Book of Manly Men

Book of Manly Men

I’m going to have to say something harsh. I hate doing it, but I say this in order to kick-start some men to greater manhood. Here it is: it is time for unfathered men to stop waiting for someone to father them.

If you’ve had a loving, devoted father or father figure in your life, wonderful! He is a gift. Some of us haven’t had this kind of male mentoring, and so we can be tempted to sit around hoping that one day an older, wiser man will swoop down upon us and impart the secrets of life. It is not likely to happen. While we wait, we miss the opportunities before us and the role we could play in our world.

To illustrate this, I’ll use a scene from that grand metaphor for the meaning of life, The Andy Griffith Show. Every great and eternal truth is portrayed somewhere in this classic series. In the episode I refer to, Andy Taylor, the sheriff of Mayberry, is out of town. His deputy, Barney Fife (famously played by Don Knotts) is in charge, and he has deputized the local mechanic whose name is Gomer (famously played by Jim Nabors).

The two deputies are walking down the street one evening when they notice that someone is robbing the bank. They hide behind a car. They are afraid and don’t quite know what to do. Finally, Gomer looks at Barney and says excitedly, “Shazam! We need to call the police!”

In utter exasperation, Barney shoots back: “We are the police!”

This is very much like the predicament of many men today. They know something is wrong. They aren’t whole, haven’t been fathered, and are confused about what it means to be men. They have no idea what to do. They want to call someone. They’re waiting for rescue. It doesn’t come.

Then they look around and realize that no one is ever going to drop into their lives and teach them what they need to know. They are going to have to get it themselves. They are “the police.” They may even have to band together and help each other make up lost ground in this business of being a man. In fact, as unsure as they are, others are looking to them to be fathers and looking to them to define what it means to be a man.

There’s only one thing to do: man up. Learn quickly. Time is slipping by, and a generation is waiting.

I trust this book will make the job easier. Let’s get to it.