The Making and Testing of A Man
January 24, 2013 in Activism
Manhood in America has long been under attack from various sources and with no shortage of deceptive tactics, men have been convinced and are still being convinced to abdicate their God given responsibility of leadership in both family and society. Men have become confused while listening to the the false counsels of the elite and their vices, a wayward society, their own darkened hearts, and the ancient and eternal enemy of their souls. Failed marriages producing broken families and fractured children then grow up only to repeat the cycle over and over again with society and the world at large suffering as a result. Yet, there is hope. Hope of a true great awakening deriving not from an internal source but from THE external source of Divine power, God Himself, embodied in the person of Christ Jesus, the author of life and the perfect man who is the ultimate example of manhood. No other “awakening” has any hope of lasting, generational endurance without this essential truth being understood and accepted. The quotes from the authors below point in His direction. Men of America and world, …..It’s time to revive and accept the rightful responsibility of servant leadership. For the sake of our own lives, and for those we love.
“The talk at the table turned to what women found interesting in men…One girl said she liked a man with dark eyes….Another girl said she preferred strong, muscular men. Another said she was attracted to men with beards. Then someone asked, ‘Deirdre, what do you like in a man?’ They fell silent waiting.
She put her cloth to her mouth. The fire burned warmly at her back. ‘It is good for a man to be strong,’ she said. ‘A strong man can do so many things. But a man who is both strong and gentle is wonderful. A man must be intelligent, of course, but if he is also humble, that makes him all the more appealing…a man who is strong enough to live a disciplined life, but who is honest above all, but kind…a man with courage to stay with the same task year in and year out, even if it is boring or tiring or painful, simply because it is his duty…a man with the courage of faithfulness. I love all these things about a man.’ There was silence.” – Robin Hardy: from “The Chataines Guardian”
“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:6-7
“There is a process in making steel and there is a process God uses to make a godly man. They are very similar. Do you find yourself in the fire? Do you find yourself in deep pain as your hopes and dreams are burned up before your eyes? You should know that your hardship is not by chance. It is by design. A sovereign design. The God who created you and chose you has something very unique for you to do. But first He must purify you, allowing the slag to come to the top where it can be skimmed away. That can only occur in the flames and heat of adversity. That may not be a popular message, but its a true message. All is not lost if you find yourself in the fire. God is simply getting you ready to fulfill the purpose for which you were created. You’re not alone in those crushing circumstances. You’re not by yourself in that furnace. In fact, you’re in the very best of company. Making steel is no walk in the park. The process requires unbelievable heat and searing fire. But what you have at the end is very, very strong and yet can be shaped by a master’s hands. In the Psalms we see God’s man, David, endure crushing pressure and fiery trials and emerge on the other side, shaped by the hand of God for greatness. In today’s uncertain world, men still face the stress and heat of adversity. But God can use that fire in a man’s life and bring him through it all, strong, purified, flexible, and ready for anything, like tempered steel.” – Steve Farrar: from “Tempered Steel”
“It is painful, being a man, to have to assert the privilege, or the burden, which Christianity lays upon my own sex. I am crushingly aware of how inadequate most of us are, on our actual and historical individualities, to fill the place prepared for us.” – C.S. Lewis: from “God in the Dock”
“You know that the rulers of the gentiles lord it (rule in a harsh or authoritarian manner) over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (servant). And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. Even as the Son of man (Jesus) came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 20:25-28)
THE FOUR PILLARS OF MANHOOD: by Stu Weber: from “Tender Warrior”
“KING, WARRIOR, MENTOR, FRIEND”
THE KING function is clearly central to Scripture’s themes. Our God is the “King of kings.” His Son, the second Adam, is destined to (and already does) rule “with all power and authority.” Adam, the prototype man, is instructed beside the Genesis Spring to “have dominion.”
THE HEART OF THE KING is a provisionary heart. The king looks ahead, watches over, and provides order, mercy, and justice. He is authority. He is leader. He is “Fliint McCullugh and Seth Adams” on one horse and under one hat. He is, in Moore and Gillette’s words, “the energy of just and creative ordering.” The king in a man is “under orders” from higher authority.
