The late Edwin Louis Cole, the man who wrote the book, “Maximised Manhood”, told us a story of a time he was speaking in a men’s meeting when he remarked, “I like men.” A 97-yr-old grandmother jumped up at the back and screamed, “I like men too, brother!” I have no fear of exaggerating when I say that my favourite meetings in church undoubtedly are the men’s meetings. I like men too, and I’ve discovered that when men learn to stand up as men, behave as real men, and love as maximised men, we’ll see a massive revolution in the church. The problem is – we’ve too many emasculated men in the church who need to have a fresh encounter with God the Father.
I wonder how many of you men have or had fathers who were not very good examples of maleness or masculinity. You had fathers who didn’t communicate with you, didn’t know how to nurture you, didn’t tell you they loved you or probably were absent most of the time. They were not there for you when you needed them.
The late Derek Prince made this staggering statement. He said the problem with the American family is not rebellious women; it’s renegade males. In other words, the heart of the problem in a dysfunctional home cannot always be blamed on a wife who’s out of place or unsubmissive. Rather, it’s a renegade husband who runs from his responsibilities as a husband and a father and by default allows the initiative and leadership of his home to fall upon his wife. And all this has resulted in confusion as to how we’re supposed to express authentic maleness. We don’t know what it is to be a real man because we had such poor examples in our own families. And probably the only source where we derive our idea of manhood is from TV shows or movies and what comes out from that is usually a very distorted picture of real manhood.
So out of this cloud of confusion have emerged two divergent models of masculinity. The first is called the “Marshmallow Male” or the weak male and the second is the “Macho Male”. Here’s the “Marshmallow Man”; see if this fits you: He’s usually indecisive, lacks confidence, and lacks drive. Perhaps he likes to wear jewelry, likes to go to the unisex saloon and likes wearing soft clothes. They’re people who don’t like to take responsibility. Poet Robert Bly calls them “soft males”. He says and I quote: “They’re lovely, valuable people and I like them! They’re not interested in harming the earth or starting wars; but something is wrong! Many of these men are unhappy; there’s not much energy in them. They’re life-preserving; but not exactly life-giving!” “They’re nice men”, says Bly, “but they’ve no life or vitality to pour into those around them. And more and more wives are complaining that their husbands have no energy or creativity to offer their marriages or that they’re the only ones in the relationship with direction and purpose. Why are they complaining? Because what they’re left with are emasculated, weak men! Soft males; feminized versions of men; confused and frightened men; men incapable of breathing life and energy to those around them; manhood that’s not maximized.”
The “Macho Man” is as every bit confused as their softer counterparts. The only difference is that they choose the opposite response. These guys are frightened and insecure men trying to convince the world that they’re flesh and blood examples of raw manhood. The truth is they’re terrified little boys in grown-up bodies. What are their characteristics? In a group, they’re loud and rough. They like to do bold, brash and even frightening things to show that they’re macho. Some use vulgarity or profanity. Some drink beer, choke on cigarettes or experiment with drugs. Others boast about their sexual conquests.
These men like to dominate and intimidate their employees, wives and children to prove that they’re strong and in control. Consider these three major problems of our day: abortion, pornography, and domestic violence. It’s often the macho-oriented men who impregnate women and then expect them to go for an abortion, purchase pornography, and beat up women and children in their own homes. Obviously, this “macho-madness” is not what God had in mind when He created man. The “Macho Man” is just another distortion of true manhood, and we’ve to admit that now and then, we do get caught up in this madness with all the macho stuff we watch on television.
On Monday, we had Pastor Larry Stockstill speak on the “Model Man” and it must surely be one of the high points in Cornerstone. Pastor Larry was on fire. The challenge to live lives that would be models for others resounded in our hearts. I’m putting the message up on our website because right between the “Marshmallow Man” and the “Macho Man” is the “Model Man” and he’s the man whom God has created in His image. Guys, if you were not in church for the seminar, please do this for me, listen to the podcast or download the message from our website. It’s life changing. Time for the model men to rise up!
Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong