“Be on alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” - 1 Cor. 16.13-14 (emphasis added)
Last Christmas a friend told me about an incident that occurred while his family opened presents. He and his wife gave each of their three children nice custom cap guns as one of their gifts. The two girls were to receive large, realistic, chrome pieces housed in feminine pink holsters while their son, the youngest, was to get a smaller pistol.
The plan unraveled when the boy mistakenly unwrapped one of the girls’ guns. He took out the pink-holstered six-shooter, stared at it and then yelled, “That’s not mine! That’s not mine!” His mother quickly saw the problem and told him he was right – that pistol wasn’t his.
Relieved, the little tyke began to rip into his box only to discover his cap gun was much smaller than his siblings’ guns. As he looked at his gift he asked, “Mommy did you buy this?” To which his mother replied she had. He then said, “I hate it!” It seemed neither a pink holster nor a pint-sized pistol appealed to his masculine side.
Here’s the point – at a young age my friend’s son had a picture of what it meant to be a man. Don’t get bogged down on whether it was right or wrong to base his view on a pink holster and a smaller version of his sisters’ guns. The fact is at age five this boy has a vision of masculinity.
Our culture, the church included, has lost its way when it comes to raising boys to become Christ-honoring, Spirit-led, Bible-saturated men. The pendulum swings wildly between effeminate, emotionally-led males to knuckle-dragging, back-scratching Neanderthals, neither of which is God’s design.
Look at what Paul writes to the men at Corinth.
- Be on the alert and stand firm in the faith – These commands have a military ring. As John Piper says, life is war so be ready for the enemy. And when the attacks come, don’t give ground. Dig in knowing that our faith in Christ ultimately overcomes everything we face.
- Act like men – God created us as men so don’t apologize for or take pride in being men. Simply do life on His terms.
- Be strong – Take the lead; be courageous; be selfless; don’t be passive.
- Do everything in love – Paul wraps it up with a great phrase. All that a godly man does must be couched in terms of “agape”; that God-exalting, self-giving love that seeks the benefit of those under our care. Not the emotional, sappy, Kleenex-grabbing garbage of love songs, but strong, sacrificial choices that build up.
The vision for OHT is simple – Glorify God by strengthening His church by strengthening His men. We hope you’ll join us in this pursuit.
Grace and peace to you boys…I mean men.
Founder, OHT Outfitters, Inc.