The Measure of a Man

What is the measure of a man? How is a Christian man to measure up and be all he must be? What is true love and romance from God’s perspective? There are some cultural constants that we follow as standards in our society, which we expect from men.

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  • Finish high school
  • Go to college or a tech school
  • Find a decent paying job / career
  • Meet a great girl and get married
  • Have kids

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Life is a constant growing and learn process that has a natural sociological / cultural evolution that leads to growing up, becoming a husband and most likely a father. The Bible has a few guidelines for husbands.

Ephesians 5:25, 28-30
25) For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up His life for her…28) In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29) No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30) And we are members of his body.

This is powerful passage, much more than we may realize. In these scriptures we are shown that the role model for how we are to care and love our wives as Christian husbands is, Jesus. We are to treat our wives just as if they were our own body, and be ready to die for them as Christ died for us. How is that for a standard?

As husbands we are also challenged to be the spiritual leaders and the heads of our households, with Jesus as our covering. For Jesus to be the head we must have a daily walk with Jesus; this means we may need to pray and read our Bible a bit more.

1 Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

Women are called to submit to their husbands and respect them as God has ordained, but this doesn’t mean that men are to be over powering kings and controlling brutes. Instead as husbands we should give, love, and share everything with our wives because this is what God has shown us by His love for us. Peter tells us that women are the weaker vessel and we must show them honor, respect, understanding and kindness for they have the same promise of grace that we have.

Ephesians 5:22-24
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

1 Peter 3:7
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

The Marriage Covenant

Our society has a very distorted view of marriage that has infected the church and the minds of both young men and women. The Bible sees marriage as a covenant, where the world sees marriage as a contract. What is the difference?

A covenant is an unconditional and solemn agreement to remain in harmony together despite the circumstances. This means that as husbands we must love our wives despite our ever-changing emotions and grow with them in love because our wife is whom God has given us to care for.

Today marriage is not typically viewed as a covenant, but as contract that must be maintained to be valid; basically it’s valid as long as the other person maintains our happiness. The contractual view of love and marriage is shallow, and seeks to fulfill itself through emotionalism. The contract is often more about what you can get out of the contract, rather than giving of yourself without expecting anything in return. The Biblical view of marriage is the opposite of selfishness and fleeting emotionalism, it is about sharing, giving of yourself and learning to love through good and bad times.

Preparing To Be A Husband

What about preparing to be a husband and what should Christian young men prepare their lives for?

Ephesians5:31-33
31 As the Scriptures say, A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Whether or not a young man is dating someone, he should be thinking about his future, for someday he will most likely get married and he’ll need a plan, yet in our society men often neglect to plan ahead, as if marriage is not the norm. A young man often finds himself in a quandary when they enter into a relationship with no plan for the future, or a career or home to bring their bride to when marriage comes into the inevitable picture.

Should young men be thinking of marriage at a young age? If a young man isn’t ready to get married they certainly should not be thinking of getting married, however they should be thinking of what they need to do when they do get married. This means planning ahead and preparing for the “M” word. The Bible says that Jesus Christ left to prepare place for us (His bride), and by His example, a man must also prepare a place for our bride.

John 14:2-3
2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

In the gospel of Luke, Jesus gives warns us about starting something and not being able to finish it. Jesus tells us that we should to think ahead, plan and be ready to finish what we begin. This means that if a young man is ready to enter into a relationship with a woman, it is because he is ready to put away being a child, provide and care for a wife; if not, his relationship is only seeking to feed his selfishness.

Luke 14:27-29
27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him.

1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

Have A Life Plan

What plans should a young man make before courting? It’s always great to have long-term goals, to write them out and then work on a plan to achieve those goals. Here are some goals one may wish to achieve before marriage:

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  • Go to college
  • Start a career
  • Save money
  • Purchase a home or have a place to live
  • Own a car
  • Move out of your parent’s home

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In Biblical times, men typically made similar types of preparations before taking on the responsibility of a wife. It also was very common for a young man to prove himself to a young girl’s father that he was an able suitor; in some societies the groom even paid a dowry for his bride.

Proverbs 18:22
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

If we truly have the love of Christ, then that love will reflect in us. A Christian young man who does not plan to care for his wife, and/or does not wish to provide for his wife, may not truly understand the love and the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and thereby does not have the love of Christ. Instead he is only seeking to fulfill his own selfish needs and his mind is set instead on worldly things.

1 Timothy 5:8
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 3:4-5
4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?

I want to share a personal testimony before I wrap up this article, and I hope that this in no way comes across as pompous.

After college, I found myself single, living on my own, with a promising career, and I was ready to be a husband. I went to the Lord in prayer and fasting for 6 month (just to be clear, intermittent fasting y’all). A preacher once said, “be specific when you pray”, so I made a list. At the top of my list I asked for a Godly woman who loved and served the Jesus; who would good for me and who I would be good for. I also asked Jesus to help me be the man and husband she needed me to be. I am not going to lie; I also had somewhere on my list, “God please let her be hot too”.

Eventually God provided a wife that had also been praying the same prayer (“God please provide a hot husband” – sorry I had to get that in there). My wife was able to come into covenant with me, with a place provided for her, that I had been working on for her; even though I did not know her. For her, this was a Godly romance because I had made a plan to care for her, with God as my covering and her as my wife.

My wife Asha and I will be married 11 years in August; I adore her, I cherish her, I pray for her, I love her and I keep her because she is whom God has provided for me. Asha and I still talk and text throughout our day, and we can’t wait to see each other at the end of the day.

In closing I leave you with this thought to remember: True love and romance begins with the love of Christ in us that says, “I have not met my wife, nor do I know her, but I am preparing myself and a place for her, just as Christ did for me”.

Piper, Carson and Keller on Sustaining the Covenant of Marital Love

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