Friday, May 1, 2009


Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

What does it take to be a man of God? The image of a man according to the world has been distorted, softened and feminized over the years to the point that men find it difficult to even know what their role is in society, marriage and the church.

Phil Johnson over at "Pyromaniacs" addresses this topic specifically with regard to the church. Here are a few excerpts from the article entitled:

"Most of the seminars, rallies, and books targeting evangelical men have actually made the situation worse. They are either dominated by feminine themes (personal relationships, dealing with your emotional hurts, learning the various "love languages," and other forms of sensitivity training)—or else they tend to paint a picture of masculinity that sounds like it is taken from The Brothers Grimm rather than Scripture."
"Until men themselves stop listening to those who define manhood in terms of beer, stogies, and cage fighting; until Christian leaders quit fooling around with various tokens of artificial manhood; and until Christian men en masse seriously begin to cultivate real courage, conviction, and commitment to Christ and the gospel, the problem will persist."
"...according to John Eldredge: "Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue."That's a fairy-tale perspective. It's an irresponsible little boy's notion of manhood. It lacks any biblical foundation whatsoever."
"In short, the problem is not that Christian women have overwhelmed the church with their feminine charms and seduced its focus away from where it ought to be. The problem is with Christian men who aren't manly enough to balance the equation."
"Real manliness is defined by Christlike character, and not just the Gentle-Jesus-meek-and-mild-style character, but the full-orbed fruit of the Spirit rounded out with strength, courage, conviction, strong passions, manly love, and a stout-hearted willingness to oppose error and fight for the truth—even to the point of laying down your life for the truth if necessary."
The real model for manhood is Jesus Christ. You don't see any references in scripture about Jesus boasting of how much beer he drank or how tough he was. He didn't have impressive toys or make crude jokes about women. Never do we see him grunting, cage fighting or bumping chests with the guys. And yet, He was the picture of masculinity as God designed it to be. Throughout scripture, God gives us examples of what it means to be a real man...

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. ~ Matthew 16:24-25
How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways. When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, you will be happy and it will be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, your children like olive plants around your table. Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD. ~ Psalm 128:1-4
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. ~ 2 Peter 1:5-9

The man's role in marriage is defined in direct relationship to that of Christ and the Church:

For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, ~ Ephesians 5:23-25

Men are responsible for leading their family in the ways of the Lord:

A righteous man who walks in his integrity--How blessed are his sons after him. ~ Proverbs 20:7
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. ~ Ephesians 6:4
As David's time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, "I am going the way of all the earth Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. "Keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn... ~ 1 Kings 2:1-3
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. "These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. "You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."~ Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Men are called to be the initiators. The leaders not the followers. The one who stands...

“Initiation is the distilled essence of masculinity. Men have a responsibility in all relationships to be the primary initiator. If a male will not initiate then he is not a man. If a man will not initiate then he will live with the regret and failure of his passivity."

"The world cries for men who are strong: strong in conviction, strong to lead, to stand, to suffer...glad to shoulder the burden of manliness." ~ Elisabeth Elliot (author of "The Mark of a Man". Elisabeth's husband Jim, was martyred for his faith while sharing the Gospel in Ecuador; subject of the movie: "End of the Spear")

Men should strive to be disciplined, self-controlled and servants as Christ demonstrated. A true leader is one who serves and thinks of others first. A Godly man is one who's life is marked with the fruits of the, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-25). As men of God, our hope should be in Jesus Christ; not our wives, not the best-selling "How to be a Man" book, not in "Men Retreats" and especially not in the ways of the world. He alone is our hope and our model for masculinity.