OK, so maybe I’ve lost you right off the bat if you don’t know the meaning of the word “gumption.” Synonyms for “gumption” include “initiative, resourcefulness, courage, spunk, guts, common sense, and shrewdness”. So why am I picking on the guys? Let me explain.
Last week I linked to an article by Kevin DeYoung about how to minister to the singles at our church (and FYI, here’s a great follow-up post from the comments section of the article, advising us what not to say to the single gals in our church).
But recently DeYoung followed up with a very insightful article written to young men. It’s called “Dude, Where’s Your Bride?” Single guys, take time to read it; parts of it may or may not apply to you, but it is worth careful consideration.
He starts the article by saying,
As I speak at different venues across the country, one of the recurring questions I get comes from women, young women in particular. Their question usually goes something like this: “What is up with men?”
They’re talking about marriage. I have met scores of godly young women nearby and far away who wonder “Where have all the marriageable men gone?” More and more commentators–Christian or otherwise–are noticing a trend in young men; namely, that they don’t seem to be growing up.
Go to almost any church and you’ll meet mature, intelligent, attractive Christian women who want to get married and virtually no men to pursue them. These women are often in graduate programs and may have started a career already. But they aren’t feminists. They are eager to embrace the roles of wife and mother. Most of the women I’ve met don’t object to the being a helpmate. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of mates to go around.
The problem? He goes on:
Christian men that are “good guys” could use a little–what’s the word I’m looking for–ambition… I don’t think young women are expecting Mr. Right to be a corporate executive with two houses, three cars, and a personality like Dale Carnegie. They just want a guy with some substance. A guy with plans. A guy with some intellectual depth. A guy who can winsomely take initiative and lead a conversation. A guy with consistency. A guy who no longer works at his play and plays with his faith. A guy with a little desire to succeed in life. A guy they can imagine providing for a family, praying with the kids at bedtime, mowing the lawn on Saturday, and being eager to take everyone to church on Sunday. Where are the dudes that will grow into men?
After calling on us all, singles and married, men and women, to commit to earnest prayer for these matters, DeYoung concludes the article with these words of exhortation:
Men, you don’t have to be rich and you don’t have to climb corporate ladders. You don’t have to fix cars and grow a beard. But it’s time to take a little initiative–in the church, with your career, and with women. Stop circling around and start going somewhere. It’s probably a good idea to be more like your grandpa and less like Captain Jack Sparrow. Even less like Peter Pan. Show some godly ambition. Take some risks. Stop looking for play dates and–unless God is calling you to greater service through singleness–start looking for a wife.
As an addendum, the Desiring God post, urging young men to avoid perpetuation “Adultolescence”, links to what sounds like a great message by John Piper. Johnathan Parnell describes the message:
The goal: get a deep, unshakable, holy ambition for your life. One that is so strong that it enables a full leap over adultolescence.
Starting with Romans 15:18-24, Pastor John unfolds the biblical picture of what it means to not waste your life, or stated positively, how to live with a holy ambition.
Click here for the article and the link to the message. Regardless of our age, let’s all strive together to go on to further maturity in Christ!