Summary: Recognizing the God-given roles for men.
INTRO>In 1966, Robert Bolt’s play was made into a movie of the same name. A Man For All Seasons was a movie about Sir Thomas More. More, a member of the elite Privy Council of the Roman Catholic Church, refused to give his okay to King Henry VIII’s divorce to his wife and subsequent marriage to Ann Bolyn. Ultimately his refusal to go against his beliefs and conscience led to his being beheaded. But along the way, he stood out as an inspiration to the “common citizens” of England and spoke some very profound words. One of those, which is especially timely right now, was in reply to Cardinal Woolsey who chastised More, telling him “if only you could see facts flat on without your horrible moral squint, you might have made a statesman.” More replied with words our politicians should remember even today, “I think that when statesmen forsake their own private consciences for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.”
<>We need more men like Thomas More...more men who are Men of Integrity, who refuse to bow to the ways of the world, who refuse to compromise their Biblical convictions, and who refuse to be anything less than the man God has created them to be, calls them to be, and whose family, church, and society needs them to be.
->Today, I want us to identify what kind of man that is, what God wants a man to do, and how the women and children around him can help.
->I invite you to open your Bible again to Ephesians, chapter 5.
---ILL>The story is told about a perfect man who met a perfect woman. After a perfect courtship, they had a perfect wedding. Their life together was, of course, perfect. Then one stormy, Christmas Eve this perfect couple was driving along a winding road when they noticed someone on the side of the road in distress. Being the perfect couple, they stopped to help. There stood Santa Claus with a huge bundle of toys. Not wanting to disappoint any children on the eve of Christmas, the perfect couple loaded Santa and his toys into their vehicle. Soon they were driving along delivering the toys. Unfortunately, the driving conditions deteriorated and the perfect couple and Santa had an accident. Only one of them survived the accident. Who was the survivor?
---The answer: The perfect woman. Because, after all, she’s the only one that really existed in the first place. Everyone knows there is no Santa Claus and no such thing as a perfect man.
---The men’s response to the answer: If there is no such thing as a perfect man or Santa Clause, then the perfect woman must have been driving....which explains why there was a car accident.
<>There is nothing short of a war going on in our society, a war attacking the very notion of what masculinity is.
->In the past 45 years, with the rise of feminism (and there are some good things that have come about with feminism), and the increased emphasis on the equality of men and women, there has been a correlating decline in the understanding of what being a man is all about.
--Consequently, it should come as no surprise that we’re now experiencing an all-time high of fatherless homes.
---QUOTE>William Bennett said is succinctly in his 1986 speech on the family: ”Where are all the fathers?...Generally, the mothers are there struggling because for nine out of ten children in single parent homes, the father is the one who isn’t there. One-fifth of all American children (the total today would be one in four) live in homes without fathers...Where are the fathers? Where are the men? Wherever they are, this much is clear: too many are not with their children.”
->In the same way, it is no surprise we’re experiencing an all-time high in the number of cases of domestic violence, and a general confusion on the part of men as to what they’re supposed to do and not to do.
<>Of course, the answer to those questions, and the solution to the ills involved in the decay of the traditional family is found in God’s Word, in God’s design and intention for men...and how men can be MEN FOR ALL SEASONS.
-->Note: Ladies, it is in no way our intention to slight you or play down your God-given importance in our society, in our families and churches, but today our focus is on the men, and what it truly means to be a man for all seasons.
<>When we take into account the full counsel of God’s Word on this issue, both Old and New Testaments, we can summarize it all in saying there are four primary responsibilities God has assigned to men.