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“Prove Yourself a Man”: The Meaning of Manhood


 

What does it mean to be a man?Society is thoroughly confused about manhood and what it means to act like a man. Consider a few lessons from David's charge to his son Solomon.

 

In 1 Kings 2:2, David gave a charge to his son Solomon who would serve as king after him. He said: “Be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man.” Consider some observations:

A Man Is a Man.

This observation is so fundamentally and immutably true that to even have to say it seems absurd. Yet in our society we are supposed to believe that a man is not necessarily a man: you are not really born a man or woman. Rather, any individual can be whatever he chooses to be: male, female, or something in between.

Interestingly, the Bible – which, regardless of what the world thinks, really is the word of God – repeatedly states that people are born male or female. You are what you were conceived and born.

Genesis 21:2 – Sarah conceived and bore a son.

Genesis 29:32 – Leah conceived and bore a son.

Exodus 2:2 – Moses’ mother conceived and bore a son.

Judges 13:3 – The Angel of the Lord promised Samson’s mother she would conceive and bear a son.

1 Samuel 1:20 – Hannah conceived and bore a son

Isaiah 7:14 – The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Luke 1:31 – The angel Gabriel promised Mary: “You will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.”

These and many other passages state in every case that a child’s gender is determined at conception. He is conceived a son, born a son, and remains a son, just like modern science has confirmed.

Absurd as it may be to have to point this out, this is the decree of the God who created us all. Your gender was determined at the moment of conception, and no amount of wishful thinking, hormone therapy, or surgery can really change that. The chromosomes in every cell in your body unalterably determine you to be male or female.

People can rebel temporarily, but in the end all will learn that God speaks truth.

A Man Should Be Strong.

David said to Solomon, “…be strong and prove yourself a man.” Being strong is part of being a man.

Once again, our society rebels. The only activity in which people like strong men is athletics. There you can get paid multiplied millions of dollars for being strong. But otherwise, being strong for men is a no-no. Feminism tells us men and women are interchangeable, so there is no more reason for a man to be strong than for a woman to be strong.

David was telling Solomon to be strong because he was going to be a leader: a king. Once again God’s word speaks, and the Creator of the universe tells us that God has given men the responsibility to be strong leaders in the home and in the church.

Genesis 2:18 – And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” God created woman to be man’s helper, not his leader.

1 Timothy 2:12 – In spiritual teaching, a woman is not permitted to teach or have authority over a man.

Ephesians 5:22-25 – Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.

Yes, the husband should lead with love. But he must lead, and he must be strong like Christ is the head of the church. So God says that a man is born a man and must learn to be a strong leader.

A Man Must Submit to the Authority of God.

In 1 Kings 2:3, having told Solomon to be strong and prove himself a man, David told him to walk in God’s ways, keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies…

Being a man and a strong leader does not mean that a man gets to do just whatever he wants, disregarding the wellbeing of all others. In particular, he must diligently follow the instructions of His Maker.

Joshua 1:7 – When Joshua was appointed to lead the people of Israel, God instructed him: “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”

So a man is a man by birth, not by choice. A man is expected by God to develop the qualities of a strong leader who leads with love for the good of others. And especially a man must submit to the God who created him. As it was with Solomon, so it is with each of us as men. Each of us must prove himself a man.

Are you living in obedience to the commands of God for the role which He is assigned to you? Are you following obediently according to His instructions?


(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2019

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