Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Benefits of Manhood (Without The Responsibilities)

I know this guy who splits his time between home and office. He is very happy with the arrangement because he gets to do what he was called to do, even if the pay is kinda slim. His wife believes in this calling and is very supportive of him. She has a great job, she encourages him to do his work and all she asks is that since his schedule is flexible, that he take care of some of the house chores.

Sometimes, occasionally, okay, lots of times, he neglects some of those chores. He gets caught up in the good stuff he is doing and "forgets" the tasks or only partially completes what he committed to doing. It happens, right? You fill up the sink with hot water and you walk away for a minute. Two hours later the water is cold and the dishes haven't been done but hey, at least the blog post got written, or those phone calls got made, right?

As you can imagine,  she is not quite happy about the neglect and she dares to challenge him on how he spent his time. But by golly, he is the man and she will not be questioning him. That is his time and he doesn't answer to her or anybody else because he is a grown man for crying out loud. Who does she think she is? 

I know that it sounds ridiculous and in this instance it's a bit of a non-conventional job he holds, but do you know somebody like that?  It may sound like this: "I'm the one who brings home the bacon, now go fry me up some bacon. And while you're at it shove some bacon in that kids mouth so he will shut up." Or maybe it's like this: "It doesn't matter where I've been, I'm going to go to bed because I work for a living and I don't want anybody bothering me." Forget about any connection that the family needs from him. 

Ever since we were kids we have wanted our own way, it's in our nature. From the time that someone picked up a toy that we had previously been playing with, thereby making it our own, we have whined and cried and moaned about what is ours. That's what kids do. But scripturally speaking we are told that when we grow up we are to put away childish things.  Instead, we often grow up and as men we use our size, our position, our maleness to do what we want, when we want. Just like children in grown bodies.

I heard a song the other day, "Absentminded Melody" by Joel Plaskett. I never heard it before and I don't know him or anything about him, but it had an interesting line: "The only thing worse than growing up is never quite learning how". Well, we won't learn how unless we are willing to honestly listen to someone who will tell us what we need to hear as opposed to what we want to hear. Until we get over ourselves and realize that the world does not revolve around us.

If you want to be a grown man with character, don't be afraid to exercise your God given authority when it's called for, but quit using your position to boss people around.  Don't be a bull in a china shop, but don't be afraid to come out of the bull pen either. Do what's right not what's easy. Have integrity. Do what you say you will do. Speak kindly even when your harsh words are "fair" and for that matter forget about fairness.  Quit thinking that just because you are a man with needs, that yours are more important than those of everybody else. If you have a spouse, love her.  If you have contributed to bringing a child into this world, then be a father and raise them (which means more than bringing home a paycheck). 

If you want more out of your manhood than the ability to have sex, the freedom to do what you want and when you want, read through the New Testament and see what Jesus Christ says about being a man. Check out His character and emulate it. Surround yourself with good men and learn from them.  Don't be a little boy in a man's body. Be different. Grow up.  

The author is husband to an amazing wife, father to two beautifully grown daughters and papaw to two of the cutest and smartest kids ever created. He is currently the associate pastor at Tabernacle of Praise in Crestline, Ohio. At present, he is taking a break from his career as a Christian stand-up comic, however, if you would like to discuss him speaking to your church or group, feel free to contact him directly by e-mail at or by phone at 419-961-1265. 

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