For Men Only

(This post is designed & intended for men.)

Recently I had the privilege and pleasure of being with 80 men in the desert at a “men’s retreat.” One of the talks there was on the important subject of purity. The speaker – a friend of mine – asked the men if they had a plan for living a morally pure life. He reminded us that an absolutely critical part of any successful plan for purity is spelled b-r-o-t-h-e-r-s. We all need other men to encourage us and challenge us to stay morally pure in a very immoral world.

Author Gary Rosberg writes, “Do you have a friend or group of friends in your life willing to ask you the tough questions? Men who will love you enough to not only celebrate your successes but also stand by you in your failures? Men who will stick closely by you during the bad times as well as good times, but will not fall into the trap of telling you only what you want to hear? Men who will look you directly in the eye and ask you questions. . .”

Below is a list of specific questions about purity – and several other important areas of life. They are designed for men to ask each other in transparent but confidential settings – preferably on a weekly basis:

1. What is the condition of your soul?
2. Have you been honoring, understanding, and generous in your important relationships this past week or have you damaged another person by your words, either behind their back or face-to-face?
3. Have you continued to remain angry toward another or are you practicing forgiveness?
4. Have you lacked any integrity in your financial dealings this week or coveted something that does not belong to you or have you felt satisfied with what God has provided at this time in your life?
5. Have you viewed immoral material or allowed your mind to entertain inappropriate thoughts this week? Or have you been able to win the battle? If so, how? If you are married, have you been faithful to your marriage vows to your wife — not just in your actions, but in your words and thoughts?
6. Have you given in to any addictive behavior this week? Explain.
7. How are you doing in handling God’s provision of time, talent, and money?
8. How are you doing in your personal disciplines: proper sleep, eating habits, exercise?
9. Are you holding anything back from God that you need to repent of and surrender to Him?
10. Have you been completely honest with me in answering these questions?

King Solomon (Sulaiman) said, “Two are better than one. . .If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

We all fall down as men in various ways. The question for us as men is, do we have someone to help us back up?

I challenge all of my male readers (both Christian & Muslim): find a few solid, quality men you can call “brothers.” Form a weekly or bi-weekly encouragement and accountability group. Ask each other the hard questions. For me personally, this has been life-saving.

How do you spell a plan for purity? There are several ways. But one of them is definitely spelled B-R-O-T-H-E-R-S.

2 thoughts on “For Men Only

  1. This is a challenging post Mark. The last two questions stuck out particularly to me:

    “9. Are you holding anything back from God that you need to repent of and surrender to Him? 10. Have you been completely honest with me in answering these questions?”

    For the longest time, it was a struggle to share what I felt guilty or ashamed about to my close friends. It wasn’t until I came to a point in my life where I could be completely honest and open about my guilt and shame to my Creator that I began sharing with my close friends. I had to first understand the my Creator loves and accepts me even when I fail before I would open up to my friends about those failures.

    • Rey, excellent words. Really appreciate your transparency — something we all need to have with God and our brothers so we can see guilt and shame conquered. Interesting that you feel it helps to find freedom through sharing with God before you could share honestly with friends. Some go the other way. “Confessing” our failures to brothers gives some the courage to then share with God. Either way, what a blessing to experience what King David (Dawud) said: “How happy is the man whose sins are forgiven!” (Psalm 32:1)

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