Last Sunday we had the chance to talk about how blessed we are at Watermark to have so many women who passionately follow Christ and provide us with an example of what it means to live your life well. Check the message out here if you weren’t with us. In the midst of sharing about the essential role of women in the body of Christ, I read a “manifest” that I pray is adopted by all men who love our Savior. God designed humanity to thrive and experience blessing when it operates in relationship to Him and in mutual subjection to one another.
Since many have asked, I am providing the statement so it can be re-read and prayerfully lived out amongst the men of our body and of the church world-wide. It is both a form of confession and profession: Confession that we have not always led the way our Lord has called us to, and a profession in that it declares how we should live in light of our Savior’s example and calling in our lives.
Read it, share it, and live it out with me, men.
We, as men who love God and who by faith have been redeemed by the grace offered to us in Jesus Christ, desire to honor our Lord and Savior by following Him in giving our lives away for others as He gave His life away for us. We want to love as Christ has loved us. We want to follow His example of servant leadership. We reject passivity and seek forgiveness for the ways we have abandoned our roles as servant leaders. We repent of every expression of self-serving, self-exalting, self-loving, abusive, or authoritarian leadership. We reject the ways of this world, the desires of our flesh, and the lies of the enemy that have resulted in us abandoning our post, living passively, leading in weakness and/or not pursuing God’s intentions for us as men with passion. Women, we have hurt you by treating you as either objects that exist for our pleasure or servants who exist for our ease. We have failed to consistently lead you spiritually by studying and applying God’s word to our lives, seeking God’s will, following God’s way over man’s way, and praying with our wives. We have allowed pornography to infect our hearts and poison our relationships. We have not consistently forsaken our own understanding, sought first the Kingdom of Christ and His righteousness, or trusted in God’s way as the right way. Our lack of Christ-like leadership has hurt you and made it difficult for you to follow us and respect us. We have made it difficult for you to honor Christ your King because we have lived as if He is not ours. We need you to forgive us, and we need you to fight with us as God intended. We need you to live as our partners and God’s provision to spur us on to be passionate about eternal things until that great day when He will bring us home and we shall know Him as we are now known. We need you to pray for us. We need you to continue to partner with us as we seek to model to a watching world the oneness that God intends for us to enjoy as His redeemed people.
We need you to complete us with constant grace, steadfast encouragement, appropriate admonition, daily help, life-long perseverance, and God-given strength as we seek to love you as Christ loved the church.
By God’s grace and by the power of His Spirit which mightily works within us, we purpose to nourish you with truth from His word until we present you in all of God’s intended glory, holy and blameless before Him. We will celebrate your dignity and eternal worth as our co-heirs in Christ and cherish you as is befitting your beauty as God’s gift to us. We will fight for your honor, celebrate your giftedness, protect you from evil, provide for you needs, care for you with tenderness, and love you as we love our own bodies. We will thank God for you. We will live to bless you and serve you. May God help us as we fulfill our God-given role as servant leaders of the church and family, so that we can love you and give our lives up for you as Christ did His church.