Monday, January 19

The moment of man's surrender....................

“When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the orchard at the breezy time of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the orchard. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" The man replied, "I heard you moving about in the orchard, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid." And the LORD God said, "Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman whom you gave me, she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it."” (Genesis 3:6-12 NET.)

It is interesting to note, in the study of how and why the biblical formation of masculinity and femininity has gone so wrong as to produce a society today that is nothing like the original intent; where men are feminized and women are left with less than they originally sought in the fight for ‘equality’ among the sexes, that the axioms that dot the societal landscape can be found in the biblical text of our first parents; Adam and Eve.

Scott Engelmann, of the Awakened Hearts Ministries, opened the proverbial Pandora’s box wide open this last Saturday as he began to discuss “What men do that frustrates women: Understanding why we do the things we do.” You can go to and find the topic notes that I’ll be discussing from.

As in any discussion regarding a problem, one must go back to the beginning and chart the progression of the problem now noted in awakening eyes; i.e. the economy’s ills aren’t a problem President Bush created, it started during the Clinton administration and is just now coming to age.

Our generational problems with the youth aren’t something that started at their birth but something that started long ago and has compounded into today’s generation lost.

Engelmann calls this day, “The day that forever changed your manhood.” And it wasn’t God, much like the economy is being blamed on President Bush, who caused manhood to be forever altered in the generations to follow Adam; it was Adam himself who cursed the landscape of relational beings called mankind and it is the result of his action (or rather inaction) that caused the whole of mankind to be cursed, gender-specifically, in those generations following.

The problem that exists today; feminized men, gender-confusion, broken homes, marriages of fragile and immoral structures, and the continued disassociation of generations of youth come from one moment in history; when the first man failed to live according to his biblical purpose and bless the woman he had been given for relationship.

Much like a disaster-recreation specialist will do with an airplane crash, a devasting fire, or a natural disaster; Engelmann takes us through the one disaster that has plagued mankind throughout the ages. He does this, not in a effort to bring conviction and disconnection to men today but to call them back to the purpose to which they have been built and to show them how to do it.

Where John Eldredge speaks of what a man is designed to be; wild and untamed; Robert Lewis speaks of the nobility of man; strong and true; and Dr. Larry Crabb speaks of the failures of man; Scott Engelmann starts more at a more logical point; where and why man has gone wrong and takes us on a journey to recreate the disaster that has echoed throughout the generations of humanity since.

Adam, simply put, was a ‘nice guy’. When the snake, representative in Ancient Near East culture of chaos and darkness, entered into the garden Adam wasn’t off in the back forty tending the sheep, frolicking with the buffalo, or gazing upon the wonders that God had created. He was standing next to his co-warrior and partner in this grand adventure that God had made them for……and was silent.

He didn’t correct Eve, telling her that God didn’t say that a simple touch would cause the punishment of death to be occurred and that such an action as eating a prohibited item was against the very nature of the God they conversed with, walked with, in the beauty of creation’s garden and therefore a sin. No, Adam allowed the conversation to go on and allowed Eve to embellish what she didn’t know about God’s prohibition.

The snake convinced Eve that her feelings that God was indeed holding out the wealth of His power from her and her husband were true. And Adam remained silent, though he had first hand knowledge of the wealth and scope of God’s power and the blessings received; the woman standing beside him was proof of such glanderous giving.

Yeah, yeah, heard that story many times in the cushy chair of the church you attend? You know that its all Adam’s fault, that he didn’t stop what would become mankind’s downfall with a simple “No” or by casting the serpent out of the garden proper? On the surface, such things are indeed what happened and are evidence of Adam’s failure. But what brings such weight and disastrous consequences to such a simplistic and momentary spot in the wrinkles of time?

We can jump back two chapters in the creation account, to the beginning of the beginning……God made.

In Genesis 1:1, we read the first words of creation….”God made the heaven and the earth.” Neither was made in full form that we know today, the earth was ‘waste and formless’ and ‘darkness upon the deep’ ruled. Simply put, out of darkness and chaos, God created beauty and light. This is where life began, far beyond some primordial pool of ectoplasm and scrape materials. The Spirit of God moved upon the deep and spoke creation into existence. God brought out of darkness light and chaos order.

And God created man.

There is a host of authors who have identified what man was created as; an image-bearer of God. The animals weren’t created in God’s image and therefore were inadequate to be a companion to man. God was too superior. Woman was created to be a co-inheritor and warrior of relationship; thus being a suitable companion to Adam (see Engelmann’s discussion “What a woman wants”). As woman was the warrior to combat Adam’s loneliness, so Adam was the warrior to sustain a life-inviting environment (the garden) for his wife and all of creation.

