Modern Christian Men Should Be Old-Fashioned Manly

©Eduardo Mendes

In the modern world, men can be seen as sitting in two distinct sections; the ‘manly’ and the ‘weak’, the ‘jocks’ and the ‘nerds’ or the ‘sexists’ and ‘feminists’. I could continue with another hundred options, but you get the gist: you’re either the pathetic, flannel-wearing, hippy type or you’re the muscular, bullying, working-out type.

Even though almost everyone is in the middle, people assume men are either the cast of Jersey Shore or the cast of The Big Bang Theory. Women suffer from the slut/boring paradigm, and we suffer from that. How is it possible that someone could be both strong and intelligent, both sensitive and confident, both gallant and valiant – both a stud and a student?

Ok, that last one was a touch too much. But I like the semi-pun, so roll with it. Modern men are similar to the two parties in the USA: they’re either gun-shooting idiots who hate foreigners and think that women should stay in the kitchen or cannabis-smoking unemployed idiots who love communism and writing poetry. Modern Christian men, across the world, tend to fit into those two camps; the ones who think that Jesus wanted us to buy guns and the ones who think that Jesus wanted us to buy drugs. Neither is a sensible portrayal.

Biblically, the men that we should aspire to be like are portrayed as being fallible humans with a heart for God. David, though he slept with his neighbour and killed her husband, was someone who sought to spend time praying and praising. Solomon may have been the wisest man in the world and spent his days seeking greater wisdom, but he had a ridiculous number of wives. Elisha was a spiritual man who set bears on young people. And I could talk at length about the moral of each story, but I won’t.

Instead, I’ll pick up on the story of Daniel, who stood fearless in the face of death and was steadfast in doing what he knew to be right. He prayed when they made it illegal to pray, and he asked for kosher food when he wasn’t provided with some, and he ultimately wasn’t afraid to be thrown into a pit with some lions, just as his friends weren’t afraid to be cast into a furnace (Daniel chapters 6 and 3). He was as manly as the Prisoners of War in Colditz, refusing to bow to his leaders and ultimately being called on for help by superiors whilst held captive in a foreign land.

No, Christians shouldn’t be weak or sexist but should be confident in what they do – they should be rugged and dauntless as ‘manly men’ were a hundred years ago, but they should also be moral and valiant as ‘gentlemen’ were a hundred years ago. Even Valentine’s name translates as “strong” – and his name is associated with romance across the planet.

Jesus was the ultimate man, and modern Christians should learn how to be as manly as him: a man who continually embarrassed and confronted the important men of his time (Mark 3:4-5, Luke 11:42) and refuted Satan (Matthew 4), suffered an horrific torture and death without complaint and served others at all times.

Help the needy, love your girlfriend, serve your housemates, do your homework, quit whining and be willing to stand up for what you believe in. Be yourself, as God intended, instead of trying to fit in with a group of mates. Be courageous, vigilant and pure in though – because, actually, that’s properly manly.

And if you don’t believe me, ask any woman.

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