Men, it is never too late to stand up and be counted as one of the faithful in the Kingdom of God.
It should always be our goal to be a loving father and a faithful husband. In the Old Testament book of Job, Job, the author and the subject of the book, gives us seven characteristics of a godly man in chapter 31.
James Dobson said, "The western world stands at a crossroads in its history. It is my opinion that our very survival as a people will depend upon the presence, or absence, of masculine leadership in millions of homes. I believe, with everything within me, that fathers/husbands hold the keys to the preservation of the family."
Job is a man, who blessed the name of God in the mountains and the valleys of his life. He blessed God when he had plenty and he blessed God when he had nothing. Job did not waiver in his commitment to God.
From the life of Job, we learn that a godly man guards his morality (vs.1-4/9-12). A godly man keeps his behavior in check. He allows himself to be accountable for his actions. He reserves his sexuality for his marriage relationship. He does not give himself over to a lustful mind or visual satisfaction. A godly man models for his children the pattern of a man who is strong but pure.
From the life of Job, we learn a godly man protects his integrity (vs. 6-8). A godly man knows the value of his integrity before God, his wife, his family and his church. A man of integrity can be trusted in his words and actions.
From the life of Job, we learn that a godly man is involved in his community (vs.13-23/31-32). A godly man models the tender heart of Christ. A godly man understands that he has a responsibility to model Christ to his neighbors. One man said, "He hears the cries of the sick and visits them, feels the hunger of the starving and feeds them, sees the nakedness of the poor and clothes them. A godly man sees those who are imprisoned by addiction and seeks to free them."
From the life of Job, we learn that a godly man concerns himself with spiritual things (vs. 24 -28). I love the phrase, "A godly man never forgets who he is, whose he is, or where the meaning and power for life come from."
In the life of a godly man, his foundation is God.
Dr. Stew Webber, in his book, "Tender Warriors," writes: "Fathers and husbands need to learn faithfulness. Stand by your promises. Never, never let go no matter what. When marriage isn't fun, stay with it. When parenting is over your head, stay with it. When work is crushing your spirit, don't let it beat you. When the local church is overcome with pettiness, stay faithful, stay by it. When your children let you down, pick them up. When your wife goes through a six-month mood swing, live with it and be faithful to her ... Be a man. Be faithful."
From the life of Job, we learn that a godly man controls his emotions (vs. 29-30). A short emotional tirade can do a lifetime of damage. A godly man learns his triggers and learns to discipline his responses to situations. Emotions left unchecked will destroy a man's life and home.
From the life of Job, we learn that a godly man is not afraid of accountability (vs. 33-34). My friend, Eric Thomas, recently wrote, "Cracks in our character unattended create catastrophe in our conduct. So, I'm headed to my men's small group!" A godly man never denies that he is a sinner and in need of a Savior. He owns up to his brokenness. Proverbs 28:13 says: "He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy."
From the life of Job, we learn that a godly man is a faithful steward (vs. 38-40). A godly man sees that everything in his life belongs to God, and he is only the manager. He realizes that the day will come when he will give an account of his management.
Job faced adversity and remained faithful to God. God blessed his faithfulness and He will bless yours. Take your family to church this Sunday!
The Rev. Chris Reynolds is pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and Christian Academy in Jonesboro.