Be A Man!

"Be a man!" Those words haunted me for years. I heard them growing up, and seen examples of what not to be. Finally hearing the condemning words from my 27 year old Korean girlfriend, 4 years ago: "Be...A...Man! Can't you do anything right!?" I've learned much in the past 4 years. One thing; To be a man, does not mean to be proud (Luke 14:11), to know everything (1 Cor. 8:1-2), to be physically strong (1 Timothy 4:8), or hard (Mark 6:52) (Proverbs 14:12). As Godly Men we have a much higher standard to live by. (Matthew 12:36, Hebrews 13:17) A friend of mine and example of godly character, proudly displays on his laptop, "Real men love Jesus". This note is meant for men and boys of my generation and younger (1 Timothy 5:1). I experience poor levels of strength within us, and it saddens me deeply. To be a Christian is not to be feminine or 'weak'. Men, you don't need to be feminine to love Jesus. That's for the women. (1 Peter 3:3-4) Jesus was a man's man. He did God the Father's will in every aspect of His life. (John 4:34; 5:19) It was difficult, hard, lonely (Luke 5:16, John 2:24-25)... but He stood strong. (Isaiah 53:7, Mark 14:60-61) Primarily, we are disciples of Jesus Christ and we are immitate Him in every aspect of our lives. Let's use this as our foundation. (1 John 2:6, 1 Peter 2:21, 2 Cor. 10:5, Phillipians 2:5, 1 Cor. 11:1) Additionally, I believe every reference to the requirements of a deacon, elder, pastor, etc. also applies to how we ought to act and strive for as men. (1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Timothy 5:17-19; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Thess. 2:1-12) No matter how old you are, you have no excuse to remain a spiritual child. Mary, mother of Jesus, was aprox. 13-15 years old when she was with child and Joseph aproximately 17-19. And yet Jesus grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. Joseph was the man God chose to be responsible in raising his son, Jesus... think about it. There's much to mention, but we'll focus on 4 areas of strength we need to keep: 1. Respect - "Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity." (1 Timothy 5:1) Respect is foreign to western culture, however, as men we are called to live a life of Respect. To respect others and to be respected. We are called to respect Jesus (Matthew 21:37), and in turn we must respect His creation as well. (Matthew 25:40) If you believe you could respect God, but not man, I urge you to keep in mind the principle taught in 1 John 4:20. In regards to respect for women, we ought to apply principles of Biblical Chivalry. 2. Stability - "Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil." (Matthew 5:37) As men, we are called to a life of stability, not tossed to and fro by our emotions, poor financial management, poor ethics, built on a foundation of sand instead of rock. (Matthew 7:26) Stability ought to begin within our character. Simply put, "Say what you mean and mean what you say". Become a man of your word. If you commit to something, do it. And do not commit rashly, to anything. (Ecclesiastes 5:2, Leviticus 5:4) If you find yourself ensnared by the words of your mouth, (Proverbs 6:2) do not 'quietly' back out. Step up and be honest, respectfully and quickly withdrawing. Become a man who's word others could depend upon. A primary point in character is to remain in self control at all times (Proverbs 25:28, Proverbs 16:32). First, Character. Refining our character to the character of a Godly man, the rest will follow into stability in finances, word, emotions, etc. Men, women need our stability. Especially if your praying for somebody or would like to be married someday, you must learn stability. 3. Wisdom - "Wisdom is the principle thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding" (Proverbs 4:7) Wisdom is not knowledge. Godly wisdom is the practical application of the principles of God in our life. It is not the practically application of what we know to our current situations. The bible describes two types of wisdom. That which is from above (James 3:13, 17) and that which is carnal in nature (James 3:14-16) Godly wisdom could only come from God (James 1:5) and is not dependent upon worldly knowledge. This is how a child, walking in the wisdom of God, meditating upon the Word of God, is able to be wiser than a full grown man relying upon his own strength (1 Samuel 2:18-4:1). This is one way the wisdom of man is foolishness to God (1 Corinthians 3:19) and the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:25). Seek after true wisdom, meditation upon Proverbs, Ecclesiasties, Job, Psalms, etc. and look to your true Father for the only example of wisdom you ought to follow. 4. Preisthood - Finally, as men, we are called to be the preist of our house. "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." (1 Corinthians 11:3) But this doesn't begin at marriage. No, we are to be a generation of preists before the LORD. (1 Peter 2:9) Holy and beyond reproach in every aspect of our lives. (Colossians 1:22) In everything we say and do we ought to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31) and give men a reason to glorify the LORD (Matthew 5:16). Begin today as a royal priest and it will carry into your family. The way the man goes, will also go his family. Whether you are married now, plan to be, or don't plan to be, rather than focusing on being a preist for your wife, focus on being a preist unto the LORD. (Galatians 1:10) Because that's what you are; So best start acting like it. My prayer is the men who read this note will take to heart what is said and grow (Proverbs 9:9). You have no excuse regardless of age. God NEVER set an age limit to maturity, wisdom, strength, purity, holiness, etc. Even writing this I know that I am not complete in maturity, however, even still I have no excuse in this and as men we ought not to give excuses. We must strive to be Men of God. Walk in the authority of Christ. (Matthew 7:29, Mark 1:22) Stop the backtracking in our generations. (Hosea 4:6) Begin today, as men who leave an inheritance of righteousness to our children's children. (Proverbs 13:22) Let's be examples of Godliness and Holiness to the young and old. (1 Timothy 4:12)

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