11 Mar 2017

Live As Men

Last time, we talked about following God’s design for both genders. Do you still remember it?

Men, that means being the Godly leaders in the church and at home (1 Timothy 3:12; Ephesians 6:4);the lover, leader, provider, and protector of your wife (Ephesians 5:25-28) as Christ is for His church; and caring mentors of your children (Ephesians 6:4).

Women, be submissive to the headship of your husband (Ephesians 5:22-24). This applies even in church, work, and every area of your life. Don’t go against his leading unless it is unbiblical. And even if you disagree, be respectful of him (Ephesians 5:29).

Today, we’ll be looking first at the man’s side. There are three sides to this topic. We’ll go through them one by one. First is…

Man’s Purpose

God’s design for man was so evident during Creation. He was to be not just the leader, but the head of all creation.

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” – Genesis 2:15-17 [NKJV]

God installed Adam as the head of the entire garden. He was to take care of it and make it grow. Take note we used the term “head” and not just “leader”. Why? Women also lead in ministries and offices. If we were strict with the term leader, then no woman could ever lead. However, we will use the term “head”. In Greek, this means “kephale” (brain), because the brain is the one that sends the signals for the body to function. The other body parts function accordingly. This means that in a Godly relationship, men are the signal givers as the head, and women are the followers as the rest of the body. They work hand in hand. In the next topic, we’ll look more on the woman’s side.

Going back to man, he was purposed for the role of headship. His tasks are to care for and make grow what is in his care. This was evident in Eden, and most definitely so later on in the New Testament at home and in church. Paul wrote the ff.:

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” – Ephesians 5:25-28 [NKJV]

At home, the man is to be a sacrificial lover (v.25), the spiritual head (vv.26-27), and the physical provider as well (vv.28-29). Men, do you put your wife above yourself in the same way Christ did for the church when He died on the cross? Are you the spiritual head, guiding them through the ways of the Bible? Are you also providing for your family’s physical needs? These are some ways how you can be the Biblical head at home.

“This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.” – 1 Timothy 3:1-6 [NKJV]

In the church, a man is also the head. He is an authority with gentleness and care (vv.2-3) and one who has his personal affairs in order before leading in ministry (vv.4-5). So men, are you a gentle and caring leader to your fellow ministers? Before leading in church as well, is your personal life in order?

What does this mean for single men? Be a Biblical head this way: Pursue godly women through friendship in the hopes that it will lead to marriage. This marriage is a partnership with this woman for gospel ministry and for raising children who love and worship Christ. Our culture has oversexualized and hyper-romanticized relationships. Look for is a dear friend who will partner with you for the glory of Christ. Physical attraction still plays a role, BUT it won’t last. Friendship and partnership will go ever deeper as physical beauty fades

Man’s hurdle

Though God laid out the design, the problem was that man failed to be the head in the garden.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” – Genesis 3:6 [NKJV]

When woman gave in to temptation, man became lazy. He gave up his headship, becoming passive. He did nothing to stop her at all! God’s diagnosis and explanation of what went wrong with the entire world, manhood included, is SIN. For us who are familiar with the story, we sometimes gloss over the magnitude of this event. Instead of trusting God’s Word, they trusted in the serpent and rebelled against the Creator. They refused to be satisfied in God and His provision for every other tree in the garden.

This is the beginning of the death and suffering: Every bit of pain and suffering in the world, up to our time. For man… instead of God’s plan, we got the effects of sin: problems and trials. Work became very, very hard instead of a joyous task (v.16).

We also became selfishly passive and selflessly aggressive, no longer the balance which God intended. Being passive is abandoning one’s design and responsibility willingly. One way men do this is by not caring about what is happening (apathy), in the same way Adam did towards Eve.

Being aggressive meant that we would become domineering and bossy instead of loving to our counterparts.

16 To the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” – Genesis 3:16 [NJKV]

As a man, are you being selfishly passive-aggressive? Are you devoid of concern over things that are your responsibility? Are you silent when you need to speak up? Are you harshly critical of others because you are masking deep insecurity?

Man’s Hope

Despite this troubling event, thousands of years later, God would redeem what was lost. Where the sin was born in the garden of Eden, our solution is found in the garden of Gethsemane, through Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was the way where we can heal from the devastation and be restored with God.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…” – Ephesians 2:4-5 [NKJV]

When Christ died on the cross for our sins, He gave us back our hope and life, hope to redeem the design that was ruined by Adam. Remember, the goal is NOT perfection… but pursuit! If you fail, just be honest and humble yourself. How? Ask forgiveness and continue pursuing this design of God.

Here are some final practical tips.

For the men:

  1. Find other men who can help you.
  2. For those who will have a wife, plan talk to your wives/family.

Though this is an article about men, women, here’s how you can help your brethren:

  1. Have a healthy expectation of
  2. Encourage them to be who they were designed to be.

If you want to achieve the hope the God gives us through Jesus Christ, pray this:

“Dear God in heaven, I come to you only in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner. I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived. I need your forgiveness. I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross, died for my sins. I turn away from my sinful life. Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. I have faith that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word. Restore your perfect design in me as the man you intended me to be. Thank you, Father, for making a way through Jesus. Christ to give me eternal life. Holy Spirit, help me live the life God has called me to. All for Your glory alone, amen!”

 

 

 

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