Men today are so afraid to show passion for anything! They think it makes them look weak. They think part of growing up is letting go of â€œchildishâ€ things like that. I disagree—to me, growing up like they describe is a whole lot more like â€œletting go of your spineâ€ than it is letting go of childish behavior!
For it is the only real hope they have to become strong!
Think about it for a moment. What kind of man do you admire most? The beer chugging, foul mouthed, refrigerator repairman cracked, chauvinistic, non religious, non opinionated, dime a dozen, clone, you see portrayed on nearly every sitcom today?
Is that who you picture?
Didnâ€™t think so.
How about William Wallace (Braveheart)? Or Strider from The Lord of the Rings? Is it really Al Bundy from Married with children? Or is it â€œThe Patriotâ€ â€“ played, once again, by Mel Gibson? Not too tough a choice is it? When it comes to a choice between Gomar Pyle and the Gladiator we donâ€™t struggle. But weâ€™ve been duped into thinking that the comical, bumbling idiot who seldom, if ever, knows what is actually going on in the lives of his children is actually what people prefer, what men should be (or all men are good for).
Think youâ€™re not conditioned?
Think back to who you admired as a little boy? Has that changed? Would you have even laughed at Al Bundy or Seinfeld or the clueless amoral three stooges on the sitcom, â€œFriends?â€ See the progression? Itâ€™s hard to notice when it comes on so slow over decades (like the proverbial frog in the kettle), but itâ€™s happened nonetheless.
My son is utterly fascinated with the whole, â€œLord of the Ringsâ€ series out on the big screen. I debated because of his young age about even letting him see it, but acquiesced in the end because I want him to see real men and thereâ€™s so very few around to see. Far from being scared, he is now determined to grow up to be, Aragon (Strider).
Whatâ€™s causing so many boys to start out on the road to Xtreme manhood only to end up at the dead end of Xtreme wimpiness? Was it always like this? I donâ€™t think so. Well, if not, then when did we veer off course? As we look closely, you might be surprised at how easy it is to zoom in to the exact cause.
When did we first begin to notice that boys werenâ€™t growing up very manly any longer? When did men seem to begin to advocate their leadership (and even the interest in it) in the home? When did fathers begin to lose all instincts as a parent? After thousands of years of this being practically second nature in nearly every culture on earth, we now have millions of experts, books, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and medications available to help men uncover the simple basics of fatherhood that for hundreds of generations were, well, how should I put this?
Weâ€™ve complicated things.
Sin did this.
Even Christians now buy into a lot of the dead end crap out there today.
The stuff that leads to death in the end.
The stuff this verse talks about.
Remember when your English teacher taught you the K.I.S.S. principle (no, I’m not talking about the teachers who want to date high-school boys)? It stands for Keep it simple Sally.
Did you forget it?
God isn’t hiding, and marriage, fatherhood, parenting in general, and all of life for that matter isn’t meant to be a mystery that only the spiritual giants ever decipher.
God wants you to ‘get it.’
We complicated it, not Him.
Here’s what we did,
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualitiesâ€”his eternal power and divine natureâ€”have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creatorâ€”who is forever praised. Amen.
26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:18-32 (NIV)
But then, here’s his answer to our stupidity,
14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[a]
16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[b] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:14-18 (NIV)
Sometimes we complicate things with too much “self help.”
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have God help than self help any day.
Think about it.