Category: Manhood in the Bible

Fight the Spirit of this Age

This world constantly encourages self-indulgence: Isn’t it time you take care of yourself? Take a break! You’ve worked hard. You deserve this! It’s in the commercials, it’s in our entertainment, it’s in our diets, it’s in our workplaces, it’s in our schools, it’s in this worlds leaders, and it’s in the air! It is a powerful and influential attitude that Satan broadcasts through the atmosphere around us: self-importance, self-promotion, self-serving, and self-righteousness: selfishness!

 

The Western world is full of the spirit of contributing nothing. Rare are the men who make good things happen. Rare are the men who drive themselves to make a positive difference in the lives of others. We are surrounded by men who, at best, may be wealthy or intellectual, but who are spiritually wretched, miserable, impoverished, blind, and naked!

 

Even we who are striving to be obedient to God all tend to shrink back every now and then, to become complacent, to slip into ruts from time to time. We are tempted by the desire for “me” time, the allure of checking out of our responsibilities for a while.

 

If you are not fighting this spirit of corrupted manhood, you will succumb to it!

 

What counsel does God give the person afflicted by the attitude of rich, luxurious, and spiritually destitute Laodicea? “Anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (Revelation 3:18).

 

We need to open our eyes to the gaping needs that are all around us, needs that have opened up because of the myriad voids of Godly manhood.

 

Those shortcomings must be met by Godly men who see them and charge forward to fill them. Men who see the vision of what God created them to be. Men who recognize their own deficiencies, rely on His Spirit to fill the gap, then act to help others.

 

We need to see where our families need more of our presence and attention. We need to see where our congregations need more Christian manliness.

 

God says in Revelation 3:19 that if He loves us, He rebukes and chastens us. Many men wilt under even gentle correction or promptly begin justifying themselves and deflecting blame onto others. The Godly man embraces correction and zealously repents.

Anoint Your Eyes

Ours is a world of you do your thing, I’ll do mine. It has grown comfortable with accommodating and excusing evils like immorality and perversion that was scarcely imaginable just a few generations ago. Yet people feel smug and self-satisfied, convinced that such tolerance is a virtue.

 

God’s assessment of this age is evident in the personal message Jesus Christ sends to “the church of the Laodiceans” (Revelation 3:14-3:22). This is the end times and the final era of God’s Church, which exists right before Christ’s Second Coming. This is a time when truth has been cast to the ground (Daniel 8:12). Laodiceanism is the spirit of the age, it’s a spiritual disease that permeates not only the majority of God’s people (all those who profess to be his), but also society as a whole.

 

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot,” Christ says. “I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:15-3:17).

 

This spiritual wretchedness, accompanied by complacency and self-righteousness, deeply affects modern manhood. Many men are weak, effeminate, indeterminate, numbed by materialistic luxury and idleness, blanketed in a spirit of lukewarmness.

 

God wants men to be strong, masculine, and on fire for the truth! God needs men who are burning with zeal. His Work needs men who are ardently devoted to God’s purpose. Children need fathers and wives need husbands who are keenly engaged in their daily lives, leading the way God ordained.

 

Be honest: To what degree have you allowed yourself to get weighed down by Satan’s world? To take comfort in complacency, to shrink back into unmanliness? To feed your own laziness, selfishness, smallness? Is the trajectory of your life really leading you to where God wants you to be? 

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Jesus Christ is Exemplar of Masculinity

Artists and theologians have portrayed Christ as a skinny, soft-spoken, long-haired, effeminate wimp who died of a broken heart. This is not who He was. The Bible says it is shameful for a man to have long hair and that effeminate men won’t even be in God’s Kingdom (1 Corinthians 11:14; 6:9).

 

Jesus was a real man.

 

The real Jesus was nothing like what most people imagine! The Bible says Jesus was a muscular man of perfect health and enduring strength. He kept all the physical laws of good health (Hebrews 4:15). Before His ministry began at age 30, He worked with stone and timber as a carpenter (Mark 6:3). He had well-developed, hardened muscles and tanned skin from laboring outdoors throughout His life. During His ministry, He walked from city to city through mountainous terrain, sometimes traveling many miles in one day.

 

Artists who paint Jesus as effeminate must not have read John 2, where Christ confronted money changers in the temple. When He saw shady business transacting inside God’s house, He took a handful of ropes and whipped the livestock to drive them out. He kicked over tables and chairs and threw money all over the floor. His deep voice bellowed through the halls: “Get out of God’s house, and take your things with you!” This was at the beginning of His ministry, when few even knew who this man was (John 2:18). Yet these Jews were too fearful to challenge this strapping, righteously indignant young man.

 

Before being tempted of the devil, Jesus went without food and water for 40 days; something no frail weakling could ever endure. Before His crucifixion, Jesus was brutally beaten (John 19:1), then nailed to a stake with iron spikes. Yet his health was so robust that He lived through what would have easily killed the average man. He survived until a Roman soldier finally thrust a spear into His side.

