How many of us have heard this phrase said either to us or in a movie? In many instances a man was forced to choose between one and the other. If you chose fighter, it meant that you were eventually going to be in a brawl or fight with another guy. If you chose lover, it usually meant that you were a ladies man and chose loving a woman over getting into a fight. But what if I told you that God wants us to be both? He wants us to be a Lover and a Fighter.
When it comes to fighting, I am probably the least likely person on the planet to be in a fight. In fact, I have only been in one fight my entire life, and that was in the 5th grade when a kid at school ripped my sweatshirt and we started swinging. The fight did not last very long before the principal showed up and stopped it. I remember vividly our punishment was losing a week’s worth of recess. Talk about knowing how to hurt a kid!
As far as Lover, I have always understood this part much better in my life, whether it was loving my wife, loving my kids, or loving Jesus. I have always felt a better understanding of what that meant for a man. This understanding was probably in part because my Dad is the same way. I never saw him involved in a fight but I did see him Love my mom and his family. If we are really going to be to be honest, what man doesn’t want to be looked at as a good Lover, either to his wife or his family? However, over the last 6 years of my life, I have started to have a clear understanding of what it means when God says he wants us to be a Fighter. Recognizing I am in a battle everyday between the good my Father wants to do versus the evil Satan wants to bring into my life has stirred this need inside of me. In Nehemiah 4:13-14 Nehemiah actually calls for the men to fight when he says, “Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!”
More than 6 years ago, I would have just read over that passage and moved on. But now, after going through a divorce, a job change, a second marriage, a new ministry, and most recently a new baby, I have come to the realization that God is calling me up to be a fighter, over and over again. What do I mean?
Fight for Your Wife: For instance, my wife and I have a 6 month old baby. Even though we both love her and can’t imagine our life without her, we have to fight for our relationship. Each day we have to fight for time to talk, fight to spend time together, and fight to be intimate. The easy road to take would be to not talk or make time for each other. Or not to say you’re sorry or ask for forgiveness. Or not take the time to text during the day or set a date night. In order to be the Lover to my wife, I have to fight for her heart and fight for her time.
Fight for Your Kids: In the same way it is with your wife, you have to fight for your kids. I have five daughters and believe me in order to have a relationship with any of them I have to fight for their time. I have to fight for conversations with them. I have to fight to spend time with them. Sometimes this is fighting with technology because of the pull it has on them. The fighting can look as simple as leaving work early to go to their golf match, or attending their FFA banquet, or watching their flag football game. I have to fight for them and also be their protector as well. It is so much easier to take a back seat and just let them live their lives, but if you want a relationship with your kids you have to fight for them so you have the opportunity to Love them and be the protector of their souls.
Fight for Your Relationship with God: And last, in the same way God calls us to fight for our wives and fight for our kids; we have to fight for our relationship with God. Satan wants nothing more than to make us passive and convince us to give up when it comes to our life with Christ. We have to fight to talk to Jesus daily. We have to fight to listen to His voice. We have to fight to treat others the way Jesus would treat them. Instead of praying to him, we want to do things our own way and tell ourselves we don’t have the time. I know for me, even writing this blog post, I had to fight to make the time to let God speak through me what he wanted me to say. As Paul says in Romans 7:19, “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.”
We have to fight for our relationship with Jesus, especially through the lies that Satan tells us. Lies such as, “You are not good enough.” “Why would God still love you?” “Look at the things you have done in the past.” “You are broken.” This is where God’s Amazing Grace comes in and the promise found in Nehemiah 4:20 which says, “When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!” How awesome and ironic as that! As we become more of a Fighter and fight for these things, we increase our capacity to Love because of God’s Grace and Him Fighting for us.
Final Thought: So I leave you with this final thought. You don’t have to choose between being a Lover or a Fighter. Instead you can choose to be both. As you Fight for your wife, your kids, and your relationship with God, He will increase your ability to be a Lover not only to your family but to your friends, your neighbors, and even your enemies because of His promise of Always Fighting for You!