A Conversation About Gender & Sexuality | Essence of A Man

WHAT HAPPENS TO A SPACE, TEAM, WK PLACE, RELATIONSHIP WHEN YOU’RE THERE? 

  • how we answer this question gets under the hood of our core belief is as a man.

  • Up to this point, where have you taken the question, what does it mean to be a man?

  • Socially - when a society doesn’t get what it means to be a man right, things break down.

  • Men lust, but they know what for: They fight and compete, but they forget the prize...they chase power and glory, but they miss the meaning of life. George Gilder

II. CORE PROBLEM: WE’RE A CULTURE OF BOYS WHO DON’T KNOW HOW TO BECOME MEN

III. ORIGIN 

  • Good for us to start at the origin and work forward for vision. For restoration we reverse engineer

  • “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” - Genesis 1:27 NLT

    • ZAKAR - to leave a mark, to make an impact

    • ARSEN - to lift or carry on. Strength needed to move something from one place to another

    • In ancient near East culture, the word referred to a king’s assistant, to a man charged with the important privilege of reminding the king of matters that required his royal attention. Zakar came to mean someone who remembers something important and move him to do something important. - (Larry Crab, Fully Alive)

    • A MAN REFLECTS GOD TO THE WORLD BY REMEMBERING WHAT’S IMPORTANT AND MOVING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

IV. WE ARE UNINITIATED

    • Sparta 800 B.C.—At age seven, boys left their families to participate in boarding schools where both their strength and their resolve was tested.

    • In Iron John, Robert Bly reminds us, “… The traditional ways of raising sons, which lasted for thousands and thousands of years, amounted to fathers and sons living in close—murderously close—proximity, while the father taught the son a trade; perhaps farming or carpentry or blacksmithing or tailoring…”

    • Masai Tribe: The first boy’s initiation among the Maasai tribe in the Republic of Kenya is known as Enkipaata (pre-circumcision ceremony). “[Initiation] is organized by fathers…when the senior warriors are settled. A delegation of boys, aged 14 to 16 years of age, would travel across their section of land for about four months…The boys are accompanied by a group of elders spearheading the formation of a new age-set…The boys across the region will be united and initiated…The day before the ceremony, boys must sleep outside in the forest…Once the boys become warriors they resume responsibility of security for their territory.

  • What is our initiation process today? It seems to be it’s go off to college, get a degree, and jump into work. It seems to me this lacks many requirements to form a man’s soul.

  • College and sports, if done right can teach: responsibility, hard work, time management, vision, teamwork... if done right. It all depends on our vision/goal.

  • Still falls shorts when you add in relationship and romance.

  • How do you fight for the hearts of those around you?

  • Today young men try to self-initiate by pushing themselves to the edges and into risk in various ways. The instinct for initiation is still there in young men; but usually not the wisdom nor the guidance to go the full cycle and understand the message. - ( Richard Rohr, Adam’s Return)

V. WHAT WE MUST DO 

  • INITIATION PRODUCES RESPONSIBILITY - WE REMEMBER WHAT’S IMPORTANT AND MOVE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

  • Uninitiated men conquer. Initiated men fight for hearts.

VI. WRESTLE WITH THESE QUESTIONS 

1. What is God like?

    • Walter Bruggemann came to the conclusion that “God is wild, dangerous, unfettered and free.” Tozer took it even deeper, suggesting that “God is a person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, desires and suffers as any other person may.”

    • What is God really like? What is His nature, personality, quality, and Way?

2. What is the story in which I find myself?

    • G. K. Chesterton said, “We live in narrative, we live in story. Existence has a story shape to it. We have a beginning and and end, we have plot and characters…”

    • What is that Story, the nature of Reality?

3. Who am I?

    • Chesterton also said that “we are all under the same mental calamity; we have all forgotten our names. We have forgotten what we truly are.”

    • What does it mean to be made in the image of God, as a man?

    • How do I uniquely bear the image of God?

    • It is only by wrestling with this deeply soulful question that we will become who we were born to be.

4. What is my frontier?

    • Howard Macey offers the idea that “the spiritual life cannot be made suburban, it is always frontier. Those who choose to live in it must not only accept it, but even rejoice that it remain untamed.”

    • If we are being made ready to be entrusted with God’s Kingdom to rule for all of eternity, what preparation and training has He appointed for this season and this story?

    • What is this personal soul-forging edge of my journey toward integration and union with God?

How will you respond to the Father’s invitation to the boy within your own soul to be led by Him through the initiation process of your masculine soul?

What 3 Virtues would you love to be true if you in your 20’s? 

Walk humbly with God - who you are matters 

Love loyally - who you love and are loved matters

Do justice - what you do and why you do it matters. 

RESOURCES

  • A beautiful Design sermon series by Village Church

  • Flatirons Church

  • Fully Alive by Dr. Larry Crabb

  • Fathered by God

  • Pure desire

Laura Furman