soul, this book will surely site it into a blazing passion for godly discipline.” “ In Disciplines of a Godly Man, Pastor Kent Hughes provides an inspiring and. with complete study guidedisciplinesof aGodlyman r. Kent Hughes “Discipline is a subject about which the Scrip. D I S C I P L I N E S O F A G O D LY F A M I LY DISCIPLINES of a GODLY .. Kent's memory of his father is a flickering, candlelit vision of a slender man with red.
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Discipline for godliness -- Discipline of purity -- Discipline of marriage -- Discipline of But you must take up the challenge to be a disciplined, godly man in today's world. Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files. DISCIPLINES OF A GODLY chancromaslodis.ml - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. DISCIPLINES. PDF ISBN: Mobipocket ISBN: Disciplines of a godly young man / R. Kent Hughes and W. Carey Hughes. 2 Discipline for Godliness.
Men, the heat of our culture oppresses us with its obsessions and pornotopias. Many in the Church have wilted. The statistics tell it all.
In order not to become part of those statistics, there has to be some disciplined sweat.
Are we men enough? Are we men of God? I pray we are! It is being stewed in the molten juices of its own sensuality. Concerning your own church? Concerning your own personal life? Have you found this true in your own battles with temptation? What is the most effective way to prevent moral lapses? Is 1 Thessalonians 4: If not, how can we put this passage to work so we will be victorious in our fight for purity? Considering the prevalent immorality of our culture, how can we possibly hope to keep our thoughts and behavior pure?
Of ourselves? Their skin glows with amber luminosity from the flickering candles behind me. I see everything: I hear the words their parents said before them: Sometimes in my enjoyment I let it all blur for a moment and imagine the ultimate wedding where Christ will officially take us to Himself, and then I blink back to the living parable before me.
How will the couple fare over the years? Will she reverence her husband? Will he love his beautiful bride as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her? Will he love her with an elevating, sanctifying love? Will he love her as he loves himself? I pray it will be so.
In March Dr. McQuilkin announced his resignation in a letter with these words: My dear wife, Muriel, has been in failing mental health for about eight years. So far I have been able to carry both her ever-growing needs and my leadership responsibilities at CBC. But recently it has become apparent that Muriel is contented most of the time she is with me and almost none of the time I am away from her.
Then she may be full of anger when she cannot get to me. So it is clear to me that she needs me now, full-time. But so does fairness. She has cared for me fully and sacrificially all these years; if I cared for her for the next 40 years I would not be out of debt. Duty, however, can be grim and stoic.
But there is more; I love Muriel. She is a delight to me — her childlike dependence and confidence in me, her warm love, occasional flashes of that wit I used to relish so, her happy spirit and tough resilience in the face of her continual distressing frustration.
I do not have to care for her, I get to! It is a high honor to care for so wonderful a person. The memory of our visit is one of lingering beauty. Such beautiful Christlike love did not just happen! They are directives every Christian man ought to be familiar with, must understand, and, I think, even commit to memory — as I myself have.
They are the foundational discipline of marriage — the bases for holy matrimonial sweat. Marriage ideally produces two people who are as much the same person as two people can be! Christians in marriage have the same Lord, the same family, the same children, the same future, and the same ultimate destiny — an astounding unity.
An amazing bonding took place the moment I saw my newborn children and held them in my arms. They are from my flesh. I am close to my children, interwoven with them. Yet, I am not one flesh with them. This is, indeed, a mystery — which partially illustrates the even deeper marital union of Christ and the Church.
And this is why the text often uses descriptive language when speaking of Christ and husbands and the Church and wives at the same time. We must keep the mysterious nature of our union constantly before us if we are to understand the disciplines of marital love as they unfold — the discipline of sacrificial love, of sanctifying love, and of self-love.
Sacrificial Love The opening charge in Ephesians 5 is a clear call to radical, sacrificial love: This call to marital love was a bare-knuckled swing at the domestic commitment or lack of same of the men of the day — just as it is today. And honestly received, the punch it delivers flattens many Christian men. Death The reason the punch hurts is because it is a naked call to love with a willingness to sacrifice, even unto death.
