The Sage: ZAKEN; The Fulfilled Man

“Delighted to be but wise, for men improve with the years.”  William Buttler Yeats

Well guys, this is the last stop on the “Masculine Journey”.  This last stage of life is ideally conceived in the scriptures and we will try our best to portray it here.  I think it’s appropriate and perfect that I’m writing this on Father’s Day.  I’ll ask forgiveness up front for the length of this one but assure you it’s a good read.

Zaken is a Hebrew word that literally means “Beard”.  The Zaken is the gray headed man.  The meaning is a time of being old or becoming old. Getting to the Zaken stage and title is the goal of manhood.

  • Today in our society men are burning out at alarming rates. We feel as though time is running out and we are not there yet.
  • Scriptures provide a much longer look at manhood than we do. At 40 we just kids, guys.
  • Moses wrote a song- to remember what God had done. “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.” (Deuteronomy 32:7) This is so when one generation is denying what God had done and the ability of God, they would bring in the elders; The elders will tell what really happened.
  • It’s about what was learned from life, not what was accomplished. “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25)  Your goal men, is to be gray headed and to pass great wisdom on to the next generation.

However, having gray or silver hair alone does not mean you are wise. “I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.” (Psalms 119:100)  “And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I [am] young, and ye [are] very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion. I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But [there is] a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not [always] wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.” (Job 32: 6-9)  To become wise you must have the study of scriptures, faith in God,, trust in Christ and the obedience to the truth. You must be doing things while you are young to ensure that when you are old you have the wisdom through scriptural insight and obedience.

THE BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE

Respect and honor for the elder is rooted in the Ten Commandments, where God says, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12)

Please don’t miss the interesting concept here.  As we give respect to our older parents we ensure that we have greater longevity for ourselves. So, read between the lines men, if you do not want to live long go ahead and treat your parents with animosity.

“Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:32)  In other words, stand up when your elder enters the room and have some respect. Do this because you have the fear of God in your heart. This isn’t an old wives tale from the south. It was part of the law of Israel.

“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.” (Proverbs 23:22)

If these verses were obeyed, if people today heeded these instructions it would make our society so much better.  “This one section of biblical admonition could radically change our culture,” says Robert Hicks. It would change how parents are treated, how grandparents are treated and how seniors are dealt with and with no question, the change would be for the better.

ZAKEN: A Time of Fulfillment

Our society is looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places and all the wrong times. We constantly sacrifice the good of the present for the might-bes and wannabes of the future. We are rarely satisfied. Ultimately God must be the source of our satisfaction. Jesus said it, “Only those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (which comes from God) will ever find it and be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)

We do not think about how we want to die.  We are going to die and this culture does not prepare for it. We are a death-denying culture.  People today do not want to come to grips with death.

From a biblical perspective the Zaken is the time of ultimate fulfillment.  It is the time to prepare for a natural death. A natural death with all business taken care of and with all relationships reconciled.

If you notice how most people die today they go to death cantankerous, bitter, demanding and regretful.  And this is not totally because of physical pain and discomfort.

Three conditions make the Zaken time less than fulfilling.

  1. No Zakens in the family. “Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house. And thou shalt see an enemy [in my] habitation, in all [the wealth] which [God] shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever. And the man of thine, [whom] I shall not cut off from mine altar, [shall be] to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age. And this [shall be] a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.” (1 Samuel 2:30-34)  Eli died alone with no other family and no connections.
  2. Grieving the needless loss of life from unnatural causes. “Moreover, thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet. Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.” (1 Kings 2:5-6) This is reference to both needless killing and also death from accidental means.
  3. Suffering the loss of our own young. Our children should never precede us and when it happens it takes a major toll. It robs a man of the joy of old age.

The two things these three issues have in common are the loss of life and the loss of family connections. The number one commonality on people that live long lives is the ability to suffer loss and move on from it.

The key to fulfillment is RECONCILIATION, having our important relationships maintained. We should do our best to reconcile any relationships severed or harmed in earlier times.

Zaken: It is a Time of Significant Contribution

We should not be short sighted and in a hurry.  Life is not over at age 40, not at 50, not at 60, 70 or even 80.

The Zaken of Israel defended their region.  “And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress? And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the Lord deliver them before me, shall I be your head?And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The Lord be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words. Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord in Mizpeh.” (Judges 11:5-11)

The Zaken defended their families and their cities. “And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab’s children, saying, Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master’s sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour; Look even out the best and meetest of your master’s sons, and set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house. But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand? And he that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is good in thine eyes.” (2 Kings 10:1-5)

The Zaken furnished counsel along with the priests and the prophets. “Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.” (Ezekiel 7:26) “Then said they, Come and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.” (Jeremiah 18:18)

Zaken is a Time for Mentoring

The concept of mentoring is coming back full-circle. All the major companies today are adopting mentoring concepts and relationships. Mentoring gives you a brain to pick, a shoulder to cry on and sometimes a good swift kick in the pants.  A mentor cares for a younger man in the totality of his life. A mentor helps the student to become successful in Life.  Not in accumulating things but successful in how to live.

There is a huge need for elderly (Zaken) mentors for young people today.

As a professor at the Dallas Seminary, Dr. Howard Hendricks always passed an anonymous paper to every one of his students. So here it is:

ADVICE TO A BORED YOUNG MAN

“Died age 20; buried age 60. The sad epitaph of too many Americans. Mummification sets in on too many young men at an age when they should be ripping the world wide open. For example: Many people reading this page are doing so with the aid of bifocals.  Inventor? B. Franklin, age 70. The presses that printed this page were powered by electricity.  One of the harnessors? B. Franklin, age 40.  Some are reading this on the campus of one of the Ivy League universities. Founder? B. Franklin, age 46.  Others in a Library. Who founded the first library in America? B. Franklin, age 25. Some got their copy through the U.S. Mail. Its father? B. Franklin, age 31.  Now think fire. Who started the first fire department, invented the first lightening rod, designed a heating stove still in use today? B. Franklin, age 31, 43, 36. Wit, Conversationalist, Economist, Philosopher, Diplomat, Favorite of the capitals of Europe.  Journalist, Printer, Publisher, Linguist, (spoke and wrote 5 languages).  Advocate of paratroopers (from balloon) a century before the airplane was invented. All this until age 84. And he had exactly two years of formal schooling. It’s a good bet that you already have more knowledge than Franklin ever had when he was your age. Perhaps you think there is no use trying to think of anything new, that everything’s been done. Wrong. The simple, agrarian America of Franklins day didn’t begin to need the answers we need today. Do something about it. Tear out his page and read it on your 84th birthday. Ask yourself what took over in your life, indolence or ingenuity!”

Zaken keeps connecting, keeps contributing and makes his reconciliations.

JESUS IS THE VOICE OF GOD!

Men, Jesus moves us from one stage to the next. Jesus is the only one that can empathize with us where we are. He can help us because he experienced the same stages. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

Because Jesus is the second Adam he was very much human. He was tempted in every way.

He was a warrior.

He was a wounded male. See Luke 22:39 through Luke 23:25.

He was the mature man during the resurrection. Wise beyond His years. (And that is an understatement!)

He is our sage.

It is FAITH men, day by day, event by event, stage by stage, that gets us through to the other side. New expressions of FAITH EVERY DAY!

I hope you got as much out of this Masculine Journey as I did.

Many thanks to Robert Hicks and his book The Masculine Journey, Understanding the six stages of Manhood.

God bless you men.  “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

Until next time,

The Tubthumper

Ish- The Reborn Ruler

The Mature Man                                                                           

Well men, we are never prepared to be defeated by life.  We expect to win in all we do.  And we are not wimps, you are not a man if you are expecting to lose.  That’s not the masculine thing to do. When it does happen we feel totally out of control. We cave in… it’s over. We feel like everything has gone out of control and we don’t respond well we are really confused. We now become slaves to the wounds. We are caught off-guard because, most men today didn’t have a father that modeled or taught us how to get through this wounding process.

Maturity comes only through adversity. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1:12)   In the Bible, the word temptation can also be taken as trials. So when a man has withstood the test, he will receive the crown of life God has promised to those that love Him.

How many times as a child or adolescent did you hear the words, “grow up?”  Does anyone really know what grown up looks like?  The only thing we know is that whatever it looks like maturity only comes through the crucible of pain.  Through the pain we learn who we are, what we are like, what we should do, and what or who we should be. Mr. Bly reminded men that the path to adulthood often takes a detour through Woundedville.  But it leads to the mature man, the resurrected ruler of the soul, the ish kind of a man.

The Meaning of Ish:

This is a Hebrew word that translates into, “man”, “mankind, or “Husband.” The adult male or mature man.  Ish speaks not only of man but also of God. The husband of His people.  (Hosea) The most important aspect of Ish is its reference to the adult male. This in contrast to the young man “yeled”.

Attributes, the Mature male is known for his attributes.

He is a man of something…

A man of bravery. (1 Samuel 4:9) A man of good presence or good looking. (1 Samuel 16:18) A man of Kindness. (Proverbs 11:17) A man of smooth skin or hairy skin. (Genesis 27:11) A man of understanding. (Proverbs 17:27) A man of peacefulness. (Psalm 37:37) A man of trustworthiness. (Exodus 18:21) A man of the priesthood. (Leviticus 21:9) A man of the King. (Exodus 2:14) A man of war. (Deuteronomy 2:14) A man of God, this is used 75 times in the Bible.  Also a man of the Spirit in Hosea 9:7. So we can see that a mature man is a man of attributes and he knows who he is.  He has decided to stop living through the eyes of someone else and lives his own life.

