It is a line from a song I sang on Sunday night for National Men's Ministry Day 'Where are you men of courage? You were made for so much more." It resonates with me because, my whole life I felt, and at times was literally told, that I was useless and would never amount to anything. But God says in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. It's the verse that I have held onto for most of my adult life.
The problem most men have is that we like to see the big picture, we want to know where we are going so we can plan accordingly. Not that we don't like excitement or adventure, or that we can't be spontaneous, but in general we like to have a plan. I have found however that God doesn't always let us see the whole plan, sometimes we don't even get a glimpse of the road. That's because God wants us to trust him. In Psalm 46:10 he tells us to Be still, and know that I am God. The preceding verse of this chapter speak of natural disasters and warring nations, things that would make even the most stalwart man worry. Then God breaks through and says Be still and know that I am God. It is like God is says "Hey, chill out, I've got it under control."
That is such a comforting thought, to know that the creator of the universe has our back. So, why do we have such a hard time standing up. The world tells us to get out of the way, that as men we are obsolete. We are either portrayed as chauvinist pigs or as bumbling fools. Boys don't know how to grow up to be men because they have no one to show them the way, so inevitably they don't grow up at all. We end up with boys in men's bodies being told to man-up and get in touch with their feminine side. It's ridiculous.
So, how do we stop the trend? Quite honestly, I don't know. I don't know if there is really a one size fits all solution. Every man is different and every man will have a different answer to the problem in their own lives. For me it was facing those things in my childhood that I had buried deep down inside and tried to ignore. But as many have learned before me, Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away. The one thing that did help me was realizing that I'm not strong enough to do it on my own. Philippians 4:13 says I can do everything through him who gives me strength, but the key here is him. I needed to stop trying to do things in my own strength. It was only when I truly let God lead the way that I began to understand what being a man was all about.
I guess if I needed to point someone in the right direction to start, I would tell them to love God, love our wives as Christ loved the Church, and to love our children by spending time with them. The second verse of the song summed it up well:
This is our resolution
Our answer to the call
We will love our wives and children
We refuse to let them fall
We will reignite the passion
That we buried deep inside
May the watchers become warriors
Let the men of God arise
- Excerpt taken from Courageous by Casting Crown