Comment: “Let’s encourage those around us to get involved …”




Each spring brings the grand unveiling of my barbecue, as soon as it is vaguely warm enough (the weather, not the coals). To be honest, there just needs to be no snow on the ground. I’ve had so may barbies in January, my neighbours think I’m Australian.

We invite them round and there I stand, lord of my domain, turning the sausages and frying the onions. I also make a mean minted shoulder of lamb, searing it on the coals before grilling it till it drips with juice. For dessert I grill mango and melt bananas with chocolate, a culinary delight that has to be tasted to be believed.

And I do it all myself. It’s not that I don’t trust my wife, but it’s my job. A man’s place is by the barbecue, with a monstrous pair of tongs in one hand and a chilled can of Fosters in the other; avoiding idle chitchat with strangers, unless it’s about cuts of meat.

This was all very well, until one weekend I promised my family a barbecue, forgetting that I had to be away doing a gig in the north of the country.

My wife was going to have to take control of my barbecue. We both felt uncomfortable at this blurring of our territories. We had to have some swift staff training – and it was with great trepidation that she took on my mantle.

But she did a good job. I checked, of course, asking the kids if Mum’s sausages were as good as Dad’s, to which they sang a resounding ‘Yes’. Moreover, she had got cocky and created home-made burgers, which the children were raving about. I felt a little redundant. After all, the reality is, she prepares the salads, bread, utensils, napkins and sauces, lays the table and clears up afterwards. While I clearly have the most important job; standing over the barbecue. I’d been emasculated.

It’s not just barbecues. It happens easily, and often there’s no option, but we need to make sure that we’re not the only people who can do what we do. We get caught up in a role, imagining we’re the only one who can do it. It’s simpler to do something ourselves because it makes us important, keeps us useful and makes people need us.

So let’s not hold on to our positions in life and get precious about who we entrust things to do. Let’s encourage those around us to get involved, share our passions with people who care, and mentor others to carry on the work.

Next, I will see if Bekah is up for putting the bins out. I’m not precious.

Main photo credit: Emerson Vieira via Unsplash

Steve Legg

Steve is a British speaker, author and founder of The Breakout Trust, a Christian mission organisation based in Littlehampton on the south coast of England. Since 1988 he has travelled the length and breadth of the UK and 30 countries overseas, covering a staggering 1.5 million miles on the road, using a crazy mix of comedy, trickery and mystery to communicate the Christian message to young and old. He has performed at top venues globally including NIA Birmingham, Wembley Arena and London’s Royal Albert Hall. Radio and TV appearances are in the hundreds. His passion is creative communication of the Christian faith through performances, books, DVD’s and other resources. The author of 17 books, these days when he’s not on the road, much of his time is spent on the groundbreaking men’s Christian lifestyle magazine, Sorted.

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