Biblical Masculinity 3: …Man in the Image of God :: By Sean Gooding

There has been some really good response to these lessons. Just last year at one of our associational meetings, one of our main speakers asked to see how many preachers there were under 30 years old. There were two in a room filled with preachers. The vast majority were between 40-55, and just a few over the 65 range. It was a startling look at the reality of the lack of men that many of our churches are facing.

As I mentioned last week, the vast majority of our churches are filled with ladies. Once again, there is nothing against the ladies; we need them and cherish them. BUT we need godly men to fill our churches as well. Men who will love the Lord, love His holy word and be apt to teach it.

I hope with this to equip families to teach young men. I hope to help a home where the lady is the head of the home or the only spiritual leader to be equipped to help the young men in their homes become godly men. I hope to equip young men to grow, and I hope to help young women to be able to identify the young men that God has for them and be able to help them be the men that God intended them to be. To be ‘helpmeets’ like Eve was designed to be, to help complete the men in their lives and together be the formidable strength of the local churches that they serve.

The apostle Paul, via the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, offers us some insights into how Godly men should be in 1 Corinthians 16:13,

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”

In Jude, verse 3, we find that he tells us that his intention was to write about our common salvation, but was led by the Holy Spirit to write this,

“It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.”

  1. Godly men should stand in and for the faith

This means that you have to know what you believe and why you believe it. Men need to be able to handle the Bible. Too often in TV shows we see the women are the foundation of the faith in a home. Let me give you an example from one of my wife’s favorite TV shows. The Walton’s features a family that regularly attend the local church there on the mountain. In the show, the dad is not a church-goer really, but mom is, and she takes the kids. In reality, the man who plays John Walton was a devout Christian and his TV wife the skeptic. But for the sake of Hollywood, the opposite was portrayed.

In many shows, the Christian is the fanatic and the nut case, the one who takes the OT rules to the extreme. But no one wants to admit the difference that true Christianity made to the world. Many of our prominent universities began as seminaries: places like Harvard and Yale. Just about everywhere in the world that true Christians went, they brought education. Often, it was the church house that became the school house during the week. The Gutenberg press began to allow the mass production of books, especially the Bible, and allowed the common man to get the Bible. Today we have people still actively translating the Bible.

Just yesterday, I found out that one of my nieces is in England studying music therapy and how it is used to help mentally ill people, used to help people with depression and a host of other diseases of the mind. In 1 Samuel 16:14-23, we find that God knew about this kind of therapy, and David played a harp for King Saul to comfort him in dark times.

We need men to stand up for the truths of the Bible by, first of all, knowing the truth of the Bible; so we need men to teach the Bible to young men. It may seem as if they are not listening, but they are; and more importantly, they see a man teaching the Bible and realize that it is not just for women folk. We need men who experientially know Jesus; they have walked and talked with Him and have seen His hand for themselves. I have!

I can tell you account after account of how God has spoken to me, shown me and met me where I was. I can tell you of events big and small in which I know for certain that I had neither the power nor the ability to perform. It was the Lord. I can tell you that God has provided for me and my family beyond what I make and that He is faithful. We need more and more men with this kind of experiential knowledge of God. Trust me, I am still learning and still growing, but I know God is real.

Both Paul and Jude encourage us to behave like men. Be strong in the faith, contend for the faith, stand for the truth, behave like you actually believe in a real God who does real things in your life and that He is the God you trust with your life. Godly men should not have two standards of life, one for church and then another for ‘real’ life. No, one standard for all, God’s standard.

  1. We need Godly men to be faithful to their wives.

In Ephesians 5:25 we see this famous verse,

“Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Men need to be servants, and their boys need to see them serving their wives, their children, their churches and their neighbors. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet; surely, we can shovel some snow, wash a car, mow a lawn or weed a garden for the neighbor. We can actually show God’s love and not just talk about it. Young boys need to hear men say ‘I love you’ to their wives and to them as well. Young boys need to see a hug, and a hold. They need to see genuine affection between mom and dad. Let them see how a real man loves a woman, not just how the media promotes using women.

