I hope these five masculine instincts give language for men, for fathers and sons, for brothers, for pastors and men in a congregation, to just be able to have more meaningful conversations about who are we as men and what are the things that we're living out of?
How do we actually become more like Christ and what are those instincts that have to mature in order to do it? Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The New York Times and bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . You can find simple ways to strengthen relationships at our website, fivelovelanguages.com. Today, pastor and author, Chase Roplogle, helps men understand what it really means to be a man in today's world.
Some help and hope is on the way. And just in time for Father's Day. Oh, I'm looking forward to hearing from Chase because there is a lot of confusion, a lot of discussion about toxic masculinity in the culture.
And as a man, I want to know about the biblical model of manhood. And that's what we're going to hear about today. Our host is Dr. Gary Chapman. And Gary, when you were growing up, there were problems in the culture, but there wasn't, I don't think, the same confusion that we have today about men. You agree with that? I think you're exactly right, Chris. You know, I think the role of men and what it meant to be a man was far more defined in those days and rather homogeneously accepted in our culture.
And today there's just a lot of ideas about manhood. So I'm excited about our discussion today. Well, let's meet Chase Roplogle. He is the pastor of Bent Oak Church in Springfield, Missouri. He holds a degree in biblical studies and an MA in New Testament from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Currently a D-Men student at the Sacred Art of Writing at Western Theological Seminary. He's a native of the Ozark Woods. Oh, I got a lot of questions about that. And he and his wife have two children.
You can find out more about the book, The Five Masculine Instincts at moodybooks.org. Well, Chase, welcome to Building Relationships. Oh, well, thank you for having me. It's an honor to be speaking with you today. Let's begin with a little about you. Tell us about who Chase is, your family, and why you do what you do.
Well, thanks. First and foremost, I'm a pastor. So I've been pastoring the same congregation close to 10 years now, a church that we started. And it's a smaller congregation, about 100 people, which I love. It's very relational. Everyone's pretty much been in my home and I've been in theirs. And first and foremost, my heart is to be a pastor and to pastor a congregation of people well. But I also, I've got a couple of kids. I've got a son and a daughter and we own a little bit of land here in the Ozarks, a couple of horses, a few chickens, although that's mostly my daughter's project. And we just enjoy being outside, doing things together as a family. And there's plenty to keep us busy these days. Is the reason you tackled this topic the confusion that we were just talking about?
I think you set it up well. You know, there was recently a study out that Barna did asking men, Christian men, non-Christian men, to, they'd give them two word options, something like confused and clear. And they would say, which word best describes your sense of masculinity or manhood? And overwhelmingly, and particularly Christian men said that they were more confused.
They would pick the more negative words and the pair of words that they gave them. And as a pastor, I certainly sense it myself too. A lot of the young men in my congregation particularly have been wrestling with these questions. What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be a man in the world we're in today? What does it mean to be a Christian man?
Is that, is there something distinct about that as well too? So for me, I came to the topic primarily, again, as a pastor trying to help sort this out within my life. I'm raising a son myself, but then also for the men in my congregation and sensing that there are a lot of questions, a lot of confusion, unfortunately. And the other part of that that's hard is I'm keenly aware that even having the word masculinity in a book title these days, The Five Masculine Instincts, is for some controversial sort of regardless of what's actually inside the book. And that's a real struggle for me that if the topic itself of manhood and masculinity has become controversial, then there's probably a lot of us that are avoiding it.
A lot of us as pastors that may feel uncomfortable walking that path and avoiding what we consider to be those landmines. And what really suffers in the end is men who are feeling like they're not able to have that conversation or the clarity around it that I think so many of them are looking for right now. Yeah. So your goal is to focus not on outward change, behavior modification, but a strengthening of character. Is that right?
It is. You know, it's struck me that so often the world when it talks about manhood immediately goes to external things, external expectations or traits. And unfortunately in the church, we have a tendency to do that sometimes in a negative way, just cliches. But sometimes we do it also in a positive way. We talk about the sins, the external sins that men are prone to.
I think that's an important conversation that we should be having. But what we don't get around to talking about as often is, well, why those particular sins? Or what are the desires or instincts, motives within my life that are leading me into those particular temptations?
And is there something about being male that predisposes me to those things? So what I wanted to do with the book was I wanted to push that conversation one level deeper. It's not just a conversation about the roles of men or the sins, the expectations of men. It's trying to have a conversation that helps men look deeper and say, well, what are the instincts? What are the desires? What are the things beneath the surface in my life that may be leading to those actions or those outward things that are more easy to see, but really in so many ways are still connected to those internal questions? And I think the question of character is right at the heart of that.
