Yesterday I talked briefly about the supposed female “predicament” to “finding a husband.” I promised to continue writing about the issue because, like some of you have already pointed out, I recognize that I left the issue far from resolved. Katie and Steve were very observant, and kind, to point out “what are the explicit qualities of a biblical man?” and “how do you know if a man is biblical enough when no man is perfect?”
First, I would encourage anyone reading this to go to www.desiringod.org and read the sermon manuscripts from Pastor John’s two previous sermons on male headship. They are outstanding! He speaks to this issue in ways I would never even be able to.
When talking about the qualities of a godly man instead of getting bogged down in bullet point lists and man-made ideas—we should simply look to the Word of God. If we believe the relationship between Christ and the Church is manifested and displayed in the relationship between a husband and wife, then most certainly the characteristics that define biblical masculinity must come from our Savior Himself.
Ephesians 5:25-28 says: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
Christ died for the church. First and foremost a man must be willing to die—which demands an awesome amount of humility and grace. He dies because he has the best interest of his family at heart, mainly their spiritual maturity—so he dies seeking to present them to God blamelessly. A godly man feels the weight of his calling so much so that he knows that one day he will give an account for the way in which he handled and led his own household.
He must constantly be feeding his own soul through personal Bible reading, local church involvement, and reading good books. Why? Because he is the primary one who will be called on to answer the tough questions of the faith—whether at home or in the church.
So what does this mean for single men? Take action now to live a life of male leadership. Study your Bible. Know your Savior. Get involved in your church. Xbox won’t make you into a godly man, only serious devotion to your Savior will. Seek to serve the women in your life by cultivating godly leadership even in friendships. Stand up for the truth, and do not simply sit by when all of the women around you are speaking up—lead by example. You incapacitate yourself for leadership when you are spiritually passive and lazy.
In light of all of this, it may seem quite daunting and weighty. And it should to some degree. But if we look at the whole of Ephesians leading up to this passage we see that this is a fruit of Gospel-living. The Gospel enables men to live this way. Apart from the saving work of Jesus Christ our dead hearts would have no interest in biblical manhood and womanhood. We may feel like Paul who says, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24) and we can proclaim with all certainty “Christ will!” because He has delivered us—and raised us to walk in newness of life.
As women, that is where we should rest if men are not acting biblically. Will God give you a man who fulfills all of these qualities right away? Maybe so, maybe not. There must be an element of patience as we are in a relationship with someone who is not leading like we would like. Perfection is not attainable in this life, so the men in our lives will not love us like Christ loved the Church all of the time, and they will not lead us like Christ leads the Church all of the time. We should be looking for evidences of grace that show us that this man is truly seeking to live a God-honoring life through local church involvement and study of the Word. In addition to that, it is important to solicit the prayers and involvement of Godly, wise, older believers who can offer you wise counsel as you navigate through the challenges of male/female relationships.
In all of these things we must remember that we will fail more times than we will get it right. But we have a great Savior who redeems even the vilest of situations for His glory. And He will mold and save a people for Himself because He promised, and we know that He who promised is faithful.
To be continued…
Also, I recognize that there is much that I don’t see and haven’t addressed, so I welcome any input and feedback on what you see in the Bible characterizes a godly man.
(tomorrow, or someday this week, I will address how the Bible says women should be as they wait on God to bring a godly man into their life)