This Saturday in our Oxford Club meeting for men we will continue our discussion of Richard Phillips’ book The Masculine Mandate.
We will turn from the theological ground work laid in part one of the book to the practical application of those principles especially and primarily within marriage. Phillips says some provocative things in this chapter, particularly in his counsel to single men. That should generate some interesting discussion!
But he makes some profound insights about God’s design in marriage, especially in terms of our sanctification that results from making the choice to “hold fast” or “cleave” or as he calls it “bond” to a wife.
But bonding changes us. It requires us to give things up, to live differently than we did previously. Exactly! God did not make man to live for himself. God did not put Adam in the garden to be infatuated with his tools and his toys and his self-centered lifestyle. He put Adam there to work and keep, cultivating, nurturing, and protecting that which God had entrusted to Him. And the first step for many of us in becoming the men God wants us to be is to become married, so that we will leave behind our selfish ways and begin fulfilling our masculine calling through our relationships with our wives. This is for our good, as any man in a godly marriage can tell you. It is great to have a helper designed by God to love and minister to me. But it is especially good to have to rise up in masculine virtue and strength for the sake of my wife, leaving behind a self-focus that was, at best, only intended for a temporary season of singleness (p. 64).
Gents, why not bring your own breakfast at 7 AM at the church office this Saturday and join us for some iron-sharpening-iron ministry to one another as we seek to fulfill our masculine mandate as men at OGC?