Unleash Your Inner Warrior
“Stand true to your calling to be a man. Real women will always be relieved and grateful when men are willing to be men”
My dear warrior,
I have become increasingly more aware of men struggling with what it means to be a man; struggling to understand what true masculinity is in a culture that is increasingly antagonistic towards what God designed men to be. Culture defines manliness as being tough as nails, showing no emotion; or demands men to be emasculated, submissive and sensitive; or downgrades/ debases/ demotes them to purely sexual beings, driven by their libido and knowing little more than animal instinct. None of these is correct, and each of them is a distortion of the reality set forth by our Creator.
True Masculinity is not piggish or domineering. It is not controlling, rude, brash, angry or arrogant. To understand what it means to be ‘a real man,’ we look to the ultimate picture of masculinity: Jesus Christ, Himself. I know so many in our culture have a distorted view of Him, so we will begin here. In a culture that has removed the divine, all things have been labeled as meaningless and everything is subjective. Our culture essentially teaches that you create your own reality: whatever you choose to believe is what is right for you. As a result, people pick and choose ‘which Jesus’ they like best. (Look no further than the dinner scene in Talladega Nights to see an example of people picking which Jesus they pray to). They choose baby Jesus, pacifist Jesus, Jesus on the cross, Jesus in white robes, Jesus who lets the children come to Him—or whichever non-threatening ‘version’ of Jesus they like best—black Jesus, Latino Jesus, etc. What a terrible distortion! Our Lord Jesus Christ does indeed have many sides to His personality—as we all do—but these are not correct. We cannot simply limit Him to whichever one aspect we decide we like best (or make up whatever fantasy most suits us). Doing this perverts our perception, limits our understanding and puts a cap on our ability to grow in relationship with Him.
What then is true masculinity? Men who are not afraid to be men. Men must look to the Biblical example, to Jesus Himself, to find what it is to be a real man. Jesus embodies the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. He chooses rest and peace first and foremost. He calls children to Himself and does not turn them away. He is the Prince of Peace, but He is also a man of war. He is a mighty warrior, full of fury; He raises a war cry and prevails against His enemies! He is a powerful warrior, a force to be reckoned with. He is a God so in love that He became a man who willingly submitted Himself to the most brutal and humiliating death possible in order to save the one whom He loves (that’s us! We are His church, His bride). He is both a lamb and a lion—gentle and fierce. He is the Door; He is the Good Shepherd; He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He has all authority. He offered one perfect sacrifice for all sins for all time: Himself . He is the author and perfector of our faith, and He is worthy of all praise! (To read more of what He is, click here)
A real man lives by and operates out of the fruits of the Spirit (and in no small capacity either. He is fully transformed from the inside, rather than simply trying to abide by them in doing ‘good works’ on the outside. He has had a heart change that comes from God Himself dwelling within him). He pursues righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness. He is meek (meekness is not weakness, it is strength under control). He knows and does Gods will, and is obedient to the call on his life. God is his help, and he does not stubbornly fight God to maintain control. He allows God to direct his steps. He is a man of prayer, and a man after God's own heart like David. He is a protector and a warrior, and he is gentle with his wife. He is a man of love, and does everything in love, and not harshness. Yes! A real man is loving above all else. He is strong an courageous and knows God is with him wherever he goes. He has a heart that rejoices in the Lord.
What we need is men who will stop trying to be cool, and choose to be filled with the joy of the Lord. Our culture is desperate for real men who will delight themselves in the Lord!
I am so tired of seeing men acting like less than what they could be and being stunted in their spiritual growth simply because of what culture expects of them. Popular culture is counter to Kingdom culture! I am tired of seeing men (and women) robbed of joy, and unable to experience God’s joy because they carry a weight of needing to be ‘cool’ in front of others, or are expected to be tough or not show emotion. Pop culture has made it inconvenient for them to delight themselves in the Lord, or to be overcome by joy.
Let me tell you: living according to the world’s expectations or other people’s ideals is not conducive to experiencing the joy of the Lord, or of delighting in Him, or of fully living for Him. You cannot serve two masters. Will you choose to please culture/ stoop to the expectations of those around you? Or will you rise to the expectations of God on your life and accept the joy He has for you?
An example of a man I knew comes to mind. I knew him as gentle yet firm, as a brilliant warrior; I knew him as sweet, and wonderful. He was vulnerable with me. I knew so many aspects of his personality, so his character was fully rounded out for me. When I was with him, I saw so much of what I understood a man of God ought to be. It was not until much later that I found out that I was the only one to be privileged to know him the way I did. Even in his family and close family-friends, he did not let his emotions be written across his face; he was always serious, and kept things close to his chest; he did not say much, and certainly did not reveal anything more about his emotions than he had to. He kept up a tough exterior, a shell that no one could get through—and no one dared try. And yet, I had simply by-passed that wall, and had gotten to know him as the teddy bear he is. I spoke to the Christ in him and refused to acknowledge the old nature in him. Because of that, I did not see him as anything other than who he is in Christ. I was privileged in that he was his best self when he was with me. Having come to understand how others see him and know him, I have also come to learn how greatly the pressures of keeping up appearances has disadvantaged him. Women, you must speak to the Christ in men. You must only address who they are in Christ, and never speak to or engage the dead man. We are not grave-diggers. When we speak to men as God sees them, we enable them to step into who God has called them to be―even if no one else sees it yet. When we address them as the men of God that they were created to be, we allow them to be the best version of themselves and step into their true personas.
For all of you men who carry the weight of keeping up appearances, who carry the burden of being expected to be a certain way, do not allow yourself to be burdened this way. For you to keep up a façade, or to put up a wall to keep your heart 'safe', or to keep with what you think is expected of you is only harming your own spirit life: it harms your relationship with the Father. It will only keep you from being able to relate to Him, to open up to Him, to share your heart. It will hinder your capacity to delight in and experience Him. Allow yourself to have a joyful vulnerability with the Lord your God!
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ―C.S. Lewis
Allow your fear of the Lord to be stronger than your fear of man. Discover what intoxicating joy is like. Take a look at Zechariah 10:7 ―
"Then Ephraim shall become like a mighty warrior, and their hearts shall be glad as with wine. Their children shall see it and be glad; their hearts shall rejoice in the LORD."
These men were mighty warriors, and they were filled with the joy of the Lord "as with wine." That is an influence that is on the inside. As Bill Johnson pointed out about wine, "you don't get drunk by smelling it. You have to get it in you." To experience the joy of the Lord, you must be filled with it. And when you are filled with it, your inhibitions will fall away, just like those who are filled with wine. Those of you who have fallen in love with someone, you know what it's like for all your inhibitions to fall away as you are filled with joy over the one whom you love. That is how it is with the Lord! That's how it should be for you, too.
"The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing."―Zephaniah 3:17
We are called to rejoice in the Lord because we are made in His image. He rejoices over us! We are made to follow Christ's example, so we follow His example and rejoice over Him just as He rejoices over us.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near."―Philippians 4:4-5
As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior this week, I ask that you be intentional. Be intentional about honoring Him, delighting in Him and being filled with the joy of the Lord. Yes, choose to be joyful. Choose to delight in Him, to worship Him and love Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Delight in Him as He delights in you. Rejoice over Him as He rejoices over you! We are celebrating the birth of the Lord our Savior, after all!
Merry Christmas dear gentleman and warriors,
©Michèle Aimée, 2015
About the Author
Michèle is a warrior with a passion for God, a deep love of writing, and a fire for combat training. As a warrior, she understands that when she is given orders, she must follow through.