I can never forget the journey to the States. I was some thousand feet above ground and psyching myself in preparation for my academic studies ahead. “I have to be successful, that’s what a true man is.” I’d say to myself repeatedly. I would think about the family (a single-parent home) I left when boarding this plane in Nigeria. I had seen my mother carry out the responsibility of two parents on her own and my father had been physical absent for several years. I was sent to boarding school, and though there were men there, they taught us young men that provision was the sole responsibility of the father. Thus my aim was to be present and make money.
After spending about two years in the States, a lot has significantly changed about me. To many people’s surprise it doesn’t have much to do with the culture, but with the truths of Scripture taught and lived out by the men in the church I am attending while I’m in the U.S.. So in the period of two years my orientation of manhood has been reformed, and my devotion to Christ bolstered. This, all being a result of watching and learning from the godly Christian men in my community, and seeing how they live life in light of the Word of God.
In our day, with the skyrocketing numbers of males being raised in dysfunctional families, we must be intentional in finding out what it really looks like to be a godly man. So, with that being said, here are some practical ways in which I went about this, and you could too! Note that all practical helps must be saturated in prayer and a reliance in Gods full control of all things.
Locate and develop relationships with older godly men and your Pastor (Col 3:16; Proverbs 2)
My church is blessed to have some godly men in the congregation and leadership. In realizing this I sought to develop relationships with them and state the desires the Lord had given me (that is to mature into biblical manhood) and how I’d like to hang out with them and just learn, observe, and ask questions. This is a great way to begin the journey to biblical manhood.
Study the Scriptures in light of biblical manhood (1Tim 3:16 & 17)
I began looking at the men of the Bible, their strengths and weaknesses. I also began trying to collect all the necessary passages referring to biblical manhood. This has helped me because it has caused me to not only take in information, but to work the data out, i.e. make sense of it. Scripture is our final authority and our tool to discerning true biblical manhood when it is being acted out.
Read godly books on marriage and manhood
I personally read the likes of “What He Must Be If He Wants To Marry My Daughter” by Voddie Baucham; “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A response to Evangelical Feminism” by Wayne Grudem and John Piper; “Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller and “Manhood Restored: How the Gospel makes men whole” by Eric Mason.
These where really impactful books in my life and have helped me both intellectually but also practically on the road to Biblical Manhood. There are many books on manhood, but these I recommend heavily.
Listen to sermons and conferences on biblical manhood
I made an effort to listen to the sermons of pastors who were faithfully teaching the truths of Scripture in relation to this topic. One significantly good sermon series that I remember was Matt Chandler’s series on Biblical manhood (watched on YouTube) and Pastor Deric Thomas’ sermons on the book of Genesis chapters 1-11 (cfgadsden.com).
In my life these four things blessed me incredibly as I sought to be discipled into the man God has called men to be. I trust that it will bless you too!