Honorable Christian Manhood (pt 1)
The number of honorable Christian men in our world is dwindling. This is not to say that there is a shortage of males in the world, but that the number of adult men who emulate biblical manhood is on the decline. Many men view manhood in terms of their sexual conquests, their physique, or their athletic abilities. Yet the Bible speaks of manhood in terms of spiritual and character issues rather than physical aspects. We see these things taught by means of example, description, and direct teaching in the Bible. Sadly, even within American Christianity, there is a dearth of true, biblical, honorable Christian manhood. This problem has been years in the making, and unless something happens, there does not seem to be a foreseeable end in sight.
To be sure, there have been honorable men who have served the Lord since the beginning of time. Adam was created without sin. He was given various tasks of manhood, which included working in the Garden of Eden and lovingly leading Eve, his wife. He helped perpetuate the human race and succeeded in his tasks to a large degree. He daily communed with God, he worked hard, and he loved his wife - three excellent qualities of honorable manhood.
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord at a time when the rest of men on the earth continually lived in rebellion against God. God used Noah to build an ark in order to save his family and the many animals of the earth from being destroyed in the worldwide flood. Noah simply obeyed the Lord, even though he had never seen rain before. Noah had an unwavering loyalty to God, a strong work ethic, and a heart of obedience – noble qualities of honorable manhood.
Abraham obeyed the call of God to leave his home and go to an unknown destination. God chose Abraham to be the father of the nation of God’s own special choice people. God made a covenant with Abraham that would have ramifications for millennia. Because of Abraham’s faith, the nation of Israel was founded. Our Christianity stems from his obedience and faithfulness to God, which are two outstanding and noble qualities of honorable manhood.
Joseph was a young man when he was thrust into a difficult position of bondage in the wicked nation of Egypt. Yet, though young, his trust and faith in Jehovah led him to faithful living in a pagan world, and he found grace in the eyes of God. God elevated Joseph into great positions of honor and ultimately used him to save the embryonic nation of Israel, putting it in the incubator of Egypt in order to grow. Joseph’s testimony of trusting God through many incredible difficulties is an notable quality of honorable manhood as well.
Moses was a man chosen by God to lead Israel out of Egypt and to the land of Promise. Moses spoke the words of God, led the people of God, and received the Law of God. He found grace in the eyes of God and is unique in his relationship with God, speaking to God (as it were) face to face. His communion with God is unparalleled in the Bible and is a quality of biblical manhood.
David was the man after God’s own heart, the sweet psalmist of Israel, the giant killer, and the great King of Israel. His life was blessed by God as a mighty warrior and one who ushered the kingdom of Israel into great times of peace. David did not trust in his own might, but in the might of God, which describes for us another quality of honorable manhood.
All of these men, and many more like them, were honorable men before God. Not one of these men should be looked down upon as dishonorable. That might be shocking to state, especially if you know your Bible and therefore know some of the problems these men had. Adam sinned and brought death into the world; Noah got drunk; Abraham was a liar and had a fear of man; Joseph was perhaps a bit impetuous; Moses had anger problems; David was an adulterer and murderer. Yet all of these men could be characterized as being faithful and are honored by God in the Scriptures. We can legitimately call them honorable men.
Being an honorable Christian man does not mean being a sinless Christian man. In fact, sinlessness is an impossibility (1 John 1:8-10). We sin, and there is no hope of escaping the presence and possibility of sin until we enter the glories of heaven. Honorable Christian men sin, but honorable Christian men should not seek to sin. They should seek to grow to be like Jesus Christ, the most honorable of all men, the manliest of all men.
The call for honorable Christian manhood, then, is not a call for perfection; it is a call for increased sanctification. It is the call for the men of Christ’s church to be willing to grow in Christ, for Christ, and until we see Christ. It is the notion that, though we cannot escape the reality of sin on this earth, we can work to put to death sinful things in our lives for the glory of God.
It is time for Christian men to strive for the kind of manhood that the Bible teaches and elevates. It is time that Christian men lay aside foolishness, selfishness, and dishonorable living. It is time that we put on the Lord Jesus Christ and cultivate qualities of Honorable Christian Manhood.
In the following posts, I will seek to expand upon biblical principles of what an Honorable Christian Man is.