“Now these are the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he could not move about freely because of Saul the son of Kish. And they were among the mighty men who helped him in war. They were bowmen and could shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or the left hand…” 1 Chronicles 12:1-2 ESV
How have we defined what makes a man, one to model after? Generally, the criterion has been based on profession, possessions, popularity, prominence or prosperity. It is imperative that we clearly define what really makes a man; not just in terms of net worth, but more importantly, inner wealth.
What gives a man strength? What fortifies and makes him firm to be a model to emulate? In my humble estimation, there are minimally three characteristics which need to be developed whereby our men are well-armed, as David’s men were armed with military expertise in helping him ascend to the throne after King Saul’s death.
My “might man” model describes a man who is sound, stable and secure. Anchored at the core of this mighty man model is being spiritual, guided by principles of the kingdom of God.
First, we must establish sound, self-defined men; men who know who they are, created in the image of God. What makes a man sound is being free from damaged or defective images of himself based upon invalid reasoning. Self-description, or how a person describes himself, is derived from one’s self-image. Self-image is how one sees or imagines himself to be. This image is one of the components determining one’s self-worth.
A sound man is one who can define himself free from damaged or defective imposed images, because he knows who he is based upon whose he is. His image is based upon his divine origin. One’s ethnicity and culture should be a source of pride, but one’s pride should not be primarily grounded in that. Rather, it should be grounded in the theological concept of Imago Dei; created in the image of God.
Secondly, we must produce stable men through self-discipline; men who know what they should do, and what not do, thus conducting themselves accordingly. Self-discipline is the biblical equivalent to temperance or self-control. Self-disciplined people are those who are willing to get a grip on their lives, and take control of areas that will lead them to success and minimize failure.
In Genesis 49, Jacob gathered his sons to pronounce prophetic blessings upon them. He declared to Reuben, his first born, that he would not excel or exceed others because he was “unstable as water” or as the waves, indicating that he was unruly or turbulent, unable to restrain or control himself as water is free flowing.
The importance of self-discipline cannot be overemphasized, because throughout history it seems to be the character quality indicating stability for all men of greatness.
Lastly, we must develop secure men through self-determination; men who know where they are going because they have discovered and are discerning the will of God for their lives. As Jesus did (Luke 9:51-56), they personally make the decision not to be detoured or derailed from pursuing God’s will.
Our challenge in today’s environment is to develop strong godly, mighty men who are sound, stable and secure. We need to arm our men with a foundation to wage a good warfare in our ever-increasing secularized society that is swiftly becoming godless so to perpetuate a promising future for our families and communities. Thereby our families can ascend and abound, not disintegrate or deteriorate.
Rev. Johnson A. Beaven III is a theological educator, speaker, and wedding officiant. Contact him via email at email@example.com, or via Twitter @jbeaven.