Be a Man!

Spreading throughout the American christian landscape has been the cry, “Be a man!” Though the cry has come from many different places, it seems Evangelical churches have been the loudest in terms of what it means to be a man.

Messages range from knowing how you should act (brave and macho), what you should wear (not tight but not loose jeans), what you should eat (lots of red meat!) who is the boss (anyone with a Y chromosome) and which UFC fighter is the best (blood is awesome!).

And it seems to me that many young men are eating the message up (pun intended).

The problem is, it is not a biblical message. It is a White American Male interpretation of what it means to be a man.

And this, in the broad sense of God’s kingdom, is a problem which needs to be addressed.

Somehow, some way.

And so I’ll start (or perhaps just continue/add-on to the conversation) right here, in the trusty Old Testament.

In 1 Kings, when David is about to die, he calls Solomon to him. David’s son and successor, Solomon, is ready to take the throne – but before he does, David has a few last words for him. This is how 1 Kings 2 begins:

1 When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.

2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man.”

And this is the list David gives Solomon what it means to “be a man”:

– Observe what the Lord your God requires

– Walk in obedience to God

– Keep God’s decrees and commands (basically, know and follow the 10 commandments)

– Remember what God has already done, and what God promises to do

That’s it. Apparently, for David, to be a man meant to know God, know God’s commands, walk obediently with God and to remember what God has done and what God promises to do.

So go ahead – be a man. I dare you.

  1. November 14, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    I very much agree with this assessment of the current situation and what God would intend for us. Using that conversation of David’s is a bit tricky, though. He also tells Solomon to kill two of his political enemies in pretty graphic terms.

    • November 14, 2011 at 10:21 PM

      Yeah, right after he does that. But does that mean that his initial suggestions were not the “right” way, and that his zeal led him to misinterpret how it is to be lived out, or to forget/ignore it?

      • November 14, 2011 at 10:28 PM

        I think it says both were not simple men. Solomon’s life as king is a VERY mixed bag. David, too, obviously. Yes, David’s advice is excellent. I’d hoped to communicate that in the first post. Sorry for not being clear on that. I can see the “I don’t want a Jesus I can beat up” crowd holding this convo up for the opposite reason. “See, a Godly man passes on to his son the need to ‘take care of business’ in a violent way.”

      • November 15, 2011 at 10:04 AM

        As I look over it again, and think about your comments, it’s almost as if David says these things, but then forgets them in light of Solomon “keeping up his reputation.” And anytime we fall prey to such an idea, we do stupid things!

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