Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I’m not sure where I first came across this expression. Roughly, it means to step up, to take responsibility and to display fortitude, courage, steadfastness, etc. despite the odds or how tough the situation may be…all those ‘manly’ characteristics that generally make women swoon. Think old movie stars like John Wayne, Gregory Peck, and Charlton Heston – the ‘manly men’. Now, those guys knew how to man-up!
These days, for men to ‘man-up’ in our culture is practically a foreign concept: consider the men who won’t commit, men who try to ‘score’ with as many women as possible, men who shirk responsibility for the children that result from these liaisons, religious men who treat their wives as chattels or who demand submission despite how poorly they treat their spouses, men who willingly allow women to take over the man’s responsibilities, men who either won’t work or who skip from job to job, men who’d rather play video games than face life’s challenges.
Where did this all start, and why is it so rampant?
Here’s food for thought:
Scene: the Garden of Eden
Characters: Adam, Eve, the Serpent
For thousands of years, women have taken the blame for the downfall of the human race because Eve succumbed to temptation in the garden, but I ask you this: where was ADAM when Even was being tempted - far away in some distant vineyard? No – he was right there!
Could it possibly be that when God said they could eat of any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that suddenly that very tree became mighty attractive to them? Consider Romans 7:7 that states:
I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, " YOU SHALL NOT COVET."
I am reminded of my Kindergarten kids – every year I wrestle with this dilemma: should I point out the red fire alarm box on the wall in my classroom? If I do, will it become irresistible to them to the point that somebody just has to touch it, or do I just ignore it and hope they will too?
So here’s my speculation:
I’m guessing that Adam was drawn to this tree like a bee to honey! I’m guessing that he secretly confided this attraction to Eve, but he wouldn’t man-up enough to actually act on his sinful inclination himself. How long were those two in the garden before the serpent arrived? Eons? Who knows? It doesn’t matter. It needn’t have been long at all – just long enough to inflame a desire so acute as to drive Adam wild! So, could it be that he conveniently allowed Eve to take the fall for something he himself longed to do? If so, he got a big pay-off. Not only did he get to blame the woman for the fall, but he also got to get a bite of the desired forbidden fruit. Remember, he was right there when Eve was being tempted and he did nothing! He didn’t step in to stop her, nor advise her to resist the enemy, nor chase the serpent away himself. After all, he had the authority. You’ve got to wonder why he didn’t exert it.
What was the result? For the next two thousand plus years, women have been treated as second-class citizens at best and less than dung at worst. A familiar Jewish adage goes something like this: “Thank you, God, that you didn’t make me a Gentile, a dog or a woman”. For centuries, women have been used and abused – by men.
Why is it that women typically have had to man-up far more often then the men in their lives? Why do so many men forsake their marriage vows, refuse to pay child support or hold down a job? Why is it that even Christian men shirk their responsibilities and allow their wives to take on the lion’s share and more of the workload when it comes to the workforce, child-rearing, meal preparation, laundry, etc. etc., all the while playing the ‘submit to me’ card?
On the other hand, I ask you: how many Christian men LOVE THEIR WIVES AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH??? I hazard to guess: not many.
If my speculation is true – that Adam didn’t man-up to Satan and allowed Eve to take the fall (literally) – it would explain why men, from that day in the garden on, have wimped out. It would also explain why women will never attain equality with men in this corrupt, Satan-inspired world system.
Where are the manly men? Where are the warriors? Where are the men who, like Jesus, are willing to persevere with courage and fortitude, no matter the cost?
Jesus broke the curse! The world is waiting for manly men, those who realize who they are in Christ and who have learned from the master Himself what it means to man-up.