Navigating through the corridors of time, the calling for men in Christ has always reverberated with a resonance of strength, courage, and an unyielding spirit rooted in faith. It’s a powerful proclamation that echoes from the ancient walls of Jerusalem, whispering tales of valor from heroic figures like Joshua and Elijah, reaching our modern days with undiminished vigor. The timeless beckoning? To “act like men,” or as the Greeks captured it – “andrizomai.”
Drawing spiritual sustenance from 1 Corinthians 16:13, where we are urged to “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong”, there is an undeniable tether that binds the spiritual and physical realms, urging men to be pillars of strength in both domains. This doesn’t defy the virtues of “gentleness,” “meekness,” and “compassion” but rather, it infuses them with a potency that’s sourced not from earthly frailty but from a divine stronghold.
Through the lens of biblical narratives, where heroism and masculinity are nurtured not in the avoidance of fear but in its confrontation, we witness figures like Joshua. He was repeatedly charged with a divine commission to “be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:9), not merely for conquest but to anchor his actions in a faith that defies earthly understanding. This is a strength that goes beyond muscles and might, permeating the soul with a resoluteness that demons recognize and the wicked find disconcerting.
The biblical man is not merely a warrior; he’s a guardian, a shepherd, whose strength becomes a sanctuary for the weak and a fortress against evil. His is a spirit that demons recognize and one that guards not with a spirit of tyranny but with a mantle of divine love and unassailable might, vested by God himself. This celestial armor doesn’t belittle the softer virtues, rather it positions them as strategic weapons in spiritual warfare.
C.S. Lewis remarkably noted that the silence of knowledge often fosters a festering sorrow. This is particularly poignant in our times when “softer” virtues are sometimes misconstrued as weaknesses, and the muscularity of the Christian message is often veiled in a tapestry of passive politeness. The sagacious Charles Spurgeon once reflected on the caution of men of God to fully engage in spiritual warfare, citing a lurking timidity that, while masked in modesty, often undermines the aggressive push against the walls of hell.
What then is this strength that we, men of faith, are called to embody? It’s a strength that is deeply entwined with our very spiritual fibers, urging us to wield the sword of truth with an unwavering hand and to shield the vulnerable with an unbreakable resolve. It compels Christian men to stand tall, not in egoistic pride but in a humble submission to the Almighty, finding robustness not in the flesh but in a soul sanctified and fortified by the Spirit.
There’s an inherent strength in the solidarity of men, forged in the fiery pits of shared battles and victories. The sharpening of brothers in Christ enables the elevation of spirits, promoting not just an accountability that empathizes but one that robustly challenges, corrects, and encourages. It is imperative that Christian men converge not only in shared struggles but in collective strength, uniting in a spiritual brotherhood that defies the perils of timidity.
When we peel back the layers, it’s evident that the call to act like Christian men is a call to wield a strength that is bathed in love, shrouded with humility, and vested in the unassailable armor of the Almighty. It’s a directive to navigate through the worldly and spiritual terrains with a resilience that etches a legacy, forging paths for future generations to tread upon, finding their strength not in the tales of mere men, but in the unyielding, undaunting spirit of Christian Manhood.