Real Men Leave the Boys Club
The old boys club that is pervasive in our culture teaches men to treat women as a commodity. But Jesus, a radical for His time, treated women with respect and dignity. Dave Wilson encourages men to follow Christ's example.
About the Guest
- Dave Wilson speaking at Kensington Church on biblical manhood. https://web.familylifetoday.com/fl2019-06-14-bonus.mp3
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The old boys club that is pervasive in our culture teaches men to treat women as a commodity. But Jesus treated women with respect and dignity. Dave Wilson encourages men to follow Christ’s example.
Real Men Leave the Boys Club
Bob: To be the kind of man God created us to be, we have to first surrender. Dave Wilson says that means surrendering everything—heart, soul, mind, bank account, body, even your sex drive.
Dave: My dad never surrendered his sex drive to God. I was raised by a man, who had multiple girlfriends—took me on trips, as a five-year-old, with his mistresses. It destroyed our family. So when I say, “Surrender your body,” I mean all of your body, like my dad didn’t do. Then I, when I got married, had to say to Ann and to my sons: “It stops right here. The Wilson legacy of adultery stops here, because this dad is going to surrender all of this to Jesus.”
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, June 14th. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson; I'm Bob Lepine. There is no such thing as a real man, who lives an un-surrendered life. We’ll hear more about that today from Dave Wilson. Stay with us.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us. One of the things you really like to do is to get with a group of guys and just call them up out of adolescence into manhood; right?
Dave: You got it, Bob. I really do. There’s something that ignites in my soul to speak to men about manhood.
Bob: Now, the message we’re going to hear from you today, which is a message you shared at Kensington Church, was not just to men. There were women in the audience, as you were speaking about this; right?
Dave: Yes; it was a little strange because, often, I’ll do this at a men’s retreat or just a men’s only meeting; and yet, all the women, and daughters, and sisters, and grandmothers, and moms are sitting there. Yet, at the same time, as I watched the room, the women were almost applauding.
Ann: Oh, they actually did applaud; because I was sitting in the audience. There’s something that stirs up a woman’s heart that says: “Thank you. Thank you for seeing us; thank you for speaking about us; and thank you for protecting us; and teaching the men and encouraging the men to walk the way God would have them walk and treat women.”
Dave: And I think part of that is women know that, if men live like God calls us men to live, guess who the beneficiaries are?—the women and children. They’re going to get a man who’s going to give his life away for them, because he’s honoring Christ.
Bob: You juxtaposed the old Boys Club in this message, which is kind of the way guys have been living, well, since the Fall—passivity/selfishness—all of that being endemic. You juxtaposed that with what it’s like to be a gentleman and to live as God’s called us to live, as men.
Dave: Yes; my hope was that men could get a new vision for what a man is. As you’re going to hear in the message, that vision comes from the greatest Man who ever lived. Jesus treated women totally different than any man in the culture, He walked into, treated them. He modeled for us: “This is what it looks like to be a man,” and “This is how a real man treats women.”
Bob: Well, let’s hear how Dave challenged the guys at his church on this subject as we listen to this message from Kensington Church.
Dave: The old Boys Club—that we sort of live in in this culture—is that women are a commodity in this culture. In fact, I wrote it down this way: “Women are viewed, presented, talked about, and sung about like a commodity.” If you wonder what I mean by that, I defined it: “Commodity is something of value that we use and then discard or trade it in for something of more value.”
I’m not saying all men do this; I’m not saying this is everywhere, but I think it’s pretty strongly true that women in this culture are often looked at—in fact, I wrote it down this way: “Often, women feel like men are saying to them: ‘Take me; use me; do whatever you want with me; and then, discard me and move on to the next one. I’m at your disposal. I’m here to please you, my man.” Again, I’m not saying it’s everywhere; but it’s pretty strong.
I know many have already done this, but some of you haven’t: “It’s time to move from the old Boys Club to the new Gentlemen’s Club.” It’s called the Gentlemen’s Club—the new Gentlemen’s Club. What’s that look like?
Well, here’s the interesting thing—this depiction of women, and objectifying women, and victimizing women, and treating them as a commodity to be used and discarded for anything we want—is not a new deal for men. You know how old this is?—anyone want to take a guess?—as old as sin. It started in the Garden; it’s still here.
