Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Archive for the ‘Man.’ Category

10 Must-Dos for Middle-Aged Men.


 

Man running
Are you keeping in shape in your middle years? (IStock photo)

Some guys reach midlife, see more asphalt behind than in front, and panic. Midlife crisis mode. “The end is coming!” This doesn’t have to be you. Midlife can be a time for purpose, meaning, re-evaluation and new energy.

Here are 10 must-dos for middle-aged men to help them finish well:

1. Make health a priority. Diet, exercise and how we deal with stress all go a long way to determine midlife vibrancy. It’s no fun starting a big adventure only to stop after a mile. We know how to take care of our bodies; put that knowledge into practice.

2. Escape the rat race. The rat race puts extra stress on men already struggling with life. We need to escape from time to time. Take a spontaneous trip with your wife. Play hooky and spend the day having fun. Escape into your favorite music or novel. Reinvent.

3. Regain your childlike joy. Behaving like a child isn’t always all bad! Avoid irresponsibility, but embrace childlike joy. In the eyes of child, the world has endless possibilities. Wake up with a gleam in your eye and joy in your heart. Determine to discover one new thing about the world every day.

4. Make a pilgrimage. Many men harbor a burning desire to explore, challenge limits, engage a quest and redefine who they are. What’s your ultimate pilgrimage? What does your soul want to experience? Answer that question and plan.

5. Become a mentor. Success, mistakes, joy and heartbreak. Knowledge multiplies with experience. By midlife, it’s time to share. We can teach, volunteer, encourage and listen. The only skill necessary is the courage to step out.

6. Discover a deeper purpose. Sometimes life can grow stagnant, a repetitive loop in the same endless circle, disconnected and barely making do. Such thoughts can lead to depression, alcohol abuse, marital troubles and more. The first solution is to realize your need; that’s the most difficult part. Once that happens, vigorously seek God’s will.

7. Avoid tragic mistakes. There are many common pitfalls. Cheating, over-reaching financially, walking away from people or jobs we’re invested in, giving in to despair. But nothing destroys like cheating. Don’t even put yourself in a position to be tempted.

8. Take leadership responsibility. Wisdom comes with age and then the responsibility to share. There’s a place that needs your leadership right now. Find it and step up.

9. Gain appreciation. We all fail when it comes to recognizing our blessings. In business, it’s imperative to take stock. The same goes for our personal lives.

10. The past is past. We don’t reach midlife without trauma. Life shapes us. It can build character or destroy it, leaving bitterness and heartache. The past is a resource, but the future is where hope lives.

All Pro Dad is Family First’s innovative and unique program for every father. Their aim is to interlock the hearts of the fathers with their children and, as a byproduct, the hearts of the children with their dads. AtAllProDad.com, dads in any stage of fatherhood can find helpful resources to aid in their parenting. Resources include daily emails, blogs, Top 10 lists, articles, printable tools, videos and eBooks. FromAllProDad.com, fathers can join the highly engaged All Pro Dad social media communities onFacebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

For the original article, visit allprodad.com.

Advertisements

10 Questions Husbands Should Ask Their Wives Every Year.


 

Husband and wife
How is the communication going between you and your wife? (Stock Free Images)

The best remedy for marriage conflict is marriage communication. Disagreements, fights, impasses, separations and divorce can be traced back to poor communication more than any other factor. Likewise, listening amounts to some of the best relationship medicine around.

Listening works best when we ask good questions. Good questions indicate bona fide concern. The man who asks good questions is already well on the way to communication excellence.

The best questions also serve as conversation starters. Remember, you are interested in her. But, once you start talking, she’s going to ask stuff too. The more you know each other on a deep level, the easier it is to fall in love all over again.

Here are 10 good questions you should ask your wife, at least every year:

1. What do you think is going right in our relationship? It’s been a while since you took the marriage vows. But it’s still true that positive affirmation leads to more productive change than negative evaluation. It’s helpful to identify our strengths. Once we know them we can play to them. Building each other up is always a win-win.

2. Where would you like our relationship to be this time next year? It doesn’t matter where we are, there’s always room to be better. She might say, “I’d like to see more spontaneous affection.” Or, “I want us to be moving forward together in our faith.” She could say, “I want our relationship to involve more fun!”

3. Will you please marry me, all over again? Say it with flowers. Say it like you mean it. Make sure your wife knows how much you cherish her.

4. I’d love to hear about your dreams for the future. A wise Hebrew writer once wrote, “Without a vision, the people perish.” Listen to your wife, imagine great things together, and then step into the possibilities.

