For as long as I can remember I've always wanted to be a man’s man. For example, I can remember from the age of 4 going to visit my grandparents at Echuca. My Pa was huge. 6 feet He was built like a tank. He had hands the size of dinner plates. He was a man. He could lift anything. I watched him pick up king brown snakes with his bare hands. He was tough. And he was a farmer.
From the earliest times I wanted to be a man and Pa was a man and Pa was a farmer. So I tried to achieve my mission by becoming a farmer. I left home when I was 16 and started working on farms. I worked hard and it was so important for me to be seen as a man, by working physically, and working long, excessive hours. I'd tell anyone who'd listen how hard I'd been working. But here’s the problem with wanting to be a man.
I was always trying to prove myself to myself and to others. I was always worried what people thought of me. I was actually quite insecure. And deep down I knew I never really was the man I wanted to be. You see, you always remember the times when you weren't so manly. Like when you've screamed and jumped into the nearest tree because there is a snake. Every time I shake another man’s hands I’m also reminded. My Grandfather had hands the size of a dinner plate but my hands are smaller than my wife's. I always deep down felt insecure. Now I’d always known about Jesus since I was a kid. I'd always known he was an amazing guy: He was the son of God-he did amazing miracles. My parents taught me and modelled the Christian life. I knew that Jesus loved me, that he had died for my sins. And I believed it. But maybe what I didn't realize was this. That Jesus was the man I could never be. Jesus died on the cross for his enemies. I reckon I could die for my wife and kids. But my enemies-no way! Jesus was the true man, the real man. He did the hardest Job. And he did it so that I don't have to be. And so there is no greater thing in my life than putting my trust in Jesus. Not only has he died for my sins, not only has he forgiven me and promised eternal life for me. But he's taken the burden from me of needing to be a man’s man. He's done it for me, so I don't have to worry. This is what has led me to where I am today. Because of Jesus I didn't need to be a farmer to be a man. My identity is no longer tied up in farming, in proving myself. In Jesus’ eyes I'm someone and I don't need to chase approval. In 2007 we made the decision to leave the farm and go and tell people about Jesus Ever since I gave up farming, I've noticed a change in my life. Kylie tells me I’m more comfortable in myself now. When I introduce myself to people I don't feel like I need to say that I use to be a farmer. I'm not embarrassed to say I work for a church—a job that from the outside is looked at as a weak, unmanly job. The beautiful thing now is that since surrendering my focus on manhood I've become more of a man than I ever was. And it's because of Jesus!