Cultivating character has everything to do with those disciplines of internal desires and instincts, motives that later express themselves into character, into externals. We're going to get into the five instincts in our next segment, but talk about Christian men and what has happened in the last few years regarding masculinity. What are you seeing in the church culture? Well, men in the church are struggling.
We know that's true by the statistics. Men are participating in church less than women. Even the personal practice of faith, the most studies say that they're praying less, reading scripture less than women. Pastors, I can say this as a pastor myself, we still feel stuck. How is it you get men to show up to church?
How do you get them to bear responsibility in families and in local congregations, communities around neighbors? And generally, most pastors, I think most churches are struggling with that. We're seeing the same kind of disengagement and some of the same apathy that the world is experiencing as men are participating less. And so for the church, we're, I think, at a critical moment where we desperately need clarity around what it is men can do and why they're needed, why we need fathers in the homes, why we need men in the church, why we need men serving in communities, we need clarity around that conversation. And we also need to be able to carve a path for men to come back to those responsibilities as more and more men find themselves just frustrated by the confusion and the controversy as they're dropping out and disengaging from those things.
It's not enough to just say, you know, shame on you, you should be engaged men, you should be better fathers. We as pastors, as church leaders, we've got to be able to carve a path to say to men, I understand you're not who you wish you could be. And I understand there's people who may not even want you participating, but here's what that looks like to bear responsibility in a positive way as a believer. And here's how we actually grow in character as men. Here's how we become better men, the kind of men who can bear greater responsibility in families and in the church and in the community. So clarity about those purposes, but also a path that can help lead men to those better things. In so many ways, that's what I've been trying to do with this book as well too, is just carve a path through the controversy to say to men, there is a possibility of Christ-like character and it is something you can strive for and make progress in. And it's not always easy work, but it's really, really necessary work that your family, your congregation, your community depend on.
They depend on you growing in Christ-likeness and in character. So it does matter. So it sounds like to me that you're giving men permission to talk about something that they have, for a lot of different reasons, just kept below the surface, just keep your head down, just keep going. This is opening up a conversation, as you said, to help us go a little bit deeper. Is that right?
Yeah. You know, I mean, one of the things I'm most honored about being on this show is when I think about Dr. Chapman's book, The Five Love Language, one of the things that I think it did so well is it gave language to help couples have more meaningful conversations. So they were probably experiencing these things and feeling these things and probably stumbling through some of that language. But the language of "The 5 Love Languages" really helped start deeper and more meaningful conversations.
In a similar way, that's what I hope this book does. I hope these five masculine instincts gives language for men, for fathers and sons, for brothers, for pastors and men in a congregation, to just be able to have more meaningful conversations. About who are we as men?
And what are the things that we're living out of? How do we actually become more like Christ? And what are those instincts that have to mature in order to do it? Today on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, we're talking with author and pastor Chase Replogle. Our featured resource is his book, The Five Masculine Instincts, a guide to becoming a better man. Find out more at moodybooks.org.
That's moodybooks.org. Well, Chase, let me say, first of all, that I like the idea that you say five masculine instincts. Okay. I like the number five, as you may know.
It's a good number. So let's get into the five masculine instincts. Can you give us an overview of these and the biblical examples of each?
Sure. I'll give you a quick summary for each so we can go wherever you'd like in the conversation. But the five instincts to run through them, and then I'll come back to the character.
The five are sarcasm, adventure, ambition, reputation, and apathy. And for each of those, I pair a biblical character as a way of trying to see that instinct at work in their life as a tool for helping you see it at work in your own. So for sarcasm, I use the life of Cain. Cain has this sarcastic moment where he says to God, Am I my brother's keeper? But that's after God has come down and initiated this conversation with Cain about why his sacrifice has been rejected. And God warns Cain about the sin that's lurking, that's crouched at his door. And what Cain demonstrates is a kind of immaturity, an inability to recognize that God is offering him something good. This discipline, this challenging conversation feels to him like a threat. And his response is to trivialize it, to make it a sarcastic joke, which we see as a reader really as contempt.
It's this immaturity that can't grow up or take the lesson, sarcasm. The second is adventure with the story of Samson. There's this cultural narrative right now, particularly young men feel that to know who you are, you have to leave behind place and tradition and family and religion. And you have to go find yourself on some sort of a quest and adventure, some search for meaning.
And through that process of searching to find your true self, there'll be a kind of actualized self in the process. Samson's story, it can be read that way. He grows up a Nazarite, which is a tradition given to his parents first, and also at a time in Israel's history, that's not a particular high point, but he constantly finds himself tracking down and looking for meaning and all things Philistine. And in the end, he doesn't become wiser or more actualized and lightened because of it.
He seems duller and less discerning and less capable of sensing the story God is trying to write in his life. So Cain and, or excuse me, Samson and adventure. And the third of them is ambition. I use the story of Moses to look at ambition and Moses wrestles with ambition across his whole story. At times he's motivated by it and he strikes down the Egyptian.
