Where are the Men?
Pastor Larry Bond
Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none
Oh, there are plenty of males, and we are overwhelmed with macho types! But where are the men? Where is the chivalry? Where are the gentlemen? Where are the men of honor? Our society is devoid of men of character and integrity, and the way has been led by such men of questionable character as our former president, Bill Clinton. The social image of a real man portrays him as macho, but in reality he is irresponsible, self indulgent, proud and arrogant, a user of others, hot tempered, and even violent. No wonder so many marriages are in trouble today! The problem is being perpetuated from generation to generation by irresponsible, self indulgent fathers who are more concerned about the score of the ball game than whether or not their sons are learning responsibility. These couch potatoes let their wives do the disciplining, training, and teaching; the repair work around the house; and when the wife needs emotional support, they're too tired. When boys do not have the right father image, they themselves will likely make lousy husbands and fathers. "I sought for a man…but I found none," said the prophet Ezekiel. It seems this is the condition in our country today also! To be sure there are a few MEN, but very few. By enlarge the males in America are macho wimps. America was not made great by such types, but by great men like our founding fathers who were willing to give up their reputations, their possessions, and even their lives for the cause of freedom and to do what was right.
What has caused this degeneration of character in our men? First, boys are not emulating the right heroes! On their bedroom walls we find pictures of Hollywood movie stars, rock-n-roll idols, or sports champions. Hair cuts and color (sometimes pink) and dress style reveal this problem, along with life style, music, entertainment, and activities. To be cool with their peers, they must worship "the heroes". It has been a great blessing for our family to read together the biographies of great Christians. From George Meuller we learn about godly character and great faith in prayer; from D. L. Moody what can happen when one gives himself completely over to God; from Adariam Judson the souls of men are more valuable than comfort, security, personal safety, or even physical life; from Gladys Alward God always provides the means to accomplish His call; from Corry Ten Boom love, joy, and peace in Christ can never be crushed by the Destroyer; from John Bunyon progress through the Christian life is full of temptations and hardships but with the beautiful celestial city as our goal; and from Bro. Andrew God does the impossible to get His Word to hungry souls. These and many other godly Christians of the past are the heroes our children should seek to emulate. And of course, our Lord is our ultimate hero for we are to be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29). What this world needs is another Moody, Meuller, or Billy Sunday - a man to stand in the gap! When nobody else will take responsibility, will our sons step forward and say "I'll do it, I’ll go, I'll lead the way? - Only if they have the right heroes!
Secondly, was it a blessing when farmers moved to the city no longer needing their sons to help with providing for the family on the farm? Or, was it a curse? People say "I had it so hard when I was growing up - I'm soooo thankful my children will have it easier". What a big mistake! The easy comfortable things of life tend to make us irresponsible, selfish, weak, lazy, without purpose, and intolerant of others when they infringe on our comfort zone. But, the hardships are what build godly character in our children. - As "gold…tried with fire". Ten years ago we moved to the country. We have milked cows, butchered our meat, planted gardens, built houses, bridges, a barn, and a shop. The work never ends - praise the Lord! The first year was really tough. We camped out in the summer while we built a cabin. It seemed like it rained every day all through August. Keeping warm in our cabin that winter was a full time job - the pipes all froze, our waterbed became slushy, and my socks froze to the floor. My sons and I had to do some very difficult cold things to insure safety and provide an element of comfort for the girls and my wife. What a blessing it is when young men learn to lay down their lives for their family. I know of several Christian families who have moved to farms and some that are planning to do so soon for this very reason. City life rarely produces men of character. Certainly it is possible to raise godly young men in the city, but it must be done on purpose giving them plenty of hard work and responsibility. Tough job when all their friends have a lot of idle time.
Thirdly, in the past sons worked right along side dad learning a trade and helping to support the family, but in recent years father's occupation has become less conducive to the presence of children. Child labor laws, fear of law suits, liability insurance restrictions, 6-8 hours of school for the children, etc. are all Satan's tools to destroy the influence of fathers in their sons lives. God used the recession of the '80's to make us use this wonderful old tradition. I was unable to make enough income to support the family myself, so my 4 sons went to work with me. We remodeled houses together, serviced repossessed houses for mortgage companies, and even sold fishing worms to stores. Some days would find us all under a house fixing rotted floors. The smaller boys could get where I couldn't - that was handy. At midnight 5 red headlamps could be seen in the city parks as we crawled around on hands and knees picking worms to be sold to the stores the next day. We did it all together! They learned how to work, and were of vital importance in providing for the family. And, they knew it! They felt the responsibility, and took to it like real men! I praise God for those hard years! We played together too, but I confess not enough. Every summer my sons and I went to a high mountain lake to fish and camp for a week. We have many fond memories like catching fish as fast as we could reel them in, camping in snow, and eating fish, fish, fish…
It is not hard to see the degradation of men in the world, but how about Christian men today? Where are the MEN OF GOD? Yes, we have leadership, but all to often it's fallen leadership - fallen to greed, pride, or immorality. What we need are some Elijah's who will do right even though everyone else is doing wrong! Where are the Joshua's that will say, "as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD"? Many Christian homes are suffering terribly because the man is selfish, caving in to his fleshly desires, and shunning his God given responsibilities to meet the spiritual, emotional, and material needs of his family!
I Timothy 5:8 declares, "if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel".
I thought an infidel was as bad as it gets - this macho wimp is worse!!! Oh, for the self sacrificing MAN of integrity to step up to the plate and hit a homerun!!! There are ugly gaps in the wall of manhood! The Christian family is a crumbling, broken wall! Satan and his demons are charging through the breach attacking the children and wives! The strongman of the house seems to be bound by his selfishness, pride, and negligence. Christian fathers, husbands, young men will you step forward and stand in the gap? God is calling us to be MEN OF GOD! Will you heed the call???