Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Ball Field to Bedroom to Billfold

My accountability group is reading The True Measure of a Man.  Chapter five describes how many of us guys attempt to prove our masculinity based on erroneous assumptions. Joe Erhmann, a former football coach, identified the cultural progression of false masculinity with the expression “from ball field to bedroom to billfold.”  This may be a little crass to some of you but I think he makes a valid, if not sad, observation.  Many guys begin to evaluate their maleness based on their athletic prowess.  For the boys who are always picked last (or not at all) they begin to feel less than, whereas the fastest boys with the best arms, etc. are looked up to.  The next test of masculinity comes after puberty.  Which guys date the cutest most popular girls?  The young man who had no one to take to the prom doesn’t feel very good about himself.  The last measurement tends to be financial success and all the “toys” it brings.  It is a cycle of competing and comparing ourselves with all men in our sphere of influence.  What is totally absent is any mention of God.  I am assuming that woman probably have their own cultural markers which most likely exclude God as well.

These “trophies” we collect, or fail to collect, do not give meaning and purpose to our lives. Romans 8:29 “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…” seems to offer an alternative standard, one with eternal rewards.  According to Scripture the essence of what it means to be an authentic man is made up of character, wisdom and the ability to love.

So what does all this have to do with marriage?  If as a husband I am striving to be more Christlike I think it has a lot to do with marriage.  My wife will not have a hard time submitting to me because she senses that I love her as much as I love myself.  In addition to being other centered, I will exhibit character qualities that reflect the impact of Chris on my life. I will show a concern for people that brings glory to God.  By seeking wisdom I will tend to make better decisions and choices for my family, my church and my employer.

Bottom line, God could care less whether or not you or I can throw a football 70 yards. God is not impressed if you or I dated and married the most popular girl in our high school.  The amount of possessions we may have amassed do not compare with the riches that await us.  

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