Superman has been our hero since we could tie a beach towel around our neck and fly around the house in our underwear. Nearly every boy and man has had a superman shirt in his drawer at some point in time. When we were kids we wanted at least one of his superpowers. Heat vision. Flight. Super strength.
As Christian dads, I think there is another way we can relate to our boyhood hero, the Man of Steel.
If you’re a christian dad like me, you want to be the best dad possible, and you can’t spell dad without D.A.D.
Decision: I am a Man of Steel.
We have all heard the phrase iron sharpens iron from Proverbs 27:17. And yes, this is true and a biblical principle. My question to you is what kind of iron are you? Let me explain.
Iron is simply that, iron. It’s strong, durable, and has been used for centuries to make weapons and all types of artillery. The interesting thing about iron though is it gets stronger when it binds with stronger material. When you combine iron and carbon for example, you get steel.
So what’s more important, to be sharper or stronger? I think it’s both.
At our house, we have alphabet magnets at the bottom of our refrigerator. Our son Noah loves to play with them. He knows the letter M and H very well. Many times, he will come to the fridge while I’m cooking, point to each letter, and look at me waiting to hear what it’s called.
Now, imagine if Noah was content with just knowing the letters M and H. Every day he would walk to the fridge, point to all the letters, and only say M and H. He would probably get very good at spotting M’s and H’s around town. However, his knowledge would stay the same and he would never know the other letters of the alphabet.
Iron, even sharp iron, is still not as strong as iron that’s willing to bond to stronger material. Noah may be really sharp with his M’s and H’s, but he will never be strong in his alphabet until he adds the wisdom that I bring to the fridge…and my friend, I have a lot of wisdom when it comes to the fridge haha.
We don’t want to just become sharper, but stronger as well. We have to be iron that is willing to bond with stronger material to become steel. Are you a Man of Steel?
Do you think Peter was a Man of Steel? In Acts 3, we see Peter heal a lame man and call him to walk. Do you think Peter was able to perform this amazing miracle because of what he learned from the other disciples? Probably not.
I think we can agree that his ability to heal was given to him by the Holy Spirit because of his time spent absorbing Jesus’ teaching. You see, Peter wasn't just sharpening iron with disciples, he was also forging steel from absorbing Jesus’ teachings…someone who brought something stronger to the table.
As christian dads, we want to be as strong as possible for our kids. We need to seek others who are like-minded like us to make us sharper. In the same token, we must seek men who are stronger and wiser than us as well. In doing so, we become sharper AND stronger. Let’s be iron that is willing to forge with something stronger than ourselves. Let’s be a Man of Steel.
Action: My iron will be magnetic.
Did you know that not all iron is magnetic? In fact, iron has to be within a certain temperature range to be magnetic. It also has to be in the right place. Check it out…
My son Noah loves playing with his alphabet magnets. He knows all of his letters magnetize really well to the fridge and loves moving them around, but he also has done some experimenting. Cabinets, tables, carpet, floor, and the sofa have all received the magnet test from Noah. What did he find?
Cabinets, tables, carpet, floor, and the sofa all failed the test.
But there was something else this daddy noticed.
When Noah’s alphabet letters were not on the fridge, he showed no interest in playing with them. He would walk over them, kick them, and act like they weren’t there. BUT when they returned to the fridge after dad picked them up for the thousandth time, they became fun and exciting again. Noah would call out all of the letters and move them all over the place.
Noah was only practicing his letters when his alphabet magnets were on the fridge. His letters had to be on the fridge and show their magnetism for `him to get sharper and stronger with his alphabet.
For us to become sharper and stronger Christian men, we must first be magnetic. Like a magnet, we need to have the right temperature and put ourselves in the right place.
For us to be at the “right temperature,” we have to have a heart that seeks godly people.
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.”
When we seek the right temperature (righteousness), God will open our eyes to the godly people around us. These people will help encourage us and walk with us on our Christian journey. Some will sharpen us, and some will make us stronger.
In the same token, we have to be in the right place. As we learned from Noah, we only become sharper and stronger when things are in the right place.
Where are we most magnetic?
We are most magnetic when we place ourselves in environments that are surrounded by godly people.
You can be the right temperature, but not in the right place. Or you can be in the right place, but the wrong temperature. We can only sharpen and strengthen one another when we are the right temperature AND in the right place.
To take action and be a Man of Steel, our iron must be magnetic. Otherwise, we will remain dull and weak.
Is your iron magnetic?
Dedication: My blacksmith will not take days off.
One of my favorite movies is You, Me, and Dupree. My favorite scene is when Dupree (Owen Wilson) is at a job interview. It goes like this:
Dupree: Incidentally, what is your policy on Columbus Day?
Interviewer: We work.
Dupree: Really? The guy discovered the free world! I hate to even ask about Victory of Japan day...
Dupree was always looking for days off. Good thing he didn’t apply to be a blacksmith. Why? Because blacksmiths don’t take days off.
Blacksmiths, as we know, forge iron into steel. They are constantly heating, reheating, beating, and sharpening iron to make it the most effective.
If we are to be like iron, we cannot let our blacksmith take a day off.
We have to be consistently willing to be sharpened and sharpen others for us to be effective.
Let’s go back to the fridge…
Every morning when I come down to the kitchen to get my Mickey Mouse mug for my morning coffee, I look at the fridge. It’s the first thing you see when you walk into our kitchen. That means that every day I see little Noah’s alphabet magnets. And every day since we have had them on the fridge they have never looked the same. Every single day they are arranged differently. Why?
Because they are being used.
If they were always arranged the same on the refrigerator everyday then that would mean Noah was not playing with them and not practicing his alphabet. He would never get sharper or stronger with his letters.
We are the same way. If we are not consistently seeking to have others around us to sharpen and strengthen one another, then we will become dull and ineffective. Like iron, we have to constantly be in the fire, beaten, and sharpened to be at our strongest and at our best.
Our blacksmith cannot take a day off.
Time to be a D.A.D.
Decision: I am a Man of Steel
Action: My iron will be magnetic
Dedication: My blacksmith will not take days off.
When you wear one of our Iron Sharpens Iron shirts, you will be reminded that you want to be stronger than iron…you want to be steel. You want to forge with others who are stronger and wiser than you so you can not only be sharper, but stronger as well. You want your iron to be magnetic because you want to seek godly people and be surrounded by them. And lastly, you are reminded that your blacksmith doesn’t take days off because our iron is in constant need of strengthening and sharpening others as well.
Father in heaven, today I seek to be a Man of Steel. I want my iron to be sharp, as strong as steel, and magnetic. Please give me wisdom in surrounding myself with godly people who will help sharpen and strengthen me. Also, give me the ability to sharpen and strengthen others. Please guide and teacher my father so I can guide and teach my children. In Jesus name, Amen.
- Matt Walker