WHERE ARE ALL THE REAL MEN ?
What makes us admire a man? In the old days a man was admired for his integrity and inner character, which was naturally visible in his actions. I don't think that has changed. Many of us can still point to someone whom we admire and respect based on those same reasons. But what is happening to men today? I believe men, young and old, are striving to find short cuts to the admiration and respect they crave by superficial means, i.e. brutality, profanity, earrings, homosexuality, gangs, drinking, over sensitivity, submission to female spiritual leadership, allowing women to control them and so on.
Doc Chastain yanked my hair from behind and said " I thought you were a girl". I was 22 years old. My hair was bushy and long. Doc was in his 70's. He was raised in South Georgia. You know, where the men were men and the women were women, and they liked it that way. My Father understood this as well.
At the age of 12 Marshall Saunders gave me a little talk about being a man, acting like a man and "looking" like a man. This he did after I grumbled about how short my mom had accidently cut my hair. He changed my attitude instantly. I don't even know much of what he said. But it rang true.
Today we see men acting more feminine than women, putting in earrings, paying big bucks for braided hair and even getting there nails done. (What is that called? A pedicure or manicure or something?) Up until recently, I've been relieved to see that we do not yet have makeup for men. But wait a minute, come to think of it I did see men's makeup being sold at Bloomindales. Yep, makeup for men, lipstick and more! My wife and I were surprised. How did we get this far? Where are we headed? Where are all the real men? Somebody please, bring some clarity to this!
Perhaps we should see what God has to say on this.
Deut. 22:5 says: "A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the Lord God detests anyone who does this."
Now how do we deal with this in today's cultural climate? I find it interesting that there is no explanation of women's or men's clothing in scripture. Could it be that the difference was plain to see within the context of that culture? I think so. Also, Paul tells women not to over-adorn themselves with braided hair and jewelry, to focus on the inward beauty (1 Tim. 2: 9, 10). If this was the instruction to women, should it not apply to men even more? I say absolutely YES.
So what is the principle here? The principle is that we must not blur the distinctions between men and women! God made them different inside and out. To blur the differences is an insult to His image, in which we were all made.
Then should men have earrings, feminized hair or even makeup if they so wish? Well, I can't stop them. Most men would not use makeup. But to overlook and condone one practice traditionally viewed as feminine (like earrings, hair styles) and disapprove of other things like makeup seems to be inconsistent. If earrings are okay, then why not makeup? Where does it stop? In applying Biblical principles, we must consider the traditions and practices the current culture sees as feminine to a point. But at a greater point the Christian man must ask himself "how far is too far and what is the Biblical view of a man?"
Today's culture militates itself against manliness. The man with good old fashioned manly character is looked down upon, called a male chauvinist pig and in our churches, often considered a bully. Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield refers to this cultural phenomenon. He says that we are becoming a "gender neutral society" and how this is accomplished is by the feminizing of men as a whole. Our young men especially are falling for this junk left and right.
With such modern day confusion over the roles of men and women in our society, it's no wonder that these issues have even church leaders afraid (like mice, not men) to bring Biblical clarity for fear of being labeled insensitive to women or even worse, a male chauvinist. Afterall, one of the most intolerant, insensitive things you could do today is to define what a real "man" or a real "woman" ought to be.
My Father, Doc and Marshall Sauders brought clarity. The clarity came from their manly character far before it came from their words. I never wanted to look like a women and most men don't. But let's take a hard look at what we may be allowing our young men to be influenced by, perhaps too much by the world. Our sons need some clarity. Our daughters even more.
You think about that and I'll go over here and work on a little bit of Biblical Manly integrity and Godly character.