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1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Who are some well-known guys in our culture who express well what it means to be a real man? In my days we had someone like the former wrestler Stone-cold Steve Austen, who gave menacing stares to his opponents and threatened to kick them in the pants? (Of course, all said in a more colourful language than that!) Or is it someone like Wayne Rooney who singly earns as much money as a small country or supposed mwananchi’s “great leader” Mike Mbuvi Sonko?

Who are the men in your personal network of relationships who demonstrate well what it means to be a man before God and others? Think for a moment . . . What makes them good examples of manhood?

We are going to see a great example of what true masculinity is from Scripture passage. 

One of the most profound portraits of a godly man is found right in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12. It is a picture of the Apostle Paul.

1. A godly man demonstrates courageous initiative in his life (verses 1 & 2)
Reading verses 1 & 2. In Acts 16:22-24, we read that Paul  and Silas were stripped and severely flogged in the Philippian jail and their feet 
were put in stocks. As if this wasn’t enough a lesson for them: They came to Thessalonica, and we see that they encountered opposition here as well. But 
they didn’t let this opposition deter them from what God had called them to do.

A real man will do the right thing even when it’s not the  most convenient or easy thing to do. For God’s purposes to be advanced best in a family, a church, or society, there needs to be men who are willing to  exercise courageous and sacrificial leadership.

Someone has said that you can divide the world into three groups of people:

* Those who make things happen,

* Those who watch what’s happening, and,

* Those who don’t know what’s happening.

A man faithful to God will fall into that first category, even when he’s criticized. A godly man will seek to provide godly leadership in his spheres of influence. (In saying this, I am not saying that women cannot ever take  initiative.)

2. A godly man demonstrates integrity in his life (verses 3 – 6a)

The spiritual power of a godly man resides right here. The greatest need of our culture is men with a pure heart, who have a single eye to please the Lord. Nothing would change our families and culture faster and more powerfully than men who would love God with all their soul, all their heart, all their mind and all 
their strength – even with their bodies.

“The highest masculine impulse is that which ‘wills My will’ for some creative purpose, and holds firmly to that purpose until it is accomplished . . . Nor will the woman disciple lack a share in these masculine impulses of the soul. She, too, will develop the will to create, to conquer, to overcome, for the redeemed soul must be integrated, ‘one-d’ into that Christ nature in Whom  there is ultimately neither male or female, but one man in Christ.”

A double-minded man, who is divided in his loyalty to God, is not in complete touch with his God-given masculinity.

In his book The Master and the Disciple, John Gaynor Banks has the Master who represents Jesus) say these words:
“The double-minded person is torn by conflicting desires which make it impossible for him to step confidently and powerfully into his world to make a difference for God. He becomes less than what God created him to be.

Leanne Payne writes: “The power to honour the truth – tospeak it and be it – is at the heart of masculinity.” Only the man with a pure heart has the power to consistently honour the truth in his life. He is the one with a single eye to please the Lord Jesus, Who is the Truth.

In our portrait of a godly man, we see that a real man demonstrates courageous 
initiative and integrity in his life.

In addition,

3. A godly man imparts his life for the good of others. (Verses 6b – 9)
Let’s read verses 6b to 9. I believe if a man is true to his God-given manhood, he will express mother-like nurturing to those around him. God has made a man with masculine and feminine aspects. Obviously, it goes beyond question that the masculine aspects should 
be more dominant in a man.

     Seeing I’m quite an ardent movie fan,

An actor I REALLY like is Arnold Schwarzenegger, oh Sylvester Stallone too. But focus being onm the former, I don’t like all the movie roles he plays tho’. In fact, I believe I’ve watched all his works.

In his “Terminator&Conan” movies, Schwarzenegger plays an exaggerated masculine role. Especially the fomer, he plays a kind of he-man character. It is not an ideal portrait of how God has created a man to be. We are not the supposed “Iron-men” we’d like to potray to be.

But in his role as an undercover police officer in the kindergarten Cop, pretending to be a kindergarten teacher, he demonstrates more clearly what God has created a man to be(or so I picture). 
He has strength but also a softer side that can nurture those around him. In general, men need to work a little harder on developing this aspect of their  manhood. Trust me, out of personal experience, ’tis the hardest but most-worth endeavour.

Paul didn’t just preach the gospel and then leave. He nurtured the flock that came into being through his preaching the gospel. He poured his very self 
into the Thessalonica believers. Paul was willing to give not only the Gospel but his own life as well.

Our calling as men is GREATER than our lives – PERIOD !!

4. A godly man integrates love and discipline in his nurture of others. verses 10 – 12)
I know a man whose greatest challenges as a pastor and as a father is to strike a redemptive balance between exhorting those under his care to live a life worthy of God and to encourage and comfort those same people.

I think we(at our different phases in life) all have that challenge as “mothers” and fathers. On one hand, we don’t want to be authoritarian. But on the other  hand, we don’t want to be doting “mothers” and pampering fathers.

I have come to realize that I can approach this redemptive balance only as I live with a pure heart and as I am willing to pour my life into others. It’s not easy a task, but then again all that’s good has its fair share of trials to make it worth a journey.




  • I want to close with a challenge especially to the men(and that includes myself):

 * Are you striving to be a godly man?

 * Are you demonstrating courageous initiative to advance God’s purposes in your and others lives?

 * Do you demonstrate integrity in your life?

* Do you nurture the life of God in those closest to you?

* Do you interact redemptively with those closest to you by balancing exhortation and encouragement?

If someone asked you the question: “What is  real man?”, how would you answer? What is true masculinity? Many people in our society would find this a  hard question to answer.


        “JESUS IS LORD”