Last week we talked about young men thinking that they didn’t feel like men. My advice to them was if they wanted to feel like a man they had to act like a man. And the natural question that follows is, “What does a man act like?” The following touches on just one example of how a man acts and faces life.
First of all, as men we have to stop being ashamed of our gender, of the way God made us. There’s a very powerful attack taking place on masculinity in our culture today and we have to be aware of what is taking place. At its core is the spiritual warfare that is trying to remove the leader and protector of women, children, and families. Without that barrier all that is good and innocent is corrupted and killed. Just look at what happens to single moms and fatherless children—statistically they are devastated. The difficult lives they lead are filled with hopelessness and despair, poverty, and victimization.
During a sermon, Pastor Mark Driscoll once asked, “Men, are you man enough to love and lead the family God has given you, even if it’s not the one you envisioned?”
Well, are you?
If you aren’t married with children yet I can tell you that the likelihood of your family being the way you envision them now is probably not going to happen. If you are married with young kids you’ll know what I’m talking about when they get older.
Part of being a man is playing the hand you’re dealt. Despite whatever kind of man, husband, and parent you are; your wife and children are each uniquely created and have individual free will. That means you cannot predict or control how they will turn out or what kind of choices they will make.
Perhaps you always dreamed of having a son to follow in your footsteps and carry your name forth but God gave you all girls to raise. Maybe one of those daughters turned to drugs or develops an eating disorder. Or you had a child born with special needs. Possibly you always wanted to be a musician but circumstances forced you to be a plumber in order to feed your family. Maybe you wanted your wife to stay as beautiful as the day you married her, but illness has aged her before her time. Or maybe your wonderful wife became mentally ill and is no longer the woman you married.
These are things no man envisions when he thinks about having a family, but they are probably the norm instead of the exception. But no matter how things turn out you don’t cut and run—you stay and make the best of it. You use your power as a man to make the lives of those who depend on you better. You empower them to grow in ways not possible if you were not in their life.
That’s one of the roles of a man—to lead his family, especially in times of strife, turmoil, and confusion. And you don’t bitch and complain about it. You suck it up, do what has to be done, and do the right thing for the right reason—regardless of the personal consequences.
That’s what acting like a man looks like.
To find out more on helping boys become men, check out Rick’s newest book, A Man in the Making, at www.betterdads.net