For many men there are fond memories of Dad. Times, like in the video, of throwing a ball to each other in the backyard. Memories of all evenings on the football field, knowing Dad is watching from the sidelines or in the stands. Memories of fishing or hunting, working on projects together.
Sometimes the memories are kind, sometimes harsh – Dad being more like a task master than a trainer, Dad being a strict disciplinarian, rather than a person you could come talk to.
Some, like me, have mostly memories of angry outbursts and then abandonment. I was reminded of this the other night. My wife and I were watching an old episode of Bones – a forensic science show focusing on the attempts of an FBI agent and the forensic scientists to catch the bad guys.
In this particular episode, the FBI guy, Seeley Booth, finds out that his Dad died – a man who was a drunk who abandoned him 20 years earlier. That episode struck a cord with me. Especially when Booth opens up the only thing his Dad had left him, an old cigar box with some pictures in it.
I, too, have some pictures of my Dad: Some are pictures of my Dad in his profession – a news columnist who became the voice of labor on WCFL radio in Chicago… Then I have a total of three pictures of me and my father… But the truth of the matter is that I have virtually no happy memories of my Dad, the man who was an angry drunk, who abandoned my family when I was six.
The one thing that I clearly realize now is this: Though my Dad carried himself like he was manly, hard drinking, hard smoking, respected by many in a town like Chicago, my Father was anything but a man in the true sense of the word. He lacked strength, true strength. The strength to stand by one woman and be faithful to her for the rest of his life. The strength to get his anger and drinking under control. The strength to stick with his children and provide for their needs. Sadly, he did not know what it meant to Act Like a Man. He never learned God’s view of Manhood.
The world swings back and forth between portrayals of men as barbarians to men as metrosexual wimps. Or measure men by the 3 Bs – billfold, ballfield, the bedroom.
This morning we would like to nail down what God says about being a man.
6-15-2014 Act Like Men Sermon Audio