THE WARRIOR function is equally unmistakable in Scripture. Our God is the Warrior of both Testaments. Gentle Jesus, meek and mild? He closes the Book on a white war horse, in a blood splattered robe, with a sword in His mouth (figuratively) and a rod of iron in His hand. The Book ends with a roar, not a whimper. Within the epistles, the mature believing man is often described in militant terms – a warrior equipped to battle mighty enemies and shatter satanic strongholds.
THE HEART OF THE WARRIOR is a protective heart. The warrior shields, defends, stands between, and guards. According to Moore and Gillette, he invests himself in “the energy of self disciplined, aggressive action.” By warrior I do not mean one who loves war or draws sadistic pleasure from fighting or bloodshed. There is a difference between a warrior and a brute. A warrior is a protector. Whether he’s stepping on intruding bugs or checking out the sounds that go “bump” in the night. Whether he’s confronting a habitually abusive Little League coach or shining a flashlight into a spooky basement. Whether he is shoveling snow or helping women and children into the last life boat on the Titanic. Men stand tallest when they are protecting and defending. A warriror is one who possesses high moral standards, and holds to high principles. He is willing to live by them, stand for them, spend himself in them, and if necessary, die for them. No warrior ever made that more obvious than Jesus of Nazareth. He who is the ultimate Peace Maker will establish that peace from the back of a great white horse as the Head of the armies of heaven. Maybe these are some of the reasons why the most humiliating thing you can call a man is “coward.” And maybe, just maybe, the warrior in a man explains something else about him. Ever notice how aloof a man can appear sometimes? Could it be that the warrior in him is a little out of sync? Soldiering, after all, is connected with pain. And pain hurts. A warrior gets accustomed to strapping on layers of protective insulation. Even a tender heart can be effectively hidden under a half inch of armor plate. When you’re made to be a protector and soldier, it can be hard to display the tender side. Every parent of a little boy knows that warrior tendancies are part of the package. They arrived when the boy did. It doesn’t matter if you never give your little guy a toy gun; he’ll use his finger. Appalled at the idea of a toy hand grenade? Creative little warriors get by fine with exploding dirt clods, nuclear pine cones, or high concussion snow balls. I heard from one frustrated lady on this score just a few weeks ago. She didn’t want her little boy to conform to such violent societal expectations. She wanted him to play with peaceful things. Imagine her chagrin when he came roaring out of the bedroom squeezing off round after round from the protruding leg of a fuzzy teddy bear. Why did he do that? It’s just part of who he is as an apprentice defender.
THE MENTOR function is not only modeled through the pages of the Bible, it is explicitly commanded in the form of “teaching them to observe” and “discipling.” Our God is the teacher in whose instruction we “delight.” The only perfect Man was the Discipler of all nations. And men who follow Him are to “teach others also.”
THE HEART OF THE MENTOR is a teaching heart. The mentor knows. He wants others to know. He models, explains, and trains. He disciples first, his wife and kids, then others. He has a spiritual heart. As Moore and Gillette note (in the archetype they refer to as the “magician”), he exercises “the energy of initiation and transformation.” A man is supposed to know things. Like how a car runs. Or the inner working of a hair dryer. Or the capitol of Nepal. Or how many legs are on a spider. Or how many miles to the next rest stop. Or when the weather will turn. It’s up to him to maintain a working knowledge of why electricity flows, dogs bark, birds migrate, hamsters die, trees lose their leaves, dads lose their hair, and girls down the street “act weird.” Why do family members ask the man of the house these things? Because men are supposed to know how things work. And what to do next. And where to go from wherever you are. Men are supposed to be able to teach life.
THE FRIEND or “lover” (but never to be prostituted by the isolated erotic) is the function most endearing. We are drawn to God who defines Himself by it: “God IS love.” He insists that the ultimate point of all Scripture centers on loving Him and one another. It is at one and the same time the most basic instruction of Scripture and the “new commandment” given to every man.
THE HEART OF THE FRIEND is a loving heart. It is a caregiving heart. Passionate, yes. But more. Compassionate (“I will be with you”). The friend in a man is a commitment maker. And a promise keeper. His is “the energy that connects men to others and to the world”. Sourced in Scripture, observed in history, and experienced personally, these four pillars bear the weight of authentic masculinity. They co-exist. They overlap. And when they come together in a man, you will know it. You will feel it. You will be touched by it. Like four strands of steel in a cable, they will hold you.”