Taking Back Our Assigned Role
Arthur C. Naylor
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” NIV
3 The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” 2 The Woman said to the serpent, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. 3 It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’
4 The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. 5 God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.”
6 When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it she’d know everything! she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate. (from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
In Genesis we lost the role of Leadership in the Garden.
List the things in your life where you think you lost your leadership role.
What distinguishes a godly and manly servant?
Our biggest problem is that we men are seduced by laziness. We are surrounded by a world that specializes in the various arts of inflaming selfishness and encouraging laziness. We have lost what it means to serve and work. We believe the lie that it is better to have a servant than to be one. We have been seduced by laziness.
Being seduced is the opposite of manliness. John Milton uses a striking phrase in
Paradise Lost referring to those men who were seduced by the “daughters of men.” When the angel Michael showed Adam a vision of the future seduction of these men, these descendants of his, Adam attempts to blame the women involved – “Man’s woe
holds on the same, from Woman to begin.” The angel replies to the contrary: “From man’s effeminate slackness it begins.”
When men allow women to seduce them, they have abandoned what it means to be the man: to lead. In fact, our word seduction comes from the Latin word duco, which means “I lead.” This original meaning carries over in our use of the word seduction. When a man is seduced he is being led, and when a woman seduces she is leading. So when a man is seduced he is relinquishing and abdicating his assigned role.
In reality, it is effeminate slackness. At the heart of genuine masculinity is an acknowledgment of responsibility and taking of initiative; by creation man is intended by God to be a head, a head willing to sacrifice himself. But men have been seduced to sell their manliness for whatever other thing keeps them from work.
Instead of learning the meaning of headship under God, he descends to the level of a dumb animal. Our Lazy Boys seduce us to nap when we should be working. Our favorite football team seduces us into isolation. Our father’s bad example seduces us to excuse our poor communication. The internet seduces our time.
Our laziness and lack of service is not morally neutral. It is a spiritual fight with personal, corporate, and eternal consequences.
So what does it mean to be a godly and manly servant? In fact, when was the last time you used the word manly? Is that even something that is important anymore? It should be. And there are some biblical distinctions of manly service.
Here are three nails that hold together the picture of godly and manly service: I.R.S. -Initiative, Responsibility, and Sacrifice.
1. Take Initiative
God has made women to be responders; they follow. But men are to lead.
They don’t wait around for someone else to tell them what to do. When was the last time you strategized to improve something before someone complained about it? A godly man at work has the ability to assess and pioneer solutions.
Men don’t need to be told what to do. That’s part of what it means to be a man and not a
child. Men don’t need to have their hand held. They do what needs to be done and look for more things to do.
They don’t just react, they pro-act (they are proactive).Men too often neglect their responsibilities until there is a problem. We do more preventative work on our cars, changing the oil every 3000 miles, than we do with our kids. We have a better strategy to keep our lawns green than we do to keep our wives growing.
A godly man-servant is aggressive and decisive. They start the ball rolling. Set some goals for your spiritual growth. Set some goals for the spiritual growth of your family. Set some goals for your work product. Set some goals for your small group or your fellowship class. Be hungry for something of real value. Let’s take our church back, evangelize and win men to the Lord, and lead them with a work ethic. Set some KINGDOM goals NOW.
How long would a shepherd have a flock if all he did was reacting? Even more than that, what great things have been done in the name of reaction?
If Christ did not take the initiative, we are still left in our sins.
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
And if Jesus had not taken the initiative with Peter, James, John and the rest of the disciples, they would have kept on fishing and we wouldn’t be here. A godly man-servant isn’t lazy, he leads. He takes the initiative.
2. Take Responsibility
God has given various responsibilities to women, but God has given the greatest responsibility to men. Men are the head. (1 Corinthians 11:3, 8, 9) That means, for example, it is the head’s problem not only when there is a pain in the head but also when there is pain in the knee.
Godly men don’t make excuses. Real men do not give excuses. They do not blame other people for their problems or their mistakes. Our churches need men that will work that is how it was in the beginning.
