Man Up, Part 1
Blake Allen, Student and Outreach Minister, LHBC
Ephesians 5:25-33; 6:4
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
What does it mean to be a man? How should we define manhood? Let’s face it our world is confused on the topic of manhood. The answers to these questions will vary drastically depending on who you ask. But while confusion has invaded the minds of many around this topic, the church should be the one entity that gets this right because we have the word of God as the sole authority on all issues.
Everyone has their own definition of what it means to be a man. Some may define manhood as being a strong leader. Some may define manhood as providing for one’s family. Some may define manhood in one’s maturity. While all these answers may speak to some aspects of manhood, do we have a Biblical perspective of what it means to be a man? In this particular devotion, we are going to look at two aspects of manhood. Specifically, we are going to observe Biblical manhood as it relates to marriage and fatherhood. We will look at other aspects of Biblical manhood next week!
In Ephesians 5 and 6, Paul gives us an ideal picture of manhood as it relates to marriage and fatherhood. In chapter 5, manhood is seen through sacrificial love. By love, I do not mean some emotional thing vulnerable to fatigue depending upon our moods. Sacrificial love is an act and everyday choice. And men are called to sacrificial love. For those of us who are married, we are called to love our wives well. But what does that mean? It means we follow Christ ‘s example. Christ is the example we look to for how to love our bride well. In Scripture, Christ is referred to as the groom while the church is referred to as the bride of Christ. Despite our sin, Christ loved us despite us. He loved us by providing for our spiritual and physical needs, he walked with us, guided us, and he laid down his life to protect his bride. Manhood requires us men to invest in our marriages, lead our wives, consider them first before our own lives or preferences, and protect them at all cost. It is a call to sacrificial love.
Secondly, men are to lead their families with Biblical excellence. Chapters 5 and 6 demonstrate that men are to be the leaders of their households. Too often we are tempted to delegate our responsibility to teach our families the word of God to the church. It is not the church’s responsibility to lead your household. It is the church’s responsibility to partner with you along the way! Paul clearly states it is the husband’s responsibility to lead his wife in the word of God, and to instruct his children in the word of God. In other words, this task is undelegatable and is the God-given responsibility of men to lead their families in the word of God. How this is done may look different for every family. But Biblical manhood requires that it be done.
Part of being a man is stepping up to the plate and going to bat for your family spiritually. If we care more about sports, fishing, hunting, exercise, etc. than we do our family’s spiritual health, then we have missed the picture of what it means to be a leader and a man. We all want to be leaders: of teams, businesses, educational settings, etc. Why would we not strive to be the spiritual leaders in our own homes?
Thirdly, we are to consider the character of leadership. Before discussing the topic of biblical leadership in households, Ephesians 5:1 tells believers to imitate Christ as dearly beloved children and walk as he walked! This means that everything we do should be a reflection of the character of Christ. This includes how one leads! In other words, we love our wives well because Christ loved us well. We are patient with our children because God was patient with us. We put ourselves last and serve because Christ did not come to be served but to serve. We protect our bride because Christ protected us as he laid down his life as a ransom for many! We are to model the character of Christ as a part of biblical leadership.
Married men and fathers: It’s time we step up. It’s time to lead. It’s time for us to man up. Will you lead with biblical excellence? Your family is counting on it.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, give our men the strength to lead their families well and model the character of Christ in all that we do. Help us to prioritize these things. Holy Spirit, lead us as we lead our families. In Jesus name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Romans 5:1- Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