Do you know any men who pout or whine when their wives’ idea of frequent sex is different than theirs?
Do you know any men who only go on dates when their wives sets one up?
What makes more than a few young men devote massive amounts of time to video games and social media?
How many husbands need stimulation from more and more porn while physical intimacy with their wives dwindles away?
Why can many young guys hook up with girls, but not have the courage to ask them on a date or navigate a constructive relationship?
What’s causing so much perpetual adolescence among guys in their late 20s and late 50s?
God has answers to these questions which drive us to passionately reach and disciple men.
We’re facing a crisis in our culture. It’s urgent! When a boy stays a boy for life … when a man doesn’t know what it is to be a man … when he uses girls and women like property … when he fathers kids outside of marriage … when his marriage breaks up … the price paid is compounded for women, children, and society.
Men don’t need to be attacked, however. They need to be welcomed into a fellowship of other men, where manhood can be bestowed. They need to see and learn the manhood model of Jesus, while in the company of friends and mentors.
Men have been tricked, and we need to help them break free from the lies and false vision of manhood. One key cause for the counterfeit versions of manhood and sorry state of marriages today is one we can beat only if we identify it. We need to understand our identity as consumers and rebuild a new identity as investors.
Think about it. Most of us Americans see over 500 advertisements a day. We are trained by Madison Avenue and Hollywood to be consumers and pleasure seekers. It makes us petty, selfish, and little.
But men were made to invest—to add value, to protect and make life better for others. Doing that in marriage for your wife, whom you are to cherish, makes you and your children much happier over time.
In defining manhood and leading men, we need to square up and tackle the passive, selfish, small vision of manhood that shapes boys and men into the mold of “consumer.” Men want a vision to create something significant, battle for something good, and love a woman and family heroically.
That won’t be possible with a small consumer identity. We need to wake men up to the devil’s and society’s trick. God made us to be investors.
Consider pro football. In the quarterback meeting room and in drills, they teach Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick and Drew Brees to throw the ball to receivers in a target diameter of one foot, perfectly serving the receiver so he need not stretch, bend, jump or dive. And they teach wide receivers, “If you can touch it, you must catch it.” Make the quarterback and the team look good. Lay out. Sacrifice. Those are investor mentalities.
Let’s break the consumer mold, call men up to being relationship investors—guys who protect the weak, bring out the best in others, and love unconditionally. Galatians 5 tells us we were called to freedom, not so we could feed our fleshly desires but so we could serve one another—to love our neighbor. It warns that if we are selfish in our flesh and relationships, we’ll be consumed ourselves. Philippians 2 tells us to be like Jesus and look out for the interests of others, not just self.
Men investing in other men will help us all rediscover the model of manhood: Jesus, the ultimate relationship investor.
Jeff Kemp quarterbacked for 11 years in the NFL. He is a vice president and HomeBuilder Catalyst for FamilyLife, speaking to men and equipping men’s group discipleship with FamilyLife’s DVD men’s experience, Stepping Up™ (www.mensteppingup.com). You can reach Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org.