In Praise of Manly Men

Zephaniah 3:15

The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
    you shall never again fear evil.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

20090418_SJLC_Men's_Retreat_121

Ron and Rob Angst prepare a man’s meal at the St. John Men’s Retreat several years ago.

The New Living Translation, as well as the updated NIV take the “man” out of the passage from 1 Corinthians. Although the word, ἀνδρίζεσθε, occurs only once in the New Testament, the term is a call to man-up; to a spirit of valor, strength, and physical power. The ESV has, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

So political correctness aside, what does this mean for the follower of Jesus Christ in today’s world? Can we men call ourselves to a stronger presence, a more powerful witness, and a more robust expression of faith? We have given religion over to women and children because we’ve convinced ourselves that to lean on God for any reason is an act of defeat and impotence. We’ve abdicated our proper place under Christ as the head of the family and wimped out rather than moved forward for the cause of Christ’s kingdom.

Some years ago it was very uncool to show emotions. Men would never embrace one another. A man hug was unheard of. Now we are encouraged to show our feminine side, and be more sensitive and caring; less bombastic, and testosterone-driven. Perhaps we need to get our man cards back out and be strong – in the Lord, to be sure – but strong nevertheless.

The strength of a godly man is one part faith, one part courage, one part obedience, all under the mission of God. It may be a lost art in the church today, but deserves the attention of godly men and women today.

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