Ish is also used with reference to a women and shows differentiation.  Ish is the husband of a woman.  For a boy to become a man he needs to break free of mommy, find his father.  After this he must also break free from his father and become the man he will be by finding himself. Sometimes a wife ends up becoming a second mother and a woman can never make a boy into a man. There is a point when a boy must say goodbye to the Woman and become a man. It may not be just the differentiation from women but may be parents, teachers, pastors, churches, systems or friends Don’t get me wrong, these all have their place but can be barriers to personal development. This can be called, “detribalization,” we are all tribalized in some way and need to break free to reframe the disillusionment and wounding we suffered. We need to break away from someone else’s agenda and follow our own.

A mature man is also known for his individualization. Differentiation shows what a man is not, but a man must also show what he is.  So who are you? Can you answer that question?  Who really knows who this person is? Only God knows you and me personally and perfectly, because our self-knowledge is distorted. If a man is going through a mid-life crisis in order to do an appraisal he must look inward. It is a time to discover what the turmoil was all about. Time to find out where he hurts and find his wounds to be licked.  He needs to become more engages with himself to determine how he feels about a lot of things. The prerequisite for maturity is to know what you want to be and do and to know what you do not want to be and do.  Then you can become your own man.

It’s now time to re-kindle the dream. Time to dream again but you will modify the original vision and have a different perspective on it all.

You see, now we will swing a little less often but when we do swing the world had better look out! You have now challenged a mature male at the heart of his dedication.

John Henry Newman, the founder of the Oxford Movement, was rejected by both the Anglican Church (his church) and the Catholic Church he was converting to.  He wrote this: “God has created me, to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.  I have my mission-I may never realize it in this life, but I shall be told in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.  He has not created me for nothing. I shall do good, I shall do His work. Therefore, I will trust Him.  Whatever, wherever I am. I cannot be thrown away.”

So by getting in touch with who we are and doing the appraisal work needed we can be on a better positon to continue our growth. The warrior is really a one-dimensional man focusing on his weapon. The phallic male is focusing on nothing but his penis. The wounded male is unable to see past his hurting and his pain. Now the mature man (Ish) is finding a new richness in his life he has never experienced before. This does not mean the man has become an isolated man away for those he cares about.  He is also a relational man.

Ish is a relational man.

Ish gets used sometimes along with a similar word for women, Ishah.  This is seen in Genesis 2:23 where Adam gave his wife a name similar to his own. (Ish) but with a feminine ending. A mature man fids equality with a woman. She is like him, as proven in this scripture and she is not an animal to be Lorded over.  Nor is he a wimp without authority to name her.  Things now get more serious between a man and his wife. Both parties are no longer playing any games. Sex can be based on complete, unabashed union of their spirits.  They know each other very well. There now is sexual freedom and the relationship has a new dynamic.  That means we now have the liberty of enjoying our wives for the glory of God.  The best sex is yet to come.

Ish is also involved in civic and social responsibilities.  He is a man of fiends. (Proverbs 18:24)

Ish is a man that is belonging to certain groups, whether to his tribe or nation. (Numbers 25:6, Judges 10:1) He is also a man that holds a wide range of civic and social responsibilities. (Exodus 21-22) A mature man is involved in his church, in his work and in his community, he is involved in his family activities and all the things he simply enjoys.

And Ish is now becoming a royal type of person and is taking control and rules his life.

Ish as a Royal Man

“And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17: 18-20)

Men of Royalty such as Priests and Prophets, and messengers of God are often called ish Elohim or “man of God.” A mature man is one who will rule his life with the wisdom of scripture. He is required to meditate on God’s word daily and to tune out other voices. (Psalm1).

The blessing of maturing to the Ish kind of man is that you no longer listen to counsel of evil men, but only to the insights obtained by diligent meditation on the Word of God. The mature man listens to the voice of God in Scripture.

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)

An Ish Bible Character

Elijah- Prophet of God.

He defeated the prophets of Baal and embodies the wounded warrior who grows up and mentors another younger man. He showed all the qualities and came through all the stages that typify the Mature Man. (1 Kings 17-19) (2 Kings 1-2) The young Elijah did everything God told him to do and God came through for him using supernatural strength. He multiplies food and raises a widow’s son from the dead. (1 Kings 17) This was a fantastic start for a young warrior prophet! Now Elijah is ready for the big times. God calls on him to take on the Canaanites and King Ahab along with the Prophets of Baal.

This has all the elements of the warrior challenge.  It has emotion, dreams, victory, pomp, and courage. (1 Kings 18) In 1 Kings 19: 1-2 Ahab tells his wife Jezebel of what is happening and Jezebel goes ballistic. She put a hit on Elijah’s life. Now how does Elijah handle this?  He runs for his life.  Here is a man that has experience with God taking care of him.  Why did he run this time?  There is no answer but I do know men have weak moments when they are at their breaking point.

So now all the elements of wounded behavior show up. Retreat, licking his wounds, self pity, depression, giving up the cause, and this is all in 1 Kings 19:3-10.

“And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.  And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.  And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.  And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.  And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.  And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?  And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

God responded to Elijah’s wounded warrior needs. (1 Kings 19: 15-18)

God provided rehabilitation for his personal needs.  God focused on what drives him.  God showed himself in quiet and obvious ways and used no special effects. God rejects the self-pity.  God renews the vision for Elijah to carry on. God re-commissions him to mentor the next generation. God re-assures him with a network of equally devoted colleagues.

Elijah grows up in his relation to others and he becomes a ruler of his own soul. He was wounded and then recovered through the word of God. He became re-born, resurrected in his spirit. Now as a mature man he is ready to be a mentor and sage to a younger man.

The Ish man pulls out of his woundedness and takes the road less traveled. Robert Frost said it well as the man ponders both paths. This is an important crossroad for us men. We can take one road or the other and hopefully will take the one less traveled. Think about the kind of life you want in the years ahead. Make your decision and move on ahead as Frost gives us his vision:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that, the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

Took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

(Robert Frost)

Come back for the next post about the last stop on the male journey.  Think about your roles at home, at work, at church and in the community. Is there an area you could be a mentor and take greater responsibility for the next generation?  Next post is about the Sage- The Fulfilled Man, Zaken.   Click Here to jump to the next post… The Sage.

Thanks and credit to Robert Hicks, The Masculine Journey.

God bless you all,

FJ1

 

 

The Tubthumper

 

 

 

 

Enosh: Part 2

The Wounded Male

Most men share a number of losses in common with Job.  Job’s struggle to make sense of his woundedness provides a rich commentary regarding the enosh experience we all go through.  We find this most particularly within Job 1-3, 6-7, and verse 14.

Job can’t except the fact that he has done anything in his life to deserve what is happening to him.  Why would God allow him to go through such things?  Job is struggling with his woundedness and he is struggling with God as he attempts to show that he is completely innocent.   When things began to happen to him he said in Chapter 1, verse 20, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” He had not sinned.

But later Job romanticized about back when he had it all and was in his prime of life, back when he had the respect of men and was in God’s favor.  So now he is alienated from God and experiencing the incongruency.  Things are now totally out of whack.  The same as we feel today when this happens… It is the most distressing when the angle that does not fit is the one with God.  When we were once intimate friends with God and now we cannot come to agreement. For a Christian this does not seem right or even valid. The experience is that we are distant from God, we feel alienated and it’s as though God is no longer present or involved in our lives.

Job did what he had to do and he analyzed all the evidence. What he saw probably did not point to a trustworthy God at that point.  But in the end, he kicked and screamed all the way, but he still decided to put his faith on God.  During these wounding time men we must keep the faith. We must place our faith in God even when it feels bad.  That is the incongruency. That feeling of alienation is normal and is part of grieving. This extreme incongruency with God could lead you to new understandings of the mystery of God and a new respect for His mysterious ways.  Show me the way Lord.

We learn in the Bible that death is basic to human existence.  Every time we experience wounds it is a process of death.  We see this in Genesis 5, Psalm 90:3 and Hebrews 9:27 so why do we fight it all the way as if it will never overtake us.  Why don’t we be serious about it and prepare for death instead of continuously pursuing our material dreams in warrior mode? We keep pushing, pushing, pushing on with life as though we can put death off as long as we want. You know how it is, Heaven can wait, but the American dream cannot.

The biblical patriarch Jacob epitomizes the wounded male. Jacob as a young man illustrates a male having been severely wounded by a dysfunctional family. We see this playing out in Genesis 25:19-34, 27:1- 33:20. The first part of the dysfunctional destruction occurred in the mother’s womb with the two twins wrestling. At birth Jacob comes out second but he was holding on to Esau’s heel.  Jacob literally means “heel-catcher”. (Genesis 25:19-26). The next stage carries on in the family kitchen where Jacob tricks Esau into selling his birthright. (Gen 25: 27-34). [You can see my blog post about giving up the birthright and the dysfunction in this family.]  It then hits an all-time low in the parent’s bedroom where Isaac was so unhealthy and blind that Jacob was able to trick him into showing favor to him and giving the blessing of birthright. Gen 27:1-40). Jacob eventually received the coveted patriarchal blessing reserved for the firstborn. We see sibling rivalry, parental favoritism, and fraudulent scams as they conspire for Jacob to eventually receive the coveted patriarchal blessing that was reserved for the firstborn.  Esau should be considered a “real man’s man” both then and now. Jacob was a typical momma’s boy.

Then later on we see Jacob running because he is full of fear, guilt and he is alienated from friends, family and also God.  Even when Jacob had the blessing he was feeling the alienation from God. So here is what Jacob the wounded male does during all this time to affirm to himself that he is legitimately blessed before man and God. He represses the hurt from his family of origin by staying away from them. He sold himself short to Laban, who out-schemed the schemer himself. He does what he learned and reproduces dysfunctional families in succeeding generations.  He practices self-deception and continues to deceive others.  He dreads a reunion with his siblings that he once abused, and appeases him.  He had become so insecure in his walk with God and with his standing with his brother he must prove he can still wrestle and win whoever comes across his path. His blessing that was stolen through deception and parental favoritism doesn’t count for much, but his blessing secured by God comes with a wounded hip.

