In my life, I have been to quite a few men’s conferences that have encouraged men to step up and be the men the Lord has called them to be. I have been to men’s meeting like Maximize Manhood which was led by the late Dr. Edwin Lewis Cole as he encouraged men to be strong men in tough times. I have also been to see Bishop TD Jakes live at two different Man Power conferences in 2000 and 2002 which thousands of men were in attendance praising the name of Jesus together on one accord. However, the one men’s ingathering that stood out the most to me was the one I attended in Harlem, New York which was hosted by a church called Harlem Tabernacle. The church had as their guest speaker the late Dr. Myles Munroe which he was the Pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries International which was in Nassau, Bahamas. During his message to the men, he talked about the poor communication skills that men had because they chose to communicate with each other by using profanity and why it was time for them to man up by learning how to speak correctly to one another.
According to Dr. Munroe when most young males communicate with one another they did not address each other by the names which their parents gave them. However, the way they spoke to one another was by referring to each other by saying what up my dog or by using one of the letters in the alphabet. A young man’s poor grammar skills was further exposed by him using four letter curse words to express how he felt about others or someone in authority. His nouns, his verbs and adjectives did not originate from classrooms in school but he learned them from what heard at home or the streets. Most of older males have a behavior and a language which is reflective of a child but they are inside the body of a grown adult. The Lord is calling for men of God to be an example to other men by showing them how to man up in their conversation, in their thinking and in their understanding.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11).
When I was a child
Some of my fondest memories as a child was when my sister and I would go for walks with our mother to places like the library in our neighborhood. As we were in the library looking at different book, my mother would read some of the books to us which opened our minds to the world at large. Also, I remember the times when my father would bring home foods from our favorite place called dinette chicken place and we eat until our stomachs were full. As a kid in my neighborhood, I would be outside with my friends throwing water balloons at each other on a hot summer day. All of the boys on the block would play tackle football or basketball and our hoop for the basketball rim was a milk crate nailed to a utility pole in our alley. However, as great those moments were for me as a child, I would ultimately grow up and my friends would go their separate was having our own families and responsibilities as adults.
When a young boy becomes a man, the evidence of his manhood is made known because he does not speak, thinks or understands life from a child’s perspective. When a man in a marriage speaks to his wife like a child, his ability to communicate with her is not effective because he is not willing to listen to what she says from her side of the discussion. A child will speak about what he wants to have at that moment because he only understand the concept of immediate gratification. If you ask a child to share something that they have with someone else, their understanding and thought process is that this item belongs to me and I am not willing to share it you. When a man, a husband or a father has a mentality like a child, his children will suffer from his mindset and him having poor parenting skills. In Proverbs 23:7, the word of God says that “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”.
Without love you are nothing
Another reason why it is time for men to man up in their lives is that the relationships that they have with their love ones could become hollow without real love. If our focus is about giving our love ones stuff more than giving ourselves what we give them will only last for that moment and will be replaced by something else. However, when we give ourselves by showing our love to our family, the memories that we make together will last longer and will passed onto our next generation. A man who can speak with the tongues of men and angels but if he does not have love, the substance of his words are nothing but irritating noise. As men we can be gifted with divine revelation, understand the deepest mysteries and have a wealth of knowledge, but it we do not reach out to others in love all we have amounts to nothing. You can be a man who has strong convictions about your faith and your principles about what you believe manhood is about, however, if your convictions are not grounded in the love, it will benefit no one. If a man fails to have the love of God in his life, he can be generous giver and sacrifice himself for others for a worthy cause but the testimony that he will leave will not please the Lord (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
There are three important reasons why a man must allow the love of God to help him to man up in being a man of God. The first reason why he must man up is because he understands that loving the Lord is the number one priority in his life (Matthew 22:38-40). The second reason why a man must man up is because he believes and knows in his heart that he is loved by God. In 1 John 3:1, the word of God says “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed us”. Finally, a third reason why a man must man up is because he must be willing to love others with the same love that the Holy Spirit has poured into his heart (Romans 5:8). A man who has the spirit of God on the inside him understands that loving people takes patience because there have been others who have been patient in loving him. He chooses to man up because he is not arrogant, he is not easily angered by someone and remains steadfast in his faith in God during difficult times in his life (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
When I became a man
When does a boy become a man? Do he become a man at age eighteen, twenty-one or some other age later in life? Does a boy become a man when he has had his first beer or smoked his first joint? Does a boy become a man when he has gone on his my first date or had sex with a woman for the first time? The answers to these questions are all no because when a young male experiences these things it still does not make him a man. When I drank alcohol for the first time it did not make me a man, it only gave me a hangover. When I smoke my first cigarette and my first joint, it did not make into a man, it only cause me to choke and left a bad taste my mouth. When I had sex for the first time, I had no clue what it mean how to love a woman leaving us both heart broken. However, according to the Apostle Paul the evidence of a male becoming a man is when he has decided to by “putting away childish things”.
In Matthew 18:3, Jesus said “except a man is willing to humble himself like a little child, he will not be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven”. The message that Jesus was stating here in this verse was the Lord was not calling us to act childish but to have a childlike heart. A child who has a childlike heart is one that is willing trust their parent or guardian who is responsible for their well-being. Our Heavenly Father is the one that we trust by having a childlike heart because He is responsible for our total well-being. When a man has decided to put away childish things, he has said to himself that I will not carry myself as immature child. I will not be insensitive to the feeling of others who I may have hurt by what I said and apologize and make things right between us. The question that I have for you today my brother what are the childish things in your life? Are you willing to put them away and have a childlike heart that will trust the Lord and acknowledges him in all your ways? A man who is willing to man up will put away childish things, which are the temptations of his youth and live as a man who is dependable, trustworthy and as a man of integrity.