International Men’s Day 2018

Positive Male Role Models

This week is International Men’s Day and the theme for 2018 is about ‘Positive male role models.’ So let’s explore it.

I love watching the actor Terry Crewes, if you are not familiar who Crewes is he is a former American Football player and now a Hollywood mega star. He has done some really funny Old Spice adverts too, well worth checking out. Anyway, he is also ripped, now we are talking massive, he has taken bodybuilding to the next level. He is big.

So, you have this bloke who just looks like a beast and if we want to suggest a sort of framework for being able to identify a ‘positive male role model’ thing, then he is my candidate. Let me explain.

When we look at guys and ask the question ‘is this guy a positive male role model in society?’ initially we do a quick scan of the outside, the stuff we see. Healthy, in good shape, cares for his hygiene, appearance, dresses well, whatever right? We make a few quick assessments and start to formulate our views. Then we might ask ‘what do I know about him, what have I seen, experienced or what do others say about this guy etc?’.

Ok, so by now we should have a good picture of this potential role model and whether they are looking to be a positive and inspiring one! We might even latch on to certain aspects in their lives where they have been successful or have helped others, inspired change or been influential in a certain positive way.

Now, here is the reason I picked Crewes for this blog. In 2016 he was at a fancy dinner of celebs and media moguls where another man sexually molested him. Bet you didn’t expect that in this blog. Crewes was assaulted, now you need to take account for a few things here.

To look at Crewes, he fits the definition society tells us is a real proper man. Big, strong, muscular, wealthy, successful and dominant looking. (I am just going by what I have read here.) Crewes is also a black man in America where by his own definition ‘black men get very few chances to make it in this country.’ In this moment, having been sexually assaulted by a rich, influential white man, Crewes has the choice. Destroy this man with a series of body punches that could potentially break this bloke in half, or choose another path. Crewes is faced with embarrassment, emasculation, feelings around pride, the stigmas and questions like ‘this shouldn’t have happened to me’ and ‘what about my career.’
Over time and through the support of his wife Crewes dealt with all this and reported the assault. He took the right process and path and dealt with it openly with maturity and incredible self-control and peace. He later received (after a long time) a written apology and the perpetrators resignation from his influential job.

Incredible! You see, the reason I have written about Crewes, when it comes down to this issue of positive male role models for our youth is this. Yes, we need men who are fit, healthy and strong but we also need men who have hearts that are forged in battles where courage, grace, peace and love is refined. Men who are not pushed into silence, men who will speak truth and show grace, peace and a pathway that can be walked even with muscles on muscles and the normal measures of success cycling around us.

Crewes modelled something incredibly profound, absolute strength and self-control, inner peace and identity that is so desperately needed in the lives of so many young people. And yes Crewes does have an active and real Christian faith too, and for me this is the essential ingredient.

I take my quest, vision, focus and compass calibration from Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We do need positive male role models and I believe the Christian faith is where we can find them. But! It is not just pew sitters, men without compromise, guts and courage. It is men who really pursue Jesus, really yield to the Holy Spirit, even when the fire that life throws at them burns at its hottest. This is authentic, genuine and life changing stuff.

 

Image Credit: Intentional Men’s Day