These are thoughts from my book Spit and Polish for Husbands:
- A knight places the well-being of his children before his own. He is there when they need him, and he never forsakes them, even to his own hurt.
I have covered a man’s fatherly responsibilities in my book, The Image of a Father, and I recommend that work to you. There you will read the details of how a father reflects the attributes of God for his children. For the purposes of this book, remember that your children will look to you for protection, for guidance, and as a model for behavior. Don’t let them down. If you don’t spend time with them, teaching them in both word and deed, they will look to other people to find their way in life.
Ask yourself, Whom would I rather they follow: me, or their peers at school or church? Me, or the images of fathers they see on television? They will follow someone, and you need to be a man of valor, integrity, and consistency, a man they will gladly imitate.
- A knight is generous. He gives to those who are in need, and he guards those who are weak and cannot defend themselves.
If innocent people are accosted, a knight will never stand idly by. He will spring into action, ready to raise shield or sword to protect someone who is unable to withstand the onslaught of evil. He is ferocious against the wicked, yet gentle with the innocent, especially with women and children.
A knight seeks justice, desiring the guilty to be punished and the blameless to be set free. He uses any prowess at his disposal to expose evil and exonerate and extol what is good, shining the light he bears in order to discern truth, never using it for self-aggrandizement. Although he knows evil deserves punishment, he wields a hand of mercy, showing compassion for the penitent and offering forgiveness to the contrite.
A knight walks a steady balance of passion and compassion. He opens his hand to the begging waif and the weeping widow, not leaving their cups empty or their stomachs wanting. Yet he is ready to battle cold-hearted fiends who oppress the downtrodden, turning his giving hand into a fist of war. (See Revelation 19:11-16.)
Men, what is our response to needy people? Do we give food or money to a beggar in the street? Do we strive to place compassionate leaders in our governing bodies? Do we visit prisoners, encourage the elderly, and send money to missionaries? Do we go to mission fields ourselves?
There are many ways in which we can display our Christ-like compassion, taking care to maintain soft hearts within our hardened bodies. The world is filled with frauds who beg for money, and thousands hold out empty hands for food with the same fingers that played video games on the spare television. Don’t let an imposter create calluses on your heart. Jesus faced His share of hypocrites, yet He continued to welcome those who came as children to His helping hands.
A knight strives to be the image of Christ, the forgiving warrior. Jesus stayed the executioners’ hands when they sought to stone an adulterous woman. (See John 8:2-11.) He fashioned a whip and cleared the way for praying Gentiles by overturning trading tables and chasing away moneychangers in the temple. And He will come again, mounted on a horse of war, bringing judgment to those who reject God’s holy Word.
This is indeed an Old Code, but it isn’t fragile. It has stood the test of time because it was erected on the solid foundation of the Word of God. Through the centuries, the Old Code has never been popular; its adherents may not even know of another man who holds to its standard. In the eyes of lesser men, the code’s most unfavorable quality is not a specific portion of its grand design or a particular rule of conduct; they fear the specter of a man who actually follows the code’s precepts.
Legions of men give lip service to the Old Code saying, “Oh, yes, we should all adhere to these principles.” But they refuse to believe in a man’s ability to obey it. While praising the Old Code’s virtues, they discredit the power to abide in them. As Scripture says, such men hold “to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). They can’t seem to believe that any real men have the courage to trust in God’s regenerating work.
We, the modern knights of this age, must not listen to scoffers. We believe in the power of God to help us walk in the pure light of holiness. We will not deny the life-giving power of His Holy Spirit as we display the image of Christ on earth. With this profession of faith, we will add the final portion of the Old Code, a verbal confession, that God alone is the source of the power of godliness. While our humility displays an understanding of our lowly estate, our words must lift up the One who has granted us spiritual freedom. God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, is the emancipator. May that confession ever be on our lips.
Categories: Thoughts from the Heart