Recently I came across an address given by U.S. Senator Josh Hawley.  I do not intend this blog to be a partisan plug for the Senator. But I must say I was thrilled and energized by what he had to say about young men. When I find a “truth-teller” cutting through all the distorted fog of our time, I rejoice. All truth is God’s truth when it lines up with the truths of scripture. I praise God for the courage of this one senator to stand up for the young men in our culture.  His focus was “the deconstruction of men.” 

He asked, “How are we going to raise up good men today?”  His reply, “We can start by repudiating the lie that America is a systemically oppressive nation and that men are systemically responsible.” He challenged his audience to consider virtues that men have traditionally embraced.  “To keep a republic, you have to be willing to fight for it,” observes the Senator, while adding, “To preserve liberty, you have to discipline your passions and sacrifice in the service of others.”  “Assertiveness and independence,” he maintains, “are strengths when used to protect and empower others.”

Hawley declared, “…We must seek a revival of strong and healthy manhood in America.  We need men who will shoulder responsibility, men who will start and provide for families, men who will enter the covenant of marriage and then honor it… We need men to raise up sons and daughters after them, to pass on the great truths of our culture and history, to defend liberty, to share in the work of self-government.”

He gave a challenge to the men present: “You are a tremendous force for good. Your nation needs you. The world needs you.” He gave this encouragement: “Your strength can liberate others. Your power can serve those in need. Your creativity can light new paths. Your courage can defend the weak. Your faithfulness can raise up sons and daughters after you and make their way straight. You can make this a more perfect nation.” 

Wow! I felt like one of guys on the team, before the big game, being exhorted by the coach to believe we can actually go out and win.  The coach (senator) believes in me.  He believes as a team we can make a difference.  I need to hear that kind of message from someone in public office.  For me, it reaches into my male soul (at 80 years), motivating me to want to still make a difference.

So, I exhort you as a voice crying out in the wilderness: God is not through with you yet. Rise up as a man.  Don’t believe the voices telling you that you are the problem because you are a man. There are manly virtues such as courage, truth, orientation, assertiveness, independence, direction, and responsibility that have traditionally been considered male virtues.

Maybe God is speaking right now to some men out there. You are at a crossroads. You feel beaten down by the message of “toxic masculinity.” You don’t see a way out.  But trust me.  God is putting his hand on men who have been crying out for direction.  Jesus is calling men who want to make a difference – men who know there is more.  They are willing to pay the price in an anti-Christian climate.

I like the way the Message puts it: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat: I am.  Don’t run from suffering: embrace it.  Follow me and I’ll show you how” (Matt. 16:24).