Our fall series, A Beautiful Design, focuses on God’s grace in creating us, both male and female, and the implications of that truth for the way we live. We’re exploring what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.
I know some of you may be wrestling with what we’ve covered thus far, but I’m also aware of the possibility that most of us will be tempted to sit back, nod our heads in agreement and then move on, never deeply considering the personal implications of what we are learning. As Beau Hughes rightly noted in his sermon this past weekend, none of us are “there.” We may know in our heads God’s beautiful design for men and women to some degree, but none of us have mastered living our lives with that truth firmly lodged in our hearts.
With that in mind, I wanted to recap where we’ve been and offer some practical help to begin the process of moving us from thought to belief to action.
In week 1, before jumping into what defines manhood and womanhood, we looked at God as Creator. We said that if there is a Creator, then that Creator will know far more about purpose and design than anything He created would. There are times we think we know what is best for us, but in reality, our Creator himself knows what’s best for us. We established that, as created beings, we are not the point; the Creator is the point.
In week 2, we looked at the imago dei, the elevated worth of mankind in dignity over and above the rest of the creation. We defined the imago dei as God’s investment in men and women of God-like glory and moral capacity to reign and rule the earth as His representatives. We then looked at the implications of the imago dei. When you do not understand that people are made in the image of God, you will be tempted to consume and use and belittle and rob other imager bearers of their dignity.
In week 3, we began to focus on God’s purpose and design for men. We broke down the concept of headship, understanding it to be the unique leadership of the man in the work of establishing order for human flourishing. We noted that headship plays out primarily in three areas: the home, the church and culture. We identified that man’s purpose is to work and keep the earth. For single men in particular, we discussed that they image headship with borrowed authority by serving and protecting women as sisters.
This past week, Beau preached a sermon entitled “Man’s Hurdles,” in which he taught specifically on what keeps men from living out their purpose and design. The culprit is, of course, sin, but he talked about the two ways that sin tends to manifest itself in the lives of men: passivity and aggression.
I’m thankful that Beau didn’t just throw these high-level ideas out there, expecting us to apply them ourselves. Instead, he gave us an exhaustive list of ways that men are both passive and aggressive. Because I think this is so important, I wanted to put that list before you again and leave you with a challenge:
Sins of Passivity
Sins of Aggression
Sinful passivity and ungodly aggression are two of the most significant hurdles that prevent men from living as God created us to be. We’ll explore how the gospel is the only hope for these hurdles this coming weekend. For now, I want to challenge our men specifically to reflect on this list. Where do passivity and aggression manifest in your life? How are your key relationships negatively impacted by these sins?
Men, as you take time to consider your own hurdles, I encourage you not to keep these sins to yourself. Confess to those you are in community with. Confess to your wife, family and friends. Confess to those you have wronged. Set up accountability for your areas of weakness. Repent. Ask the Lord to forgive you of your sins and to restore your broken and sinful heart that you might begin to live out God’s good and beautiful purpose for your life.