Growing up I never had healthy male figures or role models in my life. I know the previous sentence is bleak and definitive, sadly it is the truth. My father left when I was less than a year old, right before my sister was born. (Yes, my sister and I are Irish twins. Born within 11 months of each other.) The most consistent male in my life was a close family friend. Every time I would stay the night at his house he would give me a stack of pornography tapes and say, “see you in the morning!” This started as young as 11 years old, with younger years consisting of inappropriate “snuggling” in his bed, in only our underpants. Other male figures who floated in and out had made promises to teach me how to play football, or how to fish and hunt but rarely followed through.
The examples presented on manhood and masculinity were very confusing and extremely disappointing. One vestige of masculinity I had was found in the guitar heroes I would idolize. I immersed myself in playing guitar and excelled quickly with some natural ability and a lot of passion. I was hoping my identity as a guitar player would protect me from how weak and feeble I truly was as a young man. By the age of 19 I was playing with a band all over the Portland, OR and Seattle area, yet still extremely weak and useless as a man. Much to my dismay, sex, drugs and rock n roll didn’t make me any more of a man than an adult giving pornography to an 11 year old boy. It seemed as if there were no hope of me every learning what it takes to be a man, and I would either flounder or wreak havoc like so many others before me.
When I reflect on the massive deficit of true masculinity during the early years of my life, I’m filled with gratitude when I consider the journey God has taken me on to learn how to be a man. There is no other way I could have taken the first steps into manhood if not for the grace of God. The truth is, nobody is able to do such a thing without the grace of God, regardless of past experiences. Of course a healthy upbringing can reduce many hurdles, but on this side of heaven we are imperfect people in dire need of the Heavenly Father to lead, guide, mentor and father each of us. Thankfully God has given us the resource and the relationship to make this possible. In John 14:6 Jesus said “… ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” Because of what Jesus has done by dying for our sin which had created a barrier between us and the Father we now have access to a relationship with God as sons. This allows us to learn from our Heavenly Father on how true masculinity operates because He is the one who created and designed us. We do this by persistent prayer, Spirit led studying of the scriptures, and through fellowship with brothers believing in God for guidance.
Over the next few weeks I will be writing some blogs on the core principles of biblical manhood which will come primarily from the discussion highlights at our monthly Men’s Breakfast. The breakfast is held on the 1st Saturday of each month and all are welcome. We believe Scripture to be useful in teaching us on how live out biblical masculinity, and we trust the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth. As iron sharpens iron we work together digging in to God’s word on what true masculinity is. Rather than looking to the world’s standards or merely guessing on how to live it out, we rely on the perfect resources and relationships that come from God.
The only hope we have to consistently function as real men in this world is through the lessons found in the Bible on masculinity and our identity as sons of the Heavenly Father. Without these we are either playing a high-stakes and high-risk guessing game, or abdicating our God-given responsibility to be men. The world is desperate for real men to rise up and take responsibility.
On the first Saturday morning of each month I have the privilege to meet with an evolving group of men at The Beat Church in Round Rock, TX for breakfast and Bible based conversation. The food served is incredible, and the discussions even better. Men from almost every background, upbringing, income bracket and ethnicity gathering to encourage and challenge each other to live a meaningful Christ-centered life is a rarity these days. Being able to participate in discussion as biblical masculinity is hammered out by honest and humble men is not something I thought I would every experience in my life. And having something of value to add to the conversation on Biblical Masculinity is even more mind blowing to me!
Don’t hesitate to reach out or join our January 7th breakfast, 8am at the Beat. You will have incredible food and be built up and have value added to the calling God has on your life. Learn more at https://www.thebeatchurch.com/men