Sometimes it seems, it can be quite hard being a bloke in church.
It seems like when you say you’re a Christian, to some people that suggests that you are somehow less of a man. I think this may be due to the way in which we, as men, evaluate ourselves through other mens opinions . Or maybe it’s even more complicated than that. Maybe we evaluate ourselves through our opinions of what we think other mens opinions are of us!
If you’re still with me at this point……well done!
It’s prehaps a lot to do with courage and the suggestion that somehow if we engage in Christian community we are somehow hiding from the world.
So it’s not that we men are scared of religion or talking about our feelings. It seemingly has more to do with being scared about what other men may think when they hear of our involvement in church.
I was reading Corinthians again this week and decided to read 2 particular verses in a few different versions including the King James version and the English standard version.
the passage in question was 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
here it is from the King James……
‘Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.’
and from the English Standard version……
‘Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love’
In the King James version it’s important to note that ‘quit you like men’ means act like men.
So here we have a clear directive to ‘act like men’. It seems fairly clear here that Paul expects his readers to understand what he means when he says that. There is also a directive that everything we do is ‘done in love’. These two instructions are clearly not seperated, it is not a call for those of us who are macho to be manly and those of us who are tender to loving. It’s an understanding that our Christian faith requires both.
Paul challenges us to retain the identity that we have as men and bring that manliness into the way we serve God and love one another. It’s a call to show the courage to other men that we will stand for love, and the courage to show the church that when we do that we still stand as men.