#8 in a series on 1 Peter
By Bubba Hines…
The violent squall of sin, whirling upon the winds of time, has eroded the lines that once marked the contrast between that which is innately masculine or feminine. Many grew up hearing the legends of great men, from a time when the tenants of culture, at least vaguely, reflected biblical masculinity. Few of us have ever seen those legends walking among the living.
Little boys immediately leap upon the dream of becoming men, longing for the day when other men, particularly fathers, will recognize us as such. The moment our sons conceive the sentence, they give birth to the declaration, “I am a man!” Ignorant of the meaning of manhood, yet certain of the desire.
Boys develop muscles and grow mustaches, reaching some age that dictates adulthood, and yet their knowledge of manhood remains a void filled with silly social values such as how to:
- Change a Tire
- Hunt Food
- Obtain Wealth
- Seek Pleasure
Marking their own measures, they analyze success against other pygmies, trying to ignore the long shadow cast by the legends. God lays out epic work, prepared before the foundations of the world. Christ calls men to legendary lengths today. The Spirit inspired a tome that lays out every tenant of biblical masculinity.
Biblical men glorify and enjoy God. Apart from the truth that we rejoice in salvation (1 Peter 1:6), there is no hope, much less hope for masculinity. Against all odds, in the face of the fieriest trials, an authentic man glorifies God with great joy. Burdened by pain, suffering, and back-breaking responsibility, this man grins and preaches to himself, “I was built for this and the rarest treasures are mine!”
The Gospel man knows how to pursue a woman. Boys chase a multitude of girls around the playground; however, a mature man sets his eye on one, passionately pursuing her to the end. Some are greatly gifted with a life of celibacy for the sake of the gospel; the majority are gifted with marriage, a lifelong partner. We see directions in 1 Peter 3:7 for this partnership, and Paul provides great proof (Ephesians 5:22–33) that single men who love Jesus comprehend this critical truth about marriage and teach it.
Real men know how to raise children. 1 Peter 5:2–5 discusses what it means to shepherd others, and this is particularly compelling in regards to shepherding a child’s heart. Whether their offspring, or someone elses, the Christian man echoes Christ’s words, “Let the little children come to me.”
Men live in community with other believers, as demonstrated in 1 Peter 4:8–11, by loving and serving one another, showing hospitality, without grumbling. Men also live in community with those who do not yet believe, through honorable conduct, submitting themselves to the government as laid out in 1 Peter 2:13–20.
Note that Peter places a particular emphasis on men under submission. In 1 Peter 3:22, we are reminded that everyone has been subjected to the authority of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 5:5 admonishes us to be subject to the elders within Christ’s body and 1 Peter 2:13–17 to be subject to “every human institution.” Men are commanded to live in relationship to Christ, other believers, and nonbelievers as men under authority. This is not an optional component of biblical masculinity.
Gospel men know how to make war. Never as the aggressor, yet indomitably as the protector. To protect and care for families and communities, explicitly to protect the widow and orphan. Never confusing the physical for the spiritual, comprehending the war our flesh wages against our very souls (1 Peter 2:11), men arm themselves (1 Peter 4:1) to stand in Christ against the adversary (1 Peter 5:8–9).
Perhaps you have only heard vague whispers of the legends, having never seen such a man. Quite possibly you only know boys with muscles and a mustache. Find great hope and encouragement in 1 Peter 1:18–19, “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
Daughters, learn what God declares a man ought to look like, and do not be fooled by the foolish creatures presented by this culture. Sons, be biblical men; make your Father proud.