that in order to be men we need to destroy, that we need to be warriors all the time, but the devil is a liar.  God teaches us different….be a Lion and a Lamb. 
There is a time for everything. Ecclesiastics 3 tells us this. Jesus put the story straight for me. I’m a David character and a giant killer, a game changer and a warrior but coming to know Jesus softened me. He never changed my character, because he needs me to be a warrior for Christ, but he touched my heart and opened up a hidden tender side because he also needs me to be a humble inspiration.  To be humble is to be tender in our thoughts and ways.
Even Jesus had times when he was tough and other times when he was tender, as demonstrated in Luke 8:23-25; Luke 11: 37-42; John 2: 12-17; John 11:34; John 14:27: Matthew 19:13-15; Matthew 21:12, Revelation 19:15 and many such scriptural references.  We are made in His likeness to be tough and tender, to be lions and lambs, to be all things to all men.
In life we have to be tender warriors.  As men this means being so many different things but particularly as Christian men, men walking in the Word. It is essential to be all that we are called to be and we can only achieve this by letting God renew our minds.  We are not able to be all that we are called to be if we rely on our own strength, society will not allow that but when we rely on the strength of God and rest on His everlasting arm all things are possible.
Whether in relationships, business or church we have challenges.  We can’t please everyone so we must choose to please God.  We will have to make decisions which are tough.  Popular decisions are not always right and right decisions are not always popular.  It is important to sometimes be in the minority but decide for the majority.  Be able to decide to decide and not be double minded.  A double minded man is unsteady in all his decisions (James 1:8).  To make sound decisions we need to be tender and tough, they are both good qualities which are to be used to balance each other.
The four pillars of a man are: A friend: Jesus was a friend to everyone who came to him.  A warrior: Jesus knew how to fight the good fight against the enemy.  A protector: Jesus is our protector and will shield us from the enemy.  A provider: Jesus provides for all our needs; He is faithful even when we are not.  He is a tender warrior.
Jesus is the Lion and the Lamb. Have you ever seen a lamb sleeping in the bosom of a leopard?  As men we need to be the lion and the lamb too and demonstrate both qualities. Those who are closest to us need to feel safe in the knowledge that we are their protector yet be confident in our love. We are to love with the heart of a father but fight with the spirit of a warrior. To provide a safe haven in the midst of a war. This can only be done when you know who you are in Christ and also as a man. You will get the peace that surpasses all understanding, not that the world could give or take away (Philippians 4:7).
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