About the Guest
Dave Wilson, a pastor and the chaplain for the Detroit Lions, shares two more points of authentic manhood as he challenges men to be strong and courageous.
Dave Wilson, a pastor and the chaplain for the Detroit Lions, shares two more points of authentic manhood as he challenges men to be strong and courageous.
Bob: A real man accepts responsibility for his actions. Pastor Dave Wilson says, “That’s not how it worked for Adam and Eve in the Garden.”
Dave: You know what? God came looking for them after they ate the apple / ate the fruit. What did Adam say?—he said: “Hey, God, You don’t want to talk to me. You want to talk to apple-breath over here—that’s who I’m talking about”; right? No, actually, what did he say? He said, “The woman that You gave me…”—he blamed God. We do the same thing—we make excuses. Boys make excuses / men accept responsibility.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Tuesday, June 23rd. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. We’ll hear from Dave Wilson today about how important it is for men to step up and take responsibility. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Tuesday edition.
Dennis: Okay, Bob, I just want to interrupt you. I want you to tell the audience—
—I don’t think I’ve ever done this—
Bob: Putting me on the spot here.
Dennis: I am. I am. You’ll understand in a moment.
Dennis: In 22 years, I have never ever asked you to tell the audience: “Dennis, you were right.” I came to you, and I said—after the Hershey, Pennsylvania, Weekend to Remember®, over Valentine’s Day, a couple of years ago—I came to you and I said, “Bob—Bob, we have got to get Dave and Ann Wilson on our Love Like You Mean It® marriage cruise.” It’s not that you don’t trust me—it’s just that you don’t trust me. [Laughter] I could tell you just—“Now, I’m not sure about this.”
Bob: That is not true.
Dennis: “I’m not sure about this.”
Bob: I had had the thought myself—
Bob: —in the same weekend.
Bob: I had had the same thought. When you mentioned it,—
Dennis: I get this now.
Bob: —this was just the confirmation of the Holy Spirit—that I thought was accurate.
Dennis: Ah, I’m sorry that I misinterpreted your silence and your contemplative nature as something like mistrust or something.
Bob: No, not at all.
Dennis: But anyway, he—Bob did end up inviting Dave and Ann Wilson to speak. As a couple—
Bob: Now, you act like it’s all up to me—like I’ve got the magic key to invite people on.
Dennis: Well, you’re in charge of the speaking talent.
Bob: Of the program?
Bob: Okay; alright.
Dennis: Okay, so, you are in charge; okay? But Bob invited them. As a couple, they knocked it out of the park; but we also decided to put Dave Wilson up in front of the men. We piped in some smell of sweat into the big room we were meeting in on the Love Like You Mean It cruise so the men would feel like it’s a locker room. We let Coach Dave Wilson—who is also the chaplain of the Detroit Lions and a pastor of a massive church there in the Detroit area / more than 15,000 people—
—we kind of gave him the charge: “Fire them up! Equip them. Help them and encourage them in the process of being men.”
Bob: We’re going to hear Part Two of what Dave shared with the guys on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise, here in just a minute—
—but let me remind our listeners: “If you have any interest in being with us on the cruise in February of 2016—
Dennis: “Better get with it.”
Bob: —“you better because we are down to the wire. We just have a handful of cabins left.” You can get more information about how you can be a part of this year’s cruise by going to FamilyLifeToday.com. Click the link that says, “GO DEEPER,” and you’ll see the link for the cruise right there. Get the information, and give us a call, and plan to join us in February—Valentine’s week—on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise.
Here is Dave Wilson with Part Two of his message on what it means to be a real man.
[Previously Recorded Message]
Dave: I coached high school football for ten years. I was at this coaching conference—all these different teams. I was meeting this guy from another school, and we were talking football. We’re enjoying each other / enjoying talking football. About 15 minutes in, he goes: “So, you do—you teach at that school? I mean, are you a fulltime teacher there?” I go: “No, I’m pure volunteer coach.