The book of Acts tells us expecting that the nation of Israel would rally behind him as his leader, this ambitious action moment. At other times, he seems sort of pressed down by that great ambition. He's discouraged and disillusioned and that the burning bush just can't possibly take on the work that God is giving him.
I'm slow of speech and can't you send someone else? But throughout his life, he's always measuring himself against that vision of his life. And he ends up, because of it, outpacing what God is actually asking of him and becomes at its worst moments, the judge of not only himself, but also the nation of Israel and God. And that obsession is something God finally asks him to set down.
He won't enter the promised land with the people. So Moses and ambition. The fourth reputation in David. David's story is really a story about the public image of being king, a man after God's own heart, and the reality, the truthful integrity of his own life and the difficulty it is to reconcile those two things.
At times, he does so well at this. He takes off Saul's armor and fights Goliath as who he is, a shepherd with God on his side. But at other moments, he sins with Bathsheba and then worsens that sin by covering it up and plotting murder and thinking that he's gotten away with it.
And so I use David's story to have a conversation with men about this tendency to protect our reputation and the real need for integrity, what true integrity looks like. The final of those is apathy with Abraham, which that may be a little surprising. We think of Abraham as the father of faith, certainly not apathetic. He follows God across horizons and not knowing where he's going. But when things do go wrong in Abraham's life, it tends to be because there's a complexity he faces that he finds himself retreating from. When he's waiting and waiting and waiting for this promised son, this heir, his wife Sarah comes up with a plan to produce that heir through Hagar, their servant. He goes along with it and then it produces conflict within his home. And Sarah comes to him and at one moment, Abraham literally says to her, you deal with it. He sort of checks out from the complexity of that situation. And we read that Sarah mistreated Hagar and Hagar and Ishmael flee into the wilderness. That actually happens a few times in Abraham's life. And it's a warning for us as men that we know how complicated and difficult the world can be. And there is a tendency sometimes to with treat, to withdraw from it in our apathy.
But there's a real danger in doing so. In an Abraham story, you see how God wakes him back up to faith in some powerful ways. So a quick summary for each, but sarcasm, adventure, ambition, reputation, and apathy. We want to look into those more deeply as you alluded to already. I noticed that Adam is not listed in the instincts.
Is there a reason why he's not on the list? You know, I look at Adam a little bit in Cain's story, Cain being the son of Adam and inheriting some of this brokenness, sin from Adam, as we all do. But part of the reason, a lot of men's books start with someone like Adam as a way of trying to investigate this question. What's the role men should play?
What is it? What should we be doing as men? And that's a really important conversation, but it's not the place that I try to start with this book. For me, the question is not just what role should men play, that we should be having that conversation.
But what I'm trying to look at is what are the internal things that keep us from living up to those roles, those expectations that many of us are clear about, but find ourselves falling short of. So for me, what I was really interested in were the complexity of these other biblical men and the way that their lives fail to live up to those ideals sometimes aren't really heroic at all, but yet God still redeems them and uses them. And the complexity of that story feels so much like the complexity of our own lives as men. That was sort of what got me interested in them.
Yeah. How did you identify these five instincts? Well, for me, these actually came from, I was reading Shakespeare, believe it or not, one of his famous plays, As You Like It, has a monologue. The opening words will be familiar to most people. All the world's a stage, Shakespeare writes, and each of us, men and women, have our entrance and exits. And he goes on to say that a man in his life plays these seven parts and he describes these seven stages of a man as they're often called their pictures or images. The first and last are birth and death.
And Shakespeare tries to make the point that as we come into the world dependent on someone else's care, we tend to leave the world dependent on someone else's care. But in the middle of those two are these five stages that go from a reluctant schoolboy all the way up to what we might call retirement years. Really quickly when I read those, I noticed number one, some of those images in my own life, kind of where I was within those images. And as a pastor, I recognized really quickly the men in my congregation and that they are motivated not just because they're men by certain things, they're often motivated by these different stages that they find themselves in as men. And those can be different.
They can change depending on life stage, age, but also just situations. And then that became a tool for me recognizing, well, you know, these instincts are also present in the men of the Bible. You can see these in their stories as well. And by seeing them there, they're a tool for helping us recognize those instincts in ourselves. So Shakespeare gave me the images and the language. I tried to put a word to each of them, what I describe as instincts. But Shakespeare, of course, is remembered as one of the great psychological writers. He's trying to get at human nature. And certainly he helped me recognize what was in that broken humanity of many of the biblical men as well. Yeah, that's a fascinating study.
Is there a way to discover your own where you are in these five? Yeah, well, certainly a part of what makes an instinct challenging is C.S. Lewis defines an instinct as behavior as if from knowledge. So in other words, you're acting and living making decisions as if you've taken the time to think it through when really you haven't.
