To each and every father, grandfather, great grandfather and all men, young and old, married and single. Marriage in and of itself doesn’t make a Christian man. Having children doesn’t in and of itself doesn’t make a man a Christian man. A moral single Christian man is no less of a Christian than a moral married man.
Today being Father’s Day, and in light of the current debate going on in our culture regarding marriage and gender, I want to take advantage of the day to address the matter of manhood, headship and leadership in the home and the church from a biblical perspective.
Let me begin by saying that in the beginning, God made them male and female (Genesis 1:27).
God created men to be men and women to be women, and for functional purposes, the divine order within the context of marriage is
1 Corinthians 11.3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Let me state right here and now that biblical headship/leadership is not to be interpreted as an authoritarian and self-serving atmosphere in the home. Leadership/headship is to be viewed as a sacred trust in which the husband is “called” by God to lead and honor and sacrifice for his wife.
The doctrines of male headship or leadership in the church and the home have stood without question for over 2,000 years. But in the 1970’s, a strange wind called the feminist movement not only swept through our nation, but into the church as well. Since that time, the very foundations regarding marriage, manhood and womanhood have been under siege.
But, it is my opinion that when Christian men try to use the feminist movement as a scapegoat for why the church or their home is biblically out of order, that is nothing more than an excuse in sheep’s clothing.
King David said these words to his son Solomon just before he went to glory. They ring true for our study this morning.
1 Kings 2.1-3 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself.
David, the man that the Bible calls a man after His own heart, had learned through painful experience and discipline that true success depended on being faithful to God and His Word.
The apostle Paul said to the men at Corinth, 1 Corinthians 16.13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
Here God is calling the Christian man to display vigilance, courage and unwavering faith in Jesus Christ in the midst of a society that was upside down morally and spiritually.
In 2003, Hurricane Isabel slammed into the East Coast of the United States, leaving 16 dead and cutting power to six million homes. The edges of the hurricane passed through Washington, D.C., prompting the president and members of Congress to find safer quarters.
That was not the case at Arlington National Cemetery, where guards stood vigil at the Tomb of the Unknowns at the time, just as they had done every hour of every day since July 1, 1937. When the hurricane hit, the soldiers remained at their posts even though they were given permission to seek shelter. That’s what a soldier does. He acknowledges the storm, but he doesn’t give in to it. He stands firm.
My dear brothers in Christ, “If these men can stand guard over the dead, how much more important is it that you and I stand guard over the living our wife and children?”
Like these soldiers, Christian men, married or unmarried, young or old, are called to stand and do our duty while staring down the very storms that seek to rob us of courage, taunting and tempting us to neglect our duty and abandon our posts. Biblical manhood and fatherhood is under attack by today’s society and the liberal church.
When men abandon this pursuit of Christ like, Spirit filled headship or when this responsibility of leadership is taken away from them… CHAOS ENSUES.
So how does the bible describe what a man who is truly following Jesus Christ looks like? What are some of the vital ingredients or biblical DNA that defines the Christian man?
Let me put it right out there and let the chips fall where they may. Men, fathers, and husbands, the problem of disorder in the home or family or in the church is not the feminist movement.
The first quality of a born again, regenerated Christian man is going to be the fear of God.
The problem of disorder in the family and the home is usually due to biblically weak, passive, spineless men who lack solid biblical convictions or the fear of God.
Isaiah 66.2 but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
A Christian man is going to possess a fear and reverence for God and His Word. He is going to have a heart that is tender and broken over the things that break God’s heart.
Psalm 128.1-3 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.
Brothers, do you realize what God is telling us here? You wife and children are screaming out to you to fear God.
A godly man is going to be meek, but not weak. Warm, but not a wimp. Tough, but tender hearted. He will fear God, not man.
A Christian man, be he married or single, young or old, is going to be a man who boldly and unashamedly loves Jesus Christ, lives passionately for Jesus Christ, and walks in the fear of God.
Psalm 112.1,4 Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments, he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
A Christian man is going to delight in the things of The Lord. Because he delights in the things of The Lord, he is going to manifest the qualities of The Father. He is going to be gracious, compassionate and upright.
Then second quality of a Christian man whose emotions and passions and under the control of The Holy Spirit. The fruit of The Spirit is self-control.
