Throughout history, the comparison of “a man or a mouse” has been used to differentiate between being:
- intelligent or ignorant
- significant or worthless
- trustworthy or unethical
- bold or timid
- courageous or cowardly
- daring or fearful
In Scripture there is both a general call, and then also various specific calls, for every person to be a man, and not a mouse.
The general call comes without much explanation in 1 Corinthians 16:13, but is presented with the idea of “courage” in Joshua 24:14-15. The opposite of Biblical manhood, being the proverbial mouse, is illustrated very vividly in Ezekiel 22:24-31 as those who, though men, are spineless amidst lawless ‘believers’ (26), partake in government corruption (27), enjoy spiritual deception (28), and relish in social injustice (29). The best all encompassing description of such mouse-like men is what 1 Peter 3:1 calls ‘men who are “disobedient to the word”‘.
The specific calls to non-mouse-like manhood address all areas of a man’s life. Each one is worth individual attention, and not one is to be neglected. Each is phrased in terms of changing from a mouse to a man. Let us therefore “man-up” in each of these as Christians!
Change from being an Earth Walker to Earth Worker
Genesis 1:26-27—Use earth purposefully, don’t leech carelessly.
Ecclesiastes 9:7-8, 10—Don’t waste your earthly capabilities.
Change from being a Marriage Mocker to Marriage Magnifier
Hebrews 13:4—Speak honourably of marriage and treat it with honour.
1 Peter 3:7—If married, honour your marriage my honouring a person—your own spouse.
Change from being a Wife Haver to Wife Lover
Ephesians 5:25-26—Don’t just “have” a wife; love your wife.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 and Song of Solomon 8:7—Don’t be the stupid man who gives his wife excuses. Be the man that makes such a big deal of your marriage, that when somebody offers you something else, that all your friends will mock him for his naivety thinking he can pull you away from devotion to your wife. Be romantic; make time for her desire; make excuses to neglect the world to be with your wife.
Change from being an Financial Plodder to Financial Planner
1 Timothy 5:8—Be financial shrewd to maximise whatever you might hate. Master your money and use it well.
Proverbs 27:23—Knowledge is king, so know where every cent comes from, and where it all goes
Change from being an Children Delegator to Children Discipler
Proverbs 23:13, 26—Use both discipline and example as a form of wise instruction
Deuteronomy 6:6-8—Don’t just let life go by; be an active commentary of God’s ways to your children
Change from being a Church Goer to Church Grower
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12—Be one of the ordinary people who does this kind of ministry alongside your spiritual leaders.
Change from being a Godliness Faker to Godliness Model
Titus 2:7, 12-13—Demonstrate how godly people live more godly.
Change from being a Prayer Mumbler to Prayer Volunteer
1 Timothy 2:8—Pray in private, participate in the prayers of others, but be quick to exploit every opportunity to pray.
Dear Christian, act like a man! Be strong. Raise your boys to be men, not mice, and raise your girls to know the difference.