You know the type. The brawny, iron-willed, fierce and stubborn fighter who barges in, muscles rippling and guns blazing. We celebrate his brazenness and are awed by his physical fortitude. Or how about the smooth, clean, and impeccably mannered social character, a la James Bond, whom men envy and the women covet. We sometimes tout these as the epitome of masculinity.
But what about the raw, earnest, gospel-centered manhood of Christianity? How often do we stop to celebrate the sacrifice, the service, and the humility of the men we rub shoulders with daily? I fear we often overlook the depth of Biblical masculinity in favor of a visually or emotionally stimulating poster of shallow, self-centered boyhood.
“Godly Manhood: A Young Man’s Perspective.” That’s the title. And though I could spout off what I think, it wouldn’t be worth much without substance to back it up. So my aim will be to show you what I believe biblical, godly manhood is and must be by looking at 4 things a godly man is/does. He is gospel-grounded, he stands, he submits, and he serves.
The Godly Man is Gospel-Grounded
True masculinity is an impossibility for any who have not experienced the life-transforming grace of the gospel. Our inbred depravity will not allow us to exhibit anything worth calling manhood. We do not, indeed, we cannot lead, love, or give if we are unregenerate. The ability to be biblically manly is solely fueled by the Holy Spirit’s work to enlighten our minds and transform our hearts.
As we become more immersed in the gospel, more intimate with our Father, more passionate about God’s passions, our ability to model masculinity grows. The greater our realization of the gift we have, the greater will be our desire to give in kind to those in our lives. A godly man is first a gospel man.
The Godly Man Stands
A godly man knows both what to defend, and when to defend it. The first is developed by a continual immersion in the truth, the second by discernment and prayer. I will confess a certain weakness in my own life regarding the second one. More than once I’ve shoved a foot into my mouth a moment too late.
On the flip side, we as men often fail to stand for anything at all, riding the waves of uncertainty because we aren’t familiar enough with truth to know what’s worth defending. We must be familiar with truth if we are to ardently defend it.
The Godly Man Submits
“What? I thought that was the woman’s job.”
Well, maybe, and maybe not. We can get stuck with an entirely too narrow view of biblical roles. Yes, the woman, biblically, follows the leadership of the man. But, in the oft quoted 1 Corinthians 11 passage, man’s submission to Christ neighbors the command for woman to follow man’s leadership. And this extends beyond mere marital relationship.
Our biblical responsibility as Christians, and specifically as men, is to be humbly submitted to Christ’s rightful authority over our lives. A man can only lead others well after he himself has learned to submit. A man then steps into his role as leader (in marriage and in every other arena) as an obedient servant rather than a rightful master.
The Godly Man Serves
Service. Giving of oneself to benefit others with no expectation of reward. I find it easy to serve when there’s ready recognition. Not so much when no one sees my holy aspirations. Authentic service flows from gospel immersion, especially in the truth of Christ’s service in sacrificing His life for ours.
Paul reminds us in Phil 2:5-7 to “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who . . . made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”1 Christ exemplified true service, and the biblical man mimics the same.
A Different Kind of Masculinity
The masculinity western society promotes has more to do with success, immediate pleasure, and egocentric pursuit than Christ-glorifying, self-sacrificing service. But the later is indeed the greater. We follow our Lord as the ultimate example of not only masculinity but of humanity. Rather than exalting himself, He humbly poured out His own life for the Father’s glory. Truly noble masculinity of this nature will always be scoffed at by a dying world and will always be celebrated by our selfless God. We must decrease, and Christ must increase.
And in that pursuit we find true, godly manhood.
|Julian Stoltzfus currently resides in Elnora, IN and is taking part in a pastoral apprenticeship program under Truth and Grace Mennonite Church. He had the privilege of attending several semesters at Elnora Bible Institute since 2014. When not working at K&K Industries, he enjoys diving into a good read, exploring the diverse beauties of music, or fortifying relationships with family and friends. The 5th of 6, he has greatly benefited from the wisdom and influence of his parents and siblings. He longs to see authentic Christianity thrive as God transforms hearts through the Gospel.
1. The Holy Bible: NKJV, New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2016. Print.