Devotional Feb 8th: Are We Not Men? We are Devo(-tional)!
I remember growing up and going to An Officer and a Gentleman. I remember in response to seeing that second movie, all the kids in my school were asking each other, ‘Where are you from?” and then gleefully replying, “Only two things come out of [wherever you said you were from], steers and…..and I don’t see no horns so you must be a…..” I also remember seeing Rambo, First Blood with Sylvester Stallone. That movie really started something with growing your hair long, getting huge muscles, and become what we would see today see today as a prepper!
Another definition of a man in the early-mid 80s if you were not a he-man is, you had to be a punk. You colored your hair/got crazy haircuts, you wore combat boots (that you probably borrowed from your he-man brother), wear a leather jacket, de-cried the establishment and listen to Ministry or the Dead Kennedys, The Clash.
Then of course, there were the Preppies: khakis, Lacoste(TM) shirts, college plans, loafers, and family trips to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
We had no idea of what being a man meant then but we tried to fill the gap with the trappings of what it looked like and tried to play at the game of what they did.
This even led me to want to join the Marines. From seeing such movies (maybe too many movies) I dreamed of doing the things they did: jump out of helicopters, crawl through swamps, do a thousand push-ups, march a hundred miles, etc…. I felt it was going to truly make me a man and no one would be able to debate it. But then, I had some eye issues (which required a letter from my congressman–which I got), and then the day I left for Parris Island, I had some mouth/gum issues, and then they gave away my job (which would have been a relatively good job), and then I got mad and walked out and told them to screw off (I had my recruiter ” discharge me from the dep” as they say and I threatened them with a lawsuit since my recruiter said it would not be an issue).
One can only guess regarding what kids think about what it means to be a man today. Do they think it means being incredibly thin and effeminate, with a beard, and a funny hairstyle, glasses, and waving a flag saying, “You cannot grab my pus-y”? Now, I understand that is a fashion statement just as much as a statement of masculinity just like a young man who walks around with his underwear showing and his jeans below his butt. I realize that fashions does not make one less than a man. However, it does not make him more of one, either.
Here is a video from a young woman in Seattle, Washington. From her perspective, it is clear that young men today are just as mixed up as ever:
Thankfully, one of the most important lessons that the Lord has taught me in my many years is that He wants to make me a tough man in his definition more He wants to make me to be one in my definition.
The thing that the Lord has told me is that, in order to be manly, He wants me to be like water. If you think about it, water is really, really tough. It may not have the sexiness of big muscles, but just ask anyone from Indonesia or India or Thailand if water can be tough. I want to be tough! I want to be like Rambo and take whatever the world throws at me and let it go through me without blinking and maintain my composition/composure. I want the ability to remember that when life drives me to my knees, if I reach out for the Lord’s help, that is as far as I will go. I want to have the strength to remember that no matter how many bad guys are out in front of me, my real battle is inside of me and against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. I want to be non-partisan, treating everyone the same, just like water.
If the Lord has made you tough as water, you go around things, you go over and under and things. You cause more damage to computers than fire. You can level a town, making it look like a nuclear bomb hit it.
That is what He did for Paul, a little, bald man. He wants to make you a force to be reckoned with for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control. That is what our Creator’s vision of what manly men really are.
Isaiah 59:19-21 So they will fear the name of the LORD from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream Which the wind of the LORD drives. “A Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the LORD. “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from now and forever.”