From boy to Man .. The marks of Manhood
The Bible is clear about a man’s responsibility to exercise spiritual maturity and spiritual leadership. Of course, this spiritual maturity takes time to develop, and it is a gift of the Holy Spirit working within the life of the believer.Spiritual maturity sufficient to lead a wife and children.
1) Personal maturity sufficient to be a responsible husband and father.
Christians often speak of raising boys to be men. In the face of today’s cultural onslaught, this is an important goal. However, it is just not enough. Biblical manhood is always defined in terms of functions, roles and responsibilities.
2) Economic maturity sufficient to hold an adult job and handle money.
Advertisers and marketers know where to aim their messages – directly at adolescent boys and young men. This articular segment of the population is inordinately attracted to material goods, popular entertainment, sporting events and other consumer options.
3) Physical maturity sufficient to work and protect a family.
Unless afflicted by injury or illness, a boy should develop the physical maturity that, by stature and strength, marks ecognizable manhood.
4) Sexual maturity sufficient to marry and fulfill God’s purposes.
As a boy develops into a man, he becomes aware of the sexual powers God has put within him. In an age saturated with distorted sexuality, bombarded with sexual stimulation and confused by unbridled sexual passion, boys must be taught to discipline their sexual energies into anticipation of marriage.
5) Moral maturity sufficient to lead as example of righteousness.
Stereotypical behavior on the part of young males is, in the main, marked by recklessness, irresponsibility and worse. As a boy grows into manhood, he must develop moral maturity as he aspires to righteousness, learning to think like a christian, act like a Christian and show others how to do the same.
6) Ethical maturity sufficient to make responsible decisions.
To be a man is to make decisions. One of the most fundamental tasks of leadership is decision-making. The indecisiveness of so many contemporary males is evidence of a stunted manhood. Of course, a man does not rush to a decision without thought, consideration or care, but a man does put himself on the line in making a decision – and making it stick.
7) Worldview maturity sufficient to understand what is really important.
An inversion of values marks our postmodern age, and the predicament of modern manhood is made all the more perplexing by the fact that many men lack the capacity of consistent worldview thinking.
8) Relational maturity sufficient to understand and respect others.
Psychologists now talk of “emotional intelligence,” or EQ, as a major factor in personal development. While the world has given much attention to IQ, EQ is just as important. Individuals who lack the ability to relate to others are destined to fail at some of life’s most significant challenges and will not fulfill some of their most important responsibilities and roles.
9) Social maturity sufficient to make a contribution to society.
While the arena of the home is an essential and inescapable focus of a man’s responsibility, he is also called out of the home into the workplace and the larger world as a witness and as one who will make a contribution to the common good.
10) Verbal maturity sufficient to communicate and articulate as a man.
Here’s a striking phenomenon of our times – many adolescent boys and young men seem to communicate only through a series of guttural clicks, grunts and inchoate language that can hardly be described as verbal. A man must be able to speak, to be understood, and to communicate in a way that will honor God and convey God’s truth to others.
11) Character maturity sufficient to demonstrate courage under fire.
The literature of manhood is replete with stories of courage, bravery, and audacity. At least, that’s the way it used to be. Now, with manhood both minimalized and marginalized by cultural elites, ideological subversion and media confusion, we must recapture a commitment to courage that is translated into the real-life challenges faced by the Christian man.
12) Biblical maturity sufficient to lead at some level in the church.
A close look at many churches will reveal that a central problem is the lack of biblical maturity among the men of the congregation and a lack of biblical knowledge that leaves men ill equipped and completely unprepared to exercise spiritual leadership
by R. Albert Mohler Jr.
President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary