Men, God designed you for a purpose, for a mission.
A hammer is designed to drive nails. That’s its mission. You might say it’s most itself when that’s what it’s doing. Similarly, the male body is crafted by God so men can carry out their mission, and men are most themselves—most alive—when that’s what they’re doing.
What are they designed for? What’s the mission?
To love God and to love others.
Yes, women are designed to love, too, but a woman cannot love as you are designed to (neither can you love in quite the way a woman can). And we are living in a time when loving men are needed perhaps more desperately than ever.
Men, your design through and through is for love. When God dreamed up your sex, He was crafting a creature uniquely outfitted to love.
Don’t believe me?
Genesis 1:26 declares you are made in God’s image. 1 John 4:8 says plainly that God is love. And according to Jesus in Matthew 22:37-39 the most important things to God that you can ever do are love Him and love your neighbor.
Heart and soul, brain and body, head to toe, every fiber of your being was finely tuned to love with a self-giving love.
Do you think of yourself this way? Do you experience yourself that way? Most men most of the time do not. Surveying the culture of our day, watching what men do, listening to what we say, exposing what we think, what would these things say men are designed for?
It’s likely that if we had a way to examine our most subtle thoughts and attitudes, it’s possible we’d find the belief that the goal of our design is primarily about self-preservation and self-satisfaction.
Certainly in the realm of male sexuality, the common belief of our culture (whether spoken or not) is that a man’s sexual anatomy is primarily used to bring him pleasure.*
Oh, brothers! We’ve fallen so far from our true design. The fabric of authentic manhood has atrophied, the truest, most primal beat of a man’s chest has become a faint murmur. We are made for so much more than our own comfort and pleasure!
Christ has come to seek and to save that which is lost (Luke 19:10). He Himself is our model of God’s true intention for man’s design. To paraphrase what He told His closest male friends: “If you want to become like the greatest Man, then give up your life and pour yourself out so others can thrive” (see Matthew 20:26-28).
Consider each member of your body and ask, “Lord, how might I give myself for the sake of another today? Your hands, arms, and chest; your eyes, ears, and mouth; your back, legs, and feet—“Lord, how might I give my strength for the good of others this day?”
Each part of you was designed so that you might love like Jesus loves—with a self-giving, willing-to-sacrifice-myself-for-other’s-good kind of love.
What would it do if a generation of men practiced viewing their bodies this way? What would happen if even just you learned to view your body this way?
I think you might just change the world. I’m certain you’d change at least someone’s world.
Who’s with me?
Leave a comment below.
* There’s no doubt God designed sex to be pleasurable, but by God’s design, even a man’s sexual anatomy is biologically self-giving—literally designed to pour forth his love and life into his bride (an image of Christ the Bridegroom and His Bride the Church). The pleasure of sex was meant not as the primary goal of sex but as a corollary to sex’s primary purpose: Self-giving or self-donation. 1) A husband in essence says to his wife, “This is my body, given for you and only you, until death do us part.” 2) Their mutual act of self-giving produces children for whom the husband and wife will lay down their lives day after day after day. Compared to the common view of sex today that is really about taking something from another for one’s own pleasure, one is such a higher calling for men (and women).
Fantastic and so encouraging! Thank you for your heart and bringing the best of you to us men wanting to walk in our Sonship to and with The Father. Josh, what books , authors, podcast are your reading, following and listening to? I want to be influenced and shaped by what is shaping and influencing you? Thanks
Wow, Tim, I’m honored by your question. Honestly, I think the authors and books that are most shaping me today are some of the same that have been shaping me: C.S. Lewis (I’m especially fond of his fiction, which, ironically, does more to open my eyes to reality than most non-fiction does.), Christopher West’s teachings (this one is worth every minute, but you can find weekly teaching nuggets from him at CorProject.com) and his books (beginning with Fill These Hearts), Andrew Comiskey’s Living Waters program is theologically rich and has been utterly transformational for me, and then John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart, Desire, and Waking the Dead (I also enjoy his podcast). I also love to binge watch Bishop Robert Barron on YouTube and to spot read sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
More recent influences:
Books – James K.A. Smith’s You Are What You Love and Miracle Work by Jordan Seng.
Podcast – The Place We Find Ourselves with Adam Young.
There are many others but these are some of my favorites.
Great word, Josh. Thanks for the encouragement / challenge!
Great to hear from you, Don. I need the encouragement and challenge myself, so feel free to remind me!
Powerful! And so true, Josh. We just forget! You make me want to jump up and down and go love everybody the way I want to be loved. Thank you.
Thanks for reading, Russell.