Are Christian men today comfortable with their wives, children and those in their circles of influence following them?
This is a central question in the forthcoming book, Take It Back: Reclaiming Biblical Manhood for the Sake of Marriage, Family, and Culture, by Dr. Tim Clinton and Max Davis, who ask: Are Christian men living the reality of Jesus' presence inside them so they will be transformed into His image?
If the answer is "No," the authors say men should turn inward and learn how they can reclaim their biblical manhood.
As the country observes National Marriage Week Feb. 7-14, Clinton writes in Take It Back that God's call to men today was also Paul's desire, when he said in Galatians 4:19, "My little children, of whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you."
"The call is going out not just for any men to rise up and take it back, but to godly, Christ-like men," Clinton said. "Godly husbands, fathers, grandfathers, friends, boyfriends who will step up to the plate. Single guys who will stand for purity and trust God for the godly woman He has for them. Young men who will say no to porn and fornication even if it means ridicule. Husbands who will love their wives like Christ loved His church. When godly men who know Jesus is real and alive rise up, God comes back, families come into alignment and a culture is changed."
Clinton adds that when a man imitates Jesus, he compliments and supports women. He makes her better. Ephesians 5:25 exhorts husbands to "love [their] wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it."
"How did Christ love the church?" Clinton asks. "Well, for one, He died for it. He obeyed God and suffered. Sometimes love suffers. Jesus washed His disciple's feet. Sometimes men need to wash their wife's feet. Jesus elevated women in a society that didn't highly regard women. For example, a Jewish man could mistreat and divorce their wives for the pettiest of reasons. Yet Jesus showed respect and honor for women, particularly His mother. His first miracle at Canaan turning water into wine was at the pleading of His mother. Although Jesus said His time was not yet come, He did the thing she asked because it was important to her.
"To the woman at the well," he continued, "He publicly engaged in a theological conversation because she had a mind for biblical truths and questions. He met her where she was physically and mentally, and gave her the answers her soul needed to reveal Himself to her and free her to receive ultimate truth."
Clinton also points out that Jesus taught a parable of a woman who had 10 silver coins and lost one. He explained how she searched the house until she found it and called all her friends and neighbors over to celebrate. He likened this to the joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. What is not highlighted, Clinton says, is that Jesus chose to use a woman as the main character in this lesson when many would not place such value on this woman's cause. Jesus did.
"Jesus also showed compassion to the woman caught in adultery, peering into her soul wounds and rescuing her from the violent men, showing her what mercy and grace looked like," Clinton writes. "Jesus demonstrated how a man should treat a woman.
"Jesus also had a heart for children. When the disciples wanted to send them away, Jesus said let the children come so He could bless them," Clinton continues. "Men with godly character take time for their children. They know how to play with them and train them in the ways of the Lord. This is pleasing to God. Spend time with your children and be fully present with them, not distracted or impatient. Let them see your example of love and respect for your wife and women so they will learn how to love that way too."
Jesus, Clinton notes in Take It Back, was about relationships with God and with people—all love and all man.
"It's the Christ in a man that rises up that can change the culture," says Clinton. "The enemy knows if he takes down those kinds of men, he can take down the city. Arrogant, toxic men that run around and don't respect women are pawns in the enemy's hands.
"Jesus was the perfect blend of tenderness and warrior," he adds. "He welded a whip but wept. He didn't stand for status-quo or give into the culture around Him. He took lashings. Make no bones about it. Jesus was a man's man. Ultimately, it took a man to stretch out his hands and feet and take the nails. Jesus was the man, the warrior. Behold the man!"
In Take It Back, Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), challenges readers to reject culture's redefinition and seek biblical examples of true manhood. Fast-paced and filled with relevant biblical and contemporary stories of godly men like David, Nehemiah, George Foreman and Tim Tebow, Take It Back empowers men to be who God created them to be and to impact the culture that is in desperate need of their influence. Study and discussion questions at the end of each chapter make Take It Back a perfect resource for men's Bible studies and small groups.
Dr. Tim Clinton, EdD, LPC, LMFT, is president of AACC, the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. Clinton also serves as the executive director of the James Dobson Family Institute and recurring cohost of Dr. James Dobson's "Family Talk," heard on nearly 1,300 radio outlets daily. Licensed as a professional counselor and as a marriage and family therapist, Clinton is recognized as a world leader in mental health and relationship issues and has authored or edited nearly 30 books. Clinton and his wife, Julie, have two children.
Max Davis is the author of over 30 books that have been featured in USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, Bible Gateway and on the Today show and The 700 Club. He holds degrees in journalism and biblical studies. In addition to his own works, he's done a variety of collaboration projects with highly notable leaders.
Take It Back will be released on May 5 by Charisma House, which publishes books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians.
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