Not too long ago, the Gillette razor company put out an advertisement that condemned what they called “toxic masculinity,” that is – men with their grills, oblivious to the plight of women, approving of ideas and concepts that were offensive to the American woman, and overall making sport of what manhood really means. I haven’t seen the commercial personally, but from what I heard of it, it put men in a bad light. That’s not a good idea, nor is it a proper perspective of what real manhood is all about.
It seems that today’s man has to be sensitive and approving of lifestyles that were not a part of their parents’ mindset. Men have to be told that their little boy is actually a girl just dying to be let out of the prison that fate had deemed for “her.” Man-buns and selfies seem to encapsulate modern male introspection. There is an entire generation of men who would seem to rebel against their father’s morals and ethics and embrace a false narrative of the role of men in society and who they are before God.
In this day of political correctness with feminists and other social critics defining the role of masculinity, where can someone go to learn the real story of man and his role in the spectrum of life? We don’t need to watch a special on television or read an erotic magazine, nor do we need to trade in our wives for a new one in order to feel young. We don’t need to be that man who pays for his girlfriend or wife to have an abortion because they lack the moral strength to care for that child. Let’s cut through the stereotypes and look at a real man – the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the Perfect Man and the Son of God Almighty.
I know what some men who come across this site are thinking, especially if they’re not right with God. They tend to think that Jesus was a wimp who preached love exclusively and never caused anyone trouble. They look at artists’ conceptions and mock what they think our LORD was all about. Let’s set the record straight, sir. The hard fact is that Jesus Christ is more of a man than you’ll ever hope to be in this life. His life is worth noticing and imitating – and more important – surrendering your life to Him. Our LORD had good examples of true manhood growing up. Let’s start with his foster father Joseph and discover some truly manly principles.
Principle 1: A real man watches out for the welfare of his wife and children.
Out of all the men in Judea to care for the Son of God, Joseph was chosen to help rear Jesus and His siblings as well as be a good husband and provider for Mary. Through a series of dreams, Joseph was told to marry Mary amidst scandal, knowing that the baby she carried was not his, but was the incarnation of the Holy God in human form. He was warned in a dream to get the baby and his mother out of Bethlehem because of the madness of Herod, who ended up killing all boys two years old and under in a satanic attempt to destroy the Messiah who is the true King. Joseph took the Child and mother to Egypt until it was the right time to go back home. He risked his own life to see that the Promised One would reach adulthood (Matthew 1:18-25, 2:13, 19-20)
Principle 2: A real man shows his children the importance of acknowledging the importance of God in their lives.
Even though our LORD was God in human flesh, He put aside aspects of His divinity to learn and to hear the words of God in the local synagogue and from the lips of Joseph, whose responsibility it was to teach the law of God to his children (Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Luke 2:52). Jesus grew up being instructed in the ways of His Father; and by the time He was twelve (the time of His Bar Mitzvah, where He was proclaimed a son of the Law), He was questioning the doctors of the Scriptures and learning from them in the Temple. While we don’t know the attitude of Joseph concerning Jesus going about “His Father’s business,” you know he had to feel proud and vindicated that he had done his job of being a godly example and doing the job of teaching of the Scriptures to His family.
Principle 3: A real man demonstrates the value of a job well done and shows his children the value of hard work.
It is to be assumed that Joseph taught Jesus the trade of carpentry from an early age. He showed Jesus how to cut wood and shape it and to build houses, plows, boats, and synagogues. Joseph would have been someone in demand to do the job right. Jesus, no doubt, built excellent items of high quality. He would have developed His skills over time and no doubt enjoyed working with His foster father, talking about the things of God and having a good time together working for the glory of God and for the approval of their customers. At the end of the day when they put away their tools, they could look back on a job and see that it exceeded expectations.
Our LORD’s authority was not only the fact that He spoke God’s words, but of a reputation that demonstrated obedience, quality, and a good work ethic. Our LORD was no religious bum.
Principle 4: A real man’s heritage is not what he possesses, but what he can leave to his children in the way of wisdom and love.
We don’t know when Joseph died, but it is assumed that his death was shortly before our LORD began His redemptive work or earlier. He had no will, legally speaking, but no doubt he knew that he could leave this world knowing that he had taught his children a trade that would support them, and that their mother would be cared for after his death. He left this world totally committed to God and His word, knowing that he had been obedient to God’s direction. He taught his children how to love God and obey Him.
God had entrusted him with the glorious truth that his child was the Son of God come to take away the world’s sin. He is in heaven now with the LORD, Mary, and the brothers and sisters who came to faith in Jesus after the Resurrection.
This is real manhood; and as we progress in this series, we shall look at its principles demonstrated in the life of our LORD. Gillette can go jump in the lake. I’ll take Jesus any day. He’s more of a man than this world could ever hope to be, now and forever. Amen.