Imagine for a moment that you’re a little boy again. You’re still young enough that you haven’t forgotten how to dream about what you want to be when you grow up. What was it that you dreamed of being?
Perhaps you wanted to be a superhero. You’d wear a uniform that may have looked a lot like a fireman or policeman, or maybe even a soldier. But what you were really doing was saving people from bad guys or other bad things that might happen to them. You’d come along at the last possible moment and rescue them – and be a hero!
Or, perhaps you wanted to be a king. Maybe not a real king, but you’d be in charge. You’d tell other people what to do, and they would look up to you. You would make sure things got done right, and people would have to ask you before they could really do anything.
Or perhaps you dreamed of building something big, something that would last, and that people would see and remember. Perhaps you dreamed of exploring somewhere, traveling far away, finding out about things people didn’t know about before.
Whatever it was, that dream, the thing you wanted to be, says a lot more about you than you may realize. Most likely your life hasn’t turned out exactly like you dreamed, and you may feel like you’ve had to give up most or all of that big dream you had as a boy. But that dream didn’t just happen. It says something about how God made you. And not just you as a man in general, but you as a specific man – as James, or Bruce, or Timothy.
When God created Adam, Genesis says He “formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” (Gen 2:7) And God is still in the business of creating – and recreating – men today.
He built within you the capacity to rule, the strength to overcome obstacles or evil, the creativity to design and build, the wisdom to oversee and protect, and much more. Roles such as builder, designer, manager, warrior, protector – whatever it is, at its best it is an expression of the original big thing God built into you. Lived out under God’s ultimate leadership, God designed you to be in charge, to do things, find things, accomplish things.
As men grow up in our modern society, holding on to that original built-in dream becomes so difficult. Your heart gets bruised by people that put you down and circumstances that are tough or even evil. Sometimes education or even the church tries to push you into being a Mr Nice Guy – just a shell of who you first dreamed you could be.
But God’s not done creating – and recreating – men, remember. God still needs your viril strength, your adventurous or creative spirit, and your protecting, leading presence. Yes, those dreams you had as a little boy do need to grow up. But don’t just let them go.
God wants to take what’s really in your heart and make it mean something bigger than you could even dream for yourself.
He needs to you to be a real man. And He’ll make you into one if you give Him a chance.
Here are some Scriptures and resources that speak to this:
- Genesis 1:26-28 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
- Psalm 18:34 “He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”
- Psalm 68:5 “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”
- Ransomed Heart: resources and community designed to help people, especially men, recovery the heart of the gospel.
- All Pro Dad: resources and community helping dads step up to being the kind of fathers God designed.
- Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secrets of a Man’s Soul, by John Eldredge
- The Poem When God Wants To Make A Man
Your Turn: What characteristics do you think God wants to build in a man? Leave a comment below.
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