WHAT IS A GODLY MAN? – 1 (Truth #12)
What is truth? Is it a relative commodity, ever changing at the whims of people? Or is it a settled absolute, the same for all generations in all places? Each person must face this issue, and the way they answer will determine their direction in this life and for all eternity. Who are we? What is our problem? What is the solution? One of the discussions about who we are is “What is a man?”
The world, in its confusion, is redefining what a man and a woman are. They are searching for meaning and purpose in all the wrong places. Significance and meaning are only found in following God’s truth, as revealed in the Bible. That’s the only place we can find what a man really is.
I remember as I matured wondering just what it meant to be a man. I didn’t know what it felt like to be a man, so I didn’t know if I was one or not. In truth, I felt like a little boy pretending to be a man. Many men have difficulties with defining and acting out Godly manhood. Undermining manhood is a tactic of Satan to undermine the family, the church, and the nation. Let’s look at what God’s Word says about Biblical manhood.
Genesis 2:7 and I Timothy 2:13 make it clear that God created man first, before woman. Why this order? Why didn’t He create them both simultaneously from the same lump of clay? God was saying something about the relationship between a man and a woman. All people are equal in His sight. It doesn’t matter their age, race, or sex. We are all equal in personhood. However, we are not all equal in the duties God has given us. We have different responsibilities. If you have a boss where you work, you are both equal in human value. Your boss is in a position over you, but that does not make him a better human being than you. It just means he has different responsibility. That is how it is in marriage. Men and women are equal, but by creating man first, God is showing that man has the first responsibility in the family and in the church. He is God’s chosen channel for leading a family.
Second, we see that men and women were created with separate, different, unique traits and abilities. There is no one right way to be a man or a woman. Some men have what would be called feminine traits and some women have what might be called masculine traits. That is not a confusion of sexual identity, but the way God made them. My wife and I often switch roles in what would be considered a man’s role and a woman’s role in carrying out the duties of our family. Still, I am the one responsible to initiate and to lead as God directs.
The key is for Christian men to accept themselves as they are and not compare themself with other men. They are to accept their wife as she is and not compare her with other women. They are to accept their children as they are and not compare them with other children. Men and women are created with differences. Each man, too, is a unique creation of God, different than others. That is true of women as well. Yet God’s chain of command is through the man. We are responsible to discern His will for our families and lead them in that direction. He holds us accountable.
A third truth we see from God’s creation order is that man is given the moral pattern by God (Genesis 1:16). One of the responsibilities that came with being created first was a primary responsibility to receive and teach God’s truth. Man is held accountable by God to do this. Woman is to help and take part, but the responsibility was given to man to not eat from the fruit of the tree and man was responsible to pass that on to women. God did not tell them both at the same time. Being responsible is a prime indicator of maturity and wisdom and therefore one of the more important characteristics of a godly man. In Eden, Adam did not initiate and lead as he should. In fact, he followed her lead even though he knew God had said otherwise. Adam was the one most responsible for the disobedience. That is why we talk about the sin of Adam. We say Adam fell, and rightly so, because he knew better and he was responsible (1 Timothy 2:14).
Man must lead. He must initiate. He must be the first to forgive, to bring guidance and direction, to show love and to reach out in sacrificial service. He follows the example of God who leads, initiates and forgives us. Man is accountable to God for this. God will direct, lead and reveal truth through man. Many times, He reveals it through a wife who then shares it with her husband, but man ultimately has the final authority for his family. A man who does not seek and consider his wife’s wisdom and opinion is a fool. So is a man who lets his wife fill a role he should be filling.
Many men are afraid of taking a stand. They want to keep the peace at all costs, so they let their wife initiate and make decisions that they should be making, or they should make together. It is not always women who force their way into leadership, it is more often men who abdicate their role and step back. The role must be filled, so the woman is forced to step in. For men, Jesus is our example. Ephesians 5:25 says “Love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Initiate with her as Jesus does with you. (Jun e 13, 2022 Doylestown, PA)
MEN: how would you define godly manhood? What will you do to assure that your sons grow to be godly men? Where is God working in your life to help you be all He created you to be?
WOMEN: What are some of your husband’s strengths as a man? What are his weaknesses? What are you doing to help him with these weaknesses? What are you doing to make it harder for him to be all God wants Him to be?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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