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Raising Men of Valor
GOD’S PLAN FOR THE FAMILY
Terry R. Baughman
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:8–9).
One of the most inspiring passages of the Old Testament is found at a critical transition of leadership. Moses had died and his assistant Joshua was selected to take the position vacated by his passing. God called Joshua and recounted the past faithfulness of this young man who was never far away from his leader and mentor.
The Lord assured Joshua that He would be with him just as He was with Moses. The same mission of deliverance and promise would be continued through the leadership of Joshua. Challenges will threaten his leadership and the opposition in the land of Canaan will be severe. His very life will be in danger, but God gave him a promise that would sustain him through every difficult day, “Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (Joshua 1:6–7).
God’s purpose will be fulfilled. If the promise does not come in our lifetime, we can be assured it will follow in the next, or the next. Understanding the timeless destiny of His divine purpose empowers us to look beyond our own success to see the long range fulfillment of His will. Without the perception of Moses there would not have been a leader readied to assume leadership. It appears that Moses mentored and molded the young man to step into the calling that God had placed on his life. Joshua responded to the call and surrendered to his destiny. He served faithfully until the day God spoke these words of confirmation into his life.
In church leadership or in our homes there must be a sense of destiny and intentional direction given to the next generation. Our children are our legacy. Our sons and daughters must be prepared to take their positions of leadership in the future. This generation desperately needs young men and women to be prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow.
Paul exhorted Titus to, “Encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” (Titus 2:6–8 NIV).
Our men should be taught to be bold, strong, courageous, but kind, gentle, loving, and caring. There is a balance of strength and tenderness desired in masculinity. One author pictured this balance as “men of steel and velvet.” These are coveted characteristics in men of leadership. They should be strong, courageous, and assertive when needed. They should also be tenderhearted to the hurting, compassionate to the weak, and loving to their families. May they be men of valor, strong in mind or spirit, confronting danger firmly and exhibiting bravery.
“[Cornelius] … and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly” (Acts 10:2 NIV).