Gone are the days of the Duke, John Wayne and the real men whom He emulated on the silver screen, that fought the battle of Iwo Jima and stormed the beaches of Normandy. Where have all the real men gone? Is it too late for our culture to see what authentic masculinity looks like. Men who sacrifice for their families and spend time with their kids wrestling and having tea parties. Men who open car doors for their wives and who charge into danger to protect the innocent while everyone else runs the other way. What our culture desperately needs in this critical hour in history is men, real men. I dare to say, godly men.
John Wayne portrayed an heroic man on the silver screen. He was good for the times when it was still okay for a man to be a man, and all that defined authentic manhood for the day. John Wayne symbolized for a generation all that was good and noble about manhood. But no longer, as we live in a culture and a society that attempts to throw dirt on what authentic masculinity is suppose to be and bury it in the grave of history. Men it’s time to rise up out of the ashes, shake the dirt off and climb out of the grave that this society we live in is trying to bury us in. Let our minds drift back to the memory of our fathers and grandfathers and may the memory of their voices haunt us until we are willing to stand.
Recently a large and well known company came out in attempt to put another proverbial nail into the coffin of authentic masculinity. They have taken it upon themselves to let men know what their options are for being a man. And to their ad my response is Thank you, but I’ll choose the Biblical option for authentic masculinity. Long before the Duke, men were given a model of real authentic masculinity. Masculinity modeled for us by the ultimate man. The God-man, Jesus Christ. In our hyper sensitive culture that wants to tell us what real men should be, I choose God’s model. I choose to follow Jesus. In the recent commercial by this big well known company they took it upon themselves, as many have done in our culture, to try and tell us what our options are for being a man. The only two options that was offered in this particular ad was the way of the brute who cheers on thug like behavior condoning violence as boys beat each other while the males passively stand back and continue to barbecue. Then we have the other males, I don’t call them men, ogling a woman as she walks down the street. What’s the other option they give us? Well if you don’t choose the passive father watching the boys fight, or the ogler then your only other option is the path of the feminine man who’s in touch with his feelings and appears vulnerable and weak.
What we need is men like Churchill who defied Hitler as he walked the bomb ridden streets of London to inspire his people during the height of World War Two when he was the only one standing up against the tyranny of Naziism that looked to spread like a cancer across the entire world. We need men like Lincoln who after recently losing the light of his life in his young son who just died stood at Gettysburg among the fresh graves and roused a nation to triumph over the evils of slavery from the source of His new found faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. We need men like my grandfather who was transformed by his faith in his Lord Jesus Christ and will not tolerate another man cursing his Savior in front of him and his wife. I want to see men like my father who displayed the kind of love empowered by his Savior as I witnessed him take on the hardships brought on to him and his family by the wrongs done to him by others and was strong enough to turn the other cheek when wronged as he follows the example of his Lord and Savior. We need men who get up on Sunday morning and take their families to church and live out their faith the other six days of the week. The world needs men who read their Bibles and lead their families in Bible study and worship in their homes. What the world needs is another option. The world needs Jesus men. Men who follow Christ. Men who are empowered by His Holy Spirit to be like their Master. Men who represent their Savior.
According to the new standard being propagated, a man has only has two choices. He can either be a brute and thug, or he can embrace the feminist definition and cower down to the powers that be in this society that we live in. The ad left me with the impression that any man who chooses to be a real man of character, valor and integrity will be labeled in the former category of the brute and the thug. So that’s my options? I thank God that He has given us another option of what a real man is designed to be. If you really want to see what a real man is I just have one name, Jesus.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said, “Jesus is His own best lesson.” There is no greater picture in all of history of what real man can be. No other can show us the picture of perfection of what the ideal man should be, no other than the God-man Jesus Christ himself. He came to this world in a barn for animals. He never threw a punch, he never went more than a few miles from His home, nor did He wear the fashion standards set by Hollywood. Yet, He was and is all that a godly man could ever aspire to be. What was His ultimate purpose? Why did He come? For what was His cause to leave the glory of Heaven and invade this earth? He came to give His life for a lost world in rebellion against Him and that stood against His righteous standard. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever should believe in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Romans 8:4 tells us. “But God commended His love toward us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The ultimate example of what real men do was demonstrated by the God-man Jesus Christ and his act of His great love for His children as He willingly stretched out His arms on the cross. In John 15:13 Jesus reminds us, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” That’s what real men do and Jesus didn’t just suggest it, He demonstrated his great love when He didn’t look back to Jerusalem, but steadfastly set His face to walk to the place of the cross. The scriptures tell us Jesus went forward ultimately to walk the lonely hill of Calvary to die for a lost world in need of a Savior. He was abandoned by those closest to Him, but He walked on. He was beaten and spit upon, but He walked on. He was mocked and ridiculed as they put a thorn of crowns upon His head, but He walked on. He demonstrated the greatest love any man could have and He died not only for His friends, but for His enemies, for the rebel’s to His cross. He died for us as the scriptures tell us, “while we were yet sinners” and He did it out of His great love. What do real men do? Real men; God’s men live a life of sacrifice. The Scriptures tell us, “Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it.” The days of the Duke may be long gone, but may God raise up godly men after His own heart, in this new generation. Men who look to Jesus as Hebrews 12:2 tells us, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” May God raise up men who say as the apostle Paul did, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” No, we don’t need the macho bully and we don’t need the pacified pansy. We need Jesus men.
May God raise up a generation of self-sacrificing men who follow in the footsteps of their Savior unashamedly and with a boldness that only comes from the truth found in the Holy Scriptures. Give me another option for what it means to be a man. Give me the Biblical option of godly masculinity as modeled to us by Jesus Christ, Himself. May God make me and men all around the world into men who follow the foot steps of the Savior. Men who will follow Him up the hill to Calvary and who are willing to pick up their cross and accept Jesus invitation to, “follow me.” Will you follow Him? Will you choose to be a Jesus man? Or will you follow the culture? The choice is yours in this most desperate time, the paths lay before us couldn’t be more in opposition. The path of least resistance following the culture of what they say a man should be, or path of the cross. Which will you choose this day? For me I choose the path of the cross and through His strength, I choose to follow my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His example of Biblical masculinity. What kind of man are you going to be. A man of the world, or a man who follows his Savior? Jesus is still calling to us today through His Holy Scriptures where He says, “Follow me.” Will you follow Him?
“A Wretch Like Me” – David D. Hanson