At Restored, we're passionate that men can and should be active in standing against domestic abuse. That's why we've produced the First Man Standing Bible Studies, to help men explore what the Bible has to say about masculinity, relationships, and how we can be active in challenging violence against women.
This blog will give you a taster of the studies, by walking you through the first in the series.
Purpose of the study
To discuss differing views of Christian masculinity and to look at Jesus as a man. How does our understanding of masculinity affect our actions? How can we help each other in this?
Icebreaker for groups: Tattoo parlour
If you are doing the studies as a group, you might like to try this icebreaker which gives members of the group the chance to find out more about each other.
-Divide into pairs. Find out a bit about your partner.
-Design a tattoo that says something about his character and identity. Draw it.
-Where would you put it and how big?
-Present to the group.
Key bible passages, reflection and questions for discussion
We will explore in this study:
what the Bible says about who we are in God,
who He wants us to be;
how we are to act; and
how we ought to relate to each other as men.
1. A Christian man is primarily a son of God
Our society has a distorted image of what it means to be a man, especially a successful one. Our identity does not lie in our job, how much power we hold, good looks, physical prowess, money, education or friends. Romans 8: 15-16 says;
“The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
Before we understand anything else about who God has made us to be, we need to understand that he loves us.He has died for us so that we can live with him for eternity, and, as Paul writes, He has adopted us as sons into his family. That is our primary identity and means that our lives matter; we are loved and special to God whatever else is happening in our lives. Being loved by God gives us security, stability and comfort. This stands against our common experience of looking to our performance as the basis for our acceptance and belonging.
2. Being a Christian man means imitating Christ
God calls us to live lives that please him. The Bible teaches us that we are to imitate Christ. What is a successful man in our society? How does that compare with Jesus? The following verses show us something of who Jesus is.
Isaiah 42: 1-4
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and smouldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
Luke 4: 18-19
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
3. Being a Christian man means laying down our power
Men have enormous power and privilege in many aspects of life. As Christian men Jesus calls us to live counter-culturally. As Christian men we need to lay down the power we have been given, we are called to lead servant-heartedly just as Jesus did, giving up all that the world has to offer in order to serve. We are called to use our power well in the service of others and not for our own selfish gain.
2 Kings 17: 14-15
“But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nation around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.”
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave to all.”
Links to popular culture
Who are our Hollywood male heroes? What aspects of masculinity do they model? How does this impact on the view of ourselves?
Consider using clips from DVDs to lead a discussion about masculinity. Some possible examples include:
Chariots of Fire
Christian Vision for Men have produce “The Code” as a way of encouraging Christian men to live holy lives for God. Have a read through and commit to living by “The Code” each day.
Enjoyed this study?
You can get a copy of the full First Man Standing Bible Study Series from our online shop. Why not gather a group of guys from your church and go through it together?