By Kendall Ficklin
[dropcap]R[/dropcap]ecent studies show that there are many homes in which men are not present. At one time these statistics mainly pertained to minorities, however today they transcend race and socioeconomic lines. Millions of children are growing up fatherless without a model of manhood in the home. As a result, boys grow to be men physically but not mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. Becoming a true man is not a natural occurrence. It happens over time as one is taught. I too am a product of these statistics. I loved my father. However, he was only present in our home until I was twelve years old.
My father never taught me how to honor and respect women. He never taught me how to manage money. He was unable to teach me about a God that he did not know. I entered into marriage at a young age without ever seeing a proper relationship between husband and wife. I didn’t know that something as simple as a family eating together and having conversation should be the norm and not the exception. I don’t blame my father and if any of this sounds personally familiar, I don’t want you to blame yours either. Chances are, like my father, your father really didn’t know any better either.
I urge every man reading these words to make a conscious effort to change. Once we know better we must do better. Remember that God winks at ignorance but He holds all of us accountable for the right that we know.
As Haggai 1:6-7 reminds us, consider your ways. Below is a short checklist for you to see where you are on the journey to manhood.
Qualities of a Man:
Leads his family and community spiritually. He prays with and for his family daily because he knows that the fervent, effectual prayers of a righteous man avail much. He takes his family to church and is not simply present on Sundays but actively involved. He stays submitted to the church and its vision.
Provides financial, emotional, and physical stability for whom he is responsible for.
A protector. His spirit is assertive and aggressive. He is willing to live and die for what he believes in.
He does not compromise his beliefs. He has a problem with buying bootleg CDs and DVDs.
Controls his flesh. He understands that success only comes with discipline and there is no room for excuses. He has enough self-control to stop lusting, drinking, smoking, lying, and fornicating.
Allows himself to be challenged and held to a higher standard than the world would dictate. No man can be strong if he is not accountable to someone else. Do not refuse instruction and always seek wise and Godly counsel. A man without accountability is a dangerous man.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” — Ecclesiastes 4:8-12
Will do whatever it takes to achieve goals. Sleepless nights are a small price to pay.
Jesus was a servant so never believe that serving others needs before your own is beneath you.
Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision the people perish”. This man is living today but also sees tomorrow, he is planning and preparing for the future. He has conceived something in his mind and is now moving toward bringing that thing into existence.
He is the “point man”. He leads by example and sets the tone. This man understands that as he goes, so the family goes.
If these qualities seem unattainable, remember that it will not happen overnight. We are in this battle together. Be willing to change and God will order your steps.