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Am I man enough???

I think of myself as a brave man. I served in the military, I was a law enforcement officer, I even took on the role of a school teacher. I’ve camped around wild animals, I get up in the middle of the night to investigate strange noises. In every sense of the word, I find myself brave. 


Since I was little, fear was never my friend. If you wanted to get me to do something stupid, like jumping out of trees, jumping ramps on the bike, all you had to say was “I dare you”. Throw caution to the wind and let’s go. Glory fades, wounds heal, but pride…..




Well, the older I get the more I ask myself am I really brave? Am I really a man’s man? I mean do I have what it takes?


Take Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. What does it really mean to be strong and courageous? To not be discouraged, or afraid?


Is it simply doing the dumb things I have done all my life to prove my worth and value as a man? Is it jumping off the roof to show girls I am more of a man than my friends? Is this what being brave is?


When we look to scripture, we see the ultimate man’s man in Jesus. I am not talking about the feminized version of Jesus we see on social media posts either. I am talking about the ultimate man. The man who says love is laying down your life for friends (John 15:13), the same Jesus not worried about pleasing crowds by telling people to eat His flesh, and drink His blood (John 6:53-58), the same Jesus coming back with a blood stained robe, flaming eyes, and tattooed thigh (Revelation 19). 


And to top it all off, Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:1 says this, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”  So the Bible tells us, especially men, here is the standard you need to rise to. Here is the benchmark, here is what you are called to. 


The standard of being a man is Jesus. 


If that is the standard, then the next question should be, how do I reach this standard?  Well in Romans 3:26 the Bible tells us this, “It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”  So there it is, this is how we follow this standard in one word;


Faith


Now, let’s talk about what faith is, and what it isn’t. First and foremost, faith isn’t about believing facts are true. Faith isn’t sitting here simply going I believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. See, again in our watered down version of Christianity we take this word Faith to simply mean “I believe these facts are true.” 


The problem with this is simple, and found in James 2:19, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!”


The demons believe Jesus is exactly who He claims to be, but yet no one would argue that demons have faith in Jesus. That is because Faith is more than believing facts are true. 


Faith, isn’t saying “I believe”, it is saying, “because I believe I will do…” You can fill in the rest, but faith means I am putting action to what I believe. 


Like for those who have faith in their careers, we will become slaves to our jobs because we believe if we get that promotion, if we make this much money, then we will feel content.  Those who put faith in their ability to be with the “right” person do everything we can because if they would just be with us then we will feel content. Those whose faith is in their ability to raise children who excel believe if they can right their wrongs through their kids it will take away the pain. 


We all have faith, but the object of our faith maybe different. But what does it mean to someone who lacks faith? What if I am not man enough to have faith? The opposite of Faith, isn’t doubt, it is fear. And fear is the opposite of brave right?


To go all the way back to the beginning why do I struggle with “Am I man enough?”, because my fear is I am not. My fear is I will never measure up, and this fear paralyzes me. It keeps me right where I am, because I do not have faith in myself, let alone Jesus. So I keep drinking, to mask this fear. I keep trying to be some form of masculinity because of the fear, I keep doing all the dares, because I am trying to overcompensate the fear. I am trying to prove to myself and the world that I am a man, because I am afraid I am not. 


This is an exhausting life to live. 


When the fact of the matter is this, if Jesus is the standard of manhood, and I believe Jesus is exactly who He claimed to be, then what should I be doing? 


Laying down everything I am for those around me. Little boys are selfish, but men, they lay down who they are. They know they life doesn’t revolve around their needs, that we are created to serve those around us. We know this, because this is the life Jesus lived. Summed up in one verse, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)


Jesus didn’t deserve it, but He chose it. Jesus didn’t sin, but paid it all anyway. Jesus knew the will of the Father was to crush Him, so we may live. 


For me this means I serve my wife and children. I lay down my selfishness to be served. This means I inconvenience myself, I go to bed tired, I pour all I am to everyone around me. Because I know, Jesus did it for me. I know that when men step into the role of being a man, society flourishes. When men bravely stand up and be men, everyone wins. This only leads me to look at my life and ask.....


Is this how how I live? Is this the man I am?  Am I brave? Am I courageous? Am I controlled by fear? Do I have what it takes? Am I man enough?



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