Session 4.5 An Army of None: Training Men to Lead Their Families (Randy Stinson)
Sociologists have called this generation the generation of Me. Everything has been explained to these kids. They think they are owed an explanation for everything. We are witnessing what happens with the most self-absorbed generation. Joseph didn’t get an explanation when he was sold into slavery.
We live in an incredibly therapeutic generation. Entire school systems don’t play musical chairs because “someone gets left out.” We can’t play Simon Says because it involves an authority trying to manipulate people. This is killing our boys. We are turning sin into syndrome. They are no longer held accountable for their actions.
The relationship between Christ and the believer has been romanticized to the point of losing any meaning at all. When men think that in order to become a Christian you need to have a romantic relationship with another man (Jesus) don’t be surprised when you can’t find the men. Instead, let’s be biblical.
Our entire culture is pushing for a broad feminization of men. They are not be encouraged to lead or protect. They are being encouraged to be softer. An overemphasis on these kinds of things are neither helpful nor beneficial to a biblical man. We are living in a culture that is pushing men to live exactly opposite of the way God intended.
God calls us to a self-sacrificial leadership. A self-occupied leader will not be a leader. That is an oxymoron. A self-occupied man will allow others to be harmed in order to protect him self.
A man is called to be a provider. That will not happen with the training the world is giving our boys today. Once you begin to change this, you will have that target on your back that was discussed earlier.
We need pastors who are going to boldly preach about these things in their church. My concern is that we will have the right strategy to reach families with an army of none because we are not training our men biblically.
If you are going to reach families, you are going to have to reach men. If you are going to reach men, you need to have a strategy to break down the “top to toe” barriers. David’s last words to Solomon are that he should simply be a man. David told Solomon to be strong. This is not a self-sufficient strength. This is the strength to obey God.
There is a context to manhood. Solomon is to work out his commitment to God through masculinity. Men and women, while they are designed to both obey God’s commands, will act this out differently.
Another key element to manhood is that men are to be like Christ. We are to love our wives as Christ loved the church. Part of the problem with manhood today is that our men have a poor understanding of who Jesus is. Too many of our depictions of Jesus are feminine. Revelation offers a radically different perspective of Jesus.
If we are going to wage war with the devil in our churches, and consequently in our homes, we are going to have train our men for battle. They need to be reminded that they are in battle. Biblical manhood needs to be cultivated. Men need to be taught these things today. They need to learn how to parent their children, lead their wives, provide for their families, and be the spiritual men they are called to be.
We are babying our men so much today that when we need them to lead, they are nowhere to be found. They have not been taught how to do this. Here are some things to encourage your men to do:
- Do the hard things first. Make a list each day and do the hardest thing first. Passivity is the enemy to biblical manhood.
- Make the hardest phone call first. One day turns into one week. Don’t allow yourself to cultivate a fear of man.
- Run to the battle. When there is a challenge, the first step must be forward. One only needs to consider the life of the Apostle Paul. I am not saying that everyone should be arguing and fighting all the time.
- Do your work now as opposed to later. Being biblically masculine is not about who can bench press the most, it is about dominion. If you are a procrastinator, then dominion is being exercised over you.
- Keep your home in order. What does your car look like right now? What does your office look like right now? The mess begins in your home and finds its way into your life.
- Kill a bear or a lion. My point is don’t be reticent when a bear or a lion comes into your life. Some of you have someone in your life who you have built a relationship with who you need to share the gospel with but you won’t.
None of these things constitute manhood. These are things that help cultivate manhood. If we don’t come up with a way to help man see what biblical manhood is, we will have an army of none. But, if you will go back in your churches and hold up the banner of biblical manhood and remind men they were made for battle and are in battle, you will begin to cultivate that army.
About Randy Stinson
Randy Stinson is Dean of the School of Leadership and Church Ministry and Assistant Professor of Leadership at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. He also serves as President of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Randy received a B.A. from The University of South Florida, in Tampa, Florida, an M.Div. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, a Th.M. and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Randy has been married to his wife Danna for sixteen years, and they are the parents of six children: Gunnar and Georgia (twin eleven year-olds), Fisher (nine years), Eden (eight years), Payton (six years), and Willa (two years).
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