A lot of men wrestle with strangers in the night searching for the blessing that was withheld.  Jacob’s experience can remind us that the wounding experience does not need to be a negative one but can be a time of wrestling with God to see what life is all about. Has God used a wounding in your life to bless you?  Consider yourself lucky. Why does it take so long to heal a masculine soul? Could it be because Satan actively stalks our souls?

There is admittedly a problem of male hostility and violence.  It is not rooted in men’s power over women.  It is rooted in men’s sense of powerlessness, stemming from deep woundedness. We do not condone the abuse of women under any circumstances but must admit where the violence comes from.

For men to survive the wounding they need to talk about it and get help.  They need to feel safety among fellow sufferers in order to share the pain. That’s why men should be involved in the men’s groups and ministries around. It remains difficult, however, with the loner nature of men. Most men simply withdraw.

Ok men, if we are done licking our wounds we can move to the next step.  In the next step on the journey we can emerge as rulers of our own souls. We reach the mature male stage.

“No one gets to adulthood without a wound.” – Robert Bly

Thanks and credit to Robert Hicks, The Masculine Journey.  See you later men at the next post which is the Mature Male…

Click here to jump to the next post.

God bless you,

 

 

 

The Tubthumper

 

 

Painful Incongruency

The Wounded Male- Enosh  

Many men are walking around wounded or have been severely wounded in the past which is effecting them now.  Becoming wounded is a part of growing up for a male.  It usually is a major piece of the teenager suddenly breaking into adulthood through trial by fire.  Just before the realization of the responsibility that full manhood brings with it.

The biggest problem with the wounded male is that it occurs in silence.  Even though this wounding is part of life we all know that real men don’t cry.  It’s instilled within us as youngsters.  Any other older male that has a direct effect on our lives lets us know that men do not cry.

It’s like when the little boy is out fishing with his grandpa and sticks his finger with a fishhook.  As the blood starts to run so do the tears and then grandpa shuts the faucet off with the words, “Hey, enough of that we men don’t cry!”  We men go through life experiencing painful shrapnel biting at us and we do not flinch.  Hey, man… being a warrior is noble and we are tough.  But given enough wars and enough scars and the man will be seriously wounded to incapacity or dangerous consequences.

 

The Ancient Metaphors and Archetypes of Wounds

 

There is a men’s movement under way and Robert Bly believes, the roots of the movement are within all the repressed pain inflicted from the battles of life.  For us to discover our manhood we must descend to the dark hallways of our souls to find all of our accumulated grief and deal with it.

Another metaphor is the thought of us wounding ourselves through all kinds of self-destructive behavior.  That discovery of manhood involves coming into contact with the innermost part of your soul and staring directly in the face of all our accumulated grief. In primitive societies men go through formal rites to manhood that involve the experiences of pain and wounds to their bodies. Circumcision is certainly a wound that is permanent and daily reminds him that he is a male.

Pain seems to be the pathway to manhood. It has been that way from the beginning of time and well recognized in most civilizations.  Here in our western culture that rite of passage is either denied or just plain forgotten.  The emerging men’s movement could be an effort to reframe and re-acquaint men and society with this wounding experience for men.

The Bible treats this wounding with honor and addresses it as a normal stop on our masculine journey. When men experience our wounds, we wrestle with God.

ENOSH: The Wounded Male

Enosh is a Hebrew word that conveys the concepts of weakness, being feeble and incurably sick.  It describes man’s mortality, calamity, frailness and the fears of men. [Isaiah 17:11, Jeremiah 17:16]

The life of Job pays homage to being wounded in the most severe form.  It illustrates the loss of his family, property, his health, and his wealth.

The prayers of Moses and David show is the Enosh man as well addressing a man whose “days are like grass” (Psalm 103:15) and who will turn “back to dust”. In experiencing woundedness we learn that we are not God, nor are we a little god, and we certainly are not even a little but like God.  It becomes an experience where we are wondering why or how God could possibly sohave anything to do with us at all. [Psalm 8:4] This is a normal experience yet why is it so very difficult for men to accept, talk about and heal from?

It seems both the biblical material and the contemporary literature on the subject support four convlusions:

One: The Deep Mortal Wound

The wound experienced is basically a mortal wound which means it is a death experience.  Every time a man gets a physical or a psychic wound it becomes another foretaste of death.  Each time we feel that pain something else dies within us. Men experience life through their bodies so when that body is wounded it is traumatic.

The wound is also spiritual and therefore the issues we face could be more of a theological nature than other issues.

When men experience midlife wounds, it could be the loss of marriages, jobs, dreams and ambitions. Sam Keen believes all men are in some way and some sense war-wounded. Because of this we have developed a well-crafted psychological armor to enable us to keep on functioning while not getting any healing.  Many men are becoming aware for the first time of the woundedness they experienced in jobs, failed marriages, drug addiction, and family origin or dysfunctionalism.

Two: Deep Loss Reactions

As men, we find our significant meaning by becoming the warrior and being phallic, therefore, when we become defeated in either of these areas it brings us a profound sense of loss. When we get wounded we no longer really know who we are.

Job was a warrior and he had it all. He had wealth and he had a large family, he had a supportive wife, a large estate, good friends and good health. But then one day he was dealt a cruel blow.  Likewise any of us could be hit with one well aimed cruel slug, it could be a car accident, a job loss, or a spouse walking out.  What happens then is we are wounded by life so we feel the remorse for what has been lost. We begin living in the romantic past when things were better.  That is what Job did.  [Job 29:1- 30:21]

Three: Alienation and Incongruency

When we get wounded by those blows that life deals out we tend to have our balance thrown off. A wounded believer will feel a sense of distance an alienation from God. (Psalm 73:1-14) Extreme incongruency with God might lead us to a new understanding and a respect for the mysterious ways of God. (Psalm 73:15-28) Men will tend to isolate themselves, buy some time and lick our wounds, and we won’t want anyone to come near us. This is usually seen as not wanting any help or a rejection of help, but it is a distinctive characteristic of a wounded male.

Just like a wounded animal, sometimes a wounded male can strike out at one that try to come with help. Men can externalize their pain and can manifest hostility and violence toward others

Four: Hostility and Violence

It does not matter how the wound occurs.  It could come from society or circumstances, by parents or a spouse, it does not matter because the male will feel powerless and will strike out. This hostile spirit is rooted in woundedness.  Many men in our society today are lashing out toward women, society, their bosses, and even God because they don’t understand the wounding experience. Men need to learn that out of their woundedness can come significant healing, meaning and growth.

PURPLE HEARTS for BROKEN SPIRITS

In our culture in America we have devalued the role of the warrior and also the role of his wounds.  By awarding a purple heart, the military recognizes, praises and awards the wounded male.  This is something that civilians are having trouble accepting.

We men need to affirm and value the wounds we receive ourselves.  Our own design and process as we go through life and our fathers, wives, and institutions are not going to do it. It might be that only in the circle of fellow wounded males can a purple heart for a broken spirit get awarded. Possibly from our time of wounding we could emerge as rulers of our own souls.

I believe its true that most of us men need the proverbial blow to the head with a two-by-four to wake us up and knock some sense into us.  In the movies we see men portrayed as the insensitive bozo’s that have no idea what is going on in their lives. We just don’t get it, when it is obvious to everyone else there is a problem. As an example a man will continuously deny his problem with drugs or alcohol until someone that cares enough finally confronts him about it.

“I must be ever so careful to remember that my pain is a precious salve that when used in the service of others can heal a thousand wounds and more. And I must likewise remember that if I do not use it as such, I have done nothing more than wound myself yet again.”
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

Again the credit goes to Robert Hicks and his book, “The Masculine Journey.”

Come back for the next post as I finish this up by exploring issues with other men and the Bible.  Click here to jump to next post.

The Tubthumper

FJ1

 

 

God the Warrior, Gibbor

GOD as Warrior 

As a reminder: Every society needs its warriors to survive.  It is the warrior in men that energizes us and allows us to defend our values.  It’s the warrior in us that allows us to stand our ground and protect and defend even to the point of death.  The warrior is an inherent instinct within the nature of men.

When looking at the term “gibbor”, we know that God Himself is a warrior.  We see the words of Jeremiah, “Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. [gibbor] – (Jeremiah 10:6) Please turn to Psalm 89 and you will observe the psalmist saying of God, “Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.  Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” – (Psalm 89: 13-14)   Righteousness and justice is the foundation of his throne and He is full of power and strength, He is exalted and He acts with love and faithfulness.

When God saves, and vindicates us humans it is His warrior strength that overcomes the enemy. (Psalm 54:1-4, 20:6) God’s warrior strength and the relationship with His character allows His name Yahweh to be identified with gibbor: “Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is the Lord. [Yahweh]” – (Jeremiah 16:21) A commentator has observed, “One thing the Exodus does not require is any military violence on the part of the Hebrews… Moses arsenal does not include a single bona fide weapon – no swords, no spears, bows, or knives, much less chariots and horsemen. It is Yahweh who fights!

God is not passive.  He fights for His people to save, liberate, protect and sustain.  He has all the attributes of warrior.  I’m glad Jesus is a warrior, I’m glad He fought for my salvation by offering up His only son and glad He will fight again.

