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A Call to Manhood – Part 1

By: Beecher Proch (Guest)

I’m sick of the grocery store parking lot. Nope, it’s not because I seem to be there all the time picking something up (I’m a guy, and the grocery store is full of food. That’s a winning situation right there). The reason I’m sick of the grocery store parking lot is because it’s a showcase for the lack of true men in our world today.

I realize beginning a blog post in the parking lot of the grocery store is a little unusual. But as I’ve been stewing on this issue lately, it seemed a good place to start.

You see, as I’ve been in the parking lot, the majority of the scenes I have witnessed have followed this routine: man and woman (I’ll call them Jim and Jane for fun) walk out of grocery store. Jane is pushing the basket. Arriving at the car, Jane opens the door and unloads groceries (Jim either goes around to the passenger side and gets in, or, on occasion, helps load the sacks into the car). After this, Jane gives Jim the keys, who gets into the car. Jane then pushes the cart back to the “return cart here” place.

The above picture is laughable.

Really truly.

For some reason, however, it makes me feel like jumping out of my car and yelling at the man “HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF CHIVALRY?!”

This probably wouldn’t be the best solution, but on occasion it’s a tempting thought. Where have the men gone who would help a woman load the groceries into the car? Who would open her door and then return the cart so that she wouldn’t have to?

You see, the parking lot is a small demonstration of where manhood is today in our society.

Most men are weak. Or they’re afraid of offending someone by acting like a real man. The manly men of yesteryear, seem, for the most part, to have vanished off the face of the earth.

We live in a culture which has twisted and tangled the definition of a true man. Men are portrayed as feminine and timid, or obscene and lust-filled animals. We’re expected to fit into one of those two areas. And if a man dares to challenge the definitions the world has set, he’s looked upon by mass media as a fluke (or freak) of nature.

In our day and age, men are more likely to get a pedicure and have their eyebrows waxed than dare great deeds.

Sacrificing one’s self interests is unthinkable and odd.

Now, there are exceptions. A few. Very few. Truly great men have not completely vanished. But unless some action is taken, great men will become a thing only heard of in tales and folklore. Men who have a grasp on all that real manhood encompasses are extremely rare.

Why is our culture like it is? Why are boys growing up into “adultescence” rather than into real men? Perhaps here I should make a note of the type of men I mean. I mean the kind of man that God defines. Men who dare great things and who protect those weaker than themselves. Men who deny their own desires in order to place others first. Men who serve others with their lives. And who do all these things (and more) not for themselves, but for others. And the glory of God who made them.

I believe the main reason boys are not growing into men is because we are a Godless culture.

We get our value from what others think of us rather than what God thinks of us. We persist in placing pleasure over true purpose. We look to secular celebrities and weight lifters for our definition of manhood. And we ignore the fact that God has given us a manual by which we can define manhood!

The Bible.

Scripture is the best place to learn about becoming a true man and all the attributes manhood encompasses. But look around. Where are the teachings of Proverbs? Or the examples of Joseph and David and Paul? How about Jesus?

Jesus was the ultimate man who, unlike us, never succumbed to sin, yet had all the positive attributes real men should aspire to possess. Where is he in culture? He’s not. In fact, any teachings of the Bible are few and far between.

We are, by and large, a Godless culture. We don’t take our definition of “man” and “woman” from the Bible or from looking at noble men and women of the past. Instead, our definitions are influenced by secular society.

How will boys ever grow into real men in the midst of our culture today? We will never be the men God created us to be if we continue to take our definition of “man” from the culture around us.

Join us in a few days to find out what it takes to become a real man.

Photo Credit: | Stephan Geye

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12 Responses to A Call to Manhood – Part 1

  1. Anna Jones says:

    Great post, Beecher! I think it’s always interesting to see a guy’s perspective on our broken down society. I have observed this in my own local area and its truly saddening; where are the men? I am grateful for guys like yourself that see the need to buck the trend.

  2. Claire T says:

    Ok so if men are the ones who do the hard work, does that mean that the girls should hold back from doing hard physical labor? Because I enjoy doing things like doing yard work, loading the car, pushing the shopping cart, etc. Manual labor is my strength area, provided that it’s nothing heavy 🙂 so should I not be doing these things? Or is it okay? How do you differentiate and draw the line? What does the Bible say?

