Men Work and Keep

This week I’ve been reading “The Masculine Mandate” by Dr. Richard Phillips. I really enjoyed the book because Dr. Phillips does a very good job of clarifying what a man is truly called to do.

He does this with two words from Genesis 2……

Work and Keep

He defines working as cultivating, or creating something for others to enjoy. So it isn’t just work actually, but work that helps those around us. Keeping gives the idea of care and protection of others.

After showing the importance or working and keeping, the rest of the book is spent applying it to relationships.

  1. The marriage relationship
  2. The relationship with children
  3. Relationships with friends
  4. And relationships at work

Within all of these Dr. Phillips clearly explains especially how men work on developing others

  1. They respect their wives
  2. They give their hearts to their children
  3. They encourage and edify their friends
  4. And they give 100% at their jobs

The interesting thing is he defines work as “cultivating something that glorifies God.” Most of the time men view that as a thing they have built (job, ministry). But Dr. Phillips rightly teaches men are called to build people. True men will cultivate and flourish those in his family, and the friends who God leads his way.

This is obviously very different from the selfish view of manhood that much of our culture follows. Men look out for themselves and focus on building something that can bring them glory. What they foolishly don’t understand is that won’t last.

Whatever it is you build will eventually deteriorate and crumble. But the love and wisdom you invest in loved ones (especially children) will stick with them, and they will eventually teach it to their own children. So instead of investing in yourself, you invest in future generations!

As I read Dr. Phillip’s book my heart was burdened for people I could “build up” or work in. And challenged to give more of myself in relationships so others can flourish. This may not make me famous, but I’ll be fulfilling the plan of God for every man.

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