This is a re-post of something I wrote several years ago for Father’s Day. I think this Father’s Day weekend is a good time to share it again, and now is a good time to celebrate and appreciate God’s gift of manhood.
45 years ago today I was blessed to marry the most wonderful man in the world. From the time I met him, just before I turned 18, he became the yardstick I measured all men by. He’s never failed to keep that bar high.
He inspired this post. I love him with all my heart. He has my respect, my loyalty, my admiration. He deserved the best of wives in return, but never complained about settling for me.
26 God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the ground.’
I had an experience this weekend that made me think about men, about masculinity. It seems manhood is under attack these days from many directions. Indeed, in my opinion, a part of what so offends so many people about President Trump, especially Hillary supporters, is his unapologetic masculinity. He is a man who knows his power and embraces it.
That being said (and I can’t believe I put it in here, knowing where it could lead) please don’t make this another political free for all. My point here is broader.
To all you guys out there, tough guys, whether you express that inner strength clad in a business suit or well worn jeans and work boots, please accept the appreciation and approval of those of us who celebrate who and what you are, and what you do. Every day in ways large and small, you go out and just get the job done. You don’t ask for approval, thanks, or cheers because it just wouldn’t occur to you, and you are too busy getting things done to stop for recognition.
Lots of feminists have a problem with men. I believe they throw around terms like patriarchy, which they probably never looked up in their Funk and Wagnalls. Some humans with an X chromosome, and a few without one, appear to be threatened by the reality of masculinity.
Get a grip chicks, if you are really okay with who and what you are, men are not a threat, but a gift, not competition, but complementary. If your “feminine power” must be derived from the destruction of the epic event of God’s creation, you are pathetic already and men have nothing to do with that failure, you own it.
I’m not even going to waste breath here encouraging men to not allow women to define their masculinity. He who does that is already beyond my poor advice.
Men. All ages, sizes, colors, and other assorted variations. You were different from the moment of conception, and thank God for that. As a child you were faster, stronger, dirtier, and louder. You were often fearless while I stood beside you weighing the odds and assessing the situation. You climbed the tree while I looked for the ladder. You snuck out with the family car while I was cajoling dad for the keys.
In my day, back in the Dark Ages, as we grew into teens and young men and women, you actually appreciated my femininity and rewarded me with attention and admiration. Many of you were kind enough to open doors for me, walk alongside the curb beside me, and lift heavy objects before I tried to. You paid the bill for our dates, and if you ever wanted another one, you walked me to the door.
Because God is good, and loving, and gives us abundant graces and good things, in the early days of my womanhood, I fell in love with this wondrous creature God made from dust and clay. That right there ought to be a hint to us, man from dirt, earthy, strong, fundamental. But, I digress.
I married a man. A for real not apologizing for it man. He has muscles and strength and brawn and intelligence and toughness, a toughness that nothing in this world has ever even come close to breaking. Not even a little crack. Not once in all our years (41 Monday) has he ever even paused in the face of terrible trials and hardships. Now, I know him. I know that he isn’t a robot and he isn’t superman. Sure he’s had doubts, fears, and moments of desperation.
He never once, not one time, not ever considered giving in to them. On his shoulders landed the burdens that would have crushed me and our family without him. God alone knows the weight he bore. His faith was apparent and he led our family to church, led us in faith and worship. The kind that isn’t really so much talked about as lived.
So today, as we honor fathers, I just wanted to throw out a little appreciation for men. I pray that as the world turns and we learn from our mistakes, someday it is popular and honored for men to be men again. Soldiers, sailors, welders, business men, salesmen, teachers, pipefitters, mechanics, electricians, truck drivers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, preachers, rabbis, priests. Fathers, husbands, sons.
Thank you, God, for making men. Thank you for making them in your image. If you, Father, are the model from which my husband was formed, I sure am going to be so happy to meet you. Thank you for all the wonderful men you gifted us with, especially your Son.
Added note. To all who were here with us when my grandson Conner had his heart surgery almost two years ago now, who have asked so frequently how he’s doing, I added his picture. Yep, he’s one of the next generation of fearless daredevil boys in the family. His favorite thing is climbing and jumping, which he’s in the process of doing here. Thank you all for remembering him.
Added note to the added note 😀: As I said, this post was written four years ago. Conner will be six this summer, God help us keep up with him.