Recognizing this, Mike Mason, author of the classic The Mystery of Marriage, says pointedly that marital love is like death — it wants all of us. I agree. If you do not understand this, you do not know what marital love is.
It claims everything. Mason goes on by likening marital love to a shark: Marriage is a call to die, and a man who does not die for his wife does not come close to the love to which he is called.
Christian marriage vows are the inception of a lifelong practice of death, of giving over not only all you have, but all you are. Not at all! It is no more grim than dying to self and following Christ. In fact, those who lovingly die for their wives are those who know the most joy, have the most fulfilling marriages, and experience the most love. As we shall see, this can mean a death to our rights, our time, our perceived pleasures — all liberating deaths.
This is a truly male thing, a masculine thing — for it takes a strong man to die. And His suffering was not only the cross, but it was and is suffering which comes from identification with His bride, the Church. Christ suffers with His bride, and husbands ought to suffer with and for theirs. Men, when you properly hitch your life to another, you are in for a wild ride with huge ups and downs. Just as when you really love God you will undergo difficulties foreign to an unloving heart, so it is in marriage.
You will share her experienced injustices, cruelties, and disappointments. You will experience her upsets, insecurities, and despairs. But, of course, you will also know an index of joys beyond the range of the unloving.
You will ride through some dark valleys, but you will also soar among the stars! Intercession On the evening Christ gave Himself up for us, John 17 tells us, He prayed in succession for Himself, for His twelve disciples, and for all of us who would later believe. When He finished praying for His future bride, He went to the cross.
Then came His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and His enthronement at the right hand of the Father, where He constantly makes intercession for us. Thus we understand that giving ourselves for our brides involves prayerful intercession. If not, you are sinning against her and against God. Men, you ought to have a list of her needs, spoken and unspoken, which you passionately hold up to God out of love for her. Praying is the marital work of a Christian husband! Sanctifying Love Marriage under the Lordship of Christ is a mutually sanctifying relationship — it moves us toward holiness.
Most of us, by the time we get married, are like a well-furnished home — and a lot of furniture needs to be tossed out to make room for the other person. Marriage helps empty those rooms. Genuine marital love reveals rooms full of selfishness.
As these rooms are cleared, one finds other rooms of self-centeredness. Beyond these are autonomy and self-will — an ongoing house cleaning. Marriage certainly did that for me. I had no idea how self-centered I was until I married!
George Gilder, in his much-discussed book Men and Marriage, even argues that marriage is the one institution which tames the inveterate barbarianism of man. There is indeed a mutual sanctification in marriage. This is what Christ will do through our divine marriage to Him, for at His return the washed and regenerated Church will be presented to Him in absolute perfection. This is the sealing of the romance of the ages.
He is to be a man of the Word who lives a godly life, praying and sacrificing for his wife. His authentic spirituality is meant to buoy her onward and upward toward the image of Christ. The man who sanctifies his wife understands that this is his divinely ordained responsibility.
Even more, honestly, do you accept it? Marriage will reveal something about her which you already know about yourself — that she is a sinner. Marriage reveals everything: Loving your spouse is not to love her as a saint, but as a sinner. You see your wife as you see yourself, and you love her as yourself. This brings up some hard questions: Is my wife more like Christ because she is married to me?
Or is she like Christ in spite of me? Has she shrunk from His likeness because of me? Do I sanctify her or hold her back? Is she a better woman because she is married to me? Is she a better friend? A better mother? Men, our call is clear: Self-love Greek mythology tells of a beautiful youth who loved no one until the day he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with that reflection. He was so lovesick, he finally wasted away and died, and was turned into a flower that bears his name — Narcissus.
We are repulsed by narcissism and carefully seek to avoid it. But, incredibly, in Ephesians 5 we are called to a sublime self-love: He who loves his wife loves himself. To love our wives as our own bodies is a grand and great thing. She is me.
How do we love our wives as our own bodies? How do we care for her as we do for ourselves? The answer involves three incarnations. The first is a physical incarnation.
Richard Selzer, in his book Mortal Lessons: In Dr. Her young husband is in the room. Who are they, I ask myself, he and this wry-mouth I have made, who gaze at and touch each other so generously, greedily? The young woman speaks. It is because the nerve was cut.
