Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Northwest Indiana

Page 32



As we look out on the scene of our American cultural landscape, we can see a vast array of needs; a troubled education system, rampant poverty, a OLHS[O JHYL Z`Z[LT PU KPZHYYH` H Ă„UHUcial recession, a government that is PULMĂ„JPLU[ HUK VM[LU PULMMLJ[P]L OPNO crime rates, and weak families. And ^OPSL LHJO VM [OLZL PZ H ZPNUPĂ„JHU[ issue, I want to suggest that each and every one is a symptom of a larger problem.

There are many culprits in this tragedy, but the purpose of this essay isn’t to WVPU[ ÄUNLYZ 0 HT UV[ PU[LYLZ[LK PU [OL culprits, but rather in the solution.

And this problem might not be what you think it is. It’s not something that gets a great deal of attention. But it is at the center of most, if not all, of our cultural and national problems. Plainly and simply, it’s the American male.

5Xabc P CadT <P] 8b ATb_^]bXQ[T

6]LY [OL WHZ[ JLU[\Y` HUK H OHSM [OL understanding of true manhood in our J\S[\YL OHZ ILLU ZV KPZĂ„N\YLK [OH[ it is almost impossible for any two people to agree on what a man truly is or should be. This is a tragedy of epic proportions, and it has resulted in many of the serious problems that challenge our country today. ' } BX]V[T ?PaT]cX]V

And the solution is given to us clearly in Scripture. For thousands of years, [OL )PISL OHZ WSHPUS` KLĂ„ULK MVY \Z what a man truly is. While there are numerous descriptors we could use to characterize a male, I will simply lay out three.

0U [OL Ă„YZ[ [^V JOHW[LYZ VM [OL ]LY` Ă„YZ[ IVVR VM [OL )PISL .VK JYLH[LZ [OL Ă„YZ[ THU (KHT HUK NP]LZ OPT H job to do—rule over and steward the earth. Adam’s task is to care for God’s creation and manage it effectively. God then creates Eve, and gives Adam the responsibility of caring for her. And he tells Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiplyâ€?—in other words, to have, and care for, a family. The bottom line—and we see this over and V]LY PU [OL )PISL¡PZ [OH[ H ZPNUPĂ„JHU[ part of being a man means being responsible to care for what God has entrusted to us.

This is a far cry from what we see in most men in our culture today. Many modern-American men display an incredible lack of responsibility to care for what God has entrusted to them. Whether it is time, talents, family, or role in the community, we men often shirk our responsibilities. And yet, this is perhaps what our culture needs most. We need men, young and old, to stand up and take responsibility for their actions, to take responsibility for their families, and to take responsibility to be a positive force in their communities.

BTR^]S P CadT <P] 8b Bca^]V By strong, I do not mean “bodybuilderâ€? strong. In fact, this kind of strength has nothing to do with physical prowess. Rather, I’m talking about mental, emotional, and spiritual strength. I’m referring to the kind of strength that can navigate the obstacles that come when we attempt to M\SĂ„SS V\Y YLZWVUZPIPSP[PLZ 0 HT [HSRPUN about the strength that can stand up and say no to wrong and say yes to right. The strength of true manhood is the strength of integrity, the strength to