The following article is the second installment in a four part series, which was originally a paper written for a course on leadership. These “4 Marks of Man” are not THE ONLY 4 marks of manhood but men would do well to commit to at least these 4.
For those who are not familiar with this site: the three co-authors write from the premise that God created us as male. What does it mean to be a man, specifically a Christian man?
A second mark of a man is also found in Genesis 3. Picking up from the discussion in the last article (Mark #1), Genesis 3 explains that Adam and Eve ate from the one tree in the Garden of Eden that God had specifically forbidden them to eat. It is interesting to note that while the Scripture is clear that Eve ate first, then gave the fruit to Adam, God first confronts Adam about his disobedience. By approaching Adam first, God is primarily holding Adam accountable. Remember that Genesis 2 explains that God created Adam first and put him in the Garden of Eden. It was to the man that the mandate was given to “cultivate and keep” the Garden (v. 15). Three verses later God explains that He will make a “helper” or a “help-mate” for Adam. It is from Adam’s side that God creates this helper. It is also interesting to note: Adam was created from the “dust of the ground.” The animals were created from the “dust of the ground.” Eve, however, was NOT created from the dust of the ground; she was created from the side of her husband, as a helper, to stand and work alongside him. The culmination of this passage leads to the first wedding, and the text explains, “The two shall become one (flesh)” (v. 24).
Returning to Genesis 3, God asks, what have you done? Adam’s response is pathetic: “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate” (verse 12). He rejects any sense of responsibility and immediately blames his wife. Men, let’s be honest: this is SO true of us! We do not like to accept responsibility for those things that go wrong! Especially inside the home! “It was my wife’s fault… It certainly isn’t my fault!” If a project at work does not get completed on time, it was because someone else failed to do their part. It is not my fault! Adam completed shifts the blame to Eve. How pathetic?! But, how true! I am constantly looking to shift the blame somewhere else…often I shift it toward my wife.
Did you notice that Adam doesn’t just blame Eve, he goes so far as to blame God! Adam basically says, “God, if you hadn’t given me this woman, this never would have happened!” A leader does not look to blame other people. In fact, a leader should look to shoulder the blame even when a situation might not directly be his fault (Numerous authors have written extensively on responsibility. Patrick Lencioni’s The Advantage, and Kenneth Coley’s Navigating The Storms are two examples). A good leader will take the blame for those under his leadership and look to pass the praise onto to them.
I’ll end with this story from Steve Farrar’s excellent book Point Man:
Leo Durocher was coaching first base in an exhibition game between the old New York Giants and the cadets at West Point. One noisy cadet kept shouting at Leo, doing his best to upset him. “Hey, Durocher,” he hollered. “How did a little squirt like you get into the major leagues?”
“My congressman appointed me,” Leo shouted back.
That’s how you got to be head of your family. You were appointed. Like it or not, you carry the responsibility. You are the point man. (p. 27)
Men, you were appointed by God to love and to lead. Like it or not, you carry the responsibility. Do not be passive. Be a man of action. Stand up. Accept Responsibility. Be a man!