Where Are The Men?
I think we can all agree that the early church was filled with real men. We have lost so much in today's society that it may be you feel that the standard at this time seems pretty high, but I think we can all agree that the early church was filled with men who walked like men of God should walk. Who knew their God! Who were dedicated to God and nobody else! I think we can all agree that the early church was filled with men who walked that way. Where are the men today? That is the question that is given. The cry that should be coming out of our hearts right now is, "Where are those men?"” Yes, God needs men. Yes, God is looking for men. Yes, God is going to and fro around this earth looking for men who will walk that way. Yes, God needs the men, but where are the men? That is the question we are asking.
St. Paul said to St. Timothy, "The things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also." (II Timothy 2:2)
I believe, in St. Paul's day it wasn't hard for St. Timothy to find faithful men that he could commit the things that St. Paul had committed to him into their hands, and know that it would go on from his generation unto another generation. It was through faithful men that God continued to propagate the faith on from one generation to the next there in the early church. And we know as we study church history that St. Timothy did find faithful men, and those faithful men did commit the things that they learned unto other faithful men. And those faithful men found other faithful men also to commit the works of God into their hands. And today, there is a cry that goes out, "Where are those men?" Where are those faithful men that the work of God can be passed on into their hands. That we can know of assurity that the work of God will go on from one generation to the next. Where are those men?”
How many Churches have you gone into before Mass where you saw peppered throughout the Church women on their knees praying the Rosary. Many of them with tears in their eyes praying for there husbands asking Mary our Mother to intercede for them because they are lukewarm in their faith. Why are we not seeing as many men on their knees begging for graces to raise there family in the faith, interceding and asking for intercession for their children and for this country? WHERE ARE THE MEN?
Why is it the lines for confession have more women then men waiting to make things right with their God? Why is it that the women have a more tender heart toward keeping a clean inventory with God then the men do? WHERE ARE THE MEN?
Why are we having to depend on the women to teach their children and the children of the Parish the Catholic Faith? WHERE ARE THE MEN?
It is no wonder we have confusion among the sexes. We have very few men who will step up to the plate and be an example of a Godly man who is willing to give his whole life over to God and His church. To take on his responsibilities as a husband, a father, a man of God in his Parish. WHERE ARE THE MEN?
Now, I know there are more women in the world than there are men. I know that, but there is not that many more. And, I say again, God, WHERE ARE THE MEN? Why aren't they in Church? Why is it you will find the women doing the work in the Parish while the men are sitting around drinking coffee or having a beer fest in the fellowship hall caring less about what is going on in the Catechism classes Why aren't they in the front row with there family at Mass ? Why aren't they hungry for the spiritual food offered up at Mass? Where are they, Lord?
God speaks to Ezekiel. He complains about the sinfulness of Jerusalem. But when he goes into detail about their sin He shines the light of judgement on the men. It's not the women God points out as sinning. It's the Men of Jerusalem, it is the prophets, the priests, and the princes.
God says to Ezekiel. "And I sought among them for a man that might set up a hedge, and stand in the gap before me in favour of the land, that I might not destroy it: and I found none." (Ezechiel /Ezeckiel 22:30).
There was no men to set up a hedge of prayer if you please. No men to stand in the gap to keep the faith pure and to keep anyone from destroying their children's faith. There was no priest who would teach the true Catholic Faith. The priest were not standing in the gap and putting the hedges of protection around the people. they were allowing them to go up into the hills where the groves of trees were and worship a different God then the true God. "It does not matter which one you worship, they all get you to heaven if you are sincere in your religion" The prophet/preachers were telling cute little stories about loving everybody and not judging, instead of telling the people how they should be repenting of sin and turning back to Christ and His Church.
Of course I am talking about today but the same thing was happening back then. And because there were no men, you know what God said? "And I poured out my indignation upon them, in the fire of my wrath I consumed them: I have rendered their way upon their own head, saith the Lord God."
You wonder why our country is in such a mess it is in? There are not enough men in our parishes to make a difference. You want to know why we have such a mess with in the Church? There are not enough men willing to build up the hedges and stand in the gaps. WHERE ARE THE MEN?
Having more men standing in the gap, building up the hedges, praying etc. has the potential of affecting our children to the third and fourth generation. Unto the third and fourth generation of your children. Men, if we pray and I mean-- hot prayers touching heaven, prayers with fasting, if we pray those kinda of prayers, they can and will touch the lives of our children, and our children's children, and our children's children's children.
