Who is Good Enough for my Daughter?

Who is good enough for my daughter?

As I reflect on this question, I’m reminded of that scene from that old movie Uncle Buck where he (the late John Candy) goes to pick up his 16 years old niece from a party.  Being rather protective he tells a shady looking boyfriend to “hold on a sec” while he goes to get an axe from the trunk that’s “sharp enough to circumcise a gnat…”   It was quite funny to watch the response of the young man…

You’d think with my having three daughters I’d carry around three axes, or at least one shotgun, but who am I kidding, I’m not a violent person.  Furthermore, I’m not one of those guys where “no one is good enough for his princess…”  Nonetheless, I have a very clear description of the type of young man who is not good enough.

The story of Jephthah (in Judges 11 in the Old Testament) is one of my favorites.  He was a young man whose purpose came off the rails, and was misaligned -largely through no fault of his own.   This young man was “illegitimate” meaning that his father conceived him with another woman that was not his wife.  When daddy died, he was no longer welcomed in the family by his brothers and was unceremoniously expelled from his community.   (Culturally, for that time period, family was everything and he became homeless in the biggest way.)

Jephthah chose then to go a place named Tob.  Although the name of this place meant “to be pleasing, or a good thing” it was far from that.  He fell among (and I quote)worthless men“.  No, this is not a Biblical mandate to confirm what you have suspect all along that men are dogs…  (But that’s not true…dogs are actually quite nice animals…)   All joking aside, Jephthah began an Old Testament thug lifestyle of stealing and killing to make a living – “raiding” for personal gain, as opposed to being a mighty man of valor God had created him to be.

Going back to the point, the Bible identified that there are some men who are “worthless”.   What a harsh thing to say!   But, this idea is not about being no good because of personal baggage, issues, or even merely “bad behaviour.”  Jephthah had all of these, but he was not a “worthless” man -although he wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice of suitors…

Worthlessness, as I understand it does not mean that they had no value as human beings -for God loves sinners, but they were worthless in the sense that they brought no value or worth to those that they were around.  They brought negative value, pain, addiction, and waywardness.  They had no investment in the well-being of Jephthah, nor were they a positive voice to guide him back to his true identity and purpose.  Those guys were takers, not givers. They just wanted to use Jephthah for what he was – muscle, a good fighter, and a good source of income.

As a father, I don’t want anyone that brings no value attached to the life of my children (male or female).

Obviously, we as men and teenaged boys aren’t perfect, (I get it, I know that I’m not), therefore, will I cut some young men a break when it comes to my daughters?  Probably not.  Jesus preaches, come as you are, and he’ll fix you, but my daughter isn’t Jesus.   It’s not their job to fix any worthless man (or boy).  Besides, it’s hard to be connected with someone else when one does not know who or what they are.

To any young men out there (or parents of young men), I think that they may need to work on discovering, developing and living in their true identities.  They’ll definitely need to “Let Sleeping Giants Lie” (take a look at that post if you haven’t already.)  And, when Jesus says that he’s worked on them enough, maybe that’s when it’s time to get into a relationship.

Do you agree or disagree?  Am I way off base?  Your comments and thoughts are welcomed.

 

Israel

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Whose Your Daddy?

As a man,  your greatest testimony is probably not so much what your neighbor,  work colleague,  or church brethren surmise.   I believe it lies in what your family concludes about you as a father or a husband.   That’s where the ‘rubber hits the road’ for compassion,  grace,  and spiritual consistency.  This is where at your weakest, the strength of the Saviour must shine through.

It’s not to say that we are to required to be perfect humans,  but family life is an opportunity for the Lord to make up the slack, and our character shortfalls.   We should reiterate -like the bridge in the song “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real…  “Father, lead me with strong hands so I can lead them…”   (Check out this link to a real man song!)   Sanctus Real “Lead Me”

My mind always goes back to step-father Joseph.   Can you imagine how his son (Jesus) felt,  knowing that His  dad stood by His mother (when any self-respecting Jewish man would have bailed from that relationship -with far less soul searching)?  He chose to listen to God,  and loved Mary as his own flesh.   Joseph was kind,  compassionate and not a jerk.

