By Greg Gibson
Yet another resolution post? Not at all. This is a plea—an urgent call, of sorts—to my fellow brothers to chase something this year that is much more substantial than a gym membership, self-help technique, hobby, or hygiene etiquette—I seriously resolve to floss more every-single-year.
Furthermore, this is not a how-to-post or a 7-things-to-do-post to procure a more mature manhood. This is simply a bare-bones, man-up plea to pursue Jesus with a furious, war-like training that is equal to a fighter training to step into the Octagon or a warrior training to sprint into war. The vocation of mature manhood is a training regiment—a way of life.
As I write this, I am not necessarily conjecturing about the seminarian, or young pastor, who might be reading this post, though this post is for you. I am primarily thinking of, and writing to, the men I pastor at my local church—the men I get to do life with daily.
These are, first of all, the men to which I resolve.
The business of mature manhood, however, is a vocation every man can obtain. Whether you are married, single, have no kids, have 10-kids, have a seminary degree, pastor a church, coach a basketball team, or work in a factory, mature manhood is your terminal aim. The Apostle Paul seems to liken mature manhood with the “stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:13).
Men, it is to this vocation I resolve.
It is no secret that manhood is being attacked in our culture. It is increasingly risky to be a man who possesses complementarian values. Men, today, are taking the heat of feminist word bombs. Manhood is neutered in the media, especially in television and movies. It is no longer culturally proper to be a man whose manhood calls him to be the spiritual leader of his home, or serve well in his local church, or work hard, or date his daughter, or strive for purity. I am saying here that those are the most befitting things you can do as man. In fact, they are the manliest.
It is to these pursuits I resolve.
Men who tote guns on their hips, have long beards that dribble with stew, or can conquer mountains by only wearing their Chacos, often are the personifications of manhood as it is commonly displayed in the church. These traits, however, are not necessarily the qualities of mature manhood. The reverse is also true. Men who work as baristas in the inner city, sport skinny jeans, and don earrings are not the antithesis of biblical manhood either. What is more, if the skinny jean wearing barista pursues Jesus with a ferocious posture, and the mountain man does not, who is manlier? It is always the one who labors towards the “fullness of Christ.”
This is mature manhood, and it is to this I resolve.
When a man stamps his daily routine with the foundation of steady spiritual disciplines, the resolve to mature manhood becomes more realistic. Without regular bible reading and prayer, how can a man pursue the fullness of Christ? How can a man venture toward mature manhood without a love for God’s Word and a vibrant prayer life? The man who is disciplined to protect the state of his soul will also be more disciplined in caring for his physical body. He will also see this as a mark of mature manhood.
It is to this sort of discipline in my sanctification and care for my physical body I resolve.
Furthermore, there is a gentleness that exudes from a man’s character when he chases after the fullness of Christ. It is fleshed out in how he talks to and pursues his wife, prays with his children, laughs with his friends, and seasons his speech with salt. The trappings of Christ then become our most momentous marks and the bullets of our speech.
It is to this manner of speech I resolve.
When a man pursues the fullness of Christ, the mission of Christ then becomes more compelling than his hobbies. Instead of becoming hobby-less, his hobby is redeemed to become the call of God on his life. His hobbies then become the pursuit of Christ and his mission—to make disciples. What is more, his family becomes the jewel of his earthly enjoyments, and his local church becomes the storehouse for his time, talent, and resources.
It is to this rank of hobby I resolve.
The pursuit of mature manhood makes the characteristics of risk-taking, courage, and boldness become more manifest in the life of a believer. Under fire, he holds a stoic composure. He speaks truth winsomely. His decision-making is always for the benefit of others, and he carries himself with a humble courage.
It is to this kind of posture I resolve.
Therefore, men, as the Apostle Paul says, “Imitate me, as I am of Christ.” I, too, say to you who are reading this post—imitate me, as I am of Christ.
But I don’t stop there; I furthermore say, “Let me imitate you, as you imitate Christ.”
Let us resolve to mature manhood together. Let us pursue this Christ—this Warrior King— together. Let us go to war, shoulder to shoulder, armed with Truth, and together pursue the fullness of Christ. Let us repent when we fall short of mature manhood, knowing that God’s grace is sufficient for us in Jesus. This is good, and it is to this I resolve.
Men, I truly believe if we pursue the fullness of Christ side by side, spurring one another on, then nothing can stop us. Everything will change—our marriages, homes, hobbies, work, friendships, churches, cities, culture, and love for the nations—because Jesus changes everything.
I resolve. Do you?
ABOUT GREG: Greg serves as the family pastor at Foothills Church in Knoxville, TN. He is the author of Reformational Manhood: Creating a Culture of Gospel-Centered Warriors. A ThM student at Southern Seminary, he received a MDiv in biblical and theological studies from SBTS and a BA in biblical studies from Boyce College. He is married to the lovely Grace and is the father of two amazing little fireballs, Cora and Iver. An outdoor and basketball enthusiast, he sleeps outside as much as he can.
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