Recently I’ve been around a lot of discussion about men. How to help them become real men of God who, if married, love their wives well. Almost everyone has an idea of what the church needs to do … almost always they “need to start some kind of program.” Or, we need to learn to be nicer men, or more wild, or more honest, or ….
I think I like what Larry Crabb suggests better.
The only way to be manly is first to be Godly.
The path to authentic manhood is entered through the narrow gate of a single-minded passion to abandon oneself completely to God.
May I suggest that in this Godly, passionate, abandonment that we truly put into practice that words of Scripture that speak to us all. Godliness is “God-likeness” and if the Scriptures are truly the Word of God, then we know that to obey them will lead to Godlikeness. For example, what would it mean to our families if we truly lived out Paul’s words in Philippians:
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 2:3-5, ESV).
Or, how would it change us as fathers if we practiced the following with our wives?
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32, ESV)
Of course, that means we need to be truly learning, studying, and reflecting upon the Scriptures. It means that our churches need make the Word central, superseding even the best programs. It means going deep into the word, trusting that God will use it to bring to light who we are so we can be who we want to be.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. ” (Hebrews 4:12-13, ESV)
Christian brothers! Let’s pursue godliness before pursuing “manliness”.