Created Male #2: A New Name

 


Created Male #2:  A New Name

 I don’t remember the 4th grader's name, but I remember his story.  The report from the 3rd-grade teacher was that this was a bad boy, wouldn’t stay in his seat, was distributive, got in trouble on the playground, not a good student, poor grades, really not a good fit for our nice Christian school.  This kid had a name, oh, maybe not formally, but it was impressed upon him by the way he was treated: Loser.  When I heard this I thought, the school is going to say this kid has attention deficit disorder and suggest that the doctor put him on Ritalin.  That very small, tiny, sarcastic part of me thought, maybe we can give him more Ritalin so he becomes zombie boy, so he can be more like a girl in school.  Well, the 4th-grade teacher would have none of that.  That 4th-grade teacher taught him like boys needed to be taught, for example instead of reading Secret Garden, it was Captain Underpants, instead of being forced to sit, he was allowed to stand, and the teacher looked for ways to affirm him and gave him tasks that he could achieve.  By the end of his 4th-grade experience, this little guy was a model student, he had a new name and his actions proved it out: Winner. 

 What’s your name?  Not your birth name, but rather the one life labeled you with?  What is the image you have of yourself?  Since the 1970’s there has been a huge attack on men to give them names like nice, dutiful, tender, well-behaved.  Crudely we can call it cultural castration. One vertebra at a time is knocked out and males become spineless. In 2010 a new derogatory term came into being for the person who is unable to deal with an opposing position, a different opinion, or a different understanding of a situation, that term is Snowflake.  Your thought stresses me out so much that I can’t handle it so you need to be quiet.  Men don’t need safe zones. Does any man want the name “Snowflake?”  Men need names that translate into masculine. What’s your name, sir?

 Masculine doesn’t mean you like to hunt and fish, or drive muscle cars, or have the biggest muscles in the gym.  Masculine doesn’t mean you’re an athlete, or a black belt, or a mean lean money-making machine with the sports car, penthouse office, and exclusive home address.  Masculine doesn’t mean you have a trophy wife, a girl in every port, and a new woman in your bed every weekend.  Masculine doesn’t mean emotionally ignorant or verbally inept.  What’s your name, sir?

 Masculine and macho are not the same thing.  Masculine and bully are not the same thing.  Masculine doesn’t mean womanizer.  Masculine and domineering are not synonyms.  Masculine means “I am capable,” it means “you can count on me,” it means “confidence, teachable, passionate, and disciplined.”  How about this one:  controlled aggression.  Take aggression out of the man and you remove heroes from society.  Yeah, masculine means willing to fight if necessary.  Masculinity means protector and provider.

 The Bible says: "So be strong, show yourself a man…”

 1 Kings 2:1-3 (NIV)

When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. "I am about to go the way of all the earth," he said. "So be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go…

 Here is a father on his death bed passing on wisdom to his son.  Show yourself, be who you are, be real.  David has some specific ideas as to how a man is to show himself strong. Strong doesn’t necessarily mean physical strength but inner strength. Inner strength is demonstrated in a man’s resilience, endurance, and determination to do the will of God. We are talking about the strength of character, of integrity, you show yourself a man when you stand up for what is right regardless of how unpopular that stand is. You don’t go looking for conflict, but you won’t shy away from confrontation when wrong masquerades as right. A man doesn’t always do what he wants, but always does what he must.

David tells his son, “Show yourself to be a man” by observing “what the Lord your God requires.”  Observing doesn’t mean watching, it means doing.  A man does what God requires.  God requires men to love.  Not a mushy sentimental romantic love but a love that obeys God’s will no matter the cost, a love  that meets the needs of others, this kind of love is action, this kind of love requires self-sacrifice, this kind of love lives “not my will, but thine, oh Lord.”  A man has to have inner strength so that he can do the things God created him to do. What’s your name, sir?

 Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV)

“…be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.”

