Brotherhood, Vital Relationships
We are in the process of restarting "The Total Armor of God Ministries". One of the ways we want to communicate and outreach is via website. We want to appeal to men to get involved in a dynamic relationship with one another with "Brotherhood". I have been researching the subject of Brotherhood for a while and to my dismay there is not much information offered. We also offer men "Mentoring" which is desperately needed but realize that Mentoring, as great as it is, might not offer "long time" relationships. I, like you, have a brother and brother-in-law (family) but sense a masculine need beyond this, something more personal, especially for "Men of Faith". I believe and hope our relationship with Christ Jesus allows us to experience a deeper level of love, trust, transparency, outreach, etc., that the world does not, nor can it understand, much less experience. I sense most men have their "guard up" to insure we are recognized as a man and because of that, do not want to openly display or confess any "weaknesses". A big question to ask is; "who and/or what" establishes the criteria of, who and what, a man should be? I guess down through time many generations of men have established that criteria. Another question to consider is; "how much influence does "society" have on determining who and what we as men should look and act like? How many men have actually been raised to be "true men" and what does that "true man" look like? I believe men need other men to actually teach them to be men but, what if other men, down through life, has actually not been around other men very much, what happens then? I guess we could go on and on asking question after question but sooner or later there needs to be answers to these questions. That's why men need other men to teach them to be "true men" of character. This is why "Mentoring" and "Brotherhood" are so critical. There are many men who have been raised in great family environments, taught and led by dads, who themselves, were men of character". These men were truly blessed by the nurture, care, and love of wonderful parents.
Does the following sound familiar; "honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. And you fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord". And therein lies the secret of raising men and women to be "who and what" they should be. By the way, that commandment of raising children was from the Bible, Ephesians 6: 2-4. "Surprised"? , don't be! The Bible holds the key to everything that is true and honorable for all eternity.
I would like to make a very important point: "What about all those millions of men who were never raised to be, not only men but "Godly men", what about them? How much about "Manhood" did they miss out on? Are you beginning to sense where I am coming from? Possibly you might be asking yourself the question. "What can I do to help those men who have missed all that nurturing and training"? Good question and I'm glad you asked. To answer the question, you can do a lot, a great deal! That brings me to the subject of "Brotherhood". Men, the greatest need in this life is Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is because of our relationship with Christ that enables us to be "brothers" in Christ with other men. That relationship can be "close" or it can be "distant" and it really depends upon you. How many of your "brothers in Christ" really know you very well or is it a shallow relationship, you know, as much as you want them to know? I'm going to be very transparent. Down through my life I have shared my "true self" with a few men. They know the "good, the bad and the ugly" about me. To be open and honest, for me to do that was very helpful and even therapeutic. Of course we trust the Lord emphatically because He knows everything about us in the first place but doesn't the Bible say, "Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ" – Galatians 6:2. Another aspect of "sharing my burdens" with another man is, "I trusted the men I shared with and "Praise God", they have kept everything I told them in confidence to this day. These specific men I consider as my "closest brothers". We are brothers in the truest sense. I know I can trust them with anything and I mean "anything". This is what I am talking about when I say "Brotherhood". I believe that if "men of faith" will open up and venture out in faith, God will lead us to find relationships like these, the kind that will help and equip us to be the men God called us to be.
In writing this article I prayed that the Spirit of God would guide and lead me to share what He wanted me to say to us in hopes you would avail yourselves to participate in a "Brotherhood Movement", a Spiritual awakening if you please. I want to ask you a big favor; "I would appreciate if you would respond via email, letter, etc., and let me know if you agree with me in this endeavor, to be a "true brother" to whomever God leads you. I would like to hear what you have to say and are willing to do. More importantly "Just Do It"! I believe we all need the Lord in a very intimate, abiding relationship. I also believe He wants us to be very open and obedient to His calling on our lives. Step out in faith and trust Him in becoming a dear brother to one another. Take a look at Luke 8:21; "But He answered and said to them, 'My mother and my brothers are these who hear the Word of God and do it".
I Peter 5:9 is addressing resisting temptation of the devil; "resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your "brotherhood" in the world", in essence we are all tempted in many of the same ways. That being the case, doesn't it make sense to call on your brothers at a critical time of need? Who knows, very possibly that brother has been through the very same temptation that you are facing and he could pray and help you through it. Would you open yourself up and invite your brother to become a part of your life? I hope and pray you will.
Charles Brooks, Founder
Total Armor of God Ministries