5. Is there anywhere you’d like to visit this coming year? Indulge a little whimsy. Listen, laugh together, fantasize about fabulous vacations, and then tuck the information away somewhere, so you can possibly plan a trip. A good husband listens to his wife’s dreams. A great husband weaves them into their plans for the future.

6. Do you think we’re doing OK financially? This needs to be an ongoing conversation. However, like any small business (and a family is like a business in many ways), the directors need to have a comprehensive annual meeting to evaluate the finances and the plan for the coming year.

7. How are you doing health-wise? Encouraging one another involves accountability. Partners should never remain ignorant when it comes to health concerns. And it shouldn’t be only physical health. It’s also important to take inventory of each other’s emotional wellbeing.

8. If you could change one thing about our priorities as a family, what would it be? Notice this isn’t an invitation to criticize, but more an opportunity to grow together.

Possible answers might include:

  • I’d like to see less TV time and more family time with one another at home.
  • We’re not eating together enough. I’d like to see dinnertime valued a little more.
  • We say can’t afford a family vacation, but then we eat out 2-3 times a week. Maybe we should shift that one around!

9. Is there anything I devote regular time to that you see as a possible threat to our family or our relationship? Patterns take time to emerge. When we look back—or from another person’s point of view—sometimes we can see more clearly. Ask your wife if there are any adjustments you can make (Consistently late for dinner? Too much golf? Too many evenings with “the boys”?) That would help her to feel more secure.

10. Are you happy? It’s a good question even if she says she’s happy already. “What can I do to make you more happy?” is a great discussion. Again, this is where good, active listening is very important. And your wife’s greatest happiness will always be found in God, so encourage her to grow in her faith.

All Pro Dad is Family First’s innovative and unique program for every father. Their aim is to interlock the hearts of the fathers with their children and, as a byproduct, the hearts of the children with their dads. AtAllProDad.com, dads in any stage of fatherhood can find helpful resources to aid in their parenting. Resources include daily emails, blogs, Top 10 lists, articles, printable tools, videos and eBooks. FromAllProDad.com, fathers can join the highly engaged All Pro Dad social media communities onFacebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

7 Ways a Husband Injures a Wife Without Even Knowing It.


Angry couple
Husbands, do you injure your wives without even knowing it? (Stock Free Images)

I recently posted “7 Ways a Wife Injures a Husband Without Even Knowing It.” It’s been a popular post. Thankfully, I’ve not seemed to make a lot of women mad—a few, but not many that I have heard from yet. We will see how the men respond with this post.

As I committed, a companion post is warranted. Guys, we injure our wives. All of us do. We are different, and the way we respond to our wives often causes injury. And most of the time, it’s unintentional. We didn’t even know we were doing it.

I’m not making excuses for us. We should strive to learn our spouses and do better at understanding our differences, communicating better and injuring less. That’s what this post is about. Awareness. Understanding.

I ran this post by my wife, so it’s Cheryl-approved, although it wasn’t hard to write. As a counselor and pastor, I’ve worked with hundreds of couples and have seen this countless times. I wish I could say I never did any of these, but that would be a lie. This post is written with one finger pointed forward and four more pointed my way.

Here are seven ways a husband injures a wife without even knowing it:

1. Cuts her out of the discussion. When you act as if she isn’t even there or wouldn’t understand what you’re talking about, she feels a part of her is detached. She sees the marriage as a partnership in every part of life—even the parts she may never fully understand.

2. Fails to notice the difference she makes. A woman doesn’t want to be appreciated for only what she does. She wants you to appreciate who she is, but you can admit it—she does a lot. Whether it’s decorating the house or making sure the clothes are clean or that you have your favorite soap, a woman wants to know what she does is valued by you.

3. Underestimates the small stuff. You only said “this” but it was “THIS” to her. And it hurts. You may even think it’s funny. She may even laugh. But it is often building a wall of protection around her heart each time you do. The key here is that you can’t talk to her like you might talk to another guy. She hears and feels deeper than you do. Words can and do hurt.

4. Speaks with curtness. When you talk down to her, as if she’s somehow less than you, you bruise her spirit. Deeply. You know she’s not less than you—you don’t even think she is—but she just can’t tell that sometimes based on your tone and the way you talk to her.

5. Corrects her as she’s talking. This could be finishing her sentences or speaking for her in the company of others. She feels demeaned and devalued when you present her to others as if she can’t compete with you in original thought, which you know isn’t true. (My wife is much smarter than me.)

