Today one of my Facebook friends shared an article that was entitled “What Women Want in a Godly Man.” Being the sucker that I am for stuff like that, I read it. It had five things that women find attractive in a man outside of, you know, the muscles, nice facial hair, and, well, hair on the top of the head as well. These things were honesty, purity, strength (not physical), compassion, and humility. These were all great things, and it did help me examine myself a little, but it really has helped launch me into a thought. How does a Godly man carry himself throughout the day around everyone, not just women?
Throughout my life, I have been blessed to get to walk alongside and watch some incredible men of God. By watching these men, I have learned so much, not only about how to behave, but how to serve God in a masculine, manly way. I have heard a lot of great Christian men say things like “We have to protect these women and children,” and they say it like they want to go out and beat the crap out of the next guy that looks at anybody weird. There really is something good about that, but doesn’t that miss the point a little bit? One of the verses that sticks out to me from the whole Bible is James 1:27.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
This begs the question, “What does it mean to ‘look after orphans and widows in their distress?'” Does that mean that we go around puffing our chests out in front of them and putting the beat down on anybody who poses a threat to them? I don’t think so. I really feel like James is saying something different here. Looking after someone means taking the fall for them or with them, being with them in their times of trouble. Meeting them in their mourning, and in their triumphs. Doing everything to help them succeed, and being by their side even when they fail. To me, being a man is a lot more than “speaking softly and carrying a big stick.” True Christian manhood looks a lot different than the manhood presented in our culture. Instead of manliness being decided by who can dish out the most punishment, manliness in Christ is determined by who is willing to take the biggest beating for someone else. The words of Jesus from John 15:12-13 illustrate what it means to love someone, to look out for someone.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Jesus was a man of God if there ever was one. He could have looked out for the marginalized by destroying the people responsible for their situations, but he didn’t. Jesus could have put these people in their rightful place, but he gave these people something better than money, health, and power. He gave them life. Jesus died so that we could live. If we truly are followers of Christ, we are not like soldiers marching off to war, but we are people carrying our crosses to Calvary. Over 2,000 years ago, a man took care of His people in a way that people did not understand. Will we be man enough to follow?
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” -1 Corinthians 1:18