I used to be a man who followed Jesus, but only when it was convenient. I built relationships with people, but only when I was caught up on all of my personal responsibilities. I desired to make disciples, but I waited for faithful men to fall in my lap. My pursuit of boldness involved asking God for it, but never taking any steps toward improvement. I was free from sexual immorality, except for when I was lonely. My strategy for handling conflict was to avoid it completely. I could put on the guise that I was confident, but I was actually terrified of being rejected by others. Looking at these holes in my life drove me to constantly ask the question “Am I enough?”
As I talk to college students coming on campus at Oklahoma State, I know that these pestilent thoughts are not unique to me. I can count on one hand the number of men I have talked to who have not struggled with the crippling addiction to pornography. As men, we are lazy, unmotivated, and paralyzed by fear when it comes to initiating conversations that involve some sort of risk on our part. When culture downplays the importance of manhood, we lose sight of what God has to say about who we are as men.
Noblemen, the course on biblical manhood created by Bryce Bouchard, challenged my ideas of what it meant to be a man. It emphasizes that I am not enough, but that is precisely why Jesus humbled himself by coming as a man and dying for my redemption. I am noble because Jesus says I am as his son, not because I earned the title. The most valuable point for me was the concept of biblical courage. The creed that all Noblemen memorize as part of the course states that
“I commit to resisting the lure of passivity and living courageously, doing what is right despite my fear or lack of desire.”
Because of my relationship with Christ, I can do what is right, even when I am scared or lacking motivation. I can build relationships, make disciples, fight temptation, resolve conflict, and have true confidence. God is the one who gives me this ability.
This year I have the privilege of helping lead 20 men through Noblemen for the first time. All coming from different backgrounds and with different stories, they will build community with each other as they work through all the areas where they can embrace God’s calling for them as men. By the end, they will all have the vision of leading the people around them as a spiritual patriarch, desiring to advance God’s kingdom by reproducing their lives in those around them. They will resist the lure of passivity and live courageously, doing what is right despite their fear or lack of desire.
Please pray for the ministry God is doing through the Noblemen course. Pray that men will truly commit their lives to doing the work of God. There are campuses all over the country doing Noblemen, so pray for their success as well. Lastly, please pray that the vision of disciple-making would spread, and that the 2020 class of Noblemen would thrive.
Jacob serves with the Navigators as an EDGE Corps staffer at Oklahoma State University. To learn more about the OSU student ministry visit https://www.osunavs.org.
If you’d like to learn more about Noblemen, visit https://noblemenministries.com.