Updated: Nov 24, 2018
There is a deep, unspoken yearning inside the heart of every man to live up to the very title, 'Man'. Before we get to that, I want to share some shocking statistics.
Did you know that the number of single-parent families rose 62% in the last decade alone? Another statistic revealed that 62% of men in the U.S. admitted to watching pornography at least monthly. Plus, the suicide rate in men is rising as families fall apart and church statistics are not that much better. So how can we become better husbands, fathers and sons of God?
To be a man of God means many things. It’s a lot to live up to when you think about it.
When we flip through the pages of the Bible, we see great examples of heroic men – King David was one such man. He is described as a man after God’s own heart. He was a great king, valiant warrior and did all that God asked him to – well, most of the time.
But jumping on a horse and charging at the enemy with flaming arrows doesn’t really equate to what amounts as being a godly man in the twenty-first century. We may not be dealing with incoming arrows or flinging stones at giants, but we certainly do face our challenges.
Just as Joshua and his highly armed companions were told by God to be strong and courageous before going out to battle (Joshua 1:9), likewise, Paul encouraged the men in the church of Corinth to be the same.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 ‘Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.’
The last line is the very essence of the new covenant which separates who we are today in God compared with men like Joshua. Why? Joshua wasn’t going out to win over the Canaanites with arrows of love. They played for keeps and men were going to physically die.
Paul reminds us that the battle we are in today, being beneficiaries of the new covenant, means we are to charge ahead with our mission of spreading the gospel with courage and conviction while being firm in our faith and fearless. Being watchful and prepared to face opposition and no matter who it is, we are to keep ourselves clothed in the fruit of the Holy Spirit which produces; love, kindness, gentleness and patience.
The only way to keep ourselves clothed in this manner is to put down the carnal weapons that our godly forefathers once used, and take up our weapons of the spirit which have the power to see men saved and bring Glory to God.
Today, our battle is to keep ourselves unstained by sin, leading our family into victory while living in a world which is becoming increasingly opposed to the ways of God, being loving and kind to those who oppose us and the gospel, serving God with courage in whatever calling He has placed upon our lives both inside and outside the church. We are a foe to injustice and unbalanced scales while at the same time being a friend to the hurting and a minister of reconciliation. We are called to love our wives, raise godly children and be there for our brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s quite a lot, and this is just the short list.
I might just mention that a lady in Spain made the news when she chose a unique way to test her husband’s love. With the help of a friend, she manipulated her own kidnapping and sent a ransom note to her husband. When the police discovered the kidnapping was a hoax, they asked the lady why she did it. “I wanted to find out what my husband would do for me,” she replied.
A man's life is supposed to follow in the example of Jesus. He is meant to have the sort of sacrificial love for his wife and family as Jesus did when He went to the cross. Jesus gave His life as a ransom for many. The lady in Spain was not sure if her husband loved her that way. It's my hope that as a man of God, my wife and family would never doubt my love.
So how can we overcome the fear, doubt, stress, anxiety or spiritual lethargy in order to step up to our manhood?
Be in the battle.
First thing to understand is that while a coward runs from a battle, a godly man will stand and face it. How? Like Joshua, God is for us and He will be there to help us fight our battle.
Joshua 1:9 ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’
God will not only be there, but He promises to help you to win your battle.
Put aside your fear.
This doesn’t mean you will not feel fear, it means that you will disregard it. Both the coward and the courageous feel fear – the difference is that the courageous will trust God anyway and put their confidence in Him alone. If you feel weak, this is when His strength is made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Learn His promises.
I am sure when you get into your car each day, you trust it to get you from point A to point B. Why? Because you know its history. It has a history or reputation of being reliable. God is the same. He is reliable and has a good reputation of being so. But do you know it? If you don’t know His promises then you cannot stand on them in times of trouble. When your mind is on Him, He will keep you in perfect peace. In the words of Watchman Nee, ' Faith looks not at what happens to him but at Him whom he believes.'
Get over the unimportant things.
Men who lay up treasures on earth are more susceptible to not trusting God and they live in constant fear. Let go of anything that is not important because it leads to worry, fear and doubt. Lay up your treasure in Heaven where you will never need to be concerned about them.
Yes. Everything you do, make sure it is garnished with holy love. A heroic man will clothe himself in God’s love so that others will see it. If you are like me and have failed many times in this, ask for God’s forgiveness and start over again. His mercies are renewed each day (Lamentations 3:22-23).
A final word.
Joshua was set apart from the men who lacked faith in God. It’s important to place yourself in an environment where you are walking with or being mentored by faith-filled men. No man is perfect so it’s not perfection that you need to look for. Find friends who are seeking to please God just like King David – a man after God’s own heart.
In summary, although we have much to face as men of God today, we stand together in the battle and can overcome anything. Don’t run, unless it’s towards God, and fear nothing, unless it’s a fear of the Lord.
To be a man of God means many things. It’s a lot to live up to but we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).
I'll leave you with this quote by John Newton:
' How sweet the name of Jesus sounds, in a believer’s ear! It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, and drives away his fear.'
Let’s create some new statistics and become the heroic men that God has called us to be.
-- By Judah Ayling