The Messianic Warrior

In the promise concerning the Messiah, one designation placed on Him will be “El Gibbor” or the mighty-warrior God.  “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” – (Isaiah 9:6) His name is listed alongside eternal Father and Prince of Peace. This indicates that being God is not inconsistent with being a warrior and being a warrior is not inconsistent with being the Prince of Peace. God’s ultimate representative, His own son, the Messiah, is a warrior fighting and laying down His own life for His Father’s cause.  And one day soon He will mount His white horse and slay the armies of the world to establish a perfect and lasting peace. (Revelation 19:11-21)

Gibbor as National Warrior and Hero

All through the Old Testament the use of “gibbor” refers to the experienced veteran of combat or the hero status achieved from spectacular feats of bravery. Psalm 19:5, Isaiah 36:5, Genesis 6:4, Genesis 10:9 are all examples.

Gideon and Jephthath, two of Israel’s judges were called gibbbors. (Judges 6:12, 11:1) In Judges chapter seven Gideon made a name for himself by destroying the pagan altars and fighting the Midianites with a corp of three hundred gibbors.

The reign of David advanced the concept of the gibbor to an outstanding militia and hand-picked corp of warriors.  It was carried on by Solomon and the number of his gibborim grew to 60.  He comments on their “parade dress” appearance in Song of Songs 3:7-8.

The warrior is part of the routine expression of manliness in the Bible. God the Father and Christ are examples of what it is.  As men, we need to embrace the latent or rejected warrior within for our own development and for the sake of our society and church. The warrior never serves himself. The warrior serves his king and his commander.  We must know and understand what and who we serve. The power of the warrior needs to be in the service of a larger view of masculinity.

Let’s be clear, being a warrior is not the goal of manhood.  It is a stop along the way to full maleness. Scripture shows that a true warrior should develop as a spiritual warrior.  This takes more than just being tough, strong, or determined to win.

Gibbor as the Spiritual Warrior

Solomon says, “Wisdom is better than [warrior] strength.” (Ecclesiastes 9:16) The psalmist adds, “He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.  The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” – (Psalm 147:10-11)

Isaiah declares a man’s real strength lies in things like repentance, resting in one’s salvation, and in the quiet trust of God. (Isaiah 30:15)  This is reaffirmed through the prophet Jeremiah: “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” – (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

This clarifies the true warrior.  Not a warmonger or baby-killer but warriors that know their limitations and place their faith in God. The warrior does not trust in his own ability but he puts his commitment, allegiance and trust in God. For a man that has not had a significant male role model in his life this is bad news.  The fatherless generation could learn a lot about being a man through the study of God’s word and witnessing a true warrior in operation.  The true warrior does not trust his own strength but he trusts in the strength of the Lord.

On the other side of things, the psalmist admits that “gibbor” can use power for malevolent causes and become a violent man full of evil.  This is a possibility inherent in the warrior psyche.

“Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” – (Psalm 40:4) and in contrast, “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” – (Jeremiah 17:5) 

Job was told by God to “Gird up his loins as a warrior would do preparing for battle” in (Job 38:1-3) He was telling Job to receive the words of God as a warrior would do.  For three chapters God put Job in his place by reminding him of who he is and asking him to receive the admonition as a warrior would.  The warrior salutes and carries out the order.  No debate, just Yes, sir.

King David was a supreme example of the spiritual warrior and the gibbor.  He always credited his military accomplishments to God and sang praises to Him. (1 Chronicles 29:11-14) David also illustrated the downside of the life of the warrior.  To be a successful warrior, blood must be shed.  There is a certain irony in the life of the warrior. It is a much-needed stop on the male journey. It is where we grow up. But, it still involves, blood, risk, and/or sacrifice. We need to prove ourselves. It is different with each man how that occurs. Sometimes it takes all the warrior courage we can muster up to pull the task off.  Whatever it is, however, we must call forth the warrior within us to kill it. We must trust God with the outcome and risk psychological or physical injury to become men. “What is a man without his sword?”

The challenge of being a warrior is twofold:  Knowing what to fight for, and knowing when to quit and neither of these is easy to learn. Usually it takes a major and very tragic loss or a severe wounding within the life of a man to move him out of the warrior perspective.  The warrior never leaves us but if the warrior fights enough battles he can become seriously wounded.  The arrows find their targets and we become wounded to the point of new an uncharted territory.  It’s a dark and scary place.  It is a stage on the journey to manhood most men would love to skip.  If you are stuck in the wounded male space, you are lost and feel you will never find your way back.

This brings us to the subject for the next post, The Wounded Male- Enosh: The Painful Incongruency, so come back for this in the next posting.

All credit goes to Robert Hicks and The Masculine Journey.

God bless you all,

The Tubthumper

Click Here to jump to next Post- Painful Incongruency…

GIBBOR: The Warrior

The Glorious Hero                                          

“We are not interested in generals who win victories without bloodshed…sooner or later someone will come along with a sharp sword and hack off our arms.”- Carl Von Clausewitz (On War)

What is a man without his sword? – Robert Bly (To Be a Man)

Back in the day there were men that had a fight within them. Men in their twenties would still be filled the fight of a rhinoceros.  (A rhinoceros is an animal that gets raving mad, charges massively, has two-inch thick skin, and runs over anything and everything in its way.)  That is where most men in their twenties should be.  The concern today is that we see men in their twenties that have already given up the fight. The warrior within has left them. Is it from dysfunctional backgrounds, divorces, lost jobs or what?  They are dead. It is a sad day indeed when we see young men have given up the fight. They have lost their sword. Here we have an excerpt from Robert Bly:

“The warriors inside American men have become weak in recent years…  a grown man six feet tall will allow another person to cross his boundaries, enter his psychic house, verbally abuse him, carry away his treasures and slam the door behind; the invaded man will stand there with an ingratiating, confused smile on his face.”

Young men who are fighters show it proudly.  You see it when you are on their turf.  You will see the trophies of the victories they have won.  The glory of young men is their strength regardless of where it shows, it could be on the football field or it could be in a business meeting.

If you talk to a young marine that just got word his position was canceled and now doesn’t have to go in harm’s way they are disappointed. You would think they might be happy or relieved to be home safe again.  It may surprise you that most will be disappointed.  The mind-set of a marine – of the warrior is to exist for battle.  That is what they train for and that is what their lives are all about. Semper Fidelis is about the warrior.  Always ready, always faithful-to the Corps.  That means to be always ready to be first ashore and first to die if need be.

There is popular rejection of the warrior in our society today.

The warrior has been devalued. Women have decried this as violence! It is very interesting however, that women say they hate violence but they love a conquering hero.  They like their hero to provide a safe home and security.  Is it possible women just don’t want to know about the psychological violence a man must deal with in the process of becoming successful? Women love the decorated hero’s their military husbands have become but they don’t want to know anything about what happened to get them the medals. They simply want a normal and peaceful family.

Much of society today wants to condemn the warrior. It is the anti-gun lobbyists, the feminists and the liberals that would totally dismantle our military in the name of peace. But much of the growing men’s movement in America is about the recovery of the warrior.  This comes with dismay of the feminists.

Robert Bly, the guru of the men’s movement said, “The disciplined warrior, made irrelevant by mechanized war, disdained and abandoned by the high-tech culture, is fading in American men. The fading of the warrior contributes to the collapse of civilized society.  A man who cannot defend his own space cannot defend women and children.”

Gibbor: The Hebrew Warrior

The Bible is a timeless book and it never changes. It is not affected by changes of culture or fads, or trends.  The Hebrew word for warrior is gibbor and it is associated with the concept of maleness.  Gibbor stands unapologetic through the Bible as one of the primary stages along the male journey. When men reach this stop they are at warrior station. Any men that do not discover the warrior aspect of their being are not real men. They are as Bly calls them, “mother-bound” boys still in need of a sword to cut them away from their mommies. 

The Meaning of Gibbor

Without getting technical to save time, the root idea of Gibbor is that of “power, or strength with an emphasis on excellence and superiority.”  The word lends itself to the idea of gaining an upper hand or to be prominent, important, or have significance. (To be distinguished.)

Some of the communication problems men and women have in marriage comes because men speak in a language of gibbor and women speak in a different language.  What I mean is that men use a language of a warrior. That is how we perceive the world, engage people and talk about any subject.  I experience this very struggle in communicating with my wife. We men, speak this language mostly unconsciously. Our language in our world is negotiations, one-ups or one-downs, it’s trying to achieve an upper hand to protect ourselves from others. It is a conquest, a struggle for independence and a struggle to avoid failure.  Women cannot understand this and they understandably get annoyed and feel put down. (Understandably) It serves me well to work at being aware of this in my communications with my spouse.  (When I can.) And trust me… I am often in trouble with it.  But I refuse to be “mother-bound.”

To be likened to a woman is a major putdown for a warrior. “Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?” (Jeremiah 30:6) It is men over 30 that are called gibborim, because men in the twenties did not yet qualify for the honor. “Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand. These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from the age of twenty years and upward.  For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above.” (1 Chronicles23:3,24,27) The Bible intertwines the concepts of strength and warrior as the Psalmist confesses, “I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man [gibbor] without strength.” (Psalm 88:4) Like the successful young businessman with the fight of a rhinoceros young men at this stage of life are pretty much right on pace.

It is the warrior in us men that keeps us going, that keeps us pressing toward our goals that keeps us standing our ground, that allows us to defend our personal values even to the point of risking our lives.

The male warrior instinct is alive! It cannot be dead, no way, because it is intrinsic, it is woven into the very fabric of our being.  This is normal and it is a natural stop on the male journey.  It is not to be despised or devalued by women, or men for that matter.  Men that are abused and defeated by life, take note that God is very much a warrior.  And to the feminists and those that have an agenda to make sissies of men and feminize all the males you can to try and turn them into mother -bound boys…IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!  It is intrinsic, it is in our creation.  Forget about it.

Yes, many men today are so abused and defeated by life, (and in the defense of some women I must say many men simply gave up their positions because of weakness) they do not have enough warrior left in them to defend themselves or their families or their society.  For you men… the place to begin is looking at God and leaning on the strength of God.  God is very much a warrior.     

