300 Men can make a difference Part II
Believe it or not, there are a lot of similarities of the Spartan soldiers in the movie 300 and the plight of today’s Christian Leaders. After watching the movie, I spent the next couple of days reading and researching more on these 300 men who willingly took the “Road Less Traveled.” What was their motivation? Why did that seem like the only option? Why does their story remind me so much of the Christian journey?
One of the most notable aspects of the Spartans was their fighting style. Since birth, the Spartan culture raised its young men to be warriors. In fact, beginning at age 7, they entered their training, a training curriculum that would make today’s Navy Seals or other elite military training programs pale in comparison. Day and night, they were taught to survive, fight, and win. With no more than a mere cloth around their waist, they were to endure the heat of the day and the cold of the night.
In their training, Spartans were taught to fight on their own, but the true strength of this army was in their ability to fight as a group. Shoulder to shoulder, the Spartans would use their shields collectively to form a fierce outer shell and would push forward, using their shields for protection and then their spears or swords to execute the decisive blows that crushed enemies. It is said that Xerses could not understand just how this group of Spartans was able to obliterate a major portion of their elite fighting force. It seemed like every force that was thrown against this group of 300 men were slaughtered against all reasoning.
Another interesting note about the fighting style and training of your average Spartan soldier was their emphasis on team fighting. From some historical accounts, you hear of the Spartans fighting shoulder to shoulder and back to back. One defended the other as well as themselves, it was a team effort to fight and defend. What could we as Christians learn from this?
As Christians, we should surround each other and, as the Spartan soldiers, fight and defend each other. One of the key strengths the Spartan armies had was their unity and we have to be able to find that in our daily walk. We have come under the enemy in thinking that our faith is something “private” to us and not worthy or interest of others. In other cases, we know if we share our faith with others, we will be held to more accountability. Regardless of the reason, part of the “rebellion” plan needs to be to partner with other Christians in the battle against “the current”.
One great way to do this is by joining a small group within your church or forming one yourself. If you are a father, join a group with other Christian dads who are in the same battle as you. This is one battlefield that needs more soldiers who are willing to dig their heels in and fight against the enemy. Personally, I have two or three Christian dads that I group with who are able to understand the trials and battles I endure daily not only as someone in the business world, but as a Christian father. When the enemy begins to attack, I know that they will cover me with prayer and support me in any other way I may need it. They also hold me accountable in daily things, especially my “training” routine.
Have you been offering time for daily devotion? Have you spent quality time with your wife? Have you spent quality time with your children? Is work becoming your idol? These are all questions that one of these men will ask me and I will ask of them. It’s strengthening my resolve as a rebel against the “current” of today’s fatherhood.
So what is it about today’s “current” view of fatherhood that needs so much resistance and rebellion? If you were to watch any prime time TV show, you’d see a major difference in how the men of the family are portrayed versus what Scripture has outlined our behaviors to be. According to Ephesians 5, we are to do the following for our wives:
Ø Love our wives as Christ loves the church” –
o That means we are not to lust silently or with our eyes for any other woman. We are to uphold them in the home, love them and respect them. Just as Christ would protect the church, we are to protect our wives not only physically, but spiritually. All too often, as Christian men, we do not claim victory in our homes against the enemy forces. We have to bond our efforts with Christ as our general and join the other Christian fathers in our community and rise up against the enemy. We are to present her clean and without blemish to Christ and to do so through the Word. Rebels, our greatest weapon often sits on our nightstand or end table with dust on it. The Word is our sword, it’s time we all pick it up and begin using it.
So what is the “rebellion” against? What is the “current” we are fighting as Christian men in today’s battle? We are to be Christian men and warriors, not cowards. Our society, through so many channels of the media as well as so many poor decisions made by men in our generation, has cast the father out as unimportant. We have let society warp our role and diminish our authority in the home. This is where our “rebellion” is to take place.
As a partner to other Christian men, I am strengthened by the resolve of my vocation as a Christian father as well as the men I stand shoulder to shoulder with. When I need prayer for help or wisdom in the battlefield I am in, my Christian partners help by raising their shield in my defense and fighting on my behalf while I strengthen through prayer and devotion. The same is true for when one of my Christian partners is in need. My call is to defend them in prayer and supplication, protect them with the shield until they are strengthened enough to fight their battle.
The enemy has brought the war to our camp and enslaved many of our men today. It is time we take the “rebellion” to his camp. How? We are to infiltrate our offices, our little league teams, our homes, and anywhere else we find ourselves spending time. We are to stand for Christian values and intimately discern what we are to do in all situations. When the enemy begins pushing against our families with his various weapons, we are to dust off that sword that is the Word and wage war back against him, defending our wives and our children against the lies and treachery the enemy brings.
It is time for us to take back the ground that we have lost over the last century. It is time for us to start acting like a Christian warrior who has undergone spiritual training comparable to the training received by the Spartan warriors. It’s time for a rebellion.
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About the Writer:
Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.
As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses. This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.