Gary Thomas, celebrated Christian-author of the books Sacred Marriage, Sacred Parenting, and my personal favorite, Sacred Influence (and other books, articles, etc.) Dr. Thomas is a husband and father (now empty-nester); so he speaks and writes and encourages from much life experience. He is spending a couple of days at Providence to teach on Sacred Parenting for our Parenting Conference. This morning, as he preached from the word to the congregation as a whole, he spoke to the men, encouraging them to not be passive.
The silence of Adam (from Genesis 3.6) was his title and text. Dr. Larry Crabb wrote a book entitled The Silence of Adam and he used some of his quotes in the sermon.
From the Scriptures – Adam and Eve have been created in the image of God and are placed in the garden to live, rule, multiply, and be in a relationship with God. They have been given the instruction to not eat of a certain tree. Then Eve gets seduced by the serpent. But, Genesis 3.6 implies that Adam is right there and does nothing. Not only does he not do anything – he doesn’t say anything, or try to dissuade Eve from the serpent’s lies. Adam had been directed by God to not eat of the tree.
Human beings are created in the image of God (Gen 1.26-31). God speaks, He acts, He does something. Adam – does nothing. He is passive. We do have models of active men in the Scriptures. David (Acts 13.22), Paul (he fought the good fight), and Jesus (did all the Father willed for Him to do). James gives us the instructions to know the truth and do the truth. The Bible is not confusing about what needs to be done. The word of God call men to action.Most men will claim their goodness based on what they don’t do (they don’t beat their wives, abuse their kids, drink too much, cheat, etc.). But, in the Scriptures Adam is being faulted for what He didn’t do. Some men live in this unintentionality in almost every facet of their lives.
Men like to succeed and be excellent at what they do. So do I. I don’t want to do things if I’m not good at them. Men will go to school for years on end or learn for years about a certain profession to be the top of their game. They will practice a sport or hunting to excel and be great. Yet, when they go home – they do not feel confident about how to relate to their wives or communicate with their children. They feel like failures. Churches and books are doing what they can. Men need also to want to learn how to do this – again, intentionality. Accountability, learning, reading, small groups – these all will help men know what to do and excel at these crucial relationships.
For the young men – be tough. This is not a world where weak men do well. Someone said of William Wilberforce “He was tender, but not soft.” Men are to be gracious and kind and meek, but they have to have instilled in them a toughness, an internal fortitude. Our boys have to be tough.
For the 18-28 (or older) year-olds, what are you pursuing: one night stands, prolonged adolescence, debt, laziness, video games (some of my own: sports, money, self). There needs to be a pursuit of godly things in your life.This is trench warfare. Our world is not safe nor godly. We need godly, brave, soldiers. Men will bowhunt wild animals but then come home and are afraid to pray with their wives. Thomas gave three descriptions of godly men: passionately engaged, empowered by God, influences the world. I wholeheartedly agree with it.
The reason I liked where Thomas started this morning is because parenting in the home should begin with the fathers. Most homes, if run by a single parent, are run by women. Men are passive. Women are having to shoulder burdens they were not created to carry.
My prayer for those attending (or reading) this parenting conference and hearing God’s truth of the Word spoken by Dr. Thomas is that our homes and churches will be different because men are engaging with their families, wives, children, teaching them the Truth, and then our world will look different. Engage the church. Engage the culture.
Reader note: the audio and video of this entire series will be on the resources page at Providence.