“I’m a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.” So goes the “Men Anonymous” pledge from the Red Green show. It’s difficult for anyone to change, but I suppose it may be especially difficult for those of us representing the masculine gender. Red Green can fix anything with duct tape, and most men would agree that duct tape is the best. The only thing duct tape isn’t good for is ducts. Regardless, men love to fix things. If the car is broken – fix it. If the faucet leaks – fix it. If your wife has a problem – fix it. Well, we’d do well to listen in the latter case even though we really, really want to fix it. The good news for all you manly men out there – the Bible actually tells us to fix things.
In Deuteronomy 11:18, God tells us to “Fix these words of mind in your hearts and minds.” Here is the great “Fix-it” challenge of your lifetime. Find a way to fix the Word of God on your mind and heart so the gospel flows through you to those around you. Finally, a verse that men can claim for their lives that is both relevant and exciting! The only problem, duct tape may not be the answer. Duct tape tends to be our simple solution to our complex problems. It also tends to be quite temporary. Fixing God’s words in our minds and hearts will require something much different. Something most of us may not yet be willing to sacrifice – time.
It’s time for us to come clean. The truth is – if it’s important to us, we make it happen. We plan for weeks in advance to assure a proper location and television for viewing the Super Bowl, yet we think only about worship when we need to gather corporately in less than an hour. Hours are poured into our planning the financial future of our families while we would be pleased with but a few minutes dedication to the spiritual future of our wives and children. We rise early for work but not early enough to have time alone with God to dedicate our work and our family this day for His glory. “I don’t have to get up early to prioritize time with God,” you say. This may be true, but what of your evening is dedicated to this activity? If we are going to “come clean,” we need to reflect upon our daily activities and come to the realization that we just don’t care about God or His will for our lives or the lives of our family.
Ah, but there’s hope. We’ve received a divine command to “fix it”! Regardless of what half-done spiritual pursuits we’ve done in the past, we need to stand up like men and get dirty with God’s Word. First, we need to have a copy. In fact, we probably have several copies lying around, but I mean hunting down and taking home a copy that we will use. You don’t have to get the big family Bible and push it around in a wheelbarrow everywhere you go. Start small. Grab a New Testament and keep this with you. Stuck in traffic on your daily commute? Pull out your Pocket Testament. Speaking of commutes, perhaps you can go “hands free” by purchasing an audio recording of Scripture to play over the car stereo. What? You’re a tech junkie? Download the “YouVersion” app or the ESV Bible onto your smartphone or e-reader. The important thing is, have something that you can use.
Now, you don’t just have to focus on the commute. Our goal is to pass this fix-it method on to our children. So, we need to be in His Word throughout the day – “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Make cards or Post-its of verses on which you need to reflect some more and have them available. In the chick flick Kate & Leopold, I laughed out loud at the “man moment” when Leopold was just about ready to finish loading the dishwasher and needs assistance from Charlie in turning it on. The dialogue goes like this:
Charlie: [about the dishwasher] And you push this button. Word to the wise: don't press that till she wakes up, so she sees you doing it.
Leopold: How clever. The proverbial tree in the woods.
Charlie: If a man washes a dish, and no one sees it...
Charlie, Leopold: - did it happen?
Kate walks in; Leopold pushes the button. What does this have to do with the Bible? Let your wife and children see you with the Word in hand. Don’t do it for a show. Do it because you want them to adopt the same love for God and desire to fix His Word into their hearts.
A word of warning before you open a tab for Amazon.com and by a new resource. If you determine to obey God’s command, you’ll be accountable to Him, your wife and your children. The point of fixing His Word onto your heart and mind isn’t so much the “doing” of it but the “becoming” that results from it. I believe with all my heart that God’s Word changes lives. I testify to this fact in my own life. But we have to get to a place when we step back from our fixing and begin letting the Word flow out of us into our homes, workplaces and churches. We will always be fixing, but our fixing will be nothing but busyness if we aren’t living out what is being firmly planted in our hearts and minds.
Our wives, children, churches and confused world around us need “fix it” men. We need to be men who are reading, listening to and living out the inspired, transforming Word of God. May it not be “I’m a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.” Rather, may the Spirit awaken within us the reality that we were created by God as men. Therefore, He knows what it means to be a man. A true man is one who can boldly say, “I’m a man, and I will change, because God’s called me to, in Christ.”