By Jack Wilkie
As the old saying goes, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This cycle can be seen repeatedly going back thousands of years, and it’s something that continues today. As we discuss, write about, and consider the many downfalls of modern culture and the difficulties facing the church today, maybe we should look back to history and see what went wrong in Israel, Rome, Greece, and other societies. Maybe we should reconsider our recent history in America.
It’s easy to say, “People strayed from God,” and that’s true, but that’s oversimplifying and offers little practical help for what we’re going to do to change anything. We need to be specific. We need to place responsibility back where it belongs according to God’s Word and help each person fulfill his or her role.
As we look back to Israel, we see that the instructions to preserve a faithful nation were given to the men. Grandfathers and fathers were expected to cultivate a love of God in their own hearts and make that love the focal point of their home lives (Deuteronomy 6). It didn’t take long before the men of Israel stopped leading in the home, and the nation’s faithfulness disintegrated soon after.
What about America? Looking back over the last century we see a large, nation-wide push for mixed roles for men and women. Accelerated by World War II and the “We can do it!” mentality, we live in a world today where boys and girls are raised identically. While the effect that has had on women is an article for another day, the effect it’s had on men is undeniably a factor in the nation we’re seeing today. While girls are pushed to be ambitious and “be whatever they want to be,” boys lag behind and fall into the severely troubling extended adolescence we see so frequently today. There are 30-year-old boys all over the world in this day and age and less men in that age range all the time.
Consider the effect once men get married. Because the roles are equal, many men don’t lead. They don’t want to, they don’t think they have to, and so wives step up to do it (sometimes happily, sometimes begrudgingly). Our culture has simply accepted as fact the idea that men simply aren’t as spiritual as women, and so it’s ok if they don’t want to be the spiritual leaders of their family or if they aren’t as interested in church as they are in sports, cars, or other hobbies. Marriage isn’t taken seriously, so fornication, cohabitation, pornography addiction, and divorce run rampant. While women will answer for their own actions, it’s time we start putting the responsibility and expectations for leadership of the family back on men. That was always God’s plan for multigenerational faithfulness, and since we’ve so recklessly abandoned it in the last century we have no reason to be surprised that multigenerational faithfulness is suffering so mightily.
It might be countercultural, it might be considered “backwards,” and it might be looked at with great skepticism by the world of 2014, but it’s time we shifted our expectation of young men. Deuteronomy 6, 1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:21-33, 1 Peter 3:1-7 and a number of other verses and accounts illustrate what God wants for the family, and men and women fulfilling the exact same role is not it. Egalitarianism and feminism are killing the home, the church, and the culture, and it’s time we stand up and say something about it. Men, it’s time to stop depending on someone else to spiritually lead our families. It’s time to stop making excuses as to why we can’t train our children in the way they should go or as to why our wives are left to themselves in the areas of discipline and training or providing and leading.
As long as the church and the family are led by men who don’t love God with all of their hearts, souls, and might, the church and the family are going to continue to decline. Both ancient and recent history shows us exactly what happens when men shrink back from their God-given roles. Don’t let culture’s definition of manhood keep you from being the man God wants you to be and the man your family needs you to be. Don’t let culture continue to keep us from placing expectations on boys and young adult men. Something has to change, and that change has to occur among God’s handpicked leaders.
Are you one of those leaders that have shrunken back from their God-given roles? Your family, friends and community need you to step up to the plate now more than ever, to be the leader that God created you to be.
The Bible says that God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die for our sins, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) Now, that’s leadership worth following. It also says that if you confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) Pray something like this:
Jesus, please forgive my sin. I’ve made so many mistakes. I know that you died for me and that you have a plan for my life. Please teach me your ways and help me to live my life for you each and every day for the rest of my life. I want to start a new life with you leading the way. Amen
Congratulations, if you have prayed this prayer the Bible says, “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Cr 5:17)
If you’ve prayed this prayer for the first time or are renewing your commitment to the Lord, please let us know so that we can pray for you as you start your new life in Christ.