(Note: This is Part 6 of our series on biblical masculinity, adapted from Men’s Leadership Training)
Ambrose Redmoon said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” This is the essence of what it means to be a protector–the determination to defend. Men are hard-wired to defend what they are responsible for, even in the face of great peril, even at the risk of their own lives.
The ability to be a protector stems from a man’s natural capacity for emotional detachment. In order to make hard decisions for the good of others and self, men must be able to consider things objectively to a degree, without the interference of their emotions, which are good, but can also be misleading. Emotional detachment enables men to face hard and dangerous challenges because it allows them to overcome their personal fears.
Men are intrigued by danger, in large part because of their hard-wiring to take on challenges that test them, and to take down adversaries. Little boys turn their bananas into guns, not because they have gone the way of the violent offender, but because they instinctively understand what it means to be a courageous defender (even if they are just defending their seat at the table). The Native American Indians fought to the death–they were bound by honor to defend their people and land, even as both were disappearing. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood up for minorities in the face of a malicious, oppressive culture. Throughout time, men have had to rise to the occasion when the lives of those they loved were in the balance. They have had to hold back personal insecurities and doubts and move forward with determination and honor.
Whether it’s fighting an enemy in war or standing up for a mistreated lady or installing a security system in your home, men must carry out their calling to protect the world they inhabit. Danger, decay and death are real adversaries, and as men, we must give our attention to shielding the people and things for which we are responsible.