Adolescence can be defined as wanting the privileges of adulthood without the responsibilities. Having three teenage sons I find myself shaking my head like a bobble head doll at this definition. Sociologist’s go onto point out that when it comes to males, adolescence has extended to age thirty-five. We are seeing boys trapped in a man’s body, and not embracing manhood. Adolescent behavior among males can be seen in:
Living with a woman and not marrying her.
No real ambition or a sense of get-after- it-ness when it comes to life and career.
Still living at home with the parents well into your twenties and thirties with no plan to get out.
Serial starters, and never finishers.
Social media warriors pontificating on the problems of the world, all while living off of someone else’s sacrifice and hard work.
Consummate consumers and not contributors.
I could go on, but you get the point. Our society and churches are being decimated by the pandemic of extended adolescence. We don’t need males, as much as we need men, and please don’t confuse the two.
I walked into my youngest son’s room the other day and took note of the basketball “fat heads” and posters adorning his walls. These athletes serve as his role models inspiring his basketball dreams. And yet while they are great examples as basketball players, they’re hardly one’s to mimic off the court. But isn’t that the problem? We are suffering from a deficiency of modern “manhood posters”- men who inspire us by how they live for what a real man looks like.
In the story of Ruth, Boaz is such a man we’d do well to emulate. In fact, in Ruth 2:1 it says of Boaz that he was “a worthy man”. The Hebrew word for worthy means full of substance; it’s a word that has nothing to do with his finances, and everything to do with his character. Boaz is full of character. If my son was looking for manhood posters, Boaz would be one we’d hang in his room.
When I was a little boy I ate Wheaties. Now if you remember this cereal you’re probably wincing right now because Wheaties is not really good. So why did I eat it?
Well, my hero, Walter Payton (running back for the Chicago Bears) was on the box of Wheaties, and so I figured if he ate it, so should I. One day my father got invited to preach for the Chicago Bears, and afterwards we were asked to breakfast with the team. It just so happen I got to sit at the same table as Walter Payton, and what I saw shocked me. My hero was not eating Wheaties, but was eating Raisin Bran. I confessed to him that I ate Wheaties because he did, and wanted to know why he was eating Raisin Bran? I’ll never forget what he said, “Oh kid, I hate that stuff. I don’t eat Wheaties”. Now this is not to disparage Walter Payton, and from everything I’ve read of his short life, he was a great man. But still, I was greatly disappointed that day. My hero wasn’t even buying what he was selling. All Wheaties was, was a paycheck, an opportunity to extend his brand.
We need men like Boaz- worthy men, men full of character who will “eat their Wheaties”. We need men who are discontent with being public successes but private failures. We need men full of substance, character and integrity.
In the next post we will talk about six things that marked Boaz life, making him a worthy man.