Christian Manhood

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by John of Japan, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Mr. Ueno's daughter died Saturday after a year and a half suffering cancer. He called me from Chiba Prefecture, and I was once again reminded about why I admire this good Christian man. I'm dedicating this thread to him.

    Young people nowadays like the idiom "man up." We see this statement on the BB sometimes. But what does that really mean? We'll discuss Christian manhood, and I'll give my philosophy of what it means to be a good Christian man in three parts.

    Ground rule: let's not discuss the manhood of anyone on the BB, please. That would easily degenerate into statements like "BB Denizen" is not much of a man," or, "I did such and such and 'BB Denizen' didn't take it like a man." However, discussing positively the manhood of our non-BB role models would be a good thing.
     
  2. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,109
    Likes Received:
    219
    Actually, I dont think I have ever heard that phrase up here in the frozen North.
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Mr. Ueno came to Christ through the death by cancer of his Christian wife eight years ago. That alone shows true manhood, since 99% of this country are non-Christian. It takes a real man to be a strong Christian in the face of 99% of your country. Yet Mr. Ueno has shown great love in his care for his daughter. He has been living almost all the time in Chiba so he can be near her and care for her. (He's a retired train driver.)

    The first part of my philosophy is that a real Christian man has both strength and love. The Bible states is this way:

    Other ways I've seen this stated include:

    Tender Warrior, a great book by Stu Weber
    Man of Steel and Velvet, a book by Aubrey P. Andelin
    Tough and Tender, by Joyce Landorf, a book about "what every woman wants in a man"
    "He was strong enough to be gentle."--in a Western novel about the hero.
    "In your hardness, softness, in your softness, hardness"--kung fu aphorism

    Here is a poem I wrote about this, thinking about Mr. Ueno:



    He Was a Man

    By John R. Himes


    12/10/10


    Dedicated to Tomiro Ueno


    We knew him a man because he was strong.
    He fought for the right and never sought wrong.
    He pressed on his way no matter how hard,
    And pushed on and fought on, even when tired.

    But then we found out that steel can be brittle,
    And needs something else, and not just a little.
    When strength has no love then it only has form;
    Strong trees that are rotten fall down in the storm.

    We then thought him weak because he had love.
    We felt him a coward to trust God above.
    We mocked his compassion and all of the rest.
    A gentleman? Right. And weak-kneed, we guessed.

    But we learned that in love there are all kinds of power,
    That gentleness helps in the darkest of hour.
    We found out that kindness brings help from the Lord.
    And friendship is powerful, sharp as a sword.

    A true man of God must have love and have strength.
    To lack either one is to fail, when at length
    The hard times approach and the tragedy falls.
    Be a man strong and gentle—and make Christ your all!
     
    #3 John of Japan, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2010
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    "Man up" is a fairly recent development in the English language.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    The second part of my philosophy of Christian manhood involves having Christian character. Psalm 15 says it best:
    There is so much here I'll not try to exegete the psalm, but a few things I get out of it about Christian character are:
    1. A real man seeks God at all times.
    2. Righteousness is foremost in his thinking.
    3. He always speaks and seeks truth, and doing that in his heart means learning the truth about himself.
    4. He's loyal and friendly to his neighbors, and honors and respects God's people.
    5. He never goes back on his word, even if he promised something mistakenly. He carries out what he says he will.
    6. He uses money as a tool, something that must be used with good ethics and morals.
     
  6. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,171
    Likes Received:
    369
    I have to say that this is one area that I really respect Mark Driscoll and his teaching of the men in his congregation (and many who watch his sermons). My husband and I laugh at the frank way he speaks but man, does he hit "boys who shave" where they are at.

