As we move, within our model, from the center to the 3 secondary roles, you’ll notice a few things. First, we will discuss how each of these 3 secondary roles relate to the core role of worshipper. That’s important because if any of these become unmoored from the center, then not only is our understanding of manhood going to be warped, but we are also going to increasingly injure ourselves and others around us.
Second, I will highlight a key characteristic of each secondary role. Could more characteristics be added? Sure, but my hope is to identify the characteristic at the heart of that role and focus there for simplicity.
Third, I obviously want to show that these are, indeed, roles assigned to men in the Scriptures, so we will explore that in a variety of ways, perhaps through the exposition of a passage and/or perhaps through observing the example of one or more persons in the Bible.
So, then, that brings us to the first of our secondary roles. I don’t want the order in which we proceed to seem to suggest a priority here, but one of them has to be first, so we’ll start with Soldier.
Men are meant to be Worshipping Soldiers. What does that mean? Well, it doesn’t mean that we are men of violence. I don’t use the word Soldier to in any way refer to actual fighting, so please don’t go out and take up boxing because of me. Our struggle, our mission, our battle is not against flesh and blood. So, don’t picture the Crusades here with “christian” knights going out to conquer the invading armies of the Saracens. Then, what do I mean?
A soldier is someone under orders. A committed soldier follows those orders. Even in some cases, whether because of devotion to cause, country, or commander, we read of soldiers with such undying commitment that they follow those orders with great joy and wouldn’t choose any other path. The man of God is like that latter example. Because he delights in God, he is happy to follow God’s lead. He’s not obeying to earn anything or avoid anything. He obeys for joy! If you’re looking for a short book to stir your joy in the Lord, I’d recommend Mike Reeves’ Delighting in the Trinity. I’ve also had Sam Storms’ The Singing God highly recommended to me.
The danger of being a soldier without being a worshiper should be clear. It would mean having our own mission instead of the mission of the God we so adore. It would mean using our courage and strength for unholy purposes. It would mean trudging through life somehow thinking that our efforts earn us something, be it praise, adoration, acceptance, forgiveness, money, or love. We call that kind of soldier a mercenary. He’ll fight anyone if the pay is good.
Not for the Christian the man! No, we love Jesus. He is the chief of ten thousand in our eyes. He’s lovely and more to be desired than all this world. So, it is with JOY that we say, “Jesus, you are Lord. You are in charge. I joyfully embrace your call on my life. I gladly follow you wherever you go and whatever you are doing.” Read the Gospel of John, notice how joyfully Jesus goes about the Father’s mission. That is our example, and that is what we’ll look at in the next post.