But the young man smiles. Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth, and I, so close, can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate to hers, to show her that their kiss still works. Her body is our body, her comfort our comfort, her adornment our adornment, her care our care. A second way to love our wives as our own bodies is emotional incarnation. So many men make the emotional differences between men and women subject to degrading humor.
They belittle the female disposition, as if male stoicism were superior. They realize the differences, but make no allowances for them and do not attempt to understand.
No man can claim obedience to God and do this! It is a flat-sided masculinity which imagines that understanding another is a feminine trait.
Actually such understanding of the complementary natures God gave man and woman is the mark of a fully developed, mature man. Then, of course, there must be social incarnation. Of course, women have many social settings: But I remember a profitable incarnation I experienced when my wife visited her sister in Connecticut for a week, leaving me in charge of our four small children.
I fixed the meals, changed thousands and thousands of diapers, fixed hurts, settled quarrels, gave baths, cleaned up catastrophes, and cleaned them up again. I was at work before I got up and after I went to bed. The experience so marked me that in my mind I invented a new kitchen, modeled after a car wash.
The floors slope to a large drain in the middle of the room. A hose hangs on the wall, nozzle ready to spray things down after the meal. We are to devote the same energy, time, and creativity to our wives as to ourselves. We are to cherish our constant souls. Envy the woman who is loved like this. Even more, envy the man who loves like this — for he is like Christ. If this calls for anything, it calls for some holy sweat. It is a dynamic process between two people, a relation which is constantly being changed, which grows or dies.
Commitment We must begin with the discipline of commitment. I have grown tougher with the years in my demands on couples who want me to perform their wedding ceremonies.
I tell them that wedding vows are a volitional commitment to love despite how one feels. I tell them that if there is the tiniest thought in the back of their minds that they can get out of the marriage if the other person is not all they expected, I will not perform the ceremony.
Those which look back to the wild promises they vowed in the marriage ceremony are the ones who make it. There is no substitute for covenant plus commitment.
One thing the Church can count on is the fidelity of the Bridegroom. And this is the one thing a wife whose husband loves like Christ can rest on. Above all. Under this lock is deposited security of families, the union of affections, the repairer of accidental breaches. Everything about us: They indicated that even more, they would like their husbands to listen. Eugene Peterson remarks: Elevation Next, I strongly recommend the discipline of elevation.
After all, Churchill could not be expected to say Julius Caesar or Napoleon. But he also said it for everyone who has a good marriage. A commitment to building up your wife is of greatest importance. Men, if you think what your wife does is less important than what you do, you are wrong, and you have big problems. Compliments on her kindness and her daily provisions should be commonplace, as should showing her respect by observing common courtesies.
Deference Along with this, the discipline of deference must be carefully practiced. Many men never forego a planned pleasure for the sake of their wives. Years ago, in the Midwest, a farmer and his wife were lying in bed during a storm when the funnel of a tornado suddenly lifted the roof right off the house and sucked their bed away with them still in it. The wife began to cry, and the farmer called to her that it was no time to cry. She called back that she was so happy, she could not help it — it was the first time they had been out together in twenty years!
In Psychology Today did a survey of couples, asking them what keeps them together. Your calendar reveals what is important to you, so write her calendar into yours. Surprise her. Be extravagant. Men, when was the last time you opened the door for her. In the fire of new love, marriage seems as easy as falling off a log.
Disciplines of a Godly Man (With Study Guide)
Actually, it is as easy as staying on a log. It requires careful attention, developed skill, and work. Men, are you working on the second most important relationship of your life God is first? Sweat any lately? No perspiration, no progress. No pain, no gain. What does your love for your wife demand of you? Are you willing to pay the price? Do you generally feel what your wife is feeling — her joys and sorrows, her mountain peaks and deep valleys? How often do you pray for your wife?
With her? What can you do to make this more of a habit? What are you doing currently to help your wife draw closer to Christ? List at least six specific things you will do within the next two weeks to help your wife grow spiritually. What does it really mean to love oneself, biblically? How will such an attitude show itself practically?