    To me, a man is one who stands alone with God - who does not need anyone else to keep his relationship with God strong. He's someone who sees who he is in Christ and understands that he stands very highly because of being a man following the Lord of the universe and has a high responsibility but also who stands very low knowing just what he cost that same Lord. A man is one who cherishes his wife and will willingly lay down his life for her and does so daily. He's a man who works hard to support his family and stands as a man of honor in his job. He's a man who is not afraid to be a father to his children from changing diapers and cleaning vomit to disciplining his children to mentoring and loving them as the grow. He is a man who is concerned about his community, working to better life for all of those around him and deals with all he meets with kindness and integrity. He's a man who will stop his car to let a baby duck get to her mama on the other side of the road yet would kill a dog with his bare hands who would go to harm his family or another.
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    The third part to my philosophy involves a Biblical version of the Renaissance Man. The Renaissance Man is balanced, has developed his talents, can move freely in any level of society, talking to children as fluently as scholars. The Japanese refer to this as 文武両道, (bunbu ryodo), literally "literature and warrior skills, both roads." This means a Samurai warrior should know the arts as well as the martial arts.

    The Christian version of this I get from King David, who was referred to as a man after the Lord's own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). I think this means something more than just spiritual. David was a warrior, but he also was a poet. He was a leader, but also a musician. I think a Christian man should develop all of his talents so that he can serve God with all he is.

    This morning in my personal devotions I read an interesting passage that illustrates this in a poem of David's:
     
    #7 John of Japan, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2010
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Very well said! :thumbs:
     
  9. Gershom

    Gershom
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's good, brother. I enjoyed reading that. Surely a model we men should follow after.
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    It's often hard. Temptations are many and the flesh calls. But with God's help the weakest man can become the strongest Christian.

    Mr. Ueno has been such an encouragement and blessing to watch during this past year and a half while his daughter was dying. She called him on the anniversary of his wife's death to tell him she had the same kind of cancer. He took it like a man, and has shown her incredible love. Then early this year his younger brother died suddenly in his sleep. Ueno San has kept his faith and been a strong but gentle Christian man all through great tragedy.
     
  11. Luke2427

    Luke2427
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    7,598
    Likes Received:
    8
    Very good Ann- really.

    I find your definition of manliness more compelling than John's because these things in your list are actually things that define manhood separately from womanhood.

    The things John keeps mentioning are things that make a fine Christian- period. Everything that he mentions is every bit as applicable to godly Christian women as they are to men.

    Your post mentions things that particularly true about being a real Christian MAN- things like cherishing one's wife and being willing to die for one's family and tearing a dog apart that threatened his family- these are things that are particularly true about godly men.

    I am perpetually impressed by your perspective.
     
  12. Luke2427

    Luke2427
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    7,598
    Likes Received:
    8
    All of these things are equally true for godly women, John. Do you not think that the definition of a man includes things that differentiate him from women?
     
    #12 Luke2427, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2010
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    You have a valid point.

    Having said that, what I've written was intended to moderate the macho, "strength only" view of man that so many have in our culture. So a man should not only be strong, he should be gentle. He should not only "hange out" with the guys, but learn to communicate on a child's level. He can enjoy poetry and other things thought to be feminine from the macho view, and still be manly.
     
  14. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,171
    Likes Received:
    369
    Don't get me wrong - I'd do all the same things as well but you know what? I don't see a lot of men who feel the same way. Yes, there are some but honestly, I don't see many coming up in these young generations today. My husband and I pray for our daughters because honestly, there are no boys that are their age who impress us in the least. Actually, this new boy that just came to the Lord is the most impressive and I see him really growing in his faith but right now he's very needy and I don't like that. My husband and I kind of laughed about it because we are both very UN-needy and to have a guy (or gal) that so depends on the other for their value is really not attractive to us.

    But the lack of real "men" in their early 20s is pitiful. Truly pitiful. I pray that God would help us raise our son to be a man who is worthy of being called a "man of God" and that my daughters would all seek that out for their husbands. I think my older girls are there from what they say but we still have one more little one who's just almost 8 and so we still have work to do.

    Here's what Mark Driscoll has to say about these young men. ;)

    http://worship.com/2009/11/the-meas...o-shave-the-problem-with-young-christian-men/
     
  15. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,171
    Likes Received:
    369
    Totally agree with you John. This gentleman that you were blessed to know laid down his life for his family. He did not despise the work of caring for his family through what was most likely a very ugly time of their lives. Cancer does not take people gently and it is a terribly gruesome ending to a human life yet this man was willing to give up his life and right to "properness" to be able to love his family. That truly shows a real man.
     