It seems logical and obvious to you like something that's rational, but really you haven't considered it. So the challenge is how do you learn to recognize something that you've already taken for granted as true and are acting upon? And so the biblical characters are a great tool for this. They help us recognize instincts and motives within their lives that suddenly we began to recognize in ours as well. Practically speaking, I did build a little online assessment tool, nothing scientific, but twenty five questions that will help a user sort of begin that process of reflecting on who they are and what might be motivating them. That's the five masculine instincts dot com. But really, it's just a question of, OK, how do I use what I have in the lives of these biblical men to start reflecting more deeply on what might be motivating me as I see it motivating them? Chase, I'm sure there are men who heard what you just said and they were trying to write down that website.
So give it to us again. Sure. The website is the five masculine instincts, just the book title dot com. That's with the number five. You could also just Google search five masculine instincts and you'll find it. And it's just a short twenty five question quiz there. And it'll also follow up and show you that breakdown and also have some video and descriptions that explain each of the instincts as I did before.
Yeah, I think those those kind of quizzes are helpful as we think through topics like this. How do you fight a particular instinct? You know, you realize that this is kind of where I am at the juncture as part of how I'm made. We say, well, this is just who I am. And sometimes we just settle into something less than we could be.
How do you how do you fight that tendency? I appreciate the way you said this is the way we're made, because the truth is these instincts, I think, are a part of our human nature. And I don't think the five instincts I'm describing here are necessarily sinful. I mean, certainly ambition, reputation. We didn't say we want a generation of ambitionless men or the New Testament calls for you to think about your reputation. So these these five instincts aren't the five expectations. You have to have these things to be men, nor are they the five sins of men.
You know, watch out for these. What they really are is they're these tendencies, these instincts, these narratives that we live out of without ever considering or thinking about. And the danger is, as we begin to overindulge those things, to not be able to recognize how they're leading us into action.
So I think the way we fight against them is we check them. We put in place some intentional practices that help us get perspective on them. The philosopher Nietzsche said that a instinct weakens whenever it is forced to rationalize itself. So in other words, when you ask your instincts some hard questions, when you try to get some perspective on it, it loses some of that power over you. It loses some of of its control over you. And you actually become the master of that instinct, a good thing versus it mastering you. So I think perspective and awareness of that instinct at work in your life is really what helps you recognize when to trust it and when there may be a better instinct that you need to trust over that one that you have been.
Yeah. Now, you say in the book that self-knowledge alone can be dangerous. Explain that. Well, I take this from Paul's advice to the young man Timothy. Timothy's in a very difficult pastoral situation, an emphasis, conflict and controversies around the church.
He's young, which some people look down on. And Paul gives him this piece of advice to keep showing the progress that he's making. That's not just logistical progress. Paul's talking about character formation, who you are before this congregation. And that Timothy will do that by keeping a close watch on his life and a close watch on the teaching. The teaching is shorthand for doctrine or the gospel that he's received. Paul goes so far as to say that by doing those two things, he'll save himself and his hearers.
He's talking about he'll pastor well, he'll bear responsibility well, the roles that he's been asked to play. So for Paul, that advice is twofold. It's not just pay attention to yourself, self-knowledge. That can be one of the things the world teaches us to do, your true self, look within, everything's about what is true or right to you. Paul says you should look within your life and understand what's motivating you, why you're behaving the way you're behaving. But there's a secondary act, which is you have to also pay close attention to what you have in Christ and how the things of the gospel change and check and mature those instincts, those desires within you. I like to think of those two works as sort of the left and right foot of progress.
We move forward by better understanding ourselves and better understanding what we have in Christ and applying those two things together. Yeah. Okay. So Chase, I just went to the five masculine instincts.com.
I gave you my email address. I told you how old I am and I'm taking the quiz and there were a couple of questions. I'll tell you what happened to me in just a minute, but there were a couple of questions that really kind of touched the nerve. I find it difficult to stop working. I had to say often on that one. I find myself less engaged than I used to be.
And I think I said occasionally on that, you know, not, not often, but occasionally. Do you find a man when they go, is there one or two questions that just jumped to the front that say, okay, here is where your instinct lies? You know, there's 25 questions. There's five instincts.
So it's probably not hard to sort out here. There's, there's around five questions for each of the instincts. And what I'm trying to do with that assessment is discern which of these instincts might be strongest at the moment. Yeah, this is not a personality test.
It's not as if you are this one thing and will be hit forever. It's really just trying to help you reflect on, are there again, let's go back to that definition of instinct. Are there things going on within me that I've not actually paid close enough attention to that are motivating my behavior?
