Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Men in the making


The above expression is the title of a book I recently read. It reminded me of the evident confusion which exists in our culture as to how to define manliness. What does it mean to be a real, authentic man in our society.

This is especially true of those men who claim Christ as their example. It is easy to question whether Christ, in His teachings and actions exhibited the characteristics we generally associate with the male identity. One could say that Jesus was truly in touch with His female side, as the common expression goes. Was Jesus an authentic man and therefore the rightful example of true, on the earth manliness, or the purveyor of something for another time and place, heaven perhaps?

The book I alluded to above is a compendium of stories about men in the midst of emotional turmoil, dealing with real life issues which challenge the stoic, reserved, self reliant model of manliness which our culture inculcates. It begs the question: How should a man react to traumatic loss and agonizing pain?  It does not necessarily answer that question but vividly illustrates what actually goes on in many male minds as they deal with this question countless times in their individual lives. Am I a real man or not- a man or a mouse as the saying goes.

If "Men in the Making" does anything at all, it suggests the idea that becoming a true man is a life's process. A part of that process just may be the unmaking of old stereotypes and the reconstruction of our concept of the male of our species. If Jesus does not serve as the example for that unmaking and rework, then He is hardly the Savior of the male half of the world.