Josh Christophersen

Reign In Life

Thoughts On Male Confidence From A Super Bowl Commercial

I found myself drawn to this particular Super Bowl commercial this year.

Every man at some point, struggles with confidence.  He wonders if he has what it takes.

Men are drawn to confident risk takers (women too, by the way).  Although bravery doesn’t necessarily define “us”, it does separate the men from the boys.

The first place God put man was in a wild garden with a beautiful woman and a dangerous dragon (Rev 12:9).

Men are called to be dragon slaying leaders who leave mommy and daddy to pursue, fight for, and rescue the heart of a woman (Gen 2:24).

Not macho men, who’ve hijacked the meaning of manhood and redefined it as selfishly using and abusing women for their own gain and pleasure (or those who force themselves on women as some have suggested this commercial promotes).

And not the uninitiated dopes that our emasculated culture uses as the butt of every joke on TV.

It’s a lot easier for men to forgo risk and hide behind a computer screen that reduces women to pixels and body parts.  It takes courage for men to take their hands off the computer mouse and themselves, to risk rejection and navigate the dangers and perils of pursuing and interacting with a real live woman with real emotions, thoughts, and dreams.

The glory of God that men were created to be beckons them to a higher calling, to be confident and courageous. It’s what men were created for and what women find attractive.

A man’s confidence doesn’t come from a car but from Jesus Christ and His definition of manhood.

And take note men, especially in the vacuum created by a generation of absent and distant fathers, as this commercial shows; your mom is not able to initiate you, answering the question of whether you have what it takes.

As well meaning as mom is and as hard as she tries… only a man can initiate a man.

Only a father or father-figure can give a man “the keys”.

Men, go get the keys and start driving.

Audispot

Women In Combat And Male Cowardice

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(Image Credit: Israel Defense Forces)

Recently the U.S. Military announced it was ending its policy of excluding women from combat and that it was going to open combat jobs and direct combat units to women.  The move overturns a 1994 rule banning women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units.  Ironically in the same hour, presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett tweeted that “If there’s one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting women from violence.”


Obviously, the administration doesn’t view military combat as violence that women need to be protected from.

Ephesians five talks about the masculine role of sacrificial love to save and protect women.  God has called men to be dragon slaying warriors who rescue women from danger, not bureaucratic cowards who send women out to fight their battles.

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(Image Credit: The White House)

And this isn’t to say that women aren’t tough or capable.  That’s not the point.  I watched my wife give birth to seven children without pain medication.  I would never argue that women aren’t tough, strong, or fighters.  I have a great deal of respect for what a woman can do.

And respect is exactly what I think a lot of this topic comes down to.  Sending women into combat is indicative of how far our respect for women has fallen.  I respect the dignity of a woman far too much to let her fight for herself.  Women should be treated like queens.  A real man would never let the Queen fight, even if she wanted to.  He would instead do everything within his power to protect her from the battle, even if it meant laying down his own life to do so.

The feminist egalitarian way of thinking requires women to be equal with men in their roles, therein requiring them to fight for themselves, just as men do.  But women were never meant to fight for themselves.  They were meant to be fought for by men.  The problem is that now days, many women don’t believe that they are worth being fought for.

It’s up to men of courage to show them they still are.

SEE ALSO: John Piper wrote an excellent post on this topic.

Men Set Goals

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(Image Credit: The Library of Congress)

God put man in the garden for two reasons: to work it and to keep it (Gen 2:15).  True men take care of the “gardens” of their life.  Whether it’s their spirituality, sexuality, marriage, children, job, health, talents, treasure, time, or whatever – a truly masculine man takes the “gardens” that are given him and cultivates them to be better, more beautiful, orderly, and fruitful.

True men have vision and goals.  They’re not meandering thru life, lazy and aimless.  They’re diligent to find out what God’s called them to and quick to cultivate that which they are responsible for.  A man without vision is an unrestrained man (Prov 29:18).  Vision is like a seat belt, keeping us in the vehicle on the road to accomplishing the tasks necessary to cultivate our gardens.  When we crash into the obstacles of life, vision keeps us from being thrown out of the vehicle.

What are you aiming at?  Do you have vision and goals for the gardens of your life?

Few things will suck the masculinity right out of you as a man, as much as neglecting vision and failing to set goals.

“Aimlessness is akin to lifelessness.” (John Piper)

Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time.  If you’re not aiming at something, you’re not hitting anything.

Setting goals is a practical way to start cultivating the gardens of your life.