 

Physical fitness is only a fraction of Godly masculinity, though. Jesus was a learned man who took His education seriously even as a child of his youth. Though little is recorded about His younger years, there is enough for us to know that, as a boy, Jesus obeyed His parents, Joseph and Mary, and developed an intimate relationship with His Spiritual Father in heaven (Luke 2:51-2:52).

 

At 12 years old, He entered the temple at Jerusalem and discussed the truth of God with the most educated theologians. Luke 2:47 says those who heard Him were “astonished at his understanding and answers.” They were amazed by how much He understood and He was 12! As Jesus grew up, He “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (verse 52).

 

The mere fact that Christ began His ministry at the relatively young age of 30 reveals what kind of character He had as a boy, a teenager, and a young adult. By the time His ministry began, Jesus had developed into a powerful, persuasive speaker. Those who heard Him were astounded, and those who hadn’t heard Him traveled a long way so they could. People who knew Him as a child couldn’t believe how eloquently this Jewish carpenter could speak. When He finished speaking, He often tried to withdraw for a quiet moment, yet throngs of people would sometimes track Him down (Luke 4:42).

 

Jesus also had a commanding presence. His doctrine astonished the masses, because He “taught them as one having authority” (Matthew 7:29). He boldly castigated the self-righteous religious leaders of the day: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” He cried. “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:29, 33). Yet Jewish authorities coveted His popularity. Even Pontius Pilate, who oversaw Christ’s execution, acknowledged that Jesus was a just man who spoke the truth (Matthew 27:24).

 

Together with steel-like traits of vibrant health, intelligence, decisive leadership, righteous indignation, and powerful persuasiveness, Jesus also exhibited many velvet qualities. Above all, He was humble. Publicans and Pharisees criticized Him for spending time with sinners, but He knew that the sick are the ones who need the physician (Luke 5:31-32). The Lord and Master of the disciples instituted an ordinance of humility at His final Passover, and He washed their feet (John 13:13-14). Though He was their Lord and Master, that merely meant He served them all the more. He taught that those who serve most will receive the highest positions in God’s Kingdom. You can see why Jesus, the most humble servant ever, qualified to be King in God’s Kingdom.

 

Jesus was also a compassionate man. No matter how busy He was or how crowded the scene, He made time for the disadvantaged. Christ once left Jericho with a great multitude, and two blind men cried out to Him for mercy. The multitude rebuked them, but Jesus stopped to help. “So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him” (Matthew 20:34).

 

This genuine compassion for others even caused Christ to weep on occasion. In the case of Lazarus, Jesus cried because of the people’s lack of faith (John 11:32-43).

 

The gentleness of Jesus is reflected in how He treated children. In Mark 10, after some adults pressed to have Him lay hands on their little ones, His own disciples rebuked the parents. But He reprimanded the disciples, saying we must all become as little children to enter God’s Kingdom. He then took these children up in His arms and blessed them.

 

This same kindness drew many women to Christ. Some even wept at His feet. At Jacob’s well, Jesus asked a Samaritan woman for water. She was taken aback, since other Jews wouldn’t even speak to Samaritans. Christ discerned that this woman was involved in an adulterous relationship; the way He dealt with her evidently prompted her to repent of that wickedness and to support Christ’s work (John 4:28-30).

 

This is how quickly Jesus forgave people who showed fruits of repentance. Another time, scribes and Pharisees were about to stone a woman caught in the act of adultery. But Jesus intervened to prick everyone’s conscience: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7). After everyone left, He told the woman to go and sin no more.

 

Jesus Christ was the epitome of true masculinity. He wasn’t all steel, lording His authority over people. Neither was He all velvet. weak and effeminate standing for nothing. He possessed the perfect balance of virtues both powerful and tender, uncompromising and compassionate, blameless and merciful. He was both steel and velvet: strong, bold, courageous, gentle, patient and meek. This Godly form of masculinity drew many men, women, and children to Him.

 

The Bible paints the portrait of a real man; the kind of man all men should strive to become.

 

Manhood is a Weapon of Righteousness

Godly manhood is a weapon to destroy selfishness and to eradicate the wrong thinking, the wishy-washy perspectives, and the inward focus of modern manhood.

 

The office of a Godly man shapes you. You can’t shy away from it: You were born for it! God wants to use it to help you grow, not just into a Christian leader, but into a born Son of God! You must strive together with God, allowing Him to forge you into the man He needs you to be.

 

This is the path to manliness, to nobility, to accomplishment, and to genuine satisfaction. This is the road that leads your family from disorder to harmony, and from darkness into light. It gives your significant other security, stability, contentment, and peace of mind. It gives your children a window into Godliness, a blueprint for achievement and success. This is the route that leads to a shining place of honor in the eternal Family of God and within your household.