The serpent (aka the snake) came into the Garden, darkness and chaos, and entices the woman….the warrior of relationship….to embrace it. Adam, who’s purpose was to combat such remains silent. The image-bearer of God’s nature; bringing life into the world of darkness and chaos, remains silent and allows darkness and chaos to gain a foothold. Adam didn’t speak or move against the chaos. A mistake, surely, and the first step into the headlong journey that mankind has taken empty of God’s purpose.

But, even then, even in the midst of such a mistake----a lack of movement----mankind could’ve been saved. As with any life-changing event, it is the compounding of errors made that increases the scope of the problem…..much like a rock gaining speed as it rolls downhill.

Adam compounds the problem. As Engelmann says, “He chooses to not trust God with a now growing problem. He forgets God and seeks to solve the problem of chaos on his own.” Adam disconnects from the relationship with God and from the benefit of His grace. And mankind has been compounding the problem ever since.

And he throws the one who was built to combat his greatest fear; loneliness, when confronted with his own complacency. When God seeks them out after this disaster, Adam points to the woman and says, “She made me do it.” An excuse that men have used throughout the ages since. Eve may have taken the first bite out of the forbidden fruit, but Adam was the source of sin’s introduction to the world.
“For this reason, as through one man sin came into the world, and death because of sin, and so death came to all men, because all have done evil.” Romans 5:12 (NET)
So, what does this have to do with masculinity today?

We have developed through the generations men who have lived in a world that is set against them, and promote such things that seek to offset the feelings of incompetence, inadequate capabilities, and impotence so that we, as men, will not face the fear that if we are exposed the world will realize that we are not enough of a ‘man’. We promote our fear that God is not good enough to handle such fears and so as men we seek to protect, keep, and care for ourselves in a world that is opposed to us.

We, as Adam did in the Garden event, don’t move into darkness and chaos to create life-inviting environments. We don't invite our co-warriors to bring their image of God they bear into such an environment.

We bear the curse of Adam; seeking the same thing he did…the protection of ourselves in a world that hasn’t changed from the moment in time when Adam was called upon the bear the image of his creator and sacrificially step into the chaos to bring life-giving relationship to a wounded warrior…his wife, Eve. He sought to take matters into his own hand, distrusting the mercy and abilities of God to redeem the situation, and compounded the problem through his inaction.

Men continue to do that today; look at the feminist movement, look at the TV shows, and look at the generation which is coming into power through the ‘change’ platform of Barack Obama, rather than face the change that needs to be made at the beginning of the problem; men not living as men and women not living as women.

Simply put, Engelmann makes the statement that resonates in the hearts of today’s men…..”I feel weak and afraid to powerfully enter into and to shape my world as a man so I will work hard to avoid and compensate for my inadequacies.”

So, is there any hope?

Yes, and it lies within the realization that, like Adam, we need God’s mercy and grace. In facing the fact we are inadequate to the task of being the totality of our purpose; image-bearers of God who use the power of Him to move in a world set against us.

As the life verse that I was given during the story weekend I attended so long ago…..”And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is perfected in weakness.’” It is in that moment, when we as men are fully vulnerable, fully inadequate to the task that we find ourselves in the unprotected position of exposure, that we become the reflection of God’s love and power as we were built to be.

We love sacrificially, as Paul tells us to “love your wives as Christ loved the Church”, and move into the chaos once more to dispel the darkness so that our co-inheritors can bring life-enhancing relationship as valued, desired, and beautiful reflections of God’s hatred of loneliness.

It is when we realize that we cannot affect change ourselves, that our power is too weak due to its corruption, that we desperately cling to God’s ability to protect our hearts. And we experience the freedom that can only be sustained by a relationship with the image we bear to love as He loves us.

“Because masculinity was designed to reflect the life-giving power of God in this world, we cannot be men when we live lives distant and disconnected from God.” Engelmann concludes, “A man’s masculinity can no more reflect the power of a God he is distant from than the moon reflect the light of the sun it is distant from.”

Who's image do you reflect?

The discussion today is based on Awakened Hearts Ministries' Scott Engelmann and his notes regarding "What men do that frustrates women" and in part earlier discussions presented through the M3 Ministry. and are the websites of this ministry.

Neither AHM, the parent ministry of M3 or Scott Engelmann have endorsed this writing. This is representative of my own personal views on the information presented.

Men Mentoring Men (M3) is a sub-ministry of Awakened Heart Ministries. Awakened Heart Ministries is a non-profit organization founded in 2008. We offer a variety of ministries all committed to the restoration, healing and growth of the core relationships of life: relationship with God, spouse and family. AHM was founded with the enthusiastic support of individuals and couples whose lives and relationships have been richly changed by the love and grace of Jesus Christ.

For more information about AHM or any of our sub-ministries, please email us at:, or call 248-508-0992.

AHM also partners with Grace Counseling Center, Dr. Tim Hogan, Director, 313-343-9000.

Awakened Heart Ministries
P.O. Box 4941
Troy, MI 48099

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