When your spouse is unfaithful, it often sends you into an interesting place of relearning about yourself, where you went wrong, things you could do to grow and improve as a person, and often for those who have faith, it reminds you of your relationship with God. Today we have a special guest post from a gentleman we met while working with him as his wife struggles with an active affair. As hard as that is, we saw this man growing and helping others, becoming a real man of God, so we asked him if he’d write a guest blog for us. So without further adieu, here is what was on his heart about “Biblical Manhood.”
In today’s society in which movies and television give us a false sense of reality, we are often left to our own devices to put together the pieces which determine how we live our lives and the type of people we eventually become. This affects relationships, our personal lives, and many times, it affects a good portion of us on a spiritual level. The result is not always positive.
Oftentimes, we find ourselves left asking the question of what kind of blueprint we should be following. Hollywood and television would have us believe that things just happen; they fall into place, if you will. Oftentimes, it takes a dramatic fall to find out that the notion that we can somehow cruise through life is just utterly untrue.
As a Christian, I’ve recently found myself searching for the answers on how I should be living my life. For all intensive purposes, I wanted to learn more about Biblical manhood, particularly as it relates to my marriage relationship. There is a saying that behind every good man is a good woman. It seems, however, that our society has forgotten that before the woman can stand by a man’s side, he must first lead the family.
Many shortcomings in society can be traced to a man falling down on his job of Biblical manhood. The type of man I am referring to is a man who either refuses to or doesn’t know how to Biblically lead his wife and family. As I worked toward finding an answer, I found that I myself have been guilty of falling down on this job.
My hope and prayer is that men, both married and unmarried will find some relation to the proceeding information. Even though not every man is married, a man would be wise to be prepared to lead Biblically when the time for marriage comes. There are even some places in dating relationships where a man should be able to use this foundation.
For women, the premise is simple. Although the proceeding information will be geared toward men, chances are many women are either currently married, will someday be married, or will raise a son. In all three scenarios, it will be important to know what to be looking for or how to raise a son to be the type of man God has set out for him to be. After all, God has placed a very specific calling on the lives of men, and that calling is to lead; to lead in marriages, some places in dating relationships, in families, and in the church.
The fact is, the concept of marriage and the practice of it are disintegrating on a daily basis. This is not specific to any particular country or religion, yet it seems that America has found its way toward the top of the list, and the Christian church finds itself oftentimes turning a blind eye to the reasons for the failure of marriages, an institution in which God created in the very first book of the Bible. Many times, if a man were to Biblically lead, many marital failures could be avoided altogether.
For many who have ever been to even so much as a Sunday school class, the fact that Eve was the first person to sin is no secret. Even in the secular world, it is oftentimes the subject of many jokes to poke fun at women. Despite this, a commonly overlooked passage occurs in Genesis 3:6: When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
At first glance, the passage seems pretty straightforward. However, upon further examination, we see that Adam was actually with Eve when she took the fruit from the tree, yet he failed to lead as he watched his wife commit the first sin. Had Adam been leading Biblically, he likely would have stepped in and held his wife accountable before she was able to take of the fruit. Adam should have stepped into the situation, during his wife’s greatest temptation, and simply led. God had called Adam to lead and pursue his wife’s spiritual health, but instead he did absolutely nothing.
We see that when God came to the garden calling, he called for Adam, not Eve. At that point, Adam did what many of us do on a daily basis: he deflected. As Eve pointed to the serpent, Adam pointed the finger at his wife in Genesis 3:12: The man said, “The woman you put here with me- she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
In Adam’s failure to step into a situation and pursue his wife’s spiritual well-being, sin was introduced to all of mankind. The source of this sin was based on a man who sat on the sidelines of leading spiritually and Biblically.
There are numerous types of sin that men commit in which they fail to meet God’s calling to them. Some of the sins are based on acts of commission, which would be something a man says or does; in other words, it is a sin based on intent. Other types of sin are based on acts of omission; something a man is not doing that he should be. Many times, this is based on simple ignorance or laziness.
Many men commit the sin of bravado; that is, they throw away the idea of hospitality and nurturing because society tells them that it is a job for women. The concept of servant-leadership never enters the equation for these men. This is the type of man that refuses to get in the kitchen and cook or spend quality time with the kids because they have been told by society that it is something women do, not men.
The sin of materialism is committed by men who value financial commitment to their spouse more than knowing their wife’s heart. While a man is called to provide for his wife and family, this type of man believes his wife wants a new car or a fancy house when, in reality, she wants and needs her husband to pursue and to know her heart.