Here’s what I want to show you today—when you go to the New Testament and you say, “Okay; what is God’s perspective on man and woman?”—where do you go? You go to Jesus; right? You go to the New Testament; you go to the One, who said: “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father. I am the visible representation of the invisible God.”
When you understand the culture that women lived in in the first century/the culture that Jesus walked into, you realize they were, not just viewed as a commodity, they were a commodity. They were, literally, property of men—they were lower than livestock; they were lower than a cow—and I’m not exaggerating. Their animals were money to them; their women were just to be used to do whatever their man wanted.
Most men had multiple concubines; most men had several wives—they did whatever they wanted. If they wanted to divorce their wife, they didn’t need any grounds! They’re a man; they’re in control; the woman is not even here—she’s like way down here. If they don’t like her, they’re done with her; they’ll get another one, because women were just discarded any way they want. Jesus walks into that culture.
We don’t understand this, because we don’t live in that culture; but understand—this is where women were; this is where men were—and Jesus walks in. Watch what He does—He makes several comments that blew their minds. You and I miss it, because we don’t understand the culture. Then, Paul follows him and Peter. I’m going to show you Jesus, Paul, and Peter—how they elevated the status of women.
In fact, I would venture to say this: “The status that women are having, even in our country—and it’s not even close to where it needs to be—is all traced back, all the way back to Jesus. I am not kidding. I don’t have time to get into it, but Jesus had women disciples; right?—that would never happen in a religious community; women were not allowed to be spiritual learners at all. Women were His closest friends—they were the ones at the tomb, when He rose from the dead, first—not men—women! He used a widow’s mite as an example of what it looks like to give exorbitantly. Men were sitting there, going: “You are using a woman as an example of spiritual maturity? I’m out of here!”
So let me read you something Jesus said. I bet you’ve heard it, but I bet you never thought of it the way men heard this statement—it’s a very simple statement that He said in John 13—He said this, “A new command I give you…love one another.” Now, we just read that and it’s like, “Okay; we just keep going.” No, no, no; you have to stop. They probably are going, “Wait, wait. That’s not new. That’s been in the Torah for thousands of years: ‘Love God; love others.’”
Yes; but what they understood as “love others” meant: “Love those who are like me. Love other Jews. Love others that love me. Do not love people that are not like me, and do not love people that are lower than me,” which meant, “Do not love women.” But He just says, “Love one another.” And, then, He says, “How?”—He says, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Then, He adds this: “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”
Think about what He just said there. If you want your neighbor to come to Christ/if you want your neighbor to come to church, you know what He says?—“Love each other,”—just be a body that’s unified—and there’s true, and authentic, and real love—and people will run to that community. But what do people see in the church?—they see the church dividing, fighting over theology, fighting over practices—like: “Yes, okay; not interested. You guys don’t love any better than us.”
Jesus is like: “No, no. If you understood what I’m saying, ‘Love one another,’—how?—‘as I have loved you!’” What’s that mean?—you lay yourself down, sacrificially, for your neighbor, for your friend, for your wife, for your daughter, for your mom, for your sister! He said: “I’m raising the status of women to equal that of men. It is no longer what you thought—this; it is this.”
Then, you get into the New Testament. Some of you know this—you go to the classic text on marriage, Ephesians, Chapter 5, where Paul writes this letter. He applies the theology of who God is—our good, good Father—and who we are/identity—loved by Him—to marriage, and parenting, and all kinds of things. In Chapter 5 he says, “Husbands”—most of the husbands in this room could probably finish this statement; it’s been taught so many times. You tell me—what’s he say? He says, “Husbands,”—what?—“love your wives”—how?—“as Christ loved the church.” And every wife’s like, “Amen!”—you’re hitting him right now, like: “Do that. Just do that,”—yes.
Paul says—and by the way, again, we miss this—this was radical, at the time. Husbands did not love their wives; they just used their wives—that was the culture. Paul is saying: “It’s a new day. It’s a new Gentlemen’s Club, guys. The old Boys Club is done and over. Step into being a man, and a man does this—he loves his wife—equal status.
