“I’m addicted to booze, sex and drugs…”

I was in a men’s small group at church this past Tuesday night. The teacher had just given a very strong exhortation on being “real” with one another, especially as church leaders. At the end of his ever-so-eloquent sermon, I found myself shifting in my seat and wrestling deeply in my soul. I needed to be real.

Earlier in the week I had found myself caught in a sin, a lie and then a cover-up (I know, I felt like a politician). But the fact remained that I had a clear choice to make, right then, right there. I can either experience freedom and wholeness or I can continue to be entangled in shame, anger, frustration and ultimately erode the relationships around me that are most important. I decided to be real.

By the way, it was Mike Tyson that made that incredulous statement in the Irish Daily News, not me. It certainly could have been me. Maybe the words would be a little different (a little), but I certainly could put a bold statement out there that might leave a few people wondering about my welfare… But It’s interesting how we read something like this and immediately go to a place of judgement.

“What’s wrong with that guy?”

“How can he act like that?”

“Sure glad I’m not like him…”

But maybe I am? Or perhaps you are? The real question is this; how honest are you with yourself? How honest are you with what is truly going on in your life? There is a huge difference between what we portray on the outside and what is really taking place in the shadows of our lives.

I’m actually proud of Mike in a way. He’s honest. He’s a mess, for sure, but he’s a breath of fresh air. He’s being real. Real about his struggles, real about his shortcomings. And I see this as an example for you and me. Of course we aren’t to pursue the “Tyson” lifestyle, but we are to live the example of being real. And that’s exactly how he rolls…

Some of us struggle with sex, others with drugs or alcohol, maybe some with shopping or gossip. The fact of the matter is that we all have yucky things going on deep down inside of us that we wish never existed, or at least we could control

I have to tell you though, It’s amazing how the truth completely set me free that night! I experienced love, grace and acceptance by an incredible group of guys who walk the same roads I do. And I love them all for it.

Friends, we are faced with the daily choice to either live a real life or to live in the shadows of shame and guilt. We need the truth! We also need to embrace the freedom that comes from living real. The fruit of living this way is simple, we grow!

So, what are you addicted to? Mike says booze, sex and drugs. I say let’s all be addicted to being real. It’s the only way to freedom…

#realwithourselves #realwithgod #realwithothers #sandalschurch

Why can’t my marriage look like that…

Why can't my marriage look like that...

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “I sure wish my marriage looked like that one…?” You know which ones I’m talking about. It’s the couples that have the “perfect” marriage; pure bliss, 24/7. You never see them fight and they seem to always be happy, holding hands and gleefully skipping across the sidewalk, IMPOSSIBLE! But the fact remains that we have this cavernous envy deep down inside of us all…

But why do we think that way? What’s bubbling up inside of us that ushers in such a comparison, such a deep seated jealousy? Let me suggest that it might have far more to do with you, than it does with your spouse.

My wife loves me very much, and she’s not shy about telling people what a great husband I am. (Sheepish Grin) Now I certainly don’t say that to toot my own horn, I say it for a very good reason. You see, my wife is the most loyal, caring, loving, honest and character driven person I’ve ever known. And because of those incredible qualities, it makes me want to love her all the more. She is a significant reason for the way I treat her, the way I love her. And ultimately, being a great husband has far more to do with her being a great wife, than it does with me being a great husband all on my own.

My wife allows me to walk deep into her soul. She provides me with a continual stream of “I Love You’s,” and she means it! I feel safe with her. I don’t ever wonder about her faithfulness. And consequently, IT MAKES ME WANT TO BE A BETTER HUSBAND.

If I may, allow me ask you a few gut-check questions…
– Does your spouse sense anger or bitterness in you throughout your day?
– Do they feel a sense of safety and trust or are they walking on eggshells around you?
– Are they the object of your affection or do they feel the brunt of your resentments?
– How do they TRULY experience you?

Those aren’t easy questions to answer, especially if (like me) the answer to those questions don’t always turn out so great. But I do have some really great news! Your marriage will become exactly what you put into it. Your marriage can thrive like “those others” if you really want it to. But the fact remains, you have to become a spouse that gives far more than you take.

Be the person you want your spouse to be… One more time, BE THE PERSON YOU WANT YOUR SPOUSE TO BE. Love them equally as much as you love yourself. I promise you that if you give of yourself sacrificially and love your spouse like they are the last person on the planet, you can encounter a marriage that others will look at and say… “I sure wish I had a marriage like theirs…”