An integrated life

Biblical Roles in Our Culture: Time to Man Up

The feminists are right about one thing… Men are the problem.

Between attending the recent Family Economics conference, the Bible Study I’m currently doing with another dozen men (using What He Must Be as an outline for the passages we are studying), and an ongoing experience watching the ravages of sin and the scary tactics and philosophy of Wake County’s Child Protection Services (and I’m sure it is not unique to Wake County) when a man who rejects his responsibility to marry a young lady he impregnated turns on her and falsely accuses her. I’ve been reminded of how important it is for men to embrace their roles in all aspects of life, and what happens to our culture when they don’t.

First, the Family Economics conference pointed out many things. The word “economics” itself literally means “household law”. The Scriptures clearly teach that men are to rule their households well. (And, for the record, tyranny is not a form of ruling well). But one of the points made was how the rejection of God’s Word, starting with the household, has led to so much decay of our american culture that is seemingly irreversible. We think economics is all about what the government is going to do to make sure everyone has enough money. The problem is, the households are broken. (And the government gets its power from the governed… broken households lead to a broken government).

Over 40% of children in the US are born out of wedlock and the numbers get worse as they get older. More than 70% of children don’t live in a nuclear family. As disturbing as those statistics are, the rate of growth of both of those numbers in the past 50 years is even more disturbing. And, out of the 20-30% of the children that are left, how many sons are being taught to embrace their role by their fathers? How many daughters are being left to find their way and hope to find a decent husband and father for their children, with no training into what to look for? And even if they’ve been trained well, how many real men do they have to choose from?

But then there is the story of the Exodus, and the many stories of Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings…, the history of Rome, England … the many examples of how terrible culture can get at the hands of negligent fathers and tyrants whom they allow to run over people and the repeated story of how men cry out to the Lord and He answers.

Next week, we will be studying how a man is called to be “Prophet and Priest” in his home. We are not talking about a man standing on a street corner yelling “repent” (though that’s always a good message whether you like to hear it or not) or making ritualistic sacrifices. We’re just calling men to what God has always called them to do. Read God’s Word, live God’s Word, speak God’s Word, and lead his family as God has called him (sacrificially).

For those of you who believe a woman’s primary focus should be based from the home (Titus 2) as an excellent wife (Proverbs 31:10-31) who is industrious (not sitting at home watching soap operas – and doing a gazillion things that bless her husband, children, grandchildren, and society – more on that in another post), I agree. But, if men don’t step up to their biblical roles, what’s a girl to do?

For those feminists who like to point out that God chose Deborah to judge Israel, read the story again. The fact that Deborah judged Israel was a condemnation on the men. And what did she call Israel to do? ”Men, man up and realize who your God is!”. She didn’t call the women to get up and overthrow the oppressors. She called the men. And the “great leader of men”, Barak, said, “I’ll only go if you go with me”. The judgment on his cowardice was that the glory of defeating the enemy would go to a woman. And afterwards, the introduction to the victory song of Deborah and Barak, started out “That the leaders led in Israel, That the people volunteered, Bless the LORD!”. It’s talking about the 10,000 men who stepped it up! And afterward, Deborah did not continue to judge Israel.

Men, cry out to the Lord, and then do your job at home, and don’t stop doing it anywhere else you go. Men, if you don’t know your job, God has already answered your cry. You can find a bunch of Scripture to ponder here.

I’ve heard many men say, “but no one has ever taught me”. Stop complaining and take your role! Think about what you are doing that is keeping you from reading God’s Word, teaching God’s Word (could be as simple as reading it to your wife and children and asking the deep question to yourself and them, “What does this mean, and how should it change the way we live?”), and living God’s Word. Stop doing the less important things (if you have time to read the sports page, you have time to read the Bible), and do what you are supposed to do.

Just do it. If you don’t know where to start, use the words of Julie Andrews. ”Let’s start at the very beginning; a very good place to start”. Tonight at dinner or before everyone goes to bed, open your Bible to Genesis 1:1 and start reading. If you don’t ever come back and read my blog again, but you read the Word to your family every night, my reward will be great and yours will be greater.

Toward the end of his lengthy instruction to the men of Israel (yes, the women and children were there, but he was primarily talking to the men throughout – read it before you object), Moses points out:

“Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law. For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life” (Deut 35:46-47 NASB).