A Fully Engaged Man
Kevin Block Jr.
Talking with William Craig, one of the leading Christian scholars in the world, for our Q&A this week was a blast. He said a lot of things that got me thinking, but the one point that really stayed with me is that in order to be “fully engaged men,” as he called it, we need to make sure we’re pursuing every aspect of Christian discipleship.
He was saying this to point out that in the men’s movement we focus a lot on things like family, sex and leadership (which we should), but we often neglect the intellectual side of being a mature Christian. I agree with this, and certainly would love to pursue this area more in my own life, but I thought that his overall point was much more interesting: There are many aspects to being a fully engaged Christian man, and we shouldn’t miss out on any of them.
So what all is involved in becoming a rounded, fully engaged Christian man? Here are some ideas:
Knowledge: Since we’ve been talking about it, let’s start here. A mature Christian man has an understanding of the world and his faith that he can be confident in. He should be able to speak intelligently about what he believes. This is essential not only for sharing the gospel with others, but also for knowing the reasons why we believe what we believe.
Wisdom: Probably more important than knowledge is wisdom, the proper application of our knowledge. This is so important that God devotes entire books of the Bible to it. Wisdom is essential to navigating the tough road a man leads. There are few things that people respect more in this world than a wise man.
Humility: The flip side to knowledge and wisdom is humility, which is one of the unique and defining aspects of the Christian faith. Pride is one of the greatest enemies we have in life, and humility is the only defense. A humble man sees life as it is, and understands how much he relies on God.
Grace: Another hallmark aspect of Christianity is grace, or unmerited favor. There are few things in life as shocking and memorable as acts of grace. Even Christians are stunned when we receive something great in spite of the fact that we don�t deserve it. Grace is crucial for every relationship we have, from our families to our friends.
Discipline: Going along with wisdom is discipline, or self-control. This is an essential part of becoming a man of God, because the enemy is really good at getting us off track in this life. Discipline helps us avoid areas of temptation and pursue the amazing things God has for us.
Of course, the greatest example of every one of these traits is Jesus Himself. The only true fully engaged man in history, He exhibited perfect knowledge, wisdom, humility, grace and discipline. It�s beautiful that the only way to really understand and live out these ideals is to pursue Him and let His Holy Spirit bring them out in our lives.
The Importance of Guy Time
In the last two years, I’ve gotten married and moved two times, which means that I haven’t had a lot of time to make new friends. I’ve always had a lot of guy friends in the past. I love the camaraderie, the respect and the accountability that comes with a good friendship. As I get a little older, I’m starting to realize why it gets so hard to keep up with your male friends. I’m also starting to realize that even though it’s difficult, there are few things that are more important.
As Christian men, our guy friends give us things in life that our families just can’t. Nothing is as important as family, especially your relationships with your wife and your kids. But there are certain things that don’t come naturally to those family relationships. Though your wife may be your best friend (mine is), women are just wired differently than us. As we go through life, situations come up in our lives for which a fellow guy is better able to walk through them or talk through them with us.
Male friendships give us the chance to talk with guys who have been where we are and understand what we are going through. They give us the chance to hear wisdom, counsel and a fresh perspective on our circumstances. They also give us a level of accountability we can’t get elsewhere. This may be very intimate, such as in an accountability group, or it may just be the natural accountability that comes out when you’re talking about life with another man.
Guys also give us a unique type of camaraderie and fun that, to be honest, we could use every now and then. Life is tough, and if you get the chance to hang out with a group of men and do something fun together, it really helps. When you never get the chance to have fun with the guys, it’s something you really start to miss.
All of us understand these things, but the trouble is that on the priority list for our lives, friendships have to take a backseat to a lot of things. Between our families, our work and our responsibilities, it’s tough to make time for anything. However, male friendships are worth the time.
God designed us to be in relationship with others. It’s easy for the enemy to isolate us and take us down individually, but when we stick with one another, we are less likely to be his better targets. Make sure you are doing as much as you can to spend quality time with other Christian men, and sometimes non-Christian men. Hang out with a small group, watch a game or a movie with some buddies, and keep up with your old friends over the phone and online. There have never been more ways to stay connected than there are now. Let’s take advantage of that.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”
This article “A Fully Engaged Man” written by Kevin Block Jr., was excerpted from: The New Man Newsletter. July 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.