I feel sorry for the man who has never known the bracing thrill of taking a stand and sticking to it fearlessly. Moral courage has rewards that humility can ever imagine. Like a shot of adrenaline, it floods the spirit with vitality.
I believe that without the kindred affection of friends, a man is very one-sided. Just as it takes iron to sharpen iron, through the course of navigating relationships, friction and comfort are created, often showing the truth of a man to himself. Without the grinding wheel, the knife would never be sharp, and without one another, unconditional love with humanity would only be a theory. But through my closest relationships, my rough edges have become smooth and sharp.
The world is full of men who want to be right when actually the secret of a man’s strength and his pathway to true honour is his ability to admit fault when he has failed. God wants to fill the church with men who can say they are wrong when they are wrong. A man who is willing to humble himself before God and his family and say, “I was wrong.” will find that his family has all the confidence in the world in him and will much more readily follow him. If he stubbornly refuses to repent or admit he was wrong, their confidence in him and in his leadership erodes.
Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.
Christian men need to stop being defensive and recognize that God has called us to function in unity with our wives. We need to listen to their counsel, consider their opinions, and pray together for the mind of the Lord rather than putting our foot down and shouting, “I am the leader of this family, and what I say goes!”
What’s the opposite of stepping up? Standing still … lying down … becoming a couch potato. …passivity is a disease that robs a man of his purpose while it destroys marriages, ruins families, and spoils legacies. A passive man doesn’t engage; he retreats. He neglects personal responsibility. At its core, passivity is cowardice.
A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian…and most of all, his family ought to know.
God wants men to be free. Free to demonstrate toughness when a situation or relationship demands it. Free to display grit, strength, commitment, and decisiveness under the Holy Spirit’s direction. God also wants me to be free to demonstrate tenderness, sensitivity and humility. Free to be vulnerable enough to foster intimacy and to shed tears. Authentic masculinity produces a divine elasticity in men. Finally they can lead with firmness, then submit with humility. They can challenge with a cutting edge, then encourage with enthusiasm. They can fight aggressively for a just cause, then moments later weep over suffering. Secure, free, authentic men leave a mark – on their colleagues, friends, wives, and especially their children.
The most authentic witnesses of any man’s character are those who know him in his own family, and see him without any restraint or rule of conduct, but such as he voluntarily prescribes to himself. If a man carries virtue with him into his private apartments, and takes no advantage of unlimited power or probable secrecy; if we trace him through the round of time, and find that his character, with those allowances which mortal frailty must always want, is uniform and regular, we have all the evidence of his sincerity that one man can have with regard to another; and, indeed, as hypocrisy cannot be its own reward, we may, without hesitation, determine that his heart is pure.
I choose faithfulness…Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that they father will not come home.