Would William Wallace Drive A Minivan?

Just last week I was challenged to think of what it meant to be courageous.   The word courage evokes all kinds of emotion within a man.   When you say the word courage my mind begins to be flooded with images of Braveheart (William Wallace), The Gladiator, David fighting Goliath, or John Wayne saddling up to take on the bad guys.  There is a harsh reality that most men will never wield a sword and take on an enemy.   We will never fight in an arena with only our will to live keeping us from sure death.  We will never face a giant on the battlefield or even ride a horse for that matter.

Most of us are superheroes in our mind.

Most men, at some point in time in their life, dream up a thousand scenarios of the bad guy coming to hurt us or our family and we think of 27 ways were would disarm them and render them incapacitated.  With each news story about a mass shooting we play through our mind how we would have stopped it if we were there.  We think of ourselves as a combination of Jack Bauer with more of an Arnold (late 80’s Arnold) look.  We are the heroes of the day.   Then our daydream ends and we are back in our offices with our belly hanging over our belts or riding our zero point turn lawn mowers.  Reality hits that we have never been nor will most of us ever be the heroes in our minds.

Real courage is different than what we make up in our minds.

God made men with a desire to be courageous.  Men seem to be hard wired to want to kill something and drag it home.   From early on in the womb testosterone would singe the connections between the hemispheres of our brains.  This would allow us the gift and sometimes curse of being able to process a situation and take emotion out of the equation.   How can we use this desire within us to be courageous in the American suburban context?  What does courage look like for an American male today?

Courage is doing what is right even when it is not easy.  John Wayne would say, “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”

Courage is showing up.

It seems the most glaring absence in American culture today is the father.  In some neighborhoods you would have more luck searching for Elvis then you would finding a father who is fulfilling his duty.  Men have become little more than sperm donors.   One of the most courageous acts of a man is simply taking responsibility for himself and for his family and not leaving because life gets difficult.  So many young men have grown up in the video game culture and when things become difficult they can just start over.  When a child is conceived you are not allowed a “do over.”  A courageous man leans in, not out when life becomes more difficult.  One word that best describes a man is the word responsible.  Men do not run from responsibility, they run to it.   Courage means each day your get up and show up to work and do your best.  Courage means you go to your children’s recitals and ball games.  Courage means you get up and get ready for church each Sunday, even during hunting season.  Courage means you work hard and bring home a paycheck no matter how small it may be.  Our families become infinitely stronger when they know that daddy is not going anywhere.

Courage is unloading the dishwasher.

The man of yesteryear would go to work and come home to “June Clever” who would have dinner ready for him.  Dad would relax after his hard day at work.   June died!  She is gone!  In most homes women work just has hard as their husbands.  When a man gets off work he clocks in at home.  It is not time for him to prop his feet up, it is time for him to serve his family.   There is no work at home that is beneath the leader of the home.  It takes a courageous man to change diapers, fix dinner, help the kids with their homework, unload the dishwasher, pay bills, fold clothes, and have a good attitude while doing it.

Courage is leading your family in fractured world.

Children need their father to be their rock.   A father that leads the way God intended provides a safety to the home.   He teaches his children what is right and what is wrong.  He models service in the home.  He points his children each night to the light of the world.  He tells his children about Jesus.  He models his faith in his interactions with his neighbors and with those who do not like him.  A courageous man speaks words of encouragement to his wife each day, he listens to her, he lets her cry on his shoulder, and he makes sure he holds her hand often.

You may never lead an army into battle like William Wallace but when you live each day with the courage to be the man God has called you to be you will be the hero of your home!

Maybe if William Wallace were alive today he would proudly drive a minivan with stickers of his children on the back.



6 thoughts on “Would William Wallace Drive A Minivan?

  1. Hey, you know what would be REALLY courageous? Posting my comments instead of deleting them and/or leaving them in moderation forever. I know it sucks having your worldview challenged. And it probably sucks even more having to come to terms with the fact that a 16 year old girl like Malala Yousafzai is likely more courageous and William Wallace-y than you’ll ever be. I mean, talk about a blow to the male ego, right? We all know fragile it is.

    But seriously, deleting things just seems pretty cowardly. If you don’t like what I’ve said then tell me why, instead of censoring me. That’s what grown-ups do.

    1. Hey Sara, I appreciate your interaction with my blog. i even agree with you that the young girl you listed is very courageous. Perhaps you are correct and she is more courageous than me. You are also correct that the male ego is fragile (I guess men and women are different after all). I did not allow you comment not because of what you said but because of how you said it. It is my blog so if you don’t like what I write or disagree with my way of thinking that is fine, you do not have to read the blog. I actually like thoughtful interaction…but you seem to be a bomb thrower with anger issues. Sometimes it is not what you say but how you say it. I hope you have a great day.

