There seems to be an epidemic. For every single godly young man (18-35 years old) that I know, it seems that there are 10 young godly women. Most of these women desire to be married, have children, and have a family. Their problem? There is a massive void of spiritually sound men who are ready for marriage. Why is this so? Why is it so hard for godly women to find a man who is willing to play the role that God has called them to as a spiritual leader? Here are a few thoughts:
What Are Christian Men Supposed to Look Like?
There are 4 words that best describe the role of a man in a marriage: Prophet, Priest, Provider, Protector. (If you want to know more about the 4 “P’s”, please look here)
For a man to be ready to marry, he needs to be ready to be a Prophet in his home. This means that he is to be on the front lines of speaking God’s truth into their home. This is what a prophet does. He speaks to his people on behalf of God. Men do this by knowing God’s Word, regularly reading God’s Word, and applying God’s Word in the home. It seems that there is a lack of knowledge of God’s Word by many young men, thus making it difficult to be a mature spiritual leader.
A man is also supposed to be a Priest. That is to say that he is supposed to be going to the Lord on behalf of his family (wife, children). Most often this is through prayer. This does not mean simply praying before meals, but going before God as an advocate for your family. Since many young men have never been taught how to pray (must less intercessory prayer), it is a part of their life that seems lacking. To be a suitable mate one must be a man of prayer, and many do not seem to fit this mold.
A man is supposed to be a Provider as well. Paul writes in II Thessalonians 3:10, “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” It appears that so many young men today have yet to truly grow up. Again, this is not across the board, but it is generally true of many. Countless young men desire to buy the newest toy and live the college life well into their late 20’s. Often after college they get a job but never learn how to manage their money well. To provide for a family does not mean that someone has to earn $100k a year, but a good provider will learn how to budget well what the Lord has given them. This means becoming much more selfless. There is, however, more to providing than finical support. This also includes providing time to be with your family instead of “your boys.” It is providing energy to your family, in being there for the families needs. If a young man wants to be a godly man . . . he must be a provider. After all, this is what the Lord has called you to do (I Timothy 5:8).
The last characteristic of a godly man is one that is a protector. You do not have to wield a hammer and be an Avenger to protect your family. Yes, you should be willing to lay your life down for your wife and children if need be, but there is so much more to protection than simply shielding them from physical danger. A spiritual leader will protect his family from spiritual danger as well. That means not letting filth into your head or into your home. This may mean having to rethink your entertainment choices and places of leisure. With statistics like 50% of men within the church have admitted to looking at porn on a regular basis, it is no wonder we have a lack of young men who are willing to be protectors; many of these men are not willing to protect themselves. It is hard, takes courage, and sadly for some men is just too much work.
What is the solution?
- If you are a young man that falls into these categories then the first thing that you need to do is REPENT. I know that society has failed to train you in godliness. I am sorry that it is possible that even your church has failed to train you in biblical manhood. You may not have had a godly example in your home, but it is time to stop and ask the Lord to forgive you. After that I would suggest three things. First, find a godly man who can help to teach you how to be a godly man. Meet with him often. Ask questions and observe. Second, make a bond with other young men to keep each other accountable in putting aside your childish ways and growing into maturity. Third, pray not only for wisdom in how to change, but the will to change as well.
- If you are a parent of young men, then start treating them less like adolescents and more like young adults. We have an epidemic on our hands. There is a solution, however. Teach them from God’s Word that God has given them the responsibility to be a spiritual leader. Teach them responsibility by giving them chores and holding them accountable to doing them. Make them get outside and sweat. Take their video games from them and give them a weed- eater instead. Pray, Pray, Pray. Satan would love nothing else than to teach them to be lazy and selfish, or to consume them in their “work” that they never learn what it means to be a spiritual leader. Either one is a victory for him. Pray for them, but also teach them now before they are out of your home and away from your influence.
- If you are a woman in search of a godly man, trust in the sovereign Lord to bring one to you at the right time. Do not compromise and settle for less. You will regret it. Until that time comes (if it comes), remember that your identity is not found in marriage to a man, but in your marriage to the Lord. Continue to shape yourself into the likeness of Christ. Submit yourself to that Husband (Jesus) first, and if the Lord chooses to give you an earthly one, you will be better prepared to take on the role of a loving wife.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Adam B. Burrell