I’m beginning a series of post to establish what I believe are five foundational doctrines of Christian manliness seen in Scripture. What you’ll notice is that some of the doctrines apply equally to both men and women. However, one doctrine (which I’ll get to in a later post) establishes men as the ones responsible for going first in the development of these virtues and leading by example. So, while there is crossover between men and women with these virtues, the onus is on men to subject themselves to Christ first and be an example that can be followed. Because men bear the responsibility of changing first, I target these doctrines, by way of application, specifically to men.
As a man, I must me temperate. Temperance is the foundation and application of self-control. Sometimes, I must tell myself “No” when I must not do something. Other times, I must tell myself “Yes” when I must do something. Temperance is a “fruit of the Spirit” according to Galatians 5:22-23. What this means, is that it is something the Holy Spirit produces in my Christian life. There’s nothing sappy, weird, or mystical about this. It just means, the Lord gets credit for changing me and I take none for myself. However, while the Spirit produces this quality, it can also be learned and practiced as the Lord produces this virtue in me. Temperance must then be a mutual cooperation be me and the Lord- I yield to the Lord’s revealed Word, and He helps me control myself. I then practice that self-control by forming good habits. Implementing other Christian virtues will require controlling myself and being under the Lord’s control, so temperance then is foundational to the other Five Doctrines of Christian Manhood. (See also Proverbs 25:28)