Men are expected to grow in wisdom, becoming SAGES.
Wisdom is something men and women want from day one. We just go to find her in the wrong place or we listen to the wrong voice, “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate” (Gen. 3:4-6)
Chad has a respect for elders, authority, and wisdom passed down from men. This is something absent from Western society. In fact, authority and trusting the previous generation is forsaken. When making decisions in Chadian culture or whenever I enter a new town I will consult with the sage. He is usually the oldest, wisest, and must trusted person in the village. This man typically has white whiskers, sits on a mat most of the day, and is resolves disputes or gives out advice to a myriad of situations.
Wisdom in Scripture is personified as a Lady. Boys and men are called to listen to her. As you read Proverbs, particularly the first nine chapters you see that wisdom is a woman who disciplines boys. When a man has grown up under Lady Wisdom and trusts her words he becomes a sage.
Proverbs is written for men and boys. There are two things King Solomon emphasizes over and over to his son that are often struggles and for men. First, be teachable (Prov. 1:7-8; 2:1; 3:1-2, 20; 4:1-3, 10, 20; 5:1; 6:20-21; 7:1-3). Men are called to be students of many things: students of their wives (1 Pt. 3:7); students of their children (Eph. 6:4); students of God (1 Peter 4:1-5; 2 Tim 3:16-17; Psalm 119:9ff). Second, be a good listener (13:1; 19:27). Selective hearing starts as a boy, but men grow into it too. Third, be thoughtful (e.g. instruction on women, folly, discipline, work, companionship, etc.).
A Christian man thinks. He seeks lady wisdom. He is to be a sage that other come from a far to hear.
- What does wisdom look like?
- Why is wisdom an aspiration seldom achieved?
- At what age do men often become unteachable?
- In what domains to men need to be better learners, listeners and thinkers?
- What can you do to grow in those areas?
REVIEW: 5 Aspects of Biblical Masculinity
- lords of the earth
- tillers tending the earth
- saviors delivering from evil
- sages seeking wisdom
- bold and brave image-bearers