- Religion and Philosophy
A Man of Virtue: a Man after God's Heart
Identifying a Virtuous Man
We're back with a good one now! After the huge success of the True value of a God fearing Woman hub (my most read), someone requested that I give the men equal billing. I will not say whether it was a man or woman who made the request; but I will say that it is a very good suggestion, and thus, let's talk about the Value of a Virtuous Man...Truth is...
Let's begin by learning the meaning of virtue. As it is applied in scripture, particularly Psalms 31 where the "virtuous woman" is discussed; the intent of the bible writer is seen in the use of the word (in Greek) Hikuteria (hi-ku-ter-ee-a) which is a derivative of the word Hiko( he-ko) which means competent, able, secure, worthy, sufficient, enough, good, and great. Given this, let's take this journey into the description of a Man of Virtue one by considering each of these descriptors on an individual basis...
Competent/able: given that these two words mean the same thing we will take them together. When we speak of a person being competent or able, we usually mean they are up to the task, whatever that task may be. It is hopeful that task would involve service to God as pleasing our Heavenly father is a sure way to happiness for all involved. An able man would be one who is a good father, hard worker (or these days working hard to find work!), a good listener to anyone needing it, a strong shoulder to lean on, and when giving advice it is sober, and scriptural sound advice that he gives. This man would also be the spiritual lead in the household or relationship. One who considers God first diligently and encourages the same with all he's involved with.
Worthy: Is he worthy of your devotion and commitment? This would be one who is attentive to all your needs be they physical, spiritual, or emotional, etc. It would be evident in all that he says and does.
But , wait a minute, the request was made for examples of virtuous men, so let's go there. Everyone knows the story of king David in the bible, how God chose him to lead Israel after the first choice Saul prove unworthy. Granted David made several mistakes, he never repeated any of them. Added to this, he approached God and confessed his failings and sought God's direction, mercy, and understanding. (Psalms 51)To underscore God's feelings for David, recall that He called David:"A man after my own heart". What that tells us is that despite his many failings, David wanted very much to be pleasing to God even with his sinful nature and he didn't give up or let go of that goal. He wasn't a "quitter" as it were; he sought God's teaching him and accepted God's discipline. David had an extreme respect for God as evidenced when Saul tried to kill him several times, but on a couple occasions David found himself at the advantage, even once catching Saul using the bathroom! He easily could have killed Saul but refused as God had first anointed Saul and chosen him to lead Israel. So a strong and fervent respect for God's instructions, choices, and laws would be a strong characteristic of a man of virtue.
A man of virtue is the homeless man who won't steal, even when he is hungry, tired, cold, and feeling desperately lost. But he continues to pray and trust god to save him from the situation he finds himself in. He works to clean himself up and remain that way. If he has a family with him he makes sure they eat even before he does and he won't eat if it comes to a choice between them and him.
A man of virtue is a well-to-do man who doesn't flaunt his riches or affluence, but rather seeks to serve those less fortunate through gifts of financial, and material needs he provides them. He doesn't make an announcement of what he does, he just does it. he does this without seeking recognition, not even looking for the church to distribute it. It is HIS nature and His acts of worship as an individual. He feels compassion and empathy for his fellow man. Instead of living lavishly, he is content to live reasonably comfortable with the sure knowledge that material things are but fleeting.
A man of virtue is diligent about performing his employment duties, not cutting corners or loafing on the job; he gives an honest days work for his wages. he does not steal from his employer, even though others do and there may be little or no chance of it being noticed if he does. He realizes God sees what he does and it matters to him what God sees him doing.
A man of virtue has a conscience.
On the home front, when having a family, a virtuous man treats his wife as if she is cherished. He never physically fights or harms her, nor does he harm his children when disciplining them, he does it with love and compassion, as correction and instruction is the goal and not venting anger. He is industrious and hardworking at home also, doing what he can to ease th workload of his mate, while teaching his children to do the same. He communicates with his mate and gives her a voice in matters important to the family, not lording over the household with that:"I'm the man and I'm running this family" attitude. When he finds that he must make the final decision which may not be popular with the household, he explains the reasoning and offers some relief at a future time to make it easier for the mate and/or family to accept his decision(s) and leadership. He shows that he does consider every member of the family when making decisions. Foremost, he considers the Lord and consults with him first before any decision is made, relying on and trusting God's leadership.
Too, he is an attentive lover to his mate, assuring her of his desire for her satisfaction is equally important to him as his own, if not more-so. His administrations are tender and gentle, filled with passion and not animal lust; he makes certain his mate knows he desires her and that she is desirable. More over he assures her that she is appreciated and needed, even necessary to the success of the relationship.
A virtuous man is never too tired to spend time with the children, instructing them, or simply spending quality time with them. realizing that the mother is the primary caregiver, he is there to provide her relief by taking the children alone and affording her personal time to rest,, relax, and reflect. He also encourages his mate when she has ideas and ideals; he is supportive of her creativity. He does not hold her "hostage" in the home but encourages her to have friends and remain close to her family.
A jealous man is a weak man.
A man of virtue is one who listens to God's instructions carefully, meditates on them and then acts accordingly, even when it is not what he particularly wishes to do; he TRUSTS God, know that as the Creator, Almighty God has the better view and solution for all things. That isn't easy for many men as there is an inborn tendency in men to want to "be in charge" of their destiny; but without God, there isn't much of a destiny, now is there? A virtuous man knows this.
In the bible, King David was described as "A man after God's own heart". David was not a righteous man, by any standard; but he WAS chosen by God to lead his people. David was guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, coveting another man's wife, and many other things in his lifetime; yet he remained in God's heart because of the fact that when he did make errors or trespasses, he immediately took responsibility for them, recognized the fact that he had sinned first against God, and then his fellow man; and never did he make excuses, choosing rather to ask God's forgiveness and ALSO instruction on how to "fix", what he had done. (Psalms 51) David always asked for God's instruction, and then taught his son Solomon, to do the same. He raised his children with a respect for God.-
When choosing a man to be in their life, Christian women should first and foremost consider whether the man is a student of the bible; does he actively pursue knowl;edge of God's will. I guarantee you, if that man is not ever-seeking to learn God's will and endeavoring to apply it to himself, your relationship with him will be disaterous at best. Either he will oppose YOUR efforts to please God, use them against you, or he will draw you away from God and corrupt your resolve to serve God.
These are some of the things that will be discussed in a future article.