And are there some symptoms of that that I could see? So of those two questions, certainly the first one, this ability to stop working. Well, maybe there's something going on with the ambition of my life that's leading me to overwork. And could that overworking be tracked back to, well, it's by the way, it's mine too.
That's my highest one when I take the quiz. But this, this tendency in us as men to, there are things that I now withdraw from that used to maybe I engaged in. Well, is there a chance I write about in the chapter on ambition, this scientific idea of entropy that as time goes on, things become increasingly disordered, increasingly complicated. Things don't just order themselves naturally.
They disorder themselves naturally. So the longer we live as men, the more aware we are of how little control we actually have, of how complicated things are. In our youth, we may rush into something, imagining we can fix that.
We can sort that out. That in the wisdom, a good thing of our older age, we recognize is probably more complicated. Now there is a tendency in that to withdraw from it, a kind of apathy that could keep us from engaging those things. So if as a man, you find yourself, you know, often this happens with relationships, avoiding relationships because of their complexity or avoiding things that you used to be passionate about because maybe you just haven't been able to get the outcome you were looking for. Not always a bad thing.
Part of that's a process of aging, but it could also be an instinct of apathy that you're overindulging and can have some, some real consequences associated with it. So, so I got 47% on ambition. That's like off the chart, right?
That's about where mine is. So that's probably the strongest. Again, nothing scientific. You may decide at the end of the day, I don't know, there's something else going on here, but if it's ringing true, you know, if you're feeling the Holy Spirit, then maybe, maybe that's it. Well, I'm glad that I'm only 11% sarcasm, a 6% adventure. My reputation is 14%, but ambition was 47%. Apathy was 22%. And what I take from that is that I can, I can, if that, if I feel comfortable, if I can, and if I can achieve something here and I move toward it, I feel comfortable with that. If I, if I feel like I can't win in this and a lot of times relationships fall into that, then I'm more apathetic to that because I don't see a way to, you know, I don't have ambition toward that because of, for whatever reason. So that's a, I know you're saying it's not scientific, but I'm seeing a mirror here.
Yeah. Shakespeare has a great description of that apathy instinct where he describes the man as beginning to lose his voice as he ages, which is of course a physiological thing. His voice is changing, but he means it also symbolically that our engagement with the world, speaking into those things begins to diminish. And Shakespeare uses the phrase, the world has become too wide. And I think that's a phrase that resonates with a lot of men the longer we live, that things that were once simple and we had passion for suddenly the complexity of cause us to withdraw from.
So I, yeah, seeing ambition and apathy as kind of a lived experience one minute and then the next, I think is probably realistic for a lot of men. You can take that assessment Chase was talking about at thefivemasculineinstincts.com. Our featured resource is Chase Replogel's book, The Five Masculine Instincts. Find out more at moodybooks.org. That's moodybooks.org. You can find out about your love language or discover more ways to strengthen relationships at our website, fivelovelanguages.com.
You can listen to the stream or download the podcast right there at fivelovelanguages.com. Chase Replogel is our guest today, and we're talking about The Five Masculine Instincts, a guide to becoming a better man. For more about that, go to moodybooks.org.
That's moodybooks.org. Well, Chase, before we took our break, you and Chris were talking about ambition and use Moses as an example of that in the Bible. What are the two extremes of ambition? I think this is something people misunderstand about ambition. We tend to think of ambition just as a drive to do something great, which it certainly is. I mentioned before I use Moses to look at ambition and Moses has this at the beginning.
He's driven by this desire. He strikes down an Egyptian. The book of Acts tells us he imagines the Hebrews will rally behind him. He'll become their decisive leader into freedom. But instead the two Hebrew slaves that were being beaten that he rescued end up mocking him, who made you prince over us. And so he flees into the wilderness. When 40 years later, God shows up at the burning bush. You would imagine Moses would be excited because God commissions him to the very work he had tried to take up by his own ambition, go and deliver my people. But now all of a sudden Moses is reluctant. I'm slow of speech. They won't know you've actually sent me.
Can't you send me someone to help? He goes so far as to say, can't you get someone else to do it? We struggle to reconcile those two things. How can Moses be, we imagine, ambitious one moment and not ambitious the next? But I think that's actually the lived experience of ambition. Ambition is I have a vision for something great that I want to achieve in life. And what tends to happen is we begin to measure everything against the fulfillment of that ambition. At moments that leaves us feeling empowered and energized. At other moments, as we feel incapable of achieving it, as that measurement falls short, we feel disillusioned and discouraged. But it's that same vision by which we define our life that really fuels both of those things. So a person who feels beaten down, disillusioned, discouraged by their lack of progress is still really measuring their life against that ambition. And the tendency is we begin to do that with other people. We begin to judge other people and measure them against that ambition.