I’ll end this post here, but click here to jump to the next one and learn about

GOD the WARRIOR.

 

Yours truly,

FJ1

The Tubthumper

 

PS: The entire credit for this material goes to Robert Hicks and The Masculine Journey.

The Phallic Male

My apology to you for the length of this post, however I couldn’t see my way to breaking it to several shorter blocks.  I felt the entire message had to be completed.

This goes out to my fellow men.

How does the doctor know?  How does he know if the baby is a male or female?

That is a rhetorical question.  Of course, he looks.  If there is a penis then its male.  If not it’s female.  End of story.  Only lately has there been confusion around the subject.  It gets debated and politicized.  In this post we will observe what the ancient wisdom of scripture days about it.

Zakar: this word means “male”.  If we go deep and look at the sematic roots of the word it means sharp or pointed or in other words the male protrusion, penis or phallus.  The Arabic take on the word is close in being Dakar with the same meaning.

When we look at scripture it places the male identity and sexuality firmly in anatomy.  Where it should be.  It does not place it in a realm of psychology or sociology.  Modern psychology says that you are a male if, “you feel like one”.  Modern sociology says you are a male if, “you do the things they consider to be male things”.  The Bible on the other hand, describes and defines manhood by the phallus.  It’s just like the doctor saw it as long as it is a natural phallus and not something brought about by some perverse sex change operation.  Male is the Zakar as mentioned above.  There is a female counterpart described as Negevah or “bored through or pierced.  You can see the plain description for the parts on the human body the Lord created. You can also see that one was made to fit with the other.  Is that surprising? This identity was based on the equipment we were born with. With that said, most males have little to no awareness of this identity until puberty begins to set in.

The phallus also was a determination of religious service.  Spiritual service in the Old Testament was regulated by gender.  Because it was determined and regulated by gender it is offensive to most in our society today. The feminists have had a hug impact on this and they have had a planned agenda and movement over the last several decades. A lot of this agenda has led to the sissification (is that a word?) of men but that’s another subject for me sometime. You know what I mean.  I have driven down the road and been unable to tell if the being on the sidewalk moving in a way a sissy would walk is a man or a woman. Enough on that for now.  My point being that the feminists make all gender differentiation into political discrimination.  When a feminist reads the Bible they see sexual discrimination and do not see the true message intended.

Let’s observe how religious service was regulated by gender back in that time.  1. They celebrated animal offerings at feasts and the offerings were made on the basis of gender. The heads of households on Passover were to bring a male lamb. “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats”. (Exodus 12:5)  2. For a guilt offering only a female sheep or goat was allowed. “And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the Lord for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.” (Leviticus 5:6)  3. Peace offerings could be made with a male or female offering. (Leviticus 3: 1,6) 4. All free will offerings had to be male sacrifices. “Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.” (Leviticus 22:19)

Feminists have pointed out correctly the fact only the males were required to bring a sacrifice. “Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God.” (Exodus 23:17)  “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty.” (Deuteronomy 16:16)

Only males were counted in the national census. (Numbers 1:2,20,22) Only males could be Priests. (Exodus 28:1)(Leviticus 8: 1-3) This is probably another issue that raised the ire of the feminists.  But get this: Only males could be killed in mass murder and used as cannon-fodder in war. (Women and children were allowed to live. Deuteronomy 20: 13-14) Men also had to pay more money than women to make the very same vows. (Leviticus 27:3, 5-6)  Now isn’t this unfair?  Why is this?

The Bible indicates there is no conflict between sexuality and spirituality.  We are addressed by God in the Bible with terminology that describes who we are. We are Zakar. We are Phallic males.  By possessing a penis it places us with unique requirements before God. It also determined how we are to worship Him.

Your gender was also a symbol of dedication and connection.  It is no secret that the erect male organ has always been a symbol important to religion. I don’t really need to go into that much. The phallus was the male organ singled out as the unique site for the very first blood-letting and wound that a young man must face. “This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.” (Genesis 17:10,14)  The ceremony became a male marker for his dedication to God and for his connection to the community. The community of Israel.  It was a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:1-8) The circumcision ceremony was also a symbol of God’s faithfulness in the provision of male offspring who could, in turn, produce more offspring to continue The Covenant. It was a daily reminder to every boy and man as to who he was. That he was different from the Gentiles and why he was different.  Sexuality and gender marking took a spiritual significance.

Today’s society does all it can to separate the phallus from any spiritual categories.  Our society does nothing to separate the phallus from other sexual exploits and in fact sexual innuendos have reached a fever pitch in our society. If it feels good then do it, is the norm. It needs to be pointed out that in no way is the suggestion here that true sexuality and spirituality should be united like it was with the sacred prostitutes of the pagan societies of the past.  Actually the Apostle Paul had to address the Corinthian Church because some believers were still having intercourse with sacred prostitutes in Corinthians 6: 15-20.  He encouraged marriage, abstinence, etc. but then had to tell them not to deprive themselves because they moved to the other extreme.  I guess there is hardly ever a good balance in anything.

Christianity in our current society is not able to openly deal with the male phallus in its full activity like it was in the Old Testament. Most secular therapists have not given much attention to the spiritual side of things that surround a complete understanding of the phallus.  They deal the sexual dysfunctions and addictions without a consideration of the larger and deeper connections that could be relate to worship, spiritual bondage or demonic activity.  Monick wrote, “People are uneasy with the correlation of sexuality and religion. Christianity, especially has separated the two in a way that would make them appear to be irreconcilable.  Psychiatry continues the disjuncture, emphasizing it with pathological labels.  The church elevates religion, devaluing sexuality.  Psychiatry does the opposite by elevating sexuality and devaluing religion.  The union of sexuality and religion is like an electrical connection. Wrong joining leads to disaster. No joining produces no energy. Proper joining holds promise.”

The fight between scriptural theology of sexuality and irreconcilable psychology can cause men to do harm to themselves in secrecy. It is believed that without proper teaching on the phallus they will have inherent spiritual tensions. This can be due to a spiritual god-hunger that is mysterious and powerful and will seek fulfillment in any way they can.  This could drive men into sexually deviant behavior.  Thus many men never graduate from the locker room school and are still caught in an adolescent philosophy.  Men get stuck in a phallic stage. Unbridled sexuality becomes harmful for men. Women too, however this is about men. When the phallus is given over to its full-blown spiritual power with no restraint, it will become an idol!

Therefore, in the scriptures, God makes it clear… The phallus, though being a symbol of God’s faithfulness and provision, must be regulated, lest it become a very mysterious taskmaster.  This must be kept in check.

How do we keep the phallus in regulation?  “And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.” (Deuteronomy 6:24)  We are to observe the statutes. We are to fear the Lord our God.  In our society today we see that with the onset of Aids and other diseases they are advocating abstinence, restraint and clean (monogamous) sexual partners.  And this is exactly what God was trying to do in the Law.  It was to regulate our sexual behavior because of the inherent potential for destruction when left unregulated. I will encourage you to read Leviticus 15: 1-33 to note the value placed on the emission of semen by the male along with nocturnal emissions. It is obvious that what happens to a man’s semen is important to God. In Proverbs 5:18 we note how important our sexual lives are to God as well. Our God know our hearts and He knows they need regulation otherwise we do what we will.

God seeks to orient our sexuality for our best interests and for His glory.  He placed a major prohibition with regard to the male phallus and the keeping of creational distinctions.  The first one had to do with bestiality.  The book of Leviticus is very clear on this subject. It is also very clear on the subject of homosexuality. God put these in the Bible because he knew we would be in those situations of temptation. The Bible simply calls them what they are: abominations.  Our society calls them other things like addictions, compulsions, obsessions and disorders.  The Bible also covers the subject of incest and modesty as well. These regulations have been ignored and now we have a society that is outwardly sexually compulsive but inwardly bored.

The real location of the lack of regulation or beginning of adultery is always in the heart and mind. Jesus made this clear in the scriptures.  So the phallus is stimulated by how the mind conceives the ultimate sexual experience and the role of fantasy plays a big part. Men primarily fantasize about having access to beautiful women without risk and without rejection.  This explains the popularity of pornography and addiction. Pornography plays with our minds at the very deepest levels.

When we think of the Phallic Man one that comes to mind is Samson. Samson’s fatal flaw was his phallus. Samson liked and fell in love with good-looking Philistine women. The first time he gazed on one of the daughters of the Philistines, he wanted her simply because she looked good to him. (Judges 14:3) And most of us know the story of Samson and Delilah.  Another Philistine damsel. Delilah got to Samson the same way the other women did, by using the old line of, “If you really love me you would.”  The she cut his hair off and the soldiers gouged his eyes out and imprisoned him. And the ending worked out because his hair grew back and he was able to pull the pillars down.  Samson was a high testosterone, man’s kind of man.  He was Zakar to the core. The only problem was that he never made it beyond the phallic stage. He got stuck like many men do. Even when the spirit of the Lord was upon him he failed at controlling his phallus.  He was hopelessly controlled by his phallus which allowed him to give in to his fantasies about beautiful Philistine women.

Here is some good advice about having some sexual sanity and controlling our phallus by Earl Wilson, a clinical psychologist.

“Sanity returns when three things happen. One, we control our sexual behavior rather than being controlled by it.  Two, we use sex for its intended purposes- pleasure and procreation rather than to meet other psychological needs. Three, we keep sex in its proper perspective and don’t take it too seriously…. There is a certain type of insanity with using sex for other than its intended purposes.  I strongly believe that sexual sanity come when sex is engaged in by a man and a woman who are married and deeply committed to each other.  People who engage in sex apart from these constraints run the risk of becoming enslaved to their sexuality and thus having it lose its meaning.  This is a waste and approaches insanity.”

