I was just browsing my facebook newsfeed and came across a status update with the phrase, “you are loved” in it and it brought to mind Josh Groban’s song by the same title (or Don’t Give Up). So…I did the natural thing and youtubed the video as I’d never seen it. And, I watched it. And made an observation. And here it is:
The first person you see, other than Josh Groban, is an African girl sitting in a classroom. So you gather, he’s encouraging African girls everywhere not to give up. I don’t remember the order (and I’m not about to watch the video again to memorize it) but thereafter, you see a sequence of women and girls of all ages from various parts of the world featured. He’s telling the female drug addict not to give up. He’s telling the abuela not to give up. He’s telling the young arabic girl not to give up. And after a while, I began to wonder if there were no men who needed to hear the same message.
But the men do need to hear it too because somewhere in the middle of the video you have the Indian little boy and the old man! Two whole males in the entire video! AND, they’re really young or really old. What does that mean? Only the really young or the really old men need to know that they are loved? And even then, it’s only a small percentage of men who need to hear that message?
I tried to imagine the music video with a more proportionate representation of humanity and to be honest, the picture of a 30-something year old male didn’t seem right. Why? Is it that we only offer emotional support to males when they’re really young or when they’re really old, but in between they’ve just got to rough it out? Is that right?
The song says, “Everybody wants to be understood and loved,” everybody, that is, but the youthful male. In fact, the singer is a youthful male and he’s the one who will lift your heavy heart and break the silence…(I understand the “I” in the song may refer to Christ but this only underscores my observation).
Proportionate to our misjudgment of the role of women, is our perception of the role of men.
The next logical step in this piece would be the prescriptive element…Hmm, but it’s a busy week so I’ll give the air-tight answer: Jesus is the answer.
A quote from In Heavenly Places p54:
Jesus was a perfect pattern of what we should be. He was the strictest observer of His Father’s law, yet He moved in perfect freedom. He had all the fervor of the enthusiast, yet He was calm, sober, and self-possessed. He was elevated above the common affairs of the world, yet He did not exclude Himself from society. He dined with publicans and sinners, played with little children, and took them in His arms and blessed them. He graced the wedding feast with His presence. He shed tears at the grave of Lazarus. He was a lover of the beautiful in nature and used the lilies to illustrate the value of natural simplicity in the sight of God, above artificial display. He used the occupation of the husbandman to illustrate the most sublime truths….
His zeal never degenerated into passion nor His consistency into selfish obstinacy. His benevolence never savored of weakness nor His sympathy of sentimentalism. He combined the innocence and simplicity of the child with manly strength, all-absorbing devotion to God with tender love for man. He possessed commanding dignity combined with winning grace of humility. He manifested unyielding firmness with gentleness. May we live daily in close connection with this perfect, faultless character.
We have not six patterns to follow, nor five; we have only one, and that is Christ Jesus.