Oh, if we will just be the men of God that we need to be in our homes!
Oh, that God would raise up mighty men of God who know how to get a hold of God and the Saints, who know how to touch heaven for the lives of their children. God ought to hear your children's name coming off of the lips of your mouth every single day of your life. And not those monotone prayers where you just rattle off the rosary as if you were at an auction, No brethren, It should be prayers of sincerity, and prayers of brokenness, and prayers of vision, and prayers of burden for your children.
I think of the verse in Lamentation. Its such a great verse. It is a good verse fathers. It goes something like this, "pour out thy heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands to him for the life of thy little children." That's what Lamentations tells us men. "Arise! Pour out the heart! Lift up thine hands before thy God, and pour out thine heart before thy God for thy sons and for thy daughters and for thy children.” Oh listen, that is how you have an effectual prayer life with your children if you will know and get a hold of your God, and spend some time alone with God everyday pleading for those children.
Leaders raise up leaders.
We know it is so. If there is a man who is a leader, you can just about count on his sons being leaders. But, if there is a man who is not a leader, you can just about count that his sons won't be much of a leader either. Because leaders raise up leaders. That is how come there was so many leaders in the nation of Israel at one time. Because the men of Israel were leaders, and their sons grew up to be leaders.
It is not as bad today as it was in Ezekiel's day. Today we are , "Where are the men?” But in Ezekiel's day God said, “I sought for a man and couldn't find one.” It is not that bad yet. But, it's time that we allow the urgency of the hour to get a hold of our hearts. There is a need! It is a fact. It is hard to find men. And I realize some of the men that are reading this you've heard it before. You've responded, and God is working in your lives. And I'm not wanting to discourage anyone. If you're one of those men that says, "I'm going for it!” thank God for men like you. But God seeks for men today. He is looking for men that are willing to stand in the gaps and take up the hedge. You go and find a hole somewhere in the kingdom of God and stand in the middle of that hole. And pray heaven down on that hole. And while you are praying and standing in the gap, you build that hole back up, so that the wall will be built. God is looking for men to do that. There are many men that are aspiring to living for God. And we want it to be that way, and I thank God for everyone of those men that are aspiring to living out the Catholic faith, and they want to get busy serving God. And they want God to use them. And they want Him to use them to win souls over to the Catholic Faith. And they want to see the kingdom of God built. I praise God for everyone of them. But, brethren, if you don't have your home when you get done, you don't have anything. What good is it if you go out and win over a bunch of converts, and lose your children in the midst of the whole thing? What good is it? It is no good. One of the biggest gaps around is the gap of the home. We have to get this area right. All the rest of God's work hinges upon it.
So, I ask again, WHERE ARE THE MEN? Where are men that walk this way? What is God's will for you as men?
Number one -- Its God's will that you be mature men.
Everyone of you. Aside from every relationship in your life, it is God's will that you be a mature man. Forget about your business now. Forget about your wife. Forget about your children. Forget about whatever leadership positions you're in. Number one, it is God's will that you be a mature man. What is a mature man? A mature man is a man who has learned to walk with God. A mature man is a man who is willing to be sensitive to the Spirit of God. A mature man is a man who is filled with the convictions of the Word of God. Nobody needs to tell him what to do. He does it by conviction out of his own heart and life. He is a mature man. A mature man is a man who has made commitment after commitment after commitment to God. As God gives him light, he said, Amen. And God gave him more light, and he said, "Amen.” And the years went by, and he kept on saying, Amen, to the will of God and the Word of God. That is a mature man. A mature man is one who is living by the Word of God and the teachings of the Church and able to teach others also. That's a mature man. And whether you are a father or not, it is God's will that you number one be a mature, Christian man, a Catholic man, a mature man.
Number two--What is God's will for you men? It is His will that you learn to be financially stable.
And I'm not talking about getting rich. God forbid. I'm not talking about building a big business. I'm just talking about being financially stable. It is God's will that everyone of you men learn what it means to be financially stable. So, that you can pay your bills. So, that you know where to spend your money. So, that you know how to give your money, and you know which way to give it. It's God's will that you be financially stable -- every one of you. And it's an honor to God if you’be financially stable. I'm not talking about being rich. God forbid if we think being rich is godliness. I'm just talking about being financially stable. If you cannot be faithful in the unrighteous mammon, God will not commit unto you the true riches. It is foolishness to try to go off and do the work of God if you can't pay your bills. God wants you to learn financial stability. It's His will.