He was also an individual of sexual integrity.   In Matthew 1:25, the Bible tells us that he did not consummate their marriage till after Jesus was born.  His desires did not flounder in the swamp of selfishness,  which as men we’ve all struggled to free ourselves – present company included.   He chose first Mary’s physiological and psychological well being and deeply respected God’s mysterious will.  Men,  we could take a page from Joseph’s book.

This New Year,  even though our children may not be members of the Trinity,  and our wives’ names don’t rhyme with “airy”,  let’s strive to live a testimony to the people whom we can most effectively influence to create a lasting, positive legacy.  Let’s be the kind of Daddy and Husband God wants us to be!

Happy New year,  and may you abide in redemptive peace and spiritual prosperity.

“How to be a Man” the “What not to wear of Pro-masculine movies”

The premise for the movie “How to be a Man” is intriguing…  The main character (Mark McCarthy)was dying, therefore he decided to make a series of home movies for his unborn son, in order that his boy would learn (especially during critical times of development) what it would mean to be a man.

Through out the process Mark befriends an impressionable, and somewhat lost, fatherless, early 20 something year old (named Bryan) who participates as his sidekick and videographer of his antics -and I do mean antics!

Well, you can’t deny that the “How to Be a Man” movie is a “guy movie”… the main character is just not a “Genesis Man”.

 

If we were to compare Mark  to the Genesis 2 definition of manhood and masculinity (which uses Adam as our example), there would be a few things to say.

First of all the main character displays no sense of moral responsibility.  He was unfaithful to his wife, (as I recall, he asked the question, “If you don’t remember being unfaithful, is it still cheating?)   He used heroin and cocaine; he swore constantly and was overall fairly crass.

There was no apparent sense of family responsibility, positive relationsips and wisdom.  Even with the understanding that his wife was pregnant, he follows his absurd impulses and quits his job.   (Would you believe me if I told you that he quit over a disagreement regarding flatus?)

 

To be fair, he did, however, displayed a sense of mentorship by taking another young man under his wing to help him understand manhood… but Mark’s lessons were questionable at best.

 

There was no authentic declaration.  He didn’t speak words of life into his wife.   He cultivated a poor relationship with her.  He spoke his own weakness and he spoke his own selfishness.  Did he speak into the life of the young man he was mentoring?  Kind of.  Maybe.  (We’ll explore that later.)

 

So, the million dollar question is, ‘What did he teach about being a man?’  He taught that a man stands on his word and follows his heart.  Sounds good but, the whole lesson about his “word” was played out in the most ridiculous of circumstances.    In order to prove to Bryan that he wasn’t lying about taking heroin in his youth, he seeks help from an old friend (a recovering drugatic -and incidentally manages to derail his sobriety) to help him get some heroin, and Mark not only uses drugs, but gets Bryan to as well.

 

He had no job and no purpose (as I could see).  Granted, he was a good comedian…

Yes he followed his heart, and dreams but to what extent?  Reckless irresponsibility?  (Comedy doesn’t pay the bills.  Would you quit your job with a child on the way to follow your dream?)

Seriously, the movie was a really bad example of everything, but nevertheless …it was an example of something.  He can’t be charged with lethargy.

 

Upon further reflection, the movie’s portrayal of women were quite unsettling.

The women in the movie were unconnected to the needs of men.  They were overbearing and uncaring.  (Mark’s wife was the poster child of these qualities.)

Bryan’s mother was also overbearing, and failed at producing a young man with drive and life…he was a “still born man”.

The other female character was rather incidental, and portrayed as nothing more than a sexual experience that used the main character for drugs, and was a target for Mark’s words, lines, and masculine manipulations.

 

This definitely is the “What not to wear” of pro-masculine movies.  It may be about “How to be a man,” but it’s not about how to be a “Genesis Man”.  I know, I know, I’ve spent more time being critical about a movie not many people saw, and probably won’t see, and maybe it was intended to be nothing more than a silly film… but at the very least it shines as a commentary of our modern times and an educational experience that must not be ignored.

This movie gets a “C” for trying and an “F” for showing “How to be a man.”  I suppose that averages to something like a “D”.

If you want to see a good movie about being a man, watch the James J. Braddock story called “Cinderella Man” starring Russel Crowe.  (Who knows, maybe we’ll explore that at another time.)