Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The 40 Year-Old...Failure to launch…The Notebook!

First, let me open this post by saying this is about men being Men…and I get to write this post for two reasons: 1 – It’s my blog and I get to post what I want and 2 (and more importantly) - I’ve been this or should I say, not been this. I’m not proud of it, but I was and I’m not anymore. The fact that in the past I’ve struggled through this, skirted responsibility to lead my family and often chose the selfish and highly immature road to personal comfort qualifies me to relate to this sad & pitiful way of life, but does not qualify me to write this post. What qualifies me to write this post is the fact that Christ has called this out in me, led me toward confession and repentance and drastically changed what I understand it to mean to be a man and to lead.

It used to be that I thought a man was the guy that pushed his way through others. The guy that could make people feel smaller than him or get others to accept his point of view, even if by force or embarrassment. The guy that cursed the most and loudest, viewed women as a means to their personal happiness and pleasure, and could out drink the other guys was my view of a man. That stuff was SO far from the truth that I can’t even see it from where I’m now standing. If you’d have asked me then, I wouldn’t have said all that. That wasn’t all consciously thought out back then. And at the time I didn’t know I had the wrong idea of what a man is supposed to be. I thought I was tough, virile and confident. Really that stuff amounts to cowardly, disrespectful and cocky. None of that makes you a man…at best it makes you a boy, at worse…a predator.

I know better now, it cost me a lot to learn, but I know what God calls us to be as men. 1 Timothy 6:11 & 12 says:

But you, man of God, flee from all this (talking about the 5 prior chapters), and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

So here’s the point of this blog…we have a man problem in the church. Not that we don’t have males coming to church (that’s an issue too, but that’s also another blog), but that most of the males in our churches aren’t men. They resemble, almost identically, those outside the church. This is a problem because as Christians we are called to be different than the world. Sadly our culture glorifies this man-boy idea. “Romantic Comedies” like Failure to Launch, The Notebook, and The 40 Year-Old Virgin make failure to progress into manhood funny, cute and quirky. They glorify adultery, living at home and discontentment with “growing up.”

But when we fail to be Men, then our kids fail to grow into men. It’s because of this we have guys that grow up and refuse to lead their families, that can’t commit to a career or that can’t commit to one woman. They readily move to the bed of another woman, because they’re “just not in love with their wife anymore.” They live at home and refuse the responsibility of the “real world” and that same refusal to grow up is translated to their children when they finally decide to “settle down.” Their sons never learn what it means to be a gentleman (because chivalry is dead), what it means to protect their loved ones, to stand firm and strong in their convictions, or to lead with sensitivity and confidence. Their daughters don’t know that they should EXPECT for a man to treat them respectfully and with honor, that they are worth being pursued not as an object of sex, but as an woman to be admired and adored, that they should slam the door in the face of any man that even attempts to belittle them or make them feel inferior and that God says they are lovely and beautiful and worth every bit of devotion capable of being given by a man of God.

The following video is aimed at Pastors being men that lead the other men in our church. And while one of the best examples of a man in the church ought to be the Pastor, THE example of a man in the home has to be the husband/father in that home. The growing of a man starts in the home. Notice the stuff that Pastor Patrick says…One third of guys in the 20s & early 30s live with their parents (a 100% increase in the last 20 years), guys 18 – 42 change jobs an average of 11 times, the average age of video game users is 35 yrs old and every second of every day $3000 is spent on pornography…check out the video…

The current state of the men in The Church breaks my heart. We’re supposed to be the example of a man to those outside the church, but more important than that, we’re supposed to be the example of a man to our wife and kids. I have other stuff to say, but this post is already too long. I’ll post another one at the least; maybe more…we’ll see how it develops.

In Him,