"There’s no men!" "Real men…. [fill in the blank]."
I hear this a lot from young women. You are frustrated, I’ve been frustrated too plenty of times, and guess what? The frustration seems valid. I know. But our attitude plays such an important role in the lives of the men God has placed in our life.
Men who truly, wholeheartedly are following Jesus Christ are rare; you’re right.
But our place is not to criticize.
"As women, we are created to build men up, not tear them down. This doesn’t mean we lower our standards and accept mediocrity. Rather, it means that we motivate guys to rise up to the standard of Christ through words and attitudes of encouragement instead of disgust." (Leslie Ludy)
I have seen a ‘rare warrior’ before. Many, actually. And… I am so proud of them. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about it. I know they are imperfect (just like I am!) but what matters to me is “This is my brother.” And I love them. I respect them. I see them in Christ and am rooting them on. Christ is doing a work in them, and it’s continual.
Manhood is something that is taught and learned through imitation. So who is teaching men today how to be men? And who are they choosing to imitate?
What does true masculinity and manhood look like?
Christ is the ultimate example.
And every man on earth will fall short of that apart from Christ. None of us can live our roles -as men or women- without finding our true identity in Christ, without dying to our old self and being born again in Christ. We need the power of the Holy Spirit living in us. It does not happen by our own efforts or will, it does not happen because we try hard enough- we need Christ. Without, it is impossible for any of us. But the good news is- Christ is more than enough! So be encouraged and have hope- because when Christ begins a work, He will complete it. He is not finished with them, and He is not finished with us. He is able to do amazing things in and through us as we yield our hearts and lives to Him.
So if we realize what these men need is Christ, our role is to represent Him to them.
In this, there is such opportunity for love. But love is diminished when we dwell on the negative. So let us pray, but let us pray from the right heart.
For those who are your brothers in Christ, allow God to do the work in their heart. You can’t change them or their heart. But you can allow God to work in yours. You can ask Him to teach you how to respond to men who act like boys and how to love them with grace and wisdom. Build them up and encourage them when you have the opportunity. Look at them in Christ. Ask God to give you His eyes to see them as He does. Believe in them, be a blessing. The worst thing we could do is not honor or respect the men around us. So let’s respect the men God places in our lives and represent Christ to them. Let God do the work in their hearts. Continue being a light at every opportunity you’re given. Call them to a higher standard by holding yourself to one; be a godly example. Incite others to rise up by rising up yourself. And yes…pray, in love, in faith, with expectation and hope in God’s awesome power.