The world needs Godly men!
Take a look at the U.S. today. No really, take a close look. What do you see? If you’re like me, you see families in chaos, wives being neglected or abused, husbands choosing alcohol or drugs or pornography over intimacy with their wives(1). You see children growing up not knowing one parent or the other, or being shuttled between the two like a piece of luggage. Worse yet, you find children being used as a pawn in a tug of war between the parents(2). You therefore find a leadership and identity vacuum in the home. And that vacuum is too often filled by independence, self centeredness, and strife rather than inter-dependence, love, and harmony.
What has caused this problem? Men who abdicate and abandon their leadership role in the home. Men who choose work over home. Men who choose to stare at the TV instead of leading their family. Men who are emotionally and spiritually weak and choose the apparently easy way of escape instead of the difficult right way of leadership. The Bible has many examples of men who were weak and chose the easy way instead of God’s way.
In Genesis 3 we find Adam shirking his duty to lead and protect Eve. God had made Eve for (and from) Adam as a suitable helper, and as the other half of him, that is as a ‘completer’ if you will (v.24a ‘…and they shall become one flesh’). He was to love her, and cherish her, and defend her (see note 1). But instead we find him standing by as the serpent tempted her and even joining her in her sin rather than losing her. In Genesis 16 we find Abram giving in to his wife’s ungodly advice to found his dynasty through her maidservant. King David in 2 Samuel 11 was lounging around one day instead of performing his duty as the king and leading his armies in battle. That led to seduction, pregnancy, murder, cover up, and finally the loss of his son.
So, How can we fix the problem? A man needs to be physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy. A man needs to find an identity that builds up rather than destroys. A man needs to step up and lead his family from a Godly perspective. In short, a man needs to live a Biblical masculinity.
In an article on www.cru.org, Dennis Rainey(3) says there are 5 themes that help to define Biblical masculinity:
A man controls his emotions and passions.
A man provides for his family.
A man protects his family.
A man serves and leads his family.
A man follows God’s design for true masculinity.
Promise Keepers, an organization devoted to building up Godly men, states(4) there are seven promises of a Promise Keeper, or in our terms a biblical man:
HONOR A Promise Keeper is committed to honoring Jesus Christ through worship, prayer and obedience to God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.
BROTHERHOOD A Promise Keeper is committed to pursuing vital relationships with a few other men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises.
VIRTUE A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity.
COMMITMENT A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values.
GENEROSITY A Promise Keeper is committed to supporting the mission of his church by honoring and praying for his pastor, and by actively giving his time and resources.
UNITY A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity.
OBEDIENCE A Promise Keeper is committed to influencing his world, being obedient to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
How can our families (our wives and children) hope to have a healthy identity while their men refuse to be Godly leaders and are absent from the family, either physically, emotionally or spiritually? To fill the vacuum left by the absence of Godly men, our families will seek their identity and leadership from unhealthy sources; the world of their peers, the surrounding culture found in television or movies or music or magazines, or maybe darker sources such as the subcultures of drugs or alcohol or pornography.
And where can the men who have been so long absent hope to find their identity? In the Father God who seeks each of us and through a network of healthy, God honoring men. By following the leadership of the Father and the principles laid out in Scripture, we can start to reverse the pain and damage caused by our years of neglect. Then we who have are on the path to healing can finally lead our families to wholeness.
Note 1: The role of husbands and wives is a complex and somewhat controversial and contentious subject. In this article I have accepted the position as laid out in a straightforward reading of Ephesians 5:22-33, summed up in v.25 as ‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her’. From that command we infer that husbands are to love, cherish, and protect, etc.
(1) Promise Keepers website
(2) Pew Research – The American Family
(3) 5 Themes of Biblical Manhood, Dennis Rainey,
(4) 07 Promises of a Promise Keeper