I was reading something the other day and it got me thinking; why is it that “open-mindedness” and agreeability are seen as higher values than healthy debate and accountability in society? The answer came quickly. “Open-mindedness” and complacency have no personal risk. There is nothing at stake, they only really lead to isolation. That, for a man, does not require effort. It is comfortable not to be grown by anything.
However, it is good for a man to stand for the Truth – not just for anything he wants. G.K. Chesterton wrote:
“He who fights for anything, fights for nothing”.
It is good for a man to seek more than mere comfort. C.S. Lewis wrote
“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”
Then I was skimming a blog and found this article and here is a quote that stuck out:
“One thing that you can be certain of is that a man who takes no significant risks suffers no significant losses. He also enjoys no significant gains.
I believe that one of the reasons the church has largely become impotent. I base this observation on the lack of willingness by most men who identify themselves as Christians to diligently study and then stand up and defend what they claim to believe in.”
#1: A man fights for Truth not for his own comfort.
Secondly I was pondering on another fact. We as men are not naturally brave. Yes, we are brave warriors – but not by our own doings. It is the Creator that makes us brave. I found this great blog post – here is a large citation from it:
Last night I watched the VeggieTale “Gideon: Tuba Warrior” with Joshua and got to relive the amazing story of Gideon from the book of Judges. My favorite part? The fact that Gideon was hiding in a winepress when he’s first visited by the angel. The angel says, “Greetings, mighty man of valor.”
It’s more than an incorrect statement by the angel; it’s a statement that contradicts the reality of the situation. It would be a little like if last Sunday, while I was cursing under my breath outside because I was being outsmarted by a stupid caulk gun, an angel came to me and said “Greetings, home repair master.”
The angel did just that. He showed up in a situation and made a statement that was not only wrong, but it was completely contrary to the apparent facts. The mighty warrior was cowering in a storage facility, hiding from the very people he would supposedly defeat. Clearly what we’ve got on our hands is a delusional angel.
Or maybe what we’ve got here is a God sending an angel who operates on a different scale entirely than what appears to be. I think that’s an important distinction to make – just because God doesn’t operate on our scale of reality doesn’t mean that His scale is any less real. The difference here is that God isn’t just wishing Gideon was a mighty warrior; Gideon, in God’s eyes, really is a mighty warrior.
For me, in this story it’s most clear that God refuses to be let His reality be ruled by circumstance. He abides by truth in a way that far exceeds what things appear to be. That’s why he can look at a man who is hiding in a winepress and cheerfully exclaim, “Howdy, mighty warrior!”
See, what God did to Gideon He does every day for us. Though we hide in winepresses, we are mighty warriors. Though we play around with senseless sin, we are righteous saints. This is the identity which God has made for us because of Christ.
#2 A man is a warrior even though he hides – God knows what we truly are
Finally I found a blog post that dealt with relationships. A 2009 study (sorry I could not find the study, sigh) found asked man and woman what they wanted in a spouse and here are the top 5:
5) A good conversationalist
4) Physically attractive
Some of those (like number 3) I shout a loud Amen! Others I am scared of. If you put number one and number two together and you have a lethal combination. That, I think, is a reason why many women stay with men they really shouldn’t. The combination of one and two makes them feel a certain way, and that feeling is irresistible. I’ve thought, “Why did she end up with that jerk?” way too many times to say otherwise.
Some advice to you women – think with your heart but also be discerning- there are many men who are confident and funny but are not true men. They are just “boys who shave”. Who wants to be in a relationship with a Homer Simpson or a Peter Griffin? Women, you may want a child… don’t be in a relationship with one.
Also note what is not on the list: being nice. I also see that women don’t want to marry a Mr. Rogers. Good for them!
Also not on the list (Praise God!): winning drinking games, playing Halo 3, entering a fantasy football league, computer game high scores, your World of Warcraft character, and monologues displaying your knowledge of The Daily Show history or Family Guy dialog.
If it feels as though I’m harping on women here (I’m not) here is the guy’s list:
5) She’s not a shrew
4) She makes me feel happy
3) She’s gorgeous
2) She’s hot
1) She’s incredibly attractive
Guys, come on! At least the woman have more in mind than just looks. I think the list speaks for itself on the folly men look for in relationships.
Finally #3 A man knows what he is looking for – and it is not himself. He must become worthy of her.
Men, it’s time to stand up and fight for what is right. Yes, you may fall; but you will also rise. Stop being complacent and stop living for yourself.
It’s time to grow up out of ourselves and fight for the Truth, become the warrior God sees in us, and become the strong man our wives (or future wives) deserve of us.