A man's man
By Paul Slough
“What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”Psalm 8:4
What is the image that comes to mind when you picture a “man’s man”? Is it he likeness of your dad, granddad, uncle, brother, husband, son, or maybe a fellow soldier who saved your life? There is no doubt that all of these have meaningful impact on us, and shape the narrative of our worldview.
After considering who is a “man’s man,” what would you say to the assertion that there is One who loves you more than all of them?
My understanding of love was once based on the limited ability of mankind. Though sincere, it proved to be empty with no power to truly save. I am not downplaying the love and sacrifice of men, but I’ve found that our understanding of love and identity cannot rest there. I have come to see clearly that basing our understanding of love on human actions is that it only feeds and fuels selfishness and self worship—of which at times I was chief.
Through this particularly difficult season of my life, God continuously shows us His overcoming power and love, not only for me and my family, but for all humanity.
On September 4thof last year my family and I were up against the staggering question many of you have been up against, “What if this turns out to be worst case scenario?” Our reality did not match our expectations, and it was hammering on us like steel on an anvil. We had placed our faith in the appellate process of our judicial system and it had been mislaid.
We had no answers but only tears when all of a sudden, our miracle of a child whispered into my ear, “Tell my mama you love her with all your heart!” and I did just as she said. We then prayed as a family that the Holy Spirit would enter in and begin to heal our hearts and restore us. Our baby girl then lifted up her sweet hands, full of worship and a mouth full of praise, ushering in the Holy Spirit, with no prompting from us.
I got the bright idea that I had ANYTHING to offer our broken hearts, but my mouth was quieted as I submitted to Christ. He took over and expressed His perfect love for us with Ephesians 5:25. As I spoke that verse, I broke.
Order and manhood
For the first time in my life I realized I could do nothing without Him, and the importance of placing my wife, daughter and myself in the proper order with the ultimate man’s Man Christ as the Head. Is it not incredible that through the mercy and grace of God, He shows us a type of His Kingdom through the institution of marriage and family, as we submit to one another?
So in unpacking what a man is and how a man is to act, think and speak, we in the body of Christ have our King as the example in a world with too much noise. As He continues to mature me and manifest His character and nature within me, one quality stands out above all the others; love. The love of family, the love of others, my neighbor and even my enemies as myself. Though I have yet to arrive, I continue to reach to the radiance of His glory found in Christ Jesus who knew no sin but was made sin for us.
Agents of blessing
It is time we in the Church become the agent of blessing that God predestined us to be, universally to all people, languages, tribes and nations; beginning with the ones we most cherish. Mediocrity and passivity can no longer be in our nature—it’s not fair to the ones who love us and we were not created for that.
We must tenaciously take back the territory given over or stolen by the enemy, by being on our face, and not by force. Let us not simply wear the name of Christ as a decorative ornament, but let us live the life-giving narrative found in the face of Christ Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of our hope, faith and love!
Gentlemen we are sons of God, adopted into the Royal Bloodline of Christ and we are co-heirs with Him. Let’s act like it. Our battles are fought on our faces at the feet of Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer to the glory of God.
Let’s roll! Ephesians 5:25/John 15:12
Paul Slough is currently serving an unjust prison sentence along with three other men and their families. But what was meant for destruction, God is using for their good. He is a student of Scripture who desires to be back in his family’s arms, and to begin the next chapter of their lives. You can read their story at freeraven23.com