No one seems to really know what a real man is anymore.
How many times have you seen this template for a commercial:
1. Man is inept and goofy
2. Wife/girlfriend is intelligent and articulate.
3. Man does something childish and stupid, gets himself into trouble.
4. Woman calmly resolves the situation while rolling her eyes at her man.
Men of passion, conviction, and integrity still grip us. Some of the most successful films of the past decade have been tales of men displaying uncompromising heroism. Young men are especially hungry for role models because the genuine article is so rare.
So I’ve decided to spotlight some role models in the coming weeks, both good and bad.
Jim Elliot wrote this in his personal journal on March 22, 1947:
“I lack the fervency, vitality, life in prayer which I long for. I know that many consider it fanaticism when they hear anything which does not conform to the conventional, sleep-inducing eulogies so often rising from Laodicean lips; but I know too that these same people can acquiescently tolerate sin in their lives and in the church without so much as tilting one hair of their eyebrows. Cold prayers, like cold suitors, are seldom effective in their aims.”
Jim Elliot was a real man: confident, courageous, somewhat reckless, totally devoted to God. There is nothing timid or passive about his faith. Real men know what they want to do, and dedicate themselves towards that goal.
Many counterfeits abound, from the Marlboro man, to the macho jock, to the redneck gamesman. Masculinity is not defined by hobbies but by responsibility and devotion.
There are many Christians who are interested in recovering biblical masculinity, but so often they are merely thrill seekers with a verse. Just because someone likes to climb rocks and shop at Bass Pro Shops doesn’t make them a man.
True masculinity is defined by love of God and responsible leadership in the home and church. True men don’t need to kill animals or grow a beard or throw a 95 MPH fastball.
Jim Elliot exercised to keep his body in prime condition for service on the mission field.
On November 25th, he wrote this:
“What I will be doing one year from today is a complete mystery. Perhaps a sick bed or a coffin – glory! Either of these would be fine, but the latter would be immortality, a swallowing up by Life. For this I am most anxious.”
He was murdered on the mission field seven years later.