A Man of Faith:
Chances are you’ve heard and read Hebrews 11:1 more times than you can count. But for the sake of today’s devotion, let’s look at it again: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)

Confidence, hope, and assurance…for things we can’t see! That can be somewhat difficult for a man, though. Why? Because men are ‘fixers’.
Think about it—how many times has your wife shared something with you, only to have you say, “What do you want me to do?” To which she immediately replies, “Nothing. I just wanted you to know.” Just know? What good does that do? Knowing isn’t going to fix things. Or does it?
When you are a man of faith you are satisfied with just knowing God is present and that He always does what He says He will do. And that means…
• You don’t face each situation with that ‘fix it’ kind of attitude. Instead, you remember to: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

• You don’t expect God to always do things your way. Instead, you remember that: In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. ~Proverbs 16:9

John is a faithful husband, father, grandfather, and follower of Christ, but as a man, he often struggles with having the faith that God is going to take care of things. One recent example of this was when he and his wife contemplated building a new house. After praying about it as a couple they decided it was the thing to do. So they put their house on the market and sold it the same day! Everything was progressing as smoothly as possible on both ends—the selling of one house and the buying of another. Yet repeatedly, John made comments like, “This could still fall apart,” and “I’m not going to do ‘this’ until they do’ that’.” He wasn’t dealing well with not having complete control over the situation.

After one particular comment, his wife finally said, “I’m about done with you and your lack of faith. This whole process has gone just the way it needs to for us and yet you are still whining. So please stop…or keep it to yourself.”

John didn’t like what he heard, but in just a short while he realized she was right—that he was acting as if God had no control over the situation and that he was allowing his negativity and lack of faith to ruin what was supposed to be fun and exciting. And thankfully, he let the experience be one that grew and matured his faith.
What about you? Will you let God be the ultimate fixer in your life?

The Titus 2:2 Man:
Titus 2:2 says: Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
Pretty good advice, don’t you agree? This is the kind of man you know you can count on. This is the kind of man women want for a husband and father for their children, and the kind of man people want to work for and with. This is the kind of man you should strive to be.

The reasons for using this verse as a measuring rod for your character are many, but they could be summed up with the word ‘leadership’. Why? Because that’s what men are supposed to do…lead. God doesn’t mince any words when He says men are to be the head of their household by leading their wives and raising their children with love and discipline. He also clearly states that men are to be the leaders in the church.
To be in a position of leadership is a huge responsibility. As a leader you are responsible for the actions and attitudes of others. That’s why it is so important to make sure you are properly equipped to take on the role of leader. And that’s where Titus 2:2 comes in.
To be sober-minded means to be reasonable, responsible, and reliable. You think before you speak and act. You consider the consequences of your actions. You work toward the good of all involved rather than being self-serving.

To be dignified means you present yourself in a mature manner. You are not crass or rude. You are polite, respectful, and considerate.
Leading with an attitude of self-control means you are even-tempered, you don’t fly off the handle, and you conduct yourself in such a way that you don’t have to constantly be going back to clean up the emotional messes you make. You understand that feelings are great, but they don’t have intellect, so making decisions based on facts is almost always best.
Being a leader who is sound in faith means you make choices and decisions based on what God desires and expects from us. You are a leader who prays for wisdom, courage, and guidance.

Love is essential if for no other reason, than Jesus calls us to love others as we love ourselves. Leading with an attitude of love is displayed through your selflessness, your compassion, and your consideration of others.
A leader must be steadfast; meaning they go the distance. They mean what they say and say what they mean. A steadfast leader leads by example and never expects of others what he wouldn’t do himself.
Let today be the day you begin to become a Titus 2:2 Man.

The ‘I’ Word:
Integrity is something we could use a whole lot more of these days. If you don’t believe me, then why:
Does a sixty year-old man back into a pole in his work truck but not report the incident to his employer?
Does a man whose ten year-old stepdaughter was kidnapped and murdered, claim the spotlight to fight for stricter laws on reporting missing persons, and then go to jail for possession and selling of child pornography?
Do more men have extra-marital affairs than women and why do 74% of married men say they would have an affair if they were sure they wouldn’t get caught?

