Thoughts on Christian Manhood

WANTED: MEN WHO WILL BE MEN OF GOD AND THE REPRESENTATIVE OF CHRIST IN THEIR HOMES

A scriptural standard of manhood would be based more in terms of:

  • Sexual fidelity to a wife for a lifetime, and sexual self control rather than sexual conquest(s).
  • Christlike care and love for a wife that grows with time together rather than a bored and ambivalent tolerance.
  • Fatherly care, loyalty and leadership rather than being able to father a child.
  • Provision for a child while preparing him or her for an independent adulthood as a spouse, parent and citizen committed to Jesus Christ, rather than fostering financial and social dependence out of my need to keep on feeling a sense of parental power.

Are you willing to face the challenge?

How did you get to be the man that you are? Did your own father or family teach you:

  • How to handle money responsibly
  • How to treat my wife, and women in general, with respect, self control, and Christlike, loving leadership:
  • How to follow God, develop Biblical goals for my life, and to handle problems according to God’s Word:
  • How to discipline myself to achieve the goals in my life, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically
  • How to be a Christlike friend to other men

A Man’s Affirmation of His Biblical Faith

What does it mean to be in a relationship to God as a man?

God the Father has called me his son because of my faith in Jesus Christ (I John 3:1, Galatians 3:26), and because I am in Christ I am his heir (Romans 8:17, Galatians 3:7)

Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, the eldest and firstborn from the dead, has brought me into his own family at the cost of his own suffering and death. He is my Lord and Master, his word is my command, and I am committed entirely to him. I follow him, and find in him the perfect example of manhood, and I look forward to my share in his glory and rule.

God the Spirit is my unfailing guide and my source of almighty power. No obstacle in my path is greater than he is, and through him I can master myself to Christlikeness.

Becoming a Christlike Husband

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church — for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”– Ephesians 5:25-33

The scriptural definition of marriage: separation from the family of birth and/or nurture, to bond to a member of the opposite sex for a lifetime. It thus means a covenant and promise to the spouse before the spouse to share one’s life entirely with that spouse.

Christ is the scriptural example held up for the husband in his manner of loving leadership. Christ’s treatment of the church is:

SELF SACFIFICIAL: . . . Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her . . . “

What does this mean for a husband? Although in possession of spiritual authority as the head of the family, the husband is rather to sacrifice his own interests to build up his wife. He must pour himself into her life, from his own free choice of love. Here are several questions to get you thinking about this:

Would you sacrifice any one of your activities to spend time with her for something that she really deemed important?

Would you give up your life for her to protect her from murder, rape or any other form of violence?

Even if you might feel uncomfortable with it, would you seek to be more romantic to her and to compliment her as a sacrifice of love to her?

SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP:”. . . to make her holy . . .”

The scripture assigns spiritual leadership in the home to the believing husband. He is to have concern for the holiness of his family, and to give spiritual care and direction to his wife. This means something beyond church attendance and involvement in Christian activities.

Do you have a plan for the spiritual growth of your family? If you don’t, start reading the scriptures prayerfully to find God’s plan. Stick to the guidance God gives you, but be willing to revise the plan as you grow in following Christ.

Do you have the courage to stand for Christ in your family? Do you allow your family members to influence you to disobey the Word of God (to induce you to deceit, guile, hypocrisy, envy, slander, etc.)? Do you allow your family members to disobey the Word of God without gentle correction? Are you prepared to stand for Christ, to forbid sin in the name of Christ upon the basis of his Word?

Do you expect that within the family the standard of speaking will be “. . . speaking the truth in love . . .” and advise your family to not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. . . . Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”? (Think of this in the context of family disagreements and sibling rivalry.)

Are you the bearer of the healing of Christ within your family, for when your family members are weary and wounded from living in a fallen world and among sinful men and women? Do you take the initiative to call the family to prayer, and to assert that God is in control of the situation in this way? Do you together seek his protection, provision and forgiveness? Many Christian husbands do not realize that the ministry that they can have with their wives can do much to prevent them from becoming bitter and angry women.

PROVIDING, CARING, MERCIFUL: ” . . . In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church — for we are members of his body . . .”

Feeding and caring are terms that are usually applied to children. Their presence here is a reminder of dependence that the wife has upon her husband that many women feel strongly but many men do not seem to understand.

Have you made it your goal to work, spend wisely and pray so that your family can survive on your income alone without your wife having to work? Remember that the circumstances of pregnancy at least mean that during much of that time your wife will be unable to work. And her own obedience to the command ” . . . to be busy at home . . .” (Titus 2:5) may call for the family to take this step. It is simply wisdom to work to this purpose.

Do you treat your wife with affection, attention, and respect as a fellow adult? Or rather, do you express dissatisfaction with disrespectful teasing and sulking withdrawal?

All scripture references taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978 by the International Bible Society and used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

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