This past weekend we kicked off a new series at Eastside called The Art of Shaving. (Why yes, I do know there is an expensive men’s shaving store by the same name.) It’s THE series we have really been pointing to since last Christmas and it is geared towards men – as leaders, dads, husbands and friends. It is a tough series.
Essentially there has been something driving me crazy for a very long time. Certainly at least somewhat since I started in ministry 11 years ago… Definitely over the last couple of years – it has become more than just a nagging feeling in the back of my mind… and over the last six months it has become a full on migraine style pain in my brain. As men… we are failing.
Speak for yourself you say… Ok. That’s fair. I know that there are very godly men in the world, very strong leaders, very good dads, very good husbands. Probably you are one of them. This is more of anecdotal evidence for sure – but aside from really good beacons of light that exist in the form of great men in our world – manhood as whole has been on a diminishing trajectory. A great deal of the reason for this is because of what manhood has come to represent.
For many, being a real man would be defined by the type of job they had, masculinity, lack of emotion, courage, boldness, willingness to get the job done, perseverance, and probably a running tally in a little black book somewhere of ladies’ phone numbers. Some of those are excellent traits that do indeed play an important part of who we are as men. But there is one really important one that I think gets left out a lot… public correctness dictates we leave it out nowadays… but I hate public correctness. The most important trait in a real man is that he is godly. From that pours out traits like “affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” And yes… that is The Fruits of The Spirit as quoted from The Message (Galatians 5:22,23)
I think the reason it feels like things are getting worse in our communities, our country, our world… The Church – is because we have lost sight of what God is really calling us to be as real men. Our wives, our kids, our workplaces, our friends, our neighbors – they all need us to be focused on displaying The Fruits of The Spirit more than they need us to show them how loud we can shout or how masculine we can be. Men – it is time to step up and lead the way Jesus lead. It is time to embrace 1 John 2:6 and truly follow His example.
Again – maybe this isn’t an issue for you. Maybe you really are a true man of God. I am thankful for you if you are. I pray that others see the example you set and desire to live it out as well. I pray that they see you:
Leading your family… Praying… Reading the Bible… Loving and Serving your wife… Serving in your church… Living for Jesus. Being Holy as He is Holy (1 Peter 1:13-16)
Lead on Men of God. The world is waiting for us…