To be fair I don’t really like UFC (I’m not morally against it…I’m just not that into it), I don’t own a gun (not for moral reasons…just never have had one), and my wife isn’t a fan when my disdain for shaving takes over my face (and she wins…so I shave)!
Its been interesting to me as I look around the masculine culture that is developing and I see a couple polar opposite shifts.
Prolonged adolescence – Men are staying boys into their 30’s and 40’s
”Today 18-34 year old men spend more time playing video games a day than 12-17 year boys”
Cultures celebrate stories of guys who refuse to grow up or take responsibility in relationships
Thanks to the wonders of pornography, we are more obsessed with sex than ever, but we treat women as toys to be discarded when things gets complicated. (like when they speak, are emotional, or have opinions)
Try being a woman trying to find the right guy in the midst of all these boys ‘that are more like the kids they babysat, than the dads who drove us home’
In response we’ve seen the pendulum swing towards true manliness being a cross between Dos Equis’ “Most interesting man in the world”
So into that complexity, and the highest rate of fatherlessness ever, we have generations of guys trying to figure out what “being a man” is with no real good map.
Ultimately I believe true manhood is found Christ and what he defines it as. IF OUR PURSUIT OF MANLINESS TAKES US AWAY FROM THE CHARACTER OF JESUS, THEN IT ISNT MANLINESS.
Lets use Jesus’ prayer to his Father to get a glimpse into manhood!
(adapted from James Bryan Smith’s “Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows)
“Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed by your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
But rescue us from the evil one.
- God is PRESENT …You want to be manly?…Be present…don’t be past…don’t be future…don’t be absent…be PRESENT!
- God is PURE…You want to be manly? Be pure…Be someone worth following, worth submitting to, worth befriending because you lead a life of purity in thought, speech and action.
- God is POWERFUL…You want to be manly? Let the power of your life flow from the relationship you have with God…spend more time developing character than you do perfecting your physique!
- God PROVIDES…You want to be manly? Provide… monetarily, emotionally, spiritually, relationally….be a man that other people can come to for support, encouragement, help, grace and truth.
- God PARDONS…You want to be manly? Pardon…forgive those who wrong you even though they don’t deserve it…even though they haven’t asked for it…even though they haven’t made it right with you. Real manhood begins with our ability to forgive the way God has forgiven us…and it is the furthest thing from weakness in the universe!
- God PROTECTS…You want to be manly? Protect…speak truth to buddies before they wreck their life…guard the hearts that God has entrusted to your care…be a safe house that people can run towards!
I know I have such a long way to go in all these areas, and you would look at me and think….”that is not the most manly dude I have ever met…”!
But I hope that these can somehow frame a better picture of true manhood that we all can go after! Because my friends, family, relationships, and world need a generation of men to get this right!
About The Author
Mike Hickerson has played an enormous role in the lives of the four administrators of TTAF. An all around swell guy, he has been the embodiment of all things manly to many young folk like ourselves. Now that we have sufficiently embarrassed him and possibly made him cry you also need to know some things about him. His hobbies include watching Oklahoma football lose to SEC teams in bowl games, FIFA ’97, wearing funny hats, Jim Browning Shawn Dilbeck in McSnigglesworth, and providing Drew with nieces. He batted cleanup in the infamous CIY bus bathroom lineup of 2003, he may or may not have been a cold little sissy at one point in time, he dresses much better than you do, he is Scottie Pippen on the CIY dream team, his wife can rap TLC’s “Waterfalls” better than your wife can, and if you beat him in anything you would put it on your resume. Mike is a leader of a fantastic church plant in Ventura, CA. You should check out the church website here.