LET US PLAY THE MAN

The phrase ‘let us play the man’ comes from 2 Samuel 10 and gives the title to a blog I frequent by Pastor Brian Barber. It’s a great concept and, as we learned from Perks last weekend during the Men’s Breakfast in Balham, the word used also translates as ‘be strong’ in the good old-fashioned sense of the word. Basically, our session was about men being men. It would have made Germaine Greer explode, but I found it somewhat satisfying. After all, in this world of men as overgrown adolescents, with societal expectations of us lower than ever, it is hugely appealing and important for Christian men to stand as real men unafraid to lead… to provide, to protect, to take responsibility and to be a role model to the next generation. It certainly appeals to women, of that I’m sure.

 

But to get personal about it… Can I play the man? I’m average height – for a girl. I’m never going to win many arm wrestles. I am unsuited to manual labour. I earn less than my wife, and, relatively speaking, am considerably less important in my workplace. I wear my heart on my sleeve so will never be the strong silent type… But maybe that’s not what it’s about. If I am willing to put my wife sacrificially before myself… If I am willing to take responsibility for the decisions we make… If I am prepared to lead in ensuring her spiritual development and her physical and emotional wellbeing… If I am righteous, consistent and marked by integrity… Perhaps I can yet be a man as God intended (although he could have helped out by granting a tad more muscle mass and verticality).

 

The challenges I take on board in all seriousness from thinking this through are as follows: More financial wisdom is required in order that I can lead and ease my wife’s stress. Less passivity in decision-making as a principle would be advisable (particularly when my wife wants me to make decisions – problem is I’m genuinely often not bothered either way!). I must be a rock during her imminent tough times in hospital and beyond – yes, I’m allowed moments of vulnerability, but they can’t be the main event day to day. As for physical strength… it sounds silly but I’m half way to thinking there is genuine merit in hitting the gym. It is good to know as husbands that we are capable of protecting our wife and of course carrying those cupboards and boxes that need carrying! It’s a way of making the most of what God has granted. Watch this space…  

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