This past weekend I went on a man's weekend where we did things that typically speak to a man's heart such as sleep in cabins in the mountains, raft on the river, and play paintball. But entertainment was not our purpose, rather our purpose was to get away from the normal mundane day to day life and search the Scripture to discover how the Bible describes men and masculinity, which I believe that the church has stripped in many ways by creating a culture of feminized men. We see this displayed in churches all over that are painted with pastel colors, have pictures of Jesus painted like a woman on the wall, and are full of nice feminine guys. No wonder so many men do not even want to walk inside many of our church buildings.
To be clear, this is not how men and masculinity are portrayed in the Bible. Rather we see that there are key biblical truths about men and their calling that describe men as warriors who put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:10-17, Rev. 19):
Men must be forward thinkers, defining their life forward and living according to the plan God has prepared for them. Men must have priorities in life that include (in order) 1 - A personal relationship with Christ, 2 - Loving one Wife, 3 - Raising Children, 4 - Providing for your family, 5 - Volunteer Ministry. Men can fail by neglecting one of these priorities OR getting them out of order. Men must continue to refine their lives by working "on" their life, not just working "in" their life.
Here are some questions that we as men wrestled through during the weekend that I encourage you to wrestle through as our society has started to define what men are including what we are seeing defined as men in the church. Now is time for men in the church to "Man Up."
- At this stage of your life, what is your great battle? Is it on the surface (making more money, getting the kids to behave, reducing the hassles of life?) or is it deeper?
- Where is your great adventure? What real risk have you been swept up into? (Is anything in your life more compelling than watching sports, following stocks, or viewing the adventures of others on TV?)
- Is your church full of masculine men? Where are we missing the mark? Do you see an area of your church that is in desperate need of Biblical men?
- Look at the men around you. How has Satan perverted society's view of a masculine man? Think about businesses in town, advertisements, tv shows, government. What do guys live for today?