We never outgrow our phallus. It stays with us all our lives even though its power may wane.  It’s been said, “The flesh never gets better, it just gets deader!” So it is with the phallus.

The phallic stage is only one of six and men can find themselves in several stages at once or in one solitary stage. This was a discussion at our men’s ministry meeting this month and based on the book, “The Masculine Journey by Robert Hicks.

Come back for the third stage of manhood called Gibbor: The Glorious Hero.  The Warrior!

Click here to jump to The Warrior!

The best to you,

The Tubthmper

 

 

The Noble Savage

“Do impulses toward sadistic cruelty lurk in the depths of every human psyche?”- Anthony Storr

“Man with all his noble qualities still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lovely origin.”- Charles Darwin

The Creational Male is the first of the six stages of manhood.  We are definitely not saints because for every heavenly thought we have there is the downward pull of our devilish and sinful flesh.  We could have the most noble desires and within us is seated the unexpected savagery of man.  Margaret Mead said, “We as men (and all of humankind) are noble savages

This first stage on the masculine journey is the only stage that also includes the females 0f the world. Every other stage is totally exclusive to males. The use of the word Adam is uniquely creational and we are creational kind of guys.  We were not created to be alone or to benefit ourselves and we owe something back to our creator.  It is written that man does not live on bread alone. (Deuteronomy 8:3) We are the Lord’s earthly representatives. We should have a relationship with the living God and we should also have a benevolent relationship with the earth and our fellowmen. (Which includes women.)O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” – Jeremiah 10:23  Genesis 1:28 tell us of our duty regarding wisdom, care and stewardship of God’s creation. We have accountability.  We are to include justice, kindness, and humility before God. This was given to Adam.  If we men try to run away from our Creator and try to run from our responsibilities we are really running from ourselves and running from what it means to be manly.  All men have the holy spirit following us around.  When we realize what it is that we are rejecting and running from and know that it is the creator and the character of Christ we fall down prostrate and see the Creator that we were created for.  This is called repentance, it’s in the Bible and repentance is a manly thing. If we don’t accept this we will never be the men we should be.

Turning again to the word Adam, we find that we are to have a certain relationship with women, our feminine counterparts.  And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.  And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.  And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.  And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;  And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.   Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.   And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:18-25)  There is much more to this than the thought of opposites attract because the Lord created men and women as opposites.  What a mystical and magical thing there is with this relationship.  It’s as if God certainly had a sense of humor. If you are married you know exactly what I mean.  And as a man, when I get out of the shower in the morning and look in the mirror at the equipment that was made on me I can tell I was created to go with another.

Please remember your worth, men. Because we are creational we have a dignity and we have a value. Our worth does not come from our performance or what we achieve but rather it comes from our being, from our birth.  We have incredible value just because we are, because we were made, not because of what we accomplish.  It should be encouraging to know you have value and the value is for no other reason than you are you.  When we get disgraced and our dignity gets dinged which is really called pride in our society, it just tells us who we are and what we are, Creational Males.

Well, that original high esteem and dignity we were made with by God didn’t last too long. Probably if Adam had not sinned we would have been immortal.  Young men always deny the sense of mortality that us older men begin to feel and realize.  It’s that foreboding sense of mortality and the deterioration of the human body that God said would be limited because of the curse. We thought we would live forever and not have a heart attack, lose the ability to do things on our own, or literally lose our minds. When you pass a cemetery just know that people are  just dying to get in there. I am amused when people are talking about the end while getting legal affairs in order and they say, “If anything happens to me”.  Hey brother, I’m here to tell you, “something will definitely happen to you, you will die.”  Every one of us will die and turn back to dust. (Numbers 16:29 and Psalm 90:3) We are dependent. Yes we are. My very breath is in my creators hands. (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7) I sleep trusting Him to keep me breathing during my sleep. The very sleep is His gift. (Psalm 127: 2)

Lastly we should address this noble savagery. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Galatians 5:16)  Whether male or female we humans always have the battle raging between flesh and spirit.  The intent of the heart in men and women (all humans) is evil from youth.  And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.” (Genesis 8:21)  It is very hard to explain how in “civilized countries” we have the surprising level of violence, greed, human degradation and depravity we see.  Underneath our noble presence and our refined culture lurks a sea of horrific evil. We may appear to be saints but underneath is a savage.  How is this? Why is this?  Should we be surprised by the savagery of our souls? 

We are made in God’s image, yes we are. We posses immense capability for good. However, because we are creational beings we also have a freedom of choice that allows us to be drawn to unholy paths and become the most evil of creatures.  Until we realize the evil we are capable of it is difficult to believe the presence of Christ means so much. It’s sobering to know what it is we are saved from.  For folks to think the world is made up of just good or bad people is a naive.  To say we are the good guys is crazy, We need to remember what is written in Ecclesiastes: “We have vanity, we have evil, and we even have insanity in our hearts.”

In the end we die and our physical bodies go back to dust where they came from.  Our soul does to either Heaven or Hell.  And yes there is a Hell.  See my post called Hell is Real. So I’ll end this one with the fact that decay always wins. (Psalm 49:10-12) “For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.  Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.”

Credit goes to  The Masculine Journey by Robert Hicks.

Come back for stage two which is Zakar: The Phallic Male.  Click here to jump to stage two.

Yours truly,

The Tubthumper

In the Footsteps of Your Father?

Placidtrail 

   Follow the markers and don’t get lost along the way…

“Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us?” (Malachi 2:10a)

For you guys out there, have you thought about what it looks like to become a man.  And if you are a father, (defined that you have a son you are responsible for and haven’t just planted a seed and walked away like many) have you thought of the journey your son will make?  The journey to manhood is one that every male must take.

It is a sad commentary that in our times (2014) the jungle out there drains the manhood out of many and the survivors are few.  We now live in a society where there is very little direction for men.  There are no maps for our young men to follow.  Sadly there are few committed fathers willing to show the way young men need to travel.  Back in the day… fathers spent time with their protégé and taught them the way of the land.  They helped their son’s to earn the steps to manhood and to know the day they really become men.  Hikers can follow the markers on the Northville-Placid and Appalachian trails to show them each step along the way for miles.  The Appalachian Trail is a rugged trip through 14 states and each marker gets you one step closer to the summit.  Young men need some markers to show them to the summit of manhood.  They need the trail blazed ahead of them by strong men going forth first. appalachiantrail1

Growing boys and young men need a roadmap and need to see the lay of the land.  Even with seeing the lay of the land they will still need to make difficult choices along the way. A good father will provide a clear roadmap but will still allow the freedom of choice.  He will allow his sons to fail and experience the knowledge that comes from the school of hard knocks.  He will pick them up clean them off and lovingly but firmly set them on the trail again.  A father will provide corrective measures appropriately where needed and do what is necessary to help his seed mature and blossom at the right time. “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” (Proverbs 13:24)

Whether young or old, men need to have instruction repeated.  Most men need to hear instruction five to seven times before it sets in.  Repetition is good for males.  Repetition is good because we are woefully forgetful. “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” ( Hebrews 12: 7-9)

The world we live in has changed.  Oh, if we could only wake up to the world we once knew it would be so comforting.  This is not to be.  Our world has changed and there is no longer a worldview of fatherhood.  Back in the day we had a good picture of our world with strong, loving and caring fathers.  Back in the day we had men actually fully integrated into family life.  We had fathers for children to go to for some guidance when they needed it.  Our world had fathers that would provide protection, guidance and comfort when needed.  We had fathers to model what a daddy or a husband looks like.  “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127: 3-5) If you were unfortunate and were one of the few back then that lost your father for some reason it was more likely one would come forth from your neighborhood.  Oh, how we lived in different times.

If you are on the Lake Placid hiking trail and you skip one or two of the markers or check-points along the way you will get lost in the wilderness.  The markers cannot be skipped and the check-points are there for security.  If you miss on of those you will incur a wound.  A son that misses a check-point in the journey to manhood will be lost and will have a wound. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” ( Ephesians 6:4)  If they fall too far off the path they will have a deep wound.  As an example… If your father abandons your family you will need to become a man before you are ready.  You must fill the shoes of the father that should be there for you.  Because you need to fill his shoes you get robbed of your youth.  You are put under inappropriate stress and that is a deep, deep wound.  The scar will remain forever.

Have you ever noticed all the genealogical information in the Holy Bible?  It tells us that so and so begat this son and so and so was the son of this guy and he was the son of that guy and on and on it goes.  Father’s and sons obviously have great importance to God.  “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.” (Proverbs 23:24) There is hope!

We have hope to carry us through this troubling time.  If you are a man that became lost because you missed a marker or lost the map you can get on the right path.  You can find your way back.  If you are a young man and you want buck the tide and be a good father there is a way.  If you want to be a good male leader there is a way.  There is a roadmap that was developed ages and ages ago. It is for all to follow and it has markings every short distance traveled to show you the way.  You can see the truth and the forest through the trees.  It will show you the way!

There is a Father!  The father figure you have missed and are looking for is there.  He will show you the way and he will help you to stay on the right road.  If we all take a close look we can see God as that great Father we need.  When you read the scriptures it becomes clear the Bible portrays the Lord as the Great Father.  God created everything and God created you. He was not presented to us in the scriptures as mother.  God was positioned for us as the Father.  All throughout the Bible He is the Father.  Seek the Father… turn to His word, notice the markers and get on the right path. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” (1 John 3:1)

 God Bless your day,

The Tubthumper

 

Meaning of Man, Part 3

part 3 of 3.  Final post in this series.

