Menu

What Should a Man Do?  Part Three

In this series, I have discussed the roles of man in the article “What is Man?" and also in the article “SuperWoman: Is She Believable?”  He is king, warrior, teacher and friend. He protects. He provides.

His roles help determine who he is. I asked “Where are the Men?” because of society’s treatment of men. Society treats men as overgrown children, cowards, perverts and the enemy. Men have relinquished their roles.

Last week I hesitated to leave the article in despair over the state of society. I wish for this week to provide concrete answers to what should a man do? Let me preface this article with a qualifier: I am not a man. I cannot think, act or feel like a man. Nor is it my intention to instruct men. I present these Biblical principles and allow the men to apply them in their God-given roles.

What is a Christian to do with society changing God-given roles and genders?

“Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves…Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who…emptied Himself….humbled Himself...” Philippians 2:2-11.1

Do I share that passage to say that men should forget the mission and allow society to take over his God-given role? Should they lay down and allow women to lead?

Absolutely not! During the time this passage was written, society went against everything Christian. The Romans stood for power and force. They bowed the knee to no man. A man was disdained if he submitted to another. Rome was king. Its rulers and class leaders commanded those under them. They knew nothing of humility. Yet, Paul commands these believers to go against society at that time.

What happened when they obeyed God’s word and counterattacked society by living how God made them to live? They became a living testimony of God’s truth, His love and His way. They witnessed God’s change of society.

How can a man counterattack the threat of his manhood? Hold fast to the calling God has given him.

If God has given man this role, He has enabled him to fulfill it.

“How?”

First examine how men react. Men respond in two ways: they fight or they retreat.

If we take those two responses and apply them to changing our society to allow them to lead, protect, teach and be a friend, we have an internal problem.

If they respond by fighting for their right to fulfill their role, then men are fighting women.

Even with the warped sense of society’s view of man, they still look at any man fighting a woman with contempt.  And rightly so, no brute is glamorized. No man who strikes a woman should go unpunished.

Yet society is inconsistent. If we are all ‘equal,’ then why is a man beating a woman so repulsive? People help the woman. They stop the fight. But take two men fighting, people look the other way and say “too much testosterone.” Man’s innate desire to protect the woman keeps him from fighting against her and judges harshly when men violates that role..

Need an example?

We thought it was great when girls competed with the boys on their baseball team. After all, shouldn’t girls get to ‘be all they can be’? But what about the boys’ team that she plays with? Watch as boys pitch to a girl at bat. No one tells them to pitch nicely. They unconsciously don’t hurl the ball as hard as normal. The girl walks or is given a lobe that enables her to hit. Is that fair to the team competing for their best? Does that enable the boys to play to their potential? The boy does not want to fight the girl.

The second response from men is to retreat.  Dr. Emerson Eggerich in his book Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs explains:

Men value respect and honor. Men have an honor code. Boys know that certain things are not said or done to a girl. When a woman attacks his honor and respect, he won’t argue. He does not speak. He withdraws. This is honorable. (p. 59-60)2

Proverbs 12:16 says, “…but a prudent man conceals dishonor.” When we as women push and shove, no matter how nicely, the man will not push and shove to keep his position. To offer explanation or give reasons would seem to him weak and argumentative, so he remains quiet. This makes the woman either disdain him for not standing his ground, or feel as if she has won. But has anyone won if he does not fulfill his God-given role?

Let’s pursue this honor code for the man, since that is who he is. A code of honor requires a standard to obtain this respect.  “Honor that cannot be lost is not honor…Others must recognize the honor for it to exist.”3 Society must reward the man for his honor.

Honor through the ages meant chastity for women and courage for men.

Survival was maintained in societies even when lacking military and law enforcement. Men were expected to protect with strength and courage. If they did, they were honored. If they failed, they were shamed. This motivated men to maintain this code of honor.

Man saved honor by fighting for his right or ‘saving face.’ As societies become civilized, they subdued the man’s quest for retaliation for his own honor. The duel to protect his word was no longer acceptable. Virtues like mercy and fairness are rewarded. His role changed with society.

If society does not honor the men for their God-given role, then men are not motivated to perform their role. They do not receive the respect that they need. Society suffers. Men will not protect their women. Men will not die for a cause that gives no honor.

What is a man to do, if he cannot fight and he should not retreat? Hold fast.

How do you do that and not fight the women?

Two ways give men a way to fight honorably without forsaking their God-given role of protecting the women.

