Years ago I had a room full toys solders and aquariums of fish, but I could not buy diapers for my baby boy.
You know at that time I could not see my responsibilities because, I was still in never, never land being a Peter Pan Boy. I wanted to play and not grow up. I did not understand responsibility and I did not want it, but like it or not I had a family and a new baby.
Oh I thought I had it under control, but I did not. I remember when my fish started dying and everything I did could not save them. I began to realize that I cared more about fish then I did my wife and child. I boxed up my toys and gave away the last of my fish and tried to get focused on the things more important. No it did not happen in a day and no it was not easy, to escape from never land, but thanks be to God I did. Now as an older man I still have times when I want to escape to never land, but the things that always saves me is reflecting on what is most important. Yes I still like games and even playing now and then. But I never allow that to take the place of being there for those who need me, or serving my wife. You see we cannot live in Neverland because it is not a real place, we can only live in the realities of life. I don’t want to be a Pete Pan Man, so I learned to keep before me my goals, I control my anger and put my family first.
I want to share something from Pastor Pete Bertolero on the application of these principles.
1) Grow up. The Apostle Paul did not recognize the transitional period of adolescence. In 1 Corinthians 13:11 he addressed only two stages of development: childhood and adulthood. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
2) Stop being a parasite (a taker) and start being a provider (giver). Proverbs 30:15 “A leech has twin daughters named "Gimme" and "Gimme more." Ephesians 4:28 “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.”
3) Become a Fighter, Friend and Frat. The three faces of Peter Pan: When the play Peter Pan is traditionally performed, the same actor plays all three parts: Captain Hook, Wendy’s father Mr. Darling, and Peter Pan. In order to free himself from the mire of immaturity, Peter Pan must first risk loss and death by fighting for his friends and island and defeating Captain Hook, and becomes a Captain/leader in the process. He then helps get the children escape from Neverland and get back to their home – back to reality, and thus fills the role of a father by taking on the responsibility and welfare of others. If he had chosen to remain in the real world out of his love for Wendy and care for the Darling children, he would have eventually grown into a mature, strong, responsible manly man with some help from a man-making community.
One of the things that christian men in our church have learned together is that masculinity is code imposed on the men in a given culture, by which they are expected to live in order to be recognized and accepted as manly men. This code of masculinity or chivalry contains some of the same expectations in every culture, including –standing up to danger; bearing up under pain and suffering, and sacrificing oneself for the good of others. A masculine code helps a man overcome his natural instincts so that he will do what’s best for others and not for himself.
I thank God that I had a loving wife who prayed for me and a God who corrected me. So I pray for you men out there to Put your wife before you and to prefer her above anyone or Thing in your life and join me in the REAL world.