Mature Male: The next Hebrew term on our list is one that separates the men from the boys.  Here we see the male that rules over his own spirit.  The Hebrew word ‘ish is reflecting a man as the ruler of his own soul.  He is living independent of the outside influences of his surroundings.  This is the guy who is his own man.  This guy knows exactly who he really is and what he is all about.  This guy stands alone but in essence is not alone.  Now men, understand this, a man cannot become the ruler of his own soul until he has experienced some wounding.  It is the wounded man that can begin to rule with some acquired wisdom and not reach to the voices enticing him to do something contrary.  The phallic male and the warrior are prone to error but the mature male due to a process of wounding has a new perspective on life.  The mature male begins to listen to God and hear Him more clearly.  The mature male can also lean more on his internal values and his conscience.  This man has no more fear of going against the grain to do what he wants to do and what he thinks God wants him to do.  He is becoming more integrated with his core values.  Guys, this is a very important part of our male experience.  Some males get here and some males do not.  For the guys that don’t make it here life is stagnant and souls are dead.  Life only gets more exciting for the males that move into the “mature male” season.  This will lead to your greatest achievements and contributions to society.

Sage Male: This is the last stop on the journey where we look at the Hebrew word for elder.  The word is zaken and is the word in the Proverbs used earlier.  The word means, “gray headed” but its usage will normally reflect the wise mentor or sage. This man is connected totally to life and making his finest contributions to his community.  This is a man that is imparting his wisdom to the younger men.  To sit in a circle of sages should be the lifelong endeavor of the young men.  It is unfortunate that our society has reduced the sages of today to old men in hiding because they have been scorned or miss treated.   The image of the elderly male today is the guy sitting in the nursing home waiting to die.  The gray hair is not for covering up with Grecian Formula and should be worn in honor by all men.  It is an important part of the journey.  It is the final destination!  It’s where we complete our trip and it’s where the celebration should begin.

Many men live in several of these positions at the same time.  It is almost impossible to be a sage without experiencing war and some wounds.  Wisdom is always the byproduct of experiencing life and as a general rule that experience that builds wisdom is usually negative.

We will always remain somewhat creational.  That is what we feel as our bodies begin to age and the aches and pains come along with deterioration.  The phallus does not go away with age, use, or non-use.  I am in my late 50’s and I can tell you with all certainty that I am still very phallic.  Not like I was at 20 but still very phallic.  I still dream like a warrior at times and yes I have been wounded.  I have been wounded a lot.  I have been wounded by churches and my most trusted friends.  I have been wounded by broken promises and by institutions along the road of life.  I hope my wisdom has increased because of it all.

This has been an overview of what I learned from Dr. Hick’s book.  I hope doing this blog entry helps more men understand their feelings and where they are in life’s journey across the landscape and why.  I hope my fellow men realize that wounding is a normal process of manhood and will help us to gain wisdom.  This is the last post of this introductory series on this topic.  I desire going into more detail on each of these six stops on the road to manhood.  It is likely I will do a series of posts on each one.  Look down the road for the first set which will be on “The Creational Male”.

For now, carry on men…  The Creational Male is actually The Noble Savage and is ready. You can link to it by clicking here. Go to The Noble Savage. Stage one.

God bless you all,

FJ1

 

 

 

 

“The Tubthumper”

 

Meaning of Man, Part 2

Part 2 of 3 posts.

Ok men, here we go on the journey overview.  We will look at six stages and will begin with ‘adam.

Creational Male: The very first experience a man has is the only one that we share with females.  The foundational Hebrew word for man is ‘adam, which can refer to either male or female.  It reflects a generic idea of mankind.  For us men it tells us we are first and foremost (creational) beings.  We ultimately reflect our Creator.  We are flesh and blood, good ole red-blooded male material beings who someday will return to what we are, which is materially dust. Because we are creational we have capabilities that are divine and honorable.  We also came with a caveat, in that we are also capable of using the talents we were created with for evil purposes and no good.  We can never forget who and what we are as men.  We are beings that are capable of fantastic and glorious benevolence and at the same time we are beings capable of horrible and destructive evil.  We are capable of being rotten to the core and some, as you are aware, become evil beings.

Phallic Male: The second Hebrew word describes maleness in a basic and fundamental anatomical way.  The Hebrew word zakar is the word for “male” in the phrase “God created man ‘adam, male zakar and female”, Genesis 1:27.  If you check the Hebrew lexicons you will see they list the root of this term as “the male protrusion or male phallus”.  According to Dr. Hicks, “This word reflects the phallic male in his most distinct sexual aspect”.  We at our most primal level are sexual beings. The Bible is clear on this and does not pretend we are anything other than stated.  To be a male means you are a phallic kind of guy and you do not have a need to apologize for being that way.  You should never, ever allow it to be denigrated by women or by some crazy or crass individuals calling themselves men.

Warrior Male: I guess it is fact that there is a lack of true warriors in our society today.     The Hebrew word gibbor describes a male in his warring strength.  We know how it is right?  We war often to be the best, the biggest, the toughest, richest, smartest, etc, etc…  We kill our competition.  We do away with any opposing viewpoints.  We kill our declared enemies, and sometimes we end up killing our own marriages and families in the wake of things. This warrior and competitive warring is all part of being a normal man, however, the warrior has been de-valued in our contemporary society.  Because of the feminine influence and the sissification of men the warrior has become a nasty killer that is violent, stupid, careless and abusive.  Warriors are important to any society when they are fighting for the right things.  A nation without its warriors will be in very serious trouble when a situation arises that calls for war.  Strength, power, combativeness and competition are true masculine traits and unless we rediscover them and value them will lead our society into serious trouble.  There is another reality to a warrior.  The reality of combat is serious as warriors do get wounded and many die young.

Wounded Male: The next Hebrew word describes man in his weakness and frailty.  The fourth Hebrew word for man is enosh, the wounded warrior or the wounded male.  The contemporary male has been wounded by many things.  Our fellow men have been wounded by abusive fathers, absent fathers, domineering mothers, bad teachers and poor educational systems, toxic business takeovers, layoffs, failures, success, alcoholism, divorce, poverty and even wealth.  Men in our society are wounded and bleeding and are in need and don’t even know it.  Sometimes the wounded male recovers and sometimes they never do.  They become lost in the black hole of woundedness along the journey.   Men can remain wounded for the rest of life pretty easily.   Woundedness is a very important part of the normal male experience.   Wounds are predictable but very few men are prepared to deal with them.  The wounds are survivable and survivors can move along to some other gratifying male experiences.  Before you think I am portraying men as victims I want to point out that most men are to blame for a good percentage of our wounds.  We give up our place at times and we make mistakes.  All is not our fault as noted above but some is.  No matter what though, we need to man-up and get through it.

Ok men… we have reviewed the first 4 stages of the masculine journey.  Now come with me and let’s take a look at the last 2 stages.

Click here to go to part 3

FJ1

 

“The Tubthumper”

Meaning of Man, Part 1

Part 1 of a series of 3 posts.

This series of posts will be an overview of the six stages of masculinity from “The Masculine Journey”.

What does it mean to be a man?  What is manliness or masculinity?  Both men and women want to know the answer to the question, “What does it mean to be a man?”  Does anyone have a clue? I suppose most men would hesitate before throwing out an answer and would have a fear of getting swallowed by feminist equalitarianism when answering that question.

You men that have reached the mature or sage stage of your life might want to pass some of these posts on to your young men in the creational or phallic stages to help them to not get lost or stuck along the way to where you are. Oh, now you ask what is a “creational stage and what is a phallic stage”?  Stay with me on these posts and learn.  For you men that are looking for what has been lost I hope it shows up here.

The model that Jesus gives us in the gospel should provide a good visual image for man.  You must, however, study His life without any of the modern interpretations or miss-representations that I see so often.  You must read the word for what it is and let it speak for itself.  Jesus modeled both strength and sensitivity which change as men grow older.  Manhood will look differently as you move through your adult life cycle.

Remember men that your life is a journey and on any journey the landscape changes as you travel.  Some of you might say, “c’mon man”, there is nothing that is normal anymore when it comes to the subject of gender”.  To a certain extent I am inclined to agree with you if we’re only talking about our warped cultural and social mindset these days.  Make note, however, there are very critical differences between male and female in just about every area we can think of.  Because a high percentage of males born today do not have the presence of a father and we have a dominant force of feminine expectations about men, it is not “politically correct” or “socially correct” to be talking about “the normal male”.

As you men travel your journey you will leave and arrive at a new place at times.  You need to be aware when this happens that you will have a separation from the past, with an introduction to the new place and this will cause you some confusion to work through.

I don’t know that I will address marriage much here but when a man gets married he throws himself right smack dab in the middle of chaos and change.  I remember when I got married.  I did not give a second thought to the adjustment and change that would be required.  If all men would get in touch with the adjustment needed most would wait and some might be scared out of it.  Maybe, I say maybe, because I remember what was most important to me then.  It was to take my new bride and live happily ever after at whatever cost.  I was young, blinded by love and lust and I needed to conquer her.  I was heavily bound in the phallic stage which will be explained later.  I just had to have her be with me always.  Now if you were to combine another event to cause adjustment such as a young man losing his job in the first year of marriage the adjustment, chaos, confusion and transition is longer and harder.  When those kinds of things happen it will feel like your lesson is inappropriate for the season of life you are in and much too harsh.  These experiences are actually normal.  Don’t let anyone tell you they are not. These are rich experiences that will cause you to learn more about yourself and your manhood than any book or lecture could provide. Survive them and move to the next stop on your journey.

“The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head”, Proverbs 20:29.  In other words, “young men are defined by their warrior strength and old men are defined by their wisdom” says Dr. Hicks.[1]  What a man is greatly depends on what season in life he is in.  These different seasons of life also provide different spiritual challenges and issues relating to faith.  Children need to know that sins are forgiven; younger men need to overcome the tendency to do evil; and older men need to hang in there and value the spiritual persistence. As it is written, “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one”,1 John 2:12-14.

In Dr. Hick’s writings he plotted out six Hebrew words that represent the male journey.

