“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” – I Corinthians 16:13
Last fall I took a long overdue trip back to the area I grew up in to visit my aging parents. It was a very pleasant visit and I was so glad to see my parents, both in their eighties, getting along quite well for their age.
During my visit my mother told me a story I had never heard before. She said when my sister, bother and I were very little my dad did not go to church. This surprised me because I cannot remember I time when he was not with us in church. But what she said next was even more of a surprise. In the days before my dad attended church, three men from the church showed up at our house and bravely said, “Ed if you would come to church with your wife and help her with the children, perhaps we all could hear the sermon better.”
Of course, I found this amusing and quite interesting. Apparently, we were rather unruly and too much for our mother to wrangle on her own. However, what I found most interesting was the response from my dad. Rather than taking offense and telling them to mind their own business, he saw that it was his responsibility to help his wife and to set the right example for his children. Form that time until now my dad is in church every Sunday and has committed his life and heart to Jesus Christ.
There are many who think that church is for women and children, but not so much for men. Men have other things that concern them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Lately, men have been vilified, brow beaten and made to feel that they are what’s wrong with the world. Although there is some truth to that, men are also responsible for a whole lot of what is good and right in the world.
I am so thankful that our church has a high percentage of men — good, honest, hardworking, responsible, family-oriented men. The Bible teaches and models the kind of manhood that we need not be ashamed of and the kind that has and still is changing the world for the better. I thank God for those three men, I don’t even know their names, who had the courage to confront my dad and forever make a difference in his life and by extension, my life.
Gentlemen, come to church — it may change your life and help you and your family in more ways that you can imagine.
Tom Kline is pastor of Castlegar Baptist Church.
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