Starting with The Old Spice Guy, Metrosexuals, and the Man-card, we interrupted our Living Like a King series to do a reality check and take a look at what God, as laid out in the Bible, expects from us as men.
The essence of manhood is taking responsibility. Not taking blame – taking responsibility. When a corporation fails, regardless of what might be blamed on the market or regulations or the economy, ultimately it’s the CEO who takes the heat. When an army is routed in battle, history does not care about the weather, the ground, or the morale of his soldiers. It is the general whose career is ultimately evaluated by the outcome.
Families are no different. As husbands and fathers, we men carry an increased weight of responsibility. This goes back to our first father Adam, who was originally given three distinct responsibilities:
- Start and lead a family with Eve
- Tend the garden
- Don’t eat of one tree
Obviously, we know how the third one went. Perhaps even more stunning is the New Testament revelation that Adam was with Eve when she was tempted – that he stood idly by while the Serpent plied his deadly lies and doomed humanity:
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Gen 3:6)
And so out of the gate, we as men have an inherited tendency to want to sit passively on the couch while our families and lives go to ruin – or at the very least, to waste. But God calls us to proactively love and pursue our wives and children. He calls us to acknowledge the mistakes we’ve made, take responsibility, and move upward and onward.
I think it’s important to understand that taking responsibility doesn’t always mean taking the blame. Often, the real man will find himself taking the responsibility for the faults and failures of others – even those who cannot justly blame him. This is what Jesus did for us. As the ultimate archetype of masculinity, Jesus Christ took upon himself the responsibility for the sins of mankind, although He Himself was ultimately guiltless.
The essence of masculinity is responsibility. It isn’t up to the church or a women’s Bible study to fulfill your wife spiritually. It’s up to you. It isn’t up to a Sunday school teacher to mentor your children and point them to Jesus Christ. It’s up to you. It isn’t up to the government or your wife to provide for your family. It’s up to you.