*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reformation Trust in exchange for my honest review.*
I desire to be man. A man that follows the principles set forth in Scripture for being both a Christian and a man. It is a responsibility that I can very seriously realizing the implications that can occur should I shirk this responsibility. Enter The Masculines Mandate by Richard D. Phillips.
Upon reading the first few pages I could tell that this book will get at the heart of the responsibilities God has placed on men. God desiring the best for this world has equipped men with the tool necessary to spread His love and show His glory. It first begins with understanding our mandate.
Phillips did a masterful job explaining from the Garden of Eden why God placed man on the earth. It was for two reasons: to cultivate and to protect. All responsibilities of man find their foundation in those two responsibilities. This is God given. It is our sacred work. As image bearers of God we are to demonstrate His love for us as He nurtures us and protect us. From this foundational knowledge, Phillips lays out how this mandate finds its way into our lives.
There is marriage. Man is made for marriage, “it is not good that man should be alone.” Men do better when women are in their lives. A man succeeds far more when he loves and cherishes his wife. By cultivate her and protecting her, a man is fulfilling what God has created him to do. Phillips makes this very plain: to release this responsibility is to go against God.
A man must make it a priority to be the champion of his wife. She must feel confident in him so that she can grow herself knowing that she can lean on him when she needs strength. A man must also protect his wife from not just outside influences but, should he deviate from truth, himself. By being a safe haven for his wife, a man can protect her from temptations and fears that satan would love to hurl at her. Phillips again does a wonderful job of why a man is vital in this role and how he can benefit when a man gives his all to protecting and nurturing his wife.
From a great marriage comes children and Phillips gives excellent instruction on cultivating children and protecting them. Too many fathers would have others raise their sons and daughters but Phillips challenges men to step up and change the next generation via his children. It will not be easy as discipling and disciplining take great care.
Phillips goes to some length in helping fathers understand that training children is their role. The training starts young by first being an example of masculinity and then being a teacher, mentor, guide, and leader in the home. Sometimes being a teacher requires disciplining wrong doing which is why Phillips has the two so close together.
However, Phillips gives a warning to be careful about disciplining. The goal is to raise men who are equipped to raise men themselves. This cannot be done by either being tyrannical or by being absent. Men who act without love are sinning against God and misusing their leadership status for personal means.
Yet, the father who has patience and knows that he is to correct the sin, not the errors will succeed in seeing children who not only love God, but also will be free to be as God created them.
Last, a man lives our his mandate in the areas of: friendship, church, and being a servant of God. Men need other men to hold them accountable to what God requires of them. This can be done by friendships and being an active participant at church. When this is done, the servant of the Lord will shine brightly for he seeks to serve God and rid himself of all that will stand in his way.