“WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT REAL MEN” HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL OUR DADS!!
Real men are becoming a lost commodity. Men who know their role in the family, in society and the world are harder and harder to find.
The feminist movement, which has entered its second generation, has failed utterly in its mission to liberate women but has caused many men to lose their sense of masculinity and purpose in marriage and the home. Most men, it would appear, have abdicated their role as family leaders under societal pressures initiated by the feminist movement.
Today’s talk shows, classrooms and workplaces repeatedly are heard to advocate the creation of unisex or androgynous human beings with no difference in functions, despite the never-greater volumes of data about the physical and emotional differences between the sexes.
The feminist goals include complete mutual decision-making and shared authority in the home, equal sharing of the role of supporting the family financially, and full sharing of home-making and child-care functions. This has been sold as a “fair” system and compared negatively with “traditional” arrangements where separate roles were identified for husbands and wives.
While these “goals” have been identified and approved by society in general, the “results” have been catastrophic.
Shared leadership concepts have resulted in no leadership because equality of authority is antithetical to the very concept of leadership.
With the majority of women insisting on sharing in the income production role that once was the male domain, larger and larger numbers of children are being surrendered to the care of modem day “orphans homes” the day care center and the public school system.
As biblical patterns for marriage roles and family life are abandoned there is emerging a rapid increase in sexual dysfunction in marriage and, sometimes, abandonment of natural sexual roles for homosexual perversions. Divorce and the broken home are now more normal in many communities than the intact family.
And, without functioning families, children are left without the environment necessary to teach love, morality and personal responsibility. Our overburdened judicial and prison systems are but another manifestation of the end results.
What is needed critically today are men who understand their purpose and roles as leaders of their families. Needed are men who carry out their God-ordained duties to wives and children.
The Bible teaches, in passages like I Corinthians 11:3 and Ephesians 5:23, that husbands are to be the “heads” of their wives and families. To people who reject the Bible outright this means nothing but to those who respect God’s word it clearly asserts a husband’s leadership, authority to direct and rule in the home.
By understanding the concept of “headship” one can see God’s wisdom. Just as a human body with two heads would be a paralyzed monstrosity so is the home with two heads.
Men today need to re-learn what home leadership is all about. Issuing orders, receiving deference and respect may be a part of it but much, much more is involved.
God tells the man to be the “provider” for his family in I Timothy 5:8. The authority given a man also calls for him to be a primary teacher and guide to the family, both in word and example.
Unlike most typical homes today, God’s ideal home has the husband and father being the principal disciplinarian responsible for training, development, and correction of his children. Passages in the Bible like Ephesians 6:4 show a man he has this responsibility. When he abdicates this job or delegates it completely to his wife, he has failed.
The real model for husband-like leadership is found in the example of Jesus himself, not in the macho-ism of the contemporary scene. Jesus led by love, sacrifice and submission of personal well-being and desires to the well-being of others.
The feminist movement is not totally responsible for the negative attitudes toward male leadership in the home today. Men who have abused or abdicated their responsibilities in the past are partially the cause.
But whatever the past failures and their causes, the crying need today is for men to re-assume their responsibilities and to lead, guide and love their wives and families through the morass of evils that today threaten our homes, nation and world.
Leadership will not be easy in our unisex society. But, then, leadership never has been easy. Real men are needed for the task.
A BIBLICAL LOOK AT RESPECT BETWEEN PARENT AND CHILD
1. Respect is vital to every successful relationship (cf. marriage, 1 Pet 3:5-7).
2. “You don’t respect me” is frequently said by both children and parents.
3. Goal: Showing proper respect to each other as children and parents.
I. WHAT IS RESPECT?
A. Respect is Not…
1. …merely treating the person the way they want to be treated (what if we want what is not worthy of respect?).
2. …born of resentment or fright.
3. …just being polite (although it will be polite in speech and conduct), cf. Lev 19:32.
4. …just tending to their physical needs (although it is shown by doing so), Matt 15:4-5 (1 Tim 5:8).
B. Respect is…
1. Giving due value, esteem or worth to another person. cf. Jesus, Lk 2:51
2. Having and showing proper regard for the other person, Matt 7:9-11.
3. Can be both inherent (built in) and, in some ways, earned over time.
II. A RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN BEGINS WITH BEING RESPECTFUL TO GOD, Eccl 12:13.
-When respect for God is absent, neither the parent nor the child has yet learned the fundamental meaning of respect: Placing the right value on the object of our respect.
-Respect for God Means Giving Him His Rightful Place of Honor and Homage, cf. Exo 20:1-7; Psa 115:1-2, 9-13; Heb 12:5-6.
III. CHILDREN: HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER, Eph 6:2 (Exo 20:12).
A. Children are to so Respect their Parents that they willingly Honor and Obey Them, Eph 6:1-2 (Exo 20:12; Lev 19:3).
1. Jewish Talmud on Lev 19:3: “”Fear” is defined as not sitting or standing in a parent’s designated place and not contradicting a parent, while “honor” is defined as feeding parents, clothing parents, and helping them come in and out.” (Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 31b; cited in How to Show Respect for a Parent: A Jewish View, myjewishlearning.com)
* 2. To demean or diminish the dignity of your parents is to be disrespectful of them, cf. Deut 27:16.
3. Disobedience diminishes the dignity of the parent (cf. God) Lk 6:46.
B. Children Show Respect by Listening to, Learning from and Following the Teaching of their Parents, Eph 6:1-2; cf. Deut 21:18.
1. Parents have the God-given responsibility of training their children in the way of the Lord, Eph 6:4.
2. So, parental teaching ought to be heard and obeyed by the child:
a. Because it is for the child’s good, Prov 1:8-9 (Eph 6:3).
b. Because he/she values the parent who gives it and God, who is over both the parents and the child. cf. 1 Sam 2:22-25
3. The obedient child is learning to respect God by respecting his/her parents, Col 3:20.
4. Child who refuses to listen to his parents is not listening to God.
a. A child who accepts parental discipline is learning to accept God’s discipline, Heb 12:7-10.
b. The child who scoffs at his parents’ teaching hurts himself; the one who learns grows in wisdom, Prov 9:7-12.
IV. FATHERS: RESPECT YOUR CHILDREN AND DO NOT PROVOKE THEM, Eph 6:4; Col 3:21. (Matt 7:12)
A. Parents Show Respect for their Children when their Goal is the Child’s Spiritual Profit.
1. Do not provoke: to “exasperate”, whether by unrighteous, unreasonable or harsh demands, or by failing to fairly and faithfully nurture them in the Lord. cf. Heb 12:5-6
2. Parent who is domineering and demanding may be satisfying an uninformed (or even unrighteous) need to “be in control”, but is not properly considering and addressing the child’s physical, emotional and spiritual welfare. cf. God’s love for us.
3. Provocation invariably leads to either:
a. Wrath (being enraged against the parent), Eph 6:4, or
b. Discouragement (lose heart, feeling worthless and incapable of pleasing the parent), Col 3:21.
4. Children need consistency (they can rely on), boundaries (they can live by) and correction (they can be trained by), Heb 12:10-11.
5. In Psa 128:3, children are as olive plants – similar, yet unique – each needing to be fed, tended and trained to bear good fruit.
1. Parents and children will not improve their relationships by entrenching themselves in an “it’s your fault” mentality.
2. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom – for the parent and for the child, Prov 9:10.