Battle At Aslan’s How: Naria (link to song)
This post is dedicated to the men that have had the most profound influences in my life: My Dad: Merle F. Warren, My Brother: Toby Warren, My Friend: Bill Benton, My Biology Teacher: Mr. Ginn, My Husband: Bucky Elofson,My brother-in-law, Don Sherman, My friend: Steve Eagleton, My friend: Curtis Tupper, My Friend: Frank McArdle, My Friend: Herman Soong, My God Son: Sean (In chronological order). Men to be: The Husband’s of my priceless, cherished, beloved, daughters.
Men: This is for you. It is to honor you. Who you were, are and will be created to be in the Lord Jesus.
Women: A note to you: Love them like they are already there. . .Like they have arrived at their God-given destiny because God loves them like He seems them tomorrow, not today.
Tracey: Note to Self: Be vulnerable, honest, true to your calling as a wife and a wordsmith, and above all others, honor/respect your husband.
I am speaking/sharing here from places of weakness and mistakes and misunderstandings on my part. It was not until a few years ago, that I became painfully aware I was afraid of men. Now I understand, I was not afraid of “men,” I was afraid and deeply intimidated by their strength. Men: your strength of voice, words and gestures go much further than you are aware with women. It does not take much to leave a “positive or negative impression.” Take that to heart, please.
My fearful, distant posture was not about the men in my life. So do not jump to any conclusions here :). It was about my gentle nature, my tender sensitivity and the fact that I grew up without any males in the household. Just my mom and me. My first male teacher, terrified me. Men move differently and there is power to their momentum. (Give me abundant grace here!) Mr. Ginn, my first male teacher: Biology. One day he asked me to stay after class. I remember it like it was yesterday, trembling knees, shallow breaths and clinging to the ground I stood on with my toes. He looked me straight in the eyes and said. . .(He it comes, head to ground), “Tracey, young lady you are not working up to your potential.” (I looked up, slightly.) “I’ve been watching you in class, and I believe you could be a great student. Mediocrity is not your thing. I want you to strive to do better on the next test.” (I had made a C.) You are dismissed.” I started making As hence forth, with a few B’s for blessings sprinkled in there. I wonder if Mr. Ginn, knew he went to battle for me that day. He battled against my insecurities and self-doubt and brought my victory of success to the fore front of my life. He believed in my best.
My husband Bucky, the Godly battle against this disease, has armored Him with the armor of God. He battles everyday against my doubts, terrors, insecurities, pains, progression of the disease. I think most of the time, he is not aware of what battle field he is on, but I am. I know well, what the fight is and I see the battle fatigue in his eyes. I see the battle “wounds” inflicted on him for my behalf. I press into prayer for his perseverance. It is my victory he puts first, not his. My victory for life. (We are learning, God defines “victory.”)
I would have to write a thesis to include the battles these other men have fought bravely for on my behalf. On the behalf of my family, they entered battle fields, sometimes, unknowingly. Bill, Steve, Frank, Curtis, Frank, Herman, Sean and son-in-laws to be. . .Know I give great honor to each of you to victories sought for God’s best for me and my family. Know your efforts, did not go unnoticed and are recognized by our Lord and in my life. Each of you, in your own way, taught me lessons of “strength” that moved me past intimidation and fear into respect and honor for the best in you as men of God.
Men: Let God Pick your battles. Fight for life, love and victory for your loved ones, your business partners, your church body, for your ministry. It’s when we think we “fight” for ourselves, that the battle gets dangerously skewed. Your destiny in Christ gets shifted off course when you allow yourself to determine your battles. Do not be deceived on the battle field of life. . .Let God, pick your battles. You will both win, He will get the Glory, and you will shine in His Light. Do you think my husband, ever thought he would have to fight for my life? Yet it is this very battle that has brought the Godly Best out in him. My girls see it, my family sees it, my friends see it. He wears the armor of His destiny on the battlefield against ALS. Fight for love, do not fight a battle that defeats love. Who wins? Not you, not God. If you fight the wrong battle, you leave behind you a bloody field, death, woundings with no victory. Yes, it can be that “bad.” For God’s Glory, Never minimize the potential of a victory for love.
Women: Look for the battle the men in your life fight you may not even “see.” And yes, like in the movies, men do come out of “battle” unaware of the scrapes, the bruises, and cuts. And the wife, in the best sense of who she is created to be, “sees” the woundings and “dresses” them. It’s just what men do, it is the fight for victory for which they are created. “Oh, am I bleeding, I did not notice.” Would you ignore a man trailing blood through the threshold of your home? Yes, neglect is that “bad,” blood trails through your home and you do not see the pulse of life lost in it. Honor their victories, because His wins are your wins. The victories you both claim for Christ build Kingdom hearts in marriages, in partnerships, in families, in ministries, in friendships. Seek to respect how God sees your husband. Seek to honor how God desires honor. Seek and intentionally affirm the small things that build great men of God. Respect in how God defines respect of your husband, respect in how your husband defines his need for respect, respect him for who he is destined to be in Christ. For God’s Glory, Never minimize the battle fought on behalf of love.
Toby, Don, Bill, Steve, Curtis, Frank, Herman, Sean and son-in-laws to be. . .Know I give great honor to each of you, to victories sought for God’s best for me and my family. I press into sincere respect for your destiny in Christ. I trust the influence of your strength in love. (That is beyond huge for me. Honestly, that is one, I’m still growing into. . .Could that be true with other women? I wonder?)
Men, do you know why you need to armor of God? You cannot win a victory for Christ on your own. You cannot protect your heart in battle. You cannot step into a battle for love without His Truth. Kingdom Battles Are Never Won Alone.
“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:13
I offer this to you with the humility of not doing the whole male/female thing well; my misunderstanding of Godly strength in men; a slow growth curve of navigating with the men in my life now with honor and freedom. Thank you, God for forgiving me and giving us new opportunities for Your Best for Each of Us. The lost art of “honor,” may it rise in Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done, On Earth as it is in Heaven, today. Amen
God created magnificence in masculinity when it moves though, with and in HIM.
The “General” commands you step forward into your honored place in His Royal Army. . .
Kingdom of Heaven Movie Trailer