Sounds like there may be a battle to be fought and won. Masculinity is always found in trusting Christ and in obeying His commands. In obedience a man is powerful.  “When those under his care are in danger, a real man moves to protect them, even being willing to give his own life (John 15:13). When he is courting a woman or in a marriage relationship, he honors that woman and treats her in an understanding way, being kind, gentle, and protective of her (1 Peter 3:7). He lovingly leads his wife, taking initiative and responsibility for the course and direction of the home, yet all the while listening to her and always seeking to do what is in her best interests (Ephesians 5:25, 28, Colossians 3:19). He does his best to understand her and to be to her and for her what she needs. He treats her not as someone lesser but as an equal and fellow heir of eternal life in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:7). When he is raising children, he trains them in God’s Word and does not provoke them to anger (Ephesians 6:4). He is present, he is a haven for his kids. When he is in the workplace, he does his best and works with all of his heart (Colossians 3:23). He does his best to provide for the home, and he takes measures to be sure his family would be provided for in the event of his death (1 Timothy 5:8). He is willing to use his gifts to serve others. When he is in a position of leadership, he is confident in Christ to stand for truth and make the right decisions. When he is in a position of temptation, he resists the devil and stands firm against the desire to disobey (James 4:7). When a person is in need, he is generous and merciful to them (2 Corinthians 9:7, Matthew 5:7). When others fail him, he is willing to forgive (Ephesians 4:32) and does not take revenge (Romans 12:19), for he is gentle and tender-hearted (Galatians 5:22-23). He studies the Word (2 Timothy 2:15) and teaches it when he has the opportunity (2 Timothy 2:2). He is a man devoted to prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and he is a man who loves God with all of his heart, soul, and strength (Luke 10:27).” [Relevant Bible Teaching - Biblical Manhood- How the Bible Defines Masculinity ]  What’s your name, sir?

 There are 50 names the scriptures assign to Jesus.  Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5); Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16); Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8); King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:5); and Lord of All (Philippines 2:9-11) are just a sampling. The two that bring joy to my heart are Savior (Luke 2:11) and Advocate (1 John 2:1).  If a man does what Jesus commands, this one with so many names, He names you friend.

John 15:13-15 (NIV)

Greater love has no one than this,  that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

What’s your name, sir?  In your heart of hearts, in the quiet of the night, in the heat of battle, what is your name.  If you do not like that name, Jesus gives new names to those who overcome.

Revelation 2:17 (NIV)

To him who overcomes, I will give … him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

I don’t know what your “Jesus-given” name will be, but I suspect that it will be very similar to the ones He is known by.

Your task is to be an overcomer, to show yourself to be a man. The overcomer is the man who has dedicated his life to being a disciple of Jesus, living the victorious life that the Holy Spirit has empowered him to live. You must decide, you must make the choice, you must resolve to be an overcomer.  No one but you can make that decision.  

 1 John 5:5 (NIV)

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

 Once you make that decision, to show yourself to be a man determined to be an overcomer, I need your help in solving a problem.  The problem is the religious church.  Look at what has been enculturated.  Men are asked to come and be passive, to sit and listen about things designed to encourage them to be nice and safe.  For many men, a church meeting is just not worth the time.  It’s not worth the investment.  The last thing a man needs is to be bored. He needs something to stir his heart.  A man needs something to challenge him, something to demand something from him, something that is difficult.  They don’t find it in a typical church service, they don’t find it in the typical sermon. “When men need spiritual sustenance, they go to the wilderness, the workplace, the garage, or the corner bar. They watch their heroes in the stadium or on the racetrack. They plunge into a novel or sneak off to a movie. The church is one of the last places men look for God.” [  Why Men Hate Church | CBN.com ]  I need men to help me fix this problem.  I need men to help me create a church environment that stirs a man’s heart instead of boring him to sleep.  I need your suggestions, I need your help implementing those suggestions.  I need men to step up and lead.

 The church needs men showing themselves to be men.  Our current culture needs masculine role models: men who know their true names. The culture is handing out the wrong names to men.  Incompetent, non-essential, inept, unworthy, passive, nice, safe, and the like are not good names.   It is an attack on men and their purpose in this life.  From the Genesis story, we know it takes men and women to fulfill God’s plan for creation, authentic masculinity and authentic femininity working together, equality is the strategy. Both the male and the female have a purpose.  When culture turns its back on God that culture goes off purpose and men don’t know how to be men and women don’t know how to be women. 

The world needs men to be men by showing themselves to be men, not by the world’s stereotypes but by God’s design. Masculinity is all about what is in the heart, the very core of being.  Masculinity manifests in men as integrity, courage, a willingness to do what is right, and to stand for truth at all times and in all circumstances; to march into hell with a heavenly cause and die in the battle if necessary. Masculinity is matured by bending the knee to God in Christ, vowing to subject yourself to God’s designs and desires.  It’s time to show the world how real men live.  What is your name, sir?  What is your name?

 

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