Titus 2:2 – Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
I used to be a young guy. Obviously, I’m not anymore, so if you’re an old guy like me, here’s an exhortation for you.
The Bible speaks very clearly to the responsibilities of men, especially of fathers. Biblically, manhood is considered to begin right around 40. Until then, you’re considered a young man. By the time you were 40, you were married, had kids, owned a business or had a career, and talked and acted like a man, not a boy. Our culture has extended adolescence to where the average man gets married around 30 and has a kid around 35. 40% of children in America tonight will go to bed without a father. That is deplorable.
Paul says, “My beloved children, for though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers.” There are a lot of teachers, but not a lot of fathers. Today you can buy books, listen to podcasts, and talk to “experts”, but few of them have any idea how to be a godly man and father.
We are a culture built on rebellion against fathers. Ever since the ’60s and ’70s, it is just assumed and presumed that every generation would rebel against their father like a rite of passage. So what does the Bible say about manhood? Thanks for asking.
1. Men are to forgive. If you hold any bitterness toward your father, you need to accept the disposition of a father in your home and in your community. Let me tell you this, the world is not giving us good examples of fathers. Only in your home can anyone see a woman get prayed for. Only in your home can they see a family sit down for dinner. Only in your home can they see that a father has bought an age appropriate Bible for each child in the family. Only in your home can they see that a dad lays hands and pray over his children to be the source of life and blessing. Only in your home can they see the TV get turned off so that the conversation can get turned on.
2. Men are to be the head of their family, meaning that women and children flourish under their leadership. Pray with your wife every day. Read your Bible every day. Every day. If you’ll just do a couple simple things, you will see that God honors and blesses that and you will start to receive the father heart of God. That will change how you relate to your wife, your children, your grandchildren and others will start seeing you in a way of spiritual fathering.
3. Men are to lead culture. If the older men would take upon themselves the responsibility of spiritual fathering, we would start to see cultural transformation. Some of you men would say, “I’m not a teacher, I’m not a theologian.” Let me say, if you’re godly and wise, you are needed. Any old guy with a beat-up Bible is a unicorn, right? He’s one of a kind.
4. Men are to have a father’s heart. Speak life into your wife, not destruction. Into your kids. Into your grandkids.
5. Men are to train up the next generation in what is right. Men who are seasoned, have been beaten down and gotten up, failed and tried again, and maintained their fidelity toward their wife and toward the Lord must have the father’s heart to develop the next generation. These are your power years to pass on all that God has taught you. No guy is perfect, but by God’s grace, everyone has wisdom to share.
Are you operating out of the Father’s love for you with His heart for those you lead? How can you practice having a father’s heart?