So the journey continues. The journey of discovering Biblical manhood. Chapter 2 of this book explores the subject of what every man wants.
I’ll not beat around the bush and I will cut straight to the chase of what Dudley is saying. He claims that there are three things that every man desires to do:
1. Show up.
2. Stand up.
3. Speak up.
By showing up, he means that every man wants to be a part of something significant. Men don’t want to miss their moments in history. They want to be a part of something significant, something bigger than themselves. I agree with this statement. No man wants to spend his life on the couch. When we look back on our lives from the front porch rocker, we want to know we did something. Even now as I look back on my life, I want to know I’ve been doing something. This comes out in different ways. In my opinion, an easy example of this is men’s ability/opportunity to work. There’s a conception of young men as being lazy and irresponsible, but ultimately, I believe every man is born to put his hand to something that he sees as significant. Believe me–I see serving people coffee as very, very significant. Simply put–men want to do something important: whether it’s for God, or for his family, or friends, men long for significance.
When Dudley explains the portion about standing up, he makes a statement that has resonated in my heart for a long time. He writes:
“Being a follower of Christ has never been about what a man is against, but what he is for.”
[emphasis mine.] In our culture, and even sometimes within the church, the tendency is to be anti-this or that. Anti-abortion. Anti-gun. Anti-Obama. Anti-death penalty. The list goes on and on. But after making a fool of myself trying to argue against gay marriage in an English class of mine in my freshman year, God said a word that has stuck with me: “Jeff, I haven’t called you to be against the world. I’ve called you to be FOR My Kingdom.” Men have a longing to defend what they believe and what they value–faith, morals, etc. Dudley says that we’re called to stand, according to Ephesians 6:10-12. Here’s what I believe that looks like.
Let’s say someone offered me some sort of drugs. I would simply say no. It’s not about putting them down for their actions. People see your own values by the way you deal with this kind of thing. They may ask you why not, they may not ask you that. If they ask you why not (or at least if they asked ME why not,) I’d say it’s because I’ve never been involved with that, and I don’t see a point in it. I don’t need it.
Dudley says it a lot better than I can:
“Notice that our greatest act of courage is simply ‘to stand.’ Bowing or kneeling always represents submission. But standing in the face of the enemy is a defiant declaration that your allegiance lies elsewhere.”
Finally, Dudley’s third point is that men have a desire to SPEAK UP about things that matter. “When this need is not met properly,” writes Mr. Hall, “a man will either say what he thinks people want to hear or nothing at all.”
Men want to speak about things they are passionate about. Both inside and outside of the Church, this is exemplified in things like music, movies, or sports. Some men like all three, some men like one or two of them–and all men who are REALLY passionate about them can talk your ear off about their favorite symphony, favorite Western or war movie (I’m trying to be manly here) or their favorite sports icon or team. Inside the church, this is exemplified in our speaking up for the truth of God. Dudley says that “when [a man] is intimidated into refusing to speak up for Jesus, he feels compromised and again slinks back into the spectators bench” and that God truly backs up His Word. We speak confidently about the truth of God when we spend time learning it and studying it via His word.
What I want to leave you with is this statement:
“…the man who knows and walks with God is always ready to speak of the greatness of his God. Some men are intimidated and slow to speak because they don’t have all the answers. Or they’re afraid that they’re not eloquent or gifted enough to say the right thing. The excellence of the message should be matched as much as possible with excellent presentation, but God will use our bumbling but sincere efforts as He confounds the wise of the world system.”
[Note: It’s reeeeeeeeeeally hard to write about this book without quoting it. So much good stuff!]