Most of the time, there’s not a whole lot of difference between the men who did great things and the men who did nothing, other than getting vision for something and going for it.

Ben Nockels is a great example of this. Look at the absolutely amazing thing he’s accomplishing by getting a goal for the year and going for it.  Be inspired and set your own goals.

111 Project

See also: 10 Tips For Effective Goal Setting
Audio message: The Importance of Goal Setting

 

Real Men Don’t Make Excuses

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(Image Credit: crdotx)

In Genesis chapter three, we see the first confrontation of a man in his sin, and it doesn’t go well.

For starters, he’s hiding when God comes looking for him (Gen 3:8-9).  This is the unredeemed sinful nature of a man, hiding from the responsibility of his sin.  Most of us can probably remember as little children hiding from our parents after we’d done something wrong.  A young boy will often hide behind physical objects to avoid taking responsibility for his sin.  When he’s older, he often hides behind excuses.

Although Adam admits to eating the fruit, he admits it while putting the blame elsewhere:

The woman… whom you gave to be with me… she gave me the fruit of the tree” (Gen 3:12)

He blames the woman for his eating of the fruit, and he blames God for giving him the woman in the first place.

He makes excuses.

The truth is that it wasn’t the woman’s fault and it wasn’t God’s fault.  It was Adam’s fault.

Real men don’t make excuses for their sin.  Real men take the blame and accept responsibility.

When a man chooses to avoid taking responsibility for his sin, he’s left putting his faith in the false saviors of excuses and blame shifting to justify him from guilt.  For most men, blaming someone or something else is a self defense mechanism from guilt and shame.

Putting faith in the blood of Christ for justification, frees a man from the pressure to self justify sinful behavior by blaming someone else.

The story of Genesis three begins with Adam avoiding responsibility for what was his fault, and ends with the promise of Jesus, coming to take responsibility for the fault of others (Gen 3:15).

True manhood accepts responsibility for his own faults and the faults of others.

What excuses are you hiding behind?

How can you grow in your manhood by looking for ways to help take responsibility for the consequences of other’s sins?

Masculinity And Les Miserables

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A few weeks ago I saw the latest movie adaptation of Victor Hugo’s famous novel, “Les Miserables”.  The story of Les Miserables is one of my favorites.  Days after seeing the movie, I was still finding myself thinking about some of the more compelling scenes.  I started thinking to myself, “besides the theme of law and grace, what is it that’s so compelling about this story?”  And then it hit me.  One of things that’s so compelling and so attractive about the story is the masculinity of the main character, Jean Valjean.

**Spoiler Alert** You may not want to read this if you’re not familiar with the story and you plan on seeing the movie.

  • He takes responsibility for his sins, for his city as mayor, for a dying prostitute, for the prostitute’s daughter Cosette, for his future son-in-law Marius, for Javer (his enemy), for a man being crushed by a wagon, and for a man falsely accused, to name a few.
  • He provides for Cosette.
  • He cultivates a business and becomes the mayor of his city.
  • He respects women and is not swayed by perverse sensuality.
  • He protects Cosette from danger and saves Marius.
  • He uses his strength to help and to save people.
  • He voluntarily takes on shame by trudging thru sewage in order to save Marius.
  • He leads Cosette, a business, and a city as a mayor.
  • He lays down his life for Cosette, her future husband Marius, and for a falsely accused man.

Jean Valjean was one serious example of true masculinity.

For many people the topic of gender roles is very offensive.  Apart from the unfortunate abuse that many have experienced within a distorted context of men’s and women’s roles, I believe that one of the main reasons that people reject distinct biblical gender roles is because they’ve never seen them fleshed out before.

Masculinity and femininity in their purest forms are attractive, because our sexuality uniquely images God (Gen 1:27).  What makes them attractive is that when fleshed out appropriately, they give us a glimpse of God himself.

This is one of the reasons it’s so important to give people living, breathing examples of what true biblical manhood and womanhood look like, so that they can have a proper view of what God is like.

Jean Valjean’s character was a living, breathing example of manhood that inspired me to be more proactive in laying down my life for other people.

Three Types Of Guys

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The role of a man is to take responsibility.  In this post I want to take a look at three different types of guys and how they handle responsibility.

1) The Guy Who Abdicates/Avoids Responsibility

This is the old Adam.  This is the coward, the procrastinator, the lazy man.  It’s not really fair to call this guy a man, because if he’s not taking responsibility, then he’s not really a man.

