Well it's that time again. The trees are decked out in their finest fall foliage; Halloween decorations crowd store aisles and mailboxes are filling up with Christmas magazines and charity appeals. What happened to Thanksgiving? Did it get lost in the commercialism fray? Did the rest of the world forget?
I didn't and I'm starting my Thanksgiving praises early because this is also the time that my home church celebrates Family and Friends. All year we've been studying God's principles for a Biblical family through skillful living. This encompasses godly male leadership; wise and nurturing females; influential singles, and children spiritually equipped to survive in this sin-drenched world!
We had a Marriage Bootcamp in February. A Boys and Girls Bootcamp in June. A Kingdom Woman Rally in August and now men of all ages are starting their second week of Small Change, Big Impact Men's Bootcamp. It's their ninth year and we're praising God for those who are truly allowing God to transform them from the inside out!
The church parking lot is full every morning! The sanctuary still simmering on Sunday after week long powerful preaching and teaching. And no doubt your man will have that Bootcamp Swagger for at least a month after graduation. But what then? What if you're not yet seeing any long-lasting change?
This blog is for the wives, mothers, siblings, and significant others who are still waiting. Here's a few things we can do to keep that spiritual fire going!
Just think of the acrostic B.O.O.T.C.A.M.P.
B - Believe in your loved one's potential (Phil. 1:6; I Tim. 3:4) There's a hero in there somewhere.
We've just got to help bring it out. Every man wants the respect and admiration of his family.
They often stumble over the appropriate way to get it, but deep down they crave it, so be his
biggest cheerleader. Show him that you've got his back no matter what!
O - Overcome disappointments with faith not resentment (2 Tim. 2:24-26; Heb. 12:12-15)
Get real! Change doesn't always come overnight--not saying it can't but God's timing is always
best. Have a little patience. How long did it take you to get things figured out? Hasn't God been
long suffering with you?
O - Obey Scripture no matter what, so respond appropriately (Ps. 119:33-36; 66; 105)
At the end of the day, no matter what you do or how hard you pray, if you're not doing it according
to scripture, you're wasting your time. God must get the glory!
T- Thank God (I Thess 5:18). Thank God he went to Bootcamp so many don't! Thank the one who
encouraged him. Thank God that he's hearing the Word and is in the fellowship of godly men.
Thank God for what you don't see yet but the promise that it's coming. Always give thanks!
C- Carve out time daily to encourage him, even when bootcamp is over (Heb. 3:12-13; 2 Tim 1:6)
Everyone needs encouragement when they're down, doubtful, or dismayed. Write a note, say
something positive. Simply say, I'm proud of you. It will go a long, long way!
A- Hold him accountable without nagging ( Prov. 27:15-16; Rom. 14:10-12). Save your breathe!
Nagging gets you no where and only cuts off communication. Stubborn men dig in
deeper when nagged! Here are some of the principles our men go over at bootcamp: 'Man up and
bow down'; Submit to God; Resist the Devil; Face it and God will Fix it; Draw closer to God.
Signs are posted all over the sanctuary...shock them by letting your man know you're paying
M -Model the behavior you want to see (I Peter 1:15-16; I Peter 3:1; Gal. 5:22) Your loved one
won't always hear what you say or even acknowledge what you do in a positive way, but don't
give up. Don't let the Enemy use "you" as an excuse not to do what God has told him to do.
P- Praise and Pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17, Matt. 7:7) Nothing gets accomplished in God's
people or God's kingdom without fervent prayer so never stop. Keep your eyes on Jesus and
never give up.
Take a moment to look at the picture above. See the words engraved on the rocks? Focus, Renewal, Forgiveness, Love, Hope, Faith, and Balance. That's what it's going to take to Save our Families, our marriages, and our children against a common Enemy. Don't be guilty of Bootcamp Relapse. Go back and re-read the scriptures. Practice them with your spouse, children and others. TOGETHER WE REALLY CAN GET THROUGH THIS!!
Until Next Time!