“Let us make man in our image, so that they may rule…” Gen. 1:26
According to the creation story in the Bible, God created men to be rulers over the world. Ruling isn’t dominating, controlling, or dictating. Ruling is shepherding, serving, leading, and creating. Ruling has less to do with power than it does with responsibility.
There is something wired in the heart of every man that produces in him a desire to have dominion over something. When a man is ruling over something: serving and leading and taking responsibility for a dominion, he is reflecting the image of his creator. God has created men in such a way as to be conduits for His power and glory when they are ruling over his creation in the way He intended them to.
Part of “having dominion” over something is being a creator and cultivator, not a consumer. As I look around myself at a few of my friends who seem to be in “extended adolescence,” I see a few of them that are still consumers of everything. That’s what children do… they consume whatever is given to them. Part of maturity as a man is ceasing to merely be a consumer and starting something, initiating something, giving back to the world, taking responsibility for others, and leaving a better world in their wake.
Men create homes and cultivate their families. Men create jobs and cultivate careers. Men start businesses and cultivate them. Men pursue women and cultivate romance with them. Men take responsibility first for themselves, and as they mature for others as well.
Another part of ruling is providing. A man was created to hunt and provide for people around him. That means learning and mastering whatever skills he needs to in order to provide for those for whom he is responsible. A man provides financial stability for his family. A man manages his finances well and saves money wisely. A man works hard at his job and is competitive in business because he is providing for his family. Eve was made from the rib of Adam, and it always requires a sacrifice on the part of a man to provide for a woman.
To the extent that a man isn’t ‘ruling’ in the way he was supposed to, in love, service, and responsibility, he is not reflecting the image of his Creator, and there is a feeling within himself and among those around him that something is missing in this man’s life.
Unfortunately many men go through life indefinitely being consumers rather than creators and cultivators, with wives and girlfriends that enable them by doing everything for them.
We were wired for leadership, which doesn’t mean power but rather responsibility and service. That is what it means to be a man that reflects the glory of his Creator … a man who rules… who creates and cultivates, and who provides for other people, sacrificing on behalf of others and leaving a better world in his wake.