I wear a number of hats as a pastor. Of all them there is one that I enjoy the most. My favorite ministry is working with our men. Through the years I have had hundreds of breakfasts and lunches in discipling, mentoring, and developing men. These dear, godly men energize me and have often poured back into my life manifold what I have given to them.
Most of the crises we have in our country, churches and homes is related to a lack of godly leadership by men. The problem is so profound that we are unable to even clarify what a true man is. There is confusion in our culture in what comprises true manhood. If one of the most basic definitions of success is fulfilling the design of a function or role, then this demands that there be a very clear standard by which to measure a man.
A man is not just one that is able to produce children or defined by his anatomy. Satan has done a masterful job of making the God-given purposes and roles of a man fuzzy and unclear. It became so bad that a new term was created in which to describe those that diminish the distinctiveness God has established between male and female – androgyny.
The word androgyny means “the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics”. It has the idea of one being ambiguous relating to their sexuality and is usually evidenced through their clothing, physical characteristics, and mannerisms. This is especially seen in the music industry in such stars as Boy George, Prince, David Bowie and Michal Jackson. (I’m dating myself with these examples). Though they are male they have feminine characteristics in different areas.
One of our greatest needs in America today is for masculine, godly men. The Bible states that God “sought for a man among them” in a time of national crisis (Ezekiel 22:30). Sadly, the Scripture states that He “found none”.
I love sports, but just because a person is a great athlete doesn’t mean he is a real man. I admire successful leaders, but just because they increase the company bottom line doesn’t make them a real man. I enjoy “tough guy” movies, but just having physical strength does not make a real man.
Since God the Creator has established a clear division between the sexes (Genesis 1:26-27) we must go to His Word, the Bible, to discover the true measure of a man. A passage in the Bible that expresses His desire for men and their purposes is in Psalm 128. Though it has application to everyone, it was written especially to and for men. Here it is.
“Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.” (Psalm 128:1-6)
Someone wrote, “Before the fall, paradise was man’s home. After the fall the home became man’s paradise”. As Satan destroyed the paradise our first parents, Adam and Eve, enjoyed so he seeks to destroy your home. His dominant focus in your family is to get you sidetracked from knowing and fulfilling your role.
Men, discover the role God has assigned to you and fulfill it. Again, the secret of success is design. We must know and practice our God-given design if we would enjoy God’s blessing and success in our home.
A key factor in producing a godly home is that the father and husband be a man of God. Likewise, we will never have godly churches or a godly nation without godly men. They are to be spiritual leaders. Because of that, Satan is fiercely attacking men today.
The phrase “man of God” is used almost eighty times in the Bible. One of the purposes for which God gave His Word was that men might be men of God (II Timothy 3:16-17). Any man could be a man of God if he would pay the price. One of my objectives as a father has been to help my sons to grow and become men of God.
A couple of months ago my oldest son was married and I was asked to pray over he and his wife during the wedding a dedication of themselves and their marriage to God. One of my requests that late afternoon was that Jeremiah would be a man of God. I believe if he is a man of God that he will have a lasting godly influence upon his wife and children.
There are four specific marks that measure a man of God. The following posts will deal with these foundational characteristics.