Men should speak lovingly to their wives and learn to hold our tongues. Man, this is hard to do, but if we are to be true servants, we must learn that it is not necessary to have the last word; it is not necessary to say that dig at your spouse or to point out every little flaw. One must not get his way all the time or ever if that is what it takes to show true love. A man should not tolerate evil in his home, but we should learn to tolerate preferences that are not ours. A Godly man does not impose his will all the time; he leads and shows, he teaches by example, and then God leads others to follow.

Lately, there has been a rash of so-called preachers getting into trouble with regard to sexual issues. As we can see from King David, even a man after God’s own heart can forget his call as a man of God when faced with a beautiful naked woman. The story of Bathsheba has lived on in history for millennia. Sex is not a bad thing. God invented it and gave us the intimacy of sex to bind a man and his wife together for fun and not just for babies. Children are the fruit of a good sexually intimate marriage. God talks of the intimacy of marriage in passages like Proverbs 5:18-19,

“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice with the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful fawn- may her breasts satisfy you always, may you be captivated by her love forever.”

This is the Godly kind of romance, not the garbage that you find in modern movies and in the romance novels of the modern day. A married couple (a man and a woman) can be as adventurous as they want in their bedroom as long as it is between them and agreed upon.

Hebrews 13:4b “The marriage bed is undefiled.”

We need Godly men who will love their wives passionately and be captivated with their love, their physical beauty and their wonder. Young boys and men need to see their fathers fawning over mom and treating her as the beauty that she is. They need to see that a lifetime of satisfying one woman takes real men. Any boy can satisfy a different woman for one night. But real men, Godly men, invest a lifetime into their wives. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing an elderly couple who are still chatty and flirting with each other, and still happy to be together. We need Godly men to bring honor back to the sexual union that God created and blessed.

The Song of Solomon is an entire book in the Bible on human sexuality and on the intimacy and the veracity of love between a man and his wife. Apparently, Jewish people were not allowed to read that book until they were about to be married or after they were married; it is that explicit. For some reason a lot of churches simply do not talk about human sexuality from God’s point of view. This leaves a void that the Devil is filling with sexual perversion and sexual abominations that are killing our young people and plaguing our societies. Is it not sad that we have come to the point where if a man protects the sanctity of his marriage, he is considered odd? The Lord’s churches have allowed this to happen by not teaching Biblical sexuality. We need Godly men to lead here as well.

  1. We need Godly men who have flaws in their armor.

We need to be real. We are not perfect. I am far from it. 1 John 1:8 tells us that if we say we have no sin, we are liars. We do not have it figured out. We should always be learning. I came into the parenting thing late in life. I was in my early 40s when I became a stepdad – Dad, as my kids call me; and then my wife and I had another child, three in all. I thought I had it figured out as a pastor. Man, I was wrong! I still don’t have it figured out 10 years later. As a pastor I have had to go back and apologize for sermons and then teach the whole truth. As a salesman I need to constantly grow and learn.

I fail, a lot. I sin, a lot. I probably embarrass God a lot. But He still loves me. We need to be real and love our wives and children in their reality. There are still rules and consequences, but the Bible says love covers a multitude of sins; love never fails. It is not weakness to admit flaws; it is weakness to hide them. Make no mistake; you are not fooling anyone. Maybe yourself. If you live with someone like your wife or kids for a while, they know all your flaws like you know theirs. Stop faking it.

Godly men confess sin daily. Godly men confess sins to their wives and kids. Godly men seek to do better, try harder and fail over and over. Godly men fail, but are never failures because they confess and try again. Godly men do not give up on their wives or their kids. Once again, this is not an excuse to condone sin. There are consequences, but mercy and grace should be exhausted to the nth degree since God does the same for us.

This is why you need men, fathers, pastors and leaders who are familiar in a personal way with the Lord. Men who have felt the mercy and the grace of God. Men who have deserved the wrath of God but experience His love, His touch, His kind word, His blessing instead of His punishment, His grace instead of His wrath; and with this knowledge, they lead our homes, our churches and our nations.

Will you step up? Will you join the front lines? Will you stand fast and stand firm like a man?