Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Man-boy"

1st Kings 21.4 NLT

“So Ahab went home angry and sullen because of Naboth's answer. The king went to bed with his face to the wall and refused to eat!

King Ahab never grew up. He offered to pay for Naboth’s vineyard but Naboth said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers” (1st Kings 21.4). Ahab could not have what he wanted so he “went to bed with his face to the wall and refused to eat”. His wife, Jezebel catered to his childish demands and promised to get the vineyard for Ahab. To make Ahab’s wish come true, she had Naboth falsely accused and killed. Ahab was the worst king ever…

“Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do
evil in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife incited him.”
1st Kings 21.25 NASU

The spirit of Ahab and Jezebel is alive and well. This spirit displays itself in the form of a tantrum when a child does not get what he wants. Ahab was a boy inside the body of a man. He was a man-boy. 

A man-boy’s fits of poor behavior are better disguised than those of a two-year-old. Adult tantrums are less of a spectacle. They go inward and live in isolation. Like Ahab, the man-boy easily becomes “angry and sullen”. He turns “his face to the wall” and refuses to communicate with those around him. He finds Jezebel in the hidden parts of his mind, on the internet, or at a strip club. She becomes his new savior, reaching deep into his soul and fixing his hurt. Jezebel is both mommy and mistress. Man-boy leans into her, depends upon her, presses his face into the bosom of her false promise for happiness. Succumbing to her lie, the he exchanges reality for fantasy. The man-boy is deluded. He believes he can have what he wants and have it now.

The boy inside a man’s body doesn’t care about consequences. He convinces himself he won’t be happy until he gets his needs met. A man can delay gratification, a boy cannot. A boy falls apart when he can’t get what he wants. A man begins to comprehend and learns to graciously accept that “you can’t always get what you want” [1]. He is becoming free from the bondage of childish desires. A man of God places his faith in Christ and believes “you get what you need” when you need it.

Sexual addiction, at its core, is an unwillingness to grow up. Delayed gratification is the hallmark of the man who is beginning to make the choice for redemptive suffering “rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11.25 b). 

423 Men is the journey from boyhood to manhood.
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[1] “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, from album Let It Bleed, 1969, with London Bach Choir. 

4 comments:

  1. Pretty much summed it up there. It's a difficult thing, to delay what you want. After all, shouldn't we get the things we want? When we want them? Yes, but: it's on God's timing & decision, not ours and we have to learn to deal with it. That's growing up & maturing.

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  2. Refusing or rejecting the responsibility of being a man is a pattern that is ingrained in sin and culture. Deciding to be defined by God and rejecting the societal and media image of manhood is a daily must.

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  3. I think you're right on Dave. A big part of my growth has been deciding to set aside what I want in the moment, for something much bigger. A simple example is that I choose not to act out sexually throughout the week, because I KNOW, firsthand, what it feels like the rest of the week, and how hard it is to tell the guys in my group. Beyond that, the guilt and all that comes with acting out proves to me again and again that it's better to delay gratification for appropriate things that God puts in my path, rather than acting out against what He calls me to. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the sexiest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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