This week and next week we will feature two reflections on recent sermons on biblical manhood and womanhood from members of our college staff.
Being a Man in College:
Many times, in the college culture, being a man means anything but what the Bible says about manhood. Being “the man” around campus can mean throwing the best parties, being the captain of a sports team, or just being super prideful about who you are. However, as we’ve already talked about, this isn’t the way Scripture would define a man. While all four of the principles Andrew gave directly apply to any season of life for a man, I do believe that being prepared and being known are specifically important in the college context. At the beginning of my college career, I was far from either of those things. My life didn’t show a preparedness to either be on mission or welcome a woman into my life. Imagine an 18-year-old guy sitting in his messy dorm room at 2:00 a.m., drinking Mountain Dew, eating ice cream out of a container, and playing video games. As unfortunate as it is, that was me. No one would look in at my life and say that I was stewarding my life in a godly way. This idea of being prepared would’ve been revolutionary for me early in college. Alongside that, I didn’t really let myself become known until the summer before my sophomore year. My freshman year I was in a group at Mercy Hill, but I hid the whole time, never really opening up about sin or anything difficult going on in my life. I was far from the picture of a biblical man, but like Andrew shared on Sunday, there is hope. The Spirit of God began to change me the summer following my freshmen year, and the primary avenue he used was community. That being said, if you’re in college and you’re not connected to either a Family Group or Freshmen Bible Study, I’d encourage you to sign up for one at your campus now! Regardless of how good or bad of a man you believe you are, community is an awesome way for you to be challenged and grow. Sign up for a group at: mercyhillgso.com/college. Also, in the same way that community was important for me in college, my current group has been important in furthering my understanding of manhood in my current season of life.
My Life Now:
While the ideas of Godly men being protectors and leaders totally applied to me while I was in college and while I was single, I do feel like these two specifically hit me hard on Sunday now that I’m married. I already mentioned that I grew up with a basic understanding that men are to be protectors. However, one thing I didn’t understand at all, was that we’re called to be protectors from the enemy, not just from physical danger. I’m called to lead my wife Claire in pursuing God and fending off any attacks the enemy might make at our marriage. For some clarification, I think it would be helpful for you to have a basic understanding of who I’m married to. Claire is an intelligent, disciplined, strong, and passionate woman. If I wasn’t in the picture, she would be quite fine. However, since we are married I am called to set the spiritual tone in our household. This includes checking in on how she’s doing spiritually, spurring her own towards growth, and dying to my own desires when we find ourselves in a disagreement. This isn’t easy, and there are times that I fail. And if you’re married or planning on it, you’ll fail too. And in those moments, if you’re like me, it’s easy to feel defeated. However, it’s those exact moments that I can look to the cross and confess my failure to my wife, knowing that I’m already forgiven in Jesus. In many ways, how we respond to our failures goes even further in setting the spiritual tone and is related to how we protect and lead.
-Patrick Anderson (College Team)