How patience makes a man

In a recent conversation with James Lawrence from CPAS, we talked about the crisis of masculinity affecting western men. If the feminist movement was a reaction to male dominance, men now need to work out together what it is to be a man in today’s world. Men have very passively gone along without thinking for a very long time and it shows. The kidult phenomenon where grown men live like pubescent boys until well into their thirties, is alive and well in our nation. Men play computer games for hours each day, use pornography, chase girls, shirk responsibility, binge drink, get upset at the smallest provocation, drive fast, play loud music, entertain themselves, live for comfort and passion.

This quote from Thomas Watson is a brilliant insight to contemporary pop male culture and what needs to change. Patience in suffering makes a man:

The third suffering grace is patience. Patience is a grace made and cut out for suffering. Patience is a sweet submission to the will of God, whereby we are content to bear anything that he is pleased to lay upon us. Patience makes a Christian invincible. It is like the anvil that bears all strokes. We cannot be men without patience. Passion unmans a man. It puts him beside the use of reason. We cannot be martyrs without patience. Patience makes us endure (James 5: 10). …Patience overcomes by suffering. A Christian without patience is like a soldier without arms. Faith keeps the heart up from sinking. Patience keeps the heart down from murmuring. Patience is not provoked by injuries. It is sensible but not peevish. Patience looks to the end of sufferings.

This attitude to suffering must be put in the context of the gospel if men are to avoid a dour, melancholy suffering. The habit of patient, joyful suffering, of willingly laying our bodies on the line, dying to self, and living for Christ, happily loving and dying for our wives, our families, our churches, our communities and people in the scary cultures outside our own safe (evangelical) Christian cliques, only makes sense in light of the death of Christ, which J. Gresham Machen puts like this:

“It is a strange thing that when men talk about the love of God, they show by every word that they utter that they have no conception at all of the depths of God’s love.

“If you want to find an instance of true gratitude for the infinite grace of God, do not go to those who think of God’s love as something that cost nothing, but go rather to those who in agony of soul have faced the awful fact of the guilt of sin, and then have come to know with a trembling wonder that the miracle of all miracles has been accomplished, and that the eternal Son has died in their stead.”

About neilrobbie

I am a 6'6" formerly ginger Scot, in a cross cultural marriage to my lovely Londoner wife. We've lived in SE Asia and since 2005, I have served as an Anglican minister in Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
This entry was posted in Inner City Ministry, Transforming hatred of Sin and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to How patience makes a man

  1. versical says:

    A really powerful blog that sums up what men are all about.Really impressed.

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