The other night, my wife was watching The Wendy Williams Show and I overheard something that really caught my attention.  (Please note: I wasn’t watching the show, MY WIFE was watching!)   Iyanla Vanzant was a guest on the show and she was commenting on her show on the Oprah Network (which my wife watches sometimes while I’m in the room) called Fix My Life (or something like that).  Anyway, former NFL star Terrell Owens had been on Iyanla’s show and apparently she was trying to fix his life.  When Wendy asked what she thought was T.O.’s problem, Iyanla offered that, though T.O. had mastered the game of football, he had not mastered the art of “being a man.”  That last part reminded me that often women have opinions about the definition of a man or the question, what constitutes a real man?

This is a popular subject on social media and blogs and other platforms where people espouse their views on current issues. I’ve participated in a few of these verbal/written forums myself.  And more often than not, people speak from their own experiences and needs.  So I thought about it, and reasoned that the only way to come close to settling the question is to hear from an expert.  Of course it’s convenient to eliminate all women from this category – how can a woman be an expert on something she’s never been.  But finding a man who can really be considered an expert is tricky.  What exactly would make him an expert that can’t be said about many other men?  And how did he become an expert?  Well there’s only one way to settle this question – refer to the creator.  Because man was created by God, it only makes sense to consider God the expert on man.  He made us for a purpose – a purpose He expects us to fulfill.  So what are His expectations?

Without being overly broad, or overly deep, I’d like you to consider 2 things that can be gleaned from the opening chapters of the Bible that implies what God expects from men.  First, God expects men to spread and cultivate His influence throughout the earth.  In Genesis 2, the Bible explains in detail God’s interaction with Adam.  Although in Genesis 1 it appears that God created plants and trees (Day 3) prior to the creation of man (Day 6), Genesis 2:5 says that the shrubs and trees had not “sprung up” yet because there was no man to cultivate the ground.  Then God makes Adam and places him in a garden “East, in Eden”.  So God placed him in a limited place on the earth and instructs him to make it grow (cultivate it) so that it  covers the earth.  My point is this.  We understand that God has placed man in the role of leaders (Gen 3:16, 1 Cor 11:3, etc.), but I think that often men miss that our position is less about leadership and more about stewardship.  We have been entrusted with the earth and all that is in it (including woman) for the purpose of making it all GROW.   As illustrated by the parable of the talents told by Jesus in Matthew 25:14-30, we have been entrusted with the responsibility of making everything around us grow and get better.  We are supposed to cultivate.

The other thing we are supposed to do is communicate God’s will.  In Genesis 2 it is clear that God gave instructions to Adam before Eve was even formed.  So once she is presented to him, He becomes responsible for communicating to her and their expected offspring what God has already told him.  This is also apparent from Paul’s use of the relationship between Christ and the church to explain man’s responsibility to his wife in Ephesians chapter 5. He essentially says that Christ cleanses the church with the word so that he will present her to himself without blemishes.  So men are to use the Word to help his wife grow into a wife without blemish.  Man has the responsibility to communicate the Word from God.  Man has the responsibility of explaining what God expects from all of us, and how this world that God created works.  Remember, Adam named everything before Eve was formed.  So men have the responsibility to point out to those who’ve been entrusted to us what the other things are.  As our children navigate through the world, we must guide them, pointing out the dangers, and giving them insight into whats “out there”.

Of course, men can only do this well when we stay connected to God, the creator, and hear His Word.  We can only be effective to the degree that we understand what God has said and how His world works.  And we can only do this if we stay connected to those who’ve been entrusted to us, so that we can communicate these truths to them.  This, I firmly believe, is what God expects from men.  And I sincerely believe that when we do this consistently, everything and everyone around us will grow and get better – including us.

9 thoughts on “What God Expects of Men

  1. I was wondering what happened to the ell word. Now this is just my opinion El. How are we as men expected to know what god expects from us when we don’t know how to be men ourselves or have men to show us how to be men? I myself grew up without a man in my life and I know that had a big impact on how I grew up. If I would have had a father or a positive male figure in my life I know I would have done things differently in my life. We all know that the man is supposed to be the head, but how do you do something that you have no idea how to be. We as men seem to be good at spreading seeds, but once it starts to grow we have no idea how to cultivate that seed which has usually sprouted in a son or daughter. Then the cultivating usually falls to the woman who wasn’t designed by god to be the man. So how do we get back to the role of the man taking his rightful place as the head so that we as men can grow this world into what god planned for us?

    Like

  2. Curtis, I agree that many of us have struggled with fulfilling our role because those before us didn’t fulfill theirs. That’s a huge problem. That’s why I think it’s important for us now to understand what God expects of us and remind our sons and brothers and nephews and neighbors and coworkers and friends and golf buddies etc. truth be told, even some who grew up with a father didn’t receive the instruction on what God expects. We learned something else by poor examples. I think it’s critical that as men, we communicate what God expects of us, and that we recognize that our responsibility is to help others and the things around us to grow. This last point is especially critical because too many men either spend energy tearing things down or they disengage from life. Whatever we are involved in – family, job, business, church, fraternity, charity – we should be working hard to cultivate it and make it work and make it grow.

    Like

  3. Bravo. Well put and elegantly stated, and, thanks for the homework assignment. Gen 2:5 had me digging for clarity on the creation and cultivation aspect.

    Like

  4. EL buggy, good word and thanks for the wisdom. Wow you got me thinking – cultivating and communication are issues that men are facing today. So many of us clearly do not know who we are and the power we have. We are out of position, and when we try to push ourselves back into our proper place our words (communication) are overlooked because we have been out of position so long and respect is lost. I have learned that proper communication is true relationship and when the relationship is damaged from past hurt there is no communication. I love what you said about how men are to cultivate. Cultivating is an action word that state we should operate in that mode at all times but when we are missing in action, the typical feedback is rejection. The worst thing you can do to any man is reject him and when a man is rejected he hurt. Now the vicious cycle begin – hurt people hurt people. I have learned in the last 3 weeks that when I am out of position, I must allow my wife, my children or my friends to see my efforts (my works) of trying to reallocate myself back into my proper position. I have learned it take time, walls are build for protection and when you are out of position walls can only be broken down brick by brick. DJ Rogers said it best in his song….”Love brought me back”

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s