I have been at two churches were the pastor had to resign due to adultery and I have personally walked the journey of sexual addiction, confession, and recovery. As a pastor, I have seen dozens of men confess sexual sin and seek recovery, eventually finding freedom! Sexual addiction is a sin that seeks to destroy men, families, and churches. A gospel-centered man will strive for sexual purity.
Right theology is essential for leading a gospel-centered life. If you do not have right theology then you will not fully understand the gospel or our we are to live in relation to the gospel. Theology shapes the entirety of a man’s thinking, standards, and values, whether he recognizes it or not. Theological beliefs affect what truths men teach their children through bedtime stories each night, the culture of grace they create for their spouse, friends, and children, and how they respond when they fail to trust Jesus themselves at times. Not every man is a professional theologian, but every man, who desires to be gospel-centered, should pursue learning and applying solid theological truths.
In many ways husbands are pastors to their wives and fathers are pastors to their children. Biblically, a husband/father is called to lead his family spiritually and men are called to lead the church spiritually. Pastoral men patiently teach their children the ways of God, compassionately love their wife when she is struggling with fear, and they seek to teach their family the word of God. Gospel-centered men know that their mission starts at home, by teaching their families the gospel, and spreads out from the home into other areas of life.
Every man who is a follower of Christ is a missionary. Missionaries are people who travel to other parts of the world to give their life to the evangelism of other people. But missionaries are also every follower of Christ, wherever God has placed them. Men are missionaries in their homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods. They need to think like missionaries, give like missionaries, and share like missionaries. Men who are gospel-centered will learn their culture and will seek ways to engage those in their culture with the hope of the gospel.
A man must learn humility. The gospel is a message of humility. It’s a message of a God who humbly served to the point of death for sinful humans. It’s a story of men and women who must humbly come to the cross admitting that they cannot fix themselves and they are desperate for Jesus. It’s the story of men humbly instructing their children, humbly sacrificing themselves for their wives, and humbly leading and following those in their workplaces. When a man embraces humility, he will be forgiving with his wife, patient with his child, correctable when wrong, and teachable in all things.
A man who is not teachable is a dangerous man. Men make mistakes. Men sin. Men don’t know everything. We should be teachable. We should not only allow others to teach us, we should look for others to teach us, hungering after the knowledge and wisdom that can be shared. A gospel-centered man knows that he has nothing to offer in and of himself and he seeks to always grow in his love of Jesus and love of others by receiving correction and instruction. A teachable man is a usable man.
Joshua Hedger is the Pastor of Preaching & Vision at Emmaus Church. He is married to Tish and they have an adopted teen daughter and a biological toddler son. Joshua has served in several other ministry roles including Director of Church Planting at Midwestern Seminary, planting another church, a youth pastor, and as a missionary in West Africa.