Wednesday, January 24, 2007

becoming a man: part 2

I think a lot of guys have double lives. Not the kind of double lives we see in the movies. Not the special agent by day, soccer dad by night kind of double lives. I think the kind of double lives that most guys live is played out by the struggle of who they actually are, and who they want to be.

Who men actually are often involves being the married guy who flirts with other women at work, who wants other women to hit on him, and who secretly looks at porn on his computer at home or at work. Who men actually are is often the married guy who rents the "unrated" version of the movie at Blockbuster and Netflix because they secretly hope they will catch a sex scene or two. But most men don't want to admit who they actually are.

No, we want to project an image of someone who has it all together. And as Christian men, this means we project someone who happily married. And many men who do the above are happily married. But they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want part of their house filled with the Spirit and the other part filled with sinful pleasure. This is the double life that many men lead.

But this is not what it is to be a real man. I think real men are those who are faithful to their wives all day long. Not faithful because it is always fun and easy or because it is always gratifying to our selfishness, but because that is what it is to love your wife. Its not just saying I love you as we go out the door. Its not just providing a paycheck and doing a few chores around the house. Being a man, means admitting your weakness to the temptations around you, and finding a strength that is deeper than your own. It means loving your wife, whether she is right there beside you or a million miles away.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

becoming a man: part 1

Is it about hunting and fishing? Is it about tapping into that inner beast who wants to conquer the world? I am not convinced that these are what it is to be a man. Must a man love sports and drink beer? Does he have to love red meat and have a short-temper?

These are the sort of images I think our media gives us about what it is to be a man. And yet, these same beef-eating, beer drinking, sports fanatics are destroying their marriages and leaving their kids high and dry. And if there were two things that a man has been since the beginning of time it is a husband and a father. And these two roles are the ones that are getting left behind.

Currently I am exploring what a real man looks like. Are there any men out there that can "man-up" and do what it takes to be the husband and father they were meant to be? It seems these days that most of us are not up to the challenge. Our culture has told us that its ok for us to be selfish and so we are.

How does a man love and serve his wife? How does he keep himself away from adultery and porn? How does he humble himself before the Lord and seek his face? I know scripture has some things to say about all of this. For now, I am not in answer mode as much as exploration mode. Right now, for me, its a time of seeking.