Follow along with me in part 2 as I provide a quick overview of each stage of the masculine journey by working through the meaning of these six Hebrew words from Scripture.

Click here to go to Part 2

“The Tubthumper”



[1] The Masculine Journey, understanding the six stages of manhood, by Robert Hicks, page 23.

The Masculine Experience

Many years ago I read a book that I enjoyed.  Back then it was far less apropos than it is now.  It went into defining manhood and the many stages of getting there.  I am lead to reflect on that book for a few posts and share some of the things I enjoyed.  We will also consult the main instruction manual which is God and His word.

All men start life at the same place when exiting the womb but where we end up is all up to each of us.

So what defines manhood?  Is it possible to define? Can we all come to an understanding of what it means to be male?  Is it possible?  Yes, it is.  We have many, many years of research into men’s issues to look at and the Scriptures contain a wealth of information and God’s design for us as men.  The instruction book is available.  We just need to read.  The best thing a Christian man can do is read God’s word.  I have found that whatever issue major issue we have the answer is in there.

We know that life is not static and the author of the book addressed that as the basis for his writing. By the way, the name of the book is “The Masculine Journey” by Robert Hicks.  Mr. Hicks wrote about how as we grow and move through life our journey has a changing landscape.  If you are a man in your twenties you will be much different than a man in his forties.  If we observe well we can see the difference in each stage and based on the research from the past along with God’s word we can know what is appropriate during each stage we enter.  I believe it is important to understand what stage we are in and the appropriate way we are to live and that’s why I am pondering all those things I learned man years ago.  The one thing that really stayed with me is the learning that some men get stuck in one stage and never get out or advance to the next stage.  You all know what I am talking about.  Have you ever seen a 60 year old guy that still acts and thinks like he is 20? (Or how about 16?)  When a man gets stuck in one stage of his life and does not mature and move on with some wisdom he becomes unable to deal with the realities of life.  These are the guys that become a sad excuse for men.  Over the years I have been able to pinpoint what stage men are in that live around me.  I have also been able to pinpoint what stage I am in.  Because of the many years that have passed since I learned this material I have been able to see myself change from one stage to the next and know where I am in this journey.

So what are the stages we are referring to?  There are six.  The first stage we enter is the “The Creational Male”.  We were all created by God for a purpose and when we were born we each were given unique abilities and characteristics to lead is along the way and help us develop to our greatest potential as men.

Stage two you men can relate with easily.  This is where we become or for some reading this became “The Phallic Male”.  In a previous post I mentioned how society and our culture here in the U.S. have handled male sexuality.  I believe I referred to it as the “sissification” of men.  Our culture can deny, denigrate and pervert male sexuality all they want but listen up.  We as males remain sexual beings from our most primary level.  God designed it that way.  Sometimes I think God had an interesting sense of humor.  If you read your Bible you will learn that God doesn’t expect us to be any other way.  Even though we go through this stage and it is designed by God there is a critical message for you.  We are not to fixate on this phallic thing!  We are to learn how to channel our sexual energy constructively.  That in itself is an interesting subject.  I once read about how to do that in the business world with a process called sexual mutation. I cannot get into that now though.  So have you ever known a man that got stuck in the “Phallic Stage”?  I have known many.  I have known enough to draw my own conclusion that leads me to think this is the stage most dangerous for men to get stuck in.

Stage three, if you can move beyond the phallic stage is “The Warrior”.  This is where we channel our strength, our fighting spirit, our natural competiveness (that God instills) where needed during our continual development as men.  Once again this fighting spirit is not always directed and exercised appropriately.

Now on to stage four which really works some deep inner development and is called “The Wounded Male”.  When we pass through the warrior stage getting wounded is all part of the process.  There consequences and casualties when in war.  It is from this wounding that we learn to understand the needs of others around us.  I guess I could call it my school of hard knocks.

Stage five brings me to my fellow men that are not afraid to go against the grain to do what is right.  This stage is called “The Mature Male”.   A mature man is very purposeful.  He possesses a high regard for the dignity of other human beings and the mature man has balance in his life and an understanding of the truth.  This man is not afraid to go against the grain to pursue what is right.  The mature man’s life is an exciting time of growth that gets more enjoyable as each day passes.  If you get stuck, or have gotten stuck in a previous stage and have not reached this stage at the appropriate time in your life then you are stagnate and certainly not handling the realities of life well.

The last stage in our life as a male is “The Sage”.  In this last stage we become wise and mature.  This is where the real men make the finest contributions to our family, to our church and community.   We will as the complete man be in command of our soul with the help of the Lord.  We have arrived.

Can you see yourself in any of these stages?  Can you identify?

 

I want to explore this much further and much deeper in future posts.  It may develop into several different series.  I’ll see how it goes.

I hope I have peaked your interest.  Watch for more on the journey.

“The Tubthumper”

Where are the “real” men?

Will the masculine man return to America?
Will our civilization survive the decline of manliness? What does it really mean to be a man?

Where are the men?  Where are you? I mean, where are the real men?  The sad commentary today is that men are either wimps or cruel barbarians.

First things first, if you are a woman this entry has nothing to do with you.  I have great respect for all you do and are and in many ways you are stronger than us men.  But this is a man thing.  The only thing I can say to you ladies is that I don’t understand why you tolerate some of the bums and barbarians that try to call themselves men.  That’s your business I suppose.

Now let me talk to the males in the house.

Back in the day, men understood what manhood was all about.  Excuse me for being blunt.  I have watched over the last 20 to 30 years as males have been feminized and sissified.  I have watched the protectors of women and children slump down to a place of “every man for himself”.  I have watched as men no longer spend time leading their families because they are distracted with their personal activities.  In short I have witnessed our men turn from our Judeo Christian examples of manhood to pure examples of paganism.  Men no longer are the protectors.  Men no longer are the leaders.  Men have given up their place as the headship and the women have taken over out of need.  I am sorry to say I am ashamed of my fellow man.  I am sorry if I am stepping on your toes, but, if the shoe fits, wear it.

Do young men of today even know what it means to be a man?  There are no fathers anymore and with no fathers there will be no men.  Think about it.  The statistics show that over 42% of male babies born today are born with no fathers.  The broken home syndrome of our society is taking its toll.  Even if there is a father connected to the household he is distracted with his selfish activities like sports and entertainment or hobbies.  The men of today are distracted beyond words from fulfilling their responsibilities.  Back in the day… sons and fathers spent the day together.  They worked together, they played together and they ate together and so the father was able to lead and teach.  Times have changed.  Men of today are not interested in leading.  Men of today are interested in escaping reality.  (I’m sorry guys but I call them as I see them.)  I see a majority of men around me practicing slothfulness and living on unemployment checks from the government while they enjoy time fishing and hunting while the wife slaves at the job and then comes home and cooks and cleans for them.  I know several men that for months and months told me there was no work to find.  I can tell you that like magic when the government checks stopped and the next time I saw them a job had been found.  They should have been doing whatever it takes from day one to provide.  It may have meant mowing lawns or digging ditches but you must do what it takes.  I know what you say, “I can’t do that I have a degree”.   To that I say, “who’s guiding you?”

I have several Amish families as neighbors and I watch them.  I can tell you they have clung to something precious.  In the Amish culture men are still men and Amish men teach their sons how to be men.  I admire that about them.  The sons are always with their fathers working from the time they can walk.  Their sons are always beside their fathers on the Sabbath and worshipping.  The Amish father is still the spiritual leader as well.  Maybe not having a television is good.

We need to get back to rising up mighty men of God.  If we don’t our societal failure is immanent.  Strong men need to be men of faith and leading the way in worship and prayer.  He needs to be teaching his faith to his children and passing it down.  We know from history that when society moves to paganism failure is soon to follow.  We need men of courage.  We need to get away from this feminization of men.  Will our sons of today be ready for the battles of the future?  Will they be ready for battling enemies both physical and spiritual?

Are you a male? Are you a man? Are you a real man?  Are you providing the teaching your children need?  Are you providing the protection for your family?  Are you providing the basic necessities for your family?  Are you leading your family in worship of the Lord?  Don’t neglect these responsibilities.  Equip yourself and engage.  Don’t be distracted or self-centered.  Be engaged and involved.  We read in 1 Cor. 16:13-14 what god wants in man, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.”

So we can see from the authority of God that we are to: 1) Be watchful, 2) Stand fast in faith, 3) Act like a man, 4) Be strong and 5) All this is to be done in a spirit of love.

God is the creator and the source of strength.  We must submit to God’s rules  and when men do not fulfill their roles and responsibilities a society will break down.  Christian men need to follow the pattern of Christ.  Christ laid down His life for us.  Jesus is the sacrificial lamb.  He rules, protects, leads and guides.  He is the guide for all Christian men.  Christ defines manhood.  A biblical man understands what love is.  Love is sacrifice!  A man must be sacrificial.  In Ephesians 5:25 it says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”.  This is the ultimate sacrifice.  Christ loved the church so much he died for it and He says that is the way we are to love our wives.  If your boat was sinking and you could only get one person off would you send your wife away and go down alone.  Or would you say, “Every man for himself” and jump for your life?  When the Titanic went down many years ago the majority of men were standing on deck watching the women and children row away as they sacrificed themselves and went down to their death. I hope it’s not as bad as I think but I see the situation today as if it happened again the women would be the ones standing on the deck and the men rowing to safety.  O lord I pray this is not the case.

The life of a Christian man is all about self-denial.  We are to take up our cross and follow Christ and His ways. (Matthew 16:24) After God and family you come first!

Can we ever inspire our sons again to act like men?  Be a valiant man.  Don’t be AWOL like so many men are.  Tell your family what Christ told us, “I will never leave you or forsake you”.

Please men… just man-up!

The Tubthumper