Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Separating the men from the boys...

I have two sons. 
Two little, precious boys who will one day grow into men.  Big, tall, strong men.
Dave and I have determined to make it one of our life goals to raise Luke and Will into honorable men who love the Lord.  We want to teach them integrity, strength and leadership (as much as it can be taught).
And to be honest, I haven't looked at this goal with as much fervency as I am finding it deserves.
To be completely transparent, I am writing this with a broken heart.  In the past few months I have seen men who I admired and looked at as great men abandon and walk away from their families and everything they once held dear to their hearts.
At church a couple weeks ago the pastor was talking about how he hadn't watched a TV show in the last ten years where they have portrayed a pastor as a smart and honorable man.  As I began to ponder that statement, I realized that I had not really watched a TV show in the last ten years where they have portrayed a man as a smart and honorable leader - period.  On the contrary, I have seen plenty of men who are spineless whimpy men who are adulterers and are completely lacking an IQ - and very popular shows to boot.
Our culture is emasculating men left and right.  If they are leaders they are portrayed as controlling.  If they correct they are portrayed as being abusive.  If men work and their wives stay home they are even portrayed as domineering.  God made man with innate characteristics that it seems they are being forced to suppress.  As a matter of fact, before I started writing this I googled what makes a man a good man.  The results that I found?  A man who behaves like a woman.
I don't want my sons to be girls.  I want my boys to be manly men who love their wives and daughters as men should.  If I want someone to behave like a woman, I will go hang out with my women friends.
And no, a good man is not discovered by whether or not they hold a door open for you.  That is a representation of a good person!!!    A man is someone who protects me, who walks on the side of the street to guard me from the oncoming cars, a man who stands up for me, who provides for me.  A man is someone who gets a job and puts food on the table and loves and respects his wife.
A man is someone who is loyal and committed.  A man is one who sticks through things even when they get hard, scary, or even God forbid, unenjoyable.
Our culture has made it so easy for men to not be men.  We have taken drive and purpose away from them.  They aren't equals to women.  Women and men are different - sorry women's lib people.  Even at my Christian college my English prof made us read an essay on women's lib.  After we read it we had to write our own essay on whether or not we agreed on it.  I passionately disagreed with it - and my prof passionately disagreed with me and my grade was worse for it.  After our essays were turned in and graded we had to do a class exercise where we stood on a wall and if we agreed with a statement we took a step forward, and if we disagreed we took a step back.  I'm sure her hopeful conclusion is that we would all be standing in the middle of the classroom proud to support men being nothing more than women with pants on.  I however, was one of the very few who had not moved from the wall.  And I was astonished at the number of male classmates who had lost their definition of manhood and were standing right along with the "independent" girls in the middle of the class.
And more astonishingly and more maddening, is the fact that women,
even Christian women are cheering this progression of men losing their manhood.  Don't you want a man who can protect you, who is the strength in the home?  I don't want Dave to look at me scared if there is a noise - I want him to be the one who checks it out.  I don't want Dave to not be able to make a choice.  I want him to be the leader in our home, one that I can fully rely on.  Are we really wanting a world full of men who provide us nothing more than sex and good friendship?
What if we stood up for men being men?  What if we started requiring men to be men?  What if we started calling a spade a spade and not making it so acceptable when men abandon their families or cheat on their faithful wives?   What if we teach our sons to be responsible and loyal, providers and leaders?  Would we be looked at as creating men who will be "chauvinistic pigs" or will we be thanked for raising up men who people look to as great honorable human beings who are making the world a better place?
I am ashamed at these men in my life who have thrown away what it means to be a true man for the easy definition that the world offers.  I am ashamed however, to live in a culture that finds this behavior acceptable. 
So, I ask you - What characteristics are you teaching your sons?  Do you want your sons to be the man that the Bible defines as a good man or the man the culture defines as good?  Because more and more, I think the two are offering two completely different pictures of what a man truly is.


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