As men, we hear this term often. What does it mean? In most cases, we hear it in a worldly context. Man up, quit crying. Man up, don’t let your wife tell you what to do. Man up, you can find it yourself, you don’t need directions. The list could go on and on with things that we often say to challenge each other to be manly. The purpose of this blog will be to challenge men, myself included, to man up for Christ. How can we stand out as men of God in society today?
Proverbs 3:6 (TLB) In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
Matthew 6:33 (NASB) But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
What are we doing to be Godly men, and why are we doing it? Scripture is clear that in all things, we should put Christ first. I was reminded of this during a meeting this past week with Pastor Shane. As we were discussing things to come in the life of our church, he made it clear that the most important thing that we can do is to put God first. I oftentimes get caught up in getting things done and forget why I am doing them. We can do all the “good” things in the world, but without Christ, we are just good men doing Christian things. The actions that define us as godly men should be an outflow of our relationship with Jesus. As we become closer to Him, our actions will naturally be a reflection of Christ in us.
James 4:8 (NASB) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Time is the most important thing when we are trying to build a relationship. When I met my wife, the only thing I wanted to do was to spend time with her. I knew that the more time I could spend with her, the better chance I had at convincing her that I was the one. So, I was sitting in my dorm one afternoon and got an Instant Message on AOL. It was Erin, telling me that she was taking a ballroom dancing class and they needed guys to sign up. So I did what any man would do…… I told her to sign me up! There are many things that I did to build my relationship with her back then, but the most important thing was spending as much time as possible with her, even if it was in an unconventional way like ballroom dancing. As we pursue God, we should have the same attitude. Our first priority each day should be to spend quality time with God. This may look different for different people, but God will draw near to us as we draw near to Him. It is said that when we do something for thirty days in a row it becomes a habit. I want to challenge everyone reading this to get up 15 minutes earlier each morning and spend that time with the Lord. Whether you spend that time praying, digging into the Word, worshiping through song, or a combination of these, you are deepening your relationship with Christ. Just as you have done in past relationships with friends or loved ones, you are putting in the effort to spend quality time with God.
Proverbs 27:17(NASB) Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
As we draw closer to God and begin making Him the first priority in our lives, it is important to find other men who are like minded to surround ourselves with. We need other men in our lives to keep us accountable when things get tough. Though we may deny it and want to be tough on the outside, men need one another. We need to surround ourselves with people that understand the struggles that we deal with as men and encourage us to handle them in a Christ-like way. I have been fortunate in the past to be a part of men’s bible studies and breakfast groups that have provided this support for me. Sometimes it may be just going to grab lunch or a simple phone call to a friend that gives me the encouragement I need. Culture tells us to handle it on our own, that as men we should be able to do it ourselves. This is not what Christ has called us to do, we should be building each other up and supporting one another as we strive daily to follow Him.
So Man Up, let’s push aside what our society is telling us to do, and be the men of God that He has called us to be. Put God first, spend time daily with Him, and find other men that will push you to grow closer to Him.