Men are supposed to be the epitome of strength. I’m not necessarily talking about physical strength – that is merely the outward appearance which can sometimes be opposite of what’s really going on inside – but more the inner strength that correlates with true courage and resilience.
Spirit. Backbone. A strong character. The hero that comes through for others, especially the women in their life.
Men were created to protect, to defend, to be more powerful physically than a woman. Their strength, when used in it’s intended way, is to be offered to others (especially the women around them), but so often it gets distorted. But men were created to bear the image of God in this way, just as women were in the most opposite form of radiant beauty. Both sexes reveal aspects of God’s character, and a man is undeniably representative of God’s strength.
According to John Eldredge, acclaimed author & founder and director of Ransomed Heart Ministries in Colorado Springs, when a man’s strength goes bad it is either that they become violent or passive.
It’s interesting to me that the violence is most often not physical, it’s verbal.
When a man uses his powerful essence to say the most awful things to others, he does incredibly more harm than imagined; it is a great distortion of what he was intended to be. Their strength was intended to be offered with tenderness, and any hint of violence, even verbally, completely derails whatever good they might have accomplished and replaces it with evil.
There are even pastors who seem kind and friendly (and godly), but who secretly send horrible emails to their staff or people that trust them. Eldredge points out that this kind of violence is cowardice, all of it.
“I don’t know of a single fist-fighting bully but what he makes a cowardly soldier.
The violence, no matter what form (physical or verbal), is a cover-up for fear.”
Wild at Heart, John Eldredge
The passive man is just as deadly, he gives the people around him a sentence of death by starvation. Instead of pursuing his children and wife, these men tend to retreat to the television or some other device – anything to keep them from the risk of having to offer their strength, their essence to those around them. He holds back, or has issues with commitment – playing the hero just seems too dangerous. What if it isn’t enough?
There is so much more to say on this topic, but it will have to be saved for some other post at another point in time. But wow is it amazing to know and love a man who truly owns & offers his strength in a fierce yet somehow tender way. It is the way God intended… and it is so beautiful.
“The world cries for men who are strong; strong in conviction, strong to lead, to stand, to suffer.”
“Stand true to your calling to be a man. Real women will always be relieved and grateful when men are willing to be men”
“A man must at times be hard as nails: willing to face up to the truth about himself, and about the woman he loves, refusing compromise when compromise is wrong. But he must also be tender. No weapon will breach the armor of a woman’s resentment like tenderness.”