Reclaiming Your Identity As A Man: An Identity Formed

Here is the devotional:

John Eldredge, author of Wild at Heart once said: “Identity is not something that falls on us out of the sky. For better or for worse, identity is bestowed.” We are who we are in relation to others.”

Think back to the people who had the biggest impact on your life. Either positive or negative. What did they say to you? What did they say about you? How did they treat those around them? Deep down, the heart of every man is to be impacted by others and to have an impact on the world around them. We long to know that we make a difference in this life. A man that thinks his life isn’t worth much at all is hardly alive. To know that we matter, that our presence cannot be replaced by a car, a possession, or even another person. The awful burden of the false self is that it must constantly be maintained.

We think we have to keep doing something to be desired. Look at TV commercials geared towards men. Do this to get that. Use this razor for a beautiful woman to hang all over you. Drive this truck to be accepted. Once we find something that will bring us some attention, we have to keep it going or risk the loss of the attention. For many men, that false identity is found in daily work. So we work hard to get that false identity affirmed by a company or entity that will discard us when we are no longer “valuable” to the bottom line. It’s no surprise that depression and loss of identity are a large concern anytime a man loses his job.

We all live with the fear of not being chosen for the team, or the job and the burden of maintaining whatever it is about us. We develop a functional self-image, even if it is a negative one.

The other day my son was so proud to show me how he had decorated my SUV with sidewalk chalk. I remember saying to him “What do you think you’re doing? You’ve made a mess!” My son dropped his shoulders in shame. And it nearly brought him to tears. I quickly recognized my mistake and tried to tell him I loved his artwork but use a piece of paper next time. But maybe the damage was already done: the boy forms an identity: “My art is bad. My impact is awful; I foul good things up. I am a fouler.” And he forms a commitment to himself to be afraid of fouling it up again. Years later, his wife wonders why he’s afraid to be more intimate; his colleagues wonder why he turned down a big job. The answer lies in his identity, an identity he received from the impact he had on the most important person in his world and his fear of ever being in such a place again. I am learning as a young father that the words we speak over our children carry a lot of weight.

But the good news is that the words Christ speaks over us carry much more weight if we allow them to sink into our hearts. God created humans to have unique characteristics and purpose. However, he designed us also to have a commonality of contentment with our lives through His will. We discover our true identity the more closely we are drawn to Him.

Here are the scriptures referenced:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Ephesians 1:5 KJV


But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1 Peter 2:9 KJV


Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Romans 6:6 KJV


Here are Stu’s thoughts:

Finally one that actually points to the solution…getting closer to God.

That is valuable insight for us adults.

But as he pointed out earlier about his son a child’s identity is deeply learned by those closest to him…parents.

Gosh, do you know how much sidewalk chart my kids used on my Probe when they were little?

Or how many dead gum stickers they placed all over the windows?

Not once did I belittle them for any of it.

Those stickers stayed where they put them.

Now the chalk, though it was very sweet, did come off while they played in our fake pool we made at the apartment building I was staying in.

I know the power of words and I have tried very hard, even after a trying day at work, to be mindful to speak positivity into Brandon and Erin.

But there are those around them that do not. I won’t put the names out there but they have told both Brandon and Erin they were fat😮

If either of them is fat then I’m must be obese.

They have been called stupid, lazy and a few other words.

And I’ll be honest it is harder to rectify those negative words with Brandon than with Erin.

Brandon sees himself as a fat lazy idiot and has had to have counseling due to his depression.

I on the other hand point out how smart and gifted he is. As well as the fact that he is precisely the weight he should be for his age and height.

But can you imagine carrying those words around as your identity into adulthood?

Or how about these…

Good for nothing.

You’ll never amount to anything.

Whore.

Easy.

Worthless.

Ugly.

A waste of good air.

The list of negative words having an adverse affect on one’s identity is almost infinite.

Now take any of those into the future and I can understand the statement I don’t know who I am😢

Even as a Christian adult, knowing our identity in Christ, it is still a tough issue.

And it could be tougher as we have a greater range of influences.

Spousal emotional abuse in rampant.

Work environmental issues with coworkers and leadership.

Heck, even withing the four walls we call a church.

Look, I know who I am. I am a child of God who is worthy of love and forgiveness because of Jesus.

I also know my identity yet there are times where I must go to God and ask for forgiveness for allowing certain words to stick in my head.

The closer we get to God to the more in tune with who we really are. Through prayer and reading His Word He shows us and directs us to become more like Jesus

6 thoughts on “Reclaiming Your Identity As A Man: An Identity Formed”

  1. Oh, those words from parents 😣😥
    “You could be so pretty if…”
    “Why didn’t you do better?”
    I have to wonder what words of mine have stuck in my son’s head. I’m afraid to ask.
    The things and words of this world have a heavier influence on us than God’s works and words. The effects of sin, I guess. So sad.
    BUT GOD. “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”

    Liked by 1 person

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