We see in Genesis 1:26-27 that there is gender clarity and simplicity in God's creation. There is male and female. Men need to see first that their identity is in Jesus, and then action flows from that truth. Too often, subcultures in our society tell us "who we are", or "who we can be". There is a crisis of masculinity in our culture, and the enemy attacks that identity. When we see God's design, that clarity gives us freedom in our responsibility.
I Corinthians 16:13-14 says,
Be watchful, Stand firm in the faith.
Act like men
, be strong.
Let all that you do be done in love.
To be awake, alert, and dialed in. Be present. Don't get lulled into passivity (which goes back to the garden). Passivity is our default due to sin. We must be watchful. Ask, "Where is the Holy Spirit leading me?
This is a military term. Don't give in to the culture. Stand firm in the gospel. Don't compromise. Don't be a "nice guy" that conforms. Be resolute like Jesus and His commitment. Men need courage and tenacity to fight off the culture - our families need this, our church needs this, our businesses need this.
ACT LIKE MEN:
This is also a military term. Don't be a boy - be a man! This is the only time this term is used in the New Testament. Put aside childish ways. Show a maturity of courage. This speaks to the difference between being a father and being a dad. One is intentional. Courage is "stepping in the way" of something to make a difference for the Kingdom. Jesus is the ultimate example of courage.
This is in the passive tense, which means the subject is being "acted upon". Men don't "man up". When we are watchful, we stand firm, and we act like men, there is a strength given to us. Gentlemen are strong men. Men's hearts leap at movies like Gladiator or Braveheart because they are hard-wired to serve, protect, give, and sacrifice. God put that in men. He gives men strength so that they can give their lives away. The battle right now is a spiritual one. We live in a war zone and there is an "X" on our wives, our children, our homes, and ourselves.
Men that try to "go it alone" will get "picked off" EVERY time. Men need other men. It creates a link to walk through difficult times. It is critical.
There is a perpetual adolescence in males today that live in the fantasy world while their wives and children are being ravaged by the enemy. As men, we should be self-sacrificing for the good and prosperity of the women around us.
1. Our wives are not our possession.
2. We should give more than we take.
3. We shouldn't look for self gratification, but instead we should be self-sacrificing.
BE DONE IN LOVE:
The strength comes through love. Look at the example of Jesus.
The first Adam gave us original sin, but the second Adam gave us abundant life!
"Masculinity is not a matter of being athletic, artistic, or musical, it is a matter of self-sacrificing courage."
To Discuss Today:
1. Who are the men around you that exemplify 1 Corinthians 16:13-14?
2. As a man, are you in a healthy community of other men? Why?
3. How do you show courage at home, at work, and while you are alone?
4. How do you courageously advocate for the prosperity of women?
Please feel free to call or email your thoughts each week!