Are You A Man or a Mouse?
This old English expression shows us that manhood has always been considered a strength, and not a weakness.
But is this a Scriptural concept? Are men really supposed to be strong and not weak?
And if we are supposed to be strong, then how should this strength be manifested in our lives. How should it show in our relationships with others, especially in the realm of our work, our ministry and our family life?
1 Corinthians 16:13 Be continually on the alert, stand for what you believe, act like brave men, be strong.
14 Do everything with [agape] love. (AMIV)
In this passage Paul is addressing a mixed group or men and women, but he singles out men as a model for all to follow. He says that we should be acting like brave men and be strong.
It is in the nature of masculinity to show strength and to protect. And all of the actions that Paul speaks of here relate to masculine strength. They are all qualities that should come naturally with manhood.
1. Be Continually on the Alert
Stand ready to defend or repel any opposition. Anticipate problems before they arrive, and have a plan of action ready to counter anything that comes up.
2. Stand firm for what you believe
Be ready to speak out with boldness to share what you believe. But don’t forget, as the Apostle Peter tells us, to make sure that you do it in humility and confidence:
1 Peter 3:15 But having committed yourself wholly to the Lord God in your hearts: [be] prepared always to [give] a reasoned statement to anyone that asks you for an explanation about the hope that is in you with quiet confidence and respect: (AMIV)
3. Act like brave men
It is in the nature of a man to be a protector, and to stand in the face of danger on behalf of those who are weaker. Just as Jesus gave his life gladly for those He loved, so the man will gladly give his life for those he loves, and who are depending on him. Any man who shows the heart of a coward is never considered a true man.
But braveness is not always shown in the same way. Our temperaments often cause us to respond differently in situations. There is an old English expression that goes:
“He who fights and runs away, will live to fight another day”
Jesus told us that when someone strikes us on one cheek, we should not retaliate, but offer the other cheek. This is not a sign of weakness, but a quality of true confidence and boldness because we are walking in His love.
4. Be strong
Strength is a natural quality of masculinity, and a man finds it natural to be strong for those who are weak. This applies especially in his relationship with the members of the opposite sex, who are considered to be the weaker ones. Of course that does not mean all women are weak. In fact men often see women as too strong because they relate to women as they did to their mother. But in the following passage Paul is encouraging men to see their wives as the weaker one who needs their strength.
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, you husbands, dwell with your wives in an understanding way, assigning value to her femininity, as a weaker instrument, and as being heirs together of the grace of [zoe] life; that your prayers are not hindered. (AMIV)
So true manhood is always manifested in a display of strength. But just in case you thought that this strength should be shown aggressively, Paul balances it with the next verse. He says that everything you do should be under the control of divine love. Not emotional love, not passionate love, but the kind of love that is not based on feelings or sensations. It is the sacrificial love that took Jesus to the cross.
So when you decide to stand up and be a man, do not think that showing strength alone is enough. It takes a stronger inner motivation to make sure that the strength you show is consistent with true masculinity, and is not just a response to your own inner feelings of weakness or insecurity.
Bible Doctrine Made Easy
Do You Know Why God Made You The Way He Did?
Few people really know what really happened when Adam and Eve sinned. Or why mankind is the way it is.
Have you ever been confused by what the Bible calls walking in the flesh? What the fall of man was? Or what it means to be made in the image of God?
This series will answer all your questions in a way that is simple and easy to understand
A Biblical Model
In closing I would like to give you a little portrait of the man who wrote most of the New Testament. In a sense a true man’s man, who showed the true qualities of manhood. I will speak more about Paul later when I consider some Bible models of manhood. But here is a passage that shows his true courage and strength, and also the fact that he could cry, which we spoke about last time.
Acts 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
18 And when they had come to him, he said to them, You know, from the first day that I came into Asia, what kind of person I have been with you at all [chronos] times,
19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations [peirazo], which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
20 [And] how I kept back nothing that was profitable [to you], but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,
21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
22 And now, look, I am going bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there:
23 Except that the Holy Spirit witnesses in every city, saying that chains and persecution will continue to be part of my life.
24 But none of these things move me, neither do I consider my [psuche] life important to me, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received from the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. (AMIV)
Verse 24 especially shows you the true courage of this great man of God. A model indeed that we as men could follow.
But I want you to notice something in the quality of masculine strength that might seem confusing. Paul speaks about humility and tears. This is hardly the picture you get of a macho man, who is bold and strong. Yet it is an essential quality of true masculine strength.
It takes a man, in the form of a father or father figure to impart this to a boy as we will see in more detail later.
If you have difficulty showing some of these qualities of masculinity, then it is possible that somewhere along the way you have had a bad experience which has led you to give up or despise your masculinity. As a result you find yourself too weak to be the man you know you should be.
This is the topic that I will be addressing in the next article, which will be available in a few days. If you are not already subscribed as a member, make sure that you do this to ensure that you are notified when the next article has been uploaded.
If you were blessed by this article, why not post a response below. I would love to hear from you to know if what I am sharing is being a blessing.
Feel free to give any comments or suggestions concerning subjects you would like discussed on this website.