6. Acts suspicious. Don’t misunderstand or misapply this one. When you hide information, even when you think you’re protecting her, you cause her to question your motive. When you protect your calendar or act like you are upset at the question “What did you do today?” or “What did you talk about?” or “Who was that?” when someone calls, it gives her an eerie feeling something is wrong. And that hurts.

7. Admires other women over her. She sees you looking. She may even understand your highly visual makeup. It hurts her, however, when a glance becomes a stare, especially when it happens everywhere you go, all the time.

A wife’s heart, no matter how independent or strong she is, is tender in places—lots of places. She can bruise easily in some areas of her life, especially the places that involve the people she loves the most—like you. A husband who understands this is more careful in how he speaks and responds to her.

Most husbands I know would never injure their wife knowingly. They want to be her protector. Men, when we don’t realize the damage we are doing to our wives’ emotions, we invalidate every desire we have to be her defender. I always like to use this thought as a reminder: Would I ever allow another man to speak to or treat my wife like I am doing?

She’s a precious gift, guys. Let’s treat her well.

What other ways do husbands injure their wives without even knowing it?.

Ron Edmondson is a church planter and pastor with a heart for strategy, leadership and marketing, especially geared toward developing churches and growing and improving the kingdom of God.

 For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.

10 Characteristics of a Man of Integrity.


Do you have an accountability partner?
Do you have an accountability partner? (Stock Free Images)

One of the best definitions of character we’ve ever heard goes something like this: “Character is what you do when no one else is looking.”

This is one reason golf is such a great life-lesson game. It’s the only professional sport where the participants call penalties on themselves.

But men of integrity value what is honest, true, noble, trustworthy, kind and right ahead of personal gain. Once integrated into our foundational operating system, integrity ceases to be optional or “add on” but instead becomes a way of life.

Here are some suggestions that will help once we decide to make integrity a foundational value:

1. Root yourself in a moral foundation. It’s been said that everyone has a god; the question is only “What god do we choose?” But many of us fail to even address the issue. Once considered, this question can give us a firm place to anchor.

2. Look for the positive. Load your consciousness in a positive direction by scanning the news for examples of integrity. Then talk about those with friends and family rather than the latest scandal. Make endorsing integrity a stronger value in your life than criticism and scorn.

3. Resist the temptation to compartmentalize your life. Too many of us are different people in different places. Determine to be a man of integrity; then practice at home, at work, at play—wherever you are.

4. Determine to live for others ahead of yourself. The root enemy of integrity is selfishness. The “Golden Rule” requires treating others the way we would like to be treated. It is impossible to follow the Golden Rule without a boost to personal integrity.

5. Participate in an active accountability group. There’s a great story about the great leader Moses when his friends Aaron and Hur stood with him to hold his arms up high until the battle was won. We all need friends to hold our arms up, to help keep us strong.

6. Partner with a friend where you need to make progress. Take accountability to the next level by asking another man to hold your feet to the fire where necessary. This can be a mutual arrangement. We know a man who asks his friend to call several times a week and ask point-blank if he’s been looking at porn. The promise of a pointed question can help any area of weakness.

7. Be in the habit of sharing everything with your wife. When we don’t keep any secrets from our spouse, it tends to have an impact on who we are.

8. Practice the habit of imagining the presence of someone whose opinion you value. What if my father was present at this business meeting? I wonder how Grandpa would enjoy being part of this foursome? Would I tell this joke in the presence of my wife? How would my kids feel if they listened in on this conversation?

9. Hold your children accountable. It’s cliché to say that “to teach is to learn.” But the truth is, every lesson we bring to our children is something we need to hear too.

10. Practice having a “principle of the week.” Elaborate the teaching equation to highlight a “principle of the week” at home. Have a week devoted to conversations about honesty, another week highlighting trust, then a week where everyone in the family pledges one act of selflessness per day and then shares over dinner.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.

All Pro Dad is Family First’s innovative and unique program for every father. Their aim is to interlock the hearts of the fathers with their children and, as a byproduct, the hearts of the children with their dads. At AllProDad.com, dads in any stage of fatherhood can find helpful resources to aid in their parenting. Resources include daily emails, blogs, Top 10 lists, articles, printable tools, videos and eBooks. From AllProDad.com, fathers can join the highly engaged All Pro Dad social media communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Helping the Unmarried Man.


Kenny Luck
Kenny Luck (Facebook)

They are single by default, by circumstance or by choice. They may have visions of marriage and familywhile others have totally given up.

