I want to sit in the BIG chair!
The small chair is safe, fun and comfortable. Folks take care of you when you sit in the small chair. They give you things. You don’t have to worry about much when you sit in the small chair. Boys sit in the small chair. It’s OK and expected… for a time.
But, God’s design is for boys to become men. And, there’s something about sitting in the small chair that ultimately leads to dissatisfaction. Most boys eventually tire of folks telling them what to do and taking care of them. They want to stretch their wings, flex their muscles and make their own decisions. Boys want to move to the big chair. They want to be men… until the pressure of responsibility begins to squeeze them. That’s when many who try to make it manhood on their own quietly slip out of the big chair and move back to the small chair to be coddled and cared for.
Here’s the deal, without knowing and walking with the ultimate model of manhood, Jesus, it’s impossible to make it in the big chair. The big chair requires sacrifices, selflessness and courage. The big chair is about taking care of others, not being taken care of. Life in the big chair is hard but satisfying because when a man is walking with Jesus and caring for others the sense of fulfilment overshadows the burdens.
Consider Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:11… When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
There is a time to sit in the small chair of boyhood, but there is also a time when manhood beckons us to leave the small chair and move to the big chair of manhood. I used this illustration with a group of men last weekend. We talked specifically about what we must ‘give up’ to move from the small chair to the big chair. Here are a few of the points.
- My Agenda. When I’m in the small chair, it’s all about me. I’m the center of the universe. That’s how boys think. But, when I become a man, my agenda focuses on the well-being and benefit of others. Men are no longer me-focused but others-focused.
- Sports Obsession. When you sit in the small chair, sports are consuming. You watch at night until you can’t hold your eyes open then get up and turn on Sports Center to see what you missed. In the big chair, you recognize that sports are simply games and entertainment, not inherently bad but potentially addictive. And you realize that if it starts with fantasy…
- Lust. From the small chair, women are objects, lust is habitual and pornography is consuming. When you sit in the big chair however, you focus on adoring, respecting, serving and loving your wife, or treating all women well in anticipation of one day having a wife.
- Work as Drudgery. For the boy in the small chair, work is drudgery – simply a means to an end. I do this so I can get money to buy _____ for me. But, for the man in the big chair, work of all types provides an opportunity to glorify God, minister to and provide for others.
I could go on and on here but I wonder what you would add. Any other thoughts about what changes as you move from the small chair of boyhood to the big chair of manhood? I’d love to know your thoughts.