Jesus the Wuss

Jesus the Wuss

I like Jesus. He is working to make me look and act like Him. As I am 51 and getting “wussier” though, I wonder if Jesus must be a wuss.

I think my dad was really afraid I would be a sissy. He said so several times. Once, I had my arms crossed funny, and he said, “Sissy boys sit like that.” I thought, but did not say, sissy boys are more comfortable then.

To not be a sissy you had to believe the following:

  • Violence should be met with greater violence. The standard wisdom was if you punched a boy who was picking on you he would never hurt you again. That is only true in movies.
  • Do not cry when you get hurt. This is an interesting theory, and widely accepted. However, in the entire history of the world, the admonition to “stop crying” has yet to be helpful, or even possible. My step-dad would try and be helpful by offering, “to give me something to cry about.” In later life, I discovered alcohol helped me stop crying. That did not work out so well.

Lately I have heard a lot of claims by loud preachers that if Jesus were here today He would be the epitome of manhood. I agree, except I think I view manhood differently than they do. I am tired of the über-masculine imagery of Jesus. I believe Jesus was fully human, and fully man. Yes, Jesus made a whip and chased out the moneychangers. That’s one occasion. There is no record of Him actually hurting someone and his temple cleansing was directed at a specific group who used religion to profit from gifts meant for the poor.

It’s hard for me to see the connection between the Jesus of the gospels and the Jesus portrayed by influential preachers of today—the muscular, kick-ass, rock-hard abs stud. Is he really someone who would “whip us into shape”?

Two observations:

  1. I have never heard a female Christian leader say Jesus is portrayed as “too effeminate.”
  2. I doubt you will hear a person with a back- story of being physically abused, especially by a father, express the need for a “tougher Jesus.”

I think Jesus is making me softer. In the words of my dad I’m becoming more of a “sissy.” I am trying to take seriously Jesus’ command to love my enemies. I want to be like Jesus. I want imitate a man who like Jesus could experience a slap in the face and not feel the need to return the insult. My dad, and several prominent preachers, would advise me differently.

I think Jesus is making me more feeling. Jesus wept, expressed sorrow, and showed joy at healing. In spite of my father’s warnings, I tend to cry now. The truth is, I went for many years in my adolescence without shedding any tears. The unspoken goal of my life became numbness, which caused me a host of problems. As I have softened, I think I have less people admire me, but more people who want to be my friend.

Jesus does not need more manly men; He needs fully human males and females who are living out who they have been made to be.

For some of us, that process will make us look more like sissies.

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17 Responses to Jesus the Wuss

  1. Deb Beatty says:

    There were years in my life where I could cry at a sad movie, but never shed a tear over anything in my own life. I truly believe the newer, softer, me is much closer to Jesus than the old, tough, self-reliant me!
    I love how God is changing us!

  2. I love these thoughts, Karl. Very necessary to balance out the powers!

  3. Vicki Scheib says:

    Beautiful, Karl, just beautiful. My favorite phrase ~

    As I have softened, I think I have less people admire me, but more people who want to be my friend.

    Wonderful.

  4. Terry Clees says:

    Dude, as a powerlifting, Harley riding, pit bull owning guy, I absolutely love this post and couldn’t agree more!

  5. Pam Werner says:

    I sat under the manly man Jesus preaching and it actually makes God in man’s image. The men, (many of whom were openly chauvinistic and loved being “prophets, priests & kings” while their wives were to be submissive helpers) didn’t have to change one bit. When the God you serve is your “idol” and it fits with your goals and is self serving (man gets power, leadership, someone who is submitting to them & “helping” them, they get to call all the shots, etc) it makes “transformation” easy as you don’t actually have to transform. All the while, women get the not so subtle message that they are second class and less valuable to God. So women, especially those who do not fit the Proverbs 31 stereotype, have to work really hard to be “transformed” to this image, and in order to do so, must deny their personhood. It is really sad and unjust.

    • karlw says:

      what we are doing is in my opinion so destructive to both sexes.
      btw, i don’t there ever has been or ever will be a proverbs 31 woman. not the point.
      the author often describes WISDOM in the female, allegorical sense. plus, as a hebrew style, it would make sense the book would conclude with a reference to how it begins as many poems do.
      i cannot imagine the sense of failure that has been put on the women of good intentions. thanks pam for your help in this blogging thing. i am such a beginner. peace

  6. Phil Bair says:

    Read Wild At Heart. The church is trying to tame men and strip them of their masculinity. It can’t tolerate a man with backbone, courage, stamina, conviction and sense of wildness. It wants a watered down masculinity and wants to turn men in to women. This is a travesty. God has a wild, relentless, passionate romantic heart. He’s built that heart in to men. But it doesn’t mean we can’t be gentle, compassionate, kind, and vulnerable. The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it takes strength and a strong sense of who you are to have the courage to be vulnerable and gentle, and to humble yourself to the point where we recognize that our strength comes from God rather than from ourselves.

    • karlw says:

      thanks for your perspective. i would like to respond in more detail, and i will be adding a follow up post that will more clearly explain why i think there is a division in the sexes that i find so harmful.
      I look forward to what you think, and will see you for a cigar soon.

  7. Thanks Karl, I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. Jesus was fully who HE WAS – tough & tender, without unnecessary concern over how others would label Him. That is the model He has given us, as we strive to become more like Him. (So, well done my friend)
    I also believe that people who label others are revealing more about themselves than about their object of criticism. Now, if only I could start behaving like I know ‘their’ opinion doesn’t matter. Maybe when I grow up …

    • karlw says:

      i do get the part of wishing i were the man i think others ought to be! yes, women are equally being conformed into the image of christ, so that must say something.
      I miss our conversations, hope you are doing great!

  8. This would be an interesting survey: Walk up to people and list the “fruit of the Spirit” from Galations 5:22-23 (without disclosing the source) and ask them, “Does this sound more like a man or a woman?” Hmmmmm, I wonder how many people in our culture would say, “a man”.

  9. Pingback: Be a Man | RubySlippers

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