Just a Guy?

Posted: January 26, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

You’ve probably heard of the new movie called The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I haven’t seen the movie myself yet, but the basic plot is that a man is born old and ages backwards until I presume he dies as an infant. Well, a few days ago I heard a little Jay Leno joke based on the movie, something to the effect of: “A guy that becomes more and more like a child every day, huh? Women watching this movie are going, ‘Where’s the originality?'” Funny, but sad. In our culture today, there are very little expectations for the American “guy.” Comedians like Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall regularly chime in with their guy-deprecating jokes. They joke about their immaturity, and blame their lack of sexual restraint or respect for women on the fact that they’re “just a guy.” Laying around on the weekends is the norm, and there’s nothing wrong with watching hours of TV. The wife’s a nag, kids are a burden. Every request to look beyond oneself is a drag, an inhibitor to the “guy’s” happily self-constructed world.

O, what a demoralizing model we have in America today. As a young man, surely this self-pleasing, apathetic, complacent lifestyle is not the only thing I have to look forward to, is it? Should I really be satisfied to follow the trend of confinement, only to die with my miserable last words being those John Piper describes: “I’ve wasted it!” I don’t want my life as a “guy” to be a wreckless reckless pursuit of girls, leisure, gadgets and toys.

What’s happened to the respectable model of a man who works hard to provide for and protect his family, who cherishes his wife so dearly the thought of another woman is disgraceful, who loves spending time playing with and teaching his kids, who serves those around him, who seeks to gain wisdom from his elders and share it with the younger? What about the man who longs to learn and loves to teach? The man who is confident and strong, but self-controlled; courageous, selfless. Where is real manhood?

I’m so appreciative of the masculine role models I’ve had in my life. These are men who can repeat 1 Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” First and foremost, my own father has been an inspiration to me by his powerful work ethic, by working hard even under intense stress to provide for us. I only hope I can develop a work ethic partially as strong as his. He’s self-controlled, not given to his emotions because he puts Scriptural truths above fluctuating feelings. I have other examples, such as pastors and teachers. Pastor Arie is a man who I look up to as one who loves his wife and children. He is humble, quick to encourage and quick to apologize. I remember him once becoming mildly frustrated during worship practice with his son, and minutes later confessing his sin in front of the whole band and asking his forgiveness right there. That is a real man. My high school principal and teacher, Mr. Clancy is likewise a strong man of God. Mr. Clancy rises early works hard as a principal at our church school (the CDS), guiding students day in and day out in serving God in school, investing deeply into the school not for personal gain. He then works side jobs as a contractor.

These are men who I look at to see what true manhood is. While our media and culture continue to obscure the image of masculinity, men like these who conform their lives to a Biblical standard blaze paths for me to follow. “Follow me as I follow Christ,” I hear their lives proclaiming. As a man, I am created in the image of God. How incredible! And yet how incredibly easy to forget. In the image of God, shall I continue in childish things? By God’s grace, I hope not.

This Brian Regan bit is fairly loosely related to my post, but I’ll take any excuse to post a Regan clip :).

  1. Michelle says:

    It’s encouraging to read this. I find myself getting caught up in worldly stereotypes, too; girls don’t have that great of a rap, either, depending on to whom you speak. I appreciate the reminder to look beyond what society tells us is normal, and instead to reach for something/one Higher.

  2. zoanna says:

    You are a “prince of a fellow,” as Pappaw would say. Like your hard-working dad.

    Great post. But one little word made me smile: wreckless. You wrote, “I don’t want my life as a “guy” to be a wreckless pursuit of girls, leisure, gadgets and toys. ”

    So, then, you WANT to wreck when you pursue girls, leisures, and so on? I hope you meant “reckless.” 🙂


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