The cast of images around Meca, Islam’s most important religious site, displays thousands of men walking, kneeling, and praying. While women are instructed in prayer and other rituals, the men of Islam lead their families in every aspect of worship as it is in accordance with their tradition and religious beliefs.
Hinduism, while searching for self-realization, follows a similar construct. Hindu men lead in prayer, introspective study, and conversation among their children and their wives. They also feel that it is their spiritual appointment to set the example among their family members and community. In the Hindu home, men are to be the image of their collective consciousness as they set the bar high and take the lead in all things. .
Judaism also depicts men leading in worship, study, and prayer. From the family table to the Wailing Wall, Jewish tradition is executed by men. Women often peer over a divided barrier to watch their husbands and sons worship, pray, and dance before the Wailing Wall.
These religions, which have dominated the world, have a familiar thread in that they are led by men which are considered to be the head of their homes. Yet if you see nothing more than modern Americanism, you might think that men have no part, or are less-than-figures in the family and religion. America has turned its attention away from God’s order, seeking to minimize men, or at least feminize them. Every other religion in the world besides American Christianity is led by fathers, grandfathers, and young men. The tragedy is that we have lost God’s ordained leadership for fear of male chauvinism or belittling women. Many are afraid to speak about a man’s role and strength because it sounds offensive to our politically correct society. At the very least, gender equality has diluted proper positions which were established by God from the beginning of time, but make no mistake, the spirit of this age desires to distort men and mix the genders so there is no male or female role. These last days are filled with a plethora of perversions that make men useless and confuse the title of father.
The good news, however, is that when men lead there is an explosion in understanding that culminates in strong foundations. When men become leaders the family becomes stronger. When fathers and husbands give, worship, and work, others adopt their example. Growth is the end result and identity finds root. Think of this: Statistically, if a mother attends church on a regular basis, her children will also attend 32% of the time, but if a father is a faithful attender, the children will attend 82% of the time. Men actually do make a difference.
For these reasons I rise to say: fathers, grandfathers, husbands – you must lead. You are the strength of the Body and your voice is critical to the stability of the church and the community. You give emotional and spiritual strength by being both present and involved. Our future relies heavily upon your active role, and when you engage in sacrifice, you set the tone for every other person in the church. When you kneel, you bring us all to our knees. Whether they are your offspring or not, all the children of the church look to you for natural and spiritual direction. So let the godly men prevail in this dark world and let them be a light to this generation. We are praying for men to be Men of God and fulfill the design that the Lord has intended.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole