Archive for the ‘manhood’ Category

God has created the church to function as the primary disciple making mechanism.  One of the ways the Lord has structured this is for older men to teach the younger men how to live a godly life.  Some of this teaching, of course, is formal.  Maybe this comes in the form of a 40 year old man teaching a Sunday School class to a bunch of middle school boys.  Formal teaching is needed; however, much of what is taught comes in the form of the informal.  This may look like a faithful deacon cleaning the church grounds each week that is noticed by the young boy walking home from school, or the quiet man in the balcony running the sound board week after week.  Paul instructed Titus about the roles of men as far as discipleship in a letter written to him.  There he wrote,

“Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness . . . Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”(Titus 2:1-6)

As I reflect on these words, I am humbled and encouraged at the same time.  I am humbled because the Lord has blessed me with so many Titus 2 men over the different seasons of my life.  I am encouraged because as I strive to be a Titus 2 man for younger men, I still look to and have older men pouring into me.  This is the natural process that God intended.  Truly, all men need Titus 2 men in every time of life.  Here are just a few times and season when this is true.

You needed one when you were young:

Growing up in a conservative Baptist church in the Bible-belt afforded me an embarrassment of riches when it came to godly men in my life.   I had my family, neighbors, and many church members that filled this Titus 2 man role well.  I saw them serving their families, serving their church, and their communities, and even taking time to disciple me in a variety of ways.  God used both the formal instruction (Sunday school, Wednesday night classes, etc.) and the informal “God talks” to help shape me spiritually.  After my salvation at the age of 21, I could look back and see how each had a hand in my spiritual formation.  As a young man, I needed them to not just share the gospel, but I needed to be shown as well.  I needed a Titus 2 man when I was young.

You need one now:

Now that I am in my mid-30’s, a staff member at a church, and a seminary graduate, one might think that there would be no need to have these types of men around to help any longer.  Yet, God in his infinite wisdom knew that I would still need council and wisdom from those in their 40’s, 60’s, and 80’s.  While I have some wisdom built up, I by no means have all the wisdom I need.  I still need to know how to love my wife better, raise children when they are being difficult, and sort through other various life issues in a biblical way.  I need the 55 year old man to take me out to lunch and give me a loving word of exhortation that I am working too much and need to spend more time with God and my family.  This is part of his role in being “sober-minded.”  I need this man in my life now, and so does every Christian man.

You will need one when you are old:

Once I get into my golden years, the need for Titus 2 men will not change.  I hope one day to be the 60-year-old man that has taken a 25 year old newly married man under my wing for a year and poured into him about how to live out the gospel in his home.  I hope to be a man that is teaching his grandchildren about the majesty of God.  However, just because the roles shift and your primary role is to be that of Paul instead of Timothy doesn’t mean that you do not still need wisdom and guidance from another older and more seasoned man than you.  That might come in the way of reading books from men of old.  It may come in the way of digging up old sermons from people like Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones, or reading commentaries from Matthew Henry.  When a man makes it to this point in his life, he should relish in the opportunity to fulfill this role, yet he should not stop learning.  Even in his old age, Paul never stopped (II Timothy 4:13).  This is what a Titus 2 man does.  He is “self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.”  I am in need of that kind of man now, and will always been in need of one.

             I am so thankful for the Titus 2 men in my life, both in my past, and the ones that I have today.  I am thankful that they have taught me to pass it on.  I pray that it is a pattern that is carried on as long as the Lord gives me life.  However, it is not just something for the super spiritual.  It is not just something for the “professional.”  God has given us all the ability to do this.  He has made us all competent to council (Romans 15:14).  The reality is, we are all mentoring or discipling others by how we live our lives.  Scripture describes what it should look like in Titus 2.  Here is my question to you who are reading this: where are you in the process?  Here are a few questions to consider.

  1. Are you purposefully discipling someone?
  2. Are you a young man who is seeking someone to guide you?
  3. If you are not currently doing so, would you be willing to purposefully step into this role of being an older man training a young man?
  4. Would you, young man, be willing to have an older godly man speak into your life?

God has given us the great gift of each other to help train each other in godliness.  Take advantage of this time.  We need each other.  Through it, you may be surprised at what it does both in you and the one that you are with as well.  To all the Titus 2 men out there . . . I admire you.  Keep it up.  It is worth the investment.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

One of the most rewarding things that I get to do as a pastor to families is to be a resource for them.  I have been blessed with the gift of time as a pastor.  During this time, I have been able to sort through a lot of books and studies dealing with family life.  With all of the thousands of books out there dealing with pre-marriage, young marriage, renewing and renovating one’s marriage, and child-rearing, I have gathered a list of several great books that I believe are helpful that I would like to share.  No matter where you are in your life, single or married, I believe these books may be an encouragement to you if you desire to do a little reading.  Each book is listed in order of importance in my opinion.

While Courting /Dating or Preparing:

  1. “Boy Meets Girl” By Joshua Harris
  2. “What He Must Be” – Voddie Baucham  
  3. “The Purity Principle” – By Randy Alcorn
  4. “50 Crucial Questions” – John Piper and Wayne Grudem
  5. “Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood” – John Piper and Wayne Grudem

While Engaged or Just Beginning Your Marriage:

  1. “When Sinners Say I Do” – By Dave Harvey
  2. “Intended for Pleasure” – By Ed Wheat
  3. “Total Money Makeover” – By Dave Ramsey
  4. “The Intimate Marriage”By R.C. Sproul
  5. “First 90 days of Marriage” – By Eric and Leslie Ludy
  6. “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” – By Bruce Ware
  7. “The Five Love Languages” – By Gary Chapman

To Read to Refresh Your Marriage:

  1. “Sacred Marriage” – By Gary Thomas
  2. “Love and Respect” – By Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
  3. “His Needs Her Needs” – By Willard F. Hardy, Jr.

To Read If You Have Children:

  1. “Give Them Grace” – By Elyse M. Fitzpatrickand Jessica Thompson
  2. “Family Worship: In the Bible, in History & in Your Home” – By Donald Whitney
  3. “Family Driven Faith” – Voddie Baucham

             There are many great books on these different subjects, but these are all books that have been helpful to me, and I pray will be to you as well.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

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?

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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