How do Colossians 3: Be specific. Read Ephesians 5: What does the relationship of Christ and His Church teach you about your marriage? It had been so hot that I had taken my round little wife to the ocean — Huntington Beach, to be exact — to cool off.
There I hollowed out a place in the sand for her tummy, and we stretched out under the sun while the cool breezes of the Mar Pacifica refreshed us, as we both unwittingly began to sunburn. It was midafternoon when we headed back to the heat and smog of L.
We soon looked like Maine lobsters. After dinner, as we lay smarting on the hot sheets of our bed, labor began, and that is about all we remember of our sunburns.
My wife was occupied with another kind of pain, and I was so excited I forgot about mine. That night brought one of the greatest events of our lives — for God gave us our firstborn, a beautiful little girl we named Holly. I remember everything, even the color of the hospital walls.
It seems like only yesterday. Another event has lodged in my mind with similar vividness. July 23, , twenty-three years later, in another hospital in far-off Illinois, my baby Holly gave birth to her firstborn, a beautiful little boy, Brian Emory, and his father held him with the same rapture. Today, as a grandfather of six with promises of more to come , it is increasingly apparent that my most treasured possessions, next to life in Christ, are the members of my family.
Someday, when all is gone, when I can no longer see or hear or talk — indeed, when I may no longer know their names — the faces of my loved ones will be on my soul. At mid-life I am finding increasing satisfaction in my family and in their families. All my children are serious Christians and want to make their lives count for Christ. I realize that my children are what they are by the grace of God and that for me and them the road has not ended.
I have mutually fulfilling relationships with all my children. They are independent of me, but they desire my company and counsel. We have mutual respect. They call me, and I call them, and we all live for the holidays when we can be together.
I have shared all this because, though I have not been a perfect father, I have learned some things along the way which I must pass along, man to man, to those of you in the midst or at the beginning of fathering.
Men, the mere fact of fatherhood has endowed you with terrifying power in the lives of your sons and daughters, because they have an innate, God-given passion for you.
From time to time I have felt for my father a longing that was almost physical, something passionate, but prior to sex — something infantile, profound. It has bewildered me, even thrown me into depression. It is mysterious to me exactly what it is I wanted from my father.
I have seen this longing in other men — and see it now in my own sons, their longing for me. One seeks to return not to the womb. A boy wants the aura and armament of his father. It is a deep yearning, but sometimes a little sad — a common enough masculine trait that is also vaguely unmanly. What surprises me is how angry a man becomes sometimes in the grip of what is, in essence, an unrequited passion.
The terrible fact is, we can either grace our children, or damn them with unrequited wounds which never seem to heal. Our society is awash with millions of daughters pathetically seeking the affection their fathers never gave them — and some of these daughters are at the sunset of their lives. In the extreme, there are myriads of sons who were denied a healthy same-sex relationship with their father and are now spending the rest of their lives in search of their sexual identity via perversion and immorality.
You will have this terrible power till you die, like it or not — in your attitude toward authority, in your attitude toward women, in your regard for God and the Church. What terrifying responsibilities!
This is truly the power of life and death. For these reasons we live in a time of great social crisis. Whole segments of our society are bereft of male leadership. At the other end of the scale, there are strong men who give their best leadership to the marketplace, but utterly fail at home.
We are the men! Men, there are few places where sanctified sweat will show greater dividends than in fathering. If you are willing to work at it, you can be a good father.
If you are willing to sweat, you will see abundant blessing. Criticism Near the top of most lists has to be criticism. Every year when our family decorates our Christmas tree and I place a tiny red-and-green glass-beaded wreath on the tree, I think of the little boy who gave it to me when I coached soccer. I wonder sometimes how that boy, now a man, has fared.
Winston Churchill had such a father in Lord Randolph Churchill. He did not like the looks of Winston, he did not like his voice, he did not like to be in the same room with his son. He never complimented him — only criticized him.
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You can see it in the way a horse moves, and you can see it in the eyes and posture of a disheartened child. Criticism comes in many ways besides overt words. Then there is faint praise, backhanded praise like that given to the boy who had just scored a soccer goal: Why are fathers critical?