How?—because every guy’s going, “What’s that look like?” He goes, “I’ll make it really clear—as Christ loved the church.” Again, all you have to do is a little math, to go, “Okay; what did Christ do for the church?” “He died for the church!” Every guy’s like, “I’m out.” Lay down your desires and agenda and say, “I want to love my wife and serve her in such a way that it looks like what Christ did for me.” I know what guys are thinking—they’re like, “Yes, yes; but she doesn’t deserve it.” Did you?—no. Jesus did it for you, so it doesn’t matter if she deserves it or not; lay down your life—serve her.
Paul is saying to husbands—this is radical thinking in that time—“Treat her as more important than you,” and they were like: “What?! No; that is not the way God set it up!” He said, “No; that’s the old Boys Club. The new Gentlemen’s Club is: ‘Love your wife as Christ loved the church.’”
I’ll jump down to another one—1 Peter. Guys, you should memorize this verse; you should know this verse. In 1 Peter 3, Peter says it this way—again, another follower of Jesus/a disciple—he says, “I’m going to now do life the new gentlemen’s way, not the old boys’ way.” He says this: “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect.” Do this to every woman in your life. He goes on to say, “Grant them respect as the weaker partner.”
Now, I’ve had women say, “Yes; I don’t like the Bible; it says we’re weaker.” It isn’t saying you’re weaker; it’s only talking, physical. All Peter is saying is: “I bet if you arm-wrestled your man, he’d probably beat you, three out of ten times. He’d probably beat you”; right?—that’s all it’s saying!—it’s not saying spiritually/emotionally—only physically.
Trust me—I can speak for most men, and they won’t like me saying this—but I believe this: “Women in this room are stronger than we are, emotionally and spiritually.” I’ve just seen it. Even when they get sick, they’re like, “I’m good,” and we’re like: “I can’t live! Get me something now!” It’s just unbelievable; right? Women are so strong!—he’s not talking about that strength; he’s just talking, physically, as a weaker partner or vessel.
Then look what he says—he says, “…and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life.” Here’s what he just did—he said: “I know what some of you guys are thinking. You’re thinking: ‘You’re calling me to honor her and give her respect, but she’s not honorable. You don’t know my wife. Hey Peter, if you met my wife, you’d change this whole thing.’” “No, no, no; let me make something very clear: ‘She is a co-heir with you of the grace of eternal life.’” He’s saying, “She’s equal.”
You’re still saying, “Yes; but she’s dishonorable.” Look, so are you, and what did Jesus do for you?—He gave you honor; give that honor to her.
Then he says, “You want to know how important this is to me?” Think about this—all he’s talking about is how men treat women in the new Gentlemen’s Club—he goes, “You want to know how important this is to me?” He says, “Watch this: if you don’t do this, it’s going to hinder your prayers.” I remember reading that, for years, like, “What in the world does that mean?!”—I don’t know!
All I know is this: “It’s real important to God.” This is a big deal, guys. This isn’t, “Oh, yes…”—this is—“Quit acting like boys! Quit treating your women like commodities, to be used for your pleasure, and move on to the next one. Grow up; put your childish ways away and become a man. Step into the new Gentlemen’s Club, and start treating the women in your life—and in this church, and in your workplace, and in your neighborhood, and in your family—the way they deserve: a co-heir with Christ. If you don’t—trust me—it’s not going to go well.”
If you’re like me, you’re sitting there, going: “Okay, dude; what do I do? How do I do this?” Okay; guys, especially—and again, women, you can listen in—but here’s what I would say to the men in terms of application. If I could lean over the dinner table, I would look you right in the eye and I would quote you this verse, which is a life verse for me. Paul wrote in Romans 12—he says: “Therefore I urge you brothers [and sisters], in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is your true and proper worship.”
Real worship is more than just singing songs. Real worship is what?—offering our bodies/our life as a living sacrifice to God. What’s that mean?—we crawl on the altar and say, “I’m not living for me anymore; I am giving You everything,” and surrender to Him. He says, “That’s real worship.” He says, “Here’s what happens when you do that,”—verse 2—he says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
This was so appropriate for what we’ve been talking about today. What’s the pattern?—the literal word is matrix: “What’s the matrix/the pattern of this world? How does this world think?”—women are commodities. “How does God think?”—He renews your mind to a new way of thinking—not old Boys Club—new Men’s Club. Step up and be a man!
