The founder and senior pastor of one of the largest churches in the United States—with 15 locations in five states—is inviting men to fight. Craig Groeschel’s, in his new book, Fight: Winning the Battles That Matter Most, challenges readers to “man up.” He says that God gave men “a warrior’s heart” and they need to learn to fight the right battles “for God’s sake.” Here, we talk about which battles he thinks men should fight and if he agrees with pastor John Piper that God gave Christianity “a masculine feel.”
JM: When you look at the portrayals of men in Hollywood and pop culture, we are inundated with these images of tough-skinned, violent, “manly men.” What are you seeing that is causing you to be concerned that men in America are becoming too passive?
CG: I think we see extremes portrayed in media. There is everything from the tough guy that just goes out and does everything wrong because he wants to, and then there is also a real passive portrayal of men who are unfaithful to their wives and are not involved in the lives of their children. I think both extremes are extraordinarily dangerous.
In society, I think one of the biggest problems we see is that men now–maybe because of the role models or maybe because of a number of factors–walk away rather than stay in when things get difficult. We see this in our churches whenever a marriage gets tough. Rather than staying and fighting for the marriage, it just seems like people give up rather than helping their children do the right thing and being involved in their lives. They say, “Well, I’ll let my wife handle that part.” So men may be fighting battles, but they are fighting the wrong battles. They are fighting for themselves and fighting for things that don’t matter. I look at the fight and really help to try to inspire men to try to reengage in the right battles and fight when they matter the most.
JM: Can you talk about some of those specific circumstances where you are inviting men to fight back? You aren’t referring to the battlefield, but is it the home, the workspace–what are some more specifics of those?