God is for girls. Isn’t it obvious?
I mean, it’s cool if you believe in God. But please don’t let get too wrapped up in the whole idea…because we know where that leads. You start talking about love, showing emotion, being vulnerable. You basically turn into your mom, and that’s never a good thing if you’re a dude.
See, guys don’t do that stuff. We’re too strong for that. We can handle things just fine on our own. We know where to draw the line in church…usually somewhere between standing and singing.
You want to stand while the band plays worship songs? Great.
Start singing? Eh, probably not.
Raise your hand in praise? You mean like the girls?..Ha, NOPE!
Does this sound familiar to anyone? Maybe it’s your friend, your brother, your son. Maybe it’s even you. Listen, I understand. As a guy myself, I can say that this is a common train of thought for many (if not most) boys and young men…and it’s a big problem in American churches. As boys begin to grow and mature, they tend to associate the church with femininity, especially if their greatest spiritual influence is their mother (as is normally the case). Unwilling to compromise their perceived “manhood,” they slowly inch away from God, often rejecting Him completely when they leave their homes. It’s nothing short of a tragedy. And at the root of the problem isn’t the belief that God is for girls. No, it’s that they don’t know what it means to be a man.
So, here are my two responses to boys who think God is for Girls.
1.) Emotion. Society tells young men that emotion is no good. It’s uncontrollable and most importantly, irrational. Men are supposed to be grounded, firm, unable to be phased by life’s circumstances. Now surely there is a hint of truth to these statements. Too much emotion can be irrational…but so can too little emotion. I understand that some people tend to show more emotion than others. Certainly there is relativity to it. However, if anything is going to provoke emotion from someone, it’s the idea of life and death. The birth of a child and the death of a loved one will crack the heart of even the hardest soul in this world. Why? Because it’s something that they profoundly care about. But isn’t that what God is? Isn’t He the author of life and the sovereign over death? God’s very essence is intertwined into the deepest parts of reality. As a Christian, you have been miraculously and undeservedly saved from death. A true understanding of that has to bring emotion. Crying over your sin and rejoicing over your salvation is a genuine, natural response to the gospel message. In fact the greatest irony is this: those who don’t want to show sadness and remorse, or express joy and happiness toward God are actually acting on a powerful emotion themselves…fear. Showing emotion makes them feel uncomfortable, and they are scared to do it. See, the fear of showing emotion is an emotion. It is inescapable. Let’s stop being afraid of our reputation, be men, and show some emotion when it’s needed.
2.) Weakness. Men are told by society that they need to be strong and independent. Everything has to stay under control. Any sign of weakness is a threat to their manhood. If God is needed in their daily life, then that means that they can’t handle their daily life. They are vulnerable and helpless…certainly not a real man. However, what if it’s okay to show weakness – because we are weak? Every single person in this world goes through hardship. Everyone messes up and feels overwhelmed by life. We are weak and we are limited in our capacity to do anything about it. The truth is, when people try to hide their vulnerability, it doesn’t show that they’re tough…it shows that they’re fake. The more people try to disguise their weaknesses, the weaker they become. The more they try to hide their insecurities, the more obvious it is that they’re insecure. So men, just admit your vulnerability and your need for God. It doesn’t make you any more weak. Rather, it makes you more real. Submission always precedes sanctity. Until we confess our sinfulness and inadequacies, Jesus can do nothing for us. True strength can only come after we kneel at the cross. It takes a real man to admit that he’s weak.
While I hope that some of my rambling makes sense, I wholeheartedly believe that this is not where the solution lies. No. It’s not enough for people to tell boys how to be men (especially if it’s from their mother). Someone has to show them. The points that I made are only useful if understood by influential women and exhibited by strong Christian male role models. We need more of them.
Please feel free to share my ideas with your friends and family, but also add your own thoughts. My ideas are limited, and my space is short, but there is much more to say…and even more to show.
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.” – Ephesians 5:1-2a
When people try to hide their vulnerability, it doesn’t show that they’re tough…it shows that they’re fake.