This year has been incredibly sanctifying for me in more ways than I can explain. I have seen more sin and weakness– selfishness, inconsistency, laziness, and pride– in my life than I have ever seen before. So I don’t post this without a strong awareness of my own shortcoming. In spite of my fear of this becoming a man-bashing blog (don’t worry fellas, I know we’re all works in progress) I figured I’d post this anyways.
But I came across the website tonight The Art of Manliness. It has everything from a free guide on “How to be a Gentleman in 2008” to a “Barbershop Locator.” I can’t relate to much of it, but it seems pretty sweet for those of you who enjoy being manly.
As far as I can tell, it’s an unbelieving site with no agenda but to promote manliness. Not biblical masculinity, not the likeness of Christ, not men’s and women’s roles. When I ran across this article about Manly Sacrifice I was stunned. For some unbelievers, they sure did hit the nail right on the head. I think I’m gonna start making guys read this before they date my girls.
Here’s some quotable quotes from the article, but check out the whole thing if you’re interested.
“There are few manlier virtues than sacrifice. The ability to unselfishly put aside one’s own needs and desires to fulfill and protect the needs and desires of others requires a level of maturity and self-control few men ever truly attain. Instead, many men today are children living in man-sized bodies. They view the world and others as tools to fulfill their appetites. Only after they themselves are satisfied, can they begin to think about others. ‘What’s in it for me?’ has become the battle cry of a generation.”
“…A man who wishes to sanctify his life must become a living sacrifice. Of course the problem with a living sacrifice is that it can crawl off the altar. When the flames threaten to consume you, will you be able to take the heat?”
“Sacrifice is never easy whether on the battlefield or in our daily lives. When you are offered a promotion that will mean more money and prestige but zero time with your family, will you be able to turn it down? When your wife asks you to quit smoking because she wants to grow old with you, will you be able to quit? When a loved one needs a kidney transplant, will you be willing to give up yours? Will you be able to sacrifice your own desires to help someone else?
There will always be an escape, an avenue for retreat. What will you do when you are asked to step up? Will you cower in fear and flee? Or will you have the strength to do the right thing? A man can never know with absolute certainty how he will react in the moment of crisis, faced with such decisions. But you can decide each and every day, in your heart and your mind, what kind of man you want to be. You can decide that running away from challenges will never be an option. And you can strive each day to attain the values and training needed to become a selfless person. Then, when you are asked to sacrifice, you will not hesitate, making the honorable decision will be automatic.”
– by Brett & Kate McKay