Archive for May, 2007

Have You Been CANed?

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Who Said It
Al Menconi

Depressed after graduating from college and breaking up with a long-time girlfriend, Al began reading from a Bible given to him as a boy—and committed his life to Christ. After meeting and marrying Janice, another high school teacher, he began speaking to small groups about music. Today his Al Menconi Ministries reviews music and video games, and he speaks frequently to help parents and leaders evaluate entertainment and uphold biblical values in the home.

What He Said
Have You Been CANed?

I remember reviewing the movie Superman II some 20-plus years ago and being offended by all the violence, and disturbed that Superman had sex with Lois Lane. In fact, I recall sitting next to a little boy who was laughing and cheering at all the destruction, and lusting at the sex scene. At the time, I wondered what was wrong with his mother to let him watch it.

But when I saw the same movie recently again on television, it didn’t bother me. It seemed normal. Like that boy’s mother, I’d gotten used to it. Which is another way of saying that I’ learning to conform to the world’s value system.

We use the letters CAN to explain this process. What is Common in the entertainment media is considered Acceptable. And if anything is acceptable in society, it must be Normal. Common, Acceptable and Normal. But it’s not acceptable and normal in God’s eyes, and I’m ashamed that it’s becoming acceptable and normal in my life.

Adapted from Al’s AnALysis

The Right Security Blanket

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

Most guys have heard that women want security. But what does that mean exactly? A house? A savings account? Tuition for the kids? It’s a huge shock to talk to hundreds of women and find that while financial security is nice, it isn’t nearly as important to them as feeling emotionally secure.

So what does emotional security look like? She has it when she feels that the two of you are close-that she is your love and your best friend … when she sees that you make time together a priority … when you demonstrate commitment to being there for her no matter what … when you’re active in parenting and the life of the home.

We men must ask ourselves whether we’re delivering what our wives genuinely need. Or have we bought into internal or cultural assumptions that are actually sabotaging what matters most? Believe it or not, ensuring emotional security turns out to be a lot easier than ensuring the financial security you’re probably busting your tail to provide.

Adapted from For Men Only (Multnomah, 2006)

Face Time

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

His servants will worship him. And they will see his face (Revelation 22:3-4)I once read that on average American children spend less than three minutes a day face-to-face with their fathers. Ever since learning that sad fact, I’ve made it a point not simply to spend time with my children, but also whenever possible to look them in the eye. This is how a father knows his children: by studying the subtle changes in their countenance. And this is how children know their father: by gazing upon his face, where they see the sternness of his rebuke and the tenderness of his love.


Halfway Measures

Monday, May 7th, 2007

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce'” (Matthew 15:8-9)

Involved in a project, I was torn between doing something with my son and finishing my work. But after a brief debate with myself—A good Christian dad would spend time with his son versus Yeah, but work is important, too—I went out to our driveway with him to play basketball. Well, to be honest, my body went out there, but the rest of me was still down in my office working.

After about ten minutes of playing what probably felt to him like a one-sided game, Brent said, “Dad, if you have something else to do, we don’t have to do this.” I was embarrassed and quickly called the rest of me out of the office to join us. I gave myself to playing with my son, and the activity turned out to be a lot more enjoyable—for both of us.


The Four Horsemen of Marital Apocalypse

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Stop to consider your last fight with your wife. The exact subject may escape you at the moment. We understand. After a while, the spats – over bills, your job, her parents or the dishes still in the sink – can all blur together. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not the amount of conflict in your marriage or what you argue about that determines your relationship’s survival rate. According to marriage researchers, how a couple fights tends to be the best predicator of whether they’ll end up enjoying their golden years together or battling it out in divorce court. So learning to fight less may not be quite as important as learning to fight fair.