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Knowing My God In Order To Know My Calling As a Young Man and As a Young Woman

Knowing My God In Order To Know My Calling As a Young Man

 

Some things don’t change much from generation to generation. However, the modern world and even the church today are viciously attacking the proper place of a man. The distinctiveness of manhood is being swallowed up in a feminine tide. In a world where men are being offered paid “family leave” at the birth of a child, and bumper stickers describe God as “SHE,” the young Christian man needs to know Who God is, and what God’s calling is for him in this life. Then, by faith, he will live in obedience to that calling, for only in obedience will he find joy.

 

I.    How and why God created me.

A.  God is Sovereign.

1.   God created this world with a divine design. To know and believe that gives me peace. I need only to ask myself the question God addressed to Job in Job chapters 38 & 39 to begin to understand the infinite scope of the order and design God created in His universe.

2.   God did not create “persons,” He created man and woman! He created them physically and emotionally different. When I acknowledge that as truth, I will believe that because this is a creation ordinance, that order and design will never change; not for different time, cultures or circumstances. If I in any way desire to change that order, I must hear God’s word to Job (40:2) “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him?”

B.  Spiritual Equality. Before I see the distinct calling of men and women, I should understand there IS a spiritual equality, a spiritual equalness I may speak of.

1.   Both men and women are created in God’s image. Gen. 1:27

2.   Both men and women fell into sin and are in need of salvation. Rom. 3:23

3.   Both men and women are the objects of God’s grace, and thus are fellow heirs of grace. I Pet. 3:7

4.   Both men and women alike possess the Holy Spirit and equally share in the office of all believer—Prophet, Priest, and King. Gal. 3:27 & 28

5.   There is a mutual dependence between them, one cannot exist without the other. I Cor. 11:11 & 12

C.  Created to be man. Apart from spiritual equality, men and women were created different, each having their own design, calling, and glory.

1.   Man was created first as king of the creation.

2. He was created to be head, I Cor. 11:3 to be in authority, to lead, to be a picture of Christ, the Bridegroom of His church. Eph. 5:23.

3.   After the fall, God spoke to Adam as head, even though Eve sinned first. Gen. 3:9 &10.

4.   God’s rebuke to Adam in Gen. 3:17 was not only that he ate of the tree, but first, that he listened to Eve. Part of Adam’s sin was that he was submissive to Eve’s lead in eating the fruit.

II.  How my calling is different than a young woman’s.

A.  In the Church. It is a man’s calling to lead in the church. Men are called to teach, rule and exhort in the church, giving attendance to doctrine. I Tim. 3 & 4.

B.  In single life.

1.   Paul would have all men to be single I Cor. 7:7, because he that is unmarried careth for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. I Cor. 7:32.

2.   As a single man I have a calling to live for the Lord and that, just as a married man, to rule and lead in the church.

3.   “In a man the ulterior desire to marry may be triggered by the need to have a home, to fit in with his friends, to be cared for by a woman. Yet may be totally unsuited for the rigors of marriage and family. He should give prayerful consideration to the use of his talents in another way, and should not marry simply to follow the crowd.” (Rev. C. Hanko)

C.  In Dating. The calling of a young Christian man in dating is once again to lead. I must seek out a godly young woman, take the lead in getting to know her and her family and lead in the relationship that it will be kept pure.

D.  In Marriage.

1.   My calling as a young Christian man in marriage is to be the head as Christ is to the church. Marriage is God’s institution designed by Him to picture for us the mystery of Christ and His bride, the church. I must exercise my headship in love. Eph. 5:23.

2.   To “husband” means to take care of. It is a self-sacrificing love. Eph. 5:25.

3.   I must give my wife honor as a weaker vessel. I Pet. 3:7

III.  Attacks on that calling.

A.  Attacks by the world.

1.   The world in its entertainment is attacking my life more and more to keep me from my desire to know my God and how I must live for Him. The entertainment in parties, dancing, music, alcohol and their sensual appeal all attack my life. Television, movies and videos could well be Satan’s worst attack, with its fornication, lust, rape, the popular “father is an idiot” theme, and now even open homosexuality. These are not even supposed to be named among us—Eph. 5:1-7. Paul would have us “simple” (unknowledgeable) concerning them. We are to set no wicked thing before our eyes, Ps: 101: 2 & 3. We are to have no pleasure in them that do them. Rom. 1:18-32.

