Aurora Heroes and Real Men

This morning’s headlines still have us stunned by the senseless evil of the shooting in Aurora, CO. But even in the wake of the tragedy, we hear about the everyday heroes. Like 21-year-old Stephanie Davies, who covered the neck wound of her friend Allie with one hand and called 911 with the other. Or like Jennifer Seeger who had the presence of mind to tell others to lie down and play dead.

But there’s one heroic headline that especially caught my attention – how three young men saved the lives of their girlfriends by throwing their bodies over them or pushing them to the ground before ducking themselves.  In the middle of the chaos, vision blurred by the smoke bomb, Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves hardly had time to move, much less process what was happening around them. But instinctively, they laid down their lives to shield the women they cared about, protecting them from the shots. Add to that 19-year-old Jarell Brooks who was shot when he stopped to help a mom with her two children escape the gunfire.

They were a few good men whose split-second adrenaline-rushed instincts reminded us of what real men do – protect those who are weaker, even if it cost them.

The Aurora stories also reminded us of something even deeper about our humanity. Their heroic actions that we praise as displaying the best of who we are speak to a greater reality – one that our gender-blurring, male-bashing, “I can open my own door myself, thank you very much” kind of world can’t change.

“Mature masculinity senses a natural, God-given responsibility to step forward and put himself between the assailant and the woman. In doing this he becomes her servant. He is willing to suffer for her safety. He bestows honor on her. His inner sense is one of responsibility to protect her because he is a man and she is a woman.…It belongs to masculinity to accept danger to protect women.”[1]

In the face of senseless violence, the instincts of men like Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn, Alex Teves, and Jarell Brooks reminded a nation what a real man looks like. Not self-serving, or one who lords his strength over a woman. And not self-abdicating, or one who passively resigns the lead. But self-sacrificing, one who gives all of his life and strength to protect.

While the Aurora tragedy reminds us of how real men die, the gospel reminds us of how real men live – with the same self-sacrificing love that Jesus showed on the cross (Eph. 5:22-33). Do you have any real men in your life? If you do, encourage them. They may not have the opportunity to take a bullet and die for you, but they’re laying down their lives every day to be the men that God created them to be.

Here at BiblicalWoman, we grieve and pray for the victims and families of the Aurora shooting and honor the many heroic acts of courage, some of which we may never hear. And, we call upon men to do what God created you to do – to protect, no matter what the cost, and to be our heroes.

Katie McCoy is the editor of and is pursuing a PhD in Systematic Theology at Southwestern Seminary. When she’s not reading for her classes (a rare occasion!), she loves hanging out with friends, eating sushi, learning new words and is currently a political news junkie. Connect with Katie on Facebook or Follow her Twitter!

[1]John Piper, What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible. Wheaton: Crossway, 1990.