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Men Wanted: Part 7

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted May 8, 2013

RELIGION Ė Baseball is in full swing now. I know for many of you this a favorite time of year to enjoy the ďnational pastime.Ē I, however, am not a baseball fan, please donít condemn me a heretic. I had a bad experience. I was a young 12 year old in the 12-14 year old league. It was the last game of the season and I was facing the hardest throwing pitcher in the league. He threw hard and inside and nailed me in the kidney area and I wanted to die. I donít blame the pitcher now, I was a huge target and probably swallowed the plate (I weighed as much back then as I do now!) But I got on base. Then the coach put in a pinch runner, I donít blame him I was a crying fat kid.

Then coach told me good job, way to take one for the team!  I was congratulated for getting hit by a pitch. I said sure thanks. I now know that ďTake one for the teamĒ is a common expression in baseball. The idea is that the batter leans in and gets hit by a pitch intentionally. The batter on an inside pitch, will turn his hip in slightly allowing himself to be hit in the back area and then get a free walk to first base. This type of sacrifice can potentially be a game changer.

Now this benefit to the team does not negate the hurt. Yes, it hurts, hence ďtake one for the team.Ē But every baseball player and athlete knows that self-sacrifice and toughness is what is required to win games.

I read this week that ďIntentionally putting oneself in harmís way for the good of another is at the heart of masculinity and only one who has cultivated a sense of toughness will be willing to do it. This notion points us to Christ, who set His face like flint to Jerusalem and the cross, willingly bearing the Fatherís wrath for the sins of His people.Ē

Being a man and being a Christian man means taking hurt on yourself for the well being of the family. This is exactly what Paul meant when he admonished men to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Jesusí love for the church is no joke. He secured your love and freedom at the cost of his own life and experienced separation of the eternal love and fellowship with his father. His love for us does not change in spite of the sin and hurt and rejection we heave upon him.
Ever since Adam, men have turned towards cowardice. Adam sinned and blamed God and Eve. Adam was a coward who did not protect his wife from a talking snake. Men today, will cowardly look out for their own happiness. Men will leave their families because they donít like their wife anymore. Your wife might be nuts, but either you married her that way, or she is because you have failed to love, cherish, and nourish her as God intends for you to do. Men, you donít leave your families. You deal with the crazy wife, because you made a vow.

Men, donít turn to a night out drinking with your friends when things get rough at home. Step up to the plate, take one for the team. Men, donít whine and pout. Life is hard, it can kick you in the crotch sometimes, but there is no crying in baseball and crying in life will not help either. On days when life punches you in the nose, donít come home and sulk or throw a fit like a child. Deal with it, pray to God. Talk with your wife later as man, donít break down in front of the kids. Show your boys how to handle adversity and your daughters what to look for in a man.
Man up, for Godís Glory, Your Families health and stability, and for the future of our nation.

Pastor Phillip

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