What is the true definition of a man? What does the image of a Man look like? Does he wear a suit every day, dressed in his sunday best, looking to impress? Does he walk down the sidewalk with headphones on banging his ears to deaf, sagging pants hanging below his posterior, exposing his back side to the world? Does he sport the latest fad in skinny jeans and new kicks with a fitted hat?
What is a man in society’s eyes? A man that can make it anywhere, anyhow, anyway. A man that has the ‘three B’s. his bank account, how much money he has, the basketball court (or football field, etc.) what his athletic skills are like, and the bedroom, how good he can treat and keep his lady (or if he’s a player, his women) this is for sure what i thought a man should be. In fact, i fell victim to trying to live out this definition of a man…
What is a Man in God’s eyes…. that’s what I want to know!
Glory to God i learned that Sunday when Pastor Carter continued his ‘Man Up’ series.
The biblical definition shows that there are 5 things that prove a Man in God’s eyes.
1. A Man must reject passivity. This is something that every man struggles with, including myself. since the beginning of time, when Adam and Eve were in the garden (Genesis 3). The serpent had tempted Eve into deception of eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge, the tree in which God had commanded them both not to eat. But when Eve ate of the fruit, she gave Adam some, and He ate, and it was then they became knowledgeable of their surroundings, and became aware that they were naked, so they went and covered themselves. But when God came looking for Adam, and asked how did he know he was naked, Adam said ‘The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.’ v.12 That was when the attitude of passivity was created. It didn’t say that in the scriptures, but this is when we know the struggle of passivity becomes eminent among Manhood.
The definition of passivity or passive is not participating readily or actively; inactive: a passivemember of a committee.
Adam was inactive in acknowledging his own fault in eating of the fruit, instead he blamed Eve. he did not own up to his own responsibility. Pastor Carter put it best, he said “Passive means you stand still when you should move, means you’re silent when you should speak”
God gave Adam a special and important responsibility, after all He created Adam first! So that He could entrust him with a responsibility, and hold Him accountable for all that he did and all that was around him.
As a man, I have to reject my passivity and continue to rise up to the challenge to be God’s Man.
2. A Man must accept responsibility. Just as God gave Adam a unique responsibility, He’s given men today that same responsibility. Adam’s responsibility was to protect and provide for Eve and the animals God created and that Adam named. But because Adam did not own up fully to His responsibility, a second Adam was created: Jesus Christ!! And it’s in Christ that we find the mindset of one who is humble, servant’s attitude, and shows just how to accept responsibility.
In Philippians 2, it talks about the mindset of Christ, and how we as Men, and Women as well are to have a mindset just like Christ.
v.5-8 says Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (KJV)
Accepting responsibility includes having a servant’s attitude, as a servant, you serve, but in your service, you are doing two things. You’re protecting the ones you’re serving, and you’re providing for the ones you are serving. As a man, who we protect and provide for are obvious. We must protect our wives, or girlfriend (if you’re dating), your children, and We as men must provide for our families.
Ephesians 5:22-33 and 1 Timothy 5:8 speaks on this. Pastor Carter mentioned that one of the hardest job a Man has, if not the hardest, is protecting his wife. And at times, he may have to protect his wife from his own family.
But before you can protect your wife, or the person you are with, you MUST protect your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (NIV84)
Guarding your heart as a man can be anything from guarding from a past heartbreak relationship, to a struggle with lust and pornography, to even just guarding your heart in the time of singleness so that God can grow and mold you as a man until He is ready for you to pursue a Wife. And i definitely need to work on guarding my heart on all the above!
3. A Man must lead courageously. God has given men the power and tools to lead successfully. A Man is defined especially by His power to lead. Again Genesis 1-3 talks about Adam being the first man to be given tools and the responsibility to lead. as well as the second Adam in Jesus Christ who became the better example of leadership. courageous leadership at that. God has designed men the leadership responsibility for the family. Two areas in particular that a Man must lead in, one a man must lead spiritually. That starts with his personal devotional time w/ God. How much time daily am I spending w/ God? As a man, how can my prayer life improve. I have to make sure i have more time set apart with God. As a man, I can even lead a in house bible study, although it may be far fetched, but it can happen, and if i cant start a bible study now at my home, i can definitely continue to attend one at my church, bring a friend or family member, or continue to attend a friend’s bible study. But God must come first in a Man’s life. He has to come first in my life!! Second, a man must lead practically. Be active at home. For me, that’s leading at my home, cleaning up, being more responsible with my chores, encouraging my younger cousin to do the same, then when the time comes to start my own family, begin to take that leadership role to the next level and put together faith goals with my wife, continue to share Career goals, financially, discuss budget plans, taking care of the house, fitness plans and goals, couple activities, having fun with the whole family and more. I MUST LEAD MORE COURAGEOUSLY. Even now as just a college student at home, I must rise up and lead!
4. A Man loves sacrificially. This is all about having a heart to give, to give out of love. The bible does say obedience is better than sacrifice. But sacrifice means more than just giving up something when you’re doing it out of love. John 15:13 says Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. As a man, you don’t necessarily have to give out of your pockets to show your love, if you’re willing to give your life so that others may know Christ, and come closer to God, that’s loving sacrificially. Giving your life, doesn’t mean physically literally laying your life on the line, it’s about killing the dead time at home and getting out and sharing the gospel, or when you and the guys want to have a ‘Guys night out’ stay at home with your wife, and spend time with your kids. As for me, loving sacrificially comes with the territory of giving up all of my pleasures and starting to uphold the expansion of the kingdom of God as my top priority. And it can be as simple as just sharing my story with someone. Or just showing my love for someone when they’re in need. I should not be concerned about how much i can give or how much i can show my love for someone (a friend, family member, complete stranger, etc.) I should be more concerned with making sure others around me are taken care of and thought of, rather than just thinking of myself.
5. A Man seeks a greater reward, God’s reward. This one was real personal for me. Pastor said that a major problem facing Manhood is that when Men all around are realizing the authentic biblical definition of a man, and what it’s like to be a man in God’s eyes, there are some who are out there and truly striving to exemplify that, and some of those men go unnoticed and are not celebrated. Now this point is about men not seeking the pleasures of the world but seeking God’s eternal reward. Eternal life. Mark 8:35-36 says For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s the same shall save it. for what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul.
But with men not always being celebrated for striving to live better, this kind of spoke to me, because i would feel from time to time, that i am not given credit for striving to be a better man, and then i realize that while affirmation and affection and praise from people is nice, but it shouldn’t shadow rather or not God is proud of you, but Pastor put in perspective when he said, If you do something in your growth as a man, if you’re rejecting passivity or accepting responsibilities in your life, leading courageously, loving sacrificially, seeking God’s greater reward, don’t worry if you’re not being praised for living better down here, God is in heaven clapping His hands
That’s all i want to be worried about. That’s all i want to strive for. Is for God to be clapping at what i’m doing down here, and to hear Him say, Well done, my good and faithful servant…. I have a long way to go to get to that point…
Lord help me to live out the definition of what You see as a Man.