Purpose




Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace





Thursday, February 25, 2016

Being a real man

***Another deeply personal blog post.... I'm still not sure whether to post it or not, but after putting all the thought and work into that I did; I might as well.

  I have been making a lot of progress lately in areas that I have struggled with for years. I don't like to over analyze such things, but it has been a reason for introspection on why now.....what is different now from all the previous years that I carried this heavy cross?

  For a while, I chalked it up to finally believing God loves me. In the last 2 years since I came to that crucible, I have experienced growth in ways like never before. I don't want to minimize that, or God's role in this process. As I have thought about it, I have come to see something else that has helped me: I have slowly adjusted my thinking on what a real man is.

  A quick explanation for those not too familiar with the causes a of and issues relating to same-sex attraction:  One big thing that is in most or all guys that struggle with this issue:  they don't feel like a male. Instead of viewing girls as different and opposite of what they are, they view boys as different and opposite of what they are. The older a boy gets, the worse it usually gets. They admire boy's bodies instead of girls. Boys are a mystery instead of girls. By the time they hit their late teens and enter young adulthood, they don't feel like a man; and want what they see in who they view as real men. This envy, admiration, and gender confusion becomes extremely sexualized.

  I could be a little off the mark, but I don't believe I am by coming to this conclusion: by our culture defining what boys and men are, what they should do, how they should act, etc; we are helping to contribute to gender confusion and same-sex attraction. Notice I said "help contribute", not totally cause. By emphasizing to young boys and men that men must do certain things and act in certain ways, we are helping to cement further their thinking that they are not real men or boys; and are not like real men and boys.

  From a fairly young age, we start putting these ideas in boys' heads of what real men and boys are like. Now obviously, as Christians we don't do all of these; but they are out there to be heard and seen on TV, in movies, in school, billboards, radio, from other males, and multiple other places:



Real men don't cry

Real men are tough

Real men have facial hair

Real men smoke and/or chew

Real men drive pick up trucks



Real men hunt and fish

Real men have sex with as many females as they can. The more notches on the belt, the more manly you are

Real men curse

Real men drink beer

Real men wear boots and blue jeans

Real men never back down from a fight

Real men eat, drink, and breathe whatever sport is in season at the time



Real men don't like to shop, unless it is Dick's Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops, Gander Mountain, Cabela's,  or Home Depot.

Real men can change their own oil, brake pads, or any other minor car upkeep and maintenance 

Real men don't mind getting dirty

Real men have tattoos....multiple ones

Real men aren't afraid of anything

Real men wouldn't write a blog post like this.....or would they?

    There are probably other things that could be added, but these things cover it pretty well. And it depends on where you live what constitutes being a real man. In western states, real men wear cowboy boots and cowboy hats. In ocean and beach areas, real men surf and boat.

  I looked my list over after I typed it, and only found one thing I do on there: I like to wear blue jeans. I realize that ideas of what real men do and don't do differ among people. I have my own ideas of what  real men don't do:



Real men don't wear earrings, or any flashy jewelry



Real men DON'T smoke or chew

Real men wait until marriage for sex, and then stay faithful to their wife.

Real men don't wear certain colors

Real men don't get tattoos.

Real men don't play golf

Real men don't drive a Prius



Real men don't watch half naked men beating on each other or writing around on a mat with each other

Real men shave

Real men don't have long hair

Real men don't own strip clubs......... (sorry, had to slip that one in)

  I have more, but will leave it at that. My list may be offensive to someone who reads it and does those things, and they may feel I am wrong for daring to suggest them.....but what about the ideals that have been put on guys like me that I must do certain things or act in certain ways because I am a man? It may not always be verbally said, but the inference is there that if you don't fulfill the cultural ideals of what real men are like; then you are not a real man. For guys struggling with gender confusion and same-sex attractions, this causes them to feel less like men than they already do; and adds to their struggles.



  As I keep traveling this road I am on, I am coming to realize that cultural norms and  long held ideas of what men and boys should or should not do, do not define me or my masculinity. It has been a slow process and long in coming, but I am finally seeing that I am not less of a man because sports bore me and I view them with annoyance and disgust, I am not less of a man because I am emotional, vulnerable, and cry. I'm not less of a man because I take my car to Walmart for an oil change. I am not less of a man because I love to shop........ and not at sporting good stores.....though I do wear blue jeans when I am shopping.....

  We need to toss out these preconceived notions and ideas of what makes a real man, No, that doesn't mean boys should play with Barbie dolls and wear pink? No, but they should be encouraged to pursue what they're interested in and what they enjoy within reason. They should be affirmed as male even if they don't do everything the culture around them says they should do as men and boys.

I play the piano (I actually got made fun of in high school for taking piano lessons since I am a male)

I cry while reading books, watching movies, listening to music..... and other times.

I am emotional and vulnerable

I am more open than most men

I love to shop

I love to read

I love to knit. (No, not really....just made that one up)

I enjoy cooking

  And I am still a man. I am still masculine. I am not a carbon copy made from the ideal man. I am my own person with my own interests, passions, and talents. The more I have realized this and come to accept it, the more help and growth I have experienced. I don't have to be like the Marlboro man, John Wayne, or Ben Roethlisberge to be a real man.

  I believe the best place to go for what a man should be like is the Bible. I may never own a pickup - though I wouldn't mind having one, and not so I feel more like man - I will never drink, get a tattoo, or a lot of the things associated with men; but I want to strive for these........ for these are what make a real man:

Honesty

Integrity

Faithfulness

Self control

Sexual integrity

Patience

Upstanding 

Gentle




Vulnerable

Kind

Friendly

Prayerful

Christian

Diligent

Disciplined

Humble

Compassionate





It takes more of a man to say no to sexual immorality than to have an endless list of sexual conquests.

It takes more of a man to live a Christian life than a godless one

It takes more of a man to pray for his food in public than to let loose with a few curse words.

It takes more of a man to refuse drugs, smoking, and beer than to indulge in them.

It takes more of a man to open up about his feelings and dreams than to stay closed off to everyone.

  If we are going to define manhood and say what a real man is like, then we should go to the Bible to get that definition; not culture, not TV, not the world, not sports....... but the Bible. I want to be God's idea of a man, not the world's idea, not popular culture's idea; but God's.


What this dying world could use is a willing Man of God
Who dares to go against the grain & works without applause;
A man who'll raise the shield of Faith, protecting what is pure;
Whose love is tough & gentle; a man whose word is sure.

God doesn't need an Orator who knows what just to say;
He doesn't need authorities to reason Him away;
He doesn't need an army to guarantee a win;
He just needs a Few Good Men.

Men full of Compassion, who Laugh & Love & Cry-
Men who'll face Eternity & aren't afraid to die-
Men who'll fight for Freedom & Honor once again-
He just needs a Few Good Men.

He calls the broken derelict whose life has been renewed;
He calls the one who has the strength to stand up for the Truth.
Enlistment lines are open & He wants you to come in-
He just needs a Few Good Men.

Men full of Compassion, who Laugh & Love & Cry-
Men who'll face Eternity & aren't afraid to die-
Men who'll fight for Freedom & Honor once again-
He just needs a Few Good Men.




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