Monday, March 30, 2009

Be a Real Man

The older I get, the more I realize how backwards my views on being a man were when I was younger. I used to think being a man meant being physically strong, knowing how to do everything, not taking crap from anyone, and having lots of people respect you.

Then I got married. And I realized that trying to gain those things meant that when I always had to be right, it hurt my wife's feelings. And that not taking any crap meant being a jerk. And showing off and spouting off to get people's respect actually took it away. I have talked in length with my friend Kevin about how glad we are that we're getting older - because it means we're further away from the young idiots we used to be. It's the process though. It's called maturing, and if you're a man you need to do it. Being a real man is about inner strength, taking responsibility, leading humbly but courageously, and following God.

Then I had a son. Now everything I do is up for potential adoption by my son as he grows up. Suddenly I want him to be different than I currently am. I don't want him to have problems with anger like I do. I don't want him to waste his time watching TV and playing video games. I want him to be passionate and bold about his beliefs. And I realize that these are all the things I wish I was, but am not.

So, what to do? What to do is to stop going on being the man I don't want to be, and start becoming the man I do want to be, and the man I want my son to grow up wanting to be like. It's time for us men to start living the life of the strong Christian we're supposed to. Stand up against injustice, give generously, lead humbly and wisely, get your strength and wisdom from God, respect, honor and cherish your wife, and for the sake of their future and yours, spend lots of time with your kids - loving them and affirming them. Watch what you say. Leave your pride behind and live for others for a change. It's time that being a man meant something more than sitting around being bossy and watching football. Stop being a control freak, stop micromanaging, start encouraging. Start being a real man. It's time for us to get off our butts and start working hard - for God, and for our families, and for others. And get in shape so you CAN work hard. Stop living for yourself like some selfish little kid - shut up about how great you are and prove it. Prove you're great by not trying to be. Help raise your kids, love your wife, lead your family financially, spiritually, and morally. Be a man of integrity in your job - don't squeeze out extra minutes if you're hourly, and if you're salary, don't use that as an excuse to not put the hours in. Are you spending time with other men, sharpening one another as iron sharpens iron?

The world needs you. Your family needs you. The people around you need you. When they look to you for leadership and integrity, will you stand tall as a real man? Or will you not be up to the challenge. Start now. I am. Get involved.

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