Being a baby boomer, I’m a sucker for John Wayne movies.
The other night I couldn’t sleep. So I watched TV hoping that would make me drowsy.
While channel surfing I came across a classic Wayne flick, The Red River. I only caught the end.
In my day, John Wayne was the standard “Man’s Man.” He usually played the good guy. Good but tough. Virtuous but violent.
The scene was of Wayne hurrying toward a fight. It was classic. His gait was urgent and nothing was going to stop him. When a gun was drawn, he reacted with force. In the process, he got shot.
But being grazed by a bullet did not slow him down. He was determined to fight and fight he did.
In the end, the good guy won. A familiar ending to us who enjoy John Wayne films.
I know it’s a movie. An old one at that. Today, Wayne’s character doesn’t fit the standard of the “modern man” portrayal (like Will Farrell or any male character of the Big Bang Theory). But to me it represents what a real man should be. Good but tough and ready to fight.
Today men are portrayed as punching bags. Turn on the TV or go to a movie and you will routinely see a guy getting his butt kicked by a woman. Reality? I think not. Just an effort to redefine what a man is. Weak and submissive. Not at all what we were created to be.
We were created to be strong; we were created with purpose.
How Man Was Made…
When Red River concluded, I continued surfing. I came across The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the classic C S Lewis story. An allegory of Christ and The Cross.
This movie introduces the character Aslan, a Lion who represents Christ. He is described as untamed and on the loose. When the young girl, Lucy, asks if this Lion is safe, the response is, “…course he isn’t safe, but he’s good. ”
When fighting with the evil White Witch (representing Satan), Aslan did not play the gentleman, he went for the jugular.
Not a common description of Jesus I know. Jesus is meek and soft spoken, not untamed and unsafe. He is portrayed as good yet gentle, not one prone to get into a scrap.
Yet Jesus said in Matthew 11:12, “ from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence, and the violent men take it by force.”
Jesus is God, but He also was a Man, a Real Man, a Mighty Man. He went down into the bowels of Hell and went for the jugular. He defeated Satan in a rout. He is Mighty not just meek.
When there is a fight to be fought, when good squares off against evil, Jesus shows up.
If men were made in the image of God, and Jesus is the firstborn of many brethren (Romans 8:29), then we were born to be Mighty.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating physical violence and I agree that meekness in Spirit is an admirable trait.
But I am encouraging men to be strong. To pick up the mantle, “Mighty Man of God.” To be willing to fight for what’s good, for what’s right.
To be Mighty for our family, for our church and for our community. To meet the enemy head on and fight.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary they have divine power to demolish strongholds.~(2 Corinthians 10:4 NIV)
What Do We Fight?
There is a scourge upon our land. We see it in the news everyday with Islamic terrorists waring to destroy our culture.
We see it in politics defining wrong as right and right as wrong.
We see an escalation of crimes that threaten our communities. Crimes that were unheard of 50 years ago: Human trafficking and the murder of children in our schools. Partial birth aborted fetuses picked about for the sale of body parts.
We see a government unwilling or unable to defeat this enemy. Sadly we see too many men unwilling or unavailable to take a stand and fight. Men in church or outside of it. Not enough to make a difference.
Mighty Man of Valor…
When Midian forces came to pillage their land, Israel had a similar problem with men unwilling to fight. So God called Gideon (Judges 7).
By his own account, Gideon was less than ordinary. But God saw in him a Mighty Man. A Man of Valor.
God called this man to organize and lead an army. He called this man to fight!
How Many Is Enough?
With 32,000 men, Gideon went out to fight the Midianites. Midian’s army appeared “thick as locusts” and their camels, “more than the sand on the sea shore.”
Gideon was outnumbered, so God decided to act. He told the men who were scared to go home. That reduced Gideon’s army to ten thousand.
But God was not finished. He separated the alert from those who were not. He kept the alert and sent the rest home. That reduced Gideon’s Army to three hundred. Three hundred against an immense force.
Yet with 300 Mighty Men, Gideon routed the enemy. He routed them without losing a man.
God is not impressed with numbers, God is impressed with Mighty! Courageous, Watchful Men who are willing to fight.
Call me old fashion, but I believe “real men” fight. Fight for our values. Fight for our principles and fight for what’s good. Real Men fight for family, faith and community.
I want to be mighty.
As Gideon, I find my strength in God. When I feel outnumbered and defeated I look to Jesus and align myself with courageous men who are alert and are ready for a fight.
I align myself at Church on Sunday and a small Men’s group at my house on Tuesday nights.
Men who are like minded in our faith and our commitment to fight for what is right. We encourage each other to be mighty.
I encourage all men to be mighty.
Thanks for reading,
How do you define a Mighty Man. A Man of Valor. Please respond with your thoughts.
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