February 1, 2011

What is Biblical Manhood?

Here are my notes from our latest Men’s Group discussing biblical manhood. I left them as they were, so they are bulleted and may be a little choppy to read. I apologize for that.

Quick re-cap of last meeting. If you don’t deal with the heart, none of the rest of this stuff will matter at all! Ask yourself the hard questions and wrestle with the answers.

This teaching will just be an overview. We will get into the particulars (how to’s) later on in the Proverbs study. I wanted everyone to be clear on the term “biblical manhood”. We use it a lot and I wanted to make sure we all know what that means. In a nutshell it means seeing manhood and masculinity from what the Bible says they are and not what culture says they are. The best short definition I have heard for biblical masculinity is from author, Douglas Wilson. He defines masculinity as “The glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility.”

In addition to this article, I have a series of posts on masculinity that go a bit further in detail and offer practical advice on what we, as men, can do in our homes to better lead them.

Male Headship

  • The doctrines of male leadership in the church and the home stood without question for 18 centuries.
  • Man’s responsibilities, as laid out in the Bible, may be difficult to perform, but they are not difficult to understand.
  • Biblical manhood is under attack in our culture!
  • The feminist agenda began around the 1920’s & 1930’s.
  • The first feminist interpretations of Scriptures dealing with male headship started showing up in commentaries about 1970. That’s all of our lives if you are in my generation. Unfortunately, that’s the main reason we so willingly accept doctrines and teachings in our churches that the Bible strictly prohibits.
  • God created man & said that it is not good that man be alone, so He created woman as a helper. Helper is not a denigrating term, God uses this word to speak of Himself throughout the Bible.
  • Man and woman are created equal, but serving different roles.
  • Gen 2:18-24 – All the other animals were created from dirt. Woman was created from man showing equality.
  • God gives us the picture of male headship. – 1 Cor 11:8-9
    • 1 Tim 2:12 – Our culture argues with this passage saying that “Paul was speaking to that culture and those women of that time. He isn’t speaking to our culture today.”
    • Paul himself uses the created order as proof for his argument. Therefore, if God set it up that way, that’s the way He meant for it to be for all time here on this Earth. – 1 Tim 2:13-14
    • Woman was made after the man. Why didn’t God create Eve first and then let her have the first man by natural child birth? That would show female headship.
    • Woman was made from the man. Again, she wasn’t made like the other animals showing equality with the man. Equality not egality – Egality says that we are completely equal and there is no role distinctions.
    • Woman was brought to the man. Another sign of authority.
    • Woman was named by the man. Naming is an act of headship. God named His creation (day, night, earth, seas, etc.) then gave the job of naming everything else (including Eve) to the man.
    • After the fall God comes looking for the man and holds him accountable even though it was the woman who was deceived and sinned first.

Biblical Manhood vs Cultural Manhood

Manhood is being attacked on two major fronts in our culture.

  • Feminism that seeks to eliminate all distinctions and authority.
  • Machoism that defines masculinity outside of the Bible. An analogy called “Football or gay”. Basically either you like sports, hunting, fishing, fast cars, etc. or you’re not a real man.

What does the Bible say?

  • God created man and gave him the role of cultivator. – Gen 1:28-30
    • God put man in the Garden of Eden and said ‘This is how the rest of the Earth should look’.
    • Men cultivate. It’s inherent. Just look at us “bigger, faster, stronger” (technology, vehicles, sports equipment, etc.). That’s the way God wired us.
    • We are called to cultivate our wives, children, jobs, churches, and communities.
    • If man refuses to submit to Christ, he still remains a cultivator, he just cultivates the wrong things. This is why accountability is so important among us!

Why is cultivating the right things so difficult?

  • Gen 3:16-19 – God curses the woman’s body and mind because of her sin, but he curses the creation that man was meant to cultivate because of his sin.
  • Creation wars against our cultivation! By the way, stop dreaming of the perfect woman and life that isn’t a fixer-upper! They don’t exist.
  • This is why we meet to encourage and teach one another. It’s hard!
  • God allows this to show us our deep need for the gospel and a Savior!

Wouldn’t it be better if, when we got saved, God took that away and gave us an easy life so that others would want to get saved? No. Two reasons.

  • That’s idolatry. If I come to Jesus just to get easy life, then easy life is my god and I’m just using Jesus to get it. That’s the prosperity gospel.
  • We tend to ignore God when all is well and really press into Him when things aren’t going so well for us. That’s our default mode.

What does this look like with our wives and kids? Again, way more details coming later.

  • Eph 5:22-23 – We can see that biblical manhood has way more to do with humility, loving self sacrifice, responsibility, and accountability than it does authority. The authority is there, but it comes with a price. These are the principals we need to continually learn from the Word and other godly men.
  • When we fully submit to Christ’s authority and headship, sacrifice our rights and desires, and lead out in our families spiritually we are becoming the men He has called us to be. Women usually flourish in this environment.
  • Men, we set the spiritual thermostat in our homes. If your wife is leading out on all the “spiritual stuff”, it’s going to end badly. Not because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about (my wife is a good bit smarter than me), but because you are going against the way God set it up to work!

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