Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Boys Will Be Boys

Recently a friend and I were catching up. Through the course of the conversation the topic somehow drifted to our “bad old ways.” My friend began to tell me about one of his coworkers who liked to spend time and money at strip clubs. As he went on he also informed me that his friend was a “cheating bum."

He told stories of infidelity and the heartache that accompanied it with an almost gleeful look in his eyes. It’s the same sort of look you see in the TV version of a middle-aged “redneck”. (You know the guy... he has a big beer belly.  When he’s bragging about the engine in his hot rod he sticks his thumbs down the inside of his belt, proceeds to hike up his britches and sway back and forth on his feet.) The smile on his face was the same smile pasted on my friend’s face. It was pride. The part of the conversation that really left its mark on me was when he said the words, “I guess boys will be boys.”

We’ve twisted this harmless phrase and exploited it. This saying was invented to justify a little boy’s behavior when he wanted to jump from the roof into the swimming pool or see how fast he could ride his bike down a hill. Grown men (and women) have become masters of the art of justification.

Instead of growing up into respectable adults, some have learned that they can get away with anything if they simply say, “You might not agree with it, but it’s just the way we are.”  Have we forgotten that there is a clear right and a clear wrong? 

Genesis 6:5 (KJV) says, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” 

We cannot blatantly cross the line and expect people to treat us like real, stand-up men; even if we justify and make excuses. God knows our hearts and our actions reveal our character to other people.

There is nothing inherently wrong with a little boy who likes to ride his bike really fast or wants to jump off the roof into the pool. They might not always be the smartest things to do, but they’re not sinful. 

Men who use the same excuse to cheat on their wives, gamble, drink heavily, look at porn, or squander the family’s money have chosen to not only demonstrate they’ve never grown up, but also that there is absolutely no authority in their life. Men like this cannot be trusted.

Romans 8:5 (NIV) tells us, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” 

Just because we want a little adventure doesn’t mean we’re doing anything wrong. But, when we start to justify our harmful, sinful behavior by telling people that our actions are simply “not something they understand,” and therefore acceptable, we distort everything about who God created us to be.

It’s so liberating to know that God has given us a compass so we don’t stray off into the wilderness, but that He also understands a man’s desire for excitement. There is a heaviness and darkness that seems to accompany pursuing “fun” outside the Lord’s territory. But those who turn around and seek thrills in a God-honoring way have endless opportunities without the burden of guilt and sin.

Hopefully you’re actively pursuing all the adventure God has to offer.

Copyright © 2009 Jeff Markins. Used with permission. 

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