Biblical Manhood and the Man-bun
The man-bun is not anything new. As a matter of fact the man-bun used to be really manly. It comes from a long line of warriors from ancient China to most recently the Japanese Samurai. This “top-not” was a matter of honor and nobility for the Samurai and it was very manly. As a matter of fact the “top-not” was very tactical because it held their helmets in place as they went into battle. However, what has become the new fad in 21st century America is not what I would call manly. Some celebrity pulls his hair up in a bun and then all of the sudden every hipster millennial is sporting one. It has become such a fad that men are actually buying these extension type hair-do’s so that they can test drive these man-buns to see if it works for them. I want you to know that I have never seen a picture of a Samurai sporting skinny jeans and rolled up pants legs. Somewhere along the way we have lost our concept of biblical manhood.
I heard someone the other day comment on how today’s man-bun is the same as the 90’s mullet. I was extremely offended considering I proudly sported the mullet way back when it was clearly “business in the front and party in the back.” My problem however, is not so much with the man-bun rather than with the manhood of these men who decide to where such a “man”trocity. You see we live in a generation where men have no clue what biblical manhood looks like. We live in a world where man-buns and skinny jeans are perfectly acceptable and even the going style for a lot of next-gen, hipster, millennial Christians. Ok seriously, here is my official disclaimer for the next-gen, hipster, millennial Christian that may be offended because I am calling out your manhood. I do not think your poor sense of fashion is a direct reflection of your manhood. (Poor sense of fashion is said tongue-in-cheek, but really? You can’t possibly wear something like “skinny” jeans and not have your man-card revoked)
What I am saying is that in this generation we have lost the picture of true manhood. Men have abandoned their families. More children are being raised by single moms these days than in any time in our history. We have abandoned all aspects of manhood to such an extent that right now in my TEXAS back yard (because you know real men are from Texas) we are debating in our legislature the crazy idea that our bathrooms in our schools and public places should stay exclusively male and female! That blows my mind! Really? We need to debate this? I want you to understand that this is because men have bailed out on their biblical responsibilities. Real men have dropped out, disappeared, diminished from their God given mandate to be Mighty Men of God! This man-bun fad just happens to be a great illustration describing the “sissification” of American manhood. Yes I said it, I know it is not politically correct but come on! I believe that this is part of the problem! We are so afraid that someone will get their feelings hurt that we can’t even say “sissy” anymore. Yeah I know… bullying is bad, and I would never condone it. However, there is something to be said about holding other men accountable to being godly masculine men, even if it hurts their “girly” feelings. When did we stop being men?
This is an epidemic. Men of God need to step up and be Men of God! We must reclaim biblical masculinity and re-engage our culture with the very hard truth of God’s Word and his call upon our lives. We can no longer sit idly by. We are at critical mass! We are at Def-Con 1! We have lost our culture and it is time for us to stop crying about it and do something about it! I raised two sons to be godly men in this crazy culture. I did not placate them and I treated them very early in their adolescence like men. They are two very different young men today but one thing I can tell you is that there are no questions regarding their masculinity. My oldest son has given me a wonderful little beautiful granddaughter and I have never been more concerned for these young girls who have to grow up in this world where masculinity is rapidly disappearing. What will she look for in a man? What kind of man will she find in her future? So men… I am calling you out! It is time for you to bring your man-bun and skinny jeans and put on your combat boots! We have a war waging for the very hearts of our children and grandchildren. I am convinced that if we are ever going to change the hearts of our young people then we had better reclaim our manhood! So what does this look like?
There are many biblical examples that I could address on what manhood looks like. But let’s take probably the most famous. I want to look specifically at David’s life and pull out four characteristics of biblical manhood.
- Biblical manhood begins with God
David was the youngest of eight sons of Jesse. Jesse was intentional in his raising of his sons and taught them in the ways of God. By the time David faced Goliath he had already learned what it was like to depend on God for everything! David told Saul how he had learned this from a very young age while tending his father’s sheep “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:37)
- Biblical manhood starts early
David from the time he could walk was learning how to be a man. He didn’t sit around playing video games and didn’t complain when there was work to be done. He tended his father’s sheep because he was told that was his job. He was actively contributing to his family’s well-being before he was 13 years-old! He delivered supplies to his brothers on the battlefield because his father told him to. He didn’t ask any questions, he just did it “just as Jesse commanded him.” (1 Samuel 17:20)
- Biblical manhood does what is right
One of my very favorite scenes in the Bible is this little pimple-faced, teen-aged, red-headed, loud-mouthed David standing before a king and his terrified army in complete bewilderment at why they had not already defeated this so-called giant. What we find is a little red-headed firecracker of a young man who is dead set on doing what is right! David knew what was right and it was incumbent upon him to do what was right! This is the true mark of biblical manhood! David looked at a king and basically told him that he would do what no one else would do. Why? Because it was the right thing to do! 1 Samuel 17:26, David exclaims “Just who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (CSB)
- Biblical manhood is courageous
For forty days, twice a day, Goliath would come out and terrorize the army of Israel. David’s courage was a direct result of his steadfast dependence on God. It made him supernatural. I love what this little teen-ager said to Goliath. Now don’t forget that Goliath was no joke! He was one bad dude and he knew it! But this did not faze David as he called out Goliath boldly proclaiming “You come against me with a sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of Armies, the God of the ranks of Israel—you have defied him. Today, the Lord will hand you over to me. Today, I’ll strike you down, remove your head, and give the corpses of the Philistine camp to the birds of the sky and the wild creatures of the earth. Then all the world will know that Israel has a God, and this whole assembly will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord’s. He will hand you over to us.” (1 Sam. 17:45-47, CSB)
Now come on men think about this for just a second. Let’s say just for the sake of argument that David is on the older end of what most scholars guess his age to be… Let’s say David is by this time in his life 17. Here he is on the battlefield between two massive armies. One side is shaking in their armor completely terrified by the Philistine champion who comes out twice a day to inflict terror into their hearts. Here is David with nothing more than his sling and stones. These were his earthly weapons but he knew God would have the victory no matter what! Even Goliath had some sort of idea what a man should look like. He said over and over again “Choose one of your men and have him come down against me.” Yet there was no man in the whole army of Israel!
It is not about the man-bun. It is not about skinny jeans. It is not even about the man-romper (this could have its very own article). What we need to fully understand—biblical masculinity means something! We need to be men that will stand in the face of evil and rattle the gates of hell! If you are going to wear a man-bun then please understand that you are still a soldier fighting in this war where we need to reclaim biblical manhood! Let’s be men! Let’s be giant killers just like David, man-bun and all!
Teddy W. Sorrells
Pastor- Joy Baptist Church