For a moment, think about the word, “man.” What image comes to mind? Is it your father? A husband? Maybe it is a firefighter or police officer? Or perhaps it is an NFL quarterback? Whatever the image was, why do you think it was that? Let me ask you this, did you picture Jesus? I, as I sat out to write this article surrounded by Bible study materials and a Moleskine notepad, did not think of Jesus…sad, but true. Fortunately, while I would tend to think that Chuck Norris carries a lot of attributes as what the world at large would call a man’s man, he is not the picture of what Jesus would consider a real man.
In life, growing up as a boy, it was difficult to figure things out and try to understand which kind of man I wanted to be. While I did not have Jesus in my life when I was younger, I have always been fortunate (and still am today) to have my father to watch, aspire to, and long to be like. I am also fortunate that he is a pretty solid example of who to follow. Today, after years of careful review, and having watched the power of our Lord, Jesus Christ, do His work through him, I can confidently say that he has provided good imagery to give me an insight into Jesus’ view on being a man. For that, I am very thankful. So…Dad…when you see this, let this be a quiet way of saying thank you for being you. I love you.
In his letter to the people of Corinth, Paul gives us an insight into what the roles of men should be in 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” These are, in my opinion, not just Paul’s ideas on what it takes to be a good man, these ideas are coming from his direct experience with coming to know Jesus. Jesus was all of those things and in fact so much more, when it comes to being an example of living the roles of men. Jesus was loving, kind, forgiving, firm in the faith, and strong. If we want to be a godly man, we must be firm in the faith towards Heaven, and towards our families.
Let’s look at Paul, when in his letter to the people of Ephesus, he writes the most beautiful perspective on what the role of a married man should be modeled after. It is written in Ephesians 5:25, ‘For husbands, this means love your wife just as Christ loved the church. He gave up His life for her.” My wife loves the fact that this is one of my favorite verses’ in scripture, and, I cannot blame her. The sheer power, dedication, and commitment held in those words is amazing. It is my daily desire to treat her just as Christ loved the church, and while that may seem daunting, it is actually my favorite thing I do in my everyday life.
In closing today, we’ll take a look at Proverbs and get some insight from Solomon and his instructions for how to live a better life. I find the writer of these verses, in comparison with his actual life, not to mention his fathers’ life, ironic…but I have also come to learn that the Bible isn’t written to judge people, it is written to help each of us live better lives because of the experiences of those who have come…and gone, before us.
Proverbs 6:32-33, “The man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself. He will be wounded and disgraced. His shame will never be erased.”
When we think about living as men, there are several things we need to understand. If we want to be the kind of man Jesus would want us to be, there are several attributes we must example, and not just occasionally…we must try to show these attributes every single day of our life. There is one thing I know for sure, somewhere inside each and every one of us; there are pieces we never seem to get right. Those pieces are gaps…and those gaps can only be filled by a closer walk with Jesus.
So, now…its decision time, men.
What will you do to be a better, godlier man?
What are your gaps? Have you told Jesus about them, and that you need His help?
In His name,
Eric J Wasson