This is perhaps our greatest area of weakness. We love to take the glory for things going right, but we are excellent at making excuses for when things go wrong. We, as men, have a long history of excuse makers as our examples! It goes all the way back to our first father Adam. Let’s take another look at Man’s Fall in Genesis 3. Let’s read the story to see where we get this excuse making from.
Genesis 3:1-19. There are so many problems here. God had charged ADAM with not eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (2:15-17). Then God made Adam a helper Eve. We can assume then, that it was Adam’s responsibility to instruct his wife and guide her to fulfill the responsibility that God had given to him not to eat from the tree. But somewhere there was a mix up. There was a failure to communicate because as soon as we get into chapter three we see the serpent tempting Eve. Eve falls for the temptation and she eats fruit from the tree and then Eve gets all the blame…
WRONG! Adam is held responsible, and God holds men responsible! Men are held accountable to lead and to guide and to…be men! The feminine thing to do is follow. The manly thing to do is lead. It would have been the manly thing for Adam to say “No.” It would have been the masculine thing to say, “I must obey God first.” But Adam followed Eve.
Really, that is not the worst of it. Not only did Adam make an excuse and say that Eve made him do it, he actually blames God. “The woman You gave me” (v.12) That is bold, but that is not noble. That is fearless, but not God-fearing.
He blamed God for his sin. He made excuses for his choice. We can’t let this happen. We can’t be a church of guys who let other people take the blame for our failures. We dare not sit back and cop-out, cover up, defend or disguise our weakness, we can’t shift the blame if we want to be men who glorify God.
I just want you to think about something for a moment. What if Jesus had said, “It’s not my fault that these guys sinned. There is no way I’m going to do something to help them. I didn’t do anything wrong.” But “He who knew no sin” became “sin on our behalf, that
we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). That is an example of taking responsibility.
Not only do we need to stop making excuses for things that actually are our fault, we need to serve and sacrifice and love and cover for other’s failures, if we want to be like Jesus.
By Pat Williams, former NBA General Manager
Winners vs. Losers
When a winner makes a mistake, he says, “I was wrong;” When a loser makes a mistake, he says, “It wasn’t my fault.”
A winner works harder than a loser and has more time; A loser is always “too busy” to do what is necessary.
A winner goes through a problem;
A loser goes around it, and never gets past it.
A winner makes commitments; A loser makes promises.
A winner says, “I’m good, but not as good as I ought to be;” A loser says, “I’m not as bad as a lot of other people.”
A winner listens;
A loser just waits until it is his turn to talk.
A winner respects those who are superior to him
and tries to learn something from them;
A loser resents those who are superior to him
and tries to find chinks in their armor.
A winner feels responsible for more than his job; A loser says, “I only work here.”
A godly man-servant doesn’t shirk responsibility, he shoulders it.
3. Make Sacrifices
This is not to say that women don’t sacrifice, but men are called to a particular kind of sacrifice in their service.
It is too often that we find men indulging themselves, seeing how much we can get someone to sacrifice for us. Instead our lives are to be spent for the sake of others.
This is precisely what we see in Mark 10 as Jesus describes the kinds of servants that follow Him.
We see this especially for husbands in Ephesians 5:25-33.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Just like athletes exercise self-control in all things (1 Corinthians 9:24-27), so men must make sacrifices in order to serve.
Of course, this is typically not-convenient. But a godly man-servant is not self-centered, he is self-sacrificing.
But when our lives are lives of service, taking initiative, taking responsibility, and making sacrifices, we provide a stability and security to our families and to our ministries. Men are to be dependable.
It is time to take-our churches back, be the best servants, teach Sunday school, be ushers, be choir members, we must lead God’s church with our lives. Only the things we do for Christ will last. Evangelize! Evangelize! Evangelize! Evangelize! Win men to the Lord on purpose. Be True Servants Of Our Awesome God.
Taking Back Our Assigned Role