Man Up

Something tells me I’m in good company when I look around at the male race, shake my head and can’t help but think; this is what I’m expected to reproduce with, seriously?

My generation appears to end up in one of two lanes. One path to take at the fork in the road is eternal boyhood; a man who’s grown in age but hardly at all in maturity. The other type is a manly masquerade he plays the part but has no heart. Some men don’t even have the blessing of a beard to win them points. (This has nothing to do with anything but if I could grow a full beard I so would. I would grow it out, and then I’d trim it and keep it sharp. I might even dye it or stick little flowers in it and take selfies of me and my beard bouquet…I’ve put an unfortunate amount of thought into growing a beard.) Things get crazy in your head if you let it. When your mind is a circus remember you’re the Ringleader.

Men these days show up in one of two ways: kind, lovely, and good company. They have established beliefs that they’re proud of. However, their responsibility in life is questionable at best, which is why they lack the motivation to build a life of their own. Then there’s the opposing brand, those who have one side of the coin polished to a shine. They hold a job and make a living even if they’re unsure of which career path to take they know how to care for themselves. For the most part, these men conduct themselves as if they know what they’re doing. They look great on paper. Then you talk to them long enough and realize all the good stuff is only on the surface. Where’s the heart? Yeah, you have a job and a place, but where’s your integrity? That’s like spending years designing a home, planning the landscape, knowing where every brick is going to go and then forgetting to buy furniture. It’s an impressive presentation but no one can use it.

Just to clarify this isn’t and I-hate-men rant. These types of guys aren’t bad, not at all. Every man and every woman is a work in progress, as it says in Philippians 1:6. Whether you like the song or not, 22 is about being “happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.” Particularly when you’re in your 20’s because it’s well out of the teen years when you’re allowed to be crazy and clueless, and not even close to your 30’s where you’re expected to be established. The 20’s are when anything can happen, it just seems like this shouldn’t. Guys that are one or the other. Either he’s a man with a presentable exterior that has the depth of a puddle, or he’s someone who’s all heart and not much more. Values and morals sure, which amazing and rare in 2015, but what about safety and security? What about life skills? If only the ‘or’ was an ‘and’ instead.

Am I biased? Am I the type of woman for not a one-sided guy but a well-rounded man? If not already, I’m well on my way. That’s the core of it I think, just try. Put the effort in. Be what you want. Don’t avoid buying a car, save up and do it because you know you have to get around. Carry yourself well, look people in the eye. Be polite just to be polite. Don’t use kindness to get something from others. Dress nice develop your style, not for an audience but for yourself because when you look good you feel good. Lastly, don’t invest everything into what’s on the surface. How’s your heart? Honestly, as a man, are you proud of who you see in the mirror? Ask yourself again at 3AM and you’ll know for sure. Men were created to lead so if they don’t know God, they don’t know love, and that means future wives and future families are going to be lost. Man up. Real men love Jesus. If that strikes a nerve it might be worth finding out why. Find your faith and stick to it. I for one will not be choosing between two incomplete pictures. When your vision is 3D you don’t settle for two-dimensional.

The men that are needed most are the men who bridge the gap, the men that value God as much as responsibility, and focus as much as family. Until I come across the best of both worlds, I’m keeping myself on reserve, in the darkroom, soaking in the developer. When you know what you bring to the table, there is nothing bothersome about eating alone.

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