Wanted: "Real Men"
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, NIV)
Over the years, certain industries proudly protected their all male or “macho” image and fiercely resisted opening their doors to women and minorities. Fortunately, time has diminished this practice. I consulted in the oil and gas and law enforcement industries. As a group, these were tough men. Many I met would struggle with Paul’s message in this passage. They readily embrace and echo the first verse all the time. It has become a classic “male mantra” passed down from one generation to the next. It reverberates in locker rooms in sporting arenas across the world. Men tell each other, “Stay awake and pay attention, don’t be afraid, be strong, tough, and act like a real man.”
“Do everything in love” is the part that gives us all the trouble. For men struggling to be and act like men, this is confusing and makes us nervous. We’ve been told love is “a woman’s thing.” Many men have difficulty saying the word “love” in front of other men, and showing love is difficult, if not impossible. Physical embrace on the field is simply “male bonding in a moment of victory and celebration,” but not what you do off the field. In a distant time, Satan surely joined a group of powerful men and changed the conversation. He took God’s Word, twisted it, and created the lie. Introducing fear and insecurity over manhood, Satan dropped Paul’s directive on love. Believing the lie, men say, “Loving is not manly. Hugging is for girls. Real men don’t cry. Showing love is a sign of weakness.” To this I boldly say, “Paul had it right and Satan is a liar.”
Men of God, ask God to show you examples of mighty men of God who understand that God is love and that love is their true source of power. Ask God to fill you with His love. Decide today to put Paul’s teachings into practice. Real Men do everything in love!
Lord, thank You for Your love and for the truth of Your Word on manhood. Jesus, teach me how to be a Mighty Man of God and to walk in love at all times. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.