Masculinity was so last century.
It’s antiquated to talk about manhood.
Should discussing manhood as biblical even matter to the church in 2023?
Let me give you a resounding yes. It matters now as it has always mattered, and that’s why Noble Warriors continues to move forward with initiatives like The Noble Man, a one-day equipping conference designed specifically for men and their unique calling in serving Christ as brothers, sons, husbands, and fathers.
Our world, society, and culture want to define manhood regardless of what God has said. In a recent podcast, John Stonestreet, President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, points out that in the world’s “untethering the universe from any defining moralities… increasingly it becomes a burden to define everything.”
But we are saturated in our culture, what we hear in music, and what we see in politics, movies, news, or “reality” shows. If we are not careful, our definitions become reduced to influencers’ reels and TikTok snippets. We may not recognize where our definitions are coming from, but what we see and hear shapes us. We become formed by it and conformed to it. The world has turned meanings upside-down. Our natures then buck at uncomfortable ideas and bristle at unfamiliar truths.
Manhood, Domination, and Battle
Manhood has become one of those uncomfortable or unfamiliar ideas. I’ve recently been going through Authentic Manhood – 33 The Series Men’s Bible Study with a group of young men. They are churched, familiar with the Word, and seeking to dedicate their lives to vocational ministry. Out of almost 20 young men, only four were familiar with some of the definitions of biblical manhood presented in the study.
In the same small group, we encountered the idea of domination. Some had initial discomfort with this word, based on our familiarity with culture’s portrayal of male domination as a negative way to control and force his way in the world. However, the word shares its root with “dominion,” a command from God from the beginning in Genesis 1 to rule. The hard truth is that if we ruled over our natures when it came to our sins and dominated over our flesh, the word would take on a new and positive meaning. We would begin to look more like Christ.
Many shrink back at battle imagery because it is reminiscent of war and violence. But Paul draws our attention to it and points us toward fighting the good fight of faith because if we neglect vigilance against the enemy, the enemy is crouching at the door to steal, kill, and destroy.
Fighting the Good Fight
The imagery of The Noble Man Conference reflects the good fight of faith. The shield and swords reflect the sword of the spirit and the shield of faith. It demonstrates our warfare against the enemy of God’s people. In the days of the Old Testament, there were physical battles. In these days, Paul reminds us that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
We send out Battle Plan resources to equip men to fight to bring other men with them and “see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God” as they pursue Christ and growth in him. (Hebrews 12:15)
Paul taught his protégé, Timothy, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:11-12
Righteousness. Godliness. Faith. Love. Steadfastness. Gentleness.
These six attributes of the “man of God” have nothing to do with machismo or brawn and everything to do with Christ’s work in us. Our pursuit of biblical manhood is our response to Jesus’ example, his finished work on the cross, and his ongoing work in our lives.
In a world that redefines truth, we must be even more vigilant to uphold the absolute truth. God defines who we are as men, not stereotypes or culture. We must take up our swords and shields and run into battle, not to dominate others, but to dominate our own flesh. And we must do it with our brothers keeping a “no man left behind” attitude. This is our noble duty.
Join other men in the battle. Register now for The Noble Man Conference on April 15 in Richmond, VA.
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