Men, we've all heard the message... men don't get it; men are dumb; men are single minded - narrowly focused, and the list goes on...and on...and on....
For years and years men have been portrayed as a Homer Simpsonesque buffoon, incapable of getting out of their own way - our only thoughts are about television, food and other carnal desires. I don't know about you, but I am fed up with the stereotype. When I hear someone in the media or public square lump all men into some sort of negative classification, i.e. all men are..., I get irritated. Am I the only one?
So, here's the deal...rather than getting all uptight by these inferences, I've decided to approach this whole issue from another angle. If I get all agitated, I'm not helping anyone; I'm just another angry man...hmmm, I think that's one of the stereotypes! So, I've chosen an odd approach, perhaps one that society isn't expecting...
I've decided to step up and rise above the stereotype. I've decided to be intentional about being a man of integrity, a man of purpose, a man who takes responsibility for his actions and takes care of his family. I will live out my life respecting others - even those who disagree with me vehemently. I will extend love and kindness to all people, regardless of their race, gender, religious persuasion, political bent or ideology. I will stand up for my bride and my babies, my family, my brothers and sisters in Christ and my friends. I will not hesitate to stand up for the bullied, the defenseless and the outcast. I will take my Savior's lead and be a friend to the sinner, recognizing that but by the grace of God... I will not forget the grace that was and is extended to me - I will extend the same to others...even that guy that cuts me off on the Interstate.
I will be a man of purpose, raising my kids to fear the Lord, loving my wife as Christ loved the church and serving my fellow man to the best of my ability. I will align my heart with my Lord's and ask for His love to shine through me to a world that needs more love, more grace and more peace.
I won't shrink from the challenge of being a man of God in this generation; rather, I will embrace the call He has placed on my life and walk in boldness, owning my mistakes and seeking to live to a higher standard.
Men, rise up. Rise up above the fray. Embrace a new stereotype - man of integrity, honor, truth, love, grace, peace, mercy, kindness, and humility. Be a good daddy. Be a good husband. Not either of those yet? Be a good friend, a good employee, an advocate, and someone who can be trusted. Be the man who people talk about when they say, "wow, I wish all men were like that guy."
Don't be shaped by the culture or the opinions of the day - shape the culture and alter opinions. Step up - show up - be a man and embrace the calling God has on your life.