Will the Real Man Please Step Up?

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“The struggle faced today is how to restore men to their created place of leadership. God has not changed His mind concerning leadership, and He has not changed His position concerning man.”

God always intended for men to take the leadership role when it comes to the family. Like Adam in the Garden of Eden, men today must realize that there is a direct parallel between their leadership and the family. Adam was called to protect the Garden of Eden and everything in it. Of course the most important thing in Eden was the woman (Eve). This was true because the woman was absolutely necessary if the purpose of God was to be fulfilled. The man and the woman were created by God to increase and to multiply. They were also given the mandate to fill the earth and to subdue it. This word, subdue, literally means “to conquer and bring into subjection or to vanquish.” It may also mean “to bring under control especially by an exertion of the will.”

Two things can be deduced from the mandate to subdue.

First, nothing can be subdued without leadership. In this case, both the man and the woman are responsible for leading. They must work hard to lead together, respecting one another and valuing the strengths each brings to the table.

The second point regarding headship and covering is that God created everything to be covered and nothing was created to cover itself. As a result, God established headship. The priority role of headship, or the one who was designated as the head, was to cover everything placed under his or her responsibility by God. In our context, both the man and the woman were given leadership responsibility for the family. Together, they would establish the family and be responsible, together, for the children produced as a result of their marriage relationship. However, both of them must have a healthy respect and understanding for headship and covering if the family is to fulfill the purpose for which it was created.

Headship is different from leadership. One of the reasons is that it always involves covering. In other words, the head is to cover. For example, the man and woman as parents provide covering for their children. In similar fashion, the husband provides covering for his wife and children. As a result, the man is designated as the head of the family because he is accountable to God for covering his entire family. This is why the man is expected to provide, direct, and correct his family. The man is responsible to guide, guard and govern his family. In short, the man carries the responsibility to nourish, cherish and admonish his family. All of these responsibilities can be shared in leadership, but have already been designated when it comes to headship and covering. For example, the wife nourishes her husband and her children. As a leader, she provides nourishment and covering for her children. She also provides nourishment for her husband, but she was not designated to cover him. She will not be held accountable for him. It is her role to complement [Editor’s note: Complement is not the same as compliment though that is nice too :-)] him, but it is his role to cover her.

It is imperative that God’s established order be understood in the context of the family. Every man must understand how critical his role is to the success of the family. Too many families today are missing the most important ingredients needed, covering and headship. This can only be provided by the man because it involves a designated position that requires a designated person. The man was created to be the head of the family. Without the man in his proper position fulfilling his designated role, the family remains suspect and exposed to the attack of the enemy. We see the consequences of this in our society today as the family remains under attack. If this dilemma is to be confronted, it will require real men to step up and provide the headship and covering do desperately needed by families today. Will the real man please step up?

Dr. Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. is the Dean of Spiritual Formation at Oral Roberts University. He graduated from ORU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology and Social Work, a Masters of Arts degree in Theology and a Doctorate of Ministries degree.

Dr. Boyd is the Founder and President of Revelations-Revealed Truth Ministries whose major focus is to take the healing and delivering power of Christ to the inner city. He is also Co-Founder and Pastor of Revelations-Revealed Truth Evangelistic Center (RRTEC) in Tulsa and the author of Endangered Masculinity. He is married to Dr. Kim Boyd. They have four children and six grandchildren.

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