Typical Male

For years I responded like a typical male. I say "typical" because as I understand it, most men responded as I did to the subject of following directions. In defense of those who are not like me, it is apparent that they learned their lesson already and should not be subjected to any sort of wifely retribution.

O.K. Hereís my story...

When my wife Nancy would ask me to purchase one of those assemble-it-yourself bookcases or computer desks or whatever, I simply left the instructions in the box and plowed through the project with the precision of a Mac truck.

Sure there were pieces left over - they always put extra pieces in there just to confuse men. Right? And I might have cut a few pre-cut pieces in order to make it look right. And I might have used a few nails that weren't included just to hold it all together. The point is I didn'tít need instructions because my own gut level instinct guided my every home improvement.

There have been times that I didn't get the piece of home furnishing I thought I was purchasing. Take for instance a certain home entertainment center. When I put the pieces together it was actually a tailor made plant holder. I still don't understand that one. They must have mislabeled the box - yeah, that must be it.

Then one summer my family was invited to my wife's grandmother's house. She had a computer desk in a box with the fiendishly simple slogan, "Some Assembly Required" glaring at me from its cardboard holding cell.

I couldn't make heads or tales of the pieces that were enclosed so I did something I had previously been reluctant to do - read the instructions. One huge, glaring, thorny, don't-that-beat-all kinda problem. There were no instructions in the box. NONE, zero, zip, nada.

What should have been a simple process of looking over a few diagrams and then following a few directions turned out to be a mind-numbing process of changing out pieces until they all fit. Since then I have relented and pull out the instructions, following them to the letter. Iíll let you in on a little secret - by following the instructions, projects get done faster, more accurately and I donít have to attempt to convince my wife that they (the deranged manufacturer) must have packaged the wrong thing in the box. Besides thatís referred to as lying anyway.


Some of us tend to catch onto a few spiritual phrases and bring them up when we think it is appropriate. Usually that's about as far as we go. Chalk it up to another case of someone finding a few tools and thinking that they can put their lives together without following the instruction manual.

However, we often find we have too many pieces - or not enough. We find pieces that are too long - or too short. We wonder why the picture of a godly man or woman somehow looks different than what we see in the mirror.


God put together a plan that helps us have a life that is rich in His success. He provided detailed instructions for living a life that is pleasing to Him. And we too often leave the manual (Bible) sitting idle and unused - comfortable with the status quo. We throw together a few spiritual sounding phrases with the hope that somehow this takes care of our problems.


Maybe itís because the life was put together with the wrong pieces. Perhaps youíre using pieces that donít fit. Maybe you're trying to hold it all together using dozens of nails that just aren't doing the trick. Besides, if we only use our 'gut level instincts' weíre already in trouble cause what we may be feeling might very well be acid indigestion. You see God made us, so it only makes sense that He should know what we need to do to build our lives on Him.


A dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ? A Christ-centered family? Godly children? Godís Word is filled with instructions that can help you in every area of your life. That's the good news. The bad news is that you'll never build properly if you don't read the instruction manual.

Godís instruction manual not only tells you how to build a God-honoring life, it also let's you know about where to find all the tools you will need - at no cost to you.


Grab the Manual and get to building!

"Your Word is a lamp for my feet, and a light for my path"   (Psalm 119:105).

[ by Glenn A. Hascall -- from 'The Encourager' ]


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