My grandfather adored Westerns. He was a farmer, and decades of hard manual labor had turned him into a gruff old man who valued honest work. I watched him idolize the stoic cowboys galloping through Hollywood deserts as I grew up, and I developed a flawed perspective of manhood. Somehow I came to think of real men as fighters — isolated towers of justice who did whatever they needed to do to scrap through life. A real man was capable. A real man was a master of every situation. A real man was a benefit to a community, but didn’t need to be a part of one. It took me a quarter of a century to realize that cowboys were not the definition for manhood.
This is ridiculous, but you probably have a similar story. Whatever your childhood view of masculinity, it has likely proven faulty. Because — no offense to Clint Eastwood — life isn’t about grabbing a fistful of dollars; it’s about grabbing a fist full of gospel. Being a man means that every morning you wake up and fight to follow Christ. Being a man means that every evening you relax and learn to rest in His grace.
Being a man is about resting and fighting? How do you explain that tension? How do you learn to navigate those two parallels? You have a Y chromosome that makes you a man, but how do you live like a man?
I’m not going to try to answer those questions in a blog post. One post isn’t enough. Instead, I’m going to saying “Welcome!” The Men of Hope Leadership staff has been working hard on this blog, which we hope will help you discover answers to those questions yourself. We hope this blog acts as a kind of tool for the men of our community as they run through life and collide with God’s glory. We hope this is a place where men will be challenged in in their faith, connect with fellow believers, and discover new ways to get involved in our church.
Jesus showed us how to live as a real man. Let’s practice His example together.
– Ben Reeves
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