Alpha Man vs Godly Man
If you didn’t know, I work part-time as a freelance Audio Engineer. I’ve been doing various audio engineering and production work since 2007. I have my own small home studio where I do recording, mixing, and mastering for musicians and businesses.
One area that I’ve found a niche as a freelancer is doing audio editing, compiling, and mastering for podcasts. I’ve had over a dozen different podcast developers come and go over the past year. There was this one guy who hired me to do the audio production on his podcast called the Alpha Man Project… yeah.
This guy was something else. His podcast focused on three key areas of being a “manly man”, promulgating the idea that these three things are what it takes to become an Alpha Man: 1) being successful in your career by making lots of money, 2) being in top physical fitness with big muscles and six-pack abs, and 3) picking up lots of women and having lots of sex. Through his podcast, this guy primarily focused on these three issues and preached a narcissistic message of “manliness” through this disgusting secular lens.
After doing a few of these podcasts for my client, my conscience wouldn’t allow me to continue. As I listened through hours of content on how to pick up women, getting big in the gym, getting laid more, and promoting the idea that wealth and success is the key to happiness, it just made me sick. What a man…
While of course this absolutely disgusted me to the point of quitting the project, it did make me think about what it really means to be a man from a Christian perspective.
Of course there are many “Christian” words that could be used to describe a godly man: loving, kind, patient, faithful (all fruit of the spirit, really), humble, prayerful… looking at Proverbs, we could say wise, honest, just, hard working… and plenty more.
While all of these are great and true, I’m going to throw out some less straightforward characteristics of being a godly man that have come to my heart.
Standing up for the rights and needs of others is at the heart of Scripture. In the Old Testament, God rejects the sacrifices of animals and demands His people to take care of the widows and the orphans – those who can’t take care of themselves. The Son of God was incarnate into humanity to bring freedom for the captives of sin and justice for those oppressed by others. A godly man upholds this role in his community, standing by his convictions to be an advocate for truth, freedom, and justice through the love of Christ.
Men (and women for that matter) were made in the image of God, the Creator, the greatest designer, artist, visionary of all. David was a songwriter and poet; Noah became quite a shipbuilder; Jesus was a carpenter; Paul was a tentmaker. There is rich history of godly men being creative and active with their hands – creating and making things for both practical use and for expressing beauty and emotion. While our society tells us that being emotional and artistic can be unmanly, a godly man embraces the talents and gifts he has been given to glorify God through sharing in His creativity. It is just as manly to write a poem as it is to build a work bench. It is manly to play the flute or sing in a choir, to paint a portrait or to paint a house, to grow a garden, to photograph nature. It is just as manly to express oneself through art as it is to build something with power tools.
Courage doesn’t mean having no fears; courage is being honest toward your fears and to act in spite of them. Abraham was afraid to leave Ur and travel to an unknown land, but he had faith and moved anyway. Moses was afraid to confront Pharaoh, but he went and freed God’s people anyway. David was afraid to fight Goliath, but he went and killed him anyway. Even Jesus, in His humanity, was afraid for his own suffering and crucifixion (Luke 22:42-44), but He died for our sins anyway, thanks be to God! A godly man doesn’t reject his fears, but acknowledges them with courage and refuses to let them hinder him from action. A godly man overcomes his fears with the courage and peace of the Holy Spirit.
Contrary to John Eldredge’s “Wild at Heart”, I don’t think every man needs a battle to fight. Sure we all have causes we believe in and stand up for those who are oppressed, as I mentioned under advocate. But Jesus himself taught us “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Being manly doesn’t mean being strong enough to out-fight an enemy, but being wise enough to make peace with an enemy. Knowing how to make peace in an explosive situation and to bring calm to a storm is definitely a manly attribute.
In all of this, Lord help me to be a more godly man myself.
About the Author
Kevin Cook is a 4th year student at Asbury Theological Seminary and an Aspirant for Ordination in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). After graduating, Kevin hopes to plant a contemporary three-streams Anglican Church. He and his wife Nicole attend Wilmore Anglican Church in Kentucky.
Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Business Administration from Florida State University. Kevin enjoys playing music and leading worship, reading fiction and spiritual classics, drinking coffee, and spending time with family and friends.
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