Godly Guys and their Sisters


‘One of the young men answered, "Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.”’ (1 Samuel 16:18)

Wow! Think about that verse for a second. Run through the things that mark out David: “Skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, a man of good presence and the Lord is with him." It isn’t long after this that David is described as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).

In the past couple of weeks we have been running a series on Walking Worthy focusing on Modesty and propriety but so far we have only looked at how this topic relates to girls. In this article I want to show what standard of conduct the Bible requires from his young men especially towards their sisters in Christ. I believe that the verse quoted sets young men an example for some things to be following in their conduct. Ask yourselves, young men; "How will a godly young man like this treat his sisters in Christ?"

The first principle that we all need to realise and consciously acknowledge is, as I have already noted, that christian young ladies are our sisters in Christ. 1 Timothy 5:2 is a verse that communicates this clearly; “[treat] younger women as sisters in all purity”. If we are Christians then God is our Father. If God is our father jointly then we are all related as brothers and sisters.

The biggest thing, therefore, that should characterise our relationships is love. I don’t mean the smushy, giggly little girl, heart melting kind of ‘love’. What I do mean is the 1 Corinthians 13 type of love. “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.” This kind of love is willing to die for the sake of another.

As young men, realising this, we should seek to see in what ways we can help and encourage our sisters in Christ. So, what are the things that our sisters in Christ need from us?

The role that the Bible gives to women as being godly homemakers, wives and mothers is very looked down upon by our current culture which means that our sisters need encouragement from us in their roles and areas of training. Asking; “What job are you going to do?” is a destructive not a constructive question and shows a lack of understanding. The Bible describes ladies, right at the beginning, as helpers. Eve is made by God specifically as a helper who is suitable for Adam. Don’t let the world squeeze you into it’s mold, like David be known as a young man who is “prudent in speech”.

Ultimately the best way in which you are ever going to do good to your sisters in Christ is by being, like David, a man after God’s own heart. Spend lots of time in the scriptures and in prayer. Your prayers for Christian girls that you know are always helpful. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Pray for such things as: godly femininity, humility, scripture saturation and a spirit of prayer but also don’t be afraid to ask girls that you know well: “Is there anything I can be praying for you at the moment?”.

Sadly having principles in our minds, however, will not help unless we find practical ways of applying them. Here is a list of some things that are an application of the principles outlined above.

Things to avoid
  • Avoid treating your sisters as objects to be impressed. Instead seek to do what you do quietly and humbly without drawing attention to yourself (behaving like a dope in front of godly girls definitely won’t impress them anyway!).
  • Avoid acting in a way that will indicate to a girl that you interested in them when you aren’t. If it isn’t serious then it is flirting which doesn’t please God. When you go to speak with a young lady instead ask yourself; “how can I benefit, grow and show Christ to this sister?”
  • Avoid matchmaking, spreading rumours, or gossiping about relationships that don’t exist. This just makes things uncomfortable for those mentioned and damages otherwise good relationships.


Things to do
  • Seek ways to serve your sisters by honouring them (opening doors, offering to carry things and giving up your seat when a sister enters the room and needs to sit somewhere). Outdo one-another (Romans 12:10)
  • Be humble in your speech. Be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). Before you speak ask yourself “Is this going to be true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8)?
  • Always, always be looking for ways in which you can be encouraging your sisters in their Christian walks and be showing an example of Christ to them.
  • Treat the young ladies as sisters in all purity (1 Timothy 5:2 italics own). You should be treating the young ladies like they are your sisters... because they are. You should deal honestly and straightforwardly with your sisters. You should seek to protect them and give up your own rights for their good. Wouldn’t it be an amazing witness to non-Christians looking on if all Christian young men took on this attitude? Would you be willing to lay down your life down for your sisters?


Guys, I want to invite you to a battle; a battle where you will need to give up everything for the sake of others and especially your sisters. You have much to do and a long way to travel but Christ is with you and will fight alongside you. Flee lust and get rid of the sins that are slowing you down. Christ wants a generation of young men whose minds are not stuck on earthly pleasures but seek to further God’s kingdom.


“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly... who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat.” Teddy Roosevelt.

Recommended Reading:
J.C. Ryle: Thoughts for Young Men
Douglas Wilson: Future Men

By Thomas van den Broek

13 comments:

  1. Wow... great post!
    Boy, if we had more young men today that fit the category of "things to do" our world would be so much nicer, and so much different!
    Sometimes I even notice christian guys that act in the way of "things to avoid". I know I would certainly like to be treated more as a sister in Christ than, "just a girl".

    I enjoyed reading!
    Stepheny

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  2. A fantastic article - thanks so much for posting! Although aimed at Christian young men, I found it very encouraging to read! If only things like this were taught in churches today...and it is nice to know that there are young men out there who don't demean God's high calling for women to be wives, mothers and homemakers, which is something that is close to my heart, but sadly is so looked down upon in today's society where you 'have to have a successful career to live a fulfilling life', according to the world's standards.

    Anyway, thanks very much again Thomas.

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  3. Thanks for your comments. Just a couple of thoughts that I didn't say in the essay (alas I was getting abit wordy already!)

    1. I would really not like to come across as a guy who has started to 'get there'. All I have attempted to do here is to take the scriptures and the advice/ counsel of godly men and set the high standard for what God requires of HIS young men.

    2. You young ladies who have brothers; why not read this article and if what I have said is biblical then look at your brother(s) and try to find a way in which you can encourage your brother in these attitudes and actions.

