David Platt mentioned the book “The Guide to Biblical Manhood” in one of his Secret Church sessions. I looked it up and ordered it on Amazon. I’m not an avid reader of novels but I have tended to be pretty active in reading Christian authors like John Eldredge, Erwin McManus, John Piper, etc. I write in the margins, underline, highlight, stick in post-it notes where needed to draw my attention back to the most meaningful texts. In my walk, this discipline has become a rich asset for me. I frequently pull these books from my shelf to draw upon their interpretations of the Word and the implications for me as a man.
So I got the Guide to Biblical Manhood and I have been blown away by the book. I encourage you to get one at Amazon and dig into it. It is a simple text. I’ve never heard of the authors. But it is a great summary of the characteristics, features and examples of a Christian man. It is a simple read but is packed full of rich, rich text. It would be great ManSchool material.
In the coming posts, I will share with you some of what I have gathered and today, I am going to focus on Dominion which they address in the first chapter in the book on Adam…
If you are a man, it’s not optional to be a leader. It’s your God-given assignment and identity.
God gave Adam responsibility and dominion over the land. He should have been leading his wife – that was his God-given role. What went down in the Garden did so under Adam’s watch and he was held to account.
God will hold you accountable as well. If you are married, you are responsible for your wife and your children. You will answer for their spiritual condition.
If you’re single, your job is to order your life and show self-mastery, to put provisions in place and make provision for the day when you will have a wife.
Additionally, you have responsibility for the local church. Men are called to lead there with noble, humble leadership.
OK – that’s a pretty awesome job description we all have. How about this….
God directed both man and woman to take dominion and subdue the earth. He put Adam in the garden to work and keep it and then created Eve to help him.
You may not have land to cultivate, but God has given you a domain somewhere. All of your leadership should demonstrate some aspect of taking dominion as you bring order and structure. The exercising of dominion involves leadership and order. It’s instinctive in men to order stuff. A man sees disorder and thinks “this shouldn’t be”. And so men order their lives, homes, families, and local church. This isn’t dominance or dictatorship. It’s responsibility.
OK – that’s pretty good, I’m feeling alright….and then this…
What does your trunk, garage, closet or desk look like? While most of us have a messy desk or car trunk on occassion, a life that is consistently characterized by disorder is evidence of a general pattern of passivity in the domains God gives you to work and keep. Your home, dorm room, garage, office and car should bear the mark of your masculinity as you subdue it and keep it in order.
And there it is for me – that word I hate – passivity. A man “checked” out. A man who knows he has stuff to do to bring order and he just shrinks back, goes passive. And his wife sees this passivity and begins to offer up her suggestions of how to bring order. A clash starts. “I don’t need my wife telling ME how to keep my closet clean!” No, you don’t – or – you shouldn’t. But if a man shrinks back, a woman will step forward.
We see this in corporate America and churches all across America. The men have started to shrink back and go passive and the women are leading. Don’t you just hate the words “shrink back” and “go passive”?? They play to our ego. Frankly, they play to our very masculinity and even our sexuality. Excuse my graphic image here, but we go limp.
This is an epidemic in our society. It isn’t God’s design. Man is designed and structured to be strong, to have masculinity, to be the aggressor, to be powerful and yes even in the sexual realm, man brings strength to his wife and she receives. It is God’s design.
So for me, my closet, desk at work, study at home, garage, shed and even the woods around my house have been a mess. I have shrunk back in these areas. God has given me land and a home and an office and He calls me to take dominion over it, subdue it, control it and bring order to it.
And, therefore, I’ve been busy lately – in the woods with a chainsaw and loppers cutting out the debris and clearing woods and cleaning up fallen trees. I’ve organized my study at home and thrown away a lot of baggage. I cleaned out my closet and took a bunch of clothes to Goodwill that I no longer wear but that cluttered my closet. Others will be blessed more by these clothes and I didn’t get a receipt. I don’t want the “tax write-off”, I want order. Next on my agenda, my garage and storage shed.
These things have a way of creeping up against you and slowly beat you down. As we “fail” in subduing our homes, yards, closets, we set ourselves up to go passive and shrink back elsewhere and we model Adam. The call is clear to do the opposite of what Adam did. The call is to lead.
Step UP men. Live UP!