The rarest of all in the body of Christ see their relational context as a gift. But regardless of perspective and desire, all these men face unique moral and spiritual struggles that require more, not less, character than their married friends. Strong beliefs are required to support stronger (but culturally disapproved) behaviors that preserve spiritual integrity.

It’s ironic that the most influential man who ever walked the planet was unmarried and possessed a sense of self-rootedness in God and His purposes that transcended the broken male culture of His day. Jesus, as well as a host of other examples in the Bible, provides the template for our conversations with and ministry to unmarried men. Here are the top three issues, examples and principles we should be addressing with this group of men God wants to use mightily.

1. Identity 

“But you, man of God … fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Tim. 6:11-12). These intentionally directed words toward Timothy call out his identity. What does Paul know that we should know too? He knows that whatever commands this unmarried man’s identity will also command his energy and expression as a man.

Security of identity in Christ produces powerful discipline, patience, perspective and purpose in the midst of the unmarried man’s battles. Whatever the unique context or issue that arises in the moment, like Paul, we want men responding and reacting out of their identity in God first.

2. Women and Sexual Integrity

Imagine a financially successful single man working late and all alone in his office. Now picture a beautiful woman dressed to kill presenting herself and physically lying down at his feet. There are no illusions about what is being offered to this man. Far from being a hypothetical, Boaz found himself in exactly this position and found the strength to maintain his sexual integrity as a single man. (See Ruth 2.)

This type of sexual restraint and honoring women modeled by Boaz needs to be directly and transparently addressed, along with the lifestyle habits that serve to replace resistance alone with healthy male and female relationships that support his spiritual and sexual boundaries.

3. Contentment Versus Comparison

Managing expectations and dashed expectations is a huge part of ministry to unmarried men. Every man has them (expectations), but many times God is not operating on our time frame of delivery for His good reasons and His good purposes.

Time passing without fulfillment of the expectation often turns to panic, which so often results in fear-based decision-making to meet needs for intimacy ahead of God’s timing or outside His will. This aspect of being single or single again can rob men of hope, create a reservoir of negative emotions and, consequently, make them vulnerable to attack from within and without.

The only clear path for unmarried men that guarantees greater contentment and hope (Phil. 4:12-13) and less comparison and cynicism is a clear vision of God. More specifically, a clear vision of Him as faithful Creator combined with purposeful service and ministry for Him, which provides meaning, connection and intimacy.

We have all heard the stories of God’s miraculous realization of a person’s hopes after a recognition and release of self into God’s loving sovereignty, care and rule. The longing may remain, but God’s person, people and purpose go a long way toward replacing contentment.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.

KENNY LUCK/EVERY MAN MINISTRIES

Kenny Luck, founder of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church, provides biblically oriented teaching and leadership for men and pastors seeking relevant, timely material that battle cultural, worldly concepts threatening men and God’s men. Follow Kenny and Every Man Ministries now on FacebookTwitter (@everyMM) and YouTube.

For the original article, visit everymanministries.com.

Why a Man Gives a Woman His Heart.


man holding heart
(© elenaleonova iStockPhoto.com)
Amazingly, a man’s hunger for respect is more right-on than I ever realized. At work, my husband receives kudos for a job well done. His paycheck and bonuses verify his skill and dedication. John also works hard to provide for and protect his family.
Respecting John is admiring his work, hischaracter and his care. It’s telling him I appreciate these things and admire him for the man he is. It’s not talking bad about him to my friends or even behind closed doors. It’s “talking him up” at home and in front of others and not second-guessing his ideas. It’s honoring his opinions and decisions (which is tough, especially when my opinion differs!).
Basically, it’s my job as a wife to go against society and their “liberated thinking” and figure out how to respect my husband unconditionally and honor him.
But what does respect have to do with lifetime commitment? Everything. After all, why would a woman want to stick with a man she can’t respect? And why would a man want to stay around when he is treated as the one messing up all the time? (Marriage is more than this, of course. We made acovenant before God, and God has called us to commit for life. But just think how we can transform ourmarriages and our generation when we strive to follow this principle.)
Of course, God always knew what we’re just starting to understand. Check out Ephesians 5:33: “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (NIV).
Yet unconditional respect, it seems, is something that generations of women have forgotten how to do.
It’s not that we wives purposefully set out to sabotage our marriages, but this is what lack of respect does. We tell our husbands we want them to be spiritual leaders and the head of the house, but then we make all the decisions or question the decisions they do make. (Ouch! I’ve done this too many times to count.)
If we’re going to strive for “forever,” we need to think of the ways we can make this thing last. This is part of the work and the planning. A good question to ask is: How can I show my husband the respect he desires?
In an effort to show my respect, I try to remind John I believe in his capabilities, take time to understand his point of view and affirm his accomplishments. John appreciates it when I stop what I’m doing to give him a pat on the back when he’s manicured the front lawn, cleaned the garage or built a set of bookshelves. When I first started doing it, I felt like a mom talking to a 3-year-old: “Great job, honey.” But from his smile, I quickly learned he was energized by my praise.
The amazing thing is that when you do look for ways to show respect and you do work at it, your needs are met too. Because your husband is getting what he needs, he pours out his love in return.
Emerson Eggerichs, in his book Love and Respect, calls this the Energizing Cycle: “Her love motivates his respect. His respect motivates her love.” I can confess: Being in this cycle is indeed energizing … and fun!
So why is respect still a foreign word even to those of us who know its power? This is a hard one, since many times we weren’t raised seeing it lived. To put it in a more culture-friendly term, another word forrespect is admiration. And this is how Dictionary.com defines them both:
Respect: -noun. Esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.
Admiration: -noun. A feeling of wonder, pleasure or approval.
What would a man give for a wife who respects and admires him? I’ve seen this lived out … his whole heart.
Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ SPIRITLED WOMAN.

