Men, are you disciplined? Do you want to be more disciplined? Well, I have good news for you: Kent Hughes epic book, Disciplines of a Godly Man, will help you cultivate a life of discipline! Our culture doesn't want you to be disciplined, but God does. Fun fact: I have gifted 800 copies of this book via Amazon over the past 18 months to men friends of mine. Yes, it is that important of a book. Below are 20 quick takeaways from each chapter of the book:
1. "Train yourself for godliness:" The apostle Paul wrote these words in 1 Timothy 4:7 and they are the thesis for this entire book. Men, we don't just become godly by going with the flow each day. We need training! After the Bible, Disciplines of a Godly Man is your training manual. Every chapter both encourages and convicts - a terrific combo!
2. Purity: The first chapter in this book is foundational in that it discusses the importance of men leading a pure life. Men, if you are looking at pornography or fantasizing or lusting then you are in a weakened state. You can't live a great life of service to others if you are living an impure life in your mind. This chapter will help you get back on the road to purity in a culture that sells you just the opposite. You can do it, brothers!
3. Marriage: Men, if you are married (or want to be), then you need to read this chapter ASAP. Guess what? Marriage is not about you and your needs. It is about your family's needs. This chapter describes how just like Jesus came "not to be served, but to serve," us husbands must serve our wives and children. This chapter is a great call to "die to self" in the beautiful covenant of marriage.
4. Fatherhood: Again, men, if you are a Dad, this is a must-read chapter. Your children need you to be a disciplined father for them. They need your love. They need your strength. They need your time, energy and attention. Get after it men. Invest more time in your kids. Lead them well.
5. Friendship: Wow, this is an important chapter because us men can sometimes be really bad at friendship... We often just don't like to talk... :) Can I get an Amen? However, we men need brothers in arms in this journey of life! Check out the worship video in #20 below on this point, titled "Brother."
6. Discipline of the Mind: This chapter describes how our minds are literally battle fields. We are either using our minds for God's glory or we are allowing distractions into our mind that take us out of the game. Men, we must be putting wisdom in our minds daily, and the Bible of course is the best place to start. I invite you to join me in reading the Bible daily with me at this link.
7. Devotion: As Chris Tomlin wisely wrote in a song years ago, "you and I were made to worship." It is true. We are all worshipers. The question is what are we worshiping? Ourselves? Money, power, fame? Or God? This chapter will point your devotion toward heaven.
8. Prayer: How's your prayer life? I heard recently that most Christians pray maybe 3 to 5 minutes a day, max. That is pretty weak... Who are you praying for regularly? This chapter will give you a game plan on when and how to pray. Do you believe that prayer changes things? I do - and often times the thing that prayer changes is me! Praise God. I recently blogged some tips on daily prayer that will be an encouragement to you at this link.
9. Worship: Men, do you love God? It is a simple question, yet so profound. Think about it. If so, do you worship God daily? How? This chapter will inspire you to worship and love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.
10. Integrity: Your character is everything. Who you are in the dark is who you are in the light. Or, know that what you do in the dark will eventually come to the light. Be disciplined in your integrity every hour, brothers!
11. Tongue: Men, this is an important chapter for us all. We can sometimes say very hurtful things to our wives, children, coworkers and even to ourselves. This chapter helps us understand James chapter 3, which includes this teaching in verse 5: "Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark." Men, we often need to tame our tongues!
12. Work: I can't tell you how much I love this chapter and its importance for men. Work is good for us men! We need to work. Work gives us discipline, dignity and purpose. And, yes, of course work brings financial resources so that we can provide for our families. But work also provides so much more for the development of our individual character. Men, even if you don't like your job currently, work as if you are working for God, because ultimately He is your boss!
13. Perseverance: Life can get hard at times, without a doubt. Even in those dark seasons we must persevere. We all have bad days. I recall one pastor saying on those bad days we must still "play hurt" for the sake of our loved ones. His point was that professional athletes are never 100% healthy. They have something that is not quite right physically or mentally. And yet those athletes get on the field and play. Men, play hurt. Persevere.
14. Church: Are you going to church regularly? If not, you are putting yourself at risk to be swept up by what the culture is selling and you could lose your faith in God. I realize this sounds dramatic, but I believe it is true. Being plugged into a church at least weekly - if not more, with Bible studies, etc. - is one of the best things you can do for your faith. If you're in the Denver area and need a church, you're welcome to come check out the church I attend at this link.
15. Leadership: Men, you are called to lead. Lead yourself. Lead your family. Lead at work. Lead at your church. Lead in the community. Are you a leader? You need to be one. And you need to grow in your leadership skills. This chapter will help you do so. Actually, this entire book will help you grow in being a leader!
16. Giving: We are called to be generous givers. Givers of our time, treasure and talents. This chapter hones in on the call to give of our treasures, which is great. To whom much has been given, much will be required. Men, you have been given much. In turn, you should be a generous giver. You know what this means? Sometimes you will choose to forgo a luxury so that you can help give someone else a necessity.
17. Witness: The world needs Jesus. The world needs Jesus' forgiveness of sins. The world needs Jesus' peace that passes all understanding. The world needs you to tell them about Jesus. Who have you told about Jesus lately? This chapter will equip you to be a faithful witness to the glory of Christ that is within you. (If you are reading this blog and you don't know Jesus as your personal Savior, check out this helpful video about Jesus at this link.)
18. Ministry: We are called to serve daily in our lives in small and big ways. And we should also be intentional in formal ministries we participate in or even lead. Ministry doesn't have to mean working at a church or serving overseas - though it might. Ministry can mean helping your elderly neighbors or leading a Bible study or serving in a children's program or, hey, even giving out 800 copies of a book. :) Actually, after you read Disciplines of a Godly Man and if it benefits you, let me encourage you to give away some copies to men friends of yours.
19. Grace of Discipline and Resources: The book closes with the wonderful encouragement that pursuing godly discipline in our lives is a grace. It is not a burden. Yes, at times it is work. But there is a grace from God that empowers us to be disciplined godly men. The book's appendix shares some wonderful resources for further reading and includes some worship songs and hymns for your journey.
20. Worship Video: This is not directly related to the book, but I'll close with this terrific song reminding us men to truly be "brothers" for each other in this journey through life - as we discipline ourselves and encourage each other to become godly men!
Men, I hope this blog post has encouraged you to read Kent Hughes epic book, Disciplines of a Godly Man? Pick up your copy now on Amazon at this link. If you have read the book, please share in the Comments section below any takeaways you have from this book?
p.s. The purpose of this blog is to encourage you to live a more disciplined life by God's Grace. I'd be honored if you'd subscribe to my blog's emails to alert you of new blog posts at: www.mikepritchard.com/subscribe.html