As usual, it seems I am thinking a bit outside the box.
I am quietly watching the Trump crude comments/hypocritical pseudo liberal outrage/comparison to Bill Clinton’s abhorrent and predatory behavior through the years, and as I do my mind is turned completely away from politics and on to what I view as a much more pressing societal issue. I am thinking of the mentality being verbally expressed that “men will be men.”
You could fill in the blank on either side of that “will be” with so many things that people often say: boys will be boys, girls will be girls, kids will be kids, etc.
I understand what people mean in the political context when they are currently saying that. They mean well, and many are great people, I am convinced of that. And I am not at all trying to slight anyone or hurt any feelings. Nor does anything that I am about to say have anything to do with whether or not a person should still support/vote for/withdraw support/not vote for Donald Trump. Again, this is not a political column.
Men will be men. That statement is an implied universal absolute. It is an indication that all men are lewd and somewhat debauched and at some point will behave accordingly. It is also a statement that gives men license to do so. If men will be men, then there really is no need to behave otherwise. “Men will be men” therefore becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It actually helps men to behave badly since they are basically given a free pass for it. It is in their DNA, how can they do otherwise?
So let me say it. Not all “men will be men.” Men do not have to behave badly, and many choose not to do so. Men can be saved, men can be filled with the Holy Spirit, men can obey the command of Romans 13:14 to not make any provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof.
Little boys ought to be taught early that they have a responsibility and the ability to do right, and that they will be expected to do so.
There are some men out there who are base and boorish. There are also some men out there who are godly, kind, and classy. There are men who will make lewd comments when they think that they are speaking in private. There are also men who would never dream of making lewd comments even when they are speaking in private.
All men have a sin nature, yes. All men will have to fight and struggle against lust. It is for that reason that the biblical command for a woman to be dressed in modest apparel is as much a benefit to men as it is to women. But though all men have a sin nature and will have to fight and struggle against lust, some men actually place a priority on winning that fight and struggle.
Some men will fornicate with interns in the Oval Office, leaving a stained dress as a legacy. Some men will maintain proper boundaries and professionalism no matter where their office is. Some men will pursue married women and be vulgar in their conversations and be forced to apologize 11 years later. Some men will emulate Joseph and run from all such temptation. Some men will use high offices as a means of coercion to sexually assault many women, leaving their wives to cover for them. Some men keep themselves only to their wives, producing happy wives who never have anything to cover for.
What I am saying is, not all men settle for being “men.” Some are not satisfied unless they can be decent, classy men. Sir, whoever you are, be a decent, classy man. 1 Samuel 9:6 says, “And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man…”
That should not just be able to be said of a man of God in the sense of a man who is in the ministry; it ought to be able to be said of every man who claims to be a follower of Christ.
Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, N.C., a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. Dr. Wagner can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.