Single or married, a Christian man is going to be a Spirit filled man who has learned to identify and tame his passions and lusts.
A Christian man will keep his hands off a woman who is not his wife. He will treat his wife with love, respect and dignity. He keeps his eyes off pornographic images.
A Christian man will protect a single woman’s virginity and innocence. A Christian man is not defined by his exploits below the waist. He’s a man with a heart, head and conscience.
He is a man of character. “Character is what a man is in the dark.”
A Christian man is a man who keeps himself pure and avoids any and all appearances of impurity or immorality.
The third quality of a Christian man is that he is going to be a man who provides for and protects his family.
1 Timothy 5.8. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
I am not talking about cases where men who have physical disabilities that prevent them from being able to work.
I am not talking about men who have lost their job due to downsizing and are unable to find any other work.
I am talking about men who are able to work and can work but refuse to work or make excuses for working this job or that job.
Even unbelievers can display natural care and affection for family members.
He is not only going to provide, he is going to protect. When you are lying in bed with your wife, and you hear the sound of a window being opened in your kitchen at 3 a.m., do you shake her awake and say, “The last time this occurred, I was the one who took our baseball bat and investigated to see if someone was breaking into our house. Now it’s your turn, Sweetheart. Here’s the bat!”?
Let me also say that some men think that as long as they bring home the bacon, that is all that is required of them to be the provider.
I firmly believe that this speaks to dads who are missing in action. Many fathers are wonderful providers and are physically present with their kids, but they are spiritually They haven’t assumed the responsibility God has given them as fathers to lead their families spiritually.
Pastor James Merrit has given an acrostic that describes the four main responsibilities of a dad:
D stands for direction, or giving guidance.
A stands for availability, to be there.
D stands for discipline, firm and fair discipline.
S stands for spirituality, to be a spiritual man.
If you change the second word in this acrostic to the word unavailable or unapproachable you get DUDS!
The fourth quality of a Christian man is that he is going to be a man that serves and leads his family.
Mark 10.44,45 Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you:but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Servanthood and leadership may seem like a contradiction, but they are inseparable according to Scripture.
When the Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:23 that “the husband is the head of the wife,” he quickly puts to rest any notions that this leadership allows for dictatorship by completing the passage with, “as Christ also is the head of the church.”
The passage goes on to say that a Christian husband should love his wife “just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (verse 25). This paints a picture of leadership contrary to how the world views it.
The Christian husband is not going to be like Tony Soprano. Or The Incredible Hulk! A Christian husband is a man that is called by God to be an Christ like example of being a servant-leader. He is going to take responsibility for his wife and children and to put their needs ahead of his own. He is going to demonstrate selfless, sacrificial love – the type of love we see in God toward His children.
A man who loves his wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25), who trains his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), who does all that he can to provide for his family (1 Timothy 5:8), and who is himself a man of godliness and character (2 Timothy 2:21-22) may not be considered a “man’s man,” by today’s standards, but he is God’s man, being like David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).
The greatest need of Koinonia Fellowship is that Jesus Christ Himself be demonstrated through a Christ-like husband and father who is passionately leading his home. God’s ultimate small group is the family. If that group is failing, no other group matters.
1 Peter 3.7 husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
A strong Christian man is not going to be macho in a worldly sense. He is going to be understanding and compassionate. He is going to treasure his wife. He is going to study her and learn how to minister to her in ways that honor Christ. He is going to be considerate.
A Christian man knows that if things are not right with his wife, his prayer life is going to suffer for it.
The fifth quality of a Christian man is that he is going to be a man of prayer. He is going to be a man who prays for and with his wife and children.
Biblical manhood is a matter of the heart, and it is manifested and matured by a commitment to follow The Lord Jesus Christ and glorify Him in both word and deed.
Christian men will be men are strong in The Lord and in the power of His might.
They have a courage in The Spirit that is willing to do what is right and to stand for truth at all times and in all circumstances.
Biblical manhood is Christ centered and God glorifying. A man cannot truly be a Christian man unless his life is buried and alive in Christ.
A Christian man is a man who finds in Jesus Christ is the blueprint for what it means to be a real man.
John Wesley said, “Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth.”