Man up!

Do you ever feel like masculinity is under attack in our culture? I get it that we haven't always had the best male role models. And a grossly flawed version of "manhood" has left a bad taste in the mouths of many. But I can't see the "sissification" of everything male being the answer. A couple generations of removing male-ness, via misguided political agendas, educational indoctrination, over-prescription of behavior-modifying drugs (Little Johnny too rambunctious? There's a pill for that.), and consistent exposure to media stereotypes that minimize and mock the roles of fathers and husbands have taken their toll. 

It shows up in the increasing volume, boldness, and influence of the gender-bender crowd. What was once considered unthinkable and absurd is not only accepted, but demanded, agreed to, and endorsed. I feel it these days in almost every public interaction with a woman, encounters which become more confusing by the day. Chivalry isn't dead; it's just been told to sit down and shut up so many times that many of us have decided it isn't worth the trouble. Watch the "response" of the father in this advert as an example of what has become the far too common result in our society. Intended to be funny, I gotta say, I ain't laughing.

But I'm not ready to raise the white flag of passivity just yet. I don't believe it has to be a choice between over-the-top, "I take what I want", macho domination and uncertain, confused, "hide out and hope for the best" retreat. There's a third option: God not only created us for impact; He gave us a mission and He showed us the way. Jesus was no pansy. He had callouses on His hands. He knew His way around a fishing boat. He wasn't afraid to go into rough neighborhoods. He didn't back down from a fight. And He loved people. He responded to needs. He watched out for those placed in His care. He took time for children and old ladies. Here's an ad that tries to celebrate some of that. This one I like.

...for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.  -1 John 5:4-5

No, the answer isn't to do away with men. Our culture needs men. Real men. Jesus men. We put skin on that idea in our foxholes, a place where we have a great opportunity to show and teach each other what it means to be a Jesus man in our homes, our workplaces, and our neighborhoods. It happens through relationships. Like the relationships we'll hear about next Friday (September 7, 6:15 AM) at the Lodge. Bob Mitchell was always a "man's man". He wasn't always a Jesus man. He knew he wanted to be better, he didn't know what that looked like. But he knew some guys. And those guys knew Jesus. And it's made all the difference.

Scott Thompson