We begin to measure God against it. Of course, the great moment this becomes clear in Moses's story is God commands him once again to deliver the people by speaking to the rock, water flowing out. Instead, Moses strikes the rock, but he also adds, he gathers the people and says, you rebels, must we provide water from this rock for you? Well, what is it that led Moses to disobey, which ultimately will cost him entering the promised land? Well, it's this judgment of the people around him. You're a bunch of rebels, unlike me. And it's this judgment of God mistaking his emotions for gods.
Must we produce water from this rock? Well, certainly that wasn't Moses producing it. And it's his own discouragement that he feels throughout the process as well, too. So ambition can show up in many different extreme experiences and emotions and feelings, not just the one of empowerment. Well, I think ambition is something, as you said earlier, is a positive thing in that we have a vision to see something. We want to see something happen. We move in that direction.
We're motivated to do that. Yeah, but I think with Christians, obviously we have that thing from Jesus where he said, I'm the vine, you're the branches. You stick with me, you bear fruit.
Without me, you can do nothing. So that ambition for a Christian has to be brought under the view of God. If this is what you want me to do, you can equip me to do it, right? Yeah. And that's the remarkable part of Moses's story because he's asked to set down that great ambition.
He will die on Mount Nebo looking at the promised land that he won't enter. And I write in that chapter about this intentional check on ambition of, can I set it down? Which is a part of this Christian tradition of Sabbath, of rest. It's unfortunately, we tend to think of Sabbath as, if I take one day off a week, I'll get a lot more done on the other six.
It's kind of like a life hack to more productivity. But I think the way God intended it is something like, we accept that we will only ever achieve six sevenths of what we're capable of achieving. That I'm going to intentionally limit what I can envision and imagine I might be capable of to ensure that I'm following God and not outpacing him.
That I'm living and leaning into the vision he has, not the vision that I have. What struck me as so powerful about Moses's story is, I was listening to a professor lecture on Jesus's moment of transfiguration. He begins, his clothes become radiant, his disciples see him revealed as who he is. And the gospels say that he was then joined by Elijah and Moses. And the professor was talking about the location of this transfiguration, probably being their mountain beside the Sea of Galilee. And it struck me that Moses was in the promised land. That he actually does make it into the promised land, but it's not in his own earthly ambition, his earthly body or his earthly effort. It's there with Christ that ultimately that great ambition is fulfilled. And it's his ability to check it, to set it down and entrust it to God that I think ultimately ensures that.
Yeah, yeah. Let's go to the instinctive reputation and you use David as an example of that. So David's struggle with his true identity and what that led to.
Why are men prone to fall into this kind of same pattern? David's life is set in the context of Saul's. Saul was the first king.
His name literally means the one asked for. What's interesting about Saul is his qualifications for becoming king were two things. He was tall and handsome. They saw that and it was enough for them to crown him.
He looked like a king, which was enough to make him a king. And yet he struggles to live up to that public image. He really just can't. He's unraveled by it, the expectations of it. And as I mentioned before, David at times gets this right. He recognizes he has to be who he is before God. I mentioned before when he takes off Saul's armor, there's another great scene where he goes and tries to move the ark to Jerusalem, the city of David, where he's been centralizing his government.
And the language is it's almost a fanfare, a kind of parade. And you imagine that he's probably leading it as this king to the city of David. And it's in that story that you saw reaches up and steadies the ark and is struck dead.
And in that moment, everything stops. They ditch the ark in a nearby house and go home. Well, a few months pass and David comes back and decides to move the ark again.
But this time it's different. He makes a sacrifice and he dresses in a simple linen ephod. It's the garment of a humble servant. It's the same thing Hannah sewed for Samuel when he was serving as a child in the temple. So this time he leads the procession as an act of worship and as a servant. When he comes into Jerusalem, it works.
They make it this time. His wife, which is Saul's daughter, Michael, sees him and says how the kings dishonored himself dressing like a humble servant, a common servant. Well, that is the tension that so many of us live in, this expectation of the world to play a part, to protect our reputation, to care about our public image and the reality of who we actually are, this humble servant, this common person before the Lord. And David at times gets that right and at times gets it terribly wrong. What's always struck me, though, about David is we know so much about his life. At the end of the day, all of the official records are there. A man of his power could have burned them upon his death. And more than that, he leaves us all of his psalms, his own words of repentance for everything he got wrong.
We have everything about his life. And we live in an age where politicians spend millions of dollars to cover up their sins and hire image consultants and publicity firms. But yet David leaves us with the full complex record, which in the end is my definition of integrity. Integrity doesn't mean you always do what is right. It means you're able to bear responsibility and to own both the good and bad in a whole self image. Integrity comes from the word integer.
There's no fractions, no pieces, but one whole thing. And certainly David is that. He's not a model.