Number three---It's Gods will for men to be a loving husband.
A loving and a tender husband. One who recognizes the reverence of their wife. One who recognizes the great responsibility they have to sanctify their wife -- to endear her, to be gentle to her, to guide her, to make sure her needs are met, both physical needs and emotional needs and spiritual needs. God wants men to be loving husbands. In fact, if they are not going to be one, there is going to be a big hole missing in their life and God will not be able to use them the way that He could and the way that He wants to. It is God's will that they be a loving husband.
Number four---Gods will is that they be a wise father.
A father that is tender, a father that is dedicated, seeing their responsibilities for their children. And taking their responsibilities, and guiding them, and waiting at the gate of wisdom, so that they can put into those children the things that they need for their lives day by day. It is God's will that men be a wise father.
Number five--It is God's will that men be a dynamic leader.
And I don't mean that they have got to be a Priest or a Governor or a world leader. But, it is God's will that men be a dynamic leader. "Dynamic leader?" If a man is a mature man who has truly learned how to walk with God and get their prayers answered, and they have made those commitments to God that needed to be made, and the Word of God and the teachings of the Church is conviction within their soul, and they live out a holy life -- they are a dynamic leader. If they are financially stable, able to give counsel to others about their finances. If they have learned to be a loving husband, and they have got a radiant wife, if they have learned to be a wise father, and have learned how to guide their children, and they are coming up in a right way that is an honor and glory to God, don't you think someone is going to want to listen to you? Yes, they will want to listen to a person like that! A man like that will be a dynamic leader without even trying to be one. God is looking for men like that. God needs men like that. But, where are they?
Let me just say something to the young men here: Start right, young men.
If you find yourself back there with number one or number two, you are not married yet, you don't have any children yet, you are not a leader yet, there are two things you can start working on right now. And that is maturity in the spiritual life and financial stability. I don't mean getting rich. I am talking about knowing how to handle your finances and giving it away to God. And giving it to God's work, the Parish or charities within the parishes. Don't go off and spend it on some big fancy car. Give it away to the poor. Give it away to your parish. Learn how to handle your finances, young men. And learn how to walk with your God. And some day if God wills to give you a wife. And if you are engaged, and you are about to marry a wife, you ought to be studying everything you can about how to be a loving husband. You ought to be memorizing those scripture on the subject. You ought to be meditating upon those verses. Because, for most of you, that is the next stage in your life. You are going to be a husband of a wife, and you need to be a loving husband. And there are many things that God wants to teach you about a relationship there. Go after it, you young men. Young men, if you have already got yourself a wife, and maybe you have got one little baby, or maybe there is a baby on the way right now, you ought to be studying everything you can about how to be a wise father to those children. You see how God works it? One stage at a time. But, some of us do not get the stages down in order, and we have got to work on all of them at the same time. The grace of God is available for us to work on all of them at the same time.
If all of us men would all lay hold of what we are reading, what a Parish that would make! What a church full of men that would make.! That would be a powerful church. That would be a real Catholic Parish. That would be a Parish that God can be proud of. That would be a Parish that God can really use to be a light to those around them.
Maybe you're thinking, "The standards too high, you are expecting too much!
Are those not the requirements of a leader in St. Paul's epistle to St. Timothy? He must first of all be a mature man. He must know how to walk with God. He must have stability of convictions in his own life. He has got to have that. We know that is a requirement. He also must have financial stability. Clearly, he also has to be one who has his home in order. He has got to be a loving husband and have a radiant wife, or there is something drastically wrong. And he also must be a wise father who has his family in order, having children who it is very evident they have been trained and guided in the right way. And, yes, he is supposed to be a leader also. So, there you have it. The standard is no higher than what God makes it. And anyone here who is aspiring to any kind of a place of leadership, those are the standards that God lays out. And I would just encourage you men to submit your heart to that standard and say, "God, by Your grace it shall be. In my own strength it cannot be, but by Your grace it shall be. I am going for it.” That is what I would like to encourage you to do. God has all the grace you will ever need to fulfill it.
WHERE ARE THE MEN? The Spirit of God is calling men to rise up and take hold of God and get the grace to face the responsibilities. WHERE ARE THE MEN? They are all of us who are reading this devotion right now, who desire to be in the will of God. Men who desire to answer the Spirit of Gods calling.