“One day Saul said to David, ‘I am ready to give you my older daughter, Merab, as your wife. But first you must prove yourself to be a real warrior by fighting the Lord’s battles.’ For Saul thought, ‘I’ll send him out against the Philistines and let them kill him rather than doing it myself.’” (1 Samuel 18:17 NLT)
Have you ever wondered why video games and the futuristic sci-fi movies have such a following? In my era it was basically Super Man, who pretended to be Clark Kent, lowly news reporter. But when the need demanded, Clark would hide for a few seconds, then emerge as Super Man to save the day.
There’s a part of all of us men that wants to be “Super Man” for our family and friends. Why is that? I believe it’s largely because we feel inadequate in the face of all the demands life makes on us. Who is ever ready to be a husband? Father? Spiritual leader?
Too many men seek solace in things that have little or no inherent meaning, trying to make life count for something. Brant Hansen, radio host and author says: “a big reason men in our culture are so aimless or stuck in meaninglessness is because they’re doing meaningless things, such as seeking pleasure instead of something greater or transcendent.”
He gives men six decisions they need to make to set themselves apart and be a blessing to their families and communities: “Forsake the Fake and Relish the Real. Protect the Vulnerable. Be Ambitious about the Right Things. Make Women and Children Feel Safe, Not Threatened. Choose Today Who You Will Become Tomorrow. Take Responsibility for Your Own Spiritual Life.”
As I perused that list it occurred to me that no one in all of history has more fully encapsulated those attributes in a single life than Jesus. Who was ever more manly than the Son of Man, God’s only Son, the Lord Jesus! How can we follow His example? How can we most effectively “forsake the fake” and become the “real” man God created us to become? What is the “track” on which to run the race of life as an authentic man of God? What is the pathway that once found, will lead us out of our aimless life of meaninglessness?
I’m convinced that to the extent we can emulate Jesus’ life, by allowing His Holy Spirit to live in and through us, we’ll find meaning, purpose, value, ministry, hope, and wholeness in our lives. And by so doing, we’ll not only help ourselves as individual men, but enhance the value and meaning of every person’s life in our spheres of influence.
How is such a focused life ever realized? It begins at the foot of the Cross of Christ. When the tears clear enough for you to actually begin to absorb what you’re seeing and experiencing, ask yourself what put the only perfect, sinless Man who ever lived on that Cross?
It was for you, my friend! But why? To allow you to find the one place on this earth where you can forsake the fake and see yourself as you’re seen by God: fallen, but forgiven; filled with value, purpose, meaning, God-given ambition; filled with God’s Spirit who will inform, equip, guide, and enable you to become the man you were created to become.
Will you trust Him to do in, through, and on your behalf what you’re literally unable to do for yourself? Ask Him to forgive, fill, and empower you to be all He created you to become, not so you can impress your family and friends, but so you can be real! So you can finally understand why you were born, and live the life you were meant to live.
Blessings, Ed 😊