Hunkering down…is an interesting expression. It is more related to males than females in my experience. To hunker down is ‘to stay in a place for a period of time’, ‘to seek shelter’, maybe in a violent storm or heavy winds. When I was a child, our family had a storm shelter to store canned foods, but also to ‘hunker down’ during incoming tornadoes. Staying low in a foxhole during intense enemy fire would be another example. But it also is used figuratively as one who squats down on their heels or some object like a chair, or the pavement; just to watch the world, or whatever, go by.
Many of us men try to resolve all our problems and hide our weaknesses by ‘hunkering down’ with great resolve. ‘If I just dig in, maybe this will pass, or I’ll do better in the future.’ Most try to solve their problems alone, even Christians. Rarely ever works! Usually ends up getting worse. There is certainly nothing wrong with ‘digging in’ and holding things together when it is required.
But the idea of men, dads just ‘hunkering down’, going it alone in their man cave, trying to fulfill their role as the servant leader in their home usually leads to pride. ‘I can do this!’ ‘Bring it on!’ ‘Isn’t that what a real man does?’
This week I was invited along with numerous other men to an event hosted by Jim Beckett. The speaker, Steve Arterburn, founder of New Life Ministries, was sharing about the pride in men that most of us don’t realize we’re projecting or acting out. Recently, his wife said to him; ‘Steve, you men need to stop hunkering down; instead, you need to humble down.’ It really struck me to the core. My consistent prayer for myself has been that God would replace the pride in my life with Christlike humility.
But, as I was sitting there, it occurred to me that while I may be praying for God to do that, he actually was by allowing issues into my life that would be useful in creating that transformation. But as I reflected, I believe I have been hunkering down and trying to accomplish this without the Spirit’s enabling power. Humbling down is truly the answer. God provides the grace to be humble; to respond properly to whatever I encounter that doesn’t fit into my plan or displeases me. Can you relate to this? “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jas. 4.6b NLT). Who in their right mind would want to go up against God? But our pride does just that.
Pursue Christlike humility
Jesus faced issues, especially in is last days that most of us men would have fought against, with all our resources. But he didn’t. Paul points us to the true example of humility. “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Phil. 2. 5-8 NLT)
Husbands/dads, want to reflect Christ’s image to your wife and children? Well, let’s start today to humble down! I didn’t say it would be easy or happen overnight, but we both know his grace will be sufficient for us. He is more interested in our pursuit of Christlike humility than perfecting it. O, I forgot, just a reminder; Jesus’ Father has highly exalted him as a result of his humble obedience. Just saying!