Our church is preparing for a men’s lock-in this weekend. As I am getting ready for that experience, I was thinking a little bit about biblical manhood. In Titus 2:2, Paul gives Titus six characteristics that he needed to instruct the men to have if they were to be godly. I think that it divides up into two categories: godly discipline (sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled) and godly character (faith, love, steadfastness). I’ll focus on the last three for now.

One of the words that stuck out to me was the word “sound”. The word comes from the Greek word hygiaino, which means “health”. It is where we get the word “hygiene”. Men in the church are to be healthy in their faith, love and steadfastness. They are to get out the fat and the excess that keep them from trusting the Lord fully, loving Him and others joyfully and enduring life steadfastly.

The triad “faith, love, steadfastness” sounds a lot like the familiar “faith, hope, love”. Why did Paul use “steadfastness” and not “hope”? I think it is because hope undergirds the entire group. It is hope in Christ’s return that drives our daily trust in Him even when we do not know the answers. It is hope in Christ’s return that drives our love even for our enemies. It is hope in Christ’s return that drives our endurance even when everything seems so bleak. And men are to lead the way in hope.

This is challenging for me. As a man, I am to have such a hope in Jesus that I trust Him always, love with all my being, and endure steadfastly all that life in this fallen world brings. Men, do you join me in praying for this kind of transformative hope? Women, will you pray that God will raise up men in your home, church and community who hope in Jesus like this? Imagine what society would look like if men hoped in Jesus. Maybe the issue of manhood and womanhood would be a lot easier to comprehend.