  2. Anger issues? No, I don’t have anger issues. I tend to come across as sarcastic and snarky sometimes, and maybe people read that me being angry, but I’m not. I just have problems with hyper-patriarchal worldviews and that is what I see you as promoting. You like to say that men and women are different, and that might be true to varying degrees, but ALL men and ALL women not exactly the same either. There can be diversity and differences between members of the same sex, as well. And even though I’m female, I find that there are some men that I relate to and have more in common with than some women. We’re all humam beings at the end of the day, right? We’re all the same species. We’re not literally from different planets or anything and it is possible to understand each other. All it takes is communication. That’s why God gave us language.

    I have a problem with men thinking they know what’s best for women. I have a problem when men go individual articles of clothing and specify whether it’s okay for women to wear them or not. That’s not your call. Each individual woman should be the one in charge of how she dresses her body. If you want women to be covered up and never wear anything that might hint at the fact that they are female and have a female form then maybe you’d be more comfortable in certain places in the Middle East wear women are robed and veiled? Maybe they wouldn’t be such big stumbling blocks? Wait, nevermind. That’s probably not true. Because men in those cultures are still never satisfied. If they catch even a glimpse of an ankle they start to lust. It just never seems to end.

    As for the courage thing, I KNOW that I’m correct that that 16 year old girl is more courageous than you. She’s more courageous than me too. I’ve certainly never took on the Taliban. I live a pretty comfortable middle class existence. I don’t really live a brave day to day life. And neither do you. That’s the thing, we don’t all necessarily have to turn ever action we take into an act of bravery. Being there for your family, as I said, doesn’t take courage. It’s just called being a good person. It’s called being and adult. It doesn’t make you a hero. It just means you don’t suck.

    1. Sara, the problem with comments on blogs or any other article written by someone we do not know is that we judge their hearts and their intentions based on what they right. I am often sarcastic as well and this comes off as sharp and biting. Though it may not have come through in my writing I deeply care for women and men. From my perspective, I believe Jesus is God’s Son who died on the cross in order that I might be reconciled to God. I am a sinner with so many flaws and I will be the first to agree with you on most of them. Much of what I write is based on my understanding of what the Bible says about that best way to live life. I write mostly to a Christian audience and would not hold those who do not believe in Jesus nor submit to the Bible to practice what I am talking about nor even agree with me. My article on Yoga Pants was really written for the context of the local church and if I could re-write it I would probably leave out the last portion of it where I gave “helpful Suggestions.” I believe every person, man or woman, is responsible for their own lust however the article was written to address a problem that I have seen more and more in my local church context and not to society as a whole. It would probably be somewhat distracting if i preached to my congregation in a tight fitting shirt and yoga pants. It can also be distracting to men who are coming to worship and are drawn to look at things that are tight fitting and low cut. To say that by me saying that I am somehow promoting a “rape culture” or blaming women for men’s sin is just not helpful. I expect men and women to show preference to one another in worship. You can take anything to the extreme. Surely you would not think it would be culturally ok for all of us to walk around naked. To say I want women to wear Taliban like garb is like me saying that your line of thinking just wants women to walk around naked. I am asking for all of us to use a little common sense and decorum. I was simply asking women to be mindful of how what they wear affects others…men should do the same.

    1. You said nowhere in your post that you were talking specifically about what people wear to church. I understand that you are writing to a Christian audience, you are a pastor, after all. And I was linked to this post by a friend of mine who is a Christian (though she disagreed with what you’d written). But your post came off like you were talking about what women wore in their day to day life, not just during a church service on Sunday morning. I agree that church attire should meet a certain standard. I’ve not attended church in years but when I did we were all encouraged to wear our nicest clothes and present our best selves. I would never have worn yoga pants to church. Not necessarily because they would make men “stumble” but because they aren’t appropriate for the environment. Yoga pants are garments to be worn at the gym or when you’re out and about running errands and are too lazy to put on jeans (as I am often guilty of doing). But I still don’t see them as being “sexy.” They’re work-out clothes. Their intent is for doing things that are physically exerting like exercising and stretching. They’re also comfortable for that reason, which also explains why women wear them in public. People like comfortable clothes. Imagine that.

      Anyway, long story short. I agree that there are certain articles of clothing that are inappropriate for church or a more professional setting. But I see nothing wrong with yoga pants in general. Women don’t wear them to tempt men, they wear them for their own comfort. That’s not a sin.

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