Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Defining a Man's Responsibilities

Defining Manhood, Part III
Last time I shared a little bit concerning the first principle; that men are called to reject passivity.
In this post I want to speak on the second principle; that men are called to accept responsibility.
Christian manhood rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously and expects a great reward from our Heavenly Father (please remember that I am tweaking how Robert Lewis defines manhood and expounding on some of his points in the book Raising a Modern Day Knight).

I agree with the statement that maturity comes with the acceptance of responsibility.
What are we to take responsibility for? 
Looking at Jesus Christ as the blueprint for our manhood we find that “Our Lord was entrusted with a will to obey (His Father’s), a work to do (redeem the lost), and a ‘woman’ to love (the church).” 
There is so much “meat” here to unpack!  But in a post like this I can only provide appetizers.  Let me try to be brief.
First, just like Jesus the Christ, we are called to obey the will of the Father.  How do we know the will of the Father?  Through the Word of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments by the Holy Spirit. 
How do we sum up 66 books? 
Based on Micah 6:8 Pastor AR Bernard said, “When you are motivated by love, your actions are tempered with justice, mercy and humility.”  Our Lord summed it up in Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'   All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Quote from the NIV)
What’s the will of our Father?  To love neighbor, enemy, rich, poor, relative or stranger, and most of all, the body of Christ, as God loves.  This isn’t a soft flowery love but the rugged, sacrificial, no-nonsense, rugged, bloody love of Jesus Christ!  The kind of love that never gives up, always looks for the best, never looks back and keeps going to the end! (1 Corinthians 13)
“IMPOSSIBLE!” you say.  You betcha!  Without the Spirit of the Father in us it is impossible to love like He loved and continues to love.
Second, our Father gave us work to do.
What is this work?
The Gospel of John records this conversation between the crowd and Jesus in chapter 6 verses 28-29.  The NIV reads; “Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’  Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’”
Whatever we think to do rises and falls on our faith in Jesus the Christ.  It is His finished work that makes life worth living and gives us access to the “bigger picture” of what life is all about.
It is easier to have a relationship with our jobs than it is with God.  It is easier to have a relationship with principles, virtues and values than to surrender, trust and adapt our lives to the call of following Christ. 
My brothers, I want to encourage you to develop your gifts, make vision and purpose a study, and live life with passion.  This is part of the work God has given us. 
But there is something more needful.  As Paul put it when he said “work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13 NIV
Can it be said that we are working out our salvation or simply keeping busy in the hustle and bustle of life?
Finally, Robert Lewis says we take responsibility for a woman to love. 
Men ought to love their wives as Christ loved the church.  And His love is sacrificial, redemptive and unconditional.  Ed Cole used to say that God and a woman are expecting the same things from a man; consistency, decisiveness and strength.

I read somewhere that, “A great lover is someone who can satisfy one woman all her life long, and who can be satisfied by one woman all his life long.  A great lover is not someone who goes from woman to woman to woman.  Any dog can do that.”

Robert Lewis shows how boys should be taught to treat women and trained concerning the roles of a husband and wife.  We need to mimic this in our discipleship of all Christian men and not assume that men will simply "get it."  Men need training in being God's kind of man.
In closing this post let me say that Christian men are called to accept the spiritual and social responsibility that our Father has given us; To mature in the love of God, neighbor and enemy; To see that all of our work is done to “glorify God and to enjoy God forever” (Westminster Shorter Catechism); to be prepared to respect all women and love our wives as Christ loves the church.
What do you want to hear more about?
1. A will to obey
2. A work to do
3. A woman to love
Let me know your thoughts.
And THANK YOU AGAIN for reading.
Your brother,
Minister Onorio

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