  16. Luke2427

    Luke2427
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    7,598
    Likes Received:
    8
    I don't think that is the way the tide is rising today. I don't think there is a deficiency in males who like the arts.

    And I don't think liking the arts makes one less manly.

    The tide is turning in Western society to the feminization of the male.

    Queer Eye for the Straight guy and limp wristed, sissy acting men are what is on the rise in the West.

    Men who like things that are peculiarly manly is on the decline.

    I will say that trend that I feel began in the 80' and intensified in the 90's may be on the decline in the last several years though.

    Shows like "Man vs Wild" are popular.

    An old movie catches for me the idea of Western manhood pretty well. I have it here somewhere and think it is called "Who Shot Liberty Valance?"

    Two men are presented- both manly men.

    One is played by John Wayne- of course.

    John Wayne is big and broad and brawny and rugged and pointed and principled- but good- good to the good guys- pretty rough on the bad guys- and dependable and honest and a protector of the weak. He is a cowboy. His weapons against evil are his muscle and his gun and his tough hide and hard head and his fighting skills

    Jimmy Stewart plays the other kind of manly man. He is scrawny and wiry and not very rugged. But he is brave and principled and pointed and intelligent and dedicated. He is a lawyer. His weapons against evil are his brains and his passion and his persuasive skills and his stick-to-itiveness.

    Both are men. The point of the movie is that we need both types of manly men.

    There seems to me to be an asserted effort to eradicate the John Wayne type man from the face of the earth- especially in America and most especially from Christianity.
     
    #16 Luke2427, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2010
  17. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    He'll be coming up again to our city, and coming back to church faithfully. He will be an excellent role model for the ex-con in our church who has a very skewed, macho-Japanese version of manhood. Our ex-con still looks at women as something to be used, at money as a worthy goal, at liquor as a source of joy, at faithful Christianity as a bother.

    In the car on the way home from church Sunday, the ex-con and I had a good talk about self-discipline. He said, "My philosophy is to go easy on myself and be strict with everyone else." I replied that mine was the opposite. A real man is strict with himself and gentle with others. Self discipline is one mark of a real man.

    I think this is why we admire successful athletes and brave soldiers, though often their private character may be terrible. It takes real discipline to be good at a sport. Even the Apostle Paul used illustrations from the sports world and from the military. He told Timothy to "endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ," and also told us that he ran and fought in a disciplined way (1 Cor. 9:26).
     
  18. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    This is a good post, but I'm afraid I lost all respect for John Wayne the man when I read years ago about an incident in which he got in trouble for hitting a woman. A real man defends those who are weaker, and never bullies or pushes them around.

    Here is the vow one must make to advance in rank in the Temple Chinese Boxing Association, a Christian martial arts organization I have the privilege of being a part of:


    I Pledge:

    1. To always practice my martial art to the glory of the only true God and His son, Jesus Christ.
    2. To never use my martial art for the purpose of glorifying myself.
    3. To only use my martial art for defense, never for attack.
    4. To defend with my martial art my family and the weak and helpless as well as myself.
     
    #18 John of Japan, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2010
  19. Luke2427

    Luke2427
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    7,598
    Likes Received:
    8
    I was speaking of the character John Wayne played not John himself.

    But I am a little less judgmental than you apparently. I will not write off a man for a moment of weakness.

    If it is necessary to never have a moment of weakness then no one is a man are they?

    And I don't advocate hitting women but I have in my life seen some that I figure would be awful hard not to put hands on at times.
     
  20. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    11

    It used to be "cowboy up", but has since grown into the more generic "man up".

    Incidently, both Voddie Baucham and Paul Washer have excellent sermon series on Christian manhood.

    I don't have a link, but I'm positive that both are available for free either on the internet or through itunes.
     

Share This Page

Loading...