Four Principles of Spiritual Warriorship for Men
But how do we combat the prevailing anti-male sentiments of Modernity? Simply put, men must once again become the warriors desperately needed in society, even if unappreciated by the grossly misled allies of our Adversary. There are four principles of this spiritual warriorship that the man of God must cultivate in his life.
- Care of Body and Spirit-The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19) You can't defile the temple and expect the Holy Spirit to remain. The first way we cultivate this principle is by carefully watching our diet, avoiding junk food and other consumables that serve only to toxify our bodies. It is also important to exercise to stay as fit as one can depending on age and ability. Take a martial arts class (particularly Historic European Martial Arts), go to the gym two to three times a week, or take a walk each day in your neighborhood; whatever you can do given your age and abilities. It doesn't matter if you're not lifting massive amounts of weight like some others, or that you have a more difficult time learning to coordinate your body for that martial arts class-just do what you can and you fulfill the principle. It isn't a competition, it is the fulfillment of your created masculine nature that counts. Likewise, you must feed your soul daily. You're a composite being of body and soul, and both need nourishment and exercise. It is also important that men respect the body of women, since it too is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Don't ever treat a woman like a commodity, or as if she is simply there to please you. Illicit or selfish sexual activity, no matter what the scale, defiles both her and you, and demonstrates a wanton disrespect for the Holy Spirit and her. You don't own your body, nor hers. (1 Corinthians 6:18-19) Don't compromise your worth, nor hers! Frequent prayer, reading of Sacred Scripture, attendance at communal worship services, and personal and family devotions are all important components in spiritual warriorship. Flex your spiritual muscle by attending a men's prayer meeting or small group, where you can discuss spiritual matters from a distinctly masculine point of view. Add deprecatory and imprecatory prayers to your daily prayer life, interceding on behalf of your family, friends, neighborhood, state, and nation. Don't be afraid to express anger at what the Adversary is doing in your life, the lives of others, and the culture around you. Pray for the conversion of your enemies, and like David, pray also for the destruction of the enemies of God, understanding that, "Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly." (Deuteronomy 32:35) We don't seek our own vengeance, but place them in the hands of a wrathful God. (Romans 12:19)
- Express the Will of God-Are your efforts in accord with the Word of God and His will for your life, or do they reflect selfish desires and goals? You have to understand that any effort you put into things that God hasn't willed for you will ultimately cause frustration and stunt your spiritual growth. (Psalm 127:1) As the head of your wife and family, it is of utmost importance that you be diligent in remaining in the will of God, and not running off pursuing your own ideas and agenda, since you too have a head over you. (1 Corinthians 11:3) Every warrior understands and respects his authority structure. If he doesn't, then he can expect those under his leadership to eventually rebel against his will as well. Disregard for the divine authority structure always causes a chain reaction, so be aware, be vigilant in your duty and responsibility to God's will for you and your family. Direct your efforts toward His will and you will bring blessings down upon yourself, your wife, and your children. Ignore His will, and you can expect bad things ahead. (Proverbs 1:24-27) In expressing God's will, remember that the natural masculine qualities of assertiveness, aggressiveness, strength, and a proclivity to lead are all good qualities.
- Express Divine Character-As a man, you're known for your strength and ability to strike fear in the hearts of your enemies. However, we're to be far more than foreboding to those who would inflict harm on our loved ones; we're to bring healing and love in our wake as well. It is the unique character of men that we have the power to take life, as well as the power to heal injury. Christ has called us to be more than brutal physical combatants. He has called us to more than life by the sword (Matthew 26:52). Our calling certainly includes being the warriors of His Kingdom, fighting against our real, hidden (and sometimes, not so hidden) enemies. (Ephesians 6:2; 6:11-18) However, when we find wounded brothers along the way, who have been battered and bloodied by our Adversary, we're to pick them up, dust them off, and help them heal, so that they too can bear the standard of Christ and fight alongside us. (1 Thessalonians 5:10-12) We're the primary standard bearers of the Gospel. As spiritual warriors, our character reflects that of Christ, our King. Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we exhibit the following divine characteristics: love, joy, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. (Galatians 5:22-23) These qualities are displayed with wisdom, and not at the expense of the natural qualities of masculinity. They should form a complementary expression that doesn't suppress who you were created to be as a man. Men and women will express these fruits of the Spirit differently, in accord with their created gender character.
- Discernment of Spiritual Dangers-Study the Word of God such that you develop a keen awareness and discernment of spiritual dangers to yourself and your family. (1 Kings 3:9; Hebrews 5:14; Matthew 10:16; Proverbs 15:14; Psalm 119:125; Philippians 1:9-10; Have the wisdom to learn from those men who have gone before you, not only in the previous generation, but in ages past. Don't be arrogant and resent the mentorship or advice of your elders, but listen carefully and apply it strategically. (Proverbs 1:7; 19:20; 11:2)
These are the four foundational principles of spiritual warriorship.