Have you heard about the movie Courageous, if you haven’t you should. Here is the official movie website: http://www.courageousthemovie.com/
Seeing that movie, and the message it screams loud and clear, has pushed me to write this post. Truthfully this post has been on my heart for a long time but I have been putting it off, mainly because it hits so close to my heart. It is close to my heart for several reasons:
1. I am a man
2. I am Dad to 3 boys
3. I am mentoring other men
4. I am in a place of authority over teenage guys as a pastor
5. I love God with all my heart
6. Anyone who knows me fairly well has seen me cry
My struggle with this is based on what our society views as “manly”. Number five and six in the above list could have the phrase “un-manly” tagged on them. In a recent marketing campaign for a beer company they poke fun at un-manly things, which just drives home the fact that our society (and you) know what I am talking about.
I think our society has for the most part given men a free pass from being real men. It is OK for Dad’s to be disengaged with their kids if present at all. It is OK for men to engage in pornography and ignore their wives. It is OK for mothers to take the initiative and be the Spiritual leaders of our families. It is OK for men to ignore their emotions and never tell their wives or kids they love them. The more I read scripture, and get to know God better, the more every ounce of my being wants to scream IT IS NOT OK!!
As this has been stewing in my mind over the past few months I have heard and experienced a few things that just showed me more and more how true this is. While listening to the radio I heard this quote “men in our society are passionate about things that don’t matter and ignore the things that matter most.” One thing that I like, and a lot of men can be very passionate about is football. By living in Boise, ID and being a Boise State football fan I automatically get into the middle of “heated” conversations about the BCS and how we don’t belong and little kids tables and yada yada yada (Yawn) with anyone outside of the treasure valley.
A few months ago I was at a conference with a lot of youth workers from all over the nation. At dinner one night the conversation at the table turned to football, and once it did I started preparing myself for what was about to happen, and then it did happen. One of the other youth workers brought up the BCS and quickly became visually agitated about sitting at the table next to a BSU fan. From that moment his body language and the tone at the entire table shifted. Suddenly there was an invisible wedge between me and rest of the room, which lasted for days with this specific guy.
If you want to talk football then fine, I have no problem with you being passionate about your team. My problem is that this topic has NO eternal value, and yet it created tension between me and this other youth worker. I assume he is a good guy, and I am sure he loves God and loves students, but I don’t know for sure because he would not talk to me after that encounter. I don’t understand how something like football can hinder us being on the same team for God, and working together to further His kingdom among teenagers.
To be continued…