Societies and cultures throughout the world have their concepts of what a man should be and how he should behave. Unfortunately, these concepts are rarely based on the truth of God’s Word, the Bible. Commonly accepted behavior for a man or husband is often influenced by earthly ideas and sinful human flesh.
Our concern as Christians, however, is only for what God desires us to be. The clearest and best portrayal of what our Creator God intends for a man or husband to be is found in the Word of God, the Scriptures. The Bible gives us the principles for acceptable behavior and the example of the life of Jesus; both show us how to live in a manner that is pleasing to God.
GODLY LEADERSHIP STARTS AT HOME
It is vital to recognize that ALL Scripture concerning the Christian’s life is intended to be lived out in the home first. For instance, the Bible instructs us to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:32). This is to be applied at home in our relationships with those closest to us first.
Often, however, we try to behave in a Christ-like manner in public places, with those whom we see only occasionally. Yet at home with those we are comfortable with and not as concerned with impressing – we may allow our sinful or fleshly nature to rule our behavior or attitudes. The Bible calls this hypocrisy.
One of the things that marked the Pharisees of Jesus’ day was their hypocrisy. They appeared very religious, moral and righteous in public. But their inner attitudes and behavior were really very sinful. Jesus called them “whitewashed tombs” (Matt 23:23-28) because they had an outward appearance that hid the sinful attitudes they held in their hearts.
It is much easier to be kind to those whom we might only see occasionally in public places. We may not be truly forgiving or tenderhearted toward them, but we can pretend we are for a short time. But when we live every day with someone, it is much harder to pretend. The attitudes that are truly in our hearts begin to show.
No one is perfect in his behavior all the time. God understands that we can be weak and may sometimes fail (Rom 3:23). We should not come under condemnation and give up trying to live as the Scriptures instruct. The Bible gives us clear help and instructions for how to grow in godly behavior and become more Christ-like every day.
If we are truly Christians – followers of Jesus Christ -we will no longer live in a way that serves our own fleshly desires. Instead, the Bible tells us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh” (Rom 13:14). When we do this, we will not “give place [opportunity] to the devil” (Eph 4:27) to work through our lives to hurt us and others.