Gender confusion is rampant in our day. The church is often just as bad as the culture, and sometimes worse because we should know better. God has given us perfect, clear instructions on what it means to be a man or a woman. The gender issue is usually pointed at woman, but I am going to point it specifically at men. Though much of this applies to both genders, it is the men who must be out in front in just about every area of life.
Does anyone know why we “used” to say ladies first? When Christian principle was still alive and well in western culture, women were treated with respect based on their own value and merit, rather than a socially-enforced mandate based on the feminist movement. We lost this as a culture when we lost Christ as a culture. Men used to stand up and protect women, and now, you rarely see that except in cowboy movies and fairy tales. Christian men, almost to the man, have become cowards in our day. Gents, this has to be fixed. We have to man up!
God calls men to be in a position of leadership, and the funny thing is (contrary to popular thought) that most men do not want this leadership. I am not talking about being the boss, or making the rules, I am talking about biblical leadership. This is the kind of leadership that hurts, the kind we have not really seen for a long time. Men today are more concerned with “important things” such as sports, movies, games, hobbies, etc. than with their calling. I am going to point out the three primary things a man should be interested in, to show himself a godly man. By primary I mean, a man should know more about these three areas than any other area of his life. By primary I mean he should spend more time in these three areas than any other area of his life. Consider:
Love of God- “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30 This, my fellow Christians, is the greatest commandment that God ever gave. That means that in order to be a godly man, Christ must be before his eyes at all times. None of us is perfect, but that is not an excuse that God will accept. Make God such a part of your lives that people could not explain anything about you without using His name, this has to be our goal. Plain and simple.
Love of Others – “And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31 This is the second greatest commandment God ever gave. A man must be more concerned about other than he is himself, because manhood is never selfish, sin is. God requires that men act as His leaders on this earth in all areas that God Himself created, self, family, church, civics, and any other tasks God has given mankind. If you have a wife, then this goes doubly for the way you treat her. Men are not godly men if they care more for themselves than for others, or spend more time on themselves than others. Plain and simple.
Love of the Kingdom – One of the benefits of being born again is that we can “see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Today we often mistake the ‘heart of man’ for the kingdom of God because of our faulty view of the acts and purpose of God (among other things). The kingdom of God is the people of God, His Church universal (which means global scope!). If a man is not dedicated to the assistance, advancement, and defense of God’s kingdom, then he is missing a big point of his existence. Man was not put on earth so that God could curse him and then save his heart. That is a very narrow view of God’s plan. Man was put on earth to be instruments of God’s plan. If one sees his witness as only effecting himself, then he is blind to his position as a herald of God’s kingdom. Men need to forcibly advance, starting with themselves and families and ending with eternity. Get the vision, plain and simple.
Men need to step up, take responsibility, and lead! We cannot sit back and watch women do it, unless we enjoy watching our judgment (Isaiah 3:12). This starts with God and family, extends to others, and encompasses everything.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1. I pray that men start to understand this concept and see that they “were bought at a price” 1 Corinthians 6:20. From this foundation will come the realization that a man is only a shadow of what he was created to be unless he serves (obeys) God. The issue is not what one is able to do, it is what one ought to do.
Okay, so practically? Start by thinking through your day, what place does God play in it? David made sure that his God was always before him (Psalm 16:8), meaning, God was always on his mind and the purpose of his actions. Take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), and replace it with Christ! Those moments when you would rather crash and be selfish, turn to Christ and deny your flesh. Meaning, games, movies, and sports should not (and cannot) be more important than Christ, Bible, family, kids, etc. Get the vision and then pass it on!
-Soli Deo Gloria