We Stand Alone Together – Part 3 Man-up



I jotted down some thoughts while watching Band of Brothers series…I believe they are at the core of brotherhood. You can also read Part 1 and Part 2.

Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:17 KJV

"If God is thy father, man is thy brother." – Lamartine

Around 15 years ago I walked into a major iron sharpening iron moment…it wasn’t pleasant (but it was needed). Married, a young father of two, my life and hands were full (little did I know about the five kids that would be following). My wife and I went to Vermont visit some friends we consider to be our spiritual parents. We arrived at their house, kids in tow, looking forward to some much needed rest and fellowship.

Frank and Jill are some of the best people on the planet, I can’t begin to tell you of the importance they have played in our lives…we are better people because of how God has used them to teach us. We love them dearly and spending time with them is like being at a spiritual spa, a retreat for your spirit and your heart. Christine and the kids greeted them first and then came little old me carrying all the gear, exhaling a sigh of relief as I entered their house…but not for long.

I wasn’t in the house two minutes before Frank confronted me, remember, he saw my wife first, and he hit me with this.

“Brother…this visit can’t continue unless we deal with this right now. I see in your wife’s eyes that she hurting. My question for you is…are you loving her how she needs to be loved?”

The Jackie Gleason ShowI’m standing there in a Jackie Gleason moment (you know, HUMANA-HUMANA-HUMANA, right in the kisser!)…realizing he was right and I broke, my wife broke…and God used Frank and Jill to help us heal together.

Frank was right, I needed to man-up in the way I loved my bride. He challenged me (in love) and entered a battle zone to bring Godly insight. Frank is one of those in my company of men, for a long time he has been there and I’m so thankful for him. The Father has used many of my Band of Brothers to sharpen me and lift my countenance (my face) so I can see where I need to go. Having such a company is not easy; it takes vulnerability and a willingness to serve each other…and at least one other thing…humility.

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? MICAH 6:8

Do justly (do what is right), love mercy (show compassion) and walk humbly (not worrying about me)…are these the weapons of a warrior? Yeah, I think they are…because God calls them good and He requires them of His sons. Frank humbly confronted me to do what was right with compassion…that was sharp and (thankfully) cut right to the heart of the matter. I’m a better man and my marriage is stronger because of it.

Do you have an iron sharpening, man-up moment?
Please, I would love to hear it.

In and for Him,

Next Time: Part 4 - The Replacements

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jasonS said…
Wow, what a story. I find myself again praying for this kind of person in my life. There have been times I don't know how to express what I'm going through or struggling with and I wished someone would just call me on it. I know it doesn't always work that way, but still, praise God Frank had the nerve enough and you gave him the position to speak that directly. I want to be that for others as well.

Thanks Jay...
Jay Cookingham said…
Jason, appreciate your honesty again bro'. Frank has modeled some great things for me. I believe that is why I have such a strong circle of brothers. Praying for you bro'
Bill (cycleguy) said…
WOW! I echo jason's comments here. What a story! What a friend! Not only do I wish I had had someone do that when I was younger, i would welcome it now.
Jay Cookingham said…
Frank has spoken many times into my life over the years, always encouraging me to be a better dad and hsuband. The added bonus is that God has used me to speak into his life as well...that has been a blessing to be a part of. I'm praying for you bro'

Thanks Bill for dropping by!

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