“This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.” (Genesis 5:1-2 NKJV)
Contrary to modern pop-psychology, men and women are not from different planets! However, the One Who created them definitely established a distinction between them. Together they become a wonderful picture of their Father God. Being an invisible Spirit, He has chosen to reveal Himself through the amazing form of these human beings He has created!
It did eventually happen, however, that we humans fell from that lofty estate through disobedience. (Romans 4:12). This set in motion God’s plan of redemption wherein He sent His only Son to die in our place, and live again to restore our union with Him. (Romans 5:8-11). Nearly two thousand years have passed since Jesus reconciled mankind to God, and yet the struggle against sin and death continues.
It has always been so, that when we turn from our own way, believe the truth of the Gospel, trust in Him and receive His gracious gift of eternal life, everything changes. With this clean slate, both males and females of this once fallen race now have this fantastic opportunity to resume the original quest for which we were created. There is much lost time to recover, and many old patterns and habits to forsake. For this, we His redeemed people need the constant renewing or our minds.
Because of the Fall, the roles which God designed for men and women have become greatly distorted. The resulting image has been a poor representation of the image of our wonderful Lord. The abuses that men have heaped upon women and women upon men have scarred humanity in many ways. Sin takes a serious and deadly toll upon us all. The scars are often deep and not often recognized, but they powerfully shape our thoughts, feelings and actions.
Thank the Lord that healing has come! No longer do we have to live in the pain of the past, and in the false conceptions of this fallen world. Christ has set us free, and we are truly free!
Men are now free to be men as God intended, and women can truly pursue their deepest desires in Him as well. Those characteristics that were once designed for good and the glory of God have been twisted and distorted. The boldness and strength He placed in man have been used for evil and oppression, and the sensitivity and gentleness He created in women has been used to seduce and manipulate.
There is an equally damaging and sinful reaction to these situations today. Our modern culture seeks a solution in blurring the differences between the sexes that God had wisely designed. Men are being feminized and women are being masculinized in extremely subtle and deceptive ways, even in the Church. While Jesus did teach us to be meek, He did not say for us to be weak. Jesus was a real man. He stood for righteousness and truth always, without abusing His authority. He was infinitely loving and kind, but also uncompromising in the Truth.
He sent other men out into the world like Peter, James, John, Paul, Luke, Timothy, Apollos and others, to make the same stand for His Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Ours is a different world and a different time, and yet this very same adventure continues. In opposition to this, our adversary the devil has used the succeeding centuries to develop more distractions to consume our time. He has benched millions by simply convincing them they are not needed. Their efforts are useless. Their lives do not matter.
Many try to affirm their masculinity by big talk, coarse attitudes, and rude behavior. Others by the accumulation of things. Some succumb to the culture by becoming passive, nice guys who would not dare to confront evil or even face controversy. Others test their bravery in heated battles over the pettiest of issues and opinions, destroying the unity and harmony in the community and the Church.
Jesus is calling us to be real men. There is a battle worth fighting and a war worth winning. But this one is not with flesh and blood. Real men resist passivity. They take responsibility for themselves and those whom God has placed in their care. They can do all this through Christ who strengthens them! They resist selfishness and self-indulgence. If they are married they learn to love their wives as Christ loves His Church. If they are single they keep themselves pure for His sake.
They are willing to endure hardness, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:3) They understand the true Grace of God that empowers them and teaches them to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present age. (Titus 2:12). Instead of running from the battle, their true inner manhood motivates them to engage it. With a renewed mind they set out to prove that good, acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2). Excuses are not for real men. This cowardess is unnecessary because of the indwelling power of Christ.
Real men admit to failure and repent. Real men confess their faults one to another and are healed. Real men do not try to fall back on an easy, armchair religion or blame others for their mistakes. Real men receive correction from the Lord and those He sends to them. Real men get back up and fight the good fight of faith. When tempted to feel sorry for themselves, they seek out other men for encouragement. They cultivate a thankful heart.
Is there something inside of you that cries out to break free from the constraints of fallen humanity? Do you sense that there is more than simply accepting and coping with life as it is? The fact is that the freedom you seek is only found in submission. Your submission to Christ and the challenge to manhood that He presented is the answer. His offer is one of a dangerous and challenging existence, and yet one that is exhilarating and fulfilling!
It is time for many of us to give up the complacent, purposeless life of one who has lowered his expectations to fit his circumstances. No. Christ came to change everyone’s circumstances, by first changing our hearts. His compassion will never be satisfied to leave us unchanged, and the circumstances of others unchanged either. It is the Lord’s to decide what should be changed and when, but real men are ready when He is. Every simple act of obedience to Christ becomes a courageous challenge to the gates of hell! No command from their Commander and Chief is too small or too large to them.
They can truly hold their heads up high before the world as they humbly bow before their Savior and Lord, Who has given them their true dignity, and Who awaits to crown them with His Crown of Life. (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10).
Because they have surrendered their lives and their future to Christ, they will be able to stand with our beloved Paul, who near the end of his life wrote these compelling words:
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Tim 4:6-8)