I show up whenever I want. They love me to be there when I can because I’m all about developing boys into men, and football is a vehicle to do that. I love it!”
He goes, “So, what do you do? What’s your real job?”—he had no idea. I go, “Well, actually, I’m a pastor.” He stepped back. I know why he stepped back because he’s like: “I like this dude. Man, we’re football guys. We’re tough. He’s like me, and we’re like”—I said, “I’m a pastor.” He’s like, “You’re a Christian, oh!”
I went from “You’re tough / you’re strong,” to “You’re a wimp,”—just like that. I know what he was thinking: “You’re not only just a wimp—you’re a super wimp because you’re not just a Christian—you’re a pastor!” I thought: “Wow! Isn’t that interesting? That is the culture’s definition of a man.” The opposite is true—a real man engages with God.
You know what’s really interesting? In the David and Goliath story, when David goes to King Saul—because he says: “You can’t go fight. You’re a boy,”—you know what David says? He basically says: “I’m a shepherd. When I’m out taking care of the sheep, and a lion or bear come, I do what? I kill it.”
We usually read over that like, “Well, yes, he kills a bear.”
No, think about it—he, literally, kills the bear. What does he say to Saul?—he says, “The Lord—your servant has killed both the lion and the bear—this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them because he has defied the armies of the Living God.” In verse 37, he says, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of this lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
What did Saul sense? Not only does he have physical strength—he sensed this guy has spiritual strength. What was David saying? He was saying, “When nobody is looking, when it’s just me alone, I’m engaging with God.” That’s what he is saying: “I’m getting to know God. I understand God. I understand God’s power. I know God. I don’t know about God—I know God.” That, in a sense, was enough for the king to go: “Okay, you go because you are not going alone. You’re going with God.”
A real man spends private time alone, cultivating his walk with God. Do you hear what I’m saying? It isn’t once a week church—it’s like: “Word of God—
—“they know it.” Do you know the Word of God? When somebody tells you to turn to a book in the Bible, do you know where it is? See, a real man engages with God—pursues Him. It isn’t: “Try hard to be like Jesus,”—it’s: “Train to be like Jesus.” You know the difference? You can’t try hard—that’s the—80 percent of the church is like, “I’ve got to try hard to be like Jesus.” No, you’ve got to train. See, when you train, you put your life in an exercise pattern to train you to be like Jesus. “You cross-train”—I call it.
I remember, years ago, I had back surgery. My surgeon said, “If you want to get your core strong, do P90X.” Anybody do P90X? Come on—show of hands. So, I got the P90X thing. The first day—it is just chest and back. Do you guys know what chest and back is?—push-ups, pull-ups / push-ups, pull-ups—back and forth. Tony Horton says on there, “If you can’t do pull-ups, just get a chair and do them.”
The first day of P90X—I’m not kidding—I’m so embarrassed to say this—I did one pull-up—90 days later, doing chest and back every Monday through that thing because you go around to that.
I’m not saying this to say, “Hey, wow!” I’m showing you what training does—90 days later, I’m doing 25/30 pull-ups. How does that happen?—training.
You get in the Word of God daily. You spend time to pursue God like you pursued your wife before you were married. I would jump in the car after a football game on Saturday afternoon, drive to the University of Kentucky—it took three-and-a-half hours—spent a half hour with her, and drove back three-and-a-half hours. Seven-hour trip for a half-hour with her—nobody even blinked because that’s what you do when you’re in love.
Men—engage with God. If I had only one pillar to talk about, this would be the one.
Third one is: “Accepts responsibility.” Again, this is right from Robert Lewis’s material—“Accepts responsibility.” David goes to the king, and he says what?—verse 32—he says: “Let no one lose heart on account of this giant, this Philistine. Your servant will go and fight him.” He says, “I accept responsibility.”
“None of these boys are,”—he didn’t say that—but he was saying: “A man accepts responsibility for the bad he’s done in his life / for the good he’s done in his life. When a man needs to step up and do something, a man does. He accepts responsibility and says, ‘I will fight.’”
I wrote in my notes, “It’s always easier to wait for someone else.” That’s what boys do—they wait for somebody to step up—and then, that’s a boy. I’ll tell you what—honestly, you know who is stepping up in our culture?—women. Again, I love women / I love that they are strong. A lot of times, they don’t want to step up; but they step up because—why?—there is no strong men around—so they will.
It’s always easier to make excuses. Have you ever made excuses? Yes—it’s a part of our DNA. The first man, Adam, was the big excuse-maker. We do the same thing. You know, when God came looking for them, after they ate the apple / ate the fruit—what did Adam say? He said: “Hey, God you don’t want to talk to me. You want to talk to apple-breath over here. That’s who you want to talk to”; right? [Laughter] No, actually, what did he say?—he said, “The woman that You gave me…” He blamed God.
We do the same thing—we make excuses. Boys make excuses / men accept responsibility. I wrote in my notes: “It’s my responsibility to be the man in my home. It’s my responsibility to love Ann. It’s my responsibility to lead her and our kids spiritually. It’s my responsibility to provide, to protect and pastor her.” Those are the three words I teach the men at our church. You are called, as the man of your home, to provide, to protect, and pastor—no excuses. Is it hard?—yes. Do I have what it takes to do it?—no; but if I engage with God, He gives me power to be that man in my life.
I can remember when I was in college—I realized, early, that I’m called, now, as a follower in Christ, to share the Good News. I was—I flew down to see my dad in Florida. He ended up living in Florida, in West Palm Beach. I spent a few days with him on spring break my senior year. And then, I was going to drive / rent a car and drive up to the Campus Crusade for Christ spring break on the beach, where we are going to share Christ—never done this before.
As I’m driving north, about four or five hours, I think—I pray to God. I go, “God,”—I don’t even know how to pray yet. I’m so new at this—I’m like, “God, if You want me to share You with somebody on the way, put them in my car; and I’ll do it.”
I am not kidding. A minute later, there was a big dude hitchhiking. I looked at him—he had this big bag. He was a big dude, and he’s hitchhiking. He didn’t look real nice. As I got closer, I’m like: “No way, God. I’m not picking that guy up.” [Laughter] I didn’t even think that was an answer to prayer that God would do that like a minute later. So, I just drove right by. I looked at the guy, and he just did this—I went by. My mom always told me, “Don’t pick up hitchhikers.” So, I was being a good boy; right?
So, I drove by—and I don’t know how God talks to you. I didn’t know yet. I was just new, but I sensed in my spirit: “Turn around. You prayed for a guy to talk to. That’s the guy. Turn around.” I’m like: “Nope. Not going to do it.” So, I kept driving; and it wouldn’t go away. So, I saw this illegal U-turn in the middle of the highway—you’re not supposed to do—but “If you’re doing it for God, you can do it.” So, I did a U-turn [Laughter]; right?! And I went down—I did another illegal U-turn, and—“It’s a catch for God.” So, I’m driving back north. I’m thinking, “The guy’s gone by now.” And there he was. So, I said, “Okay, God, here we go.”
I pull over, and he gets in my car—throws his big duffle bag in the back—big old dude.
So, we start talking. His name was Jim. I go, “Hey, Jim, what do you do?” He goes, “I’m a Navy SEAL.” When he said that, I got so scared—I’m not kidding. I thought, “There’s no way I’m sharing Christ with this guy because if he doesn’t want to hear about Jesus, he’ll just reach over and—kink—and I’m dead.” You know? [Laughter] That’s what those guys do; right? They are trained to do that. So, I’m like, “Not going to go there”; right? So, we just kept driving.
He’s in my car like three hours—never mentioned God/Jesus. The whole time, the Holy Spirit is saying: “You prayed. You said you’d share. Here he is—share Christ with him.” So, right before I’m about to drop him off—hiss exit is a little before where I’m going to get off—I said to him this—I just go, “Okay, God, here it goes.” I go: “Hey, Jim, you ever think about God? You ever think about Jesus and spiritual things?” That was my big opening line. I didn’t know what I was doing.
I’ll never forget—he’s sitting there—and he goes, “I can’t believe you just asked me that.” Then, I’m like, “OH NO!”—[Laughter] —you know. I go, “Oh, why is that?” He goes, “My life is a wreck!”
I go, “What?” He goes, “I was standing on that road—I won’t even tell you how I ended up on this road, needing a ride—but I prayed the only prayer I’ve ever prayed in my life.” I go, “What?” He goes, “I said, ‘God, if You are real and You’re up there, send me one of Your followers to tell me about You.’” He goes, “Would that be you?” I go, “Yes, that’d be me,” [Laughter]—UNBELIEVABLE! [Applause]
I’m this new Christian, and I don’t know how God works. So, I share the gospel as limited as I knew. All I knew was: “God loves me. We’re sinners. He died on the cross to pay for that, and you can be born-again right here in my car.” We were sitting now on the shoulder—because it took 30 minutes before we could get off at his exit. He gave his life to Jesus, right there in my car that day. Why?—reject passivity, engage with God, accept responsibility. This isn’t a preacher’s job—this is my job, as a man.
Real men accept responsibility to be men. Let me ask you this: “Where do you need to step up, as a man?”
We’ve got one more pillar. Is it you’re being passive somewhere and you know it? God already spoke to you in that first pillar, and it is like: “Man, you know—I’ve been speaking to you about taking a step in this area—step up.” Maybe, it’s engaging with God—it is like, “Man, I am lazy in my walk with God.” So am I, guys. Don’t be lazy—tell another man to hold you accountable. Start the One-Year Bible—whatever it is—say: “Man, hold me accountable. Let’s do this, as men, together. I want to engage with God.” Accept responsibility—whatever it is God is calling you to apologize for—say, “I own up to my mistake.” Or God is calling you to say: “Man, you’ve been letting this area go. Accept responsibility. Step up and lead.”
And that’s the last one—a real man leads courageously—leads courageously. I love what John Wayne, actually, used to say—he said: “Doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. Men are afraid all the time—you saddle up anyway”; right? “Saddle up anyway,”—it is like, “Lead courageously.”
Women were not called to lead—men were. As I studied the Bible and I was trying to figure out, “What is a man?”—I never had a vision of manhood. Many of you guys did / I didn’t. Robert Lewis and his material were my thing. I went to the Word of God. Every time I read about men, there was this subtle thing—and many times blatant—lead, lead, lead.
Again, my wife is a better leader than I am—she is more gifted as a leader. She leads a women’s ministry at our church, and it explodes. If God was basing it based on who had the better gift, He’d say, “Ann, you lead”; but He said, “No—Dave, you lead.” And my wife loves it when I lead—not as a dictator—as a gentle, firm, loving, lay-my-life-down leader, but still strong. She loves that—she does. And your wife will too. Again, you are not dictating; but you are leading them with courage, even when you are scared to death. Even when you don’t know what to do, you lead.
You know, I think about this David and Goliath story. It’s amazing when you get to the battle scene—and I’m going to read some it because you talk about leadership—again, we have a boy who puts away the armor because it doesn’t fit.
He walks out with a sling shot and five stones. Some of you are like, “Why did he have five?—he only needed one.” There were four brothers to Goliath—you’ll find that out in other passages. He thought he was probably going to have to kill them all today.
So, he walks out; right? He stands at the battle line—a giant whom nobody will face. Every day, he taunted them. They are all hiding behind bushes / hiding behind rocks, and a boy walks out. Do you know what he says? He says this: “You come against me with a sword and spear and a javelin, but I come against you in the Name of the Lord Almighty”—where does that come from?—engaging with God. He knows the Lord God Almighty—“the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied.”
“This day, the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day, I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that is not by the sword or spear that the Lord saveth, for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give all of you into our hands.”
He doesn’t say, “I’m going to kill a giant.” He says, “I’m going to kill all of you.” And how is that going to happen? “The Lord God Almighty whom I know—and I know who He is, and I know His power, I know His character, and I know His plan—you’re going down today.”
