Talking with William Craig, one of the leading Christian scholars in the world, was a blast. He said a lot of things that got me thinking, but the one point that really stayed with me is that in order to be “fully engaged men,” as he called it, we need to make sure we’re pursuing every aspect of Christian discipleship.
He was saying this to point out that in the men’s movement we focus a lot on things like family, sex and leadership (which we should), but we often neglect the intellectual side of being a mature Christian. I agree with this, and certainly would love to pursue this area more in my own life, but I thought that his overall point was much more interesting: There are many aspects to being a fully engaged Christian man, and we shouldn’t miss out on any of them.
So what all is involved in becoming a rounded, fully engaged Christian man? Here are some ideas:
Knowledge: Since we’ve been talking about it, let’s start here. A mature Christian man has an understanding of the world and his faith that he can be confident in. He should be able to speak intelligently about what he believes. This is essential not only for sharing the gospel with others, but also for knowing the reasons why we believe what we believe.
Wisdom: Probably more important than knowledge is wisdom, the proper application of our knowledge. This is so important that God devotes entire books of the Bible to it. Wisdom is essential to navigating the tough road a man leads. There are few things that people respect more in this world than a wise man.
Humility: The flip side to knowledge and wisdom is humility, which is one of the unique and defining aspects of the Christian faith. Pride is one of the greatest enemies we have in life, and humility is the only defense. A humble man sees life as it is, and understands how much he relies on God.
Grace: Another hallmark aspect of Christianity is grace, or unmerited favor. There are few things in life as shocking and memorable as acts of grace. Even Christians are stunned when we receive something great in spite of the fact that we don’t deserve it. Grace is crucial for every relationship we have, from our families to our friends.
Discipline: Going along with wisdom is discipline, or self-control. This is an essential part of becoming a man of God, because the enemy is really good at getting us off track in this life. Discipline helps us avoid areas of temptation and pursue the amazing things God has for us.
Of course, the greatest example of every one of these traits is Jesus Himself. The only true fully engaged man in history, He exhibited perfect knowledge, wisdom, humility, grace and discipline. It’s beautiful that the only way to really understand and live out these ideals is to pursue Him and let His Holy Spirit bring them out in our lives.
These are just a few examples of the traits of a fully engaged Christian man. I’d love for you guys to share more. What are some important ideas that I missed?
This story was first posted in New Man e-magazine.