I wouldn't say go be like David. There are things he gets right and things he doesn't get right. But in the end, his whole life is a kind of confession and integrity that helps us see his willingness to embrace all of it, both the good and the bad.
Well, yeah. We talked about character. How does that relate to reputation? I think a good example of it is David and Saul. Saul has a reputation and yet his character cannot live up to that reputation and he crumbles under it. At the same time, David has a reputation and at times he protects that reputation, but other times he's willing to present who he actually is. There is a character within him that is bigger, that he is more committed to than just the public reputation.
One of my favorite quotes in the book is there's a Mark Twain quote in this section that says, if you give a man a reputation for rising early, he can sleep till noon. I think that's how we think about reputation. If I can convince enough people of who I am, then it doesn't really matter.
Well, it's the flip. It really matters who you are. And at the end of the day, God sorts that out. He will protect you.
He will see you through. So I think we should spend far more time thinking about who we actually are, the integrity of it, the character of it, and let the reputation be something that's in the hands of God. Yeah.
Yeah. I've always been fascinated by the reality that even though David failed horribly in certain situations, yet he poured his heart out to God, totally acknowledged his failures, and God forgave him and allowed him to continue to rule as king. I think sometimes we get discouraged when we fail and just say, well, I'm just going to ditch the whole thing. We want to make these men heroes. We want to make them good or bad, and we want to either emulate them or don't emulate them, do this or don't do this. And particularly with David, because we know so much about him, but I think it's true of all the biblical characters, they're not so much heroes as they are companions.
They expose us more than they say, be like me. The one we're trying to become like is Christ. And what these companions along the way help us do is recognize our own shortcomings, our own instincts, the way our lives are complicated and need grace. And David is certainly a picture of that, the full complexity of broken humanness and yet a willingness to confess and bear all of that before the Lord. And because of that, to be able to be a man after God's own heart, it's only grace that allows that to be true. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Chase Replogle is our guest, the author of our featured resource titled The Five Masculine Instincts, A Guide to Becoming a Better Man. Find out more at moodybooks.org.
That's moodybooks.org. Well, let's talk a little bit about apathy in our last session here. You use Abraham as an example of that. And you say that if our faith is not tested, it can lead to apathy and difficulty distinguishing between right and wrong. Talk about Abraham. I want to suggest that Abraham's story has a kind of false ending to it. We're at the part of Genesis where it's the story of the patriarchs, Abraham and then Isaac and then Jacob. And so there's a handoff moment in which God moves from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob, this lineage of those patriarchs.
And that appears like it's happening at the end of Genesis chapter 21. Abraham finally comes into the promised land. He has finally received the air, the sun. He has long waited for Isaac. We read that he signs peace treaties with all of his neighbors. He's at a point of great wealth and now security. And Genesis says he plants a tamarisk tree there in Beersheba.
So in other words, it's this image of settling, of retirement, of things finally having come together. And what you imagine would happen is you will turn the page and this will now be Isaac's story. But you turn the page and you read those opening words of Genesis 22, but God tested Abraham. He calls Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.
There's so much you could say and could write, whole books written on that episode. But it's the fact that God tests him here that's so fascinating to me. I mean, you want to say, has Abraham not proved himself? Has he not already passed the test? I mean, he's followed from home and gone, you know, years, decades waiting and believing.
Surely he's passed the test. But I think there's a kind of danger that Abraham faces in that retirement moment that's greater than any of the dangers before. When he's forced to live by faith, to follow God, there's a desire, an eagerness to live by faith because he needs it.
He does not know where he's going or how it will play out or how he'll overcome these dangers or risks. But when the sun is finally his and the peace treaties are signed and the bank account is full and the retirement plan is laid out and the place is finally his, certainly Abraham still has faith, believing that God exists, but the need for an active faith, a lived faith to see him through life. Well, maybe he's most at risk in that moment of not needing God, of not needing faith in that active way. And so it is, God puts him back into a position of needing his faith to be alive and active. There's a great line in Hebrews where it says that Abraham goes through with this. He's willing to sacrifice Isaac because he believes that God was able even to raise him from the dead. I love that word even because it implies this range of possibilities that Abraham saw all of the ways, even to the point of resurrection, that God could raise Isaac from this sacrifice. And so it is Abraham becomes once again this character of faith, walking into something unknown, believing by faith this full range of ways that God might rescue or save, even if it is in resurrection. He becomes once again who he is at his best, a person of faith. And I think God helps all of us as men recognize there's a tendency when we have things firmly in our control, sometimes just by retreating into recliners and hobbies and our own comforts, that we can actually lose hold of the activeness of our faith, the real activeness of our relationship with God.
And sometimes he tests us, not as a way of making us prove ourselves, but a way of waking us back up to that need for lived faith within our lives. You write that these instincts are not necessarily sinful. You've mentioned that before. But if left unchecked and overindulged, they have the tendency to collapse a man's life into desperation and defeat. Explain that.
