One of the missing elements in our society, in my humble opinion, is the presence of strong male role models. I feel I can speak freely here because I am a male. I am afraid that we men have for the most part just surrendered our role as leaders in the home to “Media Man.” Media Man has several personas:
He sometimes presents himself as Macho Max. He has been played by a number actors such as Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Deny all your feelings, ignore the law, never complain, never apologize. Just sweat a lot. Accomplish the impossible every eight minutes, take anything you want, use foul language, and bully people. The Macho Max model.
Another way Media Man is played is Ranting Ray. This is the type of person who builds up his self-worth by constantly putting someone else down, especially his wife and his family. He rules over his family while everyone actually makes fun of him behind his back. He’s frightened by the world so he keeps everyone at arm’s length with his dry humor and cutting remarks.
The third model that M.M. personifies Wimpy Willie. This is the man who is so inept he’s constantly outwitted by his children, his wife and even his dog. Nobody takes him serious. He’s a bumbling idiot. His motto is “Blessed are the passive for they shall avoid conflict at all costs.” You might find this man in most of the prime time cartoons (Homer Simpson) and in my day it was the Dagwood Bumstead comic strips.
I would like to suggest a blueprint for us men to follow that is based on the best book in the world, the Bible. I believe the world is in dire need of men with these qualities:
1. We need men who are COMPASSIONATE– men who put relationships above results; people above profits.
This is not natural for most men. It is my nature to focus on results, not relationships. We are very result oriented. Often women tend to be more relationship oriented than men. Guys, we’ve got work to do here. The Bible says if I have not love, I’m nothing. I’ve heard it said that the greatest things in life aren’t things. Jesus said “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his soul.” We’ve got to look at relationships to God and to each other. People last, profits margins don’t. People are going to last for eternity your profession won’t.
“They are all wrapped up in their own affairs” is what the Phillips translation says. The man who’s all wrapped up in himself is not a Daddy. He’s a mummy. The average father spends less that two minutes a day with his children in serious conversation. How do you develop relationships like that? You can’t. “I’d love to play ball but I don’t have time … I’d love to help out but I don’t have time … I’d love to do this but I don’t have time … I’ve got to go make a sale, close a deal, run a race, whatever.”
I just finished a great day with my youngest son surf fishing in the Atlantic. How many fish did we catch, you ask? None, zero, nadda. But for me it was a great day because I did something that I know I have not done enough of, give my son the gift of TIME. Last week I played golf with my oldest son. I got a few more strokes than I did fish. That’s ok.
Come on, you know it’s true. We need more men (and women) with compassion, who put relationship before results. We’ve got to balance these things.
2. We need men who are CONSISTENT. Men who put character before conformity. They’re not afraid to be swim against the current. They’re not afraid to stand alone for what’s right. A man who will stand up and say, “I don’t care what everybody else thinks. I don’t care what they’re doing. I’m going to do the right thing.”
There are a lot of guys out there like that. We have some men like that in the wonderful world of Wahoo Church. There is a guy name Timothy like that in the Bible. His friend Paul said this about him, “Timothy has proved himself he has served with me in the work of the gospel.” The word “proved” literally means “tested character”. He didn’t bend to pressure. He was a man of conviction. An opinion is something you’ll argue about but a conviction is something you’ll die for. The young generation of today needs to see more men of conviction. There’s the old saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” What do people in your life know you stand for? Football? Whatever team you like? Is that all the people in your life know about your life? The kind of people who make an impact with their lives are people of conviction. The people who changed the world, for either good or for bad, were those with the deepest convictions. They believed it from the depths of their hearts. And they lived it out.
Proverbs 10:9 “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” The bottom line is integrity. The world is interested in image but image doesn’t last. But character lasts a lifetime. It’s not image that counts. It’s character. It’s integrity. That’s the bottom line. We must constantly be checking: Is my private life consistent with my public image? If it’s not I’d better change it. I’d better not be living Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I need to be constantly evaluating, Am I being consistent in my lifestyle publicly and privately. Inconsistent fathers produce insecure children. Unreliable husbands produce unstable marriages.
I will have to pick up here tomorrow. That surf just about beat me to death and this red tan is needing some aloe attention.