Monday, September 5, 2011

The measure of a man

Go back 40 years and watch one of those typical hero movies.  Black and white, sure, but it never lacked valiance, daring, and god-like wonder.  The strong and invincible man to the rescue.  That was what every boy wanted to be.  Now pop in most any PG flick, and whom does it glorify?  The whiny, unsure, and weak young men of our time.  Fibbers, party-ers, the works - all enslaved with their "inferiority" to the woman (or women) of their lusts.  So much for the unprecedented virtue, honesty, and goodness of our supers of old.
Not that I'm all for unreachable standards of myth and glory, and of corse all men have their insecurities, but lets face it -
Men are not encouraged to be masculine in the 21st century, are they?
The runway styles idolize skinny, soft, sick-looking boys in deep v-necks, ruffles, and hip-hugging pants.  Culture encourages men to "show their ying-yang"; their "feminine side".  Teen girls call attractive males "cute", or "adorable", as apposed to a "hunk", or "the man" a decade or two ago.

We seem to be calling it the great era of freedom.  When women - who were supposedly "held down, enslaved, and suppressed" by "greedy, barbaric, dominating, men" for the last few thousand years - are rising up to show their true, independent colors, and taking their stand against the "dummies".
Riots start up if a man holds a door open for a lady, or hate-crime penalties given if one is heard to have said they are fairly sure marriage is between one man and one woman.

America isn't giving the best examples of femininity to us girls, either.  Lady Gaga and Lindsey Lohon are the exalted ones we are supposed to pattern ourselves after.  And little girls don't have it much better on Disney Channel.  Miley Cyrus, Selenna Gomez, and that Beiber guy.

So what is the measure of a man - or a woman, for that matter? 
Well, lets take a look.  In every nation that has patterned itself after God's literal commands, there has been justice against the man who mistreats a woman.  All their kings and highest rulers were men, for their duty as protectors, and mutual respect, love, and honor were to be shared between a husband and wife.  Men and women were viewed as equally important, but their roles in society were quite different - and that is a good thing.  It accomplished much prosperity and well-bred families.

The roles of men and women in a Bible-based community/nation:
A child would be expected to learn under the tutelage of her elders and respect them, usually going back a generation or two, living in the same household, and care for their parents when they were old.  Very family oriented, notice.  The children worked hard, learned of character and the scriptures, and were included in many hearty celebrations.  Children were a huge blessing and also a responsibility taken very seriously.
The father.  He was the head of his household, and expected to run it with righteousness and grace, with no tolerance for evil.   To his daughters, he was the strong and loving protector and provider.  To his sons, he was their mentor, teacher, and tutor - showing them his trade and livelihood, so that they would be the same to their wife and children someday.
The mother was the woman who would support her husband, and care for his household.  She was esteemed by her honor, wisdom, modesty, children, work, and good character.    To her daughters, she was their confidence.  She would teach and guide them in righteousness, and show them how to work.  To her sons, she would prepare their food and clothing, and yes, simply be their dear mother they would fight for and die for.
The Grandparents.   In a traditional Jewish household, or even simply in the young America, and still in many Nomadic tribes in the Mid-East, there would be a family clan.  Aunts, Uncles, Grandma, Great Grandpa, Son-in-law, children... all.  The older one was, the more they were respected, and expected to be most wise and self-controlled.
In a war, the men would fight; the women would tend the flocks and house at home.  The man would protect and provide for his children, and ultimately take responsibility for their actions, but the woman carried and bore the children.  Both roles equally important, but vastly different.

Remember the first 26 and 27th verses in the whole Bible -

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them."
- Genesis 1:26-27

The measure of a true man is to act as Christ.

A few more verses to go with this theme.
Ephesians 5:24, 1 Peter 3:7, 1 Peter 3:4, Proverbs 31, 1 Timothy 5:17, Proverbs 11:8, Genesis 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 3:11, Titus 2:3, 1 Timothy 3:1-12,

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