What is happening to us that so many of us are out of the game? Why are so many of men missing in action?
For many of us, being a man in our world today can seem like an impossible task with so many forces that are working against us. So many of us are doing our best to be the best man that we can but it never seems like enough. Real manhood is often not rewarded and the strength that we bring to the table seems like its not really valued. To make matters worse, we live in a society where the definition of manhood itself is murky at best and our world is so full false images and models for manliness that it’s hard to know what it really means to be a man.
Our modern culture doesn’t make it any easier. Through media and advertisement, we are baited into being focused mainly on ourselves, on what satisfies our appetites or what gives us the greatest since of validation in the eyes of culture. Where we spend our time, focus, and treasure is consumed by what we perceive will add to us the validation we crave and we are consistently driven by the need to prove that we have what it takes. We find our value in not how well we serve and fight for those who need us but in how well be compare to the man next to us. Life is a competition to run up the score and, sadly, those that need us the most become pons in our race to feel more validated. Our women are diminished to trophy pieces and their value is measured by how good they make us feel about ourselves. Meanwhile, the strength that God has given us as men is seen as a tool whose purpose is solely for our own ambitions.
The net result of this has been disastrous.
”Our strength has a purpose. It makes us equipped to protect and provide for others.Domonic Purviance
I believe the most defining attribute of a man is his strength. God made males the physically stronger of the two sexes for a reason. I believe it was to give us a clue into what our purpose should be as men. Our strength has a purpose. It makes us equipped to protect and provide for others. This was especially true when we lived in more tribal or warrior cultures. The men were the warriors. They were the hunters and the builders. They had to be. Because of their strength, they were the ones best equipped for those duties. All of their training and development as a boys prepared males to carry out their duties once they became men. All men were aware of their duty. They knew that their strength was needed.
During these times, not only was a man required to be physically tough, his duties as a man required him to mentally tough as well. This is why, in addition to physical training, males had to develop the character to fulfill his duties as a man. He had to be self-disciplined and responsible. He had to have a well-focused mind. He had to learn to be fearless and brave, even in the midst of danger. He was taught to live by a code and this code guided his decisions and behavior.
Times were simpler then. Today, a man’s duty is much less defined and there is great uncertainty about what to do with his strength. And whenever you don’t know the purpose of a thing, one of three things usually happens: you will either abuse it, misuse it, or neglect it. Could that be the case with men in our society today? Could it be that because we don’t understand the purpose of our strength we tend to us it in ways that it was not designed for? Perhaps this is why so many men become abusive and violent to those we were supposed to love and protect. Maybe this is why so many men feel lost and confused and why some have completely given up on life. We have God-given strength but have no idea what it is for.