Earlier this week I stumbled upon a show called Doomsday Preppers. The show follows different families each week as they prepare for a doomsday scenario, which at this rate, should be happening sometime around the middle of next week.
In this particular episode a man was leading his wife and two sons through a drill because when the zombies attack, it’s a good idea to make sure that your zombie ray gun is in proper working mode.
The man had a bomb shelter dug out under his garage that was equipped to hold his family for up to six months. For now the family would just be going for an eight hour stint.
Every member of the family had a job in this practice run. The husband and his two sons had jobs that involved sitting in the bomb shelter and making sure the cans of Beanie Weenies tasted okay. The wife’s job was to stand at the front door with a shotgun.
For eight hours.
So in the event of a terrorist attack or massive looting in this family’s neighborhood, the boys are supposed to wait things out by playing cards and hanging out with Chef Boyardee in the bomb shelter while mom stands behind the front door, waiting to fight off the attackers.
Sadly, this is a pretty good representation of the modern American male.
I’m sure that this man thought that he was doing a good thing for his family. He was making sure they were prepared for the worst and that’s what real men do. But in reality, he was hanging out with the boys while his wife did the hard work.
When I was a kid I watched reruns of shows like Three’s Company and WKRP. Shows like this all had one thing in common – a dumb blonde. This was the girl who cared more about her appearance and shopping than she did her intellect. Every episode was about how she couldn’t manage to stay out of her own way.
Today the dumb blonde is gone. Too offensive. But she does have a replacement. The new dumb blond is the man. In television shows and even commercials he’s the butt of every joke. He’s the one that cares more about looking or acting like a man than actually being a man.
I’ve never killed a deer with my bare hands and I don’t know how to reroute the solenoid valve in a ’86 Camaro. Yet. My time is coming.
But real manhood is about more than that. Some guys do those sorts of things merely as an escape from their real responsibility. For them, it’s playing the part of a man instead of actually being a man.
Being a man means leading your family, if you have one.
It means finding ways to love your wife like Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25). This will likely involve folding clothes and packing lunches. Those things are hard to do when you’re gone all the time.
It means daily and lovingly teaching your kids about the God who created them (Deuteronomy 6).
It means actually being committed to your church and leading your family to do the same (Hebrews 10:23-25).
Preparing for a catastrophe is wise but the Bible guarantees a doomsday scenario where no amount of ammo or beans can pull us through (Matthew 24). Christ is our only rescue and it is before him that we will have to give an account for how we managed those who were placed under our care.
Real men lead by loving, protecting and guiding.
Real men stand at the door.