Gillette, the 118-year-old shaving company, recently released a controversial commercial called “Believe” that plays on their famous slogan, “The best (shave) a man can get” and replacing it with “The best men can be”.
Well, I think that is the wrong message!
There are plenty of portrayals of bad behavior in the commercial but there is also some very good messages. The best is that it calls men into accountability, which is one of the core traits of God Buddies!
No Longer, “Boys will be Boys”
The commercial opens with an image of a man looking in a mirror as the news in the background spouts buzz words: “bullying…violence…toxic masculinity.” A voice asks us, “Is this the best a man can get?” Next there is a montage of stereotypical “bad men,” that grope and patronize women, mindlessly couch-surf, and stand around their grills while their sons engage in vicious brawls. Then comes images from the #MeToo movement that offer a tutorial on men setting a good example for young boys by supporting girls and women and confronting those “toxic” men.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me— 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)
I’m all for companies taking a social justice position and agree that some men still will “be boys”. Its time for some guys, young and old, to grow up and “act” like men.
Acting Like Men
One of best parts of the commercial though is the latter half men challenging guys who misbehave to a better standard. Certainly, we need to hold each other accountable to the higher standard and embrace the spirit of the #MeToo movement by supporting and loving women and girls and all people by following the lead of the perfect man, Jesus Christ.
A proper understanding of how a man should act comes from the New Testament. The Apostle Paul’s’ letters to the Corinthians, which first calls us put away any boyish behaviors and then “act like men”.
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.–1 Corinthians 16:13–14
Accountability is Key
I will write more on accountability in later posts but the timing of the Gillette commercial stresses the importance of men knowing how they should “act” like a man, not just how to “be” a man .
According to the Genesis creation account, God created us uniquely male and female (Gen 1:26–28) in His image. This means our “maleness” and “femaleness” is divinely instituted and should not be socially defined.
But we also know the original sin story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 2) which impacts both men and even women throughout history and even today. When our behavior is distorted by sin, we are portrayed like those men being boys in the Gillette commercial, it leads to the perception that all men act that way. Not the case!
One way to begin to change that perception is to allow another man (your God Buddy) to come into your life to hold you up to the higher standard of a godly man.
How are we training boys (and men who still act like boys for that matter!)? Are we setting the right standard for how we should “act like a man”?
Comments are always welcome below.