Man down, man up!

By Donald The Neosapien

When I was yet a boy, I remember playing a game we called ‘house’ with other kids where we would all pretend to be adults and do what they did, however, because we had a limited frame of reference we could only emulate what we saw them do in front of us. The boys would be the fathers of the home, ordering food and beer from our wives and relaxing in front of the television, fortunately much has changed since then. With capitalism, globalisation (or new world order depending how you look at it) and political revolutions society has been directly affected by these changes, little did I know back then that I would be nowhere near the man I was emulating when we played house.

Today we see women being CEO’s of companies, earning more money than their husbands, historically some have even led armies to war so this begs the question, and how has this affected men? Gender roles have shifted a lot in the last 50 years and knowing that the biggest fear that men have; the fear of weightlessness or lack of impact, this has led men to face the very fear in their households and this has had all sorts of consequences. Frustrated men have become more violent in their homes, more controlling; some have even raped defenceless women as a way to assert their power and dominance because they lack it at home. Is this the modern man?

In a society with a decaying moral fabric where a woman is raped every 17 seconds in South Africa, where corrective rape is met with shrugs and high raised noses in the rural areas, where cheating on a woman is as normal as unprotected sex, how does a man remain morally upright? Well, without getting into the differences between the various religions that exist it is logical to acknowledge the similarities especially around being good and doing well to others. It is vital to be spiritually grounded if one is to live above the painfully accepted norms that damage our society daily. Manhood has to be redefined by both men and women; a measure of a man should no longer be “success”, instead it should encompass a strong moral standing, leadership even if it is only within a household, a character that supports, stands and fights for human rights but these are overlooked in favour of status and financial prestige. A man will always be a provider (or at least will always strive to be) and it is important to note that this provision must include intangible yet equally important aspects that affect how we relate to men like support, love and spiritual guidance (as a priest in their homes) and this is what our society lacks today, men who understand what it means to be men.

We should not shun gender roles at all, but merely understand them better and adapt them to be relevant in modern society, most of the moral challenges we face today are as a result of our children being raised by everything else but their parents (this also extends to single parenthood), boys become men purely based on age and whom they emulate so the ‘house’ we grew up playing, is playing itself out in reality today.

The word of God teaches that men should love their wives as Christ loved the church so at the very core of every man is the call to love. If you as a young man have not found God’s direct purpose for your life you can, at the very least rest on this, which is the call to love. What most people misunderstand is the command for women to submit to their husbands, how this command, is preceded by the love that men are to embody and display to their wives first before women can submit and if anything, our women are to respond to the love by submitting but alas I digress. Consider the story of the prophet Hosea, whom God called to love and marry a harlot who consistently committed adultery; this was to be a moral lesson to the children of Israel about their spiritual adultery that they were committing by worshipping other gods. Through this lesson Hosea learnt how Christ loves the church (us) unconditionally even though expressing disapproval of our sins; so central to being spiritually grounded is love, which the bible also defines as God himself (refer also to 1Conrinthians13).

Submission to Christ is the second step to manhood, being led by the master is the true path to leadership. When Paul writes “it is not I who lives but Christ who lives in me” he speaks of being led by the Holy Spirit as well as the concept of “self” dying at the cross. When ‘self’ dies, it takes with it all the sins of the flesh, lust, greed, pride, ego, posturing, posing, and the desire for validation, superiority complex as well as identity issues. When it comes to identity, Christ speaks about us as kings, a royal priesthood, and a peculiar people, zealous of good works, with different gifts that all work together for good and the glory of God, as beings he knew before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs this is what leads a man to true manhood.

Men are responsible for the leadership of society in general and not just their homes, therefore when the neighbour starves, it is the man’s fault as he is supposed to be ‘Christ’ in the situation, a brother’s keeper who does unto others what he would like done unto him as well. Notice how the greatest weaknesses of the modern man are nullified by his submission to Christ and this is because submission to Christ is followed by not just a change or alteration but a total transformation of the heart/mind which is followed by the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, faith, meekness and temperance). Is it not ironic that growing up as young men we are taught that “Tigers don’t cry?” and that it is impossible to control a man’s sexual desires? The word of God teaches the contrary so being spiritually grounded is incredibly important to true manhood. In a fit of rage I once said that “women need to understand that some of us are actually interested in more than their cup sizes” and that “a man who cries is not less of a man, if anything, it makes him more human”.

Women have an equally heavy responsibility in this process not just in raising young men to become real men, but also in moulding the already older ones to change their ways by promoting and validating the qualities they value in them. We need more women who shun money and status as a definition of manhood in place of virtue and a solid character. We need women who not only advocate women’s rights but also dispel the notion that ‘nice guys finish last’ (even though those are the ones most women eventually want to marry). We need women to raise the standard, women who are not afraid of being single, who would rather be single than be treated less than a queen, “who demand and demonstrate respect when they walk through the door” as Black Ice eloquently worded, this will go very far in aiding the journey to true manhood. (Mind you I realise the utopian nature of this ideal but I had to, as a matter of principle, express it).

In summary, it is in Christ that we find our identity, purpose, love, grace, truth as well as principles that guide us in this life and the one to come. So even if you have been raised by a single mother, the word of God is adequate to teach you to be a real man. That it is okay to be sensitive to the world around you, to be compassionate, to shun evil and to stand up for good even if you are the only one, to lead by example even at the face of being laughed at by lost men, to tread on higher moral ground, to uphold principle over the desires of the flesh, to seek favour with God above man. Go on, be a real man, you have it in Christ. What are your thoughts?

 

4 Comments

  1. Great article Neosapien, thank you for sharing sound wisdom. I agree with most of what you argued and wish more of our peers would read and by
    Grace, comprehend it too. My issue is most young men SEEM to not want to commit to nurturing Godly character hence being insecure, wanting to assert their power etc. My opinion. Thanks again!

  2. Khabonina

    The mere fact that even in this day and age, there still exists a man who knows the true definition of what it means to be a man according to the Word of God, means that hope remains. And because hope remains, God’s work is not done.
    This article will not only change the mindsets of many, but it will renew and transform our way of life – challenging us to rise above the norms and standards of society and truly and fully live a life that is pleasing to the Lord.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow mr d mind blowing as for a minute i thought i was speaking to you in physical sense as you guide me in being a better and a neigbour ,s shoulder to cry on ,deep stuff

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