A song we often sing during praise and worship is “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin. A line that really sticks out to me in that song is one that calls Christ “lion and lamb.” After reflecting on this line, I realized that Jesus, by being both lion and lamb, is the perfect example of masculinity. He is strong and bold and brave and mighty and wise like a lion, but He is also kind, gentle, joyful, sweet, tender, and innocent like a lamb. He isn’t cowardly or fearful and too lamb-like, nor is He brutish and too lion-like—Christ is perfectly balanced. He is the perfect man.
Every man is called to mirror Christ in this way. They are made in His image, after all. Just as Christ acted in bravery and strength—just read any account of His passion, or the time He declared His father’s house to be a place of worship and not money-changing (Jn 2:13-17). Men are called to act with courage in all of their dealings with others. If a man is too much the lion, however that exhibits itself, we know something is amiss. In the same way, if a man is too much the lamb and cowers or acts in fear, it is just as clear.
However, women aren’t off the hook either. Even though we’re not men, we, too, were created in God’s image and are called to be lion-like and lamb-like, although in different ways. The fierceness, boldness, bravery, strength, and wisdom of a lion are displayed differently in a woman, as are the qualities of a lamb. We are called to possess these qualities and to develop them to mirror Christ, in order to be a shining example of femininity and fully be a lover to Jesus the way He is a lover to us.
This is a challenge for all of us! Sometimes I am too much like a lion and am sarcastic or judgmental. Other times, I am too much like a lamb and find myself acting out of fear or shyness. Even today, I failed miserably, and was rather lion-like about one of my missionary brothers.
It’s important to remember, though, the ways we succeed at imitating Christ’s lionhood and lambhood. I show strength in many ways, whether it’s through courageously pursuing God’s will for my life, or simply carrying my heavy backpack to the chapel for holy hour in the morning. I show the tenderness of a lamb when I greet someone with a hug. Although I can always grow in these areas, it is by God’s grace that I exhibit them already. Praise God for that!
How can you mirror Christ better by imitating His lion-like qualities or lamb-like qualities? How do you already mirror Him?
Christ, teach us to imitate You every day in our dealings with others. Amen.