Culture is against REAL men and women. Much of the world, especially Western culture, is drowning in male and female confusion. What is a REAL man or REAL woman? How would you teach that to a child or anyone searching for an answer?
The consistent message from the pseudo-intellectuals is there is no real difference between men and women, except for some body parts. The desire to neutralize or even eliminate the gender distinctions and differences that God has hardwired into human beings (Gen. 1:26–27) is blatant and constant.
REAL Men Aren't Confused by Culture
The confusion is obviously a work of Satan to distort God’s creation. It’s effective because the lies are promoted by substituting proper definitions with improper ones. The lies ride on the back of truth and good values. It is like mixing poison with a healthy meal. Satan can quickly hook us if we do not have the firm foundation of God’s Word to stand on.
One of the most effective of the world’s messages rides on tolerance, acceptance, and inclusion. Archbishop Chaput eloquently stated the problem –
“Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant. Then it tries to silence good.”
Because of the confusion, the secular culture is shaping the Church more than God’s Word.
Culture cannot define REAL men and women because it refuses to accept the Maker’s definitions of men and women. Of course, God’s definitions are “too confining” and not tolerant of other views. True, just like I prefer to stick with the narrow definition of gravity and that it is accurate. Gravity does not tolerate different definitions, even if I would like to define it as giving me the ability to fly.
Unfortunately, alternate definitions of men and women do not display the consequences as immediately as with gravity – the sudden stop of my body when hitting the ground after jumping from a four-story building is very real whether I defined it differently or not. Therefore, false definitions stay longer, even when exposed as wrong. And most often, the consequences are explained away with other lies and confusion.
Unclear definitions and structures provide fertile soil for chaos and confusion.
REAL Men Don't Focus on "ME"
Satan wants this confusion because he opposes all that God is, particularly the display of His image in men and women. Confusion about males and females distorts the image of God (Powerful and Relational), which He placed in both man and woman. Satan does not want you to understand that men and women are fundamentally different.
Because of the PROBLEM (flashing ME) and judgment on man, even Christian men focus on "ME" and the wrong things.
- Work and money become more important than leading and developing his wife and family.
- Patterns of inappropriate ruling, even use and abuse, instead of loving and cherishing his wife.
- Focus on pleasure for himself instead of discipling and teaching others.
- Accumulates things instead of accumulating character and spiritual rewards.
- Lusts after other women instead of finding contentment and sexual exhilaration with his wife.
So, men, where is your focus? Does everything revolve around and serve “ME” instead of serving others? If so, that is the sin nature in full blossom. The more you choose according to the flesh, the more you plug into this world ruled by Satan, and the more you can expect to cripple and hurt your relationships, especially those with your wife and children.
Thankfully, God has an answer.
REAL Men Demonstrate Godliness
Remember the Path of Least Resistance? Do you remember the importance of these simple statements “Where you look, you tend to go” and “Structure demands behavior”? If you are NOT a REAL man, you will look at or focus on anything that serves your “flashing ME.”
Focus is essential. Your focus dictates whether you live in the PROBLEM and your Judgment or in the SOLUTION and your Design. Where you look demands the kind of man you will be – structure demands behavior.
REAL men focus and depend on God. That removes cultural confusion, distorted definitions, and the power of the PROBLEM and Judgment structures.
Culture also wants men to focus more on themselves, while God wants men to use their design for the benefit of others. Culture will get a man to live in his judgment outlined in Genesis 3:17-19, while God wants him to focus on his design outlined in Titus 2. When men become REAL, they follow God's directions to "Walk In Mercy and Power Selflessly."
REAL Men Exhibit REAL Love
REAL men use their power to benefit others, and the first and best way to maintain that thinking is to love as God does. Remember our working definition of love - pursuing their best patiently, kindly, sacrificially, and unconditionally. REAL men understand that definition and practice it daily.
When REAL men practice sound love, it helps meet a woman's design needs and helps her move out of her judgment (Genesis 3:16). There are seven elements of a SOUND love that God desires a REAL man to practice. This is from Ephesians 5:25-33.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church..." This love is not dependent on how she is acting nor based on your circumstances. This is a decision you make like Christ made for us, the church. Unconditional love will keep you from the extremes of trying to make her change or just tolerating her. Unconditional love pursues her best whether she is changing or not, just like God does with us.
"...and gave Himself up for her..." What is sacrifice? It is surrendering something you value for something else. REAL men know when sacrifice is needed and give up that recreational activity or even work to meet the needs of others, especially his wife.
3. Sanctifying / Purifying
"...that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word…" REAL men do not put women in any situation that would be compromising or defiling. They see women as special, something to treasure and take care of. Most importantly, they take the time for conversations with her. "Word" here is not only considered as God's Word, but more importantly, just words with her. That alone is a valuable sacrifice REAL men make for a woman.
"For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes...” REAL men work to help their wife develop into those areas that fit her strengths. Nourish means to "mature" or "blossom" her. Look for things that fit her and how you can support her becoming the woman God desires that she be. Additionally, nourish is very practical, because it means "to feed". REAL men provide for their wife, using their design to work.
"...and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church." Most women will respond more positively to the word cherish even than to the word "love", because cherish has a cleaner meaning for most. The word means to hold dear, highly value, take good care of and treat tenderly. REAL men use their design to not only nourish and provide, but go to the next step to make sure it is a warm, safe and secure place.
6. Singular (Unbreakable)
"...joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” REAL men recognize that they are in God's marriage contract as stated in Genesis 2:24-25. More importantly, they know that marriage requires work, pursuing his wife rather than pursuing things other than her.
"...that he might present her to Himself..." This one has been added since the video was created and, I believe, is extremely important. REAL men see loving their wife like Jesus sees loving His bride - the Church - a long term view. The statement is definitely about Jesus and the Church, but I believe, it is very literally applied to marriage. When a husband sees that his treatment of his wife now, will somehow be translated into a benefit for him and her in eternity, it makes his treatment of her even more important.
Here's my guess or speculation. My treatment of Louie will be presented to me as either "blemished" or "without spot or wrinkle". Could it be that I will earn rewards for how well I have done the first six elements of love during my marriage to Louie here on earth?
YES, I believe that verse 27 represents a reward for a husband who is a REAL man. It is just a theory, but if I follow what God has outlined for me to do with and for Louie, I believe God rewards that!! God asks me to act like Jesus to Louie and expect nothing in return. That is when I am truly acting like God!
PURSUING THEIR BEST - Freedom in Relationships