“Well…he said that he believes in God, but he wants to get serious about following him later.”
“I saw that on his computer screen, but doesn’t every guy look at that stuff? I mean, it’s unavoidable.”
“Well, he doesn’t have a filter…I am sure he didn’t really mean that.”
Pornography. Homosexuality. Find yourself. Nothing serious. Have fun now. Love God later.
I have heard these words far too many times. These are several ways that the enemy is sneaking lies and sin into our culture to keep men from knowing Jesus. God’s plan for manhood was instituted at the beginning of creation, and He did not leave us alone! He has provided us with the “perfect man” model through the person of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul recognizes that the life of Jesus is the believers’ model for godliness, and he encourages the church to follow His example. Philippians 2:1-11 reveals to us that…
A Godly Man Has a Mind That Is One with Christ
In order for this to be a reality, man must actively pursue the mind of Christ. Paul writes to the church of Philippi, saying, “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (verses 1-2). To understand what it looks like to have a mind that is one with Christ, we must go back to the beginning. In Genesis 1:27, we see that God created human beings male and female, and He was pleased with His creation. From the beginning of time, it is evident that God created human beings with distinct differences that are to be celebrated, embraced, and treasured. After sin entered the world, these differences became less distinctive. Today’s culture defies the Creator and attempts to recreate and redefine what God calls “good.” The beings who once flawlessly displayed the magnificent image of the Lord are now shamelessly marring His glorious intention for them. Even so, God has granted His creation abundant grace through Jesus Christ. This is why Paul urges the believers to, “have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” (verse 5). Why does Paul encourage the church to take up this mindset? Because, even from his prison cell, Paul desperately wanted the Philippians to understand that having the mindset of Christ is the only way that man can effectively communicate the gospel message. It is important to recognize that Paul says this mindset is theirs – in Christ Jesus. This means that it is impossible for man to have the mindset of Christ on his own!
One of my greatest mentors and inspirations throughout college daily displays biblical manhood. The way that he leads his family, loves his wife, serves his church, and disciplines his body reflects the mind of Christ. When I asked him about the most important part of being a godly man, he commented on the priceless time he spends with the Lord. Having the mind of Christ is so important to him that every morning he gets up at 5:30am to read the Bible, pray, and fill His mind with the things of God. Every time that I am around this godly man, I cannot help but notice that he is overflowing with the joy of the Lord and the truth of His Word. When the world is doing everything it can to distract men from what is good and true, my mentor is a wonderful example of the importance and power of having the mind of Christ.
A Godly Man Reflects the Characteristics of Christ
When Christ lived on the earth, He lived a life full of sacrifice, selflessness, and love. His life provides us with the most excellent model for masculinity and manhood. Philippians 2:6-7 reads, “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” This verse always leaves me speechless. Jesus was in a perfect place of power and glory, and yet, He obeyed the Father by becoming a servant of His rebellious creation. As a result of Christ’s selflessness, we can now comprehend why man should put the needs and interests of others before his own (verses 3-4). If we truly believe that Jesus humbled Himself in such a way that we might know God personally, shouldn’t this drastically effect our definition of biblical manhood? Paul goes on, “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Not only did Jesus leave His perfect dwelling place with God, He died an unimaginable death on the cross for the sinfulness of man. Through His life, death, and resurrection, Christ fully embodied the essence of love, humility, selflessness, and sacrifice.
When women are looking for godly, potential spouses, these are the characteristics that they should be praying for. For as long as I can remember, my dad would come and pray for me before I went to sleep. A night rarely went by when he did not pray for my future husband. One thing that he always asked of the Lord is that my spouse would love God more than anything else. I quickly began to realize the great value of a godly man, and I started to pray for my future husband and his relationship with the Lord.
A Godly Man Is Focused on Eternity
Men were created to be spiritual beings united with the Father by the Holy Spirit. This means that their eyes should be constantly fixed upon Jesus and things that are eternal. A man who is focused on the things of God is one who is passionate about the things of God. When he is focused on the Lord, the things of the world will become less important to him. His desires will reflect the desires of the Lord, his love for you will be both sacrificial and covenantal within marriage, and his goal in your relationship will be to lead you closer to God. Philippians 2:9-11 shows us that a man who is focused on eternity will embrace the reality of the brevity of life and boldly and urgently live for Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords. When approaching relationships and ultimately marriage, a man who is looking towards eternity will handle this relationship with intentional purpose and care. Timothy Keller in his book The Meaning of Marriage, expounds,
“Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel. Each spouse should give him-or herself to be a vehicle for that work and envision the day that you will stand together before God, seeing each other presented in spotless beauty and glory” (Keller 2011, 121).
Our awesome God has blessed us with the gift of living with Him eternally, and we can give Him glory now in our relationships. Now that we have highlighted the basis of biblical manhood, we must ask ourselves the “hard questions.” Is my current relationship keeping me from knowing Jesus? Do I see evidence of a relationship with the Lord in my significant other? If you are single, are you praying for a godly future spouse? If you are married, are you praying for your minds to become more like Christ? Begin praying today for your spouse to have the mind of Christ, to reflect the characteristics of Christ, and for his focus to be fixed upon the eternal.
Lord Jesus, I pray that my husband/future husband will love You with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength. Prepare my heart and mind to glorify You in all of my relationships.
1 Corinthians 13:11
2 Corinthians 4
The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy and Kathy Keller
“Oh How I Need You” by All Sons and Daughters
“Psalm 62” by Kyle Smith and Lauren Sweeney