Celebrating the true value of men by Esther Kuku

I choose to believe that there are lots of good men out there – the kind that still believe in romance; opening doors for women; waiting to seat their wives (or the woman they are with) at a restaurant before they sit down…

I remain convinced there isn’t a deficit of good fathers, who lead their homes with grace rather than with a rod of iron.

I know there are young men, who embody what it means to be positive and brilliant, men who want to make a difference in the world. These men defy the stereotypical image often portrayed of Black men in the Media.

This Father’s Day, we choose to celebrate you all. Today, we remind you of Joshua 1:9 – ” Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

The perception of being a ‘man’ (as opposed to simply being ‘male’) brings its own challenges: having the sense that everything is on you; constantly being confronted with messages that would suggest you are less than you are. Black men, in particular, are often portrayed as absent fathers; unwilling to commit; loud, opinionated and emotionally charged; perpetually associated with intractable issues… especially when it comes to family life.

I am surrounded by examples of good Black men. It’s sad that the Media still bombard us with negative stereotypes of them.

I know many men who have fully embraced their roles as fathers and providers. They are committed to developing their relationships with their wives and children. They are quiet Kings.

The mistake often made by many is to focus on the outward appearance of a man to determine who he is. However, only God’s standard should be used to discover a man’s true identity. We need to pray for our men and women to understand this. Why? Because focusing on the externals is the reason why some single women miss out on God’s best for their lives, and why some married women disrespect their husbands and are never satisfied.

What should matter most is that he always aims to meet the expectation of his Creator, as outlined in God’s Word. He may not achieve this every day, but the daily pursuit of holiness is where his true value is found.

In Scripture, a man’s value is not about material possessions, physical appearance or wealth. We have reduced the biblical role of a man as provider to exclusively relate to financial provision. I study the way my children look at their father; their deepest need isn’t money, it’s love, guidance and a role model of what it means to be a godly man. My children don’t just want their father to be physically present; they want and need him to be spiritually present, too.

God’s Word speaks first and foremost about the importance of a man’s character and integrity before anything else. Wouldn’t it take so much pressure off our men if we all just understood that their role as ‘provider’ goes much deeper than bringing home the bacon!

Deuteronomy 6:7 says “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” This defines true success as a father.

We salute the men who are priests of their homes, and the ones who are priests-in-the-making. Without the prayers of mighty men of valour, where would we be? Your prayers are the reality that, actually, everything is not on you – it’s on the Father of all fathers. So relax, you’re doing a great job and the buck doesn’t stop with you after all.

This Father’s Day, let’s remember that God is looking at the condition of a man’s heart. He desires the heart of every male – from a teenager upwards – that follows after Him, and so should we. That is our template for achievement, nothing else. In remembering this, we will dispel damaging stereotypes and stir up confidence in our men that will enable them to reach their full potential.

 

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