I am afraid that I am primarily a sinner, through and through. Even after I cleaned up my act a bit, and stopped drinking as much, and swearing as much. My flesh seeks out sinful things and my thoughts happily sing along.
I want to be a righteous man, like righteous men of old. I haven’t even gotten started, yet. I can’t have a ministry of pulling beams out of other people’s eyes.
I love people. Sometimes, I love people secretly and they don’t know it. They think I am going through life pissed off, and retreating deep into my own head. People don’t like being, loved, though. They want you to love their personalities or online personas. Any love outside of this is inordinate by today’s standards, because people automatically think you want to have sex with them. This is the consequence of freeing up our sexualities. We are now suspicious of every intention of the other, for better or worse.
Sex rarely enters the equation. Of course, it sometimes does, and then it has become a sin. I feel more masculine lust at 39 than I ever did at 19 or 29. I am more likely to be turned on by oversexed women between 25 and 45 than by women shaped and sized outside of what our culture deems to be sexy. This happened suddenly, one day at work. I have worked hard to put a stop to it. I don’t ever want to have sex with anyone except my wife. She is placed inside a different category, a different sort of ordinate love that is both chaste and properly lusty as the life mate I was meant to cleave to. However, I have discovered constantly since getting married that my biological organism and my old sinful nature did not just up and go away the day I took my marriage vows.
So, becoming a truly righteous man is a lot of work.
Learning to love other men in a Christian, ordinate sort of way is also a challenge. Especially here in Waco, where men all seem to aspire to be the biggest, baddest redneck hero. I am a miserable wretch who constantly screams at them when I am behind the wheel of my car and they hopefully can’t hear me. I don’t pack a handgun, and I probably never will.
I can rationalize later why much of my behavior is wrong, but there are simply moments where my emotions get the better of my rational side, and these wild horses run off with the cart.
Being a married man, I can’t simply decide to never have sex again. I don’t think this would work out well. Being a man, I can’t approach other men in my church and community with any sort of familiarity that would make us both uncomfortable. I obviously feel that there is more to my Self than being simply a WASP, middle-class, middle-aged male in the first part of the 21st Century. I feel like there is a part of me that exists beyond the identity that I present to my society. Fundamentally, I don’t feel like I am necessarily a man or a woman, but what abides in that deep place is a mystery and not necessarily some marginal gender identity, but a full expression of the Spirit, the Elohim who said let us make man in OUR image.