Recently my wife Diane and I were looking together at Genesis 1 & 2, and discussing the roles of men and women as seen in the original models. We believe that the understanding gained will form the core teaching of two weekend courses to be run next year at Ellel Springhill – one for men and one for women.
I was impacted by the last component of the command of God to the man and woman (Genesis 1:28a), ‘to be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it’. The word ‘subdue’ means to tread down, conquer, subjugate, and to keep under. So right from the beginning of creation, before the Fall, the earth was wild, and in need of being subdued. Man was given the mandate by God to subdue it. In his Tyndale commentary on Genesis, Derek Kidner labels this ‘man’s ordering influence’. Man was created to lead and woman to be his helper in this process – together fulfilling the call. Sadly however, since the Fall, man’s ordering influence has been tainted and limited by the effect of sin. Men have become trapped in many and various bondages and thus the ability to bring order, and subdue the unruly, has been severely hindered.
My experience in listening to and praying with many men reveals that there are areas of bondage which men have been caught in. These include passivity, fear, rejection, addictions, sexual compulsions, workaholism, spiritual oppression, and depression. The end result is that the God-given potential for men to fulfil their destiny and have their own individual ordering influence is choked off. I have spoken with many women who lament that this is true – of their fathers or husbands or pastors. It seems that women yearn to partner with the men in the great adventure of life, and long to see the men being able to take up their calling.
It is my heart’s desire to see men set free through Jesus Christ – free to BE (sons, husbands, fathers, friends) and free to DO (to trust God, to worship Him, to live life to the full, to relate well, to ‘run the race’).
I want to be a man who has this ordering influence. If you are a man reading this, I bet you do too. Deep inside you know what you are created to be, and you are aware of the restrictions holding you back.
Come to your Dad. Be honest with Him, and let Him set you free.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I long to make a difference in this world. I recognize that there are some hindrances in my life that I need to be set free from. I come with these to You now and ask You to heal me and set me free from bondage. Please help me to fulfil my calling to be a man (or woman) who has an ordering influence in this world. I pray this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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