I love 1 Corinthians 16 for men—it says, “Be on your guard,” or be a watchman. “Stand firm in the faith. Act like men. Be strong.” There you go, guys—it’s like: “You’re the one that guards your house; you’re the one that guards your family. You’re the watchmen at the gate of this church, of your community, workplace—stand there; be firm in the faith—not passive boys—be men, who are strong.” “Act like men!”—what’s that look like?—“Be strong”; he says, “Do everything in love,”—it’s this toughness and this tenderness.
Here’s what I’d say to the men—and women/this applies to everybody—but this is really to the guys. I would invite you to join me with this: “Surrender your mind to Jesus—start there—surrender your mind to Jesus.” Why do I say that? What I mean by that is: “Take the eye-gate, the ear-gate, and what you think about—and give it to Him.” I would say to men—and of course, to women, too, but I’m really talking to guys—“Guys, it’s time to submit your mind—what you look at, what you listen to, what you think about—to Jesus”; okay? Secondly, “Submit your body,”—“Surrender your mind; surrender your body,”—that’s it!—it’s that simple.
When I say, “body,”—I’ll be really honest, and I’ll be tactful when I say this—but here’s what I’m thinking, guys, when I say, “body.” I’m thinking of a body part that you and I need to surrender to Jesus. What I’ve realized is that men in their 20s, and 30s, and 40s, and 50s, and 60s, and 70s are obsessed by that body part. That body part drives them to make horrible decisions. I’m saying, “Surrender that—your sex drive—to Jesus.”
This is personal, because some of you know my story. My dad never surrendered his sex drive to God. I was raised by a man, who had multiple girlfriends—took me on trips, as a five-year-old, with his mistresses; and it destroyed our family. So when I say, “Surrender your body,” I mean all of my body, like my dad didn’t do. Then, I—when I got married—had to say to Ann and to my sons: “It stops right here. The Wilson legacy of adultery stops here, because this dad is going to surrender all of this to Jesus.”
If you want a real specific—and I’ll end with just a couple of thoughts—here it is. Men, delete any form of media you have that degrades women—get rid of it! You know why?—because that stuff, in your brain, makes you think women are that kind of people; and then you degrade them, in your mind, and we degrade them [personally]. You can look at history and see how that works. When people degrade certain classes of people, they determine they’re disposable; and men have done that to women forever. I would just challenge you: “Get rid of it!”—that’d be my first really practical step.
The second thing I would say is this: “End your relationship with porn—end it!” “How do you do that?”—you tell somebody—you say, “I’m struggling in this area.” I’ve struggled in this area, and I have brothers in my life that hold my accountable. My wife knows.
If you’re living in this area in the dark, you’re going to lose. I tell you—I know it’s scary and the most courageous thing a man will ever do. This is part of you becoming a man is—when you step out of boyhood to the Gentlemen’s Club of Manhood, is when you have the courage to say, “I need help.” Trust me on this—don’t tell me and walk out of here, like, “I’m good.” No; tell a brother that’s going to walk with you in this journey, because—not only will they forgive you—they will be your partner, to say, “I’m going to help you win this, so that we can treat women as they deserve.”
Bob: Well, again, we’ve been listening to Dave Wilson challenge guys to step up. I loved the fact that you kind of redeemed what it means to be a gentleman. Every time I drive by a place that says it’s a Gentlemen’s Club, I go, “That’s the last thing you are—is a Gentlemen’s Club.” Anyone who’s going in there is no gentleman.
You’re bringing that word back and saying God wants us to be gentle men, who are fierce when it comes to living for Him—and to loving our wives, and our kids, and the people around us.
Ann: You know what I thought? I thought, “Man, my husband can preach!” [Laughter] I was like: “Look at you! Look how good you are! Thank you for standing up for us!”
Dave: You know what she’s doing, Bob?
Ann: I’m going to stand up and applaud you!
Dave: She is cheering me right now. [Laughter] You’ve read our book; she talks about that. Actually, even as she says it in jest, I’m—
Ann: I’m not jesting!
Dave: —I know my chest is popping out right now, like, “I am the man!”; right? Thanks, honey!” [Laughter]
Ann: No, you are; I love it! [Laughter]
Dave: Every man feels great when a woman does that, seriously—especially when it’s your wife.
I honestly—maybe this is an impossible dream, but I was hoping boys would become men.
Dave: Again, that doesn’t happen in an instant, but it does happen by decisions. I was hoping a decision would be made that day to become, like you said, Bob, a new gentleman—a Jesus gentleman—that treats all people, especially women, the way they deserve—as precious, made in the image of God.
