Alphabet Of Manly Virtues: “J” Is For “Just”

6 Jun

(“The Alphabet of Manly Virtues” is a 26 post series examining various character traits of godly men. Check back every Tuesday and Thursday for new posts! To view other entries in the series, click here.)

 

jConsider Lady Justice with her blindfold and scales in hand, unable to see who or what is attempts to tip her scale. Truth is her only guide to maintaining the balance, if possible.

The scales can easily be tipped, unjustly, if we’re trusting the human element: dependent on circumstance, ever changing.  If justice is to be true, we must move to a more trustworthy origin.  God’s truth remains constant and unchanging.  John 17:17 says…“thy Word is truth.”  For a man to be just, his life must be based on God’s word.

Genesis 6:9  says that Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.  God and Noah talked in a personal way. Noah understood what God expected and did his best to carry out those instructions, regardless of how long it took.

Was Noah perfect and without sin? Hardly.  If you’re familiar with Noah’s history, you remember how he fell in drunkenness and the horrible consequences that were meted on the descendents of Ham. However, inspite of Noah’s frailties, God saw Noah through different eyes.

So what evidences a just man in the 21st century?

Employment

  • He arrives early enough to plan and organize his day

  • He shows initiative

  • He avoids taking unnecessary time off

  • He treats his co-workers fairly and equitably

  • He mediates between disgruntled co-workers

  • He brings the coffee and filters in when it’s his turn

  • He gives his employer a full day’s work

  • He is loyal to his employment and to those in authority above him

Family

  • He provides a calm and quiet spirit in the home

  • He regularly changes the oil in the cars and keeps the house in working order

  • He compliments his wife’s cooking and says ‘thank you’

  • He lets his wife watch his favorite shows (he’s not perfect, remember?)

  • He includes her in the decision making process by asking her what restaurant they should go to

  • He does not ignore the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of his family

  • He does not have a specific chore boundary

  • His children call just to talk

  • His grandchildren love to be with him and wait for him to come home from work

  • The just man walketh in his integrity; his children are blessed after him (Proverbs 20:7)

Church

  • He takes his relationship with the Lord seriously

  • He finds a place of service and is faithful to it

  • He reads and studies his Bible

Neighbor

  • He is friendly, but not nosey.

  • He is willing to bring their garbage can from the road on occasion

  • He is willing to lend a hand or ladder or jumper cables

A man who is just sets the standard for his family, his employer, his neighborhood, and his community.  He’s an extension of his church family and a living testament of God’s word.  A just man’s faithfulness to Christ will be evidenced through everything he puts his hand to.

A just man in the 21st century is no different than it was in the days of Noah.  A just man may fall, but he doesn’t stay down.  He regains his balance and continues on.

After all, a just man is never ‘just a man’.

 

-Shelley DuPont

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Shelley DuPont has been married to her best friend for almost 42 years.  She has learned the importance of having a Christ-centered home for a long lasting and satisfying relationship. Shelley is a former high school English teacher turned full time writer.  She also enjoys painting and photography.  She, her husband and dog, Sadie, reside in southeast coastal Georgia. You can find her blogging about life and family at www.shelleydupont.com

10 Responses to “Alphabet Of Manly Virtues: “J” Is For “Just””

  1. blogofmanly June 6, 2013 at 09:23 #

    I want to be careful in my response. But I also want to be firm.

    This approach to defining manhood (essentially: do your chores and be nice) is the problem, not the solution. To the man with God given authority to rule over and subdue the earth, we offer “bring the trash cans in” and “don’t have a chore boundary.”

    A good point was made: “A man who is just sets the standard for his family, his employer, his neighborhood, and his community… A just man’s faithfulness to Christ will be evidenced through everything he puts his hand to” – but that high calling was lowered by the supporting suggestions.

    Men were not created to be nice, chore completing, coffee-making milquetoasts. We were made for war.

    • More Than A Beard June 6, 2013 at 09:38 #

      I disagree.

      Relegating chores to our wives and children is the furthest thing from true manhood. We prove our worth with our capacity to serve and sacrifice for those we love– particularly when it is a task that we loathe to do. By the suggestion that these tasks “lower” us is to say that these tasks are only suitable for “lesser” individuals–our wives– which is more than borderline misogynistic.

      Our model for manhood is Jesus Christ who washed his disciples feet and serve those around him. Examine the scriptures…

      Matthew 20:25-28
      25Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

      John 13:12-15
      12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13″You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

      • blogofmanly June 6, 2013 at 10:11 #

        You missed my point; I’ll blame myself. Maybe I didn’t communicate effectively enough. “Chores” aren’t for lesser people. I participate in the running of my home. But that’s irrelevant to my point

        It’s this Sunday school notion of what it means to be a man. Be nice. Be safe. Be wimpy. Don’t rock the boat. Do your chores. Man’s primary purpose (woman’s too for that matter) is NOT measured in how generous we are with the remote control.