2.   The Women’s Liberation Movement attacks my calling even as a young man. It spreads lies that the belief that man is head over the woman is simply tyranny.

3.   Homosexuality is attacking my calling to true Christian manhood. It is played up as a wonderful alternate lifestyle, and poisons minds into believing that one is simply born that way. Knowing my God in my calling reassures me that His way for me is the only way. His word is clear on His creation design and that does NOT leave any room for man with man. Rom. 1: 26 & 27, Gen. 19 and I Cor. 6:9.

4.   Abortion is also an attack of the world to my calling. The world today makes all sin easier and easier. Abortion offers a cover-up for sin, but knowing my God and His commandment, I know this is murder, Ex. 20:13, and that there is no hiding from Him. Ps. 44:21, Ps. 139:4.

B.  Attacks by the Church.

1.   Divorce and remarriage is condoned in almost all the church-world today. It is an attack on my calling as a young man in that it attempts to explain away the bond that God places on marriage. There is no taking apart what God has joined together. To attempt to do so is sin. Matt. 19:6

2.   The church-world attacks my calling in the church as office bearer by giving that office unbiblically to women. Knowing God’s Word stands, I know clearly this can never be God’s will. I Cor. 14:34 & 35, I Tim. 2:11 &12.

3.   Promise Keepers is yet another threat on my calling as a young Christian man. While Promise Keepers is well known as a wonderful movement to teach and encourage men to be men for God and family, a closer look at it will prove to the young Reformed Christian man that it is a movement which compromises the truth and is deceptive and dangerous. Matt. 24:5, 11:23 & 24.

C.  Attacks by my own sinful nature.

1.   A sinful selfish desire to remain single may be harming my calling to walk close to God. Rev. C. Hanko writes: “There are young men and women who for their own selfish reason either never marry or postpone marriage as long as possible…for their selfish interests. Too often they forget or ignore, their covenant obligations. Unless they are celibate to the glory of God, to function better for His kingdom, they are covenantly bound to marry and give birth to the Church of God.”

2.   My weaknesses themselves may be attacking my calling. That may be a love of money, a desire to enjoy worldliness more than godliness, or it may be a weakness for lust, or a desire to date an unbeliever. Again, knowing God’s Word, the answers to those attacks ring out loud and clear. I Tim. 6:10, I John 2:15, I Cor. 6:15-20, and II Cor. 6:14.

IV. What I must be doing NOW to be obedient to my calling.

A.  I must know scripture. I cannot know God without knowing His Word. In His Word He reveals to me all the answers I need to know my calling and to live by it. I am truly blessed to be placed by God’s grace in His church where I am instructed richly in His Word by the preaching and in catechism. I must search God’s Word, memorize it and live by it.

B.  I must use that scriptural knowledge to resist temptation. I must practice spiritual sensitivity. I always have a choice: enjoy this sinful pleasure I desire, or obey God. I must draw a line and not cross over it… with humble heart, by His grace, I will obey, because saying yes to God always leads to joy in the end. Self-control and self-denial go hand in hand.

I cannot know my God and His calling in my life without coming to Him often in prayer. When I begin my day in prayer I will go through the day in the strength of the Lord. When I go into His presence after the day is over in self-examination and thanksgiving, I will begin to know Him and His calling in my life.

 

 

Knowing My God In Order To Know My Calling As a Young Woman

 

The calling of women is being attacked on all sides today. Back just a couple of generations girls always wore skirts to school, waited for a guy to ask for a date, and never called a guy on the phone!! Granted, jeans may be more comfortable than skirts, but the distinctiveness of womanhood is gone. It will do us good to examine just what it means to be a Christian young woman. When a young woman today desires to serve God, she must know God. Her life of obedience will then have to be according to God’s design for women, for truly only inside the sphere of that design will she find joy.

 

I.    How and why God created me.

A. God is Sovereign.

1.   God created this world with a divine design. To know and believe that gives me peace. I need only to ask myself the question God addressed to Job in Job chapters 38 & 39 to begin to understand the infinite scope of the order and design God created in His universe.

