A friend of mine sent me this video from Coach Dave Daubenmire yesterday morning and it covered something that has been on my heart for some time, and that I have touched upon in some of my other writings. However, I have never covered it in-depth, and that is what I intend to do in this article.
What is it that makes a man? There are many answers to this question. In asking the question, I am reminded of a scene from one of my favorite movies, The Big Lebowski, where the main character of the movie, “the Dude”, is summoned by Mr. Lebowski, with whom he shares a name. The elder Mr. Lebowski asks “the Dude” the same question, and then asks if it is being prepared to do the right thing, no matter the cost. In his typical fashion, “the Dude” responds that it is that and a pair of testicles. While this is clearly comedy, we should take reflection and ask ourselves this question. If we take a look into Scripture, I believe we can find some very good advice as to what makes a man. First, read these words, and then as you continue reading this article, I would encourage you to refer back to these passages for clarity (the emphasis is mine).
Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good. (2 Samuel 10:12)
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. (Ezekiel 22:30)
In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury. (Proverbs 14:23)
Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find? The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. (Proverbs 20:6-7)
Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. (Jeremiah 5:1)
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. (John 10:11-13)
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:23-25)
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (proverbs 31:9)
Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee (Jeremiah 1:17-19)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
COURAGE – HONOR – LOYALTY – DUTY – HARD-WORKING – GOODNESS – FAITHFUL
HAVING JUDGMENT – SEEKING TRUTH – DEFENDER – HONEST
STRONG IN SPIRIT – VIGILANT – STEADFAST
These are the descriptions either given in the Bible of men, or that are implied of men. These words describe what it is that we all should all strive to be – a living example and embodiment of what the Lord instructs us to be. If you have these traits, you will be successful in all your endeavors, you will be a leader of other men.
We need the courage to stand strong in the battles, both physical and spiritual that find us over the course of our lives.
We need to not only have honor, but we need to honor all of our relationships, spousal, familial, or otherwise.
We must have loyalty to our Lord, to our family and friends, and to our spouses.
We need a sense of duty in serving the Lord, but also in provisioning our homes, our churches, and our nation against the attacks of the enemy.
We need to be hard-working, whether in our jobs or in our work for the Lord. We must labor tirelessly in strengthening ourselves and His kingdom.
We must exude goodness. Having a positive attitude, a good humor, and always side with what is right, regardless of the possible consequences.
We need to be faithful, which is very close to loyalty, but differs in that being loyal is an action you undertake while being faithful is trusting that others will be loyal to you.
We must have judgment or discernment to be able to make the hard decisions or to keep that which is true wisdom and cast away that which is deceit.
We must always seek truth, whether in our dealings with others, in spiritual counsel, or in other affairs of the physical world. If you have judgment, as listed above, seeking truth becomes easier.
We need to be defenders, not just of ourselves, our families, and our nation, but of anyone that is unable to defend themselves.
We should be honest in all that we do that we never lie nor break promises. This includes being honest with ourselves when we have done wrong.
We should be strong in spirit. The adversary can sense when we have wavered in our spirit, or in our faith, and these are the times he will look for to sneak his way in.
We must be vigilant in keeping ourselves and those around us accountable, but also in staying aware of the encroachment of the enemy.
Lastly, we need to be steadfast, or true and reliable in our words and our actions. We must remain pillars that may be relied upon to do the right thing and to stand up for the right thing, no matter the cost.
While all of the various effects can be discussed that point to a loss of manhood in our nation and culture, and one could discuss at length the varied causes of this loss, we should instead discuss who is to blame. If we look at who is to blame, then we can find that culprit, hold them accountable, and reverse this course that has led to the rise of a culture that embraces weakness, deceit, cowardice, dishonor, and laziness.
So, who is to blame? We are. The men of this nation, whether an elder baby boomer or a young millenial, we all share the blame. We have allowed the slow and steady destruction of the male and the concept of what it is to be a man in an effort to “go along to get along”. And the result has been the destruction of the pillars on which our society is constructed. The destruction of the church, the infiltration of the school, the overthrow of the government to no longer serve the interests of the people, but of itself – all of these are a result of the loss of the principles laid out above that are what separates a man from a male.
If we are to reverse this trend, it will also take all of us. From the old man sitting on the porch, to the young man playing video games. We must shake off the cobwebs from our spirits and work together in order to bring these principles back to prominence within our society. We cannot sit back and pray and hope that these changes will come about. Do you not think that the prophets of old prayed that changes would come to their societies to stave off the wrath of God? Yet, we see in their tales that they were answered and in that answer commanded to be the instrument of change for their societies – and this is what we must also do. We must be the change, having heard the word, we must now be the doers of the deed.
A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.
I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.
Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.
He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.