What we have in our culture today is the tragic absence of real men living dangerously for Christ. Real men are faithful, courageous, humble, and pure. Real men do what God has commanded.
“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” Proverbs 11:3
A contrast between two men
- David- (2 Samuel 11) A quick snap shot (vs. 1-5) of David’s life shows how one decision can lead to a series of consequences- for which he would pay the rest of his life.
- Joseph- (Genesis 39) A quick snap shot from Joseph’s life reveals what happens when a man determines ahead of time that he will live a life of purity and practice a “no-tolerance” rule when it comes to sin. (vs. 6-10)
1. Real men don’t run from their fears. David had not yet determined that he would live a life of purity. He had not yet found that his worth, his identity and value, is found in God and in Him alone. He was afraid and sought to find his identity where many men think it is found- through the attraction of a woman.
Real men face the truth about who they are. The secret fear of men is that they don’t have what it takes. “I’m fearful; I feel weak. I don’t think I have what it takes.” And because men tend to define their worth through their performance- a man’s greatest fear is the fear of failure. Some of men live with a private life of sin and are afraid to ask others into their struggles to help them.
What are you running from? Real men confront the truth about their sin before it destroys them. Be honest; be open. You’re only as sick as your secrets.
2. Real men don’t let lust consume them. Sexual sin and lust is the greatest area of temptation for men. Men take their souls’ search for validation in all kinds of directions but the most common is in the sexual direction. This is why pornography is such a problem among men. Men are more visually stimulated than women but the driving force behind pornography is the fear of not measuring up as a man. They seek validation and as sexual beings many men fanaticize about being desirable- because deep down they do not feel accepted, validated, and loved.
Real men fight to live lives of purity. And it is a fight- it is every man’s battle. And men, you are either winning the battle, or you are losing the battle.
Where/when are you most vulnerable? Like David, it’s probably when you’re not where you ought to be. You must remain accountable at all times. And like Joseph, you must learn to RUN from temptation. Here’s a verse I memorized when I was a young person-
2 Timothy 2:22 -“Flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
3. Real men don’t cheat on their wives. This is for the men: Punks cheat on their wives. Spineless, weak men cheat on their wives. “Spineless” because these men are not willing to face their fears- what’s really driving them- their struggle for validation. Conquering women is not for the strong, but weak men. Because…
Real men stay committed for life. Real men who are not married, live lives of purity. Real men who are married have eyes for one woman. Here’s a word for all married men- your wife is your main accountability partner. Talk to her about your struggles. Key question (answered only by courageous, godly men).
What does she need to know about you?
4. Real men don’t abdicate their leadership in the home. Many men struggle with this one because, whereas work is task-focused, the family is relationship-focused. Work is about doing; family is about being. Men: You DO your job; you LOVE your family. It is when we reverse the order that the tension escalates and the tug of war begins.
Real men accept the God-given responsibility to be leaders in the home. Dad- you have a moral responsibility to be the leader in your home. This is why I remind my church family over and over again- I’m a husband first, a dad second, a pastor third. This church has many ministers (every member is a minister). Stacy has one husband and my children have one father. The pastor’s role is to always point others to Jesus. Here’s the question for every married man:
What if you brought the same intensity you bring to your work to your family? Who’s raising your kids? (Is it your wife? Your kids’ friends? The television or internet?)
5. Real men don’t neglect their children’s needs.
Real men are very present and attentive to their children’s needs. I like the way Andy Stanley puts it, in his book “Choosing to Cheat”. He says all men must “choose to cheat”- you will cheat your family or you will “cheat” your work. It’s a matter of whom you choose to cheat. Someone will be your priority.
When family and work collide, who wins? Let me be bold with you men: At work you are expendable. Someday someone else will have your job. Someone else will be sitting at your desk. But at home you play a unique role. You are the only father your children will ever have- and only for a short season.
6. Real men don’t find their ultimate worth in their work.
Real men find their worth in Christ alone. Another key question:
Where do you find your worth? Real men constantly run to Jesus for their worth and significance in life. He lone can provide a man with ultimate value and worth.
7. Real men don’t watch others lead in the church. I praise God for the men and women who give their time, energy, and their gifts to the Lord’s work through our church. I think we all know that without the leadership of women, the church would have to close shop tomorrow. But…
Real men seek to be servant leaders in the church. They want to be an example of one who serves the Lord- for their wives, their children, and the community. Real men devote their time to the work of God by using their God-given gifts to serve Him. Only then will a man find true fulfillment in life- by fulfilling God’s purposes. God has called you to be a man of influence.
What is your ministry of influence?
Will you be a REAL MAN?