First, hold fast to purity. In a world where sin is not condemned but praised, where multiple partners or even one-night events are encouraged, Christian men must stand for purity--before and after marriage. Loss of honor results from lack of purity. “For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread.” Proverbs 6:26

Make a commitment to moral excellence. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true (grounded, rooted),…honorable (high ideals or morals),…right (undefiled, not expedient or convenient),…whatever is pure (recoil from impurity),…lovely (antidote to friction),…of good repute (esteemed), if there is any excellence (in motives, manners and morals) and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things…and the God peace will be with you.”4 It points us to God. Be a testimony to society of God’s truth.

This includes waiting for the right spouse. Do not marry a woman who does not submit to your authority. God made man the head of the household. “Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” (I Corinthians 11:3) I have already demonstrated in previous articles that a 50%-50% partnership is not Biblical. My husband gives 100% in his role as protector and provider and I give 100% in my role as help-meet.

Commitment to God encourages man to stand for his honor. God gives man honor. Man can know God’s respect. “We have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.” (I Thessalonians 2:4) “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed accurately handling the word of truth.” (II Timothy 3:15)

Honor ultimately comes from God. Seek His honor regardless of what shame society wishes to place upon you. Society’s standards are not God’s. Give society a testimony of God’s truth.

That sounds simple, but it is not. Society crushes you to mold into their image. More importantly, the women in your life may disrespect you. That is the daily fight. Hold fast.  

What happens if you have already married, and your wife is neither submissive to your authority nor respectful of your position?

Purity before God entails more than just sexual purity. Not only must you fight to hold fast to purity, but you must hold fast to your convictions.

If marriage is sacred, you must commit to make it work. Your convictions should give you strength. Are you willing to allow God’s light to shine on your error, to correct your lack of love to your wife? You must commit to love your wife in ‘an understanding way’ when your wife is unlovely.

A wife responds. Examine why she is disrespectful of you. Do you love her? Do you esteem her above all else? This requires knowing your wife more than the engine in your car (engines don’t change, your wife will) or the sports game every week.

Once married, you moved to the next challenge. After all you can check off wooing a wife on your list of things already done. No!

She is like the delicate watch that must have all parts synchronized to work together before she can thrive. She shines when she is loved. Look to the reason for her disrespect, you may be the cause. You may have to change. Not to be less of a man, but to be more loving, to be her friend. This is work. This is hard. Give society a testimony of God’s love.

Part of love is vulnerability. Men cannot acknowledge that they are thirsty, tired, sick, depressed or lost….Need I say more? I live in a house with nine men and boys. If it is a weakness, they definitely do not have it. Their strength is in their denial and their ability to push forward. That is why they can go to battle, suffer starvation, depredation, any number of sufferings and push through because they fight for who is at home.

“And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of … the prophets who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection…they were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:32-39)

Men suffer much for the faith they believe. They will protect the women at their side. This is a testimony to society of God’s way.

It requires forgiveness when she continues to disrespect you. Bitterness enslaves and weakens. Forgiveness liberates and strengthens. Break the chains and vow to be pure before God. This is God’s love shown to your wife. This is a testimony of God’s love to society.

What are men to do? Hold fast to purity and to their convictions. Stand against society’s pressures. In so doing, just like the time of the Romans, society will see God’s truth, God’s love, and God’s way. You may not change society. The Lord is responsible for the outcome. Your part is to obey.

May I encourage you with these final words from Josiah Gilbert Holland:

                        God, give us men! A time like this demands

            Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;

            Men whom the lust of office does not kill;

                        Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;

            Men who possess opinions and a will;           

                        Men who have honor; men who will not lie;

                        Men who can stand before a demagogue

            And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!

                        Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog

            In public duty, and in private thinking;

                        For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,

                        Their large professions and their little deeds,

                        Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,

                        Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.5

 

1 All Biblical references are from New American Standard Bible. The text of the New American Standard Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of The Lockman Foundation, providing the verses do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quote account for more than 25% of the total work in which they are quoted.

2Eggerichs, Emerson. Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires and the Respect He Desperately Needs. Colorado Springs, CO: Thomas Nelson, 2004.

3Chiarella, Tom. “What is Man? How to Be a Man: Characteristics of the Ideal Man.”  Esquire.com.

4JB Phillips Translation from http://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/JBPhillips.htm

5McKay, Brett. “Honor: Manly Honor Part I—What is Honor? The Art of Manliness: Reviving the Lost Art of Manliness.” www.artofmanliness.com/2012/10/01/manly-honor-part-i-what-is-honor/



I'd love to hear your thoughts on this article. Share below in the comments!

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

To receive weekly updates, enter your email address below: