Not Every Man Will Stray

The former Governor of California and his wife, Maria Shriver, announced last month they were calling time on their 25-year marriage amid Schwarzenegger‘s confession that he fathered a “love child” over ten years ago.

A New Male Order

“Not every unsaved man will stray, and indeed, the media can make it seem as if every man is out to destroy the traditional family.  These ideas are plainly not true.  Many men, Christian or not, will not ruin their families.

The point stands nonetheless.  Godly men have a fantastic opportunity in a society rightly jaded by the failures of so-called “great men”–actors, athletes, politicians, celebrities–to demonstrate the transformative power of the gospel in a man’s life.

We face all the same temptations as lost men.  Our flesh pulls at us to compromise our marriages, to take our sacrificial wives lightly, to ignore our children in order to play golf or get more successful or have more fun, to flirt with the cute girl when traveling, to speak ill of marriage, to generally not live sacrificially in the image of Jesus Christ and spend ourselves for the betterment of those God has entrusted us ().  Our flesh encourages us to allow small temptations to grow into strong desires, then to usher those desires into daring actions, then to allow those actions to blossom into patterns of sin that will, when discovered, blow our families and churches apart.

But the gospel, praise God, is stronger.  The power of God is inside us, enabling men to exchange the role of pleasure-driven narcissist for that of self-sacrificing pillar of strength.  The power of God is at work in his local church, where sinful men find fellowship in the company of brothers who bear the same weaknesses but through the power of the Spirit stand as oaks of righteousness.  Instead of comparing black book conquests and planning the next hedonistic plunge, these men link arms to kill sin, love their families, and propel the church’s witness.  Whether in a massive church or a tiny one, this band of brothers provides an awesome witness to a fallen world of the mysterious power of the gospel.  Men who genuinely find pleasure in their families, in service of the church, and in their vocations show the world that it is not a secular lifestyle for which we were made, but the far more pleasurable way of life sketched out for us in Scripture.

Opportunity Amidst Tragedy

This very day, every man–whether a global leader or an unknown tradesman–has an opportunity to show the world that the gospel does not kill pleasure or aggressiveness.  Rather, it frees Christians to experience true pleasure and to act in manly ways for a far greater cause than ourselves.  We grieve the trajectory of modern men, and we feel special pain for the wives and children who are, through no fault of their own, deeply damaged by the sins of men.  In a broken world, we pray to God to show the world a better way, a greater joy, and a magnificent Savior, who delights in taking sinful men and turning them into agents of his glory.”

This article, by Owen Strachan, is from The Gospel Coalition.

5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.