Four Positive Male Role Models in the Bible

Let us acknowledge right at the beginning that no man is perfect; but positive aspects of a man's life may be overlooked by people who prefer to judge him by his faults.

Therefore, we look for positive images in the lives of four men in the Hebrew Bible, who have already been judged. They all have character strengths worthy of mention and they encourage us to imitate their loyalty to God and their service to their fellowmen rather than their human prowess.

Positive, not perfect, is our emphasis in the lives of Jacob, Aaron, Mordecai and Jehonadab.

Male Role Models

Model
Family Role
Reference Text
Jacob
Son
Genesis 28
Aaron
Big brother
Exodus 4 and 17
Mordecai
Cousin
Book of Esther
Jehonadab
Father
Jeremiah 35

(1) Jacob, the Son Who Turned His Life Around

"The Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau" by Abraham Willemsens between 1625 - 1672
"The Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau" by Abraham Willemsens between 1625 - 1672 | Source

Jacob committed acts of deception toward his father which may cause us to expect that his life would be miserable. His brother Esau became angry to the point of planning to murder him.

So what can be positive about the life of the mischievous, deceptive Jacob?

  • Jacob listened and responded to God who revealed Himself in a dream when he left (more like "was sent away" from) home on his way to his uncle’s house.
  • He made a commitment: “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going . . . so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God” (Genesis 28:21).
  • His life became a demonstration of God grace, and a testimony to the fact that God is willing to effect change in the life of any wayward son.

Jacob is a positive example for the mischievous delinquent who remembers and respects the God that his parents taught him about. It may take severe problems or losses to make him pay attention and learn to trust God. After many trials, Jacob asked his brother’s forgiveness and returned home. He had matured to an understanding that there is benefit in honesty, not in deception.


(2) Aaron, The Model For Big Brother Support

"Moses and Aaron Speak to the People" by James Jacques Joseph Tissot  c. 1896-1902
"Moses and Aaron Speak to the People" by James Jacques Joseph Tissot c. 1896-1902 | Source

When a younger brother is selected for a position which the older brother is more qualified to do, it is not unusual for the older brother to decline the role of supporter. Yet, Aaron performed in the role of supporter to Moses, three years his junior. He put purpose above pet peeves.

  • When Moses objected to taking the lead on account of his inability to speak, the eloquent Aaron willingly obeyed God’s request to speak for Moses.
  • Under the instruction of Moses, Aaron performed miracles before the Pharaoh (Exodus 4:29, 30).
  • In a battle between the Amalekites and the Israelites (Exodus 17: 10-13), the Israelites were winning when Moses held up his hands. When his hands became tired, Aaron held up one of Moses’ hands while another Hebrew named Hur held up the other.

Later, Aaron led the people in rebellion when Moses stayed on Mount Sinai longer than they expected (Exodus 32: 1-3). He questioned Moses’ leadership when Moses’ chose a Cushite woman for his wife (Numbers 12:1-3). Anger can be a flaw, but it can also be a show of concern. When God rebuked him, he confessed that he was wrong, and he surrendered again to the direction of his brother.

Both brothers were prevented from entering the Promised Land because they distrusted God (Numbers 20:10-12). Yet the exceptional work that they performed together carried historical, national and spiritual significance. Thanks to the cooperation of a big brother who supported the leadership of his younger sibling.


Monument erected to the memory of  Esther and Mordecai, Hamadan. Author:  Eugène Flandin (1840)
Monument erected to the memory of Esther and Mordecai, Hamadan. Author: Eugène Flandin (1840) | Source

(3) Mordecai, Exceptional Male Cousin

Attractive, conscientious, and full of potential, Esther would have brought much joy to the hearts of her parents, but they had passed on. Mordecai, her cousin, inherited the responsibility of protecting, nurturing and guiding the youthful Esther (Book of Esther). He did an excellent job.

  • In a male dominated society, where women were treated like property (as demonstrated in the case of Queen Vashti who was dethroned for disobeying the king), Mordecai empowered Esther to become the next queen.
  • He had taught Esther the principles of obedience, confidence and loyalty to her Jewish roots. He instructed her what to do and not do in the palace.
  • Every day he walked through the courtyard to inquire about her. He was the kind of cousin who loved no less than a good father or brother would.