Now, here is something I never heard in Sunday school whenever this story was taught. The next verse says, “As the Philistine, Goliath, moved closer to attack him”—guys know what it says? It says, “David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.” I mean, he stands out there and he delivers this charge—you talk about the men / the boys watching—they had to be like: “What is he doing?” He’s leading with courage—that’s what he’s doing. Why? Because he rejects passivity, he has engaged with God, he has accepted his responsibility, and now is the leadership movement. He doesn’t hide behind a rock—he does this—BOOM!—right? He attacks it; right? That’s manhood.
You’ve got stuff in your life / I’ve got stuff in my life. It’s like the giant is huge, and God is little. No, when God is big and you know who He is because you are training to engage with Him, the giants / the problems in life get small.
He didn’t charge at something bigger than him—he charges something smaller than his God. So, he ran at it—he goes—BOOM!—I’m thinking.
Are you attacking anything in your life with that kind of aggression? Or is something getting you and you are sort of hiding, back here, like: “Oh, I hope my marriage works out,” “I hope she starts…” You know what God is saying to you guys and to me, as a man, today? Reject passivity, engage with God, accept responsibility, and you start leading. You walk into those situations / you run to the battle—you say: “This isn’t happening anymore. This ends today.” And maybe, it’s the sin in your own life.
You say, “I’m going to start leading this family,”—and by the way, don’t tell your wife that—just do it—seriously. If you walk out of here and say: “I’m going to be this man. I’m going to be that man,” she’s going to be: “Yes, whatever. I’ve heard that before.” I’m telling you—tell a brother / tell somebody back home to hold you accountable and, then, do it. She’ll see it. You start doing it.
I’ll tell you where it starts—on your knees. You get on your knees, and you say:
“God, I am weak. I can never do this. I’ve made commitments to You before, and I never fulfilled them. God, I need You.” God will meet you there as you engage with Him, and He’ll transform your life.
I’ll end with this: My sophomore year—I don’t tell football stories—I have one football story; and it’s a bad one, actually. I became the starting quarterback at Ball State my sophomore year. I replaced a guy that was a four-year starter. When you get in the huddle, as the new quarterback taking over—who is supposed to talk in a huddle and everybody is supposed to listen?—the quarterback. I get in the huddle, and nobody is listening to me because I’m nobody yet; right?—start off the season—but there was an offensive lineman named Tim Young. He went to the Bears. He was a captain / he was a senior. He was like 6’6/300 pounds. When he said: “Guys, shut up. Listen to our quarterback,” they all sat up and listened. So, he was the leader.
The fifth game, we were playing Indiana State at home—homecoming. That’s when Larry Bird played basketball at Indiana State—anybody that old? Fortunately, he didn’t play football. We’re playing them, and we are beating them. We run out the clock, but we needed one more first down. So, the guy ran the play in and said:
“It’s a short little pass. Throw it. If he’s not open, run it.” The clock keeps going—there’s like a minute left. I throw to get a first down. A guy intercepts it for a touchdown to beat us. I not only threw the pick, missed the tackle. He scores, and we’re down like four with less than a minute to go. I walk off the field. My head coach goes: “Sophomore mistake.” I was so arrogant—I’m like, “Neh.” I sit on the bench. They kick off. We get the ball—one last try.
I run up there and he goes: “Okay, we’re throwing deep. We can’t get a field goal. We’ve got to score.” So, first down, incomplete; second down, incomplete; third down, there is like 15 seconds left. We call an up route. You guys know what an up route is? You all do—in backyard football, you go down and out, and you throw it: “Next time, you go down and out, and then, up.” That’s called an up route. They are going to thump it—they’re going to come up. That doesn’t work against prevent; right? But that’s what we called.
So, I roll out. I pump at this guy, and I go like this—I’m getting ready to throw, and I started getting hit. So, on my back foot, I go—FOOMPH—throw it down to the left as far as I can, and I go—BOOM—down to the ground. If you’ve ever played quarterback, you know that you don’t see a lot of your plays—you just listen to the crowd—you learn what it means.
