And you don’t have to listen, or read, as the case may be, you don’t have to pay attention, or understand….unless you’re ready to step up. Then I might have something to say to you. I’m a 72 year old male white male, why should you care what I have to say? Maybe you shouldn’t. Then again, maybe you could learn something new, or reject something old. I am talking to, writing for, males, men, or boys becoming men. I’m not Jordan Peterson, I’m not famous, I have no videos on YouTube. But I have something more important, more vital, a source of wisdom….more about that later. First thing, we read every day—or if you don’t read, but just check your feed, that’s still reading, unless it cat videos—about how this old world doesn’t need men any longer, especially old white ones like me, or younger ones of any race, like you. Nevertheless, I am talking to you, regardless of your race, or your sexual preferences, or your religion. So pay attention, or don’t, I don’t really care…..much.
The issue is not, nor will it ever be, how the world and all it’s noise, treats men in general; the issue is, “who will YOU be?” Narratives: “Toxic masculinity.” No, You will bless your world, you will show what sacrificial love means; “boys are slower learners than girls.” No, You will not only study, you will learn, you will keep your mind open, you will ask for help when you need it, then you will spend the bulk of your time reading, and making notes on what you read; “men are stubborn and insist on being right about everything.” No, You will be flexible, adaptable, like water, flowing into cracks wherever you find them, admitting when you are wrong; “men never apologize for anything.” No, You will carefully notice when someone’s acting offended by something you did or said, then the real art is knowing when “it’s you” and when “it’s them.” Still, part of the art of being the best man you can be is humbling yourself. Ask if you have offended, then listen without reacting. You might say something like this, “I am committed to growing, and appreciate honest feedback, even if it’s critical. I will listen, then I will take some time to consider, then if I have offended, I will ask your forgiveness.”
What if you not only did not intend offense, but realized that the feedback you received was not even about what you said, or did, or failed to do, not even about you? What if the feedback was entirely about the other person’s choosing to take offense? Oh, you want to know, how to separate your offending from their getting offended? There’s no magic formula, you will have to figure it out. Or ask a third party. Now if you really really want to grow, seek forgiveness whether it’s you or them. Jesus Christ said, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”- Luke 6:27-31.
Again, “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” – Luke 6:32-36.
Darn, that Jesus sets a high bar! Men, we’re merely human, which simultaneously is not all that much, and is the image of God. I imagine that any woman reading this is cheering the message so far, and I will not be speaking to women, I am not qualified to give you advice. Since I accept the Bible as God’s word, I want to point out men that Jesus Christ is the head of every man (whether or not you believe), and that you are the head of your family, if you have one. Head, in this case, means sacrificial leader—you would die for your wife and children. Even harder, will you live for your wife and children? Will you put them first, and yourself last?
But get this in your head: A man is a man all the way through, in every cell. A woman is a woman all the way through, in every cell. From the top of his head to the bottom of his feet, you are a man. The same goes for the woman. Each of us here is a picture painted by God, and His signature is in the lower right hand corner of every one of our cells—and there are trillions of those in every human body. When God defines, He defines entirely. “But what if I am “transgender”, or have “gender dysphoria”, or feel more like a woman?” In your cells, you are a man, your cells have XY chromosomes, regardless of how you feel. In fact how do you know what it feels like to be a woman? You’ve never been one? There are genetic abnormalities, but I am talking to the vast majority of normal males. Unless you have an extra Y chromosome (double Y syndrome) or an extra X chromosome (Klinefelter’s syndrome), you are XY. Embrace it, and go, thou, and change your world by changing yourself.