The hardest job description on the planet is to be a godly man. This is not to discount or belittle the role of godly femininity; however, godly men hold the burden of making the role of a godly woman, in a certain sense, easier. M’Cheyne; memorably wrote, “The Christian is a person who makes it easy for others to believe in God.” While everything God created was signed by His own creative signature, and pointed to Him as the Creator and upholder of all things, the first thing God made in His own image was a man. He then placed upon that man the great burden of responsibility for demonstrating the glory of God’s own image. When Eve was created, she had the blessing of being given an earthly portrait and image of the Heavenly reality.
As I have grown and matured into manhood (albeit, a young manhood), I have come to recognize that the great need of our generation is the return of godly men to the stage of time. This is not to say we need more fists bumps, chest bumps, libido, grunts, growls or muscles. That’s all fine and good. But, we need men of spiritual mettle, verve, grit to the core, and ready for a fight. Hell has pulled out all stops to make sure that this generation of boys grow up to be boys, not men. After all, we make sure they all get a trophy and that there is no true winner in our t-ball games. We have successfully neutered our boys, and trained them to be takers instead of givers.
Again, the hardest job today: godly manhood. In fact, it is impossible. The commission given to Adam to bear and represent God’s nature and image lasted all of one chapter. We see Adam’s failure to be a godly man, in Genesis 3. One, he was passive and likely absent; due to the fact that Eve was allowed to be tempted by the serpent alone, it would seem that Adam was either absent, or if he was present, he was passive and did not engage in the battle over his wife’s soul (Gen. 3:1). Second, he was a pushover; we hear no debate with the serpent come from Adam’s lips. He merely follows the whim of his wife (Gen. 3:6). Third, he was self-justifying and self-protecting; when God confronts Adam and Eve, Adam points out that it was “this gal you gave me.” In essence, it was either Eve’s fault, God’s fault, but by no means was Adam culpable (Gen. 3:12). Further, Adam leads his wife to hide themselves in aprons of fig leaf righteousness (Gen. 3:7), rather than refusing to eat the fruit and then pleading for his wife before God; by the way, once the leaf of self-righteousness is plucked it is certain to wither, leaving the bearer naked once more.
In light of these three failings, it ought to be noted how impossible godly manhood is. Adam was called to show Eve the nature of God, and instead he failed to correctly teach his wife what God had commanded, he was not there when his wife needed him, he was a pushover to vice and temptation, and he was swift to try to save his own skin at all cost. Adam ought to have been like Christ, the Second Adam.
Christ is always there for His bride, and always provides her a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). Christ is not subservient to the lusts of earthly appetite. This is a truth to assure our hearts with; Christ is not under the thumb of selfish living. He doesn’t have a secret porn addiction. He doesn’t have an anxiety disorder. He isn’t fearful of a looming economic crises. He, in fact, sits in heaven judging right (Ps. 9:4)). He is the Prince of peace, and the believer is blessed to be a peacemaker upon this earth (Matt. 5:9)! Finally, and I think most significantly, where Adam sought to save his own skin, Christ, though himself sinless, took our place. The story wasn’t finished there in Eden, for the true likeness, the true image of God was not found in mere human flesh. No, it was found in the express image of God’s own person, as reflected in the face of Christ (Heb. 1:3).
Mere masculinity is not the answer to a crumbling economy or an out-of-control federal government. Masculinity itself cannot cure a culture that is entertainment overloaded, sexually perverse, gender confused, educationally failing, devoid of familial health, maritally selfish, spiritually and morally destitute, murderously unjust towards the unborn, and insatiably drunk with Babylon’s wine. The cure is God Himself.
We need men, yes. But we need men that are courageous enough to admit their inability, and know the ability of their King. We need men that are humble enough to recognize their powerlessness, and acknowledge the omnipotence of King Jesus. A godly man knows that the greatest need of his family, his church, and his generation is for them to behold the nature of Christ in and through Him. He is to, as M’Cheyne would say, make it easier for his wife to believe in a Divine Bridegroom named Christ and for his children to, with ease, believe in a Heavenly Father who delights to give them the kingdom (Luke 12:32).
As I held my wife and daughter in my arms the other morning, I cried out for grace to do this. I want my wife and child (and someday, Lord-willing, children) to know God better, love Him more, and follow Him fully as a result of my example. I want my neighbors, friends, relatives, and nation to taste something divine in the way I live my life. Oh, how I long to be a man that is built out of heavenly stuff, not the stuff called masculinity that is manufactured in earthly locker rooms, conference rooms, or board meetings. This is the sort of thing only God can produce in a man.
One of my favorite things Spurgeon; ever said was, “The man [who desires to clearly show forth Christ] shall be emptied of self, and then filled with the Holy Ghost. In his own apprehension he shall be like a sere leaf driven of the tempest, and then shall be strengthened into a brazen wall against the enemies of truth.” Indeed, may we be men of heaven-born grit, divinely-enabled compassion, Spirit-empowered selflessness, and Bible-thumping boldness. This is the most impossible job description in the world, but the good news is, One Man already showed it was possible, and now He desires to, by His indwelling Spirit live it out in you and me. May God Almighty be pleased to clothe His purpose once more in the dust of our humanity.