It was probably the biggest truck I’ve seen in my life, if you don’t count the ones that come to town once a year to crush cars. It was a nice truck too. The paint looked like candy. The wheels looked like robots and the tires like giant muscles. This was no mere truck. It was a statement. It was obvious that the truck’s owner had invested a lot of time and money in this work of moving art.
When the truck drove past me it became clear what kind of statement the owner was trying to make. It was a statement about his manhood.
There was a piece of metal hanging down below the back bumper. I guess you could call it an idol. An strategically placed idol. The idol was shaped like male genitalia.
The crude idol spoke to all who noticed it.
There’s a real man driving this truck.
Our culture has perverted manhood. That’s what usually happens in societies that are spiraling downward like ours is. On television the picture of manhood is one of spineless men who couldn’t find their way to their favorite bar without someone else’s help. In the context I’m living in, it’s quite the opposite. Too often, manhood is defined by sexual conquests, large automobiles and male sex organs hanging from those automobiles.
In reality, true manhood is on display in the things they don’t show in truck commercials. If you pay attention, you can see it in the little things.
Like the guy who misses a game so he can take his little girl to her school’s father daughter dance because he knows that if she doesn’t see real manhood from him she’ll look for it in all the wrong places.
Or the man who drives a car older than he is and works a few extra shifts every now and then so that one day his family can stop giving money to creditors and start giving it to people in need.
Don’t forget the man who’s voice sounds something like a cross between Axl Rose and a sick dog. But he doesn’t care about that. When it’s time to sing songs in church, he doesn’t hold back. And for the people around him, the vision of a man singing about his Savior overshadows the sound coming from his mouth.
And then there’s the man who hasn’t had sex in five years. Not because he can’t or doesn’t want to. It’s because his wife is sick. Very sick. And he knows that caring for her and keeping his promise to her is more important than any temporary pleasure.
Real men are pastors. Not just the pastors that preach sermons to congregations every Sunday. These men are pastors in their home. They take the spiritual growth of their wife and children personally. So they make sure that the family sings songs and reads the Bible together on a random Tuesday night when it would be a lot easier to just sit down together and watch a show about a spineless man who can’t manage to find his way to his favorite bar without someone else’s help.
There are real men with no wife or kids too. They respect women and find ways to serve women without viewing them as sexual objects. They know that all women, even the ones on computer screens who always seem available and ready, are created in God’s image.
Real men have hands covered with scars or permanent grease stains from a lifetime of providing through hard work. But they also smell like potpourri from time to time because they serve their wives by doing the laundry for them.
Real men drive huge trucks with barbed wire and random car parts thrown in the back. But some of them also drive station wagons and mini-vans. Both know that manhood isn’t defined by automobiles.
And it certainly isn’t defined by large sexual idols hanging from those large automobiles.
They know that true manhood is on display in the little things.