There’s been much talk in the “evangelical church” and christian blogosphere about the problem of the “feminization” of the church. Some even see the “emasculation” of Christian men as one of the largest threats to the evangelical church. Really? As a result, we’re seeing examples of churches challenging Christian men to be more manly and indirectly calling for an old school hierachy in the roles of men and women. What does that mean?
This past Sunday, I focused my teaching on one verse: Colossians 3:19 [Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.] and utilized Ephesians 5 for more clarification. You can listen to the sermon here. Two Sundays ago, we focused on verse 18 [Wives, submit to your husbands as is fitting in the Lord]. Click for the blog post or the sermon. FYI, we’ve been going through an expository study through Colossians.
I agree. There is an issue. We do need to address the absence and silence of the larger Christian male individual community in their marriages, families, churches, and society. But here’s my question: Who exactly are we listening to as role models to shape our identity as MEN? While important aspects such as pleasure, protection, and provision are alluded to by the larger pop culture, it is often distorted. In addition, what it will NEVER do is speak to the spiritual aspect of those responsibities and privileges.
Maybe, I have this all wrong. Maybe, Jesus really wants me to be a different kind of man than I’ve sought to be. If so, I’m in some serious shit [just trying to sound more manly here].
I’m sorry I’m not a real man. I repent that I’m not so tough and rugged; I’m sorry that I don’t own a gun, hunt bears, eat juicy raw red meat; I’m sorry that I’m not obsessed with Jack Bauer, Ultimate Fighting Club, and learn the various submission moves; I’m sorry that I don’t demand sex from my wife every single day; I’m sorry that I’m not a complete success with a portfolio of real estate, fancy cars, and season tickets to Seahawks games; I’m sorry I don’t enjoy hard liquor, chew tobacco, and idolize the Marlboro man; I’m sorry because I’m simply just not man enough. And Jesus, forgive me for this grievious unmanly thing – I drive a Jetta [and a minivan]. But you already knew that because you’re omniscient. Forgive me.
Additonal Confession: The rumors are true – I secretly listened to Air Supply when I was in high school. Forgive me…Jesus.
For now Jesus, I want to love and worship you, love and honor my wife, protect and provide for my children, and teach, serve, and equip the church where I pastor. While you’ll eventually transform me into the man I need to be, I will love mercy, seek justice, and walk humbly with you.
I love how God speaks through the Scriptures in 1 Samuel 16:7 around the story of David’s selection:
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things human beings look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Fellow Christian brothers: Don’t be so consumed by the outward appearance; Focus on your heart.