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  4. David van den Broek4 April 2011 at 18:14

    Hmm, interesting post Thomas. I like what you're saying about young men serving their sisters and I can see how this exalts them. I find it interesting that often girls who don't know Jesus are easily insulted by simple acts of service from a young man because they find it demeaning.
    I think I disagree with your comment about asking a young women "what job [they] are going to do." Why shouldn't young women be able to pursue their gifts? I'm not suggesting that they should take on the roles that, biblically, a man must assume but I do think you are in error treating 'career' and 'the duty of bread winner' as synonymous.
    Tell me what you think...

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  5. Thomas

    Thank you for this post.

    I (like most guys) are guilty of nearly all those things. I really like the application and the things to avoid bit.

    I really want all Christian young men would treat young Christian women
    PROPERLY. And guess what... that starts here... with ME

    Thanks again

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  6. Thank you for this post. I've never really seen any other of article like it.

    David's comment made me think a lot about what Thomas has written on women's careers etc... The question 'What job are you going to do?'could be asked in many different ways. I think that it really matters what spirit the question is asked in. It could just be asked out of interest, as to where a girl's gifts and interests lie. But it can, and often is, asked where the questioner means 'hurry up, you have to decide, what are you going to do.'Where Christian men expect you to persue a degree, to be qualified and to follow the world's pattern.

    I think that what Thomas has raised is an incredibly important point - that a woman has a distinct God given role that is very different to the way that the world views the role of women.

    And that God fearing woman should not feel any pressure from their Brothers to conform to the world's pattern and standard.

    But, just a few questions that raised itself in my mind when I read some of the above comments:

    Why aren't these things taught in churches today? Is the church afraid of feminists? Is the church today purposefully avoiding addressing true Biblical Femininity and Masculinity? And Why?

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  7. Thanks for your comment Jenny

    The Church in the UK (and I am sure in other parts too) is struggling. You have postmodernism, which destroys the Church.
    (because there has to be truth in it).
    Then you have issues like the feminist movement.
    The Church is struggling.

    In that light... I think that some churches are too scared to tell the truth. I have been in churches where some of the guys are just not manly. Telling a guy to man up is going to be tough.

    In some ways Feminism is in churches already. You have female leadership for example.
    (which is wrong in my view).
    Yet churches are scared of preaching the word and submitting to what is says.

    Another thing... there are NOT a lot of role models in churches. There are barely any examples in our churches of Titus 2 women. Or the 'Pauls' who train up the 'Timothys'
    It is a failing.
    Yet it is a time for a new generation to kick in and shine, accepting responsibility and being examples of God Glorifiers.
    I think that THAT is our mandate.

    Anyway I hope that all these answer you question

    Jonah

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  8. Thomas, this is great. Modesty isn't usually a topic that we think about with regards to men and we really need to start - this is so helpful and encouraging to us girls to know that there are guys who are thinking about this stuff. Thank you so very much.

    With regards to the 'what job are you going to do' question, Doug Wilson has a helpful 7 min video talking about this (http://www.canonwired.com/featured/women-working-outside-home/) which basically says that women should be home-oriented but that doesn't exclude an outside career and using your gifts outside the home at the right time and in the right place. I think he's pretty spot on. What do others think?

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  9. Thanks for this, Thomas, and for all the comments, folks.

    Jenny, you made some great points! You're right. It does depend how the question "what job are you doing is?" is asked. Yes, feminism is most certainly in the church. I don't know about your church, but there are plenty of churches in the UK full of women who don't want to lose their "identity" by staying at home with their kids/submitting to their husbands/accepting their roles as women. You would be surprised how similar our world-views have become to those of feminists...

    Ruth, thank you for that link. I really enjoyed what Douglas Wilson had to say; we need a good balance between being useful at home and being useful for the kingdom outside the home. So many women get that balance wrong!

    But for you girls who commented that you'd love it if guys were more like this, we can help them accomplish this! By having non-awkward relationships with guys, by refraining from gossip/teasing about who like who, by loving guys as our brothers in Christ (not potential boyfriends/husbands), by treating men like men, by accepting chivalry, by making guys feel comfortable around girls and by simply treating them with respect we can encourage this spirit of godliness in them. Don't sit around waiting for them to start behaving well- help them to! Especially if you have brothers of your own.

    Hope my long-winded remarks helped...

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  10. Great article. I remember a lecture by a wonderfully wise and godly teacher in my first year at college (New Saint Andrews) who made the point that it is good for girls to pursue a vocation/skills with every expectation that a guy is going to disrupt those plans at some point. The point was further made that without any kind of "outside" orientation (such as might result in a girl attending college, for example) a guy is unlikely to find a girl attractive. The reason for that should be obvious: the world God made is a very connected place. Pursuing one good thing (e.g. training for a career, or a career) will tend to equip a godly young lady well for other things she might do in the future (e.g. homemaking, mothering). Of course the reverse would be true also, but just as sitting at home thinking about a career isn't going to get one very far, typically sitting at home thinking about homemaking isn't likely to get one very far.

    On the subject of remembering, I remember that many years ago I got called a "male chauvinist" for offering to carry a heavy case up a hill for a girl. I had to look the word up when I got home!

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  11. I am not sure that there is anything further that I can add to the whole discussion about women and jobs outside the home. I would like to clarify what I meant as it seems that David misunderstood me.

    My statement that asking about what job a young lady was going to do was a destructive question was merely to emphasise that question sometimes forces young ladies into an uncomfortable. I know some great young ladies that wouldn't be able to say that they feel a gifting in any area other than being a wife, homemaker and helper and the bible doesn't condemn that. At the same time I would acknowledge what Timothy said about girls pursuing a vocation outside the home to be better prepared to do their work in the area that they are called to. And I certainly agree with Douglas Wilson when he says that it isn't biblical to say that "a woman's place is in the home".

    And finally I would like to agree vocally with what Elspeth said most recently. Please, young ladies, instead of bewailing the deplorable state of young men (and it is truly deplorable) help those young men that