2.   God did not create “persons”, He created man and woman! He created them physically and emotionally different. When I acknowledge that as truth, I will believe that because this is a creation ordinance, that order and design will never change; not for different time, cultures or circumstances. If I in any way desire to change that order, I must hear God’s Word to Job (40:2) “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him?”

B.  Spiritual Equality. Before I see the distinct calling of men and women, I should understand there IS a spiritual equality, a spiritual equalness I may speak of.

1.   Both men and women are created in God’s image. Gen. 1:27

2.   Both men and women fell into sin and are in need of salvation. Rom. 3:23

3.   Both men and women are the objects of God’s grace, and thus are fellow heirs of grace. I Pet. 3:7

4.   Both men and women alike possess the Holy Spirit and equally share in the office of all believer – Prophet, Priest, and King. Gal. 3:27 & 28

5.   There is a mutual dependence between them, one cannot exist without the other. I Cor. 11:11 & 12

C.  Created to be Woman. Apart from spiritual equality, men and women were created different each having his/her own design, calling and glory. Woman was created for man, fit for his needs. Gen. 2:18 and I Cor. 11:9

1.   She was created from man, out of him. Gen. 2:22 and I Cor. 11:8.

2.   She was brought to man. Gen. 2:22.

3.   She was named by man. Gen. 2:23.

4.   She was created to be a picture of the church under the authority of Christ. Eph. 5:23 & 24.

5.   She was created to be a responder, to be in subjection to her husband, as the weaker vessel. I Pet. 3:7 “Every creature of God was made with its own glory. It is part of the glory of the female that she is the weaker vessel.” (Prof. D. Engelsma)

II.  How my calling is different than a young man’s.

A.  In the Church. It is a woman’s calling in the Church to learn, but in subjection, not to be in any position of authority. She must keep silent in any position of teaching or ruling, but is to work in the church with good deeds and be a helper. I Tim. 2:11 & 12, I Cor. 14:34 & 35.

B.  In single life.

1.   As a single young woman, Paul tells me in I Cor. 7:34 that I can care for the things of the Lord, that I may be holy both in body and spirit.

2.   As a single woman scripture gives me two examples on how to live for Christ in the church, Rom. 16:1 & 2 and Acts 9:36ff. I am called to serve the church with whatever abilities God has given me, whether that’s office work, kitchen work, visiting or works of mercy.

3.   “If a woman hates housework, hates to be bothered with children hanging on her skirts, hates the cares and worries of a family, but likes to have her own career, likes to have her own life, that woman should not marry under any circumstances. She should make up her mind that she was brought into this world not to marry but to use her talents in some other way.” (Rev. C. Hanko)

C.  In Dating. The calling of a young Christian woman in dating is once again to be the responder. I am not to lead in this area of my life either. I may be busy in the school and church and mix with the young men in society activities, but it is my calling not to be bold, not to be forward, not to be aggressive, but to wait for the Lord’s leading.

D.  In Marriage.

1.   My calling as a Christian young woman in marriage is to live in subjection to my husband as the church lives under Christ. This is a mystery. We see only the picture.

2.   I was created to respond (no matter how much my fallen nature fights against that). It is my calling to be led, to follow. I must fully understand that I am no longer independent, no longer my own person.

3.   My fulfillment comes in serving my husband. I know I will find my joy only in submitting to my husband with an inward submission of the heart that works out in outward obedience. That is God’s design, outside of that I have no joy. Eph. 5:24 and Titus 2:4 & 5.

III.  Attacks on that calling.

A.  Attacks by the world.

1. The world in its entertainment is attacking my life in more and stronger ways to keep me from my desire to know God and how I must live for Him. The entertainment which the world offers me, even entices me with, attacks my Christian walk in all areas. The world’s music, dancing, drinking and drugs all entice me to follow and enjoy. Television, movies and videos could well be Satan’s worst attack on my calling. Not only am I duped into believing the sensual, men worship me, ideas of the soap operas, but I am also enticed with the theme of the wife being the power in the home, and now even with the sinful notion that it is much easier to love and live with another woman in a lesbian relationship. These sins are not even supposed to be named among us—Eph. 5:1-7. I am to set no wicked thing before my eyes. Ps. 101:1 & 2. And I may have no pleasure in others that do them. Rom. 1:18-32. Eph. 5:1-5

2.   The Women’s Liberation Movement is another danger to me in my calling. They claim liberty for women by throwing off the chains that bond women to the home over the centuries. They would have me be more open- minded, understanding that man as the head means outright tyranny. “The National Organization for women is no more for women than the devil is for the church.” (Rev. S. Key) the Women’s Libbers tell me to get out of the house trap. God’s Word tells me to be a keeper at home. Where do I think I will find my joy? Titus 2:5.