Tricia Goyer has written more than 35 books, including both novels that delight and entertain readers and nonfiction titles that offer encouragement and hope. She has also published more than 500 articles in national publications such as Guideposts, Thriving Family, Proverbs 31, and HomeLife Magazine.

8 Ways to Show Passion in the Marketplace.


A good work ethic is a great way to show passion for your job.
A good work ethic is a great way to show passion for your job. (Free Digital Photos)

In the current economic climate, the job market has become increasingly volatile. Therefore, just showing up is not enough. We have to set ourselves apart from our peers. Keeping the edge is important.

1. Look professional. Your physical condition is important, but dressing properly can be even more important. Recent trends have made work attire more casual, but that doesn’t mean it should be sloppy. Target your attire to be a notch above the norm. Don’t overdress, but certainly don’t allow yourself to be underdressed for the job. A gallant man is groomed, fit and always appropriate for the occasion.

2. Be a team player. Let go of self and embrace the team. Companies exist to turn a profit. If its workers are not producing as a team, the company will cease to exist in the future. I was recently in a store where the workers had such a lousy and selfish attitude that I wanted to leave immediately to find another place to shop. Workers should not take a customer for granted, especially not in today’s economic climate.

3. Be a solution, not a problem. You are not hired to cause problems; you are hired to solve them. If you are not solving business problems for your employer, you will soon find yourself solving a personal problem—looking for a job. I always say, “When you see a piece of trash, you own it.” That means you should take the initiative and pick it up. Take ownership. The small act of eliminating a piece of trash may seem meaningless, but it shows you are ready to act as if everything depends upon you.

4. Know your competitor better than they know themselves. I had a board member who was a renowned expert in his profession. He was the go-to guy for advice in his field of expertise. He told me, “Pastor, when I enter a meeting, I’ve read everything I can find on their business. I know more about them than they know themselves. Therefore, I am always in control of the subject.”

5. Forecast trends. You can be ahead of the curve if you study trends. Where is the market going in your business? What do your customers want you to provide for them? It’s amazing how obsolete a company can become simply by allowing the market to move away from them. Can you imagine being in the vinyl record industry today? Or trying to make it as a cassette tape supplier? Even compact discs are becoming obsolete. Take some time to forecast trends in your field.

6. Work while you are working. I am amazed at how little people actually work. Develop a work ethic. Don’t waste time casually browsing the web or fiddling with your cell phone when you are supposed to be working. Focused intensity can produce amazing results.

7. Speak positively about your company. Even if your company is not doing well currently, start turning it around by speaking optimistically. It will not help you or your company if you tear it down.

8. Show up on time, and be prepared. It’s ridiculous when people are constantly late for work or assignments. It is slothful and unethical. They are robbing the company of progress and will eventually cost the company everything. There is no excuse for it.

These eight simple, relatively easy steps can set you apart from the crowd. Mastery of these skills will most certainly bring you promotion.

FivestarMan was founded in 2008 by Neil KennedyKennedy has passionately promoted God’s Word for 25-plus years of ministry. He is known for practically applying biblical principles that elevate people to a new level of living. As a business, church, ministry and life consultant, Kennedy has helped others strategize the necessary steps to reach their full potential.

For the original article, visit fivestarman.com.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.

Tag Cloud