Yesterday’s blog may have left you with a gloomy picture of what men are like. I presented men as they are in their present “natural” state. Fortunately, it is not the entire story. I say present natural state because man, as he is now, is only a dim shadow of the original design. Ironically, before men tried to assume divinity for themselves, they were much closer to the goal than they find themselves today.
Man, as per the original design, was created in the likeness and image of the Creator. That is, he bore some kind of resemblance in appearance and an equal resemblance in attributes and behavior. Now, none of that was taken away in the change caused by rebellion against the Creator. It is overshadowed and scarred by man’s groping for divinity, but the original is still there.
Restoration of the original begins by returning to the original purpose of man…fellowship with God. Throwing off the drive to “be as gods” and returning to a creature/Creator relationship with God begins a transformation…a restoration to the original design. Conformity to the world is swallowed up by the transformation and a new man is produced. His old belief exchanged for something of higher value.
This man is loving, kind, joyful, moderate, peaceable, patient, gentle, good, and faithful in all he does. Not perfectly, of course, but with that goal in mind. He pursues all these things in himself and in his relationships with others. This, my friends, is a “real man.” Manhood has nothing to do with reflecting some social or feminine construct on how men ought to be.
God accepts men as they are and lifts them higher. God encourages men to do what they do best… create, build, defend, and contemplate. Aristotle said the work of man is to be fully operational in this way, his soul engaged in the good. We are made for this reason. And for this reason, we are made each other.
Some will say my thinking here is archaic and chauvinistic…maybe, but is there anyone who thinks the current progression of the American male (degeneration in my opinion) is leading someplace better? I think not. On our current path, we better not need another greatest generation, because it won’t be there. If the path ahead is not the answer, maybe we should look elsewhere, possibly to a time when “toxic masculinity” was just what the world needed.
Men are at once the greatest good and the worst poison for our world. If we wish to live the highest life, we must take care we live in a society where one can be free to become all the Creator meant us to be. This is a job for “real men.”