I do not intend this blog to be political, but I could not resist writing about the “Pajama Boy.” During the showdown over Obamacare, a PAC put out an ad now known as “Pajama Boy.” “It showcased a young fellow in thick retro-rimmed glasses, wearing black-and-red plaid children’s pajamas, and sipping from a mug, with a sort of all-knowing expression on his face. The text urged: ‘Wear pajamas. Drink hot chocolate. Talk about getting health insurance. #GetTalking.'” I think the hash tag should have read GetWorking, young man, instead of GetTalking, which strikes me as adolescent.
How many men do you know, who sit around in their pajamas, drinking hot chocolate, while contemplating their health care? I see the image of a man who is no longer outer directed, taking the initiative to be responsible. The pajamas cry out, “Help me in my fragile condition.” This is the classic picture of a “feminized man.” He is hoping someone will take care of him so he can live a sheltered life. He is the “soft male” that Robert Bly described: “The male in the past twenty years has become more thoughtful, more gentle….He’s a nice boy who now not only pleases his mother but also the young woman he is living with….You often see these men with strong women who positively radiate energy….yet he himself has no energy to offer.”
It bothers me that a government ad would portray such a dependent, weak man, sitting around with “an all-knowing expression” hoping to be taken care of by someone else. He needs to get working. Work is what God gave Adam to do in the garden. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Gen 2:15). However with the fall, work was cursed (Gen. 3:17) and became toil, carried out “by the sweat of [man’s[ brow” (Gen. 3:19). But the curse of sin did not eliminate work as a God-ordained and vital part of life. God still commands people to work: “Six days you shall labor and do all our work” (Ex 20:9).
God himself is portrayed in scripture as a ceaseless worker. His first great work was the work of creation (Gen. 1). As one observer said, “The God of the Bible is preeminently a worker.” The concept of work found in Genesis I is that it is purposeful, creative and above all “good.” But it will also involve sweat, labor, often being unproductive and laden with a curse (Gen. 3:17). Each man reading this blog knows what it means to toil under the curse of the fall. But by the grace of God we work as good stewards, bringing glory our heavenly Father. We want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matt 25:21).
Jesus saw himself as a worker. He saw his public ministry as his assigned work. His food was “to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34). He said of himself, “”My Father is working still, and I am working” (John 5:17). On another occasion he said to his followers, “We must work the words of him who sent me” (John 9:4). Following Jesus, we get up and work.
Jesus warns us, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:27). Then he tells us, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29). In other words, the ultimate focus of our productivity has an eternal focus, with the intent of bringing glory to the Lord Jesus. We “do it” for Jesus.