Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Manhood


Where are the men with a moral vision for their families, a zeal for the house of the Lord, a magnificent commitment to the advancement of the kingdom, an articulate dream for the mission of the church and a tenderhearted tenacity to make it real? (John Piper)        

OK, so the Super Bowl is over. For those of you who are huge football fans, like me, we have a long, dry spell before we get to enjoy another game. For those who hate football, or don’t care, you are probably happy to be rid of the games on TV. However, there’s plenty of sports action happening for a while. The winter Olympics are coming up, NASCAR begins with the Daytona 500 on Sunday, and basketball is already filling up the ESPN airwaves.

I watched the Super Bowl with my family. I have to admit, this was one of the rare games that I couldn’t choose a favorite. I am a big fan of the Colts and Peyton Manning, but I like to root for the underdog, too. The fact that New Orleans had never been to the Super Bowl, made me also wish they would win. So, I was perfectly happy with the outcome of the game. Congratulations to the Saints!

The Super Bowl commercials always get a great deal of hype. Most people, including myself, enjoy the commercials as much as the game. This year, however, I noticed a trend that I thought was a bit disturbing in the commercials. Apparently, I was not the only one who noticed. One of the top stories on Yahoo.com this morning read, “Guys take a beating in funny Bowl ads”.

The men, in a lot of the commercials, really did take a beating. Most of them were made to seem less “manly” if they did certain things, like shop with their wives, or play football badly. There seems to be a theme out there for men to try to define who they really are.

Men went through a period where we were told that we needed to be more sensitive. Women encouraged us to be more like them, so they could talk to us like they talk to their friends. We tried to accommodate, but it is difficult to change the way God wired us. We are men, and while there may be times when we do things to show the women in our lives how gentle we can be, most of us are simply not designed for such.

I believe John Eldredge tapped into this in his amazing book Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul. (If you are a man and have not read this book, go out and get it now. It is wonderful!) He writes, “Society at large can’t make up its mind about men. Having spent the last thirty years redefining masculinity into something more sensitive, safe, manageable, and, well, feminine, it now berates men for not being men…’Where are all the real men?’ is regular fare for talk shows and new books. ‘You asked them to be women’, I want to say…Christianity as it currently exists, has done some terrible things to men. I think most men in the church believe that God put them on the earth to be a good boy…Walk into most churches in America, have a look around, and ask yourself this question: What is a Christian man? Don’t listen to what is said, look at what you find there. There is no doubt about it. You’d have to admit a Christian man is…bored.”

Not every man likes sports, camping, hunting, or the outdoors. If you’re not one of them, its OK, you don’t have to. What is truly important is that you be the leader that God intended you to be. God expects the men in society to lead the way when it comes to spiritual matters. Paul addresses this in several of his letters. For example, 1 Corinthians 11:3 reads, Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” He also gives a command to fathers in Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

I was recently talking with a pastor who said the search committee from his church asked him “What manly things do you do?” I don’t remember what his answer to them was, but a very appropriate answer could be, “I love Jesus Christ, and am on an incredible journey of adventure and discovery with Him.” Whether you are a man or a woman, there is no greater adventure than the one waiting for you, when you become the spiritual leader God wants you to be.


In your prayers this week, pray for God to lead you to whatever adventure He has in store for you! Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.(1Corinthians 16:13 ESV)

1 comment:

Sandi said...

This reminded me of James Dobson's book "Bringing Up Boys". Anyone raising a son should read this book!! It was an eye opener for me. More than ever, parents need to maintain a Christian world view & not be influenced by our society, especially when it comes to raising our... I mean, God's children!! I enjoyed your blogs, Stacy!