I’ve tried to write this blog about manliness about three times. And each time I’ve tried a different approach.
I think that asserting one’s masculinity is dumb. I think that it is a frivolous activity that dominates the modern man’s time, energy and brain space. To be so consumed by our “identity” or “identifying markers” makes me feel sad in my spirit. But this is what most men do, both the saint and the sinner.
They do crazy things, stupid things to say to the world, “Hey, look at how much of a man I am.” Although in reality it isn’t manly, but foolish. Leaping from the top of three story buildings into a pool to show us how awesome you are doesn’t make you a man. Or drag racing off the lights in the middle of the night. It’s moronic and potentially dangerous.
Men have been known to pump iron for hours and hours. To the point where some could be a body double for a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. This isn’t a symbol of your manhood. It’s an example of your ignorance to what is truly of value, in a man, to a woman and to society in general. The size of your biceps or triceps or how ripped your abs are should not be the identifying marker others recognize you by.
Having a truck that towers over the rest of societies’ vehicles for no other reason than you want to have a big truck is ridiculous. Everyone makes the joke that people that have super large trucks are compensating for something.Owning a car that can only been seen in a blur is a safety hazard, for yourself and those driving around you. Puffs of diesel exhaust and speeding tickets should not be the measure of who you are.
To amass a driveway of toys, a house filled with the latest gadgets, or to go around flashing your fist fulls of cash for everyone to see isn’t an example of how much bigger and better of a man you are than the rest. It tells us that you don’t understand what is truly valuable. And you are completely fool hearty to say the least.
I don’t know how to say it any plainer.
Manliness is not measured in feats of strength or courage.
Manliness is not measured in pounds of muscle or pounds of iron bench pressed.
Manliness is not measured in the horsepower of your vehicle’s engine.
Manliness is not measured in the things you collect or the cash you have.
When I look into the Scriptures this is what I see.
Proverbs 31:30 says that “beauty is fleeting”, true of a man or a woman. So what will become of your manliness when your muscles begin to sag and the iron is too much to bench? It will be nothing. You will no longer be a man, according to that measure.
1 John 2:17 says that “The world and its desires pass away…” They do not last, they will not last. So what will become of your manliness when your truck breaks down and your toys rust away? They will be worth nothing. And you will no longer be seen as a masculine figure, but rather an impotent excuse of existence.
Matthew 26:16 says, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” None, gaining everything, having everything is worthless in the end. It does not last. It is all a vapor. And what will your manhood be if you put all that stock into something that will not last? Nothing but a vapor as well.
While deconstructing the way that people measure themselves is all well and good, that leaves us with questions.
How then do we measure a man?
A man is one who is obedient to the Word of God.
Our all, our job, our identity, our manhood, all of that lies in this call to be a man that will listen and obey the commands of God.
Not stuff, not muscles, not money, not cars or trucks, not gadgets or toys or anything else that society has fooled us into believing is our identity and manhood.
The measure of a man is in his obedience to the Word of God.
How do you measure a man?
Let me know it the comments below.