Women have had their chapter long enough, and my wife’s written about how she’s pretty much failed at following it. I think it’s time for the men.
It’s time we define the ideal man to whom we should compare all men, from henceforth and forevermore, regardless of context or culture, giftedness or calling, personality or preference. THIS is the perfect man.
Now, this isn’t some sort of legalistic standard we’re going to hold all men to. It’s just sort of a guideline for men to aspire to. It’s good for men to have goals and examples. If a guy feels bad because he isn’t as awesome as the Proverbs 32 Man, he shouldn’t. He should be encouraged and challenged to try harder, to honor God with his manhood. Proverbs 32 can provide a sort of prayer guide for the man who falls short, giving him something to lean into and press into and run hard towards. He should humbly allow this interpretation of perfection to take him deeper than his feet could ever wander.
Who can find the perfect man? A man who’ll actually stop for a bathroom break, or ask for directions? Where is this man? Tell me if you know.
He’s a businessman, survivor man, romantic man, warrior-poet man, and a soft man. He cries when he needs to and holds you when he’s supposed to, and yet he can karate chop the tusks off of a hippo when necessary. (I don’t know that that would ever be necessary, but this is The Message version, ok?)
His wife can trust him to get the right kind of cheese at Target, and NOT stop at McDonald’s on the way home. He will help the children to eat healthy and exercise regularly.
He is energetic and spunky, especially when accomplishing the honey-do list, but he calms down appropriately when inside.
His hands are busy paying bills and writing checks to pay for all the wool and flax his wife’s hands are busily spinning.
He helps the poor and the needy, but he never lets them get the house dirty or interrupt date night.
He looks good in a suit but is always modest.
He has no fear of winter, for his wardrobe includes plaid flannel for pseudo-adventuring in tightly-controlled national forests and hip coffee spots. (Plaid is required in both places, as is facial hair, which he has plenty of.)
He quilts when he needs to, quoting Chesterton and Keller. He is Luke from Gilmore Girls and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. He is also Aragorn and Thor.
His wife is well-known, but not too well-known.
He makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to people, but only to married people, because, you know, purity.
He is clothed with strength and dignity and a strong sense of humor. When he speaks, he speaks with the wisdom of Solomon and the wit of either Jimmy.
His children stand up when he enters the room and he doesn’t even have to ask them. His wife completely and totally adores him, boasting often about her “smokin’ hot husband.”
He serves on the deacon board, the mission board, the elder board, and he’s even good with real boards. His hands are gentle but firm, and softly calloused.
Many men are awesome, but you are the awesomest. It’s not a competition, but really, if it were, you would be winning.
There are tons of guys in the world, but you, Proverbs 32 man, with your ample character, charisma, and cash, surpass them all.