What a contrast to the family members who are accused of abuse—physical, verbal, emotional, and even neglect—to members of their household. Mordecai rose to the responsibility, giving Esther no excuse to cite the loss of her parents as the reason for failure or delinquency.

She became queen, exhibiting courage, determination and faith when she uttered the immortal words, “If I perish, I perish,” in response to Mordecai’s request that she approach the king on behalf of the Jews who were targeted for destruction. By promoting his cousin’s interest, he saved the lives of his family and his nation. Unselfish interest in the welfare of his cousin Esther makes Mordecai an image of positive manhood. His integrity is worthy of imitation.


(4) Jehonadab, the Father Who Taught By Example

Fathers, how would you like to be so effective at parenting, that your children and their children obey your commands forever? Jehonadab (also known as Jonadab) was such an exceptional father that God wanted the entire nation to hear his story (Jeremiah 35).

Then I (Jeremiah, the prophet) set bowls full of wine and some cups before the Rekabites and said to them, “Drink some wine.”

But they replied, “We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jehonadab son of Rekab gave us this command: ‘Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine. We have obeyed everything our forefather Jehonadab son of Rekab commanded us. Neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters have ever drunk wine.’

Example isn't another way to teach;

It is the only way to teach.

— Albert Einstein

What parenting method did Jehonadab use? The most effective: namely, example.

  • His nomad tribe despised city life, material goods, wine and anything else which resembled the habit of Baal worshippers. He modeled this lifestyle to his offspring.
  • He campaigned beside King Jehu for spiritual reform (2 Kings 10), demonstrating his teaching by his actions.

His integrity and his ability to tell his children, “Do as I do,” makes him an exemplary image of positive manhood.

© 2012 Dora Isaac Weithers

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Comments 16 comments

Nikki Major profile image

Nikki Major 4 years ago

Great Job MsDora! Our men need to know that we need them to be strong. Most of all, you have provided them with great examples


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

An awesome hub! I especially like the quote "When men stand at their posts—inside and outside the home—they enable women to stand at theirs (and vice versa)." That is an eternal truth that will stand the test of time. Thank you for citing examples of proper manhood from the scriptures. May God bless you in your mission!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Nikki and Denise for your encouragement and input on this important topic. Blessings to you both!


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 4 years ago from The City of Generals

Excellent hub! This shows the big role of men in the world and in our lives as women.

"Positive aspects of a man's life may be overlooked by people who prefer to judge him by his faults..."

Men in general may have been claimed "abusive" but I think this has become the result of a number of them who has never bothered preserving the bests of men. We may admit it or not, our wide wide world needs this proper manhood to lead and guide us with an authority vested upon an even Higher Authority, JESUS Himself. Thank you Ms. Dora. I'm voting up!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Tonipet. I appreciate your input on the need of proper manhood. We're on the same page.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Thank you.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

You're welcome, Eric. Thanks for stopping by.


Rae 4 years ago

Thank you Sister Dora for sharing such valuable wisdom from the Bible. I enjoyed it and hope that by sharing it, others will understand the qualities that make the difference in a man (and by extension, a woman).


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Oh, my! I'm guilty, Ms. Dora. Can't help to drink wine due to the socio-cultural atmosphere here in the Philippines.

Thank you for this sound advise. From now on, I'll keep on skipping on such past time.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Rae, thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed the article, and I share your hope.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Travel Man, your admission of guilt made me laugh. Glad you think my advice is sound.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean Author

And, thanks for your comment. Hope we can help make others understand.


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

I suppose when I think of Biblical fathers, I think of Abraham first. His name means 'father of many' and it was because of his friendship with God that his children were chosen as the tribe of God.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Writer Fox, thanks for your input. There are positive lessons we can learn from Abraham also.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 3 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Lovely article showcasing the positive attributes of men that reveal God's purpose and intention for males. These concepts seem to be getting lost in the cultural depictions of men. I love how the Bible showcases men as powerful and prominent figures in family and society.

I like how your article gave a full spectrum view from men like Jehonadab who led is family in righteousness by example to Jacob who images repentance and returning to Mordecai who stepped up to the plate and cast vision and confidence for Esther.

Blessed by the read.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Tamarajo, I am encouraged by your comment. Men deserve our full respect for the position in which God placed them. Glad you were blessed.

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