You’ve probably heard a request for men to man up recently- on someone’s Facebook, maybe in person, possibly even thrown at you, and something inside you wants to respond. There is an area in your life that is affected by the request, possibly many. Yet, your heart cry, the solution, is not simply for you to man up- it’s not for you to become more of a moral person, it’s for you to turn to Jesus Christ.
Christianity isn’t about transforming you into a man, Christianity is about you bringing glory to God and the simple by-product of that transformation is that you would be conformed- grown closer and into and more like Jesus Christ, the ultimate picture of manhood.
Your primary opponent in this struggle of conformation is most skilled in deception, John the Evangelist writes that,
“He (Satan)… Does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” -John 8:44.
His goal: to steal your joy, peace, dreams and future. He wants you for himself. You will be whispered his lies on this earth, and until you learn to recognize them, you may even fall victim to them. Here are five that I’ve struggled with:
“I’ll be more responsible when I get older.”
Being a man has nothing to do with your age or being able to shave. If you haven’t been made new by Jesus, you can be a boy until you die. New character comes from a heart tuned towards the Father: Fall on your knees and repent- ask him for inner character, and change!
“If I just try harder, I’ll be able to beat my addiction.”
Managing your temptation is not manning up. His perfection, his power and his resurrection are more powerful and trustworthy than your trying harder, doing better and hanging on longer. Lay down all of your efforts and say, “I trust in Jesus!”
“If women would stop dressing a certain way, I wouldn’t struggle so much.”
Stop blaming the media, technology and the clothes women wear, for your struggles with sexual purity. If the issue is how women dress, then why do you go home and pull porn up on your computer screen or lay in bed with it on your phone at night? This is a heart issue. Die to yourself. Don’t try harder, lay your struggles at the feet of Jesus and ask him to change you!
“I need more ______ to be a real man.”
Your identity will never be found in empty pursuits. Good things simply turn to idols if your focus isn’t on Jesus. You won’t be more of a man when you’re with a woman. You won’t be more of a man when you’re making money- Everything you need, is found in the person of the resurrected Christ and only in him.
“I’m a real man. I don’t need to submit to anyone.”
If you can’t follow, you can’t lead. Real men humbly submit to authority. First Jesus, second government and third, the church. A leader must always first know how to lead others.
Jesus > Manhood
At some point, manning up doesn’t work anymore. At some point, our morality fails, our persistence runs out, and we are just flawed men. And Jesus meets us most faithfully there, giving us grace for the struggle, even if it lasts our whole life. Are you a Christian? You’re made new in Christ. Find your identity, hope, peace and joy in him! Combat the lies that are thrown against you with the truth of who you are in Jesus. Let him love you.