        This isn’t about service – service is a must. It’s about the neutered church nice guy that’s essentially useless, but he’s super nice. THAT guy, as described in the article, isn’t a man I have much use for. No one does really.

  2. More Than A Beard June 6, 2013 at 11:17 #

    Being a man is far more than being, “Dangerous. Strong. Battle-Ready.”

    There are times when we are called to step up and make war, but we need to step up and be useful in peace time too.

    We are sometimes called to storm the gates, but more often we are called to read to our children, to be sensitive to the needs of our wives, and help out where we can in our neighborhoods and churches.

    This is the furthest thing from being useless and it is anything but easy. It is far harder to cultivate our gentleness , humility, and sensitivity than our muscles.

    Men need to be masculine, but hyper-masculinity is just as dangerous as emasculation. There needs to be an appropriate balance.

    • blogofmanly June 6, 2013 at 12:13 #

      There is no peace in a broken world. Until there is no sin, there will not be a moment when a battle isn’t raging.

      And I’m not sure why you keep making the case that “we are called to read to our children, to be sensitive to the needs of our wives, and help out where we can in our neighborhoods and churches” as if you were rebutting my argument. I wholeheartedly endorse that and haven’t offered anything to the contrary.

      It’s clear that what I’m trying to say isn’t coming across. So, instead of going round and round, I’m gonna say ‘thank’ for the dialog and go buy some coffee filters and a ladder to lend. That’ll give me something to do besides being misogynistic and hyper-masculine.

  3. Shelley June 6, 2013 at 14:43 #

    Might I step in here, for a moment. It’s often difficult to concentrate numerous aspects of a particular concept exactly the way one intends. My husband is far from milquetoast, spent over 20 years in the military, and was highly regarded for his knowledge and expertise. His reputation is above reproach.

    As for his family, I might have said he does not lord over his wife or provoke his children to anger. In regards to his neighbor, he lives as peaceably as possible with those he comes in contact with, including those who have treated him unfairly. However, this does not mean he cowers and runs when situations arise that need to be dealt with. It does mean that he deals in a manner that’s fair and equitable.

    God given authority is an over-arching area. To me, the most important is loving their wives and giving themselves for them as Christ loved and gave himself for the church. Here lies the full embodiment of everything just and righteous. Service is love in action, it is not one sided, regardless the context.

    Thank you for your criticism, as I realize it’s only in response to my own lack of clarity and simplistic approach to the matter.

    • More Than A Beard June 6, 2013 at 15:08 #

      Thank you for sharing your words with us, Shelley! You are always welcome here on More Than A Beard!

    • blogofmanly (@theblogofmanly) June 6, 2013 at 15:49 #

      Shelley, thank you for your understanding response. indeed, I was not aiming my “useless nice guy” comments at any man in particular. Your husband sounds like a man I’d admire deeply.

      Further, I don’t really disagree that any of the things you listed are good, God-honoring things!

      My major concern is with a “church culture” that devalues man’s strength – as designed by God. From Sunday school on, boys are taught to be “good little boys” when it would be more appropriate to train them up as God-fearing warriors. Church (not ascribing any motive to you whatsoever) substitutes lists, codes and charts of “good” behaviors and holds those out as manhood.

      Further they treat strength – manly strength, not the watered down churchy crap – as the opposite of gentleness, and sensitivity and caring. When in fact without manly strength we can be none of those things! Our strength (in our creation and, far more importantly in the power of the Holy Spirit) enable us to be those things.

      Manhood is so much more powerful that just being a good neighbor. Think about it – what a tremendous honor God’s given us by putting us on the front lines… the front lines of battle, the front lines in the fight for the hearts of our wives and daughters, the front lines of the fight for our communities! The front lines of the fight against injustices like abortion, sex-trafficking and slavery, fatherlessness. The front lines of the fight for the souls of other men.

      I cringe – outwardly and inwardly – when I read anything that reduces the magnitude of that calling to something less than that.

      I appreciate your response b/c it clarifies your intentions and alleviates some of that tension for me. Thank you, though you owed me nothing! Obviously!

      You might be interested – or you might not – in an article I’m running on my site (blogofmanly.com) on Tuesday called “Power Applied Mercifully” where I look at gentleness as a fruit of the spirit for men.

      • Shelley June 6, 2013 at 16:40 #

        BlogofManly,

        I certainly understand your frustration with a church culture that would attempt to undermine manhood as God intended. We’ve never experienced that type of situation, thank goodness.

        I want to thank you for your gracious response. I’ll be sure to check out your site on Tuesday!

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