Posts Tagged ‘Male Identity


Role of Man

Photo Credit - // do you define masculinity?  What does it mean to be a man?

Matt Chandler, lead pastor of The Village Church, looks at the first three chapters of Genesis and contends that man is wired to be a builder, a cultivator, and achiever and that this distinctive role informs what it means to be husband and father.

Matt was the voice in my head as I ran this past week.  I have no hesitation in recommending these 3 talks: Defining Masculinity, Role of Man as Husband and Role of Man as Father.

Here are a few of my take-aways:

  • God has given man the primary (not sole!) leadership role in the family
  • Being there and taking initiative are key
  • God is committed to who we are right now as men, not to some future version of who we ought to be
  • Where our present situation and practice is less than God’s ideal, that is the place where God’s grace abounds

Raising boys

// boys, that is the topic of this post. I have three and let me say right out of the blocks that I am no expert. I have learned that each of my sons is not like the other: one loves guitar, another basketball and the third politics. So…I am learning…my approach to each one needs to be customized. With that I need help. Maybe you can relate.

An article entitled “How to Fix Boys” caught my attention. It is an interview with Leonard Sax, family physician and research pathologist in Maryland. Here are some quotes that caught my attention:

The six-year-old boy and the six-year-old girl differ from each other much more than an adult man and adult woman do. We all wind up in the same place: there’s very little difference in terms of adult men’s and women’s maturity, ability to sit still, how they learn. But there are huge differences in the ability of the average six-year-old girl and boy to sit still and be quiet.

Policies which ban children from playing with pretend swords or toy guns are not grounded in any research findings demonstrating that those policies accomplish anything good.

If you have such a son, who is very much engaged by competition and mastery, these games may pose a particular risk. They can be addictive, and I use that term speaking as a medical doctor: literally addictive.

The most startling change between teenage culture today and 30 years ago is the way more and more teenage boys have moved away from the courtship of girls. Online pornography has displaced the pursuit of real girls for a significant number of boys.

Dad has an important role to play, but boys have to see a lot of different men to have a healthy sense of what it means to be a man. They need a community of men, and we don’t provide that.

Look again at the last point. The church needs to be a place where boys find healthy role models. I would love to hear what your church is doing in this regard.


3 Keys to being “Husband”

What does it mean to be a husband according to the Jesus Way? Recently I took a shot at defining the essentials based on Eph 5:21-33.

Husbands need to be passionate about the well-being of their brides. That passion is expressed in at least three key ways.

First, husbands are pro-active servant-leaders. Just as Jesus took the initiative and gave himself up for his bride (v. 25), so guys we should be taking the initiative to step up to our responsibilities, to step in to the situation and to step out for our brides. Sure there are times when I don’t feel like taking initiative. It’s harder to be pro-active, but ducking my responsibilities to my wife is not loving her like Jesus loved the Church. It’s also hard to make sure my leadership is serving God’s purposes for my wife rather than serving my self-centred interests. Anyone relate to that?

Second, husbands protect their bride. Jesus sacrificed himself to “sanctify” his bride (v. 26). He gave of himself to deliver his bride from corruption and death to holiness and life. As earthly husbands our role is analogous. We take the initiative to protect our bride from that which threatens her well-being, whether that threat is physical, spiritual, or otherwise. Protecting our wife is not dominating her with self-serving rules or putting her in her place with our remarks.

Third, husbands provide for their bride. Just as Jesus nourished and cherished the Church (v. 29) so we should care for the needs of our bride. We might quickly think about providing her material needs and that is a good start, but guys we need to be the one that provides our bride with security and affirmation so that she can flourish and become the woman God intends.



Seven things men struggle with

Are you compelled to read on? Maybe you are a bit like me, you don’t really want someone to point out the things you struggle with, particularly if it seems like they are just adding to the list you are already keeping. But wait, I could have easily (and maybe more wisely) entitled this post “Seven things men can overcome”.John, one of the twelve who followed Jesus wrote these words,//

I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God abides in you,
and you have overcome the evil one. (1Jn 2:14b ESV)

As men of the Way we have overcome the evil one. Not on our own, but because the word of God dwells in us. This is what John heard Jesus himself say,

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jn 8:31-32 ESV).

We no longer need to be enslaved by the sins that seem to so easily entangle men. And what are those things? Read on.

  • Addictions
  • Anger
  • Arrogance
  • Arrears (i.e., caught in a debt trap)
  • Anarchy (i.e., rejection of authority)
  • Absenteeism (i.e., being checked out physically or emotionally from the family)
  • Abdication (i.e., abandoning our responsibility of servant leadership)

Do you see yourself in any of this? If you say no, you might want to check out this link.


Living in the moment

Do you know people that live for the moment? What about those that seem to be haunted by the past? And others that live in fear of the future?

The guys talked about that (and prayed about that) over our weekly fix of doughnuts. Here is my two cents.

As followers of Christ, our past may be full of “issues”, some that we own and some that was dumped on us; either way Jesus can deliver us from that darkness. Our past doesn’t need to cast condemning shadows on the present. We are free.

As men of the Way, our future is secure with God. He knows what we need to live and grow and he promises to provide that. The future need not be a source of fear or worry or paralysis. It is a destination we anticipate with hope.

As sons of the King, we are able to live fully in the moment, but we do not live for the moment. Our priorities and passions are becoming kingdom-centred not self-centred. Our moments are opportunities to lead boldly by serving Truth.

What is your two cents?


It’s your move!

Photo credit - was Adam when his bride was being accosted by the serpent? Don’t give me the line, “The text doesn’t say exactly.” Maybe not ‘exactly’, but what it says is plenty for my point. Adam, wherever he was ‘exactly’, he wasn’t ‘there’ putting himself forward to protect his wife from the craftiness of the Father of all lies. He wasn’t ‘there’ putting himself forward to provide guidance about God’s command. Wherever he was, he wasn’t up front giving himself for his wife and he is not up front for the rest of us husbands either. We must look elsewhere for a role model.

Paul points us in the right direction. He writes,

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Eph 5:25)

Whereas the first Adam gave up his bride when God came a callin’ in the garden, the second Adam gave himself up in the garden for all those that would become his bride the church.

Here is the deal: Men of the Way, step up, put up and give themselves up for the wellbeing of their bride.

Take this on-line poll


Markers on the journey flunked you the first time. It didn’t matter how well you did in the test. It didn’t matter how careful you were. If you were a teenage boy he flunked you the first time. He flunked me the first time, but I had been warned. I left the car and immediately booked a second driver’s test. I wasn’t a kid anymore and getting my license was a key event marking my journey into adulthood. For me it was a rite of passage that would not be denied; delayed yes, but it was going to happen.

Dave Conklin at Warrior’s Hand recently flagged an article promoting the value of carefully and thoughtfully marking a boy’s journey into manhood with some type of rite of passage.

What is your take on this? Was your journey into manhood marked by some particular event or symbol? Is there merit in investigating how we could celebrate this passage for the teen boys in our lives?


This blog is a place to wrestle with loving, leading and labouring according to the Jesus Way.


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