“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage (i.e. be a man); be strong! Do everything in love. I Corinthians 16:13-14
It is a tragic story; a crisis any father can hardly fathom. Fox News today carried the report of an inquest in Australia yesterday that revealed the story of a father on a canoe trip with his nine year old twins; Billie, his daughter, and Edward, his son. Taking a wrong turn, they tried to turn their canoe around and a surge of water flipped it over. Coming up in the turbulent waters, the father saw only his son, but could not see his daughter. His son Edward yelled at him to save his sister first. As the force of the water began to separate them from the capsized canoe, the father desperately tried to lift it to find his daughter while keeping an eye on his son. But buoyed by their life jackets he was only able to grab a hold of his son as the rapid current carried them away. The father through grief stricken tears told how his son had told him to save his sister first, but that he was forced in the moment to grab the one he could see or he may have lost them both.
Not knowing anything more about this family than this brief news report, I wonder about the courageous chivalry of this nine year old boy. Did he learn it from a father who taught his son by example and instruction to protect and always treat his mother and sister courteously like a real man? Or was the image of God still stirring within him, while not yet seared by the sin of a world that seeks to destroy all chivalry in a man or a boy? Whatever the reason, when his own life hung in the balance, this young man thought not of himself, but of his twin sister.
We have to wonder as we view the present culture, that if the Titanic sunk in our day would we see the same example of men, and even some boys, in an orderly and very purposeful fashion giving the available seats in the life boats to women and children, while facing their own certain death in the cold, north Atlantic waters. Remember, this is a culture that allows young women to go fight the nation’s wars as healthy young men choose not to volunteer. It is a nation where the male leadership of Congress, under goading from feminist egalitarians, allows former barriers to be removed so wives, sisters and daughters can fight in wars that once were the sole province of manly and chivalrous men.
This instruction of Paul in the last chapter of I Corinthians, though translated within verse 13, “Be men of courage, in the Greek means simply, “Be a man! The King James in less familiar older English idiom translates it, “Quit you like men; be strong! We sometimes tell our boys and young men when they are teary, timid, or fearful, “Be a man! That does not mean in biblical thought, “be macho, or “be a male chauvinist, as feminists would have you believe. What it means is “be a man in the mold of God our Father; be a man like the Lord Jesus Christ. Be strong and courageous; be protective and courteous of those who are weaker (I Peter 3:7). Do everything in love. If chivalry is known as some have defined it, as “a gentlemanly code of the value of a man’s honor, respect for women, and a concern for the less fortunate among other such manly qualities, we need a whole lot more of it. You men and boys, be a man!
“Heavenly Father, our day needs men who will be real men in Your image. Raise up godly men, fathers who will teach their boys to be a man!
Sign up for our monthly newsletter and weekly devotional