3.   Homosexuality is a relatively new threat to my place as a woman. Lesbianism is a comfortable lifestyle, love without the tyranny of a man, children my own way, I can have it all. God’s Word is clear on this sin. Gen. 19, Lev. 18:22, Rom. 1:26 & 27, and I Cor. 6:9.

4.   Abortion is another attack of the world on my calling. The world makes it easier and easier for me to sin. It tempts a young woman to commit fornication and then when she becomes pregnant, (when a child is conceived) the world increases the heat of the temptation and makes abortion easily available without the knowledge of her parents. I must be armed with the conviction that this is murder. Ex. 20:13, Lev 18:21. And I know that there is nothing hidden from God. Ps. 44:21 and Ps. 139:4.

B.  Attacks by the Church.

1. Divorce and remarriage is condoned in almost all the church-world today. It is an attack on my calling as a young woman. It takes away the permanence of the marriage bond that God designed, I am tempted to write my own wedding vows to make them more “meaningful.” Now I can say “as long as you both shall love” instead of “as long as you both shall live.” I am called to remember that a marriage vow is a vow for life and does not depend on feelings, or “how things turn out.”

2. The church world attacks my calling in the church by convincing me of my worth, my value as an intelligent, compassionate person with excellent qualities for work in the official offices in the church. But I know that for a woman to be in subjection is a creation ordinance, and God’s Word makes clear in I Cor. 14:34 & 35 and I Tim. 2:11 & 12, that God does not call me to an office in the church.

C.  Attacks by my own sinful nature.

1.   A sinful selfish desire to remain single may be harming my calling to remain in God’s will. Rev. C. Hanko writes: “There are young men and women who for their own selfish reasons either never marry or postpone marriage as long as possible…for their selfish interests. Too often they forget or ignore, their covenant obligations. Unless they are celibate to the glory of God, to function better for His kingdom, they are covenantly bound to marry and give birth to the Church of God.”

2.   My weaknesses themselves may be attacking my calling. I may have a weakness to enjoy the world, a weakness for lust, a weakness to date an unbeliever instead of waiting for a Christian young man. God’s Word rings out loud and clear in answer to all these attacks. I Tim. 6:10, I John 2:15, I Cor. 6:15-20 and II Cor. 6:14.

IV.  What I must be doing NOW to be obedient to my calling.

A.  I must know scripture. I cannot know God without knowing His Word. In His Word He reveals to me all the answers I need to know my calling and to live by it. I am truly blessed to be placed by God’s grace in His church where I am instructed richly in His Word by the preaching and in catechism. I must search God’s Word, memorize it and live by it.

B.  I must use that scriptural knowledge to resist temptation. I must practice spiritual sensitivity. I always have a choice: enjoy this sinful pleasure I desire, or obey God. I must draw a line and not cross over it… with humble heart, by His grace, I will obey, because saying yes to God always leads to joy in the end. Self-control and self-denial go hand in hand.

C.  I cannot know my God and His calling in my life without coming to Him often in prayer. When I begin my day in prayer I will go through the day in the strength of the Lord. When I go into His presence after the day is over in self-examination and thanksgiving, I will begin to know Him and His calling in my life.

 

Quotes for Discussion:

Young Men:

Never say “I love you” until you are ready to follow that question with “will you marry me.” Elizabeth Elliot

 

Young Women:

Satan can’t stand a woman’s desire for purity and so a woman’s passions become his battleground. Elizabeth Elliot

 

For the woman to whom God has given the gift of marriage, her highest fulfillment is to be found in subjecting herself to a Christian man in marriage. The intellectual woman who feels stifled by that has not yet understood the Biblical meaning of freedom.