Bob: Three things: honor, respect, and sacrificial love. Those were the three things you were calling us to, as men—it’s what the Bible calls us to. A guy listening today can say: “Okay; I can, by God’s grace, with the power of the Holy Spirit working through me, I can be more honorable; I can be more worthy of respect; I can be more sacrificial in my love for my spouse.”
Ann, for the women who are listening, they can find those things in their husband that they can cheer on and, then, do what you just did. They can cheer their husband on and cause their husband to step up.
Ann: Exactly. I do think some women may hear this and think, “My husband’s not doing that.” They might feel a sense of discouragement, but I would encourage you to say exactly what you said, Bob—is: “Look for the good, because it’s in there. It may be hidden, but you can find it and draw it out.” That does make a man’s chest go out.
Dave: Yes; you see how big my chest is right now? [Laughter]
Ann: I see it, honey.
Dave: It’s like I did a thousand pushups right now.
But I would say this—if you’re a single woman looking for a man, do not settle. Do not settle for a man, who’s treating women as a commodity. If you even see a hint of that, man, I’m saying: “Put on the brakes and say, ‘I am going to find a man who lives out like Christ.’” They’re out there; they really are.
Then, I would say to the men out there—you know, at the end of that message I said: “Surrender your mind/the way you think, and surrender your body.”
Dave: I was getting into the sexual temptation there. I would say to these guys, “Man, you and I can’t do it unless we surrender; and that means give Jesus everything, and let Him do it in us and, then, through us.”
Bob: Yes; and I think there may be some guys who’d like to hear your entire message. We just had a chance to play a portion of it today, but the entire message is available on our website at FamilyLifeToday.com. You can go to the website to download the message.
And let me encourage you—if you don’t already have a copy of the book, Vertical Marriage, by Dave and Ann Wilson, we’d love to send you a copy as a way of saying, “Thank you for a donation to the ministry today.” If you’re able to help support the ongoing work of FamilyLife Today, we’d like to send you a copy of the book, Vertical Marriage.
FamilyLife Today depends on listeners, like you, so that, together, we can impact marriages and families all around the world. Your donation provides real help and real hope to couples, moms, dads, husbands, wives—folks who are trying to make marriage and family work. We continue, together, to point them to the need to surrender, like we’ve talked about today. Request your copy of the book, Vertical Marriage, when you donate, online, at FamilyLifeToday.com; or call to donate at 1-800-358-6329—that’s 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY.”
I don’t know what you have planned for Father’s Day weekend; but I know that, for the President of FamilyLife®, David Robbins, this is not just Father’s Day weekend; this is a big weekend for you.
David: It is; it is! My parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary this Father’s Day weekend.
Bob: That’s a big deal!
David: My sister and her family are getting together; we’re bringing our crew, and we’re going to be all together for the entire weekend. I’ve learned so much from them, and there have been seasons that were really challenging in their marriage. I saw loyalty, in the covenant, on display. I’ve seen my dad pursue my mom, in fresh ways, through different stages of life; yes, I’m really grateful for him as a dad.
Bob: Not all of our listeners have a legacy that they can look at and say, “My parents persevered and went 50 years.” God is the God of healing and comfort in the midst of those challenges; but for those, who can look back and say, “My parents modeled something,” that’s a treasure to hang onto.
David: Yes; it is. I remember my grandparents’ 50th anniversary. It marked me, as a 12-year-old. I remember it happening and celebrating. We’re getting the opportunity to do that with my family; I hope that marks them. Not everyone gets that chance; but there are markers that you can do—that you go, “Alright; how do I pass on to the next generation what was handed to me?”
Bob: So your mom and dad—what are their names?
David: Mike and Patty.
Bob: So, Mike and Patty Robbins, happy anniversary from all of us, here, at FamilyLife Today. Thank you, David.
And we hope all of you have a great weekend. I hope you and your family are able to worship together in your local church this weekend, and then I hope you can join us back on Monday. Juli Slattery is going to be here to talk about things she’s learned about intimacy in marriage that she never heard anyone talking about at church. These are pretty important things, too. That all comes up Monday. I hope you can join us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, “Have a great Father’s Day weekend!” We will see you back Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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