Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.
“Back in the day, when I was young, I’m not a kid anymore, but some days I wish I were a kid again.”–from the song Back In The Day, 1994.
I’ll paraphrase Paul here: “When I was a child, I acted like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
You’d think that Paul had just been following up on an impassioned plea for men to “act like men.” But he wasn’t. Instead, he wrote it after something you’d expect to find on greeting cards:
Love is patient and kind… Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
Growing into Godly Men
“Love” in our culture is like WD-40. We spray it on everything: I love burgers; I love my football team; I love my wife. Hopefully, our love for our wives means more than our love for cooked cows or grown men tackling each other. This uncommon guy shows a time when he grew out of immature, boyish love and embraced a more mature, and dare we say manly love. If we’re going to love our wives as we ought, we have to let the boy die.
Check out the comparisons below:
- Boys retaliate when hurt; manly love is patient and kind.
- Boys require constant affirmation; manly love is not arrogant or rude.
- Boys stew, stammer, and hold grudges when they don’t get their way; manly love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable.
- Boys try to win every argument; manly love does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
- Boys have a short fuse; manly love bears all things.
- Boys write people off when wronged; manly love believes God’s best for the relationship.
- Boys lose hope after they’re hurt; manly love always hopes for reconciliation, regardless of the pain.
- Boys expect to be served; manly love endures all things.
Embracing Growth and Transformation
So how do we grow from that boy to the Godly man we want to be? First, we should open ourselves to God’s will and allow Him to teach us. Will there be some pruning? Hurt ego? Changes to be made? Yes, and then some. The Bible states in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 that “for everything there is a season…” but the word “season” shows a beginning and an end. Are you hanging on to a season of life that needs to end or change? For our own growth, we need to be open to the seasons of life because they come and go, no matter our feelings.
Interestingly, people on the outside can usually see we need to change long before we do. We justify what we want, say, and do; no matter the season. We want what we want. But for the good of all, sometimes growth has to come.
Serve tangibly (i.e., put the toilet seat down, offer to take the kids when you are tired, make the bed with all the throw pillows placed perfectly, etc.)
What’s one way to let the boy in you die this week?
Endure a minor offense?
Reflect on criticism rather than retaliate?
I challenge us to pray to God and ask Him to show us where we need to grow. To close some doors and open others so we may continue to grow into the Godly man we were always meant to be. Remember, You Are Uncommen!