Creating a Culture of Godly Men
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Our world desperately needs godly men.
Darrell Steffensmeier says:
"Gender is the single best predictor of criminal behavior: men commit more crime, and women commit less."
The US Department of Justice recently revealed:
- 90% of all murders are committed by men.
- 88% of robberies are committed by men.
- 75% of all people arrested are men (Crime in the US).
Studies also reveal that 1/3 of all children in America are raised in fatherless homes, and 85% of male inmates claimed they did not have a father figure (see My Blog "The Dad Deficit").
Our society needs godly men. Our families need godly men. Our churches need godly men. Period.
The problem today is that many men don't know how to be godly men. Bryan Carter says:
"Men are in a state of confusion as many men don't know what it means to be a man these days. Men are experiencing all kinds of pain (from past mistakes, divorce, father wounds, failed expectations) and don't talk about it. Men are lonely as an increase in technology has decreased intimacy; men are drifting away from the Lord and their families (A Man & His Design)."
If men are in a state of confusion, what does the Bible say that gives us direction on what to do?
In the book of Titus, Paul writes to Titus, telling him to instruct older men and younger men.
Instructions to Older Men
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance (Titus 2:2).
Paul tells Titus to teach older men to do the following...
- To Be Temperate. Temperate means to be sober-minded, free from intoxication, level-headed. A temperate man avoids extravagance and over-indulgence. He is able to know which things are of greatest value.
- To Be Worthy of Respect. This means an older man is to be revered, to be dignified, and to be honored. In order to gain respect from others, an older man must be someone who goes after that which is noble and morally valuable (Psalm 1; Philippians 4:8).
- To Be Self-Controlled. This means to be modest, prudent, restrained, and disciplined. An older, godly man controls his temper and is able to control his tongue.
- To Be Sound in Faith. This man has lived long enough to know that God can be trusted in every way. He has seen God provide year after year, and he knows God keeps His promises.
- To Be Sound in Love. This man has learned to be others-focused and not self-centered. Men can easily be self-absorbed, but a godly man thinks of others interests before his own (Philippians 2:1-5).
- To Be Sound in Endurance. An older man has been knocked down many times but is able to get back up again. He never gives up but presses on.
One of the biggest lies for older men is that they are no longer able to contribute. This is not the case. Dennis Rainey says,
"We weren't designed by God to rust out but to wear out."
For men in their 60s and above, you are in a season of wisdom. You should find a younger man to invest in and mentor. You should tell them how you learned from mistakes and how you were able to endure life's hardships.
For older men in their 40s and 50s, you are in a season of influence. David Levinson says,
"Men between 40-60 are the guys who create and implement the governing ideas in every sector of society -- whether it's politics, businesses, religion, art, or science."
Men in their 40s and 50s have lived long enough to be experts in their field and to have been able to advance and become leaders of great impact in their field. The major danger for men in this season is to have a mid-life crisis (Taken from A Man & His Design).
After talking about older men, Paul tells Titus on how to instruct younger men.
Instructions to Younger Men
Similarly, encourage younger men to be self-controlled (Titus 2:6).
It's interesting that Paul tells Titus to focus on one thing to teach younger men: self-control.
Let's be honest: young men tend to be impulsive, passionate, ambitious, and sometimes arrogant. They tend to feel invincible. When we lack self-control, we are unable to control or restrain our actions or feelings.
For men in their 30s, you have an opportunity to grow. You are getting more experience in your career and are logging in more hours. The challenge for you is having self-control with your schedule. The demands of work and the demands of raising small children can be difficult to juggle. A man in his 30s needs to be disciplined with his schedule and making sure he spends enough time at home, with the Lord, and investing in strong friendships with other men.
For men in their 20s, you must learn, and you must become a man. Our world seems to promote extended adolescence, but when you're in your 20s, you need to put the video games down and move out of your parents' house.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:11:
"When I was a child, I thought like a child, I spoke like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things."
Paul made the conscious effort to put childish things away and step into manhood. A man in his 20s needs to exhibit self-control by watching his temper, watching his tongue, watching his thought life, and watching his spending.
When a young man is in his childhood through teenage years, he must learn to control his raging hormones. He must be self-controlled with his emotions as he is learning who he is. He must control his spontaneous actions.
Unfortunately we don't expect a lot out of young men. We need to raise our expectations of them and invest in the future generations.
Paul goes on to remind Titus that the only way we can be godly is by the grace of God.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.
The way we can live self-controlled lives is by embracing the gift of God's grace. Once you have been changed by Jesus and have embraced His gift of salvation by knowing you have been forgiven, you will desire to be a man of integrity, of faith, of self-control (for more about grace, read my blog post "Grace").
Our world needs godly men. No matter what season of life you're in, find someone older who can invest in you. Find someone younger who you can invest in. The Bible gives us clear instructions of what it means to be a godly man. Please take the time to invest in God's Word and ask the Lord to help you step up with courage and boldness in whatever season of life you're in.