If you look back over those characters we've discussed, I think you see that play out. Samson overindulges adventure and it leads him to destruction. Cain gives into his sarcasm and he ends up in that story in the land of Nod.
It's Hebrew for the land of wandering, adrift and aimless. Whenever Moses gives into his ambition, he becomes blind to what God is doing and he outpaces God and begins making demands and judging people. When David protects his reputation, it leads him not only into sin, but to cover up that sin in egregious ways that really, if you read the story, plays out in the lives of his own children as well. Abraham, when he gives into this instinct to retreat, it shatters his family.
It creates more brokenness and the very thing he thought he was escaping, more conflict and complexity. So what all of us need as men is we need self-awareness to recognize what are those instincts. And we need the ability to check them with something that we have in Christ that keeps us from overindulging them.
Have an adventure, have an ambition, do have a good reputation, take a retirement, take a vacation. Those things are not wrong, but if they become your whole way of being, if they become your hope, if they become the thing that you trust before anything else, then they will lead you into sin, even though they themselves may not be sin. So as Paul said to Timothy, we get these two works, paying attention to myself, my instincts, but recognizing there's a better instinct in Christ, that Christ offers me something to check these that allows them to be redeemed and used for good, but not overindulged that leads to destruction.
Yeah. As Christians, we see Jesus as our model. So how does he handle these instincts in his own earthly life? I think it's interesting to think that these could have been present for Jesus as well too. They're not sins, they're instincts.
Jesus grew up as a small boy into a man. He understood, I'm sure, this instinct of reluctance to mature like Cain, and probably he understood the desire for adventure, to leave and find something greater. Certainly there's a risk of ambition. I think that's part of what Satan tempts him with whenever he's being tempted in the wilderness, that there's an easier way, a shortcut without the pain or the suffering to have the thing that he's imagining. I think Jesus, obviously people worried about his reputation. His disciples tried to protect his reputation.
People basically said, do you realize how you're being perceived for who you hang out with? And certainly there is a temptation towards apathy. If there's any other way, let this cup pass from me. If I can possibly not have to step into the midst of this, let's do it that way. But I think the thing that's so clear about Jesus' life is a submission. Even if these instincts were present, they're not the ultimate impulse, the ultimate desire, the final conclusion. He trusts his heavenly father. Man does not live by bread alone. Not my will, but your will be done. That's ultimately what it comes down to for all of us as men.
How do we recognize what's going on in our heart? Then how do we turn to God and say, God, I want to use this thing in me for your glory, for your good, and the way that you've created me. If this ambition is from you, then help me to see it and follow it.
If there's something in my reputation that I should be worried about, you show it to me and help me move forward into it. If there is some adventure you're calling me to go on, certainly so much of faith is an adventure, then you lead the way. Not my own ambition, not my own sense for adventure. That ultimately the act of character is an act of submission, of coming before God and submitting all of these instincts to him and trusting that he matures them into Christ-likeness. And I think Christ shows that submission in such powerful ways. Chase, for those of us who are Christians, what's the importance of understanding the gospel and submission to Christ, about which you were just talking, in learning to master these instincts? I think we have to have the gospel to help us do this because the gospel, it is the tool by which we check all of the instincts going on in our life. It's so counter-cultural.
It's so upside down. It forces us to look at things in new ways and to recognize that God is doing something that on our own we wouldn't have chose or could do. So in some ways what the gospel does is it inserts a new instinct into our heart, a new narrative of who we are and how we live. And it forces us to take it, this good news, and reconcile it against all this news, all of these instincts that we're living with. And so I think ultimately I think all of us should grow in character, but I think Christ offers us a way of growing in character that's unique and powerful, that he infuses that into us through the power of the gospel. And I think the gospel is the key to becoming the kind of man we were created to be, who really can mature those instincts into something better, who could bear responsibility better, that the gospel gives us the power, the tools to really check those instincts in a decisive way. Well, Chase, let me thank you for being with us today and for taking the time and energy to write this book.
I mean, I think men are going to find this book very helpful. So thank you for being with us today. Yeah. Well, thank you. That means a lot to me and thanks for all the work that you've put in. It's been valuable to me and the people in my congregation as well, too. And so it's just an honor to be speaking with you. What an encouraging conversation today. Chase Replogle has been our guest.
You don't have to spell it in order to benefit from what we're talking about. If you want to find out more about him and our featured resource, go to moodybooks.org, moodybooks.org, where you'll find out more about the five masculine instincts. Or for more ways to strengthen relationships, visit fivelovelanguages.com. And next week, your questions about love languages, marriage, parenting, and more. Our June edition of Dear Gary is coming up in one week. A big thank you to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Todd. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks for listening.
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