If ever there was a time, if ever there was a season, if ever there was a cause that cried out for men of purpose and men of purity to step forward and draw upon the powers of heaven, it is today
~ Robert L. Millet, Men of Valor: The Powerful Impact of a Righteous Man* ~
In his November 12, 2014 Op-Ed analysis piece, Christian Kachel observes:
The assault on males continues everyday through our media, best exemplified by the network television template for primetime sitcoms—from “King of Queens” to “Modern Family”, and “The Big Bang Theory”. Immature, usually overweight, lazy, spineless men navigate life by accident, dumb luck or with the help of superior female characters. While this may be reality for some, it reinforces the negative stereotype that any form of masculine behavior is to be marginalized, ridiculed and shunned.
The premise of his article appears to be about the cultural shift in America. He appears to comment how it relates to understanding modern masculinity. His polemic charge against the increase in dependency and entitlements appear to be grounds (at that time) to undermine traditional masculinity and perception; especially when it comes to the military.
Whether one accepts, or denies, the premise of Kachel’s Op-Ed analysis. We may want to draw our attention to the emasculation of men in American Culture today. We want to move from the demoralization of masculinity and bring back a proper worldview of how Christian Men today are not to be afraid to be men of valor.
What does it mean to be a Christian Man of Valor?
In his book, Robert Millet provides an insightful observation:
- We are to stand in the position God has called us to
- We are to take up our cross on a daily basis
- We are to deny ourselves of ungodliness and every worldly lust (see Matthew 16:24)
- Our minds are to be occupied with uplifting thoughts
- We are to ponder those things Paul wrote about in Philippians 4:8
- We are to avoid any places, influences, or people that may degrade or dilute the power of Christ*
- We are to rise up and reach out to make a difference
In the introduction of his book, Men of Valor, Richard Exley describes our struggles with this observation:
The enemies attacking us will not be soldiers on the battlefield but the inner enemies that war against our souls – things like fear, egotism, selfishness, materialism, lust, and the abuse of power. These are the enemies that ambush us at every turn, that threaten to rob us of our destiny. And these are the enemies we must defeat if we are to become the men God has called us to be.
Exley states he has “…identified seven characteristics possessed by valiant men throughout history and today.” These seven characteristics are:
- Spiritual Passion
- Sexual Purity
Millet’s book references more of the action men of valor take in relationship with their calling and living out according to scripture:
- Need for men to Awaken and Arise
- Focusing on the Lesser Things (walk the walk and not just talk the talk)
- Giving heart and soul (Surrender to God and God’s Will)
- Being United (Fellowship of believers)
- Following after the manner of Christ
- Christ’s Royal Priesthood
- Acting in the name of Christ
Finally, we come to understand the nature of Valor itself. That being, Christian men of valor are those individuals who possess a boldness, determination in regards to facing difficulties through heroic courage and bravery. In essence, Valor refers to the strength and moral worth of men in today’s demoralization of masculinity.
Christian Men of Valor are Bold
What this mean’s is that Christian men are fearless, possess a freedom from the entrapment of those things that either degrade or dilute the power of God’s grace in our hearts. Along with this sense of fearlessness and freedom, we become confident through Jesus Christ in who we are as men. Confident in living out our lives daily for Christ. Confident in approaching the throne of God. Confident in our own faith toward God’s will and desire.
Christian Men of Valor are determined
Since we are redeemed through Christ’s atonement, we have a firmness of purpose. We become resolute in our faith and hope that lies within us. We continue to strive, to work toward, and achieve something that may become quite difficult for us. There is also the very act that as Christian men of Valor, we act upon our decisions to serve God, to exercise our faith in God, and fix our eyes on the settling purpose of God’s own word.
Christian Men of Valor are Heroic and Courageous
Through our commitment to God, to our families, and to our services within the community, we become daring to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We become noble in not only talking of Christ, we preach Christ through how we are living out those virtues and values that define us. We act courageously in following Christ that may be quite frightening. Despite our fears, we are able to persevere and endure because we receive strength in the face of any pain or grief we may face.
In addition, our courage comes as we are continually strengthened through Christ because we are acting in accordance to our beliefs – despite any criticisms that may come our way.
Because of our heroic and courage to follow Christ, we develop a mental and moral strength to continue to venture toward an increase of our faith. We persist, withstand, and face our own fears as it relates to those times of difficulty.
Christian Men of Valor show Bravery
Through all of the aforementioned values espoused, a Christian Man of valor shows an act of bravery by being valiant, fearless, confident in how they actively face and endure anything threatening or difficult. Through it all, we grow in our relationship with God, we exemplify the ministry of Christ, and we sharpen and serve other men in the hopes of inspiring them to become Valiant in their efforts in this time.
We should not be afraid to be Christian in today’s social climate. We also have no fear to be men of Valor in a social climate that appears to have long demoralized masculinity in a more palatable and socially accepted means to emasculate true manhood.
Call to Action
The hope is to inspire Christian men to come face to face with who they truly are – Men of Valor. It is also hopeful to inspire men to share with one another the nature and power of ways to become examples of valiant men to young men. Our society struggles with stereotypical identities that belay the reality that true manhood not resides in the gender itself – it resides in the characteristics espoused by those who truly identify themselves as men of God.
Therefore, your thoughts and discussions on this topic are greatly appreciated. Share this with others, ponder the thoughts, check out the resources provided, and let us awake and arise to the reality of who God has called us to become.
* Millet’s book is written from an LDS (Mormon) perspective. His principles fit well within the Christian Biblical Worldview of how we are to become men of valor.