True Manhood Is Sacrificial
What is a true test of manhood? Is it strength? Is it courage? Does it involve competition? Depending on who you ask, you may get a variety of answers. As a man who struggled with this issue I can honestly say that for many years I didn’t know how to answer that question.
Then one day as I was sitting in church, one of our pastors preached about how Jesus was the perfect model of masculinity. This struck me as strange because Jesus was single. He had no wife or children. In traditional evangelical circles true manhood is invariably equated with being a husband and a father. So if just having a wife and children doesn’t equate to true manhood, then what does? It took me a while to realize that what our pastor was trying to communicate was that what made Jesus a true man was the fact that He sacrificed Himself for the good of others. Having a wife and children can be an excellent testimony that a man is sacrificing himself but it is not the only one. Being a single man this has affected me more profoundly than just about any truth Ive been taught from the pulpit.
The call to true manhood is therefore a call to self-sacrifice. The lord may call some men to make that sacrifice in service to a wife and children. Regardless of our marital state, however, Christ calls all men to sacrifice themselves for the beauty of His bride the church. When men fulfill their God ordained roles to serve the church well, just as when men serve their wives well, she flourishes and beautifully represents the Savior who died to make her His own (Ephesians 5:25-27).
What does it take to be a true man. Jesus provides us the answer to that question and His answer is:
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
(John 12:24-25 ESV)