This is the first post in a four part series on The Four Foundations of Masculinity.
The first foundation is the one on which all others are built… Faith.
A man without faith is a man without purpose, without hope, and without peace.
We are all searching for God. Many of us just don’t realize it.
“The man who knocks on the brothel door is knocking for God.” – Michael John Cusick, Surfing For God.
We may seek God in pornography or in sex addiction as I did. Some search in alcohol or drugs. Others in their careers.
We’re all searching for the peace, hope, and purpose that only faith can provide. We’re just looking in all the wrong places.
Most addictions are self-medication for an underlying wound. They are how we treat our deep down pain. But in reality, we’re searching for something deeper. All the sex, porn and beer in the world won’t ever satisfy this thirst.
Trust me, I tried.
That satisfaction, that peace, can only be found through faith. When I recommitted my life to God, everything became clearer.
I needed faith. Renewing my faith is what led to all the other changes I made in my life. If it wasn’t for my faith, I never would’ve stopped looking at porn everyday or cheating on my wife. I never would’ve stopped eating and drinking like a slob. I never would have found the purpose and fulfillment that I was so desperately seeking.
Men need faith. In order to thrive as men, we need to believe in something bigger than ourselves. We need to believe that there’s a bigger purpose to our lives than getting up, going to work, coming home and going to bed. Rinse and repeat. Believing in something bigger than yourself requires a trust, a conviction that that “something” is real without any physical evidence of it. Finding your purpose requires faith.
Hebrews 11, the so called “Hall of Fame of Faith” begins with these words:
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.“
Faith is assurance about what we cannot see. It’s a conviction that even though we may not physically see or touch something, we can believe in it. We may not see God’s purpose for our lives. We may not like the road He’s taking us down. But we must have faith in His plan. We must put our blind trust in Him.
Faith is confidence in what we hope for. It’s a firm belief that what we hope for is real.
What does Faith provide a man?
Faith gives us hope. It gives us hope that there’s a better life. It gives us hope that we can break free from the bonds that enslave us. We need hope in our lives. Without it, what’s the point of soldiering on?
There’s an acronym for hope that says, Hold On, Pain Ends. Hope provides that light at the end of the tunnel. It provides that assurance that if we can just hold on, if we have faith, it will get better.
We receive this hope when we put our faith in Jesus Christ. In Him we know there’s a future. Revelation tells us there will come a day where there will be no more death or mourning, or crying, or pain. Having faith provides us that hope.
Faith gives us a purpose in life. If you trust in God, He will lead you down paths that honor and glorify Him. Having faith will mean that you no longer live for yourself but for Him. When you realize that this life is not about yourself, you can truly begin living a life with purpose. This life isn’t the life worth living for. It’s the promise of an eternal life that we live for. We can search all our earthly lives for purpose, for fulfillment, for the “meaning of life”. We’ll never find it.
King Solomon had every luxury in life. He had everything any man could ever ask for. Yet, in Ecclesiastes, he still described it all as “Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless.”
We will never find purpose on our own. Only through faith can we find the true meaning of life.
One of the best devotional books ever written is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I strongly recommend it to help find your purpose through faith in Christ.
Lastly, faith provides us with peace.
At the end of the day, all we want is peace in our hearts. In this world, that’s impossible. If we look for peace in our daily lives, we’ll be looking for a long time. The world around us is in constant turmoil. And even in our personal lives there’s always something going on. We go from one crisis to another.
The only way we can find the “peace that passes all understanding” that Paul describes in Phillipians 4 is by a strong relationship with God.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Though the world around us is uncertain, we can have assurance through faith in God. Because we have that faith, we know that nothing on this earth can hurt us. Nothing can destroy us.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
Faith gives us the peace that God is in control. Faith gives us the peace that we are forgiven no matter how many awful sins we have committed. And faith gives us the peace that we so desperately seek through worldly means.
My faith is the foundation of my life. Without it, nothing else matters. I could have beaten my porn and sex addiction, I could have lost all the weight I did, I could have improved many areas of my life, all of it would have been meaningless without faith.
My faith gives me the hope, the purpose, and the peace that I was searching for for so long.
If we are to be the men God has called us to be, if we are to be the providers, protectors, and pastors our family needs us to be, if we are to fight back against the world’s distorted view of masculinity, we must have faith.
Faith is the first of the Four Foundations of Masculinity.
Next, we will look at the second, Family.