Is our country in such turmoil?
Are there websites touting news stories that simply aren’t legitimate?
I could go on and on and on, but I won’t because you know what I’m talking about. Integrity is something sorely missing from the world we live in today. But you cannot use the lack of integrity in society as an excuse or reason for it to be lacking in your life. You cannot be a Christian man and have the attitude of “I-can’t-make-a-difference-so-why-bother?”
In spite of the fact that society is so severely lacking in integrity, it is something people want and admire—just not bad enough to do what it takes to ‘get some’ of their own. So don’t be afraid to be a trend-setter and spread a little integrity everywhere you go.

Besides, being a man of integrity…
• Provides you with a sense of security: Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. ~Proverbs 10:9

• Will allow you to make wise decisions with confidence: The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them. ~Proverbs 11:3

• Causes others to respect you: Having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. ~1st Peter 3:16

• Puts you in a position to receive God’s blessings: Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. ~Proverbs 12:22
Integrity: few have it, all need it. Do you?

Family Man God’s Way:
When God created the family unit He did so with the intention of it being a ‘place’ of refuge, security, and unconditional love. Sadly, though, that’s not always the case, is it? Half of all marriages end in divorce. Hundreds of children are abused and molested by the hands of the people who gave them life. Adult children go for weeks… months… years without speaking to their parents. Senior citizens have to depend on agencies and strangers for things their families should be taking care of. This is not the way it is supposed to be.

Dennis grew up in a home where abuse and neglect were the norm. Day after day he tried to do better…be better so it wouldn’t happen, but nothing worked. Thankfully, Dennis came to know early-on that there was more to life than what he was living at home. Thankfully, the middle-aged neighbors took him under their wing, gave him the opportunity to know Jesus, and let him know he was a young man of great worth and value.
Today Dennis is a husband, father, son in-law, and soldier who puts God first and foremost in his life. Dennis is doing family God’s way because he knows God’s way is best. He knows family is a blessing not to be taken for granted and one that comes with responsibility. He knows his family has been entrusted to him by God and he intends to ‘do family’ in such a way that God will be well pleased with him each and every day.
What about you? Which of these popular sayings could you wear on a t-shirt as a testimony of how you view your family?

Family…just the right mix of chaos and love
It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters
Families are like fudge—sweet but with a few nuts
Family—where life begins and love never ends
If you want to change the word, go home and love your family
Family—can’t live with ‘em…can’t live without ‘em

Do You…Really?
Remember the day you said, “I do”? Well, do you still? Do you still…
Love your wife in sickness and health? Do you treat her with a little extra TLC when she has a headache or is bone-tired after a night with a sick child or a fussy baby? Do you make sure she’s comfortable and has what she needs when she’s too sick to get out of bed? Do you make sure she has access to appropriate medical care? Do you encourage her to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise? Do you carry your share of the load in regards to caring for the house and the kids so she can have some time for self-care? Do you encourage her to get plenty of rest and a good night’s sleep each night?

Do you still…
Love your wife for richer or poorer? Are you transparent and honest in all things regarding your finances? Do you work as a team to budget your money in a Godly fashion vs. living above your means? Do you have a proper balance of work and family time in your life or are you a workaholic? Do you provide for your wife and family vs. being undesirable by employers or having a poor work ethic? Do you have a Godly perspective of money and material possessions?

Do you still…
Love your wife for better or worse? Do you know for sure and for certain that you aren’t perfect? Do you extend grace to your wife when she’s had a bad day? Do you expect more from her than she can expect from you? Do you respect her body? Are you faithful physically and emotionally? Do you let your wife know you treasure and cherish her? Does your wife know you value her intellect, her wisdom, and her ingenuity? Does your wife know you enjoy spending time with her? Does your wife know her true beauty comes from within and that THAT is what you find alluring and exciting? Do you let your wife know you appreciate her efforts and energy as a wife, mother, and homemaker? Do you live up to your God-proclaimed responsibilities as a husband and father?

Do you still? Will you forever—until death do you part?
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~1st Corinthians 13:4-7

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… ~Ephesians 5:25