In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1), and in the process, he put all the creatures his mind fathomed there. Whatever he thought and spoke came to existence. Man, one of God’s creations, is a figure of authority from the get-go (Genesis 1:26). He was to be a custodian of the rule of God and to guide the helper the Lord would bring his way, woman (Genesis 1:26, Genesis 2:18). Later, we see the failure of man in defending his territory and those that God has placed within their care (Genesis 3:1-7). Story after story would follow about failed men and the impact that has on society. From failed fatherhood to the rape cases, child abuse, murders, corruption and many others. Sadly, the feminist movement is all about proving that the men have failed and need replacement in society. Single mother stories are almost overtaking the grain of sand in the ocean. Men in prison are as many as we can imagine. Their charges are the most unspeakable and unthinkable. What are some consequences or lessons we can learn as men from these realities?
1. We have sin and death
When Adam sinned by failing to guide his wife in the commanded way, they both died (Genesis 3:19; 5:5). First of all, there was spiritual death that took place, and their hearts and souls were separated from God eternally (Genesis 3:22-24). Once, they had a flowing and flourishing relationship with their God, but after their sin, the link became bumpy and different until God reached out and clothed their nakedness (Genesis 3:21). Adam’s failure to guide the wife and defend her from the lies of the enemy brought death in a perfect garden (Genesis 2:17).
Today, we see men refusing to take the role in leading their wives, sisters, cousins or friends and situations flip in the wrong direction. We have witnessed literal death on account of failed manhood. Wives killed, children butchered, and violence erupted! Men hold a critical position in society that, properly handled, can turn around the face of things and change a whole generation.
We also have the death of dreams and passions. When you have a failed father or big brother, it has a way of slowing down some things you deemed possible. Death of dreams and passions can cripple our progress in many ways. When men take the lead and become responsible, they have a way of injecting passion and motivation. There is something about a focused man that makes things flow for those around him. Are you a failed young man? There is hope and need to change the narrative in your day.
2. Mishandling of women
One of the deaths that happen when men fail is the inbuilt desire of a man to be defensive on account of the women. A real man would not want to see the women around them, mishandled and mistreated. That means that real men do handle carefully and respectfully, the women around them. Whether it is a female teacher, cousin or friend. There is a sense in a man that kicks in when women are taken and treated ill. Adam was there as the serpent lured and led his wife astray (Genesis 3:6). That is not good manly leadership. When we hear the cases of pregnant teenagers and single parents by design, it is a sign, yes, of failure from both parties, but much more the man. Men need to see themselves as figures of authority vessels through whom sobriety and tranquillity thrive.
In the Bible, we see David’s son rape the sister out of lust (2 Samuel 13:1-32). Why would a responsible man burn with passion for the sister to the point of rape? It is a failure at its best. When we lavish our souls with naked twerking women, we express the situation of our hearts in regards to our position and role as men. Most young boys hate it when their mothers are mishandled or mistreated, but they do not mind doing the same things with other people’s daughters. Is that not a paradox of sorts? Look around you, how much care have you extended to the women around you? Are you currently taking advantage of one? It is time to rise as a biblical man and raise the standard. Society could be a haven of sorts if we men were to arise and take our place.
3. Broken families
In Ephesians 5:22-33, Jesus says that he is the head of the Church as the husband is the head of the wife. He is challenging us, men, to borrow lessons from him in how to care for the women and the children of our homes. Just as he is deliberate to care for his house, disciplining and giving more grace and guidance, so are we supposed to do as men in our homes. Statistics, for instance, say that out of all the men in prison, more than 70 per cent of them came from a broken family.
They say that moms make a home. It is much more when the father is onboard, giving guidance and direction. I know we have challenges with some women, but as we focus on men, it is our duty and mandate to make the home a place where everyone can experience ‘togetherness’. When men miss the mark families hurt and eventually break apart. For any man who has been through a difficult upbringing, why would you want to duplicate it? We have the chance to make the difference. If you have come from a functioning home, then make it your business to hand down all that you learnt and more. Men make families stick together.
4. Boy-child Disorientation
Finally, the other thing we see when men miss the mark is the whole problem of mentorship and raising a dependable generation of men. Adam’s children form an example. His son Cain killed his brother in cold blood (Genesis 4:8). Eli’s failure to discipline his children brought judgment to his family (1 Samuel 2:27-34). In the world over there is an outcry for the boy-child. He is missing in action because he is into another form of ‘action’ that doesn’t build nor does it impact. Drugs, alcoholism, immorality, and gang-related activities are the norm of the day for many young men. There is no concept of responsibility at all. Young men are all about cars and money, wealth, and quick money. Very few are innovative and bold.
Cowardly boys and men saturate our society. If these young men had men who walked with them hand by hand and taught them how to fix an engine, use a hammer, fill man-holes, do constructions, love a woman and honour family, we would have a generation of trained and grown men. But the mess of recklessness we have around has meant that there is no apparent mentorship going on. Young men grow without knowing what manhood is all about. They guess their way through and improve on the mistakes they grew up seeing.
There is a cry for real men to stand and be counted as faithful. We have a responsibility to make things different and right. In a world of messed up manhood, an opportunity for us to change all the above ills exists. There is nothing that the Lord cannot accomplish in the lives of those surrendered to him. As God said of Abraham in Genesis 18:19, “For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice…”
There is a narrative that needs changing. A way of life that needs to stop. We need a generation of men that will alter the norm. To have all the above matters settled, men must look deep into the heart of their Father, God, and see the original design. That in Christ, much as we are born in sin and brought up in failure, we all can know the joy of being new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). We must envision societies where ladies walk with boldness because the men have provided the space and guidance they need to thrive.
To remove death, let the men receive real life (John 10:10) as they turn to Christ for saving grace. To do away with the mishandling women, let the men adopt the mind of Christ, and always treat the ladies better than themselves; seeing their bodies as temples and not sex objects (Philippians 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20). To eradicate the crippling effect of broken homes, let the men learn how to treat the young and older women as expected of them by the LORD (1 Timothy 5:2) and, when they get married, to love their wives as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25-30). Finally, to leave behind a worthy generation, let the men walk with the young men in discipleship as Paul did Timothy (1 Timothy 1:1-2, 1 Timothy 1:12-17). So help us, LORD, we pray. Amen.