Hello readers. Welcome to my heart. Let's begin.
So right now, you're really getting a chance to view a great portion of my heart. With my new obsession of biblical manhood and an already growing desire for a men's ministry one day, this issue is always something I'm thinking about. Literally. Like, I dare you to randomly ask me what's the latest thought of this dilemma and I'll be very ready to share---it's seriously always on my mind.
So, in my pursuit of biblical manhood I have watched myself begin with a thought, and then enter into subsets from that previous thought. For example, my first thought began when I was thinking about true biblical manhood, I felt like I needed to see some examples of it. Then I turned to my church and noticed their were a lack of variety because their was a lack of men in the church. Then I said, "That's strange. Why is there more women in this auditorium than men?" Then I started some research and began to look every Sunday and just saw the ratio between men and women in the church was substantial. So then I asked myself, "Well, if they're not here, where in the world are they?"
And that question began the burden. I didn't know what I was truly asking God at the time, but now I do. "God, where are the men? Where are your sons? Where are the leaders? What are they doing if they're not here?" But perhaps the most important question I finally asked, "What has their hearts other than God?"
So I turned to culture to answer that question. And, honestly, it was very obvious. It's obvious because you'll find a common characteristic in men---- when they find something they believe in strongly, they'll give their lives to it---figuratively. I looked at the culture and honestly just began to listen to them; because men love to show off their gods. So, I started to find where the men were, and they were rapping, playing sports, and chasing money, in whatever way they feel is the best way to get money.
Have I summed up the men of our culture?
But, let's not focus on specifics and just get into the meat of this dilemma, because I hope you're curious in my opinion of what the Male Dilemma may look like. And, I'm going to say that the Male Dilemma is that men are looking for their value in the wrong things.
I have to repeat. I feel the Male Dilemma is that men are looking for their value in the wrong things. Illustration time? Let's do it.
So I have the privilege of working at a hotel where a lot of "famous people" come stay while they're visiting Auburn. And, on this certain day, I had the privilege of working bellhop, and for the ones who don't know these guys, they are the nice gentlemen that help you with your luggage. (tip them!) So before the day begins, I'm getting briefed on the ins and outs of how to do the job well, and also who I should be expecting to arrive at the hotel. We have a V.I.P. list at work, which means the people on this list should be known by name so that we can greet them. Guys on this list were Charles Barkley, Bo Jackson, Lee Corso, Erin Andrews, Desmond Howard, and other guys from Sportscenter. And, I had the pleasure of coming into direct contact with all of them. My first was Bo Jackson, the AUBURN GREAT, Bo Jackson. And there I was, stomach in a knot as this expensive car comes rolling into our unloading area. The other bellhops recognize the car and they look at me and say, "You want this one? That's Bo Jackson." Yes, I'll take this one." I say to the guys and I rush up to the driver side to meet him. And, I don't know what I was expecting, but, something happened as I greeted this man with his family. I realized he was a normal guy.
No Claude, that's Bo Jackson.
No subconscious, this is a regular guy who happens to be very popular. Then my mind began to race as I'm helping them with their bags. "What if Bo didn't have the Heisman trophy or the recognition or the Auburn spirit or whatever, what if he didn't have those things, would I have ran up to that car with this silly knot in my stomach?"
Say it with me, "NO, I wouldn't have."
I would have gladly helped him like I did all the other "regular" people. So it hit me, "Why in the heck do we value this guy more than all these other people I helped today? And what are we communicating when we treat them like this?" And oh baby did it hit me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. We're communicating to this former Auburn athlete and great that, "You're only valuable to me because you played football and did it so well that you won a Heisman trophy and made us love you." So, I'm beginning to tap into where a lot of men are finding their value. Football stars get great respect. Rappers get all the women and fame and people love them. I look at Lil Wayne and laugh at the women that find him attractive, because I know if he was a regular guy working a regular job he wouldn't be as popular as he is with the ladies. So, we're communicating this to these men that they are only valuable if they are, rappers, sport athletes, have lots of money, have lots of girls----SO THIS IS WHERE MY BROTHERS ARE AT!! GOD! I FOUND THEM! I FOUND WHERE YOUR SONS ARE! I HAVE FOUND WHERE YOUR SONGS ARE POURING THEMSELVES INTO! And, we/culture are continuing to feed men this synthetic manhood mush. And guess who's the blame....
You, Mr./Ms. reader.
All of us.
We're the blame for this. Manhood in modern day culture is being defined by these foolish things. So of course men are going to want to be rappers. Of course we're going to want to be superstar athletes. Of course we're going to want to be rich, because the world is telling us, THAT'S WHEN YOU'RE VALUABLE. It pains me that a man that God created in His own image is finding his value in how well he can run,catch, throw a football, or how well he can charm women, or how well he can rap, or how whatever. And we've fallen into the cultural trap, pushing our men into pursuing other things besides their true reason for being in existence. And I'm not saying doing or participating in any of these things are necessarily wrong, but they're wrong when a man feels that's who he is.
I watched a football campus last regular season, walk into Jordan Hare stadium to watch just a guy that transferred to our school. Some of us knew he had the potential of being awesome, but many didn't. He was just another quarterback that transferred into Auburn University. But then, we watched as this young man began to shock us with his talent and his popularity grew. And by the end of the season, we were praising him. Facebook status and Facebook pictures and stadium signs and t shirts and we communicated to this guy, "You were nothing, insignificant, a nobody----until....until you blew us away with your talents and showed us you're an amazing athlete. NOW, you're valuable. NOW you're worth loving. NOW, you're worth having my attention.
I bet you think this is a stretch. Claude, you're being extreme. I can understand that, especially if you're guilty of doing this. I know when it first came to me I was hesitant about it, completely ignored it. But the more I pursued biblical manhood and saw the desperate need for it in our society, the more this was exposed to me. We're hurting ourselves. The world needs more strong and true men of God but we're not valuing them at all. The world needs more Godly father's but we're not valuing them at all. So, since Christian men and good fathers aren't valued, is it plain and simple why men choose to consume themselves with the other chases of value?
I should end it here, because I can talk for days about this. I heard one of my favorite pastors, Pastor Craig Groschel of Life Church say this, "Find your misery, Find your ministry." And this topic burdens me, bad. Because I know now that God wants His sons back. He's righteously angry for their love. See my previous blog about that called You God, Jealous?
Thanks for reading,