Dictionary of Bible Themes
God created both men and women in his image and likeness. Scripture portrays men in both their strengths and weaknesses, their successes and failures. While noting that they are incomplete without women, and share equally in the privileges and tasks entrusted to them by God, men have nevertheless been given specific responsibilities by God.
The place of men
Men are equal with women in creation
Men are incomplete without women
Absence of men in society seen as a curse
Men are equal with women in redemption
The role of men
As leaders in marriage and family life
As leaders in Israelite society and worship
As leaders in the early church
1 Timothy 3:2 See also Acts 6:2-6; 1 Timothy 2:12 The role of teaching and exercising authority is here restricted to men. Interpretations vary as to whether Paul is reflecting cultural circumstance or establishing theological principle; 1 Timothy 3:8
The character requirements of men
To be prayerful and godly
To be courageous
To be determined and decisive
To be humble
To love their wives
To be good fathers to their children
Ephesians 6:4 See also Genesis 37:3-4 Jacob's favouritism was the cause of resentment developing in the family; 1 Samuel 3:12-13 Eli is rebuked for having failed to father his sons properly; Colossians 3:21
To exercise proper sexual restraint
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 That Paul is particularly thinking of men here seems apparent from the NIV footnote at verse 4. See also Leviticus 18:1-22; Proverbs 6:23-29; Matthew 5:27-28; 1 Corinthians 5:1-2; Corinthians 7:2-5
Examples of godly men
Genesis 6:9 Noah; Genesis 22:1-12 Abraham; Exodus 32:30-32 Moses; 1 Samuel 24:1-7 David; 2 Kings 18:1-7 Hezekiah; Job 1:1-8 Job; Daniel 6:10 Daniel; Acts 4:13-20 Peter and John; Acts 7:54-60 Stephen; Hebrews 11:4-28 OT heroes of faith; James 5:17-18 Elijah
Examples of godly men who had moments of failure
Genesis 20:1-3 Abraham was deceitful; Numbers 20:2-12 Moses and Aaron showed unbelief; 2 Samuel 11:1-27 David committed adultery with Bathsheba and plotted Uriah's death; 1 Kings 19:1-5 Elijah became fearful and wanted to die; Jonah 1:1-3 Jonah ran from God's call on his life; Matthew 26:69-75 pp Mark 14:66-72 pp Luke 22:55-62 pp John 18:16-18 pp John 18:25-27 Peter denied Jesus Christ; Acts 16:36-40 Paul and Barnabas fell into sharp disagreement.
Examples of ungodly men
Genesis 19:4-5 The ungodliness of the men of Sodom lay in sexual immorality; Genesis 38:8-10 Onan's ungodliness lay in failing to fulfil his obligations to his brother's wife; Numbers 16:1-35 Korah's ungodliness lay in rebellion against God's leaders; 1 Samuel 2:12 Eli's sons' ungodliness lay in their abuse of the sacrifices; 1 Kings 16:29-33 Ahab's ungodliness lay in intermarriage and idolatry; 2 Kings 21:1-9 pp 2 Chronicles 33:1-9 Manasseh's ungodliness lay in idolatry, divination and human sacrifice; Matthew 2:16 Herod's ungodliness lay in the wholesale slaughter of infants; Matthew 14:3-11 pp Mark 6:17-28 Herod the tetrarch's ungodliness lay in immorality and murder; Acts 8:9-23 Simon's ungodliness lay in the practice of magic; Jude 4-19 The ungodliness of men in the church lay in their rejection of apostolic doctrine and lifestyle.
Examples of fearful men
Genesis 26:7-9 Isaac's fear of the Philistines led him to lie; Numbers 13:26-33 The spies' fear led them to give a bad report; 1 Samuel 28:5-7 Saul's fear of the Philistines led him to enquire of a medium when the LORD did not answer him; 2 Samuel 3:7-11 Ish-Bosheth's fear of his brother led him to stay silent concerning sin; John 19:4-16 pp Matthew 27:19-26 pp Mark 15:9-15 pp Luke 23:13-25 Pilate's fear of the crowd led him to condemn Jesus Christ, even though he knew he was innocent; Acts 24:24-25 Felix' fear arose from the message of the gospel.
Examples of weak men
Leviticus 26:36-39 Men who are disobedient to God will be weak; 1 Samuel 3:12-13 Eli's weakness lay in failing to restrain his sons; 1 Kings 21:1-16 Ahab's weakness lay in his allowing his wife to rule his life and his kingdom.