The average take on a man: Strong. Tough. Wild. Authoritative. Dominant. Secure.
Think Braveheart. Rocky Balboa. Gladiator.
Truth be told, there has become, over time, numerous (probably too many) definitions of who a man could, would, or should be. I’ll admit that a man’s character is hard to define in one single word. Even God, during the formation of a man, described him loosely:
Then God said, “Let us make [man] in our image, to be like ourselves. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
Genesis 1:26 NLT
Not very specific, but points to a purpose. If you’d allow me, I’d like to help us over the next few paragraphs and dig through some ideas of how we (men) were meant to be characterized. According to scripture, a man was made to be like God, and to reign: some good DNA if you ask me. God continues describing a man by telling him what to do in the next few verses.
Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea and birds in the sky.
Genesis 1:28-29 NLT
Reproduce and reign. I take it that God new what he was doing when he formed us, and I’ll take that purpose and DNA.
I believe there’s something hidden in these few verses in Genesis that every man should see about himself, about his formation, about who he was born to be. When we know who we are, we will always know what to do.
Generally, men live in one part of who we were made to be. That is, we reign. We love the idea that, in a healthy way, we are supposed to be the top dogs. We like to carry the persona around that we are the best. It’s a good feeling. It is a piece of who we are.
However, there is another piece of our DNA that we seem to leave behind or forget. In my opinion, it is the most important. A man was made to not only reign, but to reproduce.
I know what you’re thinking already: “Oh Austin, I’ve got that covered. You’re talking my language.” Am I? Let me first explain what I believe the Bible to be asking when it asks a man to reproduce:
1. Reproduce Yourself — A.K.A. Make babies. Brilliance. The first thing you thought of. This is, of course, only for those who are in a covenant marriage. I would say we have become pretty good and even naturals at this type of reproduction. Enough said. Way to go.
2. Reproduce God — This is the art of allowing the image of God in us, to get out into the world around us, and it somehow takes a backseat. God didn’t make man in his own image so that one day we might be recognized but so that He might be reproduced.
No wonder man was given the leadership torch! No wonder we were crafted to reign! The world needs more of God, not more of us. To live in who we were meant to be is to begin reproducing God in our communities.
I’ve run two half marathons (that's a whole one when you put them together). When I trained for the first race, I came in 2nd. When I didn’t train for the second race, I was near the back of the pack. Reigning without reproducing is like trying to win without training. You were made to reign and reign well, but it doesn’t always mean you do. Without living a life that reproduces God, you will fail to recognize where it is you were made to reign.
The DNA of a man is to reproduce the God-things inside of him, so that he can learn to reign over the ungodly things on Earth.
So what, man, is required of you?
Reproduce God by producing fruit of the Spirit.
The greatest thing a man can do, especially in his 20s, is to learn how to produce fruit of the Spirit. As you produce Godly fruit, you reproduce God into the world around you. We produce fruit by being in an everlasting connection with Jesus. See John 15.
The character of a man isn’t found in what he reigns over, but in what he reproduces; in his reproduction, man finds his ability to reign.
This is who we are.