Why should we be dissatisfied with our manhood?
The word dissatisfied came up a couple weeks ago at Together for the Gospel, and it was used in the context of a pastor’s response to his own preaching, contrasting dissatisfied with despondent. I want to use it, though, in the same way in considering a man’s response to his own masculinity: it is OK, and in fact I believe very biblical, for a man to be dissatisfied in his masculinity. I will never arrive at the point in which I am satisfied in who I am as a man. If I do arrive at that point I need to stop and confess my sin of pride before God.
But, men, probably more of us will go the other direction. It is OK and right to be dissatisfied, but it is not OK to be despondent about our masculinity, despairing that we will never grow in godliness as a man. Marilla states it very well to Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables. Despair is wrong because, “To despair is to deny God.” It is an opposite form of pride, but it is still pride, because we are led to despair when fail in doing something in our own power. I will never be a good preacher! I will never be a man! We despair because we wrongly believe that these ends are accomplished by our own power or effort apart from God, whether it be preaching or manhood or anything else.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
Despair, despondency, and pride are wrong because they are sinful responses to God.
So men, myself included, be dissatisfied in your masculinity. In fact my prayer is that you will be even more dissatisfied after studying God’s Word and considering your masculinity. I pray that dissatisfaction will lead you to an even greater intensity of effort, in the Spirit’s power, to grow in godliness as a man.