Wimpy Dads: I am not talking about some guy who cannot carry a couch over his shoulder or who has never played Rugby. I am talking about the dad who does not understand his role as a man, and therefore cannot fulfill his responsibilities as a father and a husband.
There was a time when there was no confusion on the matter of manhood. In an orthodox Jewish home, for example, every boy would have prepared, studied, met with a Rabbi (think Pastor) and talked with men for an extended period of time while getting ready for his Bar Mitzvah—his rite of passage into manhood. In preparing for this celebration, the boy would be told stories of what men do and how they should do it; the boy would memorize scripture and train in how to use the scroll and lead others in worship. The boy would be told that, upon the completion of this preparation, he would be recognized by family, friends, and other men as a legitimate, real-life MAN.
In contrast to that tradition, our American culture has nothing of this sort. We never tell a boy when he is considered a man—we leave that up to each individual to decide for himself (total disaster). Therefore, men who are in their thirties wander aimlessly and do not know if they are indeed true men. In fact, many of them are not. If we leave this important step of transitioning from boyhood to manhood to the boy’s discernment, he will come up with all sorts of crazy answers to the question “When do I become a man?”
Some of the most common conclusions given are the following:
I am a man…
*When I become financially self-supporting
*When I get my driver’s license
*When I first have sex
*When I have my first beer
By all accounts, these are disastrous definitions of manhood that will lead a guy to become an overpowering jerk or a perpetual adolescent (boy)—which I will define here as a future Wimpy Dad.
I, however, have come to describe the role of a real man as follows:
*A man rescues and protects.
*A Christian man loves God, then rescues and protects.
Admittedly, this may seem simplistic, but it stands in stark contrast to the definitions listed above, and it is actually scriptural.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” ~Luke 10:27
A boy lives for his own pleasure, whereas a man takes care of others; he makes others feel safe, and if they are in trouble, a man rushes in to rescue them!
A boy uses others to get what he wants, but a man sacrifices to make sure those in his care have what they need.
I have come to the conclusion that a man can only know he’s a man when another man tells him he’s a man. If you are a guy who lives for yourself, leaves others around you to fend for themselves, or if you primarily want to be left alone so you can do your own thing, you are not there yet. You are in need of some Godly men to help you become who you were made to be, who you long to be, and who your family needs you to be—a man.
Dave Carl is Pastor of Family and Children’s Ministries at Stonebriar. During the past 12 years, Dave has served on staff at Insight for Living in various capacities. His primary role at IFL was as the creator and creative director of Paws & Tales, a weekly children’s radio program. Through this ministry, Dave shared the love of God with a sense of joy, humor and humility to children of all ages.
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