Most people have heard the story of Samson at some point during Sunday school. The story of a man who caught 300 foxes, tied them together and attached a flaming torch to them, killed a lion with his bare hands, brought down two pillars of a building and killed 1,000 men with the jawbone of a donkey. No man in the Bible fits the stereotypical picture of a man more than Samson did. He was a man of strength, a man of dedication to God and a man who sought revenge when wronged. Samson was 100% man!
So what the heck can we take away from Samson’s story on how to be a better man? Should we go kill men because they wronged us? Should we kill lions with just our hands? Ummm…no…at least I hope not. I have no real desire to try and kill a lion with only my hands or even a gun for that matter.
While re-reading Samson’s story I noticed two things that really stood out to me.
1. Samson had the power of God in him.
Several times throughout Judges 13-16 it mentions that the power of the Lord came on Samson. Samson was a Nazirite, he never cut his hair, never had grapes, wine or any other alcohol. He followed some pretty strict rules to specifically set himself apart. Because of this dedication the Lord would provide special aid to Samson in his times of need. Our dedication doesn’t have to take the same form, but as a man (or woman for that matter) we need to be dedicated to following God’s will in our lives. Are we daily reading the Bible not to check it off the list, but to truly learn. If we are dedicated to living a life with God, then the Holy Spirit and His power has been promised to us.
2. Women (and men) are trouble.
This might get me in trouble here, so please read my whole statement before wanting to attack me. Samson had a major flaw that led to his downfall. The women in his life got him to tell them things for the wrong reason. He had a weakness and that weakness was trusting the untrustworthy women in his life. I’m not saying all women are untrustworthy at all, so please don’t get me wrong. I have noticed in my life and others that women can be trouble for men just as men can be trouble for women. We try to lean and trust in humans completely. That is not a bad trait, but what I took from Samson’s story is that we have to be careful. Humans are faulty and we have to make sure that we are doing what God wants us to do before we check to see what our friend/significant other/spouse want us to do. In the end it is God who guides us in the right path. Seek His path first.
When I went to search Bing for “manhood” I am glad I caught myself and changed it to “how to be a man,” just in case! When I searched on Bing I got some interesting results that I want to share with you.
There were 113,000,000 results in the web search, 48,800,000 images and 89,400,000 videos.
Some of my favorite web sites that came up (purely the titles) were:
The Art of Manliness (it’s an art, not a science!)
Characteristics of the Ideal Man (is there only one ideal?)
How To Be a Man: A Guide To Style and Behavior For The Modern Gentleman (book available on Amazon)
And my favorite was “How to Be a Man (with pictures)” (I was a little afraid to click on this link)
The videos were a little sad, the top result was “How to be a Ladies Man.” The second video was done by a teenager who drew a mustache on his face and several more looked a little sketchy.
The images were a little better (I made sure my safe search was on and strict!). There was a picture of He-man, a dvd cover from a Steven Segal movie, but the only one that really fit was the one that had a quote from Einstein.
Here are my top ten tips from these sites with as much sarcasm as possible:
10. Carry cash (man I feel manly when my wallet is bursting with so many bills it’s stupid!)
9. A man does not wither at the thought of dancing. But it is generally to be avoided.
8. Keeps his hair neat (got this one covered!)
7. Knows how to lose an afternoon. Drinking, playing Grand Theft Auto, Driving Aimlessly, shooting pool.
6. Knows how to lose a month, also (yikes!)
5. Doesn’t point out that he did the dishes (because you didn’t do them!)
4. Driving alone
3. Does not except charity (Under absolutely no circumstances)
2. Honor the masculinity of other men (what does that even mean? A fancy way of saying don’t break the guy code?)
And the best tip I found!
1. Die well (Apparently you can’t even be a real man until you are dead)
These websites have been very educational….not so much in how to be a man, but that there are way too many guys out there with way too much time on their hands and a distorted view of reality. Obviously these are not my views so please don’t think any worse of me.
Add your own ridiculous man tips below!
Last week I wrote about my plan to do a year long study into the societal and Biblical views of manhood. After my post about going to watch Disney on Ice, my friend sent me a video of a song, from Mulan, telling me that she immediately thought of it when reading my blog.
I decided to look into the role of men in Disney movies. It may seem weird to start a series about manhood by looking at Disney movies, but if you think about it, these are some of the first ideas that young girls and boys are subjected to as to what their roles should be. Let’s start by watching the Mulan video and then I will break down what it means to be a man according to Disney.
extensive short study I did on Disney movies this week and from what I can remember from when I watched them in the past here is what I deduced. In order to be a bad man (or villain) according to Disney movies you must be:
- Desiring of power for your own good
- disfigured or fat (Peter Pan, Robin Hood, Lion King)
- have anger issues
In order to be a good man (or hero) according to Disney movies you must be:
- good-looking (except Hunchback)
- naive (at least at first)
- fast, strong and mysterious (Mulan)
What I apparently need to do is become a good-looking, naive, brave, fast, strong and mysterious man willing to rescue a fair maiden.
Now I am not bashing Disney movies or saying they are doing a discredit to everyone by portraying women as week and men as the rescuers and all of that other stuff. I am just making some observations and commenting on them. I will let you decide what you want to do with the information.
These are just a couple things that I have noticed. I’d love to hear what things you have noticed about men in Disney movies, so please post them below and join the discussion!
The lights came on, the siren blared, I checked my speedometer and I wasn’t speeding. I tried to remember if I failed to stop at a stop sign or ran a redish light, but i couldn’t remember violating any law. I pulled over and the cop moseyed up to my window with his hand on his belt and asked the dreaded question. “Do you know why I pulled you over?” I answered honestly, “No, sir.” The officer then asked for my id and registration. I handed him my license and registration but he asked for my other id…my man card. He immediately put a giant red stamped “Revoked” in the center of it, gave it back to me and said I was in violation of several man laws this week and could no longer consider myself a man. I tried to fight it, but he said there was nothing he could do about it.
That is the scenario several people made me feel like would happen after my week involved watching my cousin and goddaughter at their dance recital and then the events of last Saturday. Last Saturday I found myself with one other adult male and two small girls who looked like twins (though they aren’t) watching a bunch of people dressed as Disney characters skate around the room. Yes, I went to Disney on Ice. No, I do not have any kids of my own, but instead chose to go with my cousin, his daughter and her cousin. It was my Christmas present to my goddaughter, but I chose to go with her instead of just buying tickets for her and her family. What’s worse is I kind of enjoyed it, not the ice skating as much as seeing my goddaughter wave at Goofy for almost 5 minutes straight several times throughout the event.
Since last Saturday I have been thinking more and more about what it means to be a man, Biblically and according to today’s society. I couldn’t help but have these questions running through my head; Does this make me less of a man? What would a single female think about this? What makes a man a man according to the Bible?
I decided to start to research the topic of manhood more thoroughly and see what Bible scholars, popular culture, and any other source says a man should be. My goal is to post every Friday, for at least 2013, about a different topic/question about manhood and that is where I need your help. It would take me way to long to compile all of the resources that talk about what makes a man a man in addition to reading them and writing the blog, but as you come along sources please shoot them my way at email@example.com or comment on here. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts and researching this topic. Seriously though, I could use as much help as possible so send me articles, books, blogs, songs or anything else you come across.