By Aaron D'Anthony Brown, Crosswalk.com
In today’s culture, being a man is difficult. Culture praises certain men for their accomplishments in education, technology, politics, and the list goes on. That is until the culture changes.
Society’s view of men seems to ebb and flow with time, alternating between positive or negative.
Not only is society unsure of what a man is or should be, but men are, too. As a result of broken homes, missing fathers, gender confusion, or poor education, boys find difficulty becoming men.
No one has a great idea of how a man ought to look, behave, or believe. Is there no reliable example?
Thankfully, the Bible speaks to the good characteristics that men and women should strive toward. With the slew of male protagonists in the Bible, there are plenty of positive examples of men. Jesus is at the very top of that list.
Despite all the available examples in scripture, men still find themselves struggling in ways specific to them. Their sin occurs because men (like all) are not free from sin, and because men are made differently from women.
Here are five habitual sins men especially struggle with:
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1. Men Struggle with Anger
Have you ever wondered why there are so many men in prison compared to women? The number of male criminals makes clear that men commit more theft, murder, and rape.
Consider all the various sports of the world like hockey, basketball, or football. These serve as entertainment, but also show a violent side to men.
Anger in and of itself is not a sin, yet anger is a definite precursor to its sin form of violence.
Be angry and do not sin; reflect in your heart while on your bed and be silent. – Psalm 4:4
Here, there is a clear distinction between anger and sin. The Bible allows for emotions such as anger, but does not allow for the side effects of that anger. Violence is an obvious side effect of uncontrolled anger.
Violence can be both physical, such as assault, or be inflicted emotionally in the form of verbal abuse. In both cases, what began as an emotion became a reaction. Moreover, anger at times leads to someone else being affected.
This is a hard lesson to master. Anger is a powerful emotion, especially when a man feels justified in his feelings. Add anxiety, indignation, or trauma into the mix, and the situation becomes much worse.
Where a man begins to lose his way is allowing the emotion to dictate his response.
If men can feel angry, and find positive ways to cope with that emotion, the outcome will be better for all parties involved. Not giving into anger will reflect the same mercy that God shows His believers He gets angry.
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2. Men Struggle with Sexual Immorality
Some people believe that women struggle with sexual immorality as much as men, but there is an important difference that can be found in the eyes.
The porn industry is comprised of mostly actresses, who are paid by men. The same applies to illegal prostitution where women are controlled by male pimps.
Most of the people who watch porn and participate in buying prostitutes are also men.
Men are much more visually wired than women. God made men that way. This is why phrases like “cat-calling” and “male-gaze” are popularized instead of “dog-calling” or “female-gaze."
Being visually-oriented is not in itself bad. Having an eye for visuals allows men to become writers, painters, photographers. Where men falter is allowing their eyes to control the entire body, specifically when sexuality is introduced.
This means that men are more susceptible to fall into temptation based on what they see. As Scripture warns, seeing temptation can lead ultimately to death.
Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. – James 1:15
Much like anger, lust does not begin as sin, but can easily lead to that. While a literal death may not be experienced, men who become addicted to sex can easily bring death to their marriage, family structure, or job.
When lust corrupts the eyes, men make themselves slaves to a bad habit.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness, how deep is that darkness! – Matthew 6:22-23
With the proper diagnosis, the Bible also offers a great solution. Thankfully, God can heal the brokenhearted and those with a contrite spirit.
There is forgiveness for the sin of sexual immorality, just like Jesus offered to the adulteress. Through God, men can replace this bad habit with something more godly and loving toward women, and themselves.
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3. Men Struggle with Greed
From CEOs of big businesses to those who lead church, men can be corrupted by power. In today’s world, power usually comes in the form of wealth.
When men properly use money, they support their families, jobs, and hobbies.
Money is not only helpful, but is essential in any modernized society.
Yet, money does more than offer support towards necessities and luxuries. Money does more than draw a line between the rich from the poor. Money can make a man unrighteous when it replaces God.
No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. – Matthew 6:24
Where men mess up is when money replaces their reliance on God. Instead of turning to prayer, they pursue and pay money to have their life "fixed." What they may forget is that money is temporary, but God is eternal.
Once men can make that important distinction between God and money and choose to not forget, they will make for themselves a life free from the love of money.
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4. Men Struggle with Sloth
The slacker craves, yet has nothing, but the diligent is fully satisfied. – Proverbs 13:4
A lazy man does not have much to offer his wife, family, job, or the world. In fact, laziness can be seen as a preoccupation with self, and an indifference toward others.
Terms like “couch potato” sound funny at face-value, but the concept has darker implications. The great men of the Bible, especially Jesus, were almost always on the move. God sent people to certain places to perform His works.
A lazy man stuck on the couch cannot perform any form of work in any area of his life. Very often, lazy men struggle to maintain any semblance of a job or relationship.
The best way for a man to get motivated is to realize his value in the Lord’s eyes.
Once he understands his worth, he will recognize what he contributes to those around him.
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5. Men Struggle with Pride
If men are to be seen as head of the household, there is no surprise that some men take that role too far. Much like men who lead organizations, those with wealth, those in power, a man who sees himself as having what he needs, has no need for God.
To him, he is what he needs.
Instead of men believing they are the Alpha and Omega of their own lives, seeing God as the provider of their lives will lead to a much better existence.
God wants to support men, just as He supports women. However, anyone suffering from pride will not be able to open themselves up to what God wants to teach. Thus, they never learn and never grow.
To hear from the Lord, men have to stay connected. And that means steering away from prideful inclinations whenever they appear.
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Men Can Change
Whether you are a man, or know a man, there are certain sins all men struggle with. Having a conversation about difficulties in life is always helpful, though men are not known for being as vulnerable with their emotions as women.
Once the dialogue can occur, and the emotions come to the surface, real godly change can begin to happen.
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2
Apart from sin, men are connected to God, living as leaders, caretakers, fathers, brothers, friends, and the list continues. Just as he blesses them, they can be a blessing upon others.
The key is to break the habit of sin, and to build the habit of staying connected to God.
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