    • GirlDefined says:

      Hey Claire,
      You ask some really great questions! The first set of verses that came to my mind after reading your comment was Proverbs 31:10-31. When I read through those verses, I see a hard working woman. She was anything but weak or lazy. Her hard work wasn’t to prove her strength though, it was to bless her family and make her a home a place of peace and comfort. So is it wrong for girls to work hard in the yard or whatever it may be? Not according to the Proverbs 31 woman. Just remember that God created men to take care of, protect and provide for women. When there is an opportunity for a guy to care for you in a small way (carry something heavy, open a door, pick up something dropped) allow him to use his extra strength to do that. Stay posted over the next few weeks for more blogs discussing these hard questions. Blessings!

      • Lindsey S says:

        When you say, “Her hard work wasn’t to prove her strength though,” you seem to be suggesting that this is in contrast to men’s hard work. However, it doesn’t seem biblical that the reason for men’s hard work is to prove their strength any more than it make’s sense to say that is the point for women’s work. And speaking of “extra strength,” if there was a man in my life, I’d appreciate him using that extra strength to maybe scrub the bathtub, because boy does that take some elbow grease! Holding doors is nice too, but I don’t find it particularly impressive because of how easy it is for me. And I even think it is completely acceptable by God’s standards for me to open doors and pick things up for people. God has blessed me with a strong body, and I intend to use that body to bring him glory. I will get the door for my little sister or my Grandpop or a friend who has her hands full. Men stepping up and using their strong bodies to help with physical tasks is a good thing, but it by no means bars a woman from doing hard work, even work that is traditionally “men’s work” if she is capable and called by God to do it.

  3. E. says:

    Don’t forget, not all men are physically strong, and this does not keep them from being “real men” or “manly”! There are many strong, godly men out there who, for a variety of reasons (disability, illness, health complications) are not physically strong, who are quite capable of serving others, protecting, and showing courage, and bringing God glory. Descriptions and examples of men’s roles and women’s roles in the Bible are broad and open to all types of people, with their different strengths and weaknesses. Some of these traits of godly men are not necessarily exclusive to men (though I understand the focus of this essay is the general lack of these traits in the American male population). Femininity does not equal weakness. Women in the Bible have shown remarkable courage (Esther), strength (Jael in Judges 4), and protectiveness (Abigail in 1 Samuel 25), when they are called by God to do so. Maybe its not so much that men are wasting time with grooming–pedicures and waxing/shaving body hair, etc.–but that there is a cultural preoccupation with grooming and appearance in American culture (both men and women) to the point that it is spiritually destructive. The specificities of men’s and women’s roles could be argued until the end of time. What holds true is that men (and women) are called by God to do great things, and these things are far from the values that our culture holds dear (beauty, youth, consumption, money, power, etc). You’ve touched on an important issue, to be certain. But I disagree that these problems are exclusive to men, or inherently tied to gender roles. An interesting read!
    In Christ,

    • GirlDefined says:

      You have some really great insight to offer. I think that no matter the illness or health issue, God can use every person (male or female) to bring Himself glory. In no way does a man’s physical limitations make him less able to glorify God. I also agree that with you that “femininity does not equal weakness.” Being a Christian woman in today’s culture calls for anything but a weak woman. We as women need to go back to scripture and find out exactly how and what God wants us to use our strengths for. He (as our creator) has designed us with certain strengths and weaknesses, and we need to make sure we are using them for His intended design. I really appreciate your thoughts!

  4. Elisabeth says:

    I think what this is saying is let the man to the hard work (his work)Let the woman do her work(mostly, house work)

  5. ssalex says:

    Real men, back in the day, wouldn’t have gone to the grocery store with their wife in the first place. My husband often opens the car door for me, but he unloads the groceries, I take the cart to the cart corral and he picks me up…. it is much more efficient and takes less time than me playing delicate flower while he pushes a an empty wheeled cart. What do you think the women do when their husbands aren’t at the grocery store with them? Stare helplessly at the groceries?

  6. Emmanuelle Harris says:

    “I mean the kind of man that God defines. Men who dare great things and who protect those weaker than themselves. Men who deny their own desires in order to place others first. Men who serve others with their lives. And who do all these things (and more) not for themselves, but for others. And the glory of God who made them.”

    Shouldn’t all decent people, both men and women, strive to do these things?

  7. Saltasaurus says:

    “We’re expected to fit into one of those two areas. And if a man dares to challenge the definitions the world has set, he’s looked upon by mass media as a fluke (or freak) of nature.” Wow it’s almost as if placing people in boxes and strict binaries and criticizing those who dont fit perfectly into one of two categories is bad and unhealthy.

  8. Nola says:

    I completely agree that the first situation was ridiculous. However, their genders had nothing to do with it. She was doing all the work. It would have been just as wrong if she was doing all the work. We are all supposed to help and serve one another just as Christ would, gender has nothing to do with it.

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