Growing up there wasn’t any teaching on what it means to be a man according to God’s Word. Those who know me can testify to the passion that God has given me in discovering what it means to be a man from the biblical vantage point. I have decided, in part due to the encouragement of my home group leader, to write a paper on the theology of manhood and womanhood. This was something that I tasked myself with doing many months ago. I have done much thought on the matter just trying to figure out where to begin. It seems that each time I think I know the angle I need to approach this, God reveals another area that I need to consider. Well, tonight, as I lay in bed trying to sleep, I believe God revealed something to me. So here it goes.
Before one can look into the God-given roles for men and women, we must have some sort of foundation off which to work. Given that we, both male and female, were created in the image of God, I believe the foundation for discovering biblical manhood and womanhood is God Himself. The short on being a biblical man or woman is this; we must be God-like. What I mean by this is, we must first understand the image of the One in whom we were created. So before we can understand our roles and responsibilities, we must first understand the nature and attributes of God. According to A.W. Pink’s book The Attributes of God, there are 17 different attributes that encompass our LORD, and they are His solitariness, His decrees, His knowledge, His foreknowledge, His supremacy, His Sovereignty, His immutability, His holiness, His power, His faithfulness, His goodness, His patience, His grace, His mercy, His love, His wrath, and His contemplation. Therefore, if we don’t understand (to the best of our ability) God, how can we understand what our gender-specific roles and responsibilities are? Not only that, but we can’t truly understand how each person of the Trinity fulfills their role without at least having a basic understanding of God’s attributes.
If you are interested in reading A.W. Pink’s book, you can find it here.
There was some unexpected backlash in response to my opening statement, so I have decided to give some needed clarification on these two points, being 1) the object of contention (the opening statement), and 2) the perceived implication thereof (singling out of my upbringing as it relates to my father).
1) The area of contention was the opening sentence which states; “Growing up there wasn’t any teaching on what it means to be a man according to God’s Word.” Allow me to explain what I meant. The object of that sentence was the word teaching. There was plenty of modeling basic responsibilities of the male figure, but not teaching of the those responsibilities, why they were important, and God’s command regarding them. Modeling is the what one should do, and teaching is the why one must do it.
2) As I was writing that blog, faulting my father regarding the way I was raised was NOT on my mind. In fact, it never crossed or entered into my thinking until I was contacted with the accusation. This what was going on, I was thinking about the idea of biblical manhood, which has been on my mind for many months now, and the thought struck me; “I really didn’t receive any teaching in this regard.” There was and is no bitterness towards my either of parents and the way they raised me. Actually, I would agree with those who say that they did an excellent job raising me. Please note what I am trying to express in this blog is there wasn’t blatant teaching on the issue, be it from my father or any of the pastors that I have been under. I never meant it as a swing at my father or the pastors I have been under in the past.
Now that you understand what my intention was, I ask that those who contacted me on the matter go back and re-read the above post, this time looking beyond the first sentence, and instead at what I intended by the post (basically the entire second paragraph). That first sentence, in fact the entire first paragraph, was meant to provide a little background for my readers as to where I am coming from. I was never intended it to be an insult to those who raised me.