Donald Miller says a real man is “a person with a penis.”
I kind of like that definition. It’s really a breath of fresh air.
I’m really sick of hearing all the stuff about what a real man is. I’m tired of the sermons. I’m tired of the books. I’m tired of the Bible studies. I’m tired of barrel-chested Seattle pastors telling me I’m not a man if I’m not my family’s provider. I’m tired of gentle people with hostile theology telling me I’m not a man because I submit to my wife as she does to me.
For a long time, I tried to conform. I read all the books, joined the study groups, tuned out the “worldly” and “liberal” Baylor professors. I superimposed the “Eldridgeman” (think Wild at Heart) over my slight frame and introverted personality. I finally gave up, exhausted and disillusioned, thinking I was a failure.
Until I discovered the truth behind Miller’s intentionally shocking and humorous explanation.
A real man is a person with a penis. A real man is a person who is male. I’m a real man by that qualification alone.
I don’t think there’s any such thing as a “biblical” man. Some of you may throw Pauline prooftexts my way and expect me to cave, but if we read those in context, Paul is breaking down those divisions. Yes, men and women are different. We’re different physically and we’re different because we’ve been raised to be different, but our calling is one and the same. There’s no biblical distinction.
The highest calling of a man is to know God and to follow Christ wholeheartedly.
The highest calling of a woman is to know God and to follow Christ wholeheartedly.
That’s it. There’s no such thing as biblical manhood or womanhood. There’s only biblical personhood, in which calling and gifting are the determining factors, not genitalia.
Men and women, be freed by this message. Stop trying to conform. Just give it up. It’s tiring and damn near impossible. Start adhering to the biblical pattern of personhood, instead.