Men, Where Are You?
I don’t think I have to convince you of the fact that many men (not all) here in America are AWOL. We have drawn back from the front line, failing to take up arms to fight -in honor of God, according to his rules of engagement (i.e., the Bible) – for integrity, responsibility, respect, marriage, family, justice, and purity; and have instead decided to entangle ourselves in civilian pursuits (2 Timothy 2:3-4), reveling in selfish and sinful passions.
We are absent. Though a few of us might be so for reasons beyond our control, scores are absent voluntarily and for illegitimate reasons. We have abandoned our families, communities, and churches. Too many of us are nowhere in sight. No wonder why, for example, women and children conduct their lives or treat us as if we are invisible…because we are! Out of sight, out of mind.
Others of us are present, but not fully engaged. We are here, but not here. We are consumed with achievements, accolades, and assets to the neglect of establishing and growing in our relationship with Jesus and others. We are addicted to hobbies to the neglect of home or work. We are fixated on all things flashy to the neglect of the fundamental. We have hidden in plain sight through our obsessions.
But why are we MIA (Missing In Action)? It all stems from the first man, Adam. Our first father (along with his wife), as we discover in Genesis 3:8-11, hid from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Why did he hide from God? In his reply to God’s question – Where are you? – we find the answer, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10; ESV, emphasis mine). He was afraid because he was naked. But to God the answer to his question was more than skin deep. God knew the deeper reason for Adam’s fear and hiding was because he ate of the tree he had commanded him not to eat of (Genesis 3:11).
And it is the same with us men today. Many times we disappear in life because of our disobedience to God. Godward disobedience produces all kinds of human dysfunction and distortion. When we are not right with God, much gets left…people get left behind to go through the painstaking effort to heal and rebuild their lives in the wake of the devastation of our sinful, tornadic behavior; our wives, children, and God’s churches get our leftovers, while other people and businesses are continually allowed to feast on our “prime” time and energy; and God’s agenda for our lives is left incomplete because we are bent on fulfilling our own.
We are all a product of the first Adam. But thank God for the “second Adam” (Romans 5:12-21)!
Gentlemen, if we are going to be the men that God created us to be – men of holiness, honor, and humility – we must stop running from God in sin, hiding behind the trees of fear and pride. May we, by God’s grace and Spirit, run to God, bowing in repentance, trust, and surrender at the feet of the one who bore our sins on the tree (1 Peter 2:24), Jesus the Christ.
Believe in him. Worship him. Trust him. Learn of him. Live for him.