Being a Real Man
February 7, 2012
It is funny to me when someone feels the need to genuinely put me down. At one point in my life (jr. high and early high school) it really bothered me, but now I look at the person doing the insulting and feel compassion for them.
On young man feels the need to do this on a regular basis. I’m not that tall (about 5’6″) and I don’t weigh a whole lot, so I guess you could say that I am a small person.
But this young man comes up to tell me, “You’re short. You need to grow.” Which I then thank him for telling me the obvious and let him know that since I will be turning 24 next month, the likeliness of me growing is not very good.
It makes me think of what our culture tells to men. There are many mixed messages that are sent our way.
One of those messages tells us that we can continue being boys for a long time. It is normal and acceptable for a man to keep acting like a boy until he is even in his lat 30s. Pathetic.
The other messages we receive are how to be “men.”
It is more many to be tall,
to be ripped
to talk trash
to drink beer
to work a good job and make a lot of money
to have sex
to be the ruler of the remote control
to be able to grow a lumberjack beard
and so on.
What gets me though is the emphasis emphasis Christian men put on these items. Even Christian men fall to the idea that you must do certain culturally acceptable things to really be a man.
God has a different idea. God tells us that it is our character that really makes us men! Here is a passage from 1 Timothy 3 where God talks about men:
It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
There is a lot there. I also know that some of those phrases are argued over (husband of one wife). But if we desire to be a real man, a godly man, then we must wrestle over these verses.
You can say “but it says he who aspires to be an overseer!” But these were qualities that they wanted everyone to exemplify. This was not just something that the elders needed to follow. All men were expected to work on these.
How different would our world be today if these were the qualities of a man that were pushed and not the ones that currently? Pick one and start working on it. Go and set the example!
Which one do you think would be the easiest for you? The most difficult?