A couple of weeks ago I had the joy of speaking at our “Men VS Wild” student event. Let me say how blessed we are as a body of Christ, to have someone like Bro. Brad Walker: a man who will lead a weekend that takes young men and, while having fun he uses the opportunity to teach Biblical manhood. While speaking to them that afternoon, I concluded with some insights from Ray Van Neste’s article “Pursuing Manhood.” It was so amazing to teach these young men and then listen to them, as we discussed the matter of Biblical manhood. I just want to list the final pieces to our discussion based on Mr. Van Neste’s piece.
• Take responsibility and reject passivity: We live in a “blame culture” rather than a “responsibility culture”. We see people blame their present situations on their parents, and too often we see men blame their dad for their failures. We see people shift responsibility for their sin on another person, or at least try to alleviate the conviction/guilt of their sin by convincing themselves and others, that it is someone else’s fault. May God give us men who will take responsibility for their family and lead them spiritually.
• Do Your Work: I explained to our students that this is for them. If their parents continually have to stay on them for not taking out trash or cleaning their room, they can hardly be called a man. However, we have males in our culture that may work well at a job, but who refuse to take the leadership role and work spiritually as God has called us to do. We have men who will not aggressively look for a job, but send their wife to work every day, or who will walk away from a job for convenience sake because they know their wife is bring in income. There are grown men who, the highlight of their day is the score they got on their X-Box for Medal of Honor.
• Own Your Failures: I never recall a marriage counseling session I have had where the couple has walked in on the first meeting and the husband has said, “We are in here today because I have failed to be the man God has called me to be.” The marriage is always failing because of the mistakes of someone else. We come up with reasons why we run late - be it traffic, kids or anything else for that matter, rather than admitting our mistakes.
• Reject Laziness: Does this really need to be expounded upon? We were created to work. We were created to do things for the glory of God! There are certainly times we don’t “feel” like doing something - but if all we ever do is what we “feel like,” we would get very little, if anything, accomplished. There is more to laziness than not going to your job - we can grow lazy spiritually, in our time with God, or in our leadership among our family.
• Reject Whining: God has not called us to whine, he has called us to do! He has given us the unique ability to be problem solvers. When we whine at our situation we are in fact, whining at God’s providence. There are always going to be things we do not necessarily “like,” but we do not pout and whine about our circumstances – we find a way to adapt, prevail and bring God glory in them!
• Embrace Commitment: In our day the thought is that we should shun commitment. We are to pass the buck, so to speak. Instead of coming up with reasons why my family is not worshipping at home, I should see it as my obligation to remedy this. I don’t have to whine, I must embrace the fact that God has given me this responsibility, and that I get to do this!
• Sacrifice: In our flesh there is nothing good. We don’t want to sacrifice, we don’t want our “to do list” to be messed up. The entire Christian life is to be one of sacrifice: we have as our model, Jesus, who demonstrated this sacrifice all the way to the cross.
My prayer is that God will continue to rise up men to lead, love, and sacrifice in a way that only God can cause us to do!