Malachi 4 speaks of a time when the hearts of the fathers will be turned to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. It will be a time of reconciliation and shift of emotions and attitudes of mind with families being whole again, a time when fathers will lead and provide for and love their children. It will be a time of peace and God’s law will be the standard in effect. The Church of God, as the embryonic form of the Kingdom of God should be teaching, practicing and experiencing that standard now. Those qualities and characteristics of God must begin with each of us.
Men must be high on the scale of responsibility to practice Godly or generative authority. However men do not have a very good track record and in fact the current state of affairs in this world show a dismal accounting. Books such as, “The Angry Man” and “Finding our Father: The Unfinished Business of Manhood” describe an undercurrent of anger that pervades much of the male population and that, “… boys grow into manhood with a wounded father within, a conflicted sense of masculinity rooted in men’s experience of their fathers as rejecting, incompetent, or absent.”
We in God’s Church have been given a chance to get it right as God intervened in our lives and began to cover those wounds and heal us, to begin to learn what it means to be a man.
In the book, “Family”, authentic Christian manhood is found, “….in behaviors that seek to support rather than dominate women, empower rather than control younger men, and mentor and complement rather than compete with other men.”
I Thessalonians 2:1-11 describe the example of Paul, Silvanus and Timothy in finding and supporting the Church in Thessalonica. We can all seek to emulate their examples but especially men could benefit, as some of it seems to be rather foreign or lacking in present day man’s character.
This scripture shows they had:
- The proper understanding of suffering and how to handle it. (I Thess. 2:1-2)
- They were bold and courageous. (Verse 2)
- They were wholehearted, sincere and had integrity. (Verse 3-5)
- They were humble. (Verse 6)
- They were gentle, affectionate, and compassionate. (Verse 9)
- They labored and toiled. (Verse 10)
- They were devout, just, blameless (spiritual leadership). (Verse 11)
- They exhorted, comforted and charged.
These eight points expanded on apply to everyone but are especially needed in proper Christian manhood. They are valuable traits that could help us all to be better examples in all our relationships. We can and must move beyond our worldly backgrounds and be examples of living Christian principles by the power of God’s Holy Spirit and turn our hearts to the children.
By Ken Vail