Perhaps that is the way their fathers treated them. Perhaps they are simply critical people who mask it well in public, but cannot restrain themselves in the heat of domestic relationships. Overstrictness Some fathers exasperate their children by being overly strict and controlling. They need to remember that rearing children is like holding a wet bar of soap — too firm a grasp and it shoots from your hand, too loose a grip and it slides away.
A gentle but firm hold keeps you in control. I have had occasion in my ministry to bury people who lived virtually all of their seventy years in reaction to the harsh legalism of their upbringing — lost bars no one could manage to pick up. Others were not so tragic. They came to renounce legalism Biblically and theologically, but still wrestled with it emotionally for the rest of their lives.
Why are some fathers overly strict? Many because they are trying to protect their children from an increasingly Philistine culture — and smothering rules seem the best way to accomplish that.
The Bible, read through their controlling grid, becomes a license to own and dominate. Still others wrongly understand their faith in terms of Law rather than grace. Some men are overly strict because they are concerned about what others will think.
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Rather, we ought to begin our fatherhood by holding the tiny helpless bar snugly, but as it grows, gradually and wisely loosen our grip. We must learn to trust God with our children, realizing they must learn to make decisions for themselves. Fathers, do not exasperate your children by being overly strict. Irritability We have all seen it — and perhaps done it! The father walks in the door after a pressured day, preoccupied, with brow furrowed.
His three-year-old comes running to him, but Dad is busy unburdening himself to his wife. He tugs again! We fathers must never let our pressures drive us into this unhappy cycle. The costs are too high! Some say you treat your fellow man on the level.
But when you are home with the wife and kids, are you mean as the Devil? Your kids know! Inconsistency Few things will exasperate a child more than inconsistency. Pity the horse that has a rider who gives it mixed signals, digging his heels into its side and pulling the reins at the same time.
Pity the child even more who has the rules changed by a capricious father, and who is always exasperated because of the conflicting messages he receives.
Be consistent. Never ever make a promise to your children you do not keep! Do any unfulfilled promises come to mind? Horseback riding that never happened? Trips to the ice cream store or the ballpark? You may forget, but you have a little boy or girl who will remember it eighty years from now. Favoritism One of the most exasperating and damning sins a father can commit against his children is favoritism.
I say this despite being the last one who would suggest you should treat all your children alike. Some children need more discipline, some need more independence. Some need more structure, some need less. Some need more holding than others. Some need more encouragement. But no child should be favored over another. Favoritism was the damning sin of Isaac, who favored Esau over Jacob. Ironically, it was also the damning sin of Jacob, who favored Joseph over his brothers.
Like favoring father, like rejected son! How crushing, how disheartening to know that you are less favored — less loved. God has created our children with their hearts turned toward ours. Our power is awesome! He was a big man, and in his prime he had put on the gloves with Joe Louis.
Officers greeted him first when he walked down the street. He could be rough and tumble. But do you know what he called his pound son? In fact, it made me feel great. We are to be tender. Men are never manlier than when they are tender with their children — whether holding a baby in their arms, loving their gradeschooler, or hugging their teenager or adult children.
Here, a statement from the wise Christian philosopher Elton Trueblood is to the point, extending the principle further.
A child, he says,. A child who grows up with the realization that his parents are lovers has a wonderful basis of stability. Men, how do we measure up? Discipline certainly includes corporal discipline as needed. Not only is this unfair to the mother, but it robs the child of the security and self-esteem which come from being disciplined by the father.
If so, that is a sad breach of domestic responsibility. This is precisely where the high priest Eli was such an abysmal domestic failure in raising his sons. First Samuel 3: And the Lord said to Samuel: At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family — from beginning to end.
For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. Eli failed to confront his boys.
He failed to instruct them about their sin. And because of this, they were destroyed. Clear, forthright instruction is necessary for a proper upbringing. Men, if we are to own up to our responsibilities, we must be: Late in life Evangeline Booth, age eighty-one and then general of the Salvation Army, was asked when she had first wanted to be a part of the Salvation Army.
Day and night. They did not have to say a word to me about Christianity. He would appear at meals, pay allowances, and give advice, often without really listening to the problems of his family before he spoke.
