I wanted to title this Your Penis Is Not Your Manhood, but I was afraid no one would be near to pick my mom and Aunt Gail up off the floor when they read it. This is a reference I over heard from the mom of one of Joe’s soccer mates this season. After her son was hit squarely between the legs with the ball and hobbled to the side lines, she questioned him, “Did it hit you in your manhood?” I giggled at first.
But the more I thought about the comment the more despair I felt. Here it is, already. We don’t need our over sexed culture to teach them. It can come right from your own mother. Your manhood is found in your penis. What!!?? Not in honesty, integrity, purity? Not in graciousness, mercy, genuine care, good humor? Not in the image of God in you?
At early ages they wrestle to make sense of it all. Even the other day Greta asked for reassurance, “Joe has one of those things that moves and I don’t, right?” Indeed. Excellent observation. But his “thing that moves” does not make him a man. Obviously I did not move to that level of explanation with Greta. But I am wondering now if I need to with Joseph.
We have always parented sensitive issues on a need to know basis. Answer questions when they are asked. No need to start a conversation too early. But our culture does not seem to be concerned with destroying innocence, with starting the conversation...even without the parents permission.
Case in point - I grew up watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Love it. But the past few years I feel like I can’t leave the room while my kids are watching it. Kinky Boots? We turned it off during that one. Two years in a row Victoria’s Secret has the best seat in the house and that woman’s breasts are in my kids’ faces for two hours. Honestly, I am thankful this year they lost interest and went out to play with friends. I don’t think that will be a part of our Thanksgiving next year.
So, Dear Joseph and Henry, your manhood is NOT your penis. Your manhood is defined by the One whose image you bare. Always and ultimately. Be wise and self controlled and humble and love Jesus above all else. Then others will look at you and see men. Real men.