Richard Rohr made an interesting observation regarding his journey. He prays each day for one good humiliation. I have thought a lot about that comment. I have asked God to help me accept gracefully those events in my daily life that are humbling. We read in I Peter 5:5-6, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” Men, your family relationships will keep you humble. Remember through your failure, God will “lift you up.”
I was humbled recently during the visit of our daughter’s family from San Antonio. I had prayed before their visit that I might be a loving, and accepting grandfather to three teenage boys. But during a breakfast meal, I blow it, and made an angry remark. My outburst produced a noticeable chill to our table fellowship. After a picture taking session, I asked for a family conference with my daughter’s family. I humbled myself and asked for forgiveness for my “unacceptable attitude.”
I share my story because all the men reading this blog will face similar situations. You will be humbled by your unacceptable behavior or attitude. It is a given on the spiritual journey. In the past I would have gone into my “cave,” feeling like a relational failure, while beating myself up, only to emerge as a “pouting” little boy. (That is hard to admit.) But praise God, because of his transforming work in my soul, I could accept failure but not defeat. Men, don’t let relationship failure cause you to go down in defeat. Stand up, accept failure, and cry out for grace to be a man, by admitting your failure. The devil loves to have you withdraw emotional, brooding in defeat. Ask yourself how you are feeling? Don’t you feel like a little boy feeling sorry for yourself?
As I look back on that breakfast incident I would like to make two observations. First, I was able to “man up” and admit my failure. It takes inner strength and courage to “man up” in our relationship mishaps. I praise God for his grace in my life. Remember God will oppose the proud, that is, the resistant spirit in a man. When a man can humble himself honestly before others, God offers favor (grace). That means a man will be made stronger in his heart. It is a weak man, fearful in heart, who will stiffen up and resist vulnerability, thus being opposed by God
Secondly, I was able to teach my three grandsons a very important lesson. We will all make mistakes in our interactions with each other. As the grandfather I needed to set the tone, by humbly admitting my intolerant attitude. Men, I can not tell you how important it is for you to model humility before your wife and children when it comes to relational failures. Many of us suffered for years because we had fathers who just lived in their caves of self-pity and loneliness. They brooded in relational defeat. Don’t go there. Proverbs 29:23 tells us, “A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” Allow God to give you honor, by humbling yourself before your family members.