Theme of the Week: Godly Masculinity
Bible Verse: “Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.” Titus 2:2
Scripture Reading: Titus 2:1-8
There’s a t-shirt that says, “It’s weird being the same age as old people.” I find this not only hilarious, but absolutely true. Perhaps I am not old, but I don’t even feel like I am as old as my birth year insists I am. In my head, I’m still capable of the things I was twenty years ago. A suggestion my wife meets with a gentle rolling of the eyes and wry smirk.
But we do get older. Like it or not, age comes for us all. Hopefully, when we are old and full of years, we will have had the experiences that have turned us into wise and gentle men.
Paul’s instructions to Titus reveal that this is not a natural effect of age. Writing to another young pastor (the last couple of days we have looked at what he wrote to pastor Timothy) named Titus. Paul tells him that older men—not exactly sure who all that category entails—should be taught certain things. Specifically, they must be taught “to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance” (Titus 2:2).
If we must grow up in our heads, it seems we must grow up in our actions too.
There are two categories of characteristics here. One category has traits that are outward, action-oriented. The other category has more internal traits.
Let’s talk about the first category (we’ll look at the second tomorrow). The first list: temperate, worthy of respect, and self-controlled, all seem inextricably related. Temperance is evenness, not prone to overreacting or flying off the handle at things. This actually requires self-control. The ability to moderate one’s behavior by force of will rather than by strict impulse. It is difficult to imagine respecting someone who lacks these character traits. A man who lives in temperance and self-control will be worthy of respect.
Prayer: Lord, I do not know if I am old or not, but I know that I will one day be and that temperance, respect, and self-control will not automatically happen when I am “old.” Help me to develop these qualities in my life now so that when I am old, I do not need to be “taught” them.
Reflection: Are there any areas where temperance and self-control are difficult for you? Ask God to show you where.
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