The sin of anger leads many men to attempt to win any argument at all costs. While Paul says in Romans that it is the kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance, many men will attempt to use anger to get his way when his wife or family is doing something wrong or something he feels needs correction. The Biblical alternative is to help show the correct path in a loving way, not one that condemns.
The sin of dominance and control is seen in a man who refuses to seek out the wisdom of his spouse or family; for lack of a better term, this man’s ultimatum is “my way or the highway” in order to get his way. This is a man who thinks, regardless of the scenario, that he is smarter and knows better. This is oftentimes seen in relation to finances.
The sin of laziness and immaturity is seen in men who, while having grown up physically, will not pursue the will of God or the heart of his wife. This man can talk about sports or hang with his friends but doesn’t know what emotionally makes his wife go.
The sin of emotional and spiritual absence is seen in a man who, for whatever reason, has forgotten how to show affection and loving tenderness to his family. This man has either forgotten or remained oblivious to the way in which to spiritually lead his wife. Many times, this type of man will feel that everything is fine, when in reality, his wife would love for him to grab her, look into her eyes, and tell her how wonderful she is, followed by a true concern for where she is in her walk with God.
The sin of spiritual legalism and hyper-spirituality is seen in men who, on the outside, seem to have all the correct Biblical answers, but will never ask for help. Many people will see this man as fake despite the fact that he knows God’s will, and he will never voice concerns about his own walk with God, much less to his wife.
The sin of hedonism and frivolity is seen in men who value social status more than pursuing and cherishing the hearts of their wives. This man will quickly trade in the eternal and significant for the temporary and fun. This man will be more than willing to talk about his wife’s spiritual needs, as long as it doesn’t interfere with Monday Night Football or the latest online gaming tournament.
Many men, me included, will likely look at that list and feel completely overwhelmed. I know that I am personally guilty of several of these sins at various times in my life.
There is a deep need in the soul of every woman to be cherished, pursued, and loved. While men may find themselves asking exactly how to achieve this, the template for how to love can be seen in the life of Jesus. In Ephesians 5:25: Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
One way in which Jesus loved us was that He simply loved us first. Many men will say, “Well, she doesn’t respect me and show me love.” Essentially, whether the man realizes it or not, this statement might as well read, “You know, if you do everything right, you love me, and you please me, then I might love you.” Even when Jesus was rejected and ridiculed, He loved us first; most importantly, he chose to love us first. From 1 Peter 2:21-23: To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to Him who judges justly.
While Jesus was ridiculed, falsely accused, beaten, reviled, and even killed, He never committed a single sin while giving Himself up in love so that the world could be cleansed. While He could have led the church in any number of ways, he did it with love. In this way, men should show love to their wives, even in times when it might seem difficult. While conflict in marriage inevitably happens, the call of men is to give themselves up for their wives and love them first, showing leadership with loving and caring actions during conflict, taking initiative to bring peace to the marriage.
An important point to make is that women (and men as well) receive love in different ways. Books such as The Five Love Languages and His Needs, Her Needs are both well-respected titles that detail the different ways in which people receive love and feel cherished. With tools such as these, men can find the way in which their wives feel cherished, pursued, and loved. While each woman likely appreciates and needs each different type of love, not all of them meet the deep emotional needs of a woman’s heart and soul. For example, a man might spend every moment at home cleaning and fixing up the home. While his wife likely appreciates this, it may be that she would rather have some quality time with her husband. Even though his actions are well-intended, he leaves open the possibility that his wife may feel as if she has an absent husband.
In the heart of every woman is a question; one that asks if they are pleasing and loved by their husbands. A man living a life of Biblical manhood will spend his life answering that question, letting his wife know she is cherished and will be pursued until death separates them.
God holds the husband responsible for his wife looking more like a picture of Jesus Christ, as written in Ephesians 5. Husbands are held accountable for the sanctification of their wives, to lead her and have her ready for her ultimate destiny at the side of God.
A wife should feel comfortable approaching her husband with spiritual questions and concerns. Far too many married women are widows, spiritually speaking. It is time for men to step up to God’s calling on their lives to be a Biblical husband for their wives.
The problem of men leading Biblically in their marriage has been one since even when Jesus was preaching. In the gospel, one can see that when Jesus provided the Pharisees with a picture of what God intended for marriage, they responded that it might be better to not marry. While it is impractical to expect people to live a life of singleness, it is well within the reaches of every man to seek out the heart of God in their marriage. It is one of the most important callings a man can be given in life; one that would require every husband to pursue his wife’s physical, emotional, and spiritual health for the rest of his days.