X3: Wolverine As Role Model

It was the opening weekend of X3: The Last Stand, and we sat in the fourth row of the theater with our heads tilted way back. I cast sideways glances at our boys' rapt faces as they watched Wolverine claw his way to victory. Actor Hugh Jackman's wolf-slash-man-slash-mutant character portrays masculine heroism in several ways:
  1. When a lady love comes on strong, he discerns the difference between lust and love and puts on the brakes.
  2. He's a team player, realizing he must rely on the gifts of others to lead well and defeat the enemy.
  3. He challenges conformity while retaining nobility of character and unswerving loyalty to the cause.
David Murrow, author of Why Men Hate Going to Church, thinks we need to invite this kind of robust masculinity into our churches, especially for the sake of the next generation:
Just 35% of American men say they attend church weekly, he reports, and women make up more than 60% of the typical congregation on a given Sunday. Murrow contends that the church caters to women, children and the elderly by creating a safe, predictable environment. This alienates anyone fond of risk taking, including young men and women, but men are affected most. In order to reach men, Murrow suggests, churches must "adjust the thermostat" to embrace the masculine spirit: let men lead; give them tasks; encourage pastors to show strength and teach men through object lessons, letting them discover truth for themselves. (Publisher's Weekly, March 24, 2004).
As a mother of sons, I think he's right. In the over-feminized culture of the evangelical church, where women sing choruses about our "lips quivering" with love for Jesus, our boys could definitely use a more Wolverine-ish approach to Christian discipleship.


~Mark said...

I'm applauding loudly right now! Thank you for this post!!!

(I doesn't hurt that I've been an X-Men fan since I was 7, but I'd love this post even if I weren't.)

Mitali Perkins said...

X-Men has been one of countless benefits of becoming a mother of sons and learning about boydom ...

Thanks for visiting, Mark!

Matt Langdon said...

I love your article. Heroes with prickly appearances don't often get credited with their behaviours.

Mitali Perkins said...

All my heroes have prickly appearances ... especially the One who had nothing to attract us to Him. I visited your blog and love your distinction between celebrity and hero. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.