By Jared duBois
Growing up, I always wanted to be the best man I could ever be. I wanted to have a beautiful wife one day, raise children, have money to take care of my family, and to be “macho.” My view of what a man was was relatively normal from what I hear most other guys my age describe as what they want to be in this life. But the ideas of how to become this person were horribly twisted and confused by the society I was raised in. In America, we tend to believe that in order to be as manly as possible you have to have tons of facial hair, huge muscles, women surrounding you at all times, money, fast and loud cars, etc. I wanted to have these things so badly when I was growing from my teenage years into my early adult years. This destroyed definition of what a real man is caused a lot of pain in my life; rebellion against my parents, leading a romantic relationship in the wrong direction, and ultimately leaving me feeling helpless. It wasn’t until the end of my first year in college when Jesus took hold my heart and my life, and me surrendering myself to His calling, that I truly began to see that what I thought it took to be a man was all wrong. It took an extra year after that, though, to really make the changes in my own life.
A book that helped me tremendously – one that I will recommend for all of you young men to read – is Kingdom Man by Tony Evans. All of my non-biblical references in this post will be from this book, as well. Dr. Evans does a number of ministerial things in the Dallas area, as well as serves as the team chaplain for the Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas Cowboys. In this book he delivers a very powerful message as to why we see so many single mothers, hungry children, mentally disturbed individuals, and how men play a role in those statistics. He really helped me in my journey to realize God’s calling not only for me, but for all men.
What is a man, exactly? To understand this, let’s take a look at the very first man to ever live on the earth – Adam. God didn’t create Adam first out of incident. When Adam was created, God put it up to him to name all of the animals and creatures of the land, and gave him the first command He would ever give to any human. Adam had a very big responsibility in the garden: to never eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:15-17) Now, the Lord God saw that Adam needed a helper, and so of Adam, He created a woman. This already gives us an idea of what a relationship between a man and a woman should look like. The woman is of the man, and so the man is given immediate responsibility, while the woman is there to aid and encourage him. However, the two should work in one-ness as Genesis 2:24 tells us. This is a Kingdom calling for men to lead their relationships, and as we see from the fall of Adam and Eve, for men to take on the responsibility of keeping those within his sphere of influence in accordance with God’s Word.
In the world we live in, the cry of Kingdom Men to rise and take charge is loud. In Tony Evans’ book he puts it, “It is everywhere. It is loud. It is in the heartbeat of every child born or raised without a father, every woman’s dream drowned by an irresponsible or neglectful man, every hope snuffed out by confusing circumstances, every lonely soul of a single woman searching for someone worthy to marry, and every sanctuary and community devoid of significant contributions.” It is clearly evident in our world that there is a lack of men who can lead their homes and communities in a positive direction. This is because, since the fall of man, we have tuned our ears to a different calling than that of what our Lord has delivered to us. When Satan approached Eve in the garden, we see our Creator referred to as just “God” instead of “Lord God.” Doing this, Satan stripped the title of master and absolute ruler from God’s name, using this subtle twist to effectively undermine God’s divine and absolute authority. This has caused a heck of a lot of confusion as to what a man is supposed to be, because instead of looking to God’s unchanging and final definition, we begin to create our own.
There are only two answers to every question, including how a man should live and rule; God’s answer and everyone else’s. Men are making decisions based on their own thoughts, beliefs, or values – such as Adam did – rather than basing them on what God has to say as Ruler. We are choosing to rule ourselves. This sounds all fine and dandy but then you get the world that we live in today with all of the broken homes and families that we see around us. Psalm 1:1-3 tells us that the man who delights himself in the law of the Lord is sturdy, producing fruits of the Spirit, and prospers. 119:9-13 of Psalm tells us that in order to keep our ways pure we must guard our hearts according to the Word of God and to declare His rules. God will establish our steps when we delight in His way, and even when we stumble, we will not be cast headlong. (Psalm 37:23) So, we are told all of the wonderful things that come with following God’s calling, so why don’t we do it?
Something that was the breakthrough point for me in my relationship with God and allowing Him to develop me into a Kingdom Man was to let go of my worldly pride. It’s not much of a secret that men are prideful. We have grown men flaunting their status, fighting other men to establish dominance, and bragging about their sexual ventures. In a world that tells us that all of these things are pleasing a good, why would be let go of them? That’s between you and the Holy Spirit. I would have never let go of my pride if it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit keeping me in a constant restlessness. It takes this conviction by the Holy Spirit for us to wake up to what God is trying to tell us. The next step to heeding God’s call as a Kingdom Man is to put Him before yourself in everything about your life. This is the meekness described in the Bible that men should have. Meekness is not weakness or timidity. Meekness is submitting yourself before God and His commands and ruling within your sphere of influence with the authority that our Lord has described to you. This is what we call the Headship of Christ.
Just as Christ is the head of the church, He should also be the head of our lives as men, keeping His word so that we may judge and guide our own lives by it. This concept of headship is beautifully illustrated in Ephesians 5:22-33. Here we see that a woman should submit to her husband, for the husband is the head of the marriage as Christ is the head of the church. This is a pretty touchy subject for many people, and that is because our idea of what rule is has been horribly manipulated. “The biblical concept of dominion, or rule, is neither a dictatorship nor a posture of domination, but rather it entails exercising legitimate authority under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Legitimate authority entails all that God provides for and permits a man to do, but not all that a man WISHES to do.” (Kingdom Man, pp. 26) Headship doesn’t determine or reflect a lack of equality. It is not a blanket ticket for male domination; rather this is a hierarchical structure for the home and for the church. The husband has authority over a woman only as long as it is consistent with the Word of God. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 and Ephesians 5:25-33, as mentioned above, gives us a great look at what the Word of God tells us.
So, men, heed the call for Kingdom Men to step up and take charge. Submit yourself before our LORD God in meekness, meditating on His Word so that you may rule within your sphere of influence in a righteous way. Be the head of your relationship, marriage, and family, as Christ is the head of the church. This authority is not an excuse to do as you please, recklessly leading your girlfriend or wife and family. It is the ability to use what our Lord God has instructed us to do to lead your family into a life of submission to His Love, repentance, and diligence to do what is right in His eyes. Hold Ephesians 5:22-33 close to your heart. Be the man God created you to be. Be a Kingdom Man.