Gift Guide for Christian Men
Walking in the Path of Jesus
There are two people on my list I always have trouble buying gifts for: Both are guys and both are very passionate about something. One is an avid home brewer, the other is a humble, yet equally passionate Christian. Home brewing equipment from the Dollar Store, Sears or K-Mart just won't cut it. At the top of his wishlist is something very specific you can only find in a home brew specialty store. My Christian friend already owns every obscure Bible version imaginable.
Every year I seek high and low, scour the Internet, magazines and, yes, K-Mart and Sears and still come up empty handed. This year is going to be different. Let's go shopping.
What do Christian Guys Want?
Stumbling along in the path of Jesus
Just about every gift guide suggests something along the lines of getting into the head of the person, stepping into his shoes or some other way of getting to know who he really is. It occurred to me that stepping into his shoes would also involve walking in them along the path of Jesus. It looks like I'm going to have to learn how to crawl first.
If you're a believer yourself, you'll know what to do. For everyone else, there is guidance in the words of Jesus: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)
Let's see what's most significant about Christian guys in general and your guy in particular.
Four Things Christians Do
- Bible study
As mentioned, my friend already owns every obscure Bible version imaginable. His favorite is old, dog eared and full of notes.
This is going to be a challenge. I think we can do this by going beyond traditional books and include audio and video. Study aids might be OK, but he has many of those already.
Over 200 illustrations, narration and dramatization. Interactive selection or continuous play. An amazing gift.
Jesus tells us to go into our room and shut the door when we pray and God will reward us openly. He also tells us to pray continually. I other words, every step we take on our daily journey is a conscious step taken completely in the spirit of God. His will be done, not ours - unless it's the same as His, of course. When we pray continually, it will be.
The selection of prayer or meditation books is huge. The challenge is to find the one that matches this particular guy exactly. I've tried to cover the different kinds of prayer Christians pray: Praise and adoration, Forgiveness, Petition, Thanksgiving and Intercession.
Our Christian faith may be personal. Its expression can take many forms, but it is not private. We're all members of the body of Christ. In other words, what I do impacts you and what you do also impacts everyone around you. God wants us to be conscious of this and live in community with each other.
Yes, community with others does mean Bible study in large or small groups, going on retreats or volunteering. It also means going fishing, camping or watching the game with the guys, etc. It means helping a friend with a home improvement project or hosting a backyard BBQ. In other words, Christians do the same things the rest of us do. So now we're more on familiar turf and the task of finding gifts comes down to discovering what else makes him happy.
The only things I'd keep in mind is that he's more likely to be family oriented than others.
Amazon has identified about a dozen categories of interests people have. Start with that if it helps:
Green thumb guy
Yes, Jesus does want us to "go and make disciples of all nations," tell people about Him. Being a witness, however, isn't just talking about Jesus. Being a Christian witness involves your whole life, everything you do and say, all the time. Thus, it can take many forms. The Amish rarely talk with others about their faith. They consider it pride, a sin. Televangelists, on the other hand, use lots of words and all kinds of multimedia. It's all good.
My friend is somewhere in between, perhaps on the quiet side. Chances are good yours is, too. His witness is probably more along the lines of the relationships he maintains with people around him, family, friends, business associates, co-workers, etc., etc.
What Kind of Witness is He? - Personality Determines the Kind of Witness
- Humble, quiet and shy
- Flamboyant, verbal extrovert
- Average Joe Normal
For the Quiet, Humble Witness
If your friend, like mine, is on the quiet and shy side, his testimony is likely to be slanted towards the non-verbal. He is more likely to wait for others to initiate the conversation.
Aha, we need conversation starters, but how? Christian guys in this category often also deliberately wear plain clothing and little or no jewelry. Their coffee mugs are plain and monochromatic.
Except for the Amish and some Quakers, dressing plain is more a state of mind than a statement of faith. Therefore, plain clothing from most stores will do just fine except the conversation starter purpose will not be satisfied. If you want to try going a little more radical, look for collarless shirts and broadfall pants.
Flamboyant, verbal extrovert
Chances are your flamboyant extrovert friend's testimony is more on the verbal side. He is likely to have no trouble talking to people, so he's also likely to appreciate stuff. Unlike our introvert friend above, a Hawayiian shirt or a flashy wrist watch might be just what he needs. I'll start you out a little more subtle.
Guys are usually practical, so let's try to stick with useful stuff.
If you are not a Christian yourself, this video might help you figure out how Christian's think.
If you're a Christian guy here's a way to leave a hint for your friends.