Some years ago, John Eldredge wrote a hugely popular book about men called Wild at Heart. Recently I have reread it along with a sequel, The Way of the Wild Heart. God worked uniquely in my life as a man on both counts. He contends this in the first book:
Christianity, as it currently exists, has done some terrible things to men. When all is said and done, I think most men in the church believe that God put them on the earth to be a good boy . . . a nice guy. . . . Now let me ask my male readers: In all your boyhood dreams growing up, did you ever dream of becoming a Nice Guy (p. 7)?
Whatever one may think about Eldredge’s treatise of masculinity, I can tell you what God wants men to pray about becoming as men in His church. He wants them to dream of becoming good men.
Paul tells Titus in 2:14 that Jesus gave himself for us . . . to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus gets a commission from Paul in this pastoral letter. He tells his ward to go hard after teaching and preaching that promotes a lifestyle of good works. He describes what that looks like in three spheres: the church (chapter one), the home (chapter two), and the world (chapter 3).
God cares greatly whether or not we excel in goodness as men, just as he does women, as the rest of the context in Titus 2 bears out. The Lord charges Titus to teach what accords with sound doctrine (2:1). The aim of such teaching is plain — that the believers on Crete would take care to devote themselves to good works (3:8).
But the ultimate motivation for such teaching and resultant devotion comes into focus clearly in chapter two in three different verses making the same point.
Verse 5 – that the word of God may not be reviled.
Verse 8 – so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
Verse 10 – so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
In every instance the concern remains the same. We must calculate the impact of the lifestyles we live in terms of the way they reflect upon the faith we profess before the critical eyes of a watching, unbelieving world.
Men, we can act in such a way so as to blaspheme God. We can cause His word, the Christian faith, to come under reviling, blasphemous scorn. We can act in such a way so as to set unbelievers off saying all sorts of unflattering things about Christians. We can act in such a way so as to appear to be wearing anything but the doctrine of God our Savior.
May God give us grace to act like men of God so that the name of God may be glorified in us.