It is not a weakness for a sailboat to submit itself to the powerful wind. Only in submission to the wind can the boat use its full strength. In the same way it is not weakness for the wife to submit herself to the husband, but only in submitting can she use the strengths God created her to use. Elizabeth Elliot

Submission to authority comes hard for a sinner. Who hasn’t said or felt: “Nobody’s going to tell me what to do?” or “I’ll do as I please!” or “Who does he think he is?” Remember, God created an ordered universe. Our question should always be not: who does he think he is, but who does he represent!

 

Both:

There is a world of difference between those who look only for their own happiness in this world and those who know that their happiness lies in the will of God.  Elizabeth Elliot

How would we learn to submit to the authority of Christ if we had nothing to submit. Elizabeth Elliot

How in the world can you tell if you want to marry somebody if you’ve never kissed them? but then how in the world can you tell you want to marry somebody just because you’ve kissed them? Elizabeth Elliot

Sexuality is a gift of God, but fire and water are too and when they get out of control the result is disastrous. Elizabeth Elliot

It’s no use pretending that we’re doing things “in the name of the Lord Jesus” if we’re not doing them His way. Elizabeth Elliot

It is the heart’s direction that is always the central issue. Elizabeth Elliot

If you are conscious of your relationship to God you will choose friends with whom any discussion can be in the sense spiritual ones, because your beliefs are the foundation of your life.

We can take a lesson from the frog: If you put a frog in a pan of boiling water he will immediately hop out. If you put him in a pan of cold water and slowly heat it to boiling, the frog doesn’t sense the danger and boils to death. Are you sensitive to sin in your life, or are the sins you hear in music and see on television “boiling” your soul.

Because of what God has done for us we should desire above all to obey Him, and be afraid to offend Him (I Peter 3:12).

Purity comes at a high price. Do we know well enough what honor is that we can place it above passion?

Purity means freedom in the will of God, out of uncleanness. (James 1:27).

 

Questions for Discussion

1.   God used Deborah when Barak was afraid and no man took the lead. Doesn’t that show that if men don’t take their proper leadership women may take over?

2.   Eph. 5:21 tells us to submit to each other, doesn’t that show that we’re somehow equal in marriage? And Gal. 3:28 tells us we’re all one, isn’t that proof we’re equal?

3.   Doesn’t I Cor. 7:10-17 make it all right for me to marry an unbeliever?

4.   If the wife has a strong, out-going personality with good leadership qualities and the husband is more of a follower, isn’t it okay for that woman to lead in the marriage?

5.   Women can do almost anything men can in this modern age. How do we explain that she is the weaker vessel? I Peter 3:7.

6.   I don’t get it! A wife has to be in subjection to her husband, calling him lord as Sarah did and yet the husband has to honor the wife. How do those fit together?

7.   Can we say that we are tempted more in this modern world with television and Internet etc. than Adam and Eve were? (Use I John 2:16 in considering your answer.)

8.   How do I know myself, what I feel is it lust or love?

9.   What is the Holy Spirit telling me through Paul “For me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21)?

10. How can I live as I am supposed to with Satan tempting me and everyone else around me “following the crowd”, I’m just not strong enough? (See Psalm 73:26).

11. There is a Christian family that has a rule for watching television—the second swear word they hear on a program the TV goes off. How many television programs, movies, videos, would pass the test if we said the second sin against any commandment and it’s off? (See Eph. 5: 1-7).

12. We know God calls us to physical abstinence until marriage. Does He also call us to “emotional” abstinence—a keeping the heart and mind pure as well as the body?

13. A young woman may desire and get much benefit out of a college education, but is she ready to put aside that education when she marries and has children, and not fall to the pressure that she must use it in order to feel satisfied, in order to truly feel she is accomplishing something worthwhile? Does she feel like she’s putting her “life” on “hold” until she can really do what she wants to do? (See Matt 25:40)

 

Books for Suggested Reading

 

Let Me Be a Woman by Elizabeth Elliot

The Mark of a Man by Elizabeth Elliot

Passion & Purity by Elizabeth Elliot

Marriage the Mystery of Christ and the Church by Prof. D. Engelsma

Better to Marry by Prof. D. Engelsma

Leaving Father and Mother by Rev. C. Hanko

Far Above Rubies Edited by Prof. H. Hanko

Promises, Promises, Promises (Pamphlet) by Rev. R. Cammenga