by Zuko Mgwili
This past holiday season I spent three weeks visiting with my parents in Bizana in the Eastern Cape and during my time there, observed some unfortunate and very poor models of masculinity. There is this strange notion that to show yourself a man you have to be a brute, drunk and pretty much useless for anything important. I’m seeing a lot of men, that are apathetic and lazy. Their whole purpose seems to be about frequenting the local shebeen, coming home drunk in the evening, expecting the wife to have prepared a nice warm meal, and you as man, contributing nothing to the family.
For some strange reason these men don’t seem to have a sense of responsibility that comes with being a man. For example, I have a relative that sired thirteen offspring between 1987 and 1991, out of wedlock with various women. I don’t know any of these kids, some have tried to get hold of our family and others we really don’t know anything about them. I also have another family member, he has six kids, out of wedlock and also from several women. He does not have a job, I don’t know what his plans are. What irks me the most is that there does not seem to be a gameplan with these men. There’s no sense of purpose or direction in their lives.
The purpose of this account is not to shame any persons, or to present myself as superior or perfect. There is only one perfect man that has ever lived, Christ Jesus.
Brothers, I would like to impress upon you that we were made for so much more; we do not bear the image of God in vain, there is a purpose. God made us to display his glory, to model Christ-like sacrificial love, to embody resolute, strong servant leadership. I implore you to step up, and be the man that God made you to be. I understand that I have given rather extreme instances of male misbehaviour; unfortunately I have come across just too many such cases. Being a man is more than biology. It is more than broad shoulders, and having an appendage attached below the abdomen of your person, or a voice that could give Barry White a run for his money. There are plenty of boys that possess such traits, but the problem is they’re just that, boys and not men, judging by their behavior.
I want to convey to you that manhood comes with responsibility. Many I think would agree that such an idea is common sense, and rightly so. But I do think sometimes we do need to be reminded.
Which areas of your life are you failing to handle or address responsibly? Which part of your life are you lazy in improving or changing? Do you have a plan for your life? Are you single with the intention of getting married? Can your future wife trust you to lead her well?
Have you assumed adult responsibilities like holding down a job, being actively involved in Church and/or community? Married? Are you loving your wife as Christ loves the Church? Has God placed you in a leadership position in your vocation? Then are you leading as Christ would lead?
Maybe you are doing an excellent job of being a man, then you should mentor younger men; model for them what it is means to be a man. My hope is that we, as men, would be all that God has called us to be. Families, communities, nations, the whole world thrives when men are walking out their God given purpose.
Zuko is passionate about theology and preaching, enjoys leading musical worship at his church and is an avid classical jazz fan.