Monday, November 8, 2010

Real Talk About Being a “Real” Man

What does it mean to be a “real” man?

Yes my posts focus on manhood, masculinity and life from a Christian man’s point of view.

But I have a problem with the “be a real man” talk I often hear in Christian men’s meetings.

The real man talk in a lot of churches is no different than the Miller Light commercials.  You know the ones with the beautiful young female bartender asking, “Do you care how it tastes?”  And what is the message of the commercial; “Man up and get a real beer” ‘cause if you don’t you’re being passive, effeminate or a momma’s boy.  So a men’s group in a church might think it’s cool to say, “Man up and get Jesus!”

Maybe it’s because I get a flashback of the Junior High locker room where guys were picking on the “wimps” and “nerds?”  Ah, who remembers the ol’ locker room conversations where we boasted about sexual conquests, who won the game and how big our, uh, well, let me stop here…

The body of Christ is not called to emasculate men.  We are called to give all men the good news of salvation through Jesus the Christ.  A Christian man’s life starts and ends with surrender, trust and humility toward God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.

There are two things to consider.

First, there are different kinds of men in this world and even in our churches.

Yes, by our Christian standards, a man who neglects his children, cheats on his wife and gambles away his income isn’t being a “real” man.  But will the challenge of being a “real man” change that man’s mind?  Men who live like that simply say to us, “you guys are just a bunch of sissies and you better shut your mouth before I smack YOU!”

How many of us know guys like this?  Their definition of manhood is totally different from ours.

How do we reach these kinds of men in our community and in our churches?  We reach all men only with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by setting Him as the blueprint for our manhood.  For us to “Man up” means more than sticking out our chest and chanting “go men go.”  It means finding our source of identity, values, strength and wisdom in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Second, being a “real” man means being real or genuine and transparent with other men with our joys and struggles, our faith and our fears.  It means I am going to be myself.  I’m the same brother in the dark or in the spotlight.

That is what it means to be real.  That is what men’s ministry really needs.  I think the “ra ra”, “go men go”, “pump your fist” at Christian men’s meetings is silly boasting.  I believe it keeps us from being genuine brothers.  We tend to look like men trying to relive glory days at a football rally.  You’re embarrassing yourselves.

Be real.  Be honest.  No man has it all together.  You need the Father’s hand to hold you and you need the company of other Christian men to stay the course.

It is not as simple as recognizing “real” men from “fake” men.  There are simply different kinds of men who all need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I believe that men of different faiths and worldviews can agree on certain values like loyalty, honor and courage.  Most men don’t care about being liked but they do care about being respected.

As I end this blog on “real man” talk, remember that the Christian man learns to see his masculinity in the light of the God-man, Jesus the Christ.  We trust the Holy Spirit to show us the Son in the Holy Scriptures and to keep us connected to our Heavenly Father.  He is the blueprint, the model, the paradigm of our manhood.  Be God’s man my brothers and trust Jesus!

More next week family.  If you haven’t already please subscribe.

Thanks again for reading.  God bless you!

In the mean time, post your thoughts;

1. Have you seen the “Man Up!” Miller Light commercials?  If so, what do you think?

2. Who is the most “real” man you’ve ever known?

Your brother,

Minister Onorio

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.  Don't assume that you know it all.  Run to God! Run from evil!  Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!” Proverbs 3:5-8 in the Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language

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