Our Lord is in the redemption business. That’s why He came, and taught, and died, and rose again. The most annoying soy-boys have a place in the Kingdom. The question is not how you identify and run them off; the question is how do you redeem them.
I have had that article open in my tabs since I read it, a practice that I regularly do when there is a topic that I want to discuss but that I need some time to chew it over in my subconscious. Let me state for the record that I agree with much that is in that article; Vox’s classification of male personality types is useful when applied judiciously, but instead it has morphed into being a supposed truth in of itself.
When I look at Jesus’ disciples I struggle to find one of them who would live up to the top categories that today so many men delude themselves into believing that they themselves embody.
For the record, I myself am none of those traits, and yet I suppose that I am all of them at different times and at different moments of sin and weakness. As a manager in a masculine industry I have mentored many men both young and middle aged over the last few years. With the struggles of men to make something of themselves and rise above the prevailing paradigm, there are two major obstacles that I think are critical, and both of them are interrelated.
The first is the curse of instant gratification. We live in such a society, a society that is purposefully sold in this manner so as to keep us enslaved, both materially and spiritually. We want the newest toy now and so we put ourselves in material debt to get it. But we also want to change ourselves immediately, and when this invariably does not materialise in the way that we desire, then we sabotage our few pitiful efforts.
Change, worthwhile change, takes time. Your personality habits, the manner in which you react to the people and events around you, are ingrained within your psyche for every day that you have been alive. You’re not going to turn around that ship on a dime. But that is what people expect and anything less sees them reverting back to previous behaviors or giving up and going all in on the ‘black pill’ as the jargon is currently known.
I have spent almost my entire adult life attempting to change myself from undesirable habits. I wrote a book about it which was quite successful. And yet when I look back at my efforts I can objectively see that they were rather pitiful. And the reason for this is tied into the second obstacle which obstructs every man that I have dealt with.
They are trying to do it without God.
If you want to rise above the traps of this world, if you don’t want to play their game by their rules but you still want to have the goodies of a marriage and family, then you need to play by His rules. And God’s rules are simple and straightforward, but when coupled with the personality and spiritual shallowness of the average man today, their simplicity quickly becomes complex.
That was my original problem. I was trying to do it without God. And even though I had some successes, it was a shallow wasteland compared to the real potential that was available to me if I cared to look. Almost thirty years wasted on my part. But all that changed when my ex-wife walked out on me, an act that revealed the falseness of my own position, an act that exposed my existence as a hollow man. A man who lived for the world. A man who sought approval through various trophies, such as my ex-wife.
So now I had to really change or die. And there was only one thing that I hadn’t tried, nay, that I had actively resisted for all that time. And that was trusting in Him and learning how to act and pray in such a manner. And within His rules and boundaries, of which at the time I was mostly unaware.
It’s been four years and in that time I have achieved extraordinary things in my spiritual and personal growth. I am not the same man by a long shot, and yet I am still me. It has also been four years of celibacy, no women in this time. How could I possibly attract a Godly woman when I myself am not Godly? Which ties into the obstacle of instant gratification. We must have patience, we must have hope that God will help us, and we must have faith that in the end what He desires is best for us.
Not what we desire; what He desires. Would I like a Godly wife and children? The answer is yes and I have prayed to God for such and for the correct bearing on my part to act in a manner which will bring this about. Does He desire this for me? I will know soon enough, and soon as regards to His timeline, not my own.
What I do not enter into is the sin of despair. Of railing against the state of things that I cannot change. And I do not attempt to bargain with God. I pray on a daily basis because it is pleasing to Him and because it is the best way for me to grow in a spiritual sense. I don’t pray just to try and get something. We can’t be infantile here. We have to grow up.
Some men that I know have patience and do not fall for the trap of instant gratification. Almost no men that I know have turned to God. It shows in their lack of results, in their confusion and in their frustrations. We are the end result of our failure to act. And in the end, we must act so as to better ourselves and please Him, not in order to just get something, a goody off the table.
Our redemption is in His hands, which means that it is in our hands. You have the power but you have to ask for it. And you need to ask for the patience and wisdom to see it through. Every day I try and do it just a little bit better. At the end of every day I reflect on where I fell down and on where I rose to the challenge. As I said, the difference in myself from just a few short years ago is extraordinary. But I must be humble in my acknowledgement of this, as without His blessing and guidance I would be nowhere or worse.
Do not seek your own redemption in the lives of other men or the comforting arms of women. Look to God and have patience with His progress for you. We are all here to sing His song but on our own individual journey. I am extremely fortunate in that He woke me up, that He chose me. Based on my past behavior I do not deserve anything more than this. But I still have hope.