BE A MAN
Chances are if you have spent enough time on the Internet you have heard of the Legend that is Ron Swanson. Ron is a character on the NBC television comedy “Parks and Recreation” which is played by actor Nick Offerman. Ron is hilarious, and have become a pop culture icon.
Clips of Ron Swanson are all over youtube, if you are not familiar with Him you could watch one and understand a little bit about him. However, I would like to define him. Ron is a MAN. Perhaps he is a bit of a stereotype, but He is definitely a man. From His love of nature and woodworking, to his affinity for meat and mustaches. He is a no nonsense, type that does what he says, and means it when he gives his word. The show is a bit of an absurdist comedy, which is why Ron is a bit of a stereotype, but none the less, he has become very, very popular.
Now, you are probably wondering why on a blog about Christianity I would be discussing Ron Swanson. So let me explain. America is in love with Ron Swanson because He is a Man. No, not because He has the physical characteristics of a man, but the personality of one. You see, on the show there are several other men.
1. Chris Traeger: Overly health conscious, emotionally unstable, and a little weak willed
2. Tom Haverford: Butt-Kisser, obsessed with celebrity, wimpy
3. Jerry Gergich: Push Over, clumsy, not good at his job
4. Andy Dwyer: Young, Sloppy, Uninspired, slightly stupid
Out of the five males on the show, Ron shows confidence, conviction, authority, and many other traits. While we laugh, and find some of His one liners amusing, we are inexplicably drawn to him. Well, I shouldn’t say inexplicably, because I can tell you why. Ron Swanson is the man that we wish we could be.
Right about now you are probably thinking I am crazy. But think about it deeper. Ron doesn’t back down from people. He is confident. He eats what he wants. He knows his strengths. He works to improve his weaknesses. He is able to do things for himself. He is what many men wish they were able to be. However, the majority of men these days are not Swansons, but rather we find ourselves more like one of the other men from the show.
Our modern culture has worked to make Manhood a villainous thing. We try and encourage men to be more mild, often effeminate. We are moving to a gender neutral society where men are not men. However, Ron Swanson is not like this. Now Ron is a television character and is not perfect, but He displays a manhood that has been lost on many of our children.
I look back on the men of the Bible and I see men that are very different from our men today. In the Bible men were encouraged to lead. Men were encouraged to be strong. Men were encouraged to work hard and produce. Look at David. He wasn’t the strongest or the biggest, but he worked hard and excelled in everything that he did. He went from being a shepherd boy, to being a King.
Look at Abraham. He left home and started his own company for lack of a better word. He gathered a huge fortune and a lot of land. These are the men we see celebrated in the Bible. The twelve disciples they had a message and they carried it across the earth in the midst of opposition. There was a time when Men were Men. When they were strong, driven, and had true courage. However in our modern culture, much of these traits are looked down upon.
Now before you get all mad and call me misogynistic, hear me out. Women are great and are often strong, and courageous. However, I am not discussing women. I love women and I encourage them to excel in all that they do. Right now I am talking to men. I am talking to guys who would rather sit inside playing videogames than being outside actually learning to do the things those video games simulate.
There is a real joy in creating something. I remember the first time I built something in wood shop. It was a clock and it was not perfect, but I had made it with my own two hands. I was proud of my clock, because it didn’t just come from a store. It came from my left hand and my right hand, and a little bit of work.
But today instead of belaboring my point. I want to share a link. http://31kings.com/category/manhood/ This is the website of a local pastor here in the Kansas City area who does a great job of exploring biblical Manhood. Take some time and scan through. I specifically highlighted the posts tagged with Manhood, but there is a ton of things on His webpage that you should check out.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you are willing to take the challenge to Be a Man, and not simply live as culture has dictated.