This is the blame shifter, blaming the woman, blaming God, blaming the devil.  It’s the government’s fault, the boss’s fault, the church’s fault, the parent’s fault, but never his fault.

This is the guy who doesn’t provide for his family, the guy who avoids work.  This is the guy who uses “going after his dreams” as an excuse for not taking work that would pay the bills, so his wife wouldn’t have to be the primary provider.

This is the boy in a man’s body, who knows more sports stats or movie lines, than bible verses, who knows how to win video games, but not a woman’s heart.

This is the selfish coward who enjoys visual stimulation (porn), selfish flirting, or sexual contact, without the demands of commitment (marriage).

This is the guy who doesn’t lead, whose wife is “the boss”, the passive man, expecting the woman to do her role and the man’s.

This is the chauvinistic, macho man, too lazy to do the hard work of laying down his life for a woman.  Instead he uses his strength to harm, to scare, to force and manipulate women.

2) The Guy Who Manages His Responsibility

This guy takes responsibility.  He’s not a blame shifter.  He works hard.  He provides for his family.  He’s not lazy.  He takes care of his family, participates in his church, pays the bills, keeps his eyes pure, respects women, and manages what’s on his plate.

He’s a nice guy.

But he’s passive in a different way.  He’s complacent.  He’s perishing for lack of vision.

He manages what’s in front of him, with no plans of taking on more.  As long as he’s as good or better than the next guy, then he’s fine.

He does the minimum required to stay on good terms with his boss at work.

He relies on yesterday’s manna.  His spiritual security is in past experiences with God.  He’s faithful, but not hungry.  His gifts, talents, and treasure are given, but never at great cost.  His life is spent doing what seems possible.

He aims at nothing and he hits it.

He lives without risk, and so he risks not living.

3) The Guy Who Looks To Increase His Responsibility

Mark Driscoll says that “men are like trucks – they drive smoother and straighter with a load.”  This third guy is the guy who not only “drives with a load”, but he’s planning on how he can carry more.  He believes that true manhood takes responsibility, so he’s looking for ways to take on more responsibility, to grow in his manhood.  He doesn’t run from responsibility – he runs to it.

This is the guy who’s diligent to be faithful with little so he can be entrusted with much.  This is the guy who does what’s asked of him and more.  A paycheck and weekend are not enough to motivate him.  He’s not just making a living, he’s making a life.

He has dreams and a plan.  He’s disciplined and hard working with vision for his family’s provision.

He not only takes responsibility for his own growth, but for the growth of others.

He stays pure because he believes his character is his influence, and he’s not too proud to admit when he’s wrong.

He runs towards the battle, slays the dragon, and rescues the girl.

He leads well and seeks to increase his influence for God’s glory and people’s good.

He believes it a noble task to aspire to be an elder and works towards becoming one. (1 Tim 3:1)

The status quo is not an option.  It’s forward motion or backwards digression.  There is no middle ground.

He’s like Jesus, the new Adam.  He “increases in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52)

Which guy are you?

Image courtesy of “National Library of Scotland” | Flickr.com

What Was The First Sin? Hint: It Wasn’t Eating Fruit

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Image courtesy of “The U.S. National Archives” | Flickr.com

At first glance, when looking at Genesis 3, it appears that Eve committed the first sin by eating the forbidden fruit.  She ate it first, and then gave some to her husband.

But if we fast forward to the New Testament, we see a different story.  Romans 5:12 says that sin came into the world through one man.

Not woman, man.

Let’s go back to Genesis and look at it again.

If sin entered the world through one man, then what was his sin?

After they had eaten the fruit, God found Adam and Even and told Adam that the ground was now cursed because he ate the forbidden fruit.  But Eve ate the fruit as well.  And she ate it first.  What else did Adam do wrong? “He listened to the voice of his wife”. (Gen 3:17)

Eating the fruit was the second sin.  The first sin was Adam abdicating his role as a man to lead his wife.

Where was Adam when the serpent was tempting Eve?

He was with her when Eve was tempted (Gen 3:6).  He was with her and yet he did nothing.

He didn’t fight.  He didn’t lead.

He followed.  He listened to the voice of his wife.

A dragon came (Rev 12:9), put his wife in a castle of lies, and he just stood there.

He went passive.

Sin entered the world because the first man didn’t play the man.

Satan took over the world because he was able to get Adam and Eve to function outside of their God given gender roles.

That worked pretty well for him.

Do you think he’s since stopped using that tactic?