Tag: responsibilities

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.

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 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.