The Sandlot is one of the most famous movies of all time. I don’t need to describe any of the plot since 99% of people have probably seen it. On the off chance you are one of the few who haven’t seen it, please go watch it immediately after reading this post. Seriously, it’s a classic. One of the most classic lines in the movie comes during the scene where another team rolls up on The Sandlot and the outcast boys who play there. This other team is some sort of school team with real jerseys, baseball pants, cleats, and the whole nine. The teenage leader of the school team and Porter get into a name-calling battle that ends with the insult of all insults. “You play ball like a GIRL!”
Oh Snap! You can’t get any more harsh than that when talking about sports right? When I was a young boy watching this movie, I would have answered that question with a resounding yes. I mean, how could I not? In my mind girls were definitely worse at sports than boys. But I was just a boy and I didn’t realize that this cutting remark had much deeper implications than just sports. So I’m not here to debate the difference in physical or athletic prowess between genders, but to try and unveil something much deeper in the heart of our society and mainly in the hearts of men.
1 Corinthians 13:11 – “11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” (NIV)
Let’s start this conversation by putting childish ways behind us. This may seem a little confusing if you are familiar with the scriptures where Jesus tells us to have childlike faith. Don’t be distracted by that, as Paul is talking about something completely different here. When you are a child your understanding is limited, but as you grow, so must your understanding. This full circle understanding is wrapped around the knowledge that love is the greatest thing in the world. Refresh your mind about all the things that love is and isn’t.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (NIV)
Okay, now that we have put away childish thinking and refreshed our memory about love, let’s get down to business. Let’s unpack some of the ways we live a life of love around the context of women.
Love Does Not Dishonor Others – I wish I could say that in every scenario in my life I have honored women. Sadly I have not. I have been the guy on the golf course that watches another guy leave a putt 2 feet short and jeers, “What’s wrong Sally, your hand get caught in your skirt?” Why? Why would I say that? Well, I would say that because I thought it was a harmless joke. I’ve heard dozens of other men use similar insults. It’s just what you do. When a guy does something that required more strength than what they put in to it, then obviously it was because they tapped into their inner woman.
Now that I have put away childish thinking and examined my heart and the culture around me, I can clearly see that I was NOT honoring women. Sometimes it goes so far as to use women’s genitalia as an insult to call a man weak. Shame on us. So why do we do this men? We have been living in a world that for millennia has oppressed and marginalized women. They have been treated at best as little more than property for much of history across the world, and still are in some parts of the world. Even in our own country women have had less rights than men up through the last century. And if we were honest about our world, we would admit that all to often women are being treated like property, which leads to my next point.
Love Always Protects – As a father of two daughters, I am concerned with their protection. But not in the stereotypical picture of a father sitting in a chair, cleaning a rifle, waiting for his daughter’s date to show up. Do I want my daughters to be physically safe? Of course I do, but I’m not trying to protect them the way you would protect hens from a fox. They are my daughters, but they are not my property. I desperately desire to protect their hearts from being damaged by low self worth. I want to protect them from the lies of Satan that they are ugly, weak, and less valuable than a man. I yearn to have daughters that grow up knowing they are beautiful, strong, and fierce heirs to the throne of the King of kings.
If I use the female gender as an insult, then I’m directly damaging my ability to protect my daughters’ hearts by poisoning my mind with lies.
Love Does Not Delight In Evil, But Rejoices With The Truth – So what is the truth? I believe it’s very simple.
Genesis 1:26 & 27 – “26 Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (NIV)
God made THEM in His image so THEY could rule. God didn’t make men or women individually to rule. He made them to rule together. All people are created in the image of God. There is a purpose and a reason for everyone’s existence. If you think you are better than anyone else, female or male, then you are delighting in evil. Rejoice with the truth men! Women are image-bearers of God just like you and me.
So, what do you do with this information. Well, I hope that you will start by examining the way that you speak to and about women. Ask God to reveal the lies you believe about women and renounce those lies. Let the Holy Spirit transform and renew your mind. Lastly, don’t use the female gender as an insult.
Please share this with someone who you know could use it, and let’s take another step toward living as Misfit Men together.