In light of Father’s Day, our passage for this week is a point where Paul speaks from his heart to men. In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, he says, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” His word of encouragement shows us five characteristics of a godly man.
As men, we have to be aware of what is going on around us. Jesus said, “If the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matt. 15:14). Most men are asleep. We need to be attentive. We need to know the condition of our life, our family, and the world around us. We need to know what is going on in our wife’s life and kid’s lives. If you continue the road you are on, what will your marriage and family look like in five years? There are many passages in Scripture that tell us to be watchful. Run from anything that tries to rob you of your vision. Jesus gave sight to the blind! You need to see spiritually. Without vision people perish. Where are you going? Through the good times and bad, maintain your focus.
The second thing listed in 1 Corinthians 16:13 is to stand firm. Don’t ride a spiritual rollercoaster. High/low, up/down, on/off, hot/cold. Don’t waver or retreat. Specifically, Paul says to stand firm in the faith. Real men read the Word of God daily. We build our lives on the Word of God. There are ten doctrines in the Bible: Bible, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Sin, Salvation, Church, Christian Life, Angels/ Demons, and End Times. We need to know what we believe about these things. Leaders take a stand. We must have compassion and love for those we disagree with. Compassion is not compromise. We should show respect and love to everyone, but there are some basic truths on which we stand.
The next phrase is “act like men.” Some translations say, “be courageous” or “be brave. What is a man? Doing what you say you will do. Not making excuses. The word used in the original Greek means to behave like a man. The only place it’s found in the New Testament is here. As the context suggests, the idea has to do with courage and bravery. Manhood is about responsibility. Men are given a charge to lead, provide for, and protect women and children. Jesus came to this earth as a man. He grew in wisdom, stature, in favor with God and man. As a man, Jesus exemplifies and empowers us to walk in His steps, to live as He lived, to act like a man. Jesus is a man’s man. He made a whip and drove out the con artists and swindlers. He stood up for a woman caught in adultery. He called the Pharisees snakes. In the book of Revelation, Jesus is riding a white stallion, with a sword and a robe dipped in blood. His name is called The Word of God and all the armies in heaven follow Him. He will strike the nations and He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron.
Some men think that being a man means bench-pressing 300 pounds, dunking a basketball, or killing a bear with your bare hands. 1 Corinthians 10:12 says,“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” Godly men admit their own weaknesses and are strong in the Spirit. Jesus does not just give us strength, He is our strength. We all have weaknesses. It is not a sin to be tempted. Sin is when you yield to temptation. We have to be strong. The devil knows what “Delilah” to send your way. Real men exercise self-control by being under the Spirit’s control.
Verse 14 says, “Let all that you do be done in love.” We need real men who are in love with Jesus, their wife, their kids, God’s Word, the church, and things of God. Men who are not angry, violent, crude, rude, or abusive. Tell your wife, son, daughter, you love them. Some men say, “The Bible, Jesus, and church is for women and children.” The Bible is for men. Jesus is the ultimate man. Jesus was compassionate and courageous in all that He did. Tough and tender. In 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, Paul says, “If I have not love I am nothing.” Without love you would become militant.
Jesus is the perfect example of a godly man. God became man. He faced work, fatigue, rejection, religion, friends, was misunderstood by family, etc. Jesus was tempted, and He overcame!