Throughout the history of our country, the State of the Union speech has been given at the beginning of the year by the President of the United States. This speech has been given in times when the country has experienced great prosperity or in times during our country darkest moments. Some of the things that the President speaks about is our country past accomplishments, our challenges, and the opportunities ahead in the New Year. The President also, speaks about the country’s economy, the state of health care and other important issues to the America people. He also lays out his administration objectives on how he believes he can fix certain issues and encourage new bills to be passed by the House of Representative and the Senate to improve our country. Those that are in the audience hearing the State of the Union are the members of Congress from all parties such as Democrats, Republicans, and other political parties. There are those who serve our country’s military, other invited guests and those watching on television wanting to hear what is the state of our nation.
In 2009, President Barak Obama was the first Black American President to give the State of the Union address to our country. During his speech, he addressed some of the challenges that we were facing our nation when he was elected to office in January 2009. These challenges were things like our country financial system almost collapsing. The US Government having to bail out several of our major banks from going out of business because of the financial crisis that happened in 2008 and 2009. Several thousands of Americans had lost their jobs, businesses had closed their business and thousands of people had lost their homes to foreclosures. In President of Obama first State of the Union address, he called for accountability, change, and a determination that the American people and our country would not quit but move forward with hope. I believe just like that time in 2009 there is a crisis in manhood that needs to be addressed. As men rather Husbands, Fathers or Brothers we have to address three important issues as men. The first thing that we have to address as men by answering the question what is the state of manhood. The second thing that we must address is helping men to recapture a vision of true manhood. Finally, as men, we understand that the journey of manhood was never meant to be traveled alone.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them (Genesis 1:26-27).
The State of manhood
What is the state of manhood? The state of manhood is that men today in our society are confused. Men today are frustrated and our angry. Men have become abusive and physically aggressive. Men in our society have become more engaged in technology and less in personal relationships. I believed men are confused because we are having an identity crisis in not knowing who we are and we are confused not knowing what our purpose is in life. Men have become abusive and physically aggressive with women which we learn through the media the terrible news in various industries of men sexually mistreating women. As a society men have become more engaged in technology like cell phones and social media connecting with people we don’t know on Facebook and Twitter. However, in public we are so engross texting so much on our phones we failed to have real meaningful relationships with people sitting right across the table from us. In Psalms 62:3, David asked the question “How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence”? I believe David question provides insight into how the enemy is attacking men and the state of manhood.
How do we as men address these current issues of manhood in our society today? We first must address them through genuine repentance to the Lord. It is important for us to understand genuine repentance is not saying I am sorry and going back repeating the same destructive behavior. However, genuine repentance from a man is having a changed heart and attitude and surrendering your will to the Lord. In Psalms 51:10, David said: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me”. Another way that we can effectively address the state of manhood genuine confession to the Lord. All throughout the Psalms made his declaration and boast in the Lord and how he trusted Him. However, there were also times when David confess before the Lord that he was afraid, downcast and confused. When David was finished being real with God about how he felt and the circumstances that he was faced with, he always ended by saying despite how he felt keep God’s word as his anchor of hope. As men, we have to be honest with ourselves and transparent with the Lord and stop thinking we can hide our most intimate feeling from Him. Our God is Omniscience which means He knows everything about us as men. To address the state of manhood, as men we have to tell the Lord from the heart I’m angry, I’m confused and I am in pain and only you Lord can help me address the brokenness that is on the inside of me.
Recapture a true vision of manhood
A second point on how we can address the state of manhood is helping men to recapture a vision of true manhood. To recapture what the vision of manhood starts first answering the question what is manhood. Being a man is not about fulfilling the role of manhood like being a provider for your family or being a protector of your home. However, the vision of manhood is about demonstrating the character of a man who is Christ-like and modeling the character of God. In Proverbs 29:18, the word of God says “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law”. A vision of manhood is about a man understanding that being a man who is responsible for himself, his family and those his life impacts by the grace of God. A vision of manhood is about being a man who understands the importance of accountability. A man is willing to be accountable for his actions and accountable to the Lord. A vision of manhood is about being a man who walks in maturity and has put away childish speaking, childish thinking and put away understanding (I Corinthians 13:11).
When a man has recovered his vision of manhood, his wife knows she is loved by husband the way Christ loved the Church. When a man has recovered his vision of manhood his son knows that his father is his true hero. The son knows that his father does not wear a vibranium suit and mask but his father’s presence is the greatest superpower in his son life. When a man has recovered his vision of manhood, his daughter knows that her father is her true example of how a man takes care of a woman. When she grows up to become a woman herself and seeks a mate, the love of her father will be the standard she will have for a husband. When a man has recovered his vision of manhood, his parents have a peace in knowing when they depart from this life they have raised a young boy who survived the dangers of the streets into a strong man of God. In Acts 2:17, the word of God says that “God will pour out his Spirit upon all flesh, young men will see visions and old men will dream dreams”.
The journey of manhood
Finally, as men to address the state of manhood and all its issues, we understand that the journey of manhood is never meant to be traveled alone. In Genesis 2:18, the word of God says “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him”. When the word of God speaks about this scripture yes it is speaking about a man not being alone from a companionship point and having a wife as his helpmate. However, there is also a principle in that scripture that teaches us as men that the Lord never created us as men to be lone rangers by ourselves. The principle that we can take from this verse is that there is strength in numbers and when men are joint together as one there is nothing impossible for them through the power of agreement. When we begin to transition from an adolescent to our teenage years into manhood, that transition should not be by ourselves. A man will either have his father, an uncle or close friends that he knows will hold him accountable to not live his life in a reckless way.
In the NBA, the game of basketball has a team of twelve to fifteen men who play an eighty-two game season. If the team accomplishes its goal that they set at the beginning of the season they would have possibly won their division, made the playoffs and won the NBA championship. The journey of this goal begins in training camp, starts opening night and concludes being one of the final two teams. Each man understands that the success of the team winning is not based upon the individual talents of one or a few but their success in winning is a complete team commitment. When the final horn sounds and the trophy has been raised before thousands in attendance and fans watching around the world, the journey of becoming champions could not be done alone. As men to address the state of manhood we too must understand that the journey of manhood must not be traveled alone. The word of God says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, that “Two are better than one, if one of them falls the other one will be there to pick the other one up”. As you my brother journey on this road called manhood the questions that you seek to have answered can only be addressed through the counsel that you received from the Lord and other godly men (Proverbs 24:6).