Monday, November 9, 2015

Three Qualities of a biblical Man

He is committed to the word of God

A biblical man’s primary and single pursuit is to bring glory to God. He strives to know the word of God and carries out His will. He does not go about setting his own agenda. The word of God is a lamp to his feet and a light to his path. He knows and obeys the Lord's commands. That was Adam’s responsibility; to obey and keep the command God had given him, it was the same responsibility Moses labored to remind the children of Israel when he said “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.” And Paul through the Spirit instructs fathers to raise their children in the discipline and instruction of God

In line with knowing and obeying the word of God is teaching it to others. A man who does not teach the word of God to his family is not carrying out God’s purpose for his life. It is instructive that God gave the command to Adam not to eat of the fruit. By implication it was Adam’s responsibility to teach his wife the word of the Lord. I am highly convinced that women should not marry men who are not committed to the word of God. Now I do not necessarily mean women should look for bible scholars but should rather look for men who are committed to the word of God and will let it be their rule of faith and practice.

He is committed to work

Adam was commanded to work before the fall. And God had set an example for him to follow. God worked by creating the world in six days, even though he didn’t have to work. And when he created Adam he asked him to exercise dominion and subdue the earth by taking care of the garden and naming the animals. Adam was required to exert energy and produce work of excellence. The labor of his hands was supposed to be “very good”. A biblical man does not shy away from nor avoid labor, he does not cut corners or look for quick fixes, he does not engage in get rich quickly schemes, he does not opt for the easy way out and avoid responsibility, he does not view work as just a necessary evil or just a means of earning money and neither does he produce mediocre work. A biblical man enjoys work because he views it as a service to the Lord and that his work is to be very good.

Laziness is unbiblical, unchristian and unmanly! Solomon’s rebuke rings loud when he says “Go to the ant you sluggard and learn its ways.” It was the design of our creator that we should work and subdue the earth. However, there is a difference between being committed to work and being a workaholic. The Lord rested to teach us the importance of resting. It is often a sign of misplaced priorities and disorganization when someone has to work every time and not rest (I pause and repent at this time). There is a time to work and a time to rest, a biblical man has a good balance between the two.

He is committed to family
What often sufferers when we cross the line and become workaholics is the family. After God had created Adam and given him a mandate to obey the word and work in the garden, He saw that it was not good for the man to be alone, so God created a suitable helper for Adam, a woman. So Eve was to be Adam’s companion (helper) in carrying out the purposes God had created him for. And for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh (family). Adam now had the responsibility of leading his family in following and pleasing the Lord. No wonder the Lord confronted Adam first when they disobeyed, he was the federal head.

We can put it this way; the man is responsible for providing physically and spiritually for his family, just as he is responsible for protecting them physically and spiritually as well. In other words the Lord is going to hold us accountable for how we lead our families spiritually (I have to repent once more). The wife of a biblical man will be more spiritually mature after marrying him because he leads and guides her in the ways of God and so it goes with the children. Jim berg is spot on when he says: “A man’s home is not his castle, his hunting lodge, his crash pad, his entertainment center, or his business center. It is where he exercises dominion over the spiritual growth of his family”

If we are to be honest this is an impossible task. No man can do this in his own ability. The only way a man can truly be a biblical man is if he has experienced the grace of God and is living by the grace of God. If a man is ruling without any conscious dependence upon God in prayer and bible study, his dominion will not bring blessing to those whom he oversees.

If a man’s power is not supernatural he cannot expect supernatural results. If he is sowing to the flesh he will reap destruction; if he sows to the spirit, he will reap life.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Men be Men

There used to be a time when we had a universal definition for a man. There also used to be a time when the difference between a boy and a man was more than just the size and physical appearance, but alas that is not the case anymore. As David DeWitt has painfully put it:
“A man is an increasingly hard thing to find. We live in a society of boys-twenty-, thirty, forty, fifty and sixty-year old boys. Many guys seem to have the goal of maintaining a junior-high mentality all the way through life. The ultimate in life seems to be to retire, still a boy.”

In the words and thoughts of Jim Berg there are three major stages in the development of a male: “boy, man and patriarch. This means there are two major transitions he must make if he is to fulfill the character God gave him. As a boy he must decide to be a man, and as a man he must decide to be a patriarch.” What is even more convicting is the definition of the three stages as Berg goes on to say
A boy is a male who is generally chaotic; not yet having established order for his life. 
A man is a male who has taken on responsibility for establishing order for himself and for his immediate family. (immediate circle of friends or co-workers if he is single)
A patriarch is a man who has taken on the responsibility of establishing maturity (wisdom as a way of life) for himself and applying it to his extended family.  
What makes a boy a boy is that he pursues chaos. He has not ordered his life. His life is not yet headed in a direction. He lacks discipline to accomplish tasks. He has not taken significant must ownership of values or virtues. 
What turns a boy into a man? This is the most important and most basic transition in the life of a male- and it is where most of us fail. If a boy does not become a man, all future development is merely a fabrication of the real thing. Of course, a boy will get bigger and older but size and age do not make a man. Manhood is a spiritual decision a boy make. If he doesn’t make this decision, he will remain a boy all his life. A boy is chaotic. His challenge is becoming orderly. 
DeWitt’s summary of the current state affairs is worth noting, even though it is from the American point of view. 
“Many men, teens and above, are locked into the mindset of the average American junior high youth. His heart is easily captured by the latest fashions, pop and reality show idols, superheroes, electronic games, sports personalities, junk foods, sexual enticements- both real and virtual, chemical stimulants- both legal and illegal and the crude and sensual humor and violence of the most popular video clips and blockbuster movies. He is easily bored and resists correction. He endures work and school as necessary evils between pursuits of pleasurable experiences offered on the midway of the world’s carnival”   
Spiritually, this kind of male has little tolerance for preaching unless it is high in entertainment value and instead of spending the formative teen years preparing for adult responsibility, these years are thrown away in the pursuit of pleasure. 
With these rather depressing descriptions before us, what then is biblical manhood? A few quotes to provoke our thinking will suffice.  
“God has bestowed on man both supremacy and a mandate, both an authority and an assignment. Man is God’s deputy and representative on the earth. Therefore a man is obligated to exercise an assertive, aggressive and godly rule over the various realms of God’s creation” Mark Chanski
“Someone who rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously and expects a greater reward” Robert Lewis
“Masculinity means initiation. To be masculine is to take initiative. To provide direction, security, stability, and order, to lead, to head, to husband… initiation is the bottom line of masculinity. It means taking the lead; the lead in providing, protecting, mentoring, and befriending. It means caring for developing our mates, our children, and ourselves. It means taking the lead in apologizing, the lead in seeking forgiveness, and the lead in vulnerability. Masculinity means initiation.” Stu Weber
When you look at these definitions you right away see dominion and responsibility. But you also see that been a man is impossible unless you are God-fearing, led by the word of God and living by the grace of God.