Am I a Good Man?

good man waldoThere’s this song by the group Devour the Day called Good Man and the lyrics so resonate with me:

I want to be a good man, I want to see God/ I want to be faithful but I know that I’m not/ I want to be a good man, I want to do right/ I don’t wanna be a criminal for the rest of my life.”

That’s so me. I so want to be like this. I so want to be a good man, not just a person, but a good man. Sounds a bit weird, right? In this day and age of trying to have equality for women (and rightfully so) I want to be a good man? Yes. More importantly, I want to be a good man who sees God, a good man who is faithful.

The song goes on:

Everything that I’ve done before/ Has brought me back down to my knees/ I’m crying out to you, Lord/ It’s getting harder and harder to see/ If there’s good left in me?/ Is there any good left in..ME!!!

As a father, as a husband, as a human being, I want to know if I am even capable of being a good man, a loving father, a good role model not just for my kiddos but for others as well. Is there good in me? Can people see this good in me? Do I live this out?

The song continues to ask this question:

“I want to be be a good man, I wanna be a saved/ I want to be a free man but I feel like a slave/ and I’m crying out to you, Lord/ It’s getting harder and harder to see/ If there’s good left in me?”

As a man, I struggle. I feel societies contradictory calls in my life: “Be strong, be virile, be a decider, have machismo” at the same time “Be giving, be gentle, be sensitive, give up privilege of being male.” It’s almost as if before I go hunt the woolly mammoth with my spear I need to take a moment and sit around sipping green tea talking about my feelings of the fear before the hunt. It can be confusing to me and to many many men in this world.

We can be so inundated with all these different messages between wearing flannel and/or camo and spending time in the woods building up that musky smell and chiseled jawline and looking like the cover of the romance novel or even bragging about our own female conquests to prove our manhood while at the same time have the images of given to us of this tender hearted gentle empathetic soul who is so in tune with everything that his mind is like a radio transceiver for women.

You know, neither exist right? Not even in those great Rom Coms of the ’90’s. They’re not real. They’re not even the ideal. They’re just these ideas of what should, could, might be but really never is nor should it could it or might it be. That’s not reality, it’s fantasy.

Yet as a guy, I look at all these expectations around me and wonder “Am I a good man?” I wonder, “Am I a good husband?” and “Am I a good father?”

This can be tough.

I’ve been doing a course for my Doctorate of Ministry (DMin) on marriage and family counseling. Doing my readings for the course took me loner than usual because I kept feeling guilty about spending time reading instead of spending time with my family and wife. I want to be a good man. And I want to be a good husband. And I want to be a good father.

What does it take to do so?

This is where the song Good Man hits home for me:

Pull me from the darkness, lift me back into the light/ Fill this empty vessel, fill this hole I have inside/ Am I worth forgiveness, I can’t make myself believe/ Show me that you’re listening and tear this devil out of me.”

This I do know: I have been pulled from the darkness. I have been brought into the light. The hole within me has been filled and I am worth forgiveness. I know that God is listening.

As a man, I struggle to do the best that I can to be a man of God and believe you me it’s harder than you think. And as a pastor, I do my best to model what it means to be a man of God because I know people are watching me and looking at what I’m doing whether they realize it or not.

Am I a good man? Probably not. I fail. I fail daily. I fail as a father. I fail as a husband. I fal as being a man of God. But I also have been given grace. I have been given the grace of God and have Jesus walking with me. I have the love and grace given to me by my wife (who puts up with me and my mild comic book addiction). And I have kiddos whom I love dearly and am trying to teach them to live and show grace.

If it wasn’t for the grace I receive daily from God through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, I’d struggle even more. Am I a good man? Some might say yes. I’d say no. But I am doing my best to be a Godly man which is by far, in my opinion, better than just being a good man.

Oh, and here’s the video

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