I am going where everyone on earth must someday go. Take courage and be a man. Observe the requirements of the Lord your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go. (1 Kings 2:2-3)
Relate: Just as a disclaimer, I don’t necessarily agree with all of these. I do most, but not all:
A while back, on a whim I did a little research on what google says it takes to be a man. Most of the websites I came across seemed to fall into two different categories. The first category I will call the B’s: beer, babes, burps, bombs, and buds. Most of what we call the “man rules” tend to fall into this category. Some so called rules are true: “No razor is ever to be used below the neckline.” Others are obvious: “Under no circumstances shall two men ever share an umbrella.” There are other so called man rules that are just downright stupid: “On a road trip, the strongest bladder determines the pit stops.” That road trip is gonna smell real bad, real quick.
The other category of websites I kept running across I’ll call the C’s: couch side counseling. It was the type of useless advice people waste way too much money at their local quack therapist to get. These websites say things like “it is always OK to explore and express your sensitive side.” A word on that. If you are crying because somebody close died, that is OK. If you are crying because Masahiro Tanaka is going to pitch seven glorious shutout innings against your beloved Red Sox… again, too bad. Man up. It is only going to get worse as we get closer to the postseason and it becomes painfully obvious that you cannot compete with this new generation of Yankees.
Neither of these types of sites really got into the essence of what true manhood is really about. Maybe its time for someone to set down a new set of rules. If that was me, I know what man rule #1 would be: “Obey God… no matter the consequences.”
React: In today’s reading, Solomon is about to become king. Back then kingship was a lot more than just pomp and circumstance. It was a big job. He was a bit overwhelmed. So David gives him some last advice. “I’m going to die so its time to man up. As long as you follow God, you’ll do alright.” (1 K 2:2-3 BJV)
Also in today’s reading, Peter and his crew were just hauled into court. Once there they were given two options: stop preaching or die. Their answer was that it was far more important to obey God. They chose door #2. None of them ended up walking through that door right away, but ultimately every last one of them did. They chose to obey God right to death even as death by obedience was claiming the lives of fellow Christ followers all around them.
David and the apostles were real men. They were worthy of emulation. I pray that God will raise up men in my generation, starting with me, who will walk their paths. There are other “man rules” that might follow. Love your wives. Lead your families. Invest more in your kids than your workplace. Stick it out… etc. But all of them would flow out of my man rule #1. Obey God, no matter what.
I pray that You would raise up men who would rise up. I pray that we would man up and obey You. I pray that we would step out and follow. I pray You would give us the courage and the strength and the fortitude and the perseverance to walk faith faithfully in the glory of what You have called us to do from now until the moment we enter the glory of heaven. With Your strength, make us equal to any task, standing against any threat, working and walking with You no matter what may come.