So You’re a Male. But Are You a MAN?
Are you pushing yourself to exemplify the manliness that God wants in His Church?

If you are male, please read this. If you are single, if you are married, if you are dating or engaged to marry, if you’re a father or not, with children in your home or not, working or unemployed—if you’re male, please read this.

Are you a godly man? If you’re young, are you preparing for manhood?

Are you stepping up as a man as God intends? Are you fulfilling your duties as a man in your home? In your job, with your family? Within the Church, within society?

Are you studying, praying for God’s help to be a better man? Are you excited,zealous to fill the powerful, spiritually rich and enrichingrole God has given you?

We can all do better.

Here is a tough reality we must squarely face: Satan has marshaled every conceivable tool and weapon he can, over a period of decades, to beat men back and prevent them from fulfilling their God-ordained role. Truly, the list is long: feminized education from the earliest grade levels; poor diet and compromised food production; sedentary lifestyles; demolition of biblical sex roles; women’s liberation and increasing economic independence; sports mania; proliferation of video games and various mindless and perverse entertainment; sexual license of every stripe; widespread and easy availability of pornography; family breakdown at every level; declining societal expectations—it goes on and on and on. Those trends have affected all of us more than we want to admit.

On top of that, as a terrible curse on the sin-saturated nations of Israel, God has removed the strong male leaders, role models, builders and stabilizers of society (Isaiah 3:1-3). First-rate male leadership is gone! God has taken away those leaders—and Satan has rushed in. The change in society has been a complete, utterly devastating revolution.

God, however, has a solution. And a big part of it involves the called-out ones, the congregation of the firstfruits, who are set apart to be separate from this world—and are preparing to assist Jesus Christ in teaching this world and setting it right!

God’s Church should be noticeably, even radically different from Satan’s world in this respect! It should be a bastion of strong, righteous, manly men. Leadersof families. Exemplars in godly work, study, thought, deed. Men who are daily beating back the unholy influences of this world—in our personal lives, in our marriages and families, in our dating, in our congregations.

Does that describe you?

Are you pushing yourself to exemplify the manliness that God wants in His Church? Are you striving together with God, allowing Him to forge you into the man He needs you to be?

Growing as a godly man in the midst of Satan’s foul, poisonous, upside-down world takes work, strenuous effort. It takes study. It takes emotional commitment. It takes sacrifice. It requires that we reject lies; that we turn away from the broad path that leads to dead-ends; that we stay clear of temptations and traps. It demands that we do hard things. That we build our will by regularly, routinely exercising and disciplining it.

This is the path to manliness, to nobility, to accomplishment, to genuine satisfaction. This is the route that takes us to a shining place of honor in the eternal Family of God.

This is the road that leads your family from darkness into light, from disorder to harmony. It gives your wife security, stability, contentment, peace of mind. It gives your children a window into godliness, a blueprint for achievement and success.

How much do you want that?

Be honest: To what degree have you allowed yourself to get weighed down by Satan’s world? To take comfort in complacency, to shrink back into unmanliness? To feed your own laziness, selfishness, smallness?

Is the trajectory of your life really leading you to where God wants you to be?

Single men—are you preparing to provide for a family, to educate—to lead and to love a wife and children? Do you have proper ambition in your life that reflects a godly desire to succeed as a provider and as a man?

You with a family—how much is God able to guide and to bless your family through you? Are you in charge of your home? Have you established and ordered it? Does your family revolve around you in the way God intends? (Jeremiah 31:22).

Or, are you, to some degree, like so many men in this topsy-turvy world who sit on the couch, who disappear into their personal pursuits, who fade into the background—and allow their wives to run the home? Or let their children run amok?

Are you a manly example of moral and spiritualstrength? Physical vigor? Dynamic action?

How vivid in your mind is your understanding of just what a godly man is supposed to be?

Do you single men look, work, eat, speak, date, treat the single women and all other people inside and outside of the Church the way that a godly single man should? How hard are you working to live up to that ideal?

We husbands have a tall order: Our wives should be gaining a good idea of what it will be like to be married to Jesus Christ by the way we treat them! The way we love, cherish and honor them, the way we give ourselves for them! (Ephesians 5:25).

We fathers—God expects us to turn our children’s hearts to HIM! (Malachi 4:5-6). He wants us teaching them diligently—taking charge of their education—working with them—actively loving them—spending plenty of quality time with them—giving them the essential discipline that God commands us to give, and that He expects them to receive. He wants us building our sons into men! You cannot subcontract these responsibilities to your wife, or to schoolteachers, or anyone else. You must be involved.

Check yourself. If these things aren’t happening in your home, be honest about it. If you can see there is a problem, you can do something about it.

Break out of the deadly, satanic habits and patterns of thinking you have picked up from this world—and go after the education and the spiritualPOWER that God makes available to you! Read the Child Rearing booklet and use it. Study The Missing Dimension in Sex and live it.

Swallow your pride and call your minister. Go up the chain of God’s government and get some counsel. That is a wonderful gift from God (Ephesians 4:11-13). Don’t allow problems to fester any longer. Don’t pretend everything is okay when it isn’t.

Stand up and be a man. Call on God for courage, and confront problems. That is the only way to drive Satan out. Determine to do what you need to in order to set your family life on the right path—and act!

The editorial department of the Philadelphia Church of God wants to help. We are beginning to compile material into a book that we intend to be a practical guide to biblical manhood. This is not a short-term project. We want it to be excellent, and it will take time. In addition to bringing together the very best of the material we have written over the years on the subject, we will be producing more articles for the Royal Vision and aimed at fleshing out this much-needed volume. Our hope is that it will be a book that will light a fire in you, that you will enjoy reading, that you will savor, that you will keep by your bedside for regular inspiration, guidance, correction. Please be praying for the success of this project.

And in the meantime, do your part in driving those satanic influences out of your thinking, out of your family, out of your congregation—and keeping them out of God’s Church. Do your part in submitting yourself to God—in prayer and study, in daily decisions, in counsel—so He can build you into the man He wants, He expects, He needs you to be!