ACK St. Mark’s Church, Kidfarmco. Sunday 27th April 2014.
Text: Genesis 1: 26 – 2 1- end, Ephesians 5.22 -32
Introduction. What is manhood today?
Simon – 36, is married with 3 children. He Loves football to bits – supports Arsenal. Comes along to church and encourages his family as well. An executive at his workplace. Does not mind serving but finds active church participation more of a woman’s ‘thing’. His wife, Patricia, leads the family devotions from time to time though she secretely desires for him to take the lead role in family worship. Simon is however adamant as he is not so secure in his knowledge of scriptures or songs or making the children attentive. He however supports her morally. Patricia is worried that he takes on too much resposibility for his relatives in the village. He is concerned that he does not own his own home in a good neighbourhood and is hence not living the Kenyan dream – 1 wife, 2 children, 3 Bedroom House, 4 wheeldrive, 5-Star holidays, 6 figure salary.
Bernard is 44 married to Roslyn and they have 4 children all beyond primary school. He is struggling with his teenage children who seem to be drifting from church and one has openly abandoned the faith. He is a career civil servant and has risen through the ranks through discipline and hard work. Rosylyn, a career teacher has recently been promoted to head a local girls school. They both come along to church. Bernard however, has recently began to notice younger girls in his office, whose skirts appear to be getting shorter and shorter. He is not too happy with his achievements so far.His high school and college contemporaries have all had succesful businesses and even sent their children overseas for further studies. He loves Bible study and communion but longs for a different church experience. His commitment to Investment groups, Chamas, worries his wife.
John is 26 and recently finished his degree in IT. He is now working hard to develop apps for the android market and wants to fund his masters through selling mobile applications. He dreams to grow an IT empire and has a poster James Mwangi [Equity Bank] in his room. Although he is dating Angeline from the Church youth group, he is addicted to porn and cant get his eyes off the x rated sites. He confessed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in high school during a challenge weekend but now he is not too sure about it. He comes along to church, not least to meet Angeline, but also to obey his devoted parents. His mind however easily wanders off the sermon and into the girls around him. He longs for true obedience to Jesus and even confesses every time there is communion. At one point in college, he sought delieverance in a charistmatic revival meeting but his addiction still persists.
Peter is a fatherly figure in church that everybody loves. He is in his late 60’s and inspires many in the church family, not only for his seemingly well managed family but also for his profesional and business career that he recently retired from. He is a leader of the men’s Bible study in his area and commands respect from everybody in the community. Sadly, he recently lost his wife, Hannah to breast cancer and this greatly shook his faith in God. After all those years of service, how could God be so unjust to take away Hannah from him? He cant stop asking himself what wrong he did to deserve the loss of his beloved wife. He is now wondering whether to re-marry or remain single for his remaining years. He worries about his eldest son, who is an alcoholic but many people do not know. He fears more about his own image than the welfare of his son. He is also worried about a corrupt land deal that saw him earn millions in commission that might come to the public soon. He justifies his actions in the sense that he gave a good portion of the money to the church.
Which of the 4 gentlemen do you most identify with? None of them?
Peter, John, Bernard and Simon is all of us.
1. The Creation Call
a. Imago Dei – Representation, Relationship and Responsibility Genesis 1: 26 ff
b. Created Equal but Different V 27. [A Helper – 2:18, 23]
c. ‘Blessed’ to multiply, increase, have dominion V 28.
d. Provided for V. 29 – 31, but also called to Work – Responsibility Chap 2 Verse 15.
e. Perfect Relationship – Naked but not ashamed. The beauty of the marriage covenant.
2. A Broken Relationship – The fall [Gen 3]
Result – Death in Relationship with God, each other and creation.
A Begining of blame game. Naked but now ashamed.
Curse – Pain, Suffering & Death in the world.
- Strife in gender relationships > Your desire will be for your husband, he will rule over you. [Manipulation Vs Domination]. Who wins in the battle of sexes? Which man can resist the attraction of a woman? Which of us does not melt at the sight of curves, hemlines and wily smiles? Which woman can resist the attraction of power, wealth and influence?
- Marriage became an exercise of power and control. This extended to culture and behaviour.
- Perverted relationships – Polygamy, Homosexuality, Beastiality, fornication, Adulterly etc.
- The Rise of Feminist Movement – 18th & 19th Century.
- Men & Boys – An endangered species?
3. A Redeemed Relationship: Christ on the Cross.
Jesus came to redeem and restore all that sin has damaged and marred, including marriage. Where we could not live out God’s plan for marriage, Jesus perfectly fulfilled God’s standards. Jesus loved the Church enough to die for her. He perfectly submitted to the plan of God the Father. Jesus is the complete and perfect fulfilment of God’s design.
- Jesus’ counter-cultural view of women.
- Early church’s inclusion of women in ‘ministry’.
- Equality of status; difference of roles.
Marriage is designed to be a visual representation of Christ’s relationship with his bride, the church (Ephesians 5). God created men to lead and women to help. From the moment our first parents chose to follow their own desires rather than obey God, sin entered the world and we’ve been seeking after our own way ever since. Sin destroyed God’s plan for marriage. Instead of seeking the good of one another, we demand our own way, seek after our own desires, and expect our spouse to give to us without us having to give anything in return.
Application: Christ the Redeemer of Godly, Biblical manhood and womanhood.
- What shapes our manhood ideals – Mens Health, Business Daily, The Enterpreneur or The Bible?
- Who are our heroes – Barrack Obama, [Chivalry] Wrestling Champions, Uhuru Kenyatta, David Moyes, Arsene Wenger, Naushad Meralli, Chris Kirubi?
Christ Calls us to lead by loving - Sacrificial love. Ephesians 5
- Love and Submission are to be understood as mutually exclusive/not dependent on @other.
- Women thrive when men take on leadership.
- An ongoing conversation.
1. Family leadership is a call to Love – love your wife, love your children.
2. Leadership is about Vision and Direction, not necessarily speed.
3. Leadership is not a call to exercise power but responsibility.
4. Roles are not superior or inferior – they are different. Perspectives.
5. Christ restores broken human relationships.
The ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ is summarised in his 3 offices:
Offices of Christ
Application to the godly husband
Priest: Speaks to God on behalf of the people, offers sacrifices [His own perfect, once and for all sacrifice], is people’s mouth-piece before God.
Godly men will want to mirror a priestly role in the family. Leading the family in worship and intercession.
Prophet: God’s mouth-piece bears the word of God and delivers it to the people. He is indeed the word of God [John 1:1]
Husbands can mirror the prophetic function of leading their families in devotions, teaching the children in godliness [Eph. 6].
King/Prince – Christ was a ruler in the biblical sense of a leader, an arbiter [judge], a protector and provider for his people.
Men are called to head their families through sacrificial love as Christ loved the church. To provide, protect and lead as servants.
Closing Remarks: A call for faithful search and obedience to scripture.
The promise of a new heaven, a new paradise of God. Rev 22 when human relationships will be fully restored.
- Harrison Mungai Macharia.
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