It’s Father’s Day… I appreciate my father, a real man, raising me to have the courage to stand up in the face of opposition, be it from school yard bullies, modern societal pressures, politicians or a politically correct agenda imposed by our government. He taught me to stand up and speak out for what I sincerely believe to be right. Before it was clichéd by movies, books and social media, I was taught about the sheep in the world, the dangers of the wolves and the sheepdogs that keep the wolves at bay. Granted, my dad never used those exact expressions, but his message was clear, nonetheless. There are the innocents, the bullies, and the people who stand up to them no matter the difference in size or number. Thanks dad, for raising me like a real man.
"If you are in a war, you are a warrior." Is there a war on drugs? Is there a war on crime? Is there a war against terrorism? Are you confronting and containing aggression as a peace officer at home, a peacekeeper in some distant land, or a warrior combating terrorism around the world? Or perhaps you have chosen to be a martial arts practitioner or an armed citizen, seeking to defend yourself or your loved ones in their hour of need?” from "On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace" by Dave Grossman, with Loren W. Christensen
I don’t know about you or your life, but I’m in a war. A war against wickedness, unwed teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, immorality and lewdness, the homosexual movement, and the list goes on. I’m a warrior because I am speaking up, and speaking out against the direction that our world is going. Perhaps I’m fighting a loosing battle… But since when has that ever been an excuse to quit fighting?
I remember whenever I was in the Marines an old gunnery sergeant was criticizing countries that had “remained neutral” during the World Wars. He made the statement then that I have never forgotten, “You are either part of the solution or part of the problem… There is no neutral ground…” He went on to say that those countries that remained neutral would have all been speaking Japanese or German if America hadn’t gotten involved in the war. His statement is true today, even in the war against unrighteousness. There is no neutral ground. You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.
Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman in his book On Combat relates the story of an old Vietnam veteran, a retired colonel, who once said to him: “Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident. Then there are the wolves,” the old war veteran said, “and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.”
The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
“Then there are sheepdogs,” he went on, “and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.”
Grossman says that if you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy and productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath--a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.
He goes on to say that sheep live in denial, and for the most part, do not like sheepdogs. The sheepdogs are too much like the wolves. Violent, aggressive, large fangs… The difference is that the sheepdogs would never harm the sheep… They are strictly there to protect them. Only when danger from the wolf strikes do the sheep hide behind the sheepdog and at that moment are thankful for his presence.
After reading his book, I begin to understand some of the differences in my own personality and life. God gave me a gift of aggression, something he addresses. And most of society, especially church society, can no more understand my thinking process than I can theirs. My wife has no idea what it’s like to think, feel or be like a man. No more than I know what it’s like to think like a woman. Or a sheep. I understand now more than ever, why the news media and the youth of America around me think so vastly different than I do. They are sheep, and I am a sheepdog.
I believe that a sheepdog can identify a wolf in sheep’s clothing, even when a sheep can’t. There are many people today who claim that they want to make things better for others, and in so doing they are trying to define social norms. They want to make women men and men women, and some both or neither. They say this is better, fairer, more accommodating, less infringing upon the rights of others, etc… I say that this is the words and actions of wolves in sheep’s clothing. At the very least it’s the braying of sheep that don’t understand the viciousness of the wolves that are lurking in the dark shadows filled with immoral intentions.
I’m asking for real men everywhere to embrace the inner sheepdog. Stand up for what you know is right. Protect your family. Stay on guard because the wolf is lurking… Until next time, this real man’s signing off.
Marine. Husband. Christian. Father. Pastor. A Real Man helping masculine men find their place in God’s Kingdom, without sacrificing masculinity to do it.