Whether you love books or broadswords, as a young man you are wired for greatness. You want to take a step above the norm and rise high above mediocrity. You desire excellence in all things. From head to heart, you want to be a knight in shining armor.
As a knight, your weapons and armor are many and varied—wisdom from above, unblinking courage, a rock-like steadfastness of spirit, unshakable faith, and swords both physical and spiritual. No matter which weapon you choose, make sure you are battle-ready, trained for the conflicts that lie ahead. This training requires discipline of body, mind, and soul, so that your righteousness through Jesus Christ will shine and never fade.
If you embrace this passion and put it into practice, you will be a bright light in a culture that prefers dimness. Some will be drawn to your light, to your high standards, because they feel within themselves a calling to be more than they are now. Others will be repelled, because they cannot stand the thought that someone is mounting the summit while they have chosen a lower path. These people might try to drag you down.
In either case, your example will stand firm. You will lift up those who reach out for help, and you will resist those who try to pull you into their mire. You will be a hero to those needing a champion, and you will be unblemished, though detractors hurl invectives.
God is the power behind your steadfastness, and His standards are the code that guides your behavior. Many have marched this path before you. Your foundation has been built with the bricks of men who are unafraid to flex their muscles, and it is held together by the mortar of masculine courage. With faith in God’s promises, you can follow that code. You can change the world.
How? By living the standard. You will tell the truth in a world of lies, remain loyal in a land of betrayal, and work faithfully in a culture of excuses. Even your friends might think you are overzealous, and in this zeal you might stand alone. Yet your peculiar faithfulness makes you trustworthy, even in the eyes of pretenders. Your loyalty is unquestioned, even among the unfaithful. If a lie of expediency whispers its desire to be told, a horde of lesser men will stampede to tell it.
To speak a falsehood is to spew poison, and you will not allow a drop of venom to leave your tongue, even if offered the treasure of Solomon or threatened with death.
Our culture celebrates the lie. It laughs at the deceptive antics of bumbling fools on television. It elects politicians who tell the most convincing fables. It winks at “white lies” that allow a man to skip an annoying meeting or avoid a tiresome caller by saying, “Oh, I can’t talk to him right now. Tell him I’m out to lunch.”
And with one shady statement, this man falls from being a knight to being a knave. He thinks he’s running with the big dogs, but he’s really wallowing with the pigs.
Although there will always be someone willing to accuse you of wrongdoing, you must be careful never to give your enemies a real reason to question your character. You are called to be a beacon fueled by true purity. You are to reflect to the world what you really are in your heart—holy and pure. Your ability to remain unstained in this culture is the light that will draw other people to the same standard by which you live. Your duty is to keep yourself spotless by abstaining from anything that would soil your reputation. Why? Because the light you shine is easily dimmed in the eyes of others.
Men of lesser nobility fear this standard, yet not because of a specific portion of its grand design or a particular rule of conduct. They fear the specter of a man who actually follows these precepts, for once you prove that such a standard is attainable, those who prefer mediocrity no longer have an excuse for their behavior, and your light exposes them for what they are. Children of a lesser god.
Many of you will choose a young maiden to help you in this quest, someone who will support you with strength of her own, someone who will bind your wounds and whisper words of encouragement as she sends you charging back into battle. Choose carefully—not the woman who attracts with smiles and skin, but rather the woman who proves her heart through service, discernment, and integrity.
If she finds joy in worship and hard work, peace in the midst of persecution, and contentment even when her pockets are empty, then she will be the soul mate you need to endure the long and difficult road ahead. Since she embraces the same standard you hold dear, she will lift your arms should they sag in weariness and infuse you with assurance should your confidence falter. Face and form will change through the years, but a saintly woman’s heart will endure forever.
So as you go forward as a living example of this standard, pay heed to the counsel of those who have blazed the trail. It is a long journey, filled with potential hazards, but it is one that a young man who lives by the sword of the Spirit will be able to complete, and you will find applause at the end of the road, not only from those who have cheered you along the way, but from God Himself, who created the code of conduct and fashioned you into the exemplary model He hoped you would be.
Categories: Thoughts from the Heart
This actually reminds me of the Armor of God coin that I carry with me. First I shall explain that the military coin is a tradition that has been in place since a pilot crashed in allied territory, however he had no proof of identification or badges on him. Yet, he did have a military coin on him, and that coin is what save his life, or the allies would have killed him believing he was the enemy. To this day it is now a tradition to always carry a military coin on you, and is why the Airman’s coin is given at the graduation from Air Force Basic Training. Although I do have this coin, the coin I chose to carry on me is one that depicts the full Armor of God. It helps to remind me to put on the full Armor of God daily and it serves to remind me of being a light in the darkness, and the responsibility that goes along with that. When I graduated from my Bible study last year, a word is selected for each person who graduates, it either is a word that describes who they are, or who they are becoming. The word that I was given was bright, not just to represent being smart, but to represent being a light in the darkness. When I first arrived at that Bible study that light was very dim, because I allowed circumstances to bring me down. Yet, over time I changed and grew so much and that dim light became a bonfire that all could see.
Thank you for sharing that.
Your welcome, I wasn’t sure why, but it just seemed like sharing that was what I was supposed to do.
That sounds like a really awesome Bible study.
Reblogged this on For the Glory of God and commented:
This is really encouraging. Thanks for posting this.
This is really encouraging and I believe that this applies just as much to women as it does to men. It is a description of how we must live as Christians and soldiers in the Kingdom of God!
I agree. I plan to have one specifically for young women next Sunday.
I really liked this post [even though I didn’t comment earlier. :-}].
I do agree with what you are saying. We should be examples to those around us. But shouldn’t it be how we react to our situations that sets us apart? What I’m trying to say is instead of being an example through our perfections, shouldn’t we be set apart through how we react to our failures? Just a thought.
If the “failures” are sinful, then that is not being a good example. How we react to non-sinful failures can be beneficial.
But if you sin, then realize your wrong and set things right, then you can become a good example once more. One mess-up does not count you out for good.
But the fact is, everyone sins. Obviously we should strive not to, with all of our being. But we cannot put ourselves higher and more worthy than others. We are supposed to be in the world, just not of the world. In order to be examples to people who sin, we should show them how we can be humble and acknowledge our own failures. Because the fact is, we will fail, even sinfully. And when we do, that is the time when our example can be most beneficial to others.
I don’t agree, but this isn’t the time or place to debate doctrine. My hope is that the essay will be encouraging and inspire young men. 🙂
That’s fine, we don’t have to agree. I was just trying to clarify. 🙂
I understand. Blessings to you, my friend. 🙂
This is so encouraging, even though I’m not a guy. This has so much good advice for everyone! Thank you so much for posting it.
This is simply amazing! I look forward to reading your next post! I am so glad you decided to start this blog! It is a great encouragement!