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Blessing the Boys
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Photo: Peter Borovsky
Fill in the blank. Men are___________.

Not long ago my husband and I were discussing the current enactments of adult men depicted in the media. He feels outrage, shame and sadness at the way society seems to see the failings of men/fathers. I have to agree that it has become alarmingly appropriate to make fun of American father figures. It’s hard to think of any father in secular videos, cartoons, commercials, that provides much respect. They appear bumbling, obnoxious, inept, or worse as abusive monsters. My husband says that it is “open season” especially upon Caucasian, Christian men. If this happened to another culture or gender group there would be a secular uprising and outcry. Of course, this comes from his perspective. However, if we lived in the days of Exodus 21, those who attacked or cursed father or mother would be put to death (that might end a trend!). Yet we crave Super-heroes and the savior myth repeats with the theaters packed when the latest—man sets out to save the world.

We could discuss the societal changes that fostered the media version evolution of men. However, the enemy of our souls has honed his inventive and age-old ways to wound the hearts of men and women, and damage the image of God in each of us. Power is abused, mocked or hoarded. Strengths and gifts are denied or undervalued. The opinion pendulum swings from “we’re all the same” to “we’re different.” We’ve been encouraged to believe that if we didn’t have to bother or tolerate “different,” then life would be simple and pleasant. So much for community. So much for needing me.

Brother, Husband, Son, Uncles

Personally, I have found that the men in my life, are different from me. I have a father, brother, husband, son, in-laws, uncles, cousins (and a male dog). These men are frustrating, funny, amazing and God designed. Yet our basic human needs are pretty much the same. The New Testament compares us, men and women believers, as a holy temple, or a part of the body of Christ. “Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27). “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it” (Ephesians 4:7). “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good…All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines” (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11). Not one of us has the option of saying that we do not need a certain body part, or that it is not important. Bricks should not throw bricks.

God speaks to us in symbols and context. He is likened to a father in the Old and New Testament. Jesus spoke of His father’s house, our Father in Heaven. “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” 2 Corinthians 6:18). “But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless)” Psalms 10:14). “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling” Psalms 68:5). Certainly, the world today is desperately in need of men after God’s own heart.

Jesus has commissioned us with a ministry of reconciliation. We are to speak reconciliation to each other—men and women, husbands and wives. As we stay in relation to Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will call forth the priceless unique strengths in each other.

Men are precious people.
 
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By Karen Spruill, M.A. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.


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