Without speaking, the doctor opened his desk drawer and handed the boy a box of candy. Understanding this, we now get down to the reasons for this book, which are two.
This goes for men, women, and the professional clergy. We cannot excuse ourselves by saying this has always been the case. It has not! As to why this is so, several common-sense reasons could be tendered, such as poor teaching or individual sloth. But underlying much of the conscious rejection of spiritual discipline is the fear of legalism.
For many, spiritual discipline means putting oneself back under the Law with a series of Draconian rules which no one can live up to — and which spawn frustration and spiritual death. But nothing could be farther from the truth if you understand what discipline and legalism are.
The difference is one of motivation: legalism is self-centered; discipline is God-centered. Paul knew this implicitly and fought the legalists bare-knuckled all the way across Asia Minor, never giving an inch. The second reason for this book is that men are so much less spiritually inclined and spiritually disciplined than women. Moreover, the same statistics hold true for their other devotional booklet, Alive Now, which has a 75 percent female readership.
It is also true that far more women are concerned about the spiritual welfare of their mates than vice versa. Certainly the pervasive American male credo of self-sufficiency and individualism contributes. Some of this may also be due to the male avoidance of anything relational which, of course, Christianity is! But we do not concede that women are simply more spiritual by nature.
The parade of great saints male and female down through the centuries, as well as spiritually exemplary men in some of our churches today, clearly refutes this idea. But the fact remains that men today need far more help in building spiritual discipline than women. In writing this I have imagined my own grown sons sitting across the table, coffee cups in hand, as I try to impart to them what I think about the essential disciplines of godliness. This book is eminently user-friendly. The Church in America needs real men, and we are the men!
Cosmic Call We cannot overemphasize the importance of this call to spiritual discipline. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. We are all members of one another, and we are each either elevated or depressed by the inner lives of one another. Some of us affect others like a joyous tide, lifting them upward, but some of us are like undertows to the Body of Christ.
If you are married, the presence or lack of spiritual discipline can serve to sanctify or damn your children and grandchildren.
Spiritual discipline, therefore, holds huge promise for this present life. Some may minimize the importance of spiritual discipline now, but no one will then! The disciplined Christian gives and gets the best of both worlds — the world now and the world to come. The word discipline may raise the feeling of stultifying constraint in some minds — suggesting a claustrophobic, restricted life.
Nothing could be farther from the truth! The obsessive, almost manic discipline of Mike Singletary liberates him to play like a wild man on the football field.
The billion sketches of the Renaissance greats set Michelangelo free to create the skies of the Sistine Chapel. The disciplined drudgery of the musical greats released their genius. And, brothers in Christ, spiritual discipline frees us from the gravity of this present age and allows us to soar with the saints and angels. Do we have the sweat in us? Will we enter the gymnasium of divine discipline? Will we strip away the things that hold us back? Will we discipline ourselves through the power of the Holy Spirit?
God is looking for a few good men! Food for Thought What is spiritual discipline, and why is it so important? What usually gets in our way see Romans ? What can a lack of spiritual discipline do to your life? Practically, step by step, what does this mean you should do? What does Hebrews say about this? What things are holding you back in your walk with God? Why are you hanging on to them? Is there a cost to spiritual discipline?
Check out 1 Corinthians What could greater discipline cost you? Are you prepared to pay the price? Why or why not? How do you feel, deep inside, about this challenge? How does spiritual discipline differ from legalism? Which do you most often practice? Is a change needed? If so, how can you bring this about?
Talk to Him about it right now! Think About It! Most of the oppression is crude. A boring trip around the TV channels at midday invariably reveals at least one couple wrapped in bed sheets and much sensual monotony.
But the heat has become increasingly artful, especially if its purpose is to sell. Newer spots feature subtle cinematic images with prose from D.
But even with all this, many sensualists want more. Professor David A. It sounds like a new section of Disneyland.
It is no wonder we live in a culture that sweats sensuality from its pores! Recently Leadership Magazine commissioned a poll of a thousand pastors.
The pastors indicated that 12 percent of them had committed adultery while in the ministry — one out of eight pastors! Shocking statistics! Especially when we remember that Christianity Today readers tend to be college-educated church leaders, elders, deacons, Sunday school superintendents, and teachers.