If the crowd at home goes, “AHHH,” that’s really good; you know? If they go, “Ohhh,” that’s an interception. And if they go, “Ugh,” that’s incomplete; right?
So, I throw this thing—BOOM BA BOOM BO—BOOM—and I am laying there. I hear the crowd—“AH AH AHHH”—going crazy. I look up, and they are all jumping up. So, I jump up, and I look. My receiver’s got the ball. He’s sprinting 80 yards for a touchdown. DB’s trying to catch him. This guy, Rick Morrison, runs a four-two—nobody catches him—SCORES! So, we win the game! So, I’m jogging down the field because we’ve still got to kick the extra point—I’m the holder. I’m jogging down the field. Tim Young, the offensive tackle, comes up beside me; and he goes: “You’re the man! You’re the man! You’re the man!” I’m going down, and I’m looking up, and I’m like [Speaking softly], “Yes, okay, I’m the man.” [Laughter] So, we won the game; right?
We go to practice Monday. What happens when we get in the offensive huddle? You know exactly what happened. I walked in the huddle, and they’re like…—Why?—because I made a play in a crucial moment. Now, “I’m the man,”—the next three years, “I’m the man.” And by the way, when we saw the film on Monday, it was total luck—
—it was pure luck / pure luck—[Laughter] —but it didn’t matter; right?—because, in that moment, a man stepped up, made the play; and they were willing to follow.
Why would I tell you that crazy story? Here is the application, and we’re done. There comes a moment in your home—actually, there come many moments in your home, where your wife is longing for you to be the man. Your sons and daughters are longing for you to be the man. They may never say the words out loud: “You’re the man! You’re the patriarch!” but when you make a play—when you reject passivity, when you engage with God, when you accept responsibility, and you lead with courage—that’s not even your courage—it is God’s courage in you. Underneath their breath—they may not say it out loud, but underneath their breath, they are like, “I will follow that man.” Why?—because women and children in our society and churches are longing for real four-pillar men.
Bob: Well, we’ve been listening to Pastor Dave Wilson talk to the men on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise; and I think he’s right. I think there is a deficit in our culture today of real men.
Dennis: And it’s why the guys were really listening. There was something in their chest that he called them up to. If you agree with me—that it was the right choice to put Dave Wilson speaking at the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise—if you’re not already a follower of me on Twitter®, go and become a follower. Just tweet me: “You’re right, Dennis. Dave Wilson is terrific.” If you already are a follower, just tweet it—it’s alright. You can copy Bob—just hashtag him in there—say, “Dennis was right.”
Bob: I’m @FLTBob if you want to add me to the tweet. Let me just mention—Dave Wilson, along with his wife, Ann—they are going to be back onboard the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise next February. We’ve got a great lineup of speakers for the cruise.
Darrin Patrick is going to be joining us—Lysa TerKeurst, Bryan Loritts. Music from: Sanctus Real, Steve Green, and Selah. And if you like Southern Gospel—I do like Southern Gospel—Ernie Haase & Signature Sound are going to be onboard with us. 321 Improv—
I mean, really, it’s going to be a great event. I’m mentioning it now because we’re down to fewer than a hundred state rooms left onboard. Our team is hoping to have this all wrapped up by the end of June. If you are interested, they will make it worth your while to sign-up now to join us Valentine’s week, February 2016, for the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise.
Go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Click the link in the upper left-hand corner of the screen that says, “GO DEEPER.” You’ll see information there about the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise. You can click on that and go right to where you can register. Or you can call to register if you have any questions—
—1-800-FL-TODAY—1-800-358-6329. That’s 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then, the word, “TODAY.”
Now, tomorrow, we’re going to hear what Dave Wilson’s wife, Ann, had to say to the women when she spoke to them on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise, back in February—great message that she had as she spoke to the ladies. I hope you can tune in tomorrow for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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