This weeks topic on Godly Manhood is near and dear to me. Yes partially because I am a man, but also because several years ago I began a quest to discover what being a true man of God looked like. I had just come out of a relationship in which I had made my significant other my identity and because of that when it was over I no longer knew who I was. On top of that I had gotten wind that one of my ex’s parents had said I was not “manly” enough to be with their daughter. These factors sent me in a downward spiral. Not only was my identity gone but someone had claimed I wasn’t a real man. Once I came back to my senses I set out on my quest to discover what a Godly man looked like. This post will go over what I have discovered
The world has one view of man. This view is skewed and flawed because as sinful beings we are flawed. The biggest problem with the world’s view is that men are encouraged to remain boys. This world encourages men to be selfish and childish. On the contrary, Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 vs 11 states “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
This verse brings me to my first discovery in my quest, to be a Godly man one must grow up. When looking at Scripture we see the ultimate example of being a man in Jesus. We see in Luke 2:52 that “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” Jesus grew up, he matured. Jesus did not remain a little boy. There is nothing wrong with being a little boy for a season, but there comes a time and a place where the boy must become a man.
So, what does growing up look like. Obviously it means a physical growth. Luke says that Jesus increased in stature, the greek word used here for stature is “helikia” meaning either age or stature in height. So clearly there is physical growth involved, but Luke also states that Jesus grew in wisdom. A Godly man will seek to gain wisdom. Again looking at the Greek word used for wisdom it is translated as “sophia” which means wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; used of the knowledge of very diverse matters. Man is to grow and know more. Most importantly a Godly man needs to grow in his wisdom of the Lord. In Ephesians 4 verses 11 through 13 Paul tells his readers that God sent teachers, prophets, apostles and the like to help the church grow, to as he puts it attain mature manhood. A Godly man will grow in wisdom and stature, he will use that wisdom to exercise endurance, patience, and gain the strength to endure and resist temptation.
The next aspect of Biblical manhood that should be discussed is man as a warrior. Several years ago John Eldredge wrote a book called Wild at Heart. It is a book seeking to look at the heart of a man and it’s one I read several times in my quest. There is some controversy over this book but as a whole Eldgedge says a lot of good things. In the book John says that men are looking for a battle to fight and a beauty to fight for. First when you watch young boys play, it can almost be a guarantee that something will end up being a sword or a gun. Men were created to have a warriors heart. God is a warrior. Exodus 15:3 describes God as a warrior, looking at Revelation there is image after image of Christ as a warrior king. Eldredge quotes Tremper Longman as saying, “Virtually every book of the Bible– Old and New Testaments– and almost every page tells us about god’s warring activity (Eldredge, Wild at Heart, pg25).” As men we are created in the image of God. If so could it not be said that we share in his warrior heart? Looking back at our example Jesus is no sissy. To take the beating he took and to hang on a cross and bear the wrath of our sins took a strong man, it took a warrior. Eldredge states, “ Jesus is no “capon priest.” no pale faced altar boy with his hair parted in the middle, speaking softly, avoiding confrontation, who got himself killed because he has no way out. He is the Lord of hosts, the captan of angel armies. And when Christ returns, he is at the head of a dreadful company, mounted on a white horse, with a double edged sword, and his robe dipped in blood (Rev. 19).”
In looking at this issue, the question is then raised should men fight? What does being a warrior look like? First of all I am not condoning fighting, but there are ways to be a warrior and being tough as it were. There is such a thing as spiritual warfare and as men we are called to be leaders; leaders in our families, our churches, and leaders to ourselves. Our greatest battles in life will be fought on our knees in prayer. As leaders we need to fight against the attacks of the enemy. Remember 1 Peter describes Satan as a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. A godly man must be a warrior and be ready to fight against the attacks of the enemy.
Another way a man is a warrior is in the way he treats the women in his life. Eldredge calls this having a beauty to fight for. Fighting for her comes in protecting her and being the leader that we are supposed to be. Look at it this way, the Church is the bride of Christ. Christ fought for her by dying on the cross. Despite the fact that we as believers who make up His bride have cheated on him and abandoned Him at times He still fights. Eldredge speaks of the common fairy tale theme in which a prince rescues a damsel and how young boys and girls when they play fill their roles. The sad thing is that men today are not filling the role they were meant to fill. They are not fighting for their beauties. They are not fighting for their mothers, sisters, grandmothers, girlfriends, wives and so on. As leaders men, these women are entrusted to us and we must defend them. We must defend them from ourselves, from other men, and from the enemy. Women in turn strengthen the man. I love what Eldredge has to say about this: “Most men want the maiden without any sort of cost to themselves. they want all the joys of the beauty without any of the woes of the battle…He offers nothing and takes everything.” (Eldredge 187)
The question here is as men will we fight for the women in our lives. Again a lot of it comes back to spiritual warfare. As leaders and warriors we must be leading those entrusted to us in the ways of the Lord. As has been said on this site before while we are leaders men, women are in no way less than us. Woman was created from man’s rib, she is there to be an equal partner. But, we have the responsibility to protect them and to lead them. It is a responsibility that man has continually failed at all the way back to Adam. Part of being a warrior is being a strong leader and a protector of those in our lives.
There is much more that could be discussed and will be discussed on this issue. There are so many aspects to being man of God.I have only addressed a few of the areas where I see men failing the most. The first was in the area of growing up. For whatever reason men these days have it in their heads that the world owes them something and that it’s ok to be selfish little boys. But as Christ showed we need to grow up and mature. Not just physically but also in wisdom as well. Then I discussed man as a warrior. There are several things that fall under being a warrior:defending against spiritual warfare, being a spiritual leader, and defending the beauties in our lives. Men have not been the leaders they should be nor have many of us been able to guard against spiritual warfare. Then there is the issue of how we fight for the beauties out there. Women are beauties and should be treated as such. In fact as my father taught me all women are princesses or queens and should be treated as such. Objectifying women, treating them as objects, treating them as anything other than equals is failure at fighting for them. It is in no way honoring our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, girlfriends, and wives. A Godly man is a mature man who has grown in wisdom and stature, he is also a warrior who will defend himself and those around him spiritually and finally he will take care of the women in his life. The question for you men reading this is…WILL YOU MAN UP?