Only God knows! Sensuality is easily the biggest obstacle to godliness among men today and is wreaking havoc in the Church. Godliness and sensuality are mutually exclusive, and those in the grasp of sensuality can never rise to godliness while in its sweaty grip.
There has to be some holy heat, some holy sweat! Lessons from a Fallen King Where are we to turn for help? Life at the Top As the account begins, David is at the summit of his brilliant career — as high as any man in Biblical history. God liked what He saw. David had an archetypal sanguine personality brimming with joy, enthusiasm, and confidence and overflowing with irresistible charisma. He was the poet — the sweet Psalmist of Israel — so in touch with God and himself that his Psalms pluck the heartstrings of man even today.
Under his leadership all Israel had been united. David hardly seemed a candidate for moral disaster. But the king was vulnerable, for there were definite flaws in his conduct which left him open to tragedy. Deuteronomy 17, which set down the standards for Hebrew kings, commanded that they refrain from three things: 1 acquiring many horses, 2 taking many wives, and 3 accumulating much silver and gold cf.
David did fine on one and three, but he completely failed on number two by willfully collecting a considerable harem. The long hours of indiscriminate TV watching, which is not only culturally cachet but is expected of the American male, is a massive culprit of desensitization.
The expected male talk — double entendre, coarse humor, laughter at things which ought to make us blush — is another deadly agent. David was at midlife, about fifty years old, and his military campaigns had been so successful, it was not necessary for him to personally go off to war. The problem was, his relaxation extended to his moral life. It is hard to maintain inner discipline when you are relaxing in this way. David was imminently vulnerable. David did not suspect anything unusual was going to happen on that fatal spring day.
I think I will commit adultery today! Just when we think we are the safest, when we feel no need to keep our guard up, to work on our inner integrity, to discipline ourselves for godliness — temptation will come! They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace.
From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her.
The king strode out on the rooftop for some cool air and a look at his city at dusk. As he gazed, his eye caught the form of an unusually beautiful woman who was bathing without modesty. She was young, in the flower of life, and the evening shadows made her even more enticing.
The king looked at her. And he continued to look. After the first glance David should have turned the other way and retired to his chamber, but he did not. His look became a sinful stare and then a burning libidinous sweaty leer. A lustful fixation came over him that would not be denied. Satan does not fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God. When we are in the grip of lust, the reality of God fades.
The longer King David leered, the less real God became to him. Not only was his awareness of God diminished, but David lost awareness of who he himself was — his holy call, his frailty, and the certain consequences of sin. This is what lust does! It has done it millions of times. God disappears to lust-glazed eyes. Men, the truth demands some serious questions: Has God faded from view?
Did you once see Him in bright hues, but now His memory is blurred like an old sepia photograph? Do you have an illicit fixation which has become all you can see? Is the most real thing in your life your desire? If so, you are in deep trouble.
Some decisive steps are necessary, as we shall see. Rationalization From deadly fixation, King David descended to the next level down, which is rationalization. This girl needs a little comfort in her loneliness.
This is one way I can help her. No one will get hurt. I do not mean anything wrong by it. This is not lust — I have known that many times. This is love. This is not the same as finding a prostitute on the street. God knows that. You are judging me. She came to him, and he slept with her.
She had purified herself from her uncleanness.
Then she went back home. David was unaware he had stepped off the precipice and was falling, and that reality would soon arrive — the bottom was coming up fast.
A year later David would repent under the withering accusation of the prophet Nathan. But the miserable consequences could not be undone. And in doing so, he dishonored God as well, breaking, in effect, the first four Commandments. His throne never regained its former stability.
The pathology is clear, and so are the horrible effects of sensuality. Both are meant not only to instruct us, but to frighten us — to scare the sensuality right out of us! The Will of God: Purity Sometimes people under the Christian umbrella simply do not download what I am saying in regard to purity.
They consider such teaching to be Victorian and puritanical. Victorian it is not. Puritanical it gloriously is — for it is supremely Biblical. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.
For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. As the New Testament scholar Leon Morris has written: The man who carries on an act of impurity is not simply breaking a human code, nor even sinning against the God who at some time in the past gave him the gift of the Spirit. He is sinning against the God who is present at that moment, against One who continually gives the Spirit.
This sin is seen in its true light only when it is seen as a preference for impurity rather than a Spirit who is holy. The Discipline of Purity Men, if we are Christians, it is imperative that we live pure, godly lives in the midst of our Corinthian, pornotopian culture.
We must live above the horrifying statistics or the Church will become increasingly irrelevant and powerless, and our children will leave it. The Church can have no power apart from purity. Accountability An important place to begin our training is with the discipline of accountability. This to be done with someone who will regularly hold you accountable for your moral life, asking you hard questions. If you are married, ideally you should use your spouse, but I also recommend another man, one who will give you no quarter in sensual matters.
You need someone of the same gender who will understand your sensuality from the inside out — someone you can be completely honest with, to whom you can confess temptations and attractions.
You need someone who will help you toe the mark and keep your soul faithful to God. Mutual accountability is the ideal. In this connection I think of a certain salesman who regularly maintains accountability via phone contact with other Christian salesmen, and even works at scheduling trips to cities at the same time they will be there.
Pray daily and specifically for your own purity. I am amazed that so few men who are concerned about their lives pray about it. Enlist the prayers of your spouse and friends, and pray for others in this respect. Do not wait to be asked. Pray for the purity of your friends too. They need it, and so do you! Matthew Other helpful passages include Job , Proverbs , Mark ff. Mind The discipline of the mind is, of course, the greatest of challenges and will be discussed more fully in Chapter 6.
And Scripture regularly presents its discipline as a discipline of the eyes. Here is where the most radical action is necessary. No man who allows the rottenness of HBO, R-rated videos, and the various soft-core pornography magazines to flow through his house and mind will escape sensuality! How do you think Job would live in our culture today? If their dress or demeanor is distracting, look them in the eyes, and nowhere else, and get away as quickly as you can!
Refrain from verbal intimacy with women other than your spouse. Do not bare your heart to another woman, or pour forth your troubles to her. Many affairs begin in just this way. On the practical level, do not touch.
Do not treat women with the casual affection you extend to the females in your family. How many tragedies have begun with brotherly or fatherly touches and then sympathetic shoulders.
Whenever you dine or travel with a woman, make it a threesome. This may be awkward, but it will afford an opportunity to explain your rationale, which, more often than not, will incur respect rather than reproach. Many women business associates will even feel more comfortable dealing with you. Never flirt — even in jest. Flirtation is intrinsically flattering. You may think you are being cute, but it often arouses unrequited desires in another.
Reality Be real about your sexuality. He fell within months! Includes bibliographical references pages and indexes Discipline for godliness -- Discipline of purity -- Discipline of marriage -- Discipline of fatherhood -- Discipline of friendship -- Discipline of mind -- Discipline of devotion -- Discipline of prayer -- Discipline of worship -- Discipline of integrity -- Discipline of tongue -- Discipline of work -- Discipline of church -- Discipline of leadership -- Discipline of giving -- Discipline of witness -- Discipline of ministry -- Grace of discipline If you're willing to step up to the plate, then this hard-hitting, inspiring book is for you.
For the past ten years, it has been speaking to men like you who aren't afraid to work up a "spiritual sweat" that will ultimately lead to a victorious Christian walk. Using engaging illustrations, biblical wisdom, practical suggestions for daily living, and personal study questions, Kent Hughes offers frank discussion on major areas of Christian manhood: True godliness will "free you from the gravity of the present age and allow you to soar with the saints and angels," says Pastor Hughes.
But you must take up the challenge to be a disciplined, godly man in today's world.
Disciplines of a godly man
With these relevant words and the grace and power of God, you can reach His goal for you! Bookplateleaf Boxid IA City Wheaton, Ill. Donor blogistics. Edition 1st printing with study questions. External-identifier urn: Identifier-ark ark: Isbn Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Women are so much better at this than men. But shared mealtimes also provided the opportunity to restore perspective. You need to schedule regular time alone with each of your children. The first is a physical incarnation.
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