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Jesus is King and we as men or Knights of the 21st Century have been called to follow His commands and serve as He sees fit.  What are our King’s marching orders?  It is required of those of us that follow Christ to reflect God’s presence in our life. Jesus, as our King, in Luke 10:27 clearly states our marching orders. We, as men, have been called to love!  God has called us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor as ourselves.   This is a pretty big challenge when you think about it.

How are we, as men, doing so far in accomplishing the task assigned to us by our King?  It doesn’t take long, when you look at the full capacity of our prisons, the level of male violence in our culture, and the number of women and children that are in recovery, due to male actions, to understand that there are a lot of males who have chosen not to become men and follow the King.  If you are taking time to read this, you are working harder than most men on strengthening yourself for the cultural work ahead. Most males don’t have the heart for the truth-seeking that you are demonstrating, by this simple act of reading, in order to pursue personal growth. Taking responsibility for the effort needed for one’s development is, too often, a rare quality. Congratulations!

You may not believe that you are such a man because of one of the paradoxes that comes with living life in a mature way.  The paradox states that the more we strive to become something, the more intuitively we become aware of what separates us from attaining our goal.  Thus, the price of being a man and seeking God’s purpose in our life is the sense of being inadequate at where we are, compared to what we desire from ourselves.  Thus, as knights, the more we accept King Jesus’ marching orders and have the desire to follow Him, the more we are aware of our unloving nature.

It can be quite demotivating to try to be different in your life and to feel even worse about where you are at.  Being less than what we were called by God to be can tempt us, as men, to give up.  Why try, when failure seems inevitable?

Christ, our King, has called us to take our focus off of our inadequacies, that which He has already forgiven, and put our eyes on Him as our Savior coach.  Jesus has not only called us to love, He stands by ready to help us act in a loving manner. Handling the gap of what we are, versus what we should be, over to Him, allows us to concentrate on the freedom that we have to love those around us.  You can rely on Christ as an active source to assist you on a daily basis.

In the next few articles, we will talk about God’s marching orders and how to better honor God, by reflecting His love to a hurting world.  A series of national events, through an organization such as Iron Sharpens Iron, have been created to equip men for accomplishing the marching orders described above. We, at Knights of the 21st Century, desire to help you learn about yourself as a man, and how God made you, so that your daily decision-making can reflect God’s love for others in your life in a more visible way. Florida Men Of Integrity, as an organization, is dedicated to encouraging men to move beyond what they “can’t do” to what they “can do.”  Check out this blog once a week, for a two to four minute video that will stimulate your thinking in relation to your manhood from a unique perspective.  Join us at one of the conferences hosted by Florida Men of Integrity for a time to enjoy one another, refuel for the challenges ahead, and learn together how we can follow the admonition of King Jesus to love as Knights of the 21st Century.

Since our last article, many of you have reflected on your King Jesus and the marching orders He gave you. Our King has told us to love, and this necessitates that we not just claim to love, but that we “ be love” to those around us. Would a quick survey of our friends, family, and co-workers demonstrate love as one of our primary descriptors?  In Romans 1-8, Paul was right when he pointed out the difference between our godly desires and our less than godly actions. We, as Knights of the 21st Century, have said “Yes, sir” to our King’s mandate, and then have gone on living in a way that doesn’t reflect His great mission. If you want to live a meaningful and satisfying life that honors God, take a moment to consider how you can improve yourself and your love actions.

God desires for us to look to Him to receive assistance for the love tasks that are ahead.  The following thoughts can enable you to love those who are close to you in better ways:

(1)  God is dependable and you can be empowered by participating in an ongoing relationship with Him.  The key is that, by faith, you rely on His blessing on your actions, and not on Him to create your actions. As a man, you must not become dependent on God in the same way as many of us have grown to expect assistance from women.  Early in life we, as males, have learned to wait for Mom to do many tasks for us.  We then give, as a special gift to the women we love, the same helpless, dependent expectations.  We wait for them to plan the next social event, tell our children that they are loved, send the next get well card to a friend, and plan the next date. We are not helpless victims waiting on God to get us out of this culture “hole” that we, as males, have created.  As men, we need to learn how to make responsible choices and then, we must act according to these choices.

(2)  While you are here on this earth, you have two elements that will always be a part of your maleness. You have an element that is sinful which we, at Knights, call your shadow. This part of you continuously works for your own self-destruction and it harms others. It remains hidden until it is illuminated by a form of light.  A second element is the little boy in you that prefers temper tantrums and takes the easy way, instead of choosing more difficult paths of manly action.  These two elements that are within the boy and the male will always work against his knighthood and the love which God has called him to give.

(3)  Who is easier to love, someone very different from us or someone who is similar to us?  It is a shocking fact that women are different from men.  To become better at loving others and at the skills that comprise the act of love, a man must practice loving other men.  We, as males, must overcome our resistance to developing deep friendships with other men. We must talk about life and share in meaningful ways beyond the day’s sports scores. Loving others demands that men practice loving each other, so that there is knowledge and competence regarding the ways we love our children and the ways we love our women, who are more of a challenge to learn to love.

Florida Men Of Integrity is a group of men who want to do what is hard.  They desire to follow King Jesus’ marching orders, as Knights of the 21st Century. Instead of just waiting on God to do the work, they actively seek God’s intervention in their daily decision- making, which is where it matters the most. They want to be known for how they love children, protect the hearts of all women, and express care for one another. Knights of the 21st Century, with the use of their weekly blog, www.manhoodtalk.com, want to join up with these men of integrity, so that, together, we can love those around us in more significant ways.  Through Iron Sharpens Iron conferences and regular Knights of the 21st Century meetings, a men’s movement is being created that helps others discover what God’s love can bring to any circumstance.  Join us, by attending a conference, or starting your own Knight’s chapter. Help us, not only by telling those around us what we love about these programs, but also by showing them how a group of knights, who follow a powerful King, can love in a way that makes a difference!