Brief reflection on the Biblical Manhood
Servanthood is the practical extension of love and so to love others means serving others.
“Be a man!” This is a phrase that I’m sure many of us have heard or said. It can mean a variety of things depending on the speaker’s social and cultural context. To some being a man means being immune to your emotions and being under control regardless of the situation, to others it could be the exact opposite, establishing your dominance over a situation by giving in to your emotions. There are a lot of opinions on the subject of being a man, especially for a college student whose mind siphons information from a multiplicity of sources. Your parents have their view, college professors on the other hand have something to say about manhood, your friends from different parts of the world have their opinions, the media too conveys an image of manhood.
This past week for our brother’s night, we got to explore this topic, manhood. Specifically we looked into how the Bible answers the question, what does it mean to be a man?
Francis Schaeffer, an American theologian has said that our values are things that we have collected unthinkingly, like germs from life’s streets, ever since we were born. I wager that the same thing happens with our perception of manhood. During one of the sessions, we talked about how the media essentially portrays being a man as either being a brute, a metromale or a kidult. The brute dominates others through power and authority that could be exerted through physical force, the metromale on the other hand is obsessively narcissistic and overly concerned with appearance and looks and the kidult is the carefree immature adult who blitzes through life acting like a child.
For most of us myself included, we are influenced by a blend of these three categories. A quick way to see how this is true, would be to ask yourself, who were my childhood heroes/male role models growing up? and what are some of the things that I did to look cool when I was younger? The answers will probably have a lot to do with movies, shows, songs and sports that you watched. It’s crazy to think how most of these ideas about manhood subtly show up even now in my life and I think I have to look a certain way, impress girls, be really strong in order to be a man.
Well, so is there a right answer? I think there is one, I’ll leave it up to you to decide who you’ll ultimately listen to but if there’s one person that has a convincing claim on having the answer, it would be Jesus. He was fully God and fully man. He knows exactly what man ought to be, and he lived it himself. You would be hard pressed to find someone with better credentials.
What do we find when we look to Jesus? One key attribute that We find is servanthood.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Let’s back up a little to understand how we got here. You see Jesus came down to us to live and walk among us that he may bleed and die for us to save us from our sin because he loves us and does not want to see us eternally separated from himself, the source of all goodness. So he came down to meet our needs, to serve us because he loves us. Before he left he told us in John 15:12 that his commandment to us is to love others as he has loved us. Servanthood is the practical extension of love and so to love others means serving others.
Thus an essential part of being a man is being servant, thinking about this just makes me realize how ill-equipped I am to serve because I can’t really serve people if I have no skills. But I can learn, that’s basically my job as a college student. I want to love the people I meet on campus and learning how to cook is a great avenue through which I can serve them. I can take video lessons, pick up photography, sound even learn how to change a diaper, all these are ways in which I can become a blessing to others and mature into manhood.