Culture and life in general bombard men each and every day with snapshots of what a man should look like in society. There is even a satiric commercial out now that shows what a man needs to buy, how he should look, what he should achieve, in order to prove that he is a man. It can become too easy to get roped into this way of thinking. We lose focus on the type of man who God would have us be. We lose focus on the type of man who those around us need us to be. Essentially, we allow the culture to shape our views of the roles of man, trading the real thing for a hollow image.
But as Christian men, we have the amazing honor of modeling what a man who is truly devoted to God looks like. This should be apparent in how we interact in our places of work and communities, but it must start in the home. How we model Christ to our families is of utmost importance. Our influence as husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers will far outweigh the influence we have in the workplace or even the community. The influence in the home produces a legacy that we will never know the effect on the generations to come until Jesus calls his children home. Imagine on the last day meeting a great, great, great-grandchild that came to know Christ because you aspired to the responsibility of modeling Jesus to your family. It’s pretty amazing.
We also don’t have to guess at how a man should seek to model Christ in the home. We have the wisdom of the Bible to follow as well as those men who have followed and modeled Christ to us. We have the perfect portrait in Jesus, but we must seek the discipline to follow. In following we will stumble many times, but the sum of the legacy far outweighs the mistakes. When we are consistently looking to God’s word for the roles he has for men we receive a beautiful mosaic of attributes grounded in the model of Christ.
As we have been working through Proverbs we have hopefully gained wisdom on finances and giving as well as seeking wisdom. We are now focusing on the great wisdom found in the book on family. Proverbs has many chapters and verses given by Solomon for the way men and women seeking God should behave and interact with families and the world around them. The book is extremely practical in application. We would do well to follow its wisdom. For example,
“He who commits adultery lacks sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
He will get wounds and dishonor,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.” -Proverbs 6:32-33
This verse very literally addresses adultery. It shows the penalties that the man will incur. But when we view these verses in light of the role of man we realize that the adultery is also committed against God. When we choose to look to society and culture to form our identity as men we are essentially telling God that the identity we have in him as husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons is not good enough. We are committing ourselves to something other than God and in essence “cheating” on a holy God who has given us the very best. We see the outcome. We are destroyed and dishonored.
As men, we need to strive for the identity that God has laid out for us. We must not accept what society would tell us is a man. We have the map in God’s word and the examples of the men who have lived life in Christ well before us. We must seek out these examples and strive to model Christ to our families. Trade the hollow for fullness.
1. Do you find your definitions of a man fall more in line with culture or the Bible?
2. How do you seek to model Christ to your family?