The male stallion is the toughest horse to break but the greatest work horse on any farm. Their temperament varies widely based on genetics and instincts as herd animals, so they require careful management by owners. But with proper training stallions can become efficient work horses and even successful athletes, competing in the highest levels in horse racing events and the Olympic Games.
Domesticated stallions are trained and managed in a variety of ways, depending on the owner’s purpose and the stallion’s temperament. In all cases stallions have an inborn tendency to attempt to dominate both other horses and owners. They will also be affected to some degree by the proximity of other horses, especially mares. Stallions must be trained to behave with respect toward humans at all times or else their natural aggressiveness has been known to cause serious injury and even death.
The ‘breaking’ of stallions usually follows one of many management systems, such as confinement, natural, harem or bachelor systems. For instance, in the harem model the stallion is allowed to run loose with mares. But in the bachelor model, stallions are kept in a male-only group with other stallions and geldings (castrated). Ideally stallions are to be periodically managed in multiple systems, depending on the season of the year, personality of the stallion and purpose of their use.
The owner must understand that a stallion’s nature is to procreate and fight for dominance. When a stallion’s libido is aroused he becomes a superhorse. His hormones – mixed with testosterone and adrenalin – are similar to rocket fuel, powering his strength and determination tenfold. Nothing stands in his way and he may even be willing to fight to the death.
All his hormonal and instinctual drives are still present and without the correct training the owner will have a very frustrated or depressed stallion on their hands, with potential consequences. An easy alternative is to castrate the stallion which will reduce its aggression. However, all hope of reproducing is eliminated. Time, patience, care and much expense are required by the owner, but with a bit of luck the stallion can become very profitable, rewarding and trustworthy companion.1
Broken and Restored: The Journey of Every Believer
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies,
it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
John 12:24 NKJV
The illustration of the stallion shows how even the most difficult horses can be trained to become an Olympic champion. The process of breaking is the necessary requirement based on the skill of the owner to achieve the stallion’s greatest potential. Likewise, no matter how difficult a believer’s upbringing or baggage, God in His grace and mercy can teach and equip them to realising greatness and incredible destiny.
The subject of breaking is throughout scripture and a necessary season each Christian will likely at some stage in their life personally experience to some degree. Normal and flawed people in the bible were broken by God which later resulted in either a change of nature, name or character. For instance, Jacob was a deceiver but after wrestling with God his character transformed into Israel and walked with a limp. Job was a righteous man but after being tested greatly he became a humbled man of God, later declaring, My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you (Job 42:5).
Others in scripture were broken by God which resulted in propelling them into their calling. Paul was a zealous Pharisee who persecuted the early church. But after encountering Jesus he describes in his ministry as constantly having a thorn in his flesh of persecutions, which by the grace of God was used to excel him as a powerful servant of the gospel. Even Jesus Himself, the Son of God, was broken in Gethsemane - or olive press - where He was asked to submit to the will of God and be crucified for the sins of the world.
Jesus was very clear on this subject and said, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone…. Left alone we can only reach so far with God. Even as Christians we can still own our lives and settle in our faith. We can become complacent or lose our first love after years of busy church life. Mediocrity will then become normal and a once grateful, soft heart can soon become distant and religious.
However, if it dies it produces much grain. Brokenness is a place of dying to the flesh and becoming completely dependent on God. It is described as the final key to being an effective Christian, where every area of your life is freely given to Him. And when your life is given completely to God, He can take us places we would never be able to reach. We all face difficulties and challenges in life. But as a believer we must understand that we have the life-giving seed of God on the inside of us.
It is doubtful God can use you greatly until he has broken you deeply.
A.W Tozer, pastor and author (1897–1963)
A.W Tozer, pastor and author (1897–1963)
When we go through disappointments or suffering, you may feel like you have been buried. You may feel like you are in a dark and lonely place. And you may feel like it is the end. But in reality, with an eternal mindset, it is only the beginning. The fact is you have not been buried; you have been planted. You are on the come back! And not only are you coming back, but you are coming back on the increase, better and stronger than before, with a testimony others need to hear.
There is always a divine purpose in where God is doing a mighty work within you and a place of restoration is ahead! The best place about being in rock bottom is there is only one way to turn; up with Jesus who is your Rock. When God leads us into difficult seasons we need to think about what areas He desires for us to change.
Hosea 6:1-2 says, Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will restore us, that we may live in His presence.
Perhaps you have known someone or have personally experienced one of several of these life changing rock bottom seasons. No one adversity or suffering is worse than another. Each of us will face some type of tremendous loss that can potentially derail your life and impact around you. But again, always know that God will never leave you there. It is merely a season or an unspecified period of time with a primary purpose God intends to use for good.
God’s process in your life is very specific as well as very purpose orientated. His main objective, I have found in all things, is so that we can become more like Christ and to die to the sinful nature. I would even venture to say that the measure you are used by God is at some point determined by the level of brokenness you have experienced with Him. And just like the stallion, once broken, you have the potential of becoming an Olympic champion. A vessel of gold in His house, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.