Maximized Manhood: A Guide to Family Survival (1982) by Edwin Louis Cole
Personally I’m concern about the image of manhood today, especially the rise and exposure of K-Pop to Christian men. Korea have such a great and wonder culture, I like it – in fact I’m going to Korea this year! – but the image of manhood portrait by K-artists are awkward, ‘beautiful’ men rather than manly men (mostly, but not all). I know personally few of my student-friends who are greatly influenced by the K-pop culture, that their dresses and ‘beauty’ products are way too many than any of my girl friends’, even my mother!
Will the real man please stand up? What it mean to be a man today? This book is the answer I’m looking for. It is a book that is unabashedly, uncompromisingly written to men. There are many books about men, but precious few written to men – to us, to me. This book is sole purpose is to maximized manhood. “Being male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of choice,” writes Ben Kinchlow, “This is a book about that choice.”
Edwin Cole listed 5 reasons taken from 1 Corinthians 10 why men today don’t get to maximized manhood in life: #1 Lust. “Now this lust is not necessarily sexual lust… This is the lust that is based on satisfying self at the expense of God and others. It’s the preoccupation with what self wants. This is the satisfaction or gratification of the flesh… Lust today keeps men (and women) from maximizing their potential”; #2 Idolatry. “Idolatry is a value system that we create, and in which we esteem something to be more worthy of our devotion than devotion to God. Power, prestige, education, money, business, religion, popularity, ego, pornography – can all become idols.”
#3 Fornication. “Actually this includes every kind of sex sin… Both single and married men – young and old – are subject to the desires, appetites, passions and temptations that take their toll and prohibit them from becoming what God intends them to be”; #4 Tempting Christ. “Tempting Christ is demanding that God do what is contrary to His will, or inconsistent with His character… Lying and cheating in relationship and business and demanding that God bless and prosper it is tempting Christ”; and #5 Murmuring. “Murmuring in its simplest form is nothing more or less than ‘negative confession.’” These are five basic sins, and especially for men is this – sin of fornication.
As man (and woman) of God, we must take sins seriously. “We don’t talk about sins today,” explained Cole, “we talk about problems… If you only have a problem, you can get sympathy for it… Sins, on the other hand, have to be repented of, confessed, and forsaken.” Cole also urged men to be the priest or spiritual leader in the family, lead wife and children in prayer, study and obey God’s Word, decisive, be a peace-maker especially at home, and to be tender and tough at the same time, “Leadership in the home by the man requires toughness as well as tenderness.” Finally, men must also build a good character. Edwin writes, “It is the longing of every woman to have a man with character in the house. It is the need of every child to have a man at the helm. It is the crying need of every church to have real men at work in its ministry.” He continues, “You can derive spirituality from women in the church, but you get strength from the men. Same in a home, and in a nation. Churches, homes, nations, are only as strong as their men.”
One most memorable quote from this book that I wants to remember for my lifetime: “Manhood and Christlikeness are synonymous” (So are Christlikeness and womanhood). When the life of Jesus comes forth in a man, they are maximized. The fullness of their personality and character are brought forth. The highest good of every individual is to be like Jesus! “Manhood and Christlikeness are synonymous.” Be a man!
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.