Manhood Dipped in Society

When Jesus suggested that his mother and brothers were those whoever did the will of his Father in heaven, he was seriously challenging natural affinities.  He had emerged into public life sometime earlier and was now building a movement.  Before it was too late, his Mother and brothers came to silence him.  When you follow Jesus, at some point, your mother and brothers will come to silence you.  He was at a party, a gathering and took the opportunity to show us something important about discipleship and secondarily about manhood. What was it about Jesus that allowed him at that moment to stand up under the greatest pressure: your family working the will of society and its demands?  And in what way is Jesus calling all men to a similar oaklike resolve?

In his theory on human formation, van Kaam gives ample place to the traditions of our homeland.  “Our life is not a blank, empty page on which people can write anything they want…social historicity touches infants deeply.  They are, as it were, dipped in it until it has saturated their little incipient personality.”[1]  Our parents pass on their gold and gutter material they inherited from their father and mothers.  And in the later years of our lives, no matter how far we run or how uniquely we adapt it, our heritage stays with us, impacting how we see the world or react against it.  On the journey to manhood, we cannot ignore force or scope of our social history.

How have you seen our American society get it right or get it wrong on true manhood?

[1] van Kaam, TF, pp 156-7.


One thought on “Manhood Dipped in Society”

  1. So true! – at some point the people who feel they have the right to us, well, they try to control us. Maybe that is a picture of how we try to find ourselves and we cannot escape… I don’t know. I liked this.

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