June 26, 2014

Lament for the Evangelical Male, Part IV: Qui Dilexit Nos

Qui Dilexit Nos ~ He Loves Us
In this final post I present the final two of the four essentials for an evangelical male that wishes to take hold of his spiritual leadership role...

Men Must Be Providers

Men must provide for those under them and offer provision. This isn’t just for the father or husband but also for the military leader and civic leader. Any good leader worth their weight in salt knows that to be a great leader, they must provide the tools and needs to those they lead to be able to do the tasks and duties set before them. Just like a man provides food, clothing and shelter to his family, so too a military leader must supply ammunition, discipline and the basic necessities like food and shelter.

Ephesians 5:29 ~ “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church”

1 Timothy 5:8 ~ “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

It is a Godly man’s first priority to provide the basic needs of survival for his immediate family. This then branches out on principle to his spiritual family in the Church. He is even to provide for the poor and downtrodden of society. In reality, the poor have been placed in the care of those God has already blessed with sustenance and shelter. We can at least give of our surplus which in America is pretty commonplace. If you can read this post on a computer, you should be helping the poor get on their feet. In truth the role of a man I a family, in a church and in society is a servant. A man is to serve as protector and provider.

The biggest enemies of this character trait in a man are self-love, laziness, sloth, pleasure-seeking and the one major sin that encompasses them all: Idolatry. The idolatry of today usually takes the form of work, money, possessions, sex and believe it or not…a man’s wife. When a man dedicates too much time to one of these or invests too much trust in them, he has effectively taken that trust (faith) away from God. Real men put God first and leave the rest in faith to God. This is a Christ-like quality that must be strived for in the character of men.

Above all men must above all provide proper biblical teaching. This means preaching the Gospel not only to themselves but also to their family and evangelizing their neighbors what the opportunity presents itself. Not only did Jesus provide us with sound teaching, He provided us with a way of escape from the condemnation we deserved. He provided that escape through His own life and He did it because He loved us...

Men Must Love

Yeah, I know, this is a tough one. Actually...not really. It’s only tough one if we accept the effeminate version of loving that the evangelical church and the culture have been passing off on Christian men. The version that says man must cow-tail to his wife’s every whim. That never chastises his children for fear of angering his wife. The men that are essentially viewed as “whipped” by the culture. One the other hand it is not the version of love from the culture that says if you loved me you would have sex with me. That is just lust, nothing more. Neither of these are the “love” I speak of. I speak of the unconditional love of 1 Corinthians 13. A love that doesn't keep account of wrongs. That loves no matter what. Not just wives either but also the brethren. It is the love Jesus Christ showed us when He died on the Cross for our sins. That is love.

Real men love their wife and children 
Real men love their neighbors
Real men love the true Church 
Real men love Jesus

It is the love of the marriage bond as it was originally intended in Scripture. The covenant relationship between your God, your spouse and God. It is a sacrificial love that bleeds when it has to but chastises and stands its ground when it has to. It is the love where God has commanded us to love our wives and we obey because we need to. It is a love that is willing to actually suffer wrongs and still love. It is an understanding love that seeks to reconcile where it can but not at the cost of the Gospel. It is a love because Jesus first loved us.

John 13:34 ~ "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

1 Peter 3:7 ~ “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

1 John 4:19 ~ “We love because he first loved us.”

Men must also love one another the way Jesus commanded the disciples. WE need to love one another EXACTLY as Jesus loved us.

John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

Real men will excel when they show love, such as giving, gentleness, consideration, kindness, servant hood, and self-sacrifice. I will be honest when I state that I fail on many of these fronts but that is the whole point. It is also the reason we are called together in fellowship so that we share the responsibility of lifting one another up when we stumble from our sin. Who will better know the struggles of a man but another man? Certainly not an effeminized church that caters to the androgynous version of Christianity that is now being passed off in America and abroad?

How much the aforementioned traits are present or not present in a man’s life will be a very good indicator or whether or not a man is a real man who bases his life on Scripture or just a cultural poser that changes his role with the seasons. Men must be vigilant to preserve their biblical masculinity while simultaneously allowing women to maintain and exalt in their femininity. There is no shame in adhering to these biblical roles. All must be rounded out with constant prayer.

I believe if men were more consistent in living out their proper roles as outlined in the Bible, many women (and men) would more readily submit to their leadership. Most people can spot a counterfeit a mile away. In my own experiences I have found that women are especially good at seeing right through the guises and deceptions of men. We all have or had mothers so you know exactly what I am talking about. There is a difference between masculinity and childishness. There is a difference between diplomacy and despotism. It is an issue of maturity and love both of which Jesus had in abundance. Both of which many men seem to have in short supply.

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