Our friend Mark has a great post on his site that was a breath of fresh air today.
My wife likes to write about women being women and embracing their roles as wives and mothers. That is a great topic and it is a blessing to any man who has ever had a wife whose heart was to truly serve him. To be clear, yes we are talking about a woman who is a slave. I say that because all the feminist rage with furry when you talk about wives submitting to their husbands. However, they miss this simple fact. The woman is not a slave to her husband, she is slave to Christ. I’m talking about a woman who knows who she is in Christ and has such a heart to serve him that she is a delight to her husband and her children. But there are two sides to that coin. A wife can only be everything God intends for her to be, if her husband is also a slave to Christ. A Christian man must embrace his God given role and the responsibility that comes with it, if the family is to be complete.
So what does that look like? In our egalitarian, feminized, post Christian world how is a man suppose to act? This is an issue which could be discussed in great detail. There are many character traits such as, honor, integrity, honesty, humility and others that could be expounded upon and discussed in terms of how men understand and display those attributes today, compared to what the Bible has to say about them. But Mark’s post brings out what is possibly one of the most important things for a man to be able to deal with in this age – conflict. In today’s world, where a biblical world view is being attacked both from within and out of the church, a man must be able to deal with the conflict that will come his way in a God honoring fashion.
Mark gives the following three options for how we may approach conflict which I’d like to comment further on.
“The “let’s just all get along” approach.”
This is the approach where men have no convictions they are willing to stand for. They are more interested in saving face or not offending anyone than standing for biblical truths or more importantly Biblical practices. CS Lewis called them, “Men without chests”.
In contrast there is:
“The “let’s just all stab each other in the back” approach.”
This is where the men have neither the desire or the mental ability to actually discuss deep important issues, so they setup straw-men and pretend to be witty or wise as they try to knock them down at the expense of the person they are talking at. These men don’t actually talk to one another because they are busy trying to get the other person trapped in something they can capitalize on. It doesn’t matter what is said or the ethics behind it as long as they win the debate.
“However, there is a third approach, one that is biblical and requires boldness to set forth:
A willingness to set aside surface issues of disagreement until we take responsibility to set the scriptures as our standard. This applies not only to resolving issues of debate, but more importantly, in setting forth a Christ honoring example in our relationship to the brother that we wish to debate, and the church that will be watching. Lastly, holding other brothers accountable when they do not live by this standard.
This is the essence of bold and manly discussion.
This is the approach that is not only manly, but is also one that shows biblical love. It is the one that is the most difficult because it requires that one put aside his differences and set aside his pride to hear the other person and focus on understanding what they are saying and where they are coming from. It is also the approach where a man must stick to hard truths even when they are not understood or are hard for the other person to hear. It is the only approach that will bear fruit and bring any glory to God.
Thank you Mark for a timely reminder of these truths.