 

So embrace your God-given destiny!

What True Masculinity Looks Like

God’s truth cuts through all of society’s confusion about masculinity and manhood. In His eyes, true masculinity is the evidence you see in the words and deeds of a man, the embracing of his God-given role and his destiny as a man. In doing so, he is taking on the character and divine nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ.

 

A masculine man sets his mind to attain the strong qualities of sound character, rock-solid confidence, and strength. He is an unselfish, stable, dominant (though not domineering), decisive leader. Yet he is balanced and tempered by the complementary traits of humility, attentiveness, gentleness, and refinement. In short, he strives to live as Jesus Christ did.

 

How can you recognize a truly masculine man?

 

A positive, upbeat outlook is the first thing you notice. True masculinity starts in the mind. The masculine man has a “can do” attitude and is eager to accept challenges and responsibility. He is a man of balance. He is not egotistical or arrogant, but rather has proper humility, recognizing his own limitations and his deep need for God (Isaiah 64:6; John 15:5). However, he doesn’t put himself down or worry about what others think of him. He allows God to use and develop his talents and abilities for their best use. He doesn’t covet others’ belongings, nor judge his own worth by comparing himself against others (2 Corinthians 10:12).

 

His life clearly centers on God. He shows the mindset and demeanor of a man who is in effective daily contact with God through prayer and Bible study. Though content with his station in life (Philippians 4:11), he has real drive and ambition, not because he craves personal aggrandizement, but because he wants to help and serve others, to fulfill his God-given potential, and to bring God all the glory. He radiates proper confidence, even boldness, knowing he “can do all things through Christ” (verse 13; Proverbs 28:1). This understanding, tempered by experience, drives out unmanly feelings of inferiority and fear.

 

The masculine man is a man of conviction. He uses common sense and good judgment. He aims to make his decisions based on truth and rightness rather than on others’ opinions, or on taking the easy road. He strives to practice what he preaches, to eliminate hypocrisy and to embody sincerity. He doesn’t compromise his principles. He accepts correction gracefully and is not destroyed by criticism. He doesn’t snap under stress and pressure. Putting his trust in God, he is able to navigate the storms of life with inner strength, stability, and peace. He faces challenges head on, and alert to opportunities.

 

The masculine man is master of his body. He maintains vigor, vitality, and good health. He tempers his appetites, gets proper exercise, and is careful to get good rest. He has the self-control to abstain from drunkenness, premarital sex, illicit drug use, and other vices that may tempt him.

 

He is also unafraid to show emotion (John 11:35). He feels and expresses both joy and pain, yet controls his temper. He is an understanding man, skilled in the art of tact and diplomacy. He is attentive to women and children.

 

The truly masculine man draws other people to him. People sense that he is different, and recognize a winning attitude of right leadership. He demonstrates self-respect, as well as respect for others. He appreciates the role of women. At the same time, he takes charge when necessary, properly using authority in a Godly manner. He is a blessing to his wife and children, providing security, attentive engagement, successful leadership, firm guidance, emotional stability, and real love. He inspires esteem from other men and respect from women, providing an example they can look to. His masculine authority, balanced with sensitivity, makes him attractive. When a woman recognizes that a man has her best interests at heart and will consider her needs in his decision-making, she will gladly follow him. She appreciates and is inspired by his positive confidence along with his concern for her and for others.

 

Such a man is truly a benefit and a blessing to those around him. This is the kind of masculinity the world needs more of.

 

The truly exciting thing about such masculinity is its spiritual dimension. Study the jobs that God has spelled out for men: protector of women and children; provider for families; husband; father; leader; head. Consider the responsibilities and qualities God commissions in men: supporting those who are weaker; using strength for others’ benefit; supplying a family’s needs and wants; sacrificing for the good of the family and others; loving a woman through firm, compassionate leadership; expanding the family with children and then bringing them up; educating them, leading them in the way they should go, helping them grow in character; building society. All of these point in inspiring ways to Jesus Christ and God the Father! They have spectacular spiritual parallels. As you study them and fulfill them, you build a spiritual mindset that brings you in closer harmony with God. Manliness is next to godliness (just as, for a woman, femininity is next to godliness).

 

The more you fulfill your purpose as a man, the more masculine you become. That is Godly masculinity.

 

What the Bible Teaches

The laws of God provide the path to happy living. Departing from them is what leaves us in a dark, confused thicket.

 

The Bible defines sin as the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). His law simply codifies His way of life, which is love (Matthew 22:36-22:40; Romans 13:10; Galatians 5:14; 1 John 5:3). It means outgoing concern, giving and sharing, kindness and courtesy, putting the needs of another above your own. God’s way of life is the way of give.

 

The prevailing spirit of today’s society full of self indulgence, lust, greed, materialism, excess, deceit, cheating, and pride is the way of get, the way of sin. It is also the way of human nature, the way that comes naturally (e.g. Mark 7:21-7:23; Romans 8:7-8:8). God helps us overcome this natural tendency, develop righteous character, and live His way of love that produces happiness, joy, and peace.

 

One of the most powerful tools God created in order to teach us that way is family. A man learns that noble, wonderful way by absorbing himself in his God-given role within the family.

 

The Bible clearly states that God created humankind male and female (Genesis 1:26-1:27). God is the source of everything that makes men, men; and women, women. He designed the differences in physique, in emotions, in intellectual and psychological composition. He is the author of masculinity and femininity.

 

But why? Even those who claim to get their religion from the Bible, can they explain Genesis 1:27? Why did God create sex?

 

Collate all the observable and scriptural evidence, and you can clearly see that God created these differences to establish order and structure, especially within the family. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). Non-Bible believers scoff at this scripture. “Christians” who don’t like it find ways to make it mean something else. But godly men and women see both the simple physical logic and the simplicity that is in Christ “Spiritual logic,” and beauty in it.

 

This is getting at the heart of true manhood and womanhood.

 

For the sake of order and organization, God created men to fulfill one set of responsibilities within the family and within society, and He created women to fill a different and beautifully complementary set of responsibilities.

 

The Bible shows that men and women, of themselves, are incomplete. After creating Adam, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). So He made Eve, literally from Adam’s rib (verses 21-22). “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman [Hebrew, ishshah], because she was taken out of Man [Hebrew, ish]” (verse 23). Ish is the Hebrew root word for ishshah, just as man is the root for woman. The woman’s very name and original existence came out of the man as purposefully designed by God. Man and woman became “one flesh” through marriage (verse 24). God appointed the man as head of the wife (Ephesians 5:23). The woman was to be his helper, his assistant (Genesis 2:20).

 

This is the reality that God created and revealed to humankind. It is a vital key to individual, family, and societal success! Understanding and wholeheartedly embracing God’s roles for men and women brings satisfaction and fulfillment in all your most important relationships: friends, dating, marriage, family. It brings peace to your home and success to your relationships with women.

 

Are you willing to honestly evaluate yourself and your own attitudes? Are you prepared to discard wrong ideas? Will you accept truth, even when it hurts? It strains the eyes to step from a dark cave into bright sunlight, but “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (read 1 John 1:4-1:9).

What Creation Teaches

Before you even begin to examine the Bible’s instruction on manhood, consider what you can learn from creation itself.

 

Not all that long ago, before current conveniences came along, regular, daily life required toughness, stamina and muscle. Hunting wasn’t a sport; it was the equivalent of a grocery-store run. Naturally, the more strenuous work went to those who were taller, heavier and stronger: that is, men. The man’s native capacities for greater strength, speed, and endurance made him the logical choice for building, protecting, providing, and fighting. His more powerful frame and voice also contributed to making him the natural leader in relationships with women.

 

The fact that human reproduction requires one man and one woman naturally brings men and women into close relationships and family life. And because the woman carries new life, gives birth and nurses the young, she is the natural fit for responsibilities that flow from these biological realities.

 

Throughout history, proper division of labor between the sexes simply made sense. And as men and women have assumed duties consistent with these differences, they have knowingly or unknowingly harmonized with the intent of the Maker of male and female.

 

However, if these aspects of creation are our only source for understanding our purpose, other problems inevitably arise. For example, the fact that a man’s part in reproduction ends biologically at conception has allowed untold numbers of blinded men to abandon the offspring they beget. Men’s physical dominance has led many men to abuse women rather than protect them which is another example of strength spent in vain.

 

These are just a few of the many reasons of why it is so critical to also have the special revelation of Scripture, which reveals, for example, a man’s God-given responsibilities to marry, cleave to, and provide for the woman who becomes mother of his children, to actively care for and guide the offspring he begets, and to defend his wife and children from harm rather than posing a threat to them himself.

 

Today’s society, however, has also rejected the biblical revelation on this subject. Thus, for most people, God’s purposes in creating the sexes are an utter mystery. Distinctions between male and female seem arbitrary, so arbitrary, in fact, that many people have essentially come to view them as interchangeable. It is now common in society for the public to consider gender more a matter of choice than of actual biology. Society is conducting a set of radical experiments on marriage, family, gender, and sex that attempt to overturn thousands of years of tradition and true wisdom. Nothing reflects the utter confusion about why male and female like the mainstreaming of homosexuality, transgenderism, gender fluidity and related trends.

 

The consequences of this confusion are disastrous. But society, unwilling to admit this obvious reality, is accelerating in its flight from reason and good sense along with its ever growing rejection of God’s truth. You can choose a saner path.