What Characterizes Being a Man, Part 2

The Headlines

If you follow the media, the behavior of men in high places is a major topic. Headlines abound with shameful examples. It seems something is very wrong in the male culture of power, celebrity, and politics.

Compared to ourselves, public figures appear exaggerated to extremes in their conduct. We are rightly outraged. Yet, considering how known they are, their failure is more visible. Our own lives are not splashed across the media for all to see. These personalities are used as objects of scorn when they fall, but we may well ask, does our culture bear the same marks? Though most of us do not have the money or position to go to scandalous excesses, these examples rise out of the society in which they are formed. Do we need fallen figures to assuage our own personal failures and make us feel we are at least better than they? The general morality of people has soured. Sadly, our land is a self-exalting nation that serves its own pleasures.

The Presidential Example

There is a current public figure that is rarely, if ever, addressed in moral terms in Christian circles. In the US, the president is the foremost personality in public view. He is considered the chief representative of the people. It is a hypocrisy of the American church to call attention to the immorality of those we oppose and close our eyes to those who give us what we want. Some are calling out his behavior, though predominantly among those fueled by political opposition. There is something deeper going on here, however. The man in the highest office in the land, the head and symbol of the American people, at times evinces the worst in us. We see this exhibited with twitter posts filled with arrogance, self-importance, and insensitivity. Many laud his rude and brash manner as a virtue. Whatever the president is as a man, we fail to understand we are all like this. We are seeing a coalesced embodiment of our national spirit in him. Those that oppose President Trump may deny this, but their boorish behavior is much the same. Public figures become the most visible manifestation of ourselves.

In a previous blog article, I explored the characteristics of being a man. I remarked that men are driven and goal oriented, yet we use much of this energy for selfish ends. I asked, what does it mean to be a man? We view this definition by what we do. Our jobs, roles, or activities define us. Failures, when large enough, even more so. Does character matter? Are Christian men called to a life that differs from what we observe around us today?

Men Called to Purpose

Men were created for lives of purpose. This calling has two important aspects. They affect everything else we do. The first is to love God with all our hearts, minds, and strength. We can not do so without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, redeemed from our sin. To be reborn from death to life, refashioned, and refined by God ultimately defines a man. Whatever our role or activity, the values that shape us transcend an ever-changing fallen culture, looking to Jesus Christ and the word of God to shape who we are. As we walk with our Savior, we submit our weaknesses and flaws to the sanctifying grace of God.

The second aspect of our calling is to stand for truth in our homes. As Christian men, it is important we stand for biblical values and Scriptural integrity. We are to be a voice of truth at home, living in accordance with this in our own walk. This means we will have a role in what goes on in our homes and whether it conforms or contradicts biblical truth. We will make proactive choices to influence this. "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15). We will not serve ungodliness or the encroaching influence of spiritual unfaithfulness in new age influences. Does our home life honor or dishonor God?

Humility

As we seek these crucial character traits and guidelines for our lives, humility is key. To humble ourselves before God is paramount. This attitude outflows toward our spouses, children, and the people around us. If we desire to be examples in our homes, culture, and in our relationships, God will take care of this as he addresses our own obedience to Him. Jesus exemplified truth and love equally, neither trait diminishing the other. Truth was not a bludgeon with insensitive viciousness, nor was love a saccharin hippy notion excusing sin. Jesus Christ is our model to love and stand for truth.

Christ as the Lord of our lives and our homes equips men to carry this influence to the world. There are certainly grave issues to address today, the first is ourselves.

He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8.

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3.

You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5.

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