Biblical Masculinity 2: Desire to be a Man in the image of God
First of all, let me apologize for the typos on the last email to my church brethren. Please forgive me. I did not do a good job of editing. Nonetheless, the need for us to learn about Godly masculinity is very, very important in our time.
We live in a time where boys are told they can be girls and vice-versa; this is a lie. We live in a time where the beautiful individuality of the sexes as designed by God is being downplayed, and we are being robbed of the fluidity that is like a dance when the two sexes excel at their designed best. In a recent statistic that I saw, it showed that 43% of boys were raised in a home where there were only moms, and that 80% of all teachers were women. The conclusion was that, for almost 50% of boys, there are no male role models in their lives. The problem then is not that these boys are seeing toxic masculinity; they are not seeing any positive masculine role models at all.
In the previous article, we worked at showing that God did not hate women at all; in fact, He delicately and deliberately created them as they are with their strengths and abilities. We also showed that God designed women and men differently, even down to their skeletal structure. Things like eyesight, muscular structure and instincts are all different between the sexes. We also showed that God designed a woman to complete a man and to make him better than he is by himself.
- Why are men so important?
In an article entitled “The Real, Complex Connection Between Single-Parent Families and Crime” by Kay Hymowitz, published Dec 3, 2012, we find this harrowing statistic:
The 1987 “Survey of Youth in Custody” found that 70% did not grow up with both parents. Another 1994 study of Wisconsin juveniles was even more stark: only 13% grew up with their married parents. Here’s the conclusion of Cynthia Harper and Sara McLanahan, the doyenne of researchers about single parenthood: “Controlling for income and all other factors, youths in father-absent families (mother only, mother-stepfather, and relatives/other) still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those from mother-father families.”
The importance of fathers in the household is critical. There is something that God put in men that is essential to the successful future of their children. This is not even about saved or Christian men; this is just men in general. Men are needed to secure the future success of their children.
Now, lest someone gets out of whack, there have been many mothers who have raised great children. There have been some amazing men to come out of the homes of single mothers. Dr. Ben Carson, one of the most highly educated men in North America, an excellent surgeon and now the Secretary of HUD in the US government, is such a product. But what we are noting is the norm, not the exception. In general, where there is no father in the household, there are disciplinary problems, and young men – and now more often young women – end up in the court system.
This is no accident. This is a planned attack on the family. God designed the nuclear family: a man, a woman and their children. He designed the family unit before He had nations, and millennia before the church was set up. The nuclear family is the foundation of all societies, and it is the sure footing upon which nations are built. But over the past 50+ years, there has been an orchestrated attack on men, and as such, the nuclear family. The attack is ultimately on God and a defiant “finger wagging,” if you will, that laughs in the face of His expressed plan.
This lack of respect in the home and in society for the role of men has translated into the Lord’s churches as well, and we see a growing disfunction in churches and ultimately in the Lord’s family. Any attack on the nuclear family will also weaken churches. A simple overview of most churches, even very conservative ones, will show that the vast majority of attendees are women and children. There is a lack of men in our churches; mom is leading the family to church, NOT dad. Thus, young men get the idea that church is for women and kids; and soon they leave as well once they are no longer under mom’s authority. The Lord’s churches are destitute of strong, Godly men.
- Godly men are strong men
There are different kinds of strength but, in this case, we are talking about physical strength. In Luke 11:21 we see this verse:
“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.”
In the first two chapters of Numbers, God calls for a census of men ‘able to carry the sword’; they had to be over 20 years old. In chapter 2:32 we see the total:
“These are those which were numbered of the children of Israel by the house of their fathers: all those that were numbered of the camps throughout their hosts were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.”
These men were responsible for the protection of the nation when at war and from her enemies. God required that the men of Israel be strong men capable of waging war when necessary; men who knew how to handle a weapon; and men who could take orders and run to the fight and not from it. My goodness; you might think this seems as if they are dangerous men. Yes, they are, and every man should be seen as dangerous to those that would cross his family and his nation. The same Jesus who cuddled the small children also turned over the tables in the Temple, and ran the money changers out (Matthew 21:12). King David showed himself to be a capable warrior because he killed both a lion and bear whilst guarding his father’s sheep (1 Samuel 17:34-36).
But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”
God wants strong men, physically, at the head of our families. This is very important; you see God is the head of the Christian family and He is a strong Father. But many modern churches have gotten away from the ALL-POWERFUL God, and present Jesus/God as a bit of a ‘sap.’
Any child in their right mind in my generation, born in the mid-sixties, had a healthy fear of their dads. Mine was a Godly man who loved me and my brothers and loved my mom, but right was right and wrong was wrong. My dad was the first person to fire me from a job. I was 11 or 12; I back-talked one of the supervisors and he fired me. He also made me walk about 5 miles home so I could contemplate my actions. We need more strong men at the helm of families. Ones who love their wives and children, but men who can be the disciplinarians when needed. Men who can strike fear into wayward teenage boys and girls with their presence. This is not to mean that one needs to be afraid of the father in the home, but one needs to have a healthy respect for his authority.
In the same way, we as God’s children do not need to be afraid of God. But the Bible calls us to ‘fear Him’ – to have a high regard for the name, the place, the reputation and the person of God. We see verses like the following in Proverbs 10:27:
“The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.”
Proverbs 22:4, “The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches, honor and life.”
Proverbs 15:16, “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and turmoil with it.”
Proverbs 14:26-27, “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.”
I can go on and on; but the point is that when one has a healthy fear, or regard, or respect for God’s position in our lives, then we will behave differently, and it will determine how God behaves to us as well. BUT, in addition to the reverential fear that we should have for the Lord, we should also have an understanding of His power and ability to discipline as we see in Hebrews 12:6-11:
“For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
In the same way, a human father is to be feared as the one who can bring chastising on us. The word chastise means to beat with a rod, like a switch from a tree. Look at Proverbs 23:13-15:
“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.”
Godly men should be able to bring harsh discipline in their homes when needed. God does the same to us to benefit us and to help us and keep us FROM trouble. Now you can see the importance of having strict fathers in the home. In the last article, I said that they should act as the priests for their homes before God. But they should also be there to set the example and then to deal with disciplinary issues. There were things my mom would deal with, but then there came a point where she got dad involved; and that was a whole different level of discipline.
- Godly men are servants
If you want to be a strong man, learn to be a servant first. One of the verses that I try to apply to my life is Philippians 2:5-7:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”
Jesus took on the form of a servant. You will recall that He washed His disciple’s feet the night before He was executed. Jesus fed the poor, comforted the hurting and was of no reputation; yet, no greater nor stronger man ever walked the planet. Jesus was strong enough to be a servant. We need more servant men at the heads of our homes. Men who will love their wives and serve their kids; men who set the tone for their homes by being servants. Teaching young men that true strength is not in brawn, although that is needed at times, but in being consistently helpful, consistently there, consistently ready to do what needs to be done, consistently humbling yourself, and consistently leading them to the Lord.
Godly men can put their egos aside and humbly serve their wives, serve their kids, their churches, their communities, and on and on. If you want your wife to follow you, and your kids to honor her and you, then be the head servant in the home as Jesus came to be the head servant of the New Testament church. He is also our Heavenly Father to be feared and hallowed, but He is also the one who cleans up our lives, comforts us, feeds us, clothes us and is there for us.
We need fathers who are there, present and doing what fathers do. We need fathers who teach their kids about Jesus, teach them about forgiveness and kindness, a father who honors his wife and shows what men should be for their daughters. We need men who put Jesus first, and wives next, above all else. Strong, Godly, servant men to lead our homes, to serve in our churches and lead our nations.
May we men take heart and humble ourselves so we can be Godly men for our Lord, our families, our churches and our nations.