Here are 5 thoughts off the top of my head coming out of our first ever SMR Men’s Retreat.
1. We spoke honestly, openly, and Biblically about sex. The world doesn’t speak Biblically about sex. Often, religious people don’t speak honestly or openly about sex. To have all three was powerful.
2. Our speaker, David White from Harvest USA, hit a home run. How often do you hear guys saying, “We needed to give the speaker more time to talk?” Yet that was what we heard over and over again. In fact, here’s a little sampling of some of the things from David’s talks that are still stuck in my head 72 hours later.
- [Without being crude] A man can love a woman so much that being near her is not enough. He desires to be in her. That’s the way that God desires us. Sex is a picture of something bigger than itself. It points to a God who loves us so much that He desires not just to be near us but to be in us.
- Don’t underestimate or dismiss the damage that having a thousand sexual partners through porn does to your soul.
- Sex is about serving your spouse and not yourself (1 Cor. 7:3-5). Consider Jesus who fasted for forty days and refused to give in to Satan’s suggestion to make bread and take care of Himself. Yet the same Jesus is moved with compassion over a crowd that followed Him and missed a few meals. He went hungry for over a month and He wouldn’t make bread. The crowd missed breakfast and He provides a feast so big there are 12 baskets of leftovers. Jesus is willing to feed the crowds but not Himself. Good sex then is an opportunity to be like Jesus, considering the need of another above your own.
- We often wonder, “How can Jesus know what it’s like to stay single for 40 years or struggle with unfulfilled desire?” Yet consider that on the night that Jesus was betrayed, He told His disciples that He would abstain from the Table until He can share it with us in His Father’s kingdom (Matthew 26:29). We know the Resurrection is physical and that the Resurrected Jesus ate and drank (Luke 24:39-43). Yet Jesus has chosen to abstain from food until He has His bride. With longing, He has been waiting 2000 years to be with her. Waiting for His Father to turn to Him and tell Him that the hour has come (Mark 13:32). While we are feasting at the Table, He is fasting. And waiting. Therefore, He is a present help in time of need for those who experience the pain of waiting. He knows what you are going through.
3. There is something incredible about men singing together. One brother put it like this:
I haven’t heard that kind of worship in a long time, so I had forgotten how awesome it could be. It was definitely one of the most memorable worship sessions in recent memory for me. I haven’t gotten the songs out of my head either…in fact, this may sound ridiculous – but I keep watching the short clip from the Facebook page of all of us singing Lord I Need You! I keep showing the kids too and they love it. Hoping that they see that real men are proud to worship the Lord (even one as flawed and sinful as me).
4. A weekend with no girlfriends, wives, or kids meant that the four basic food groups were pizza, soda, beef jerky, and foods that ended in “-itos.”
5. Our church has been blessed with some good men who love Jesus and love one another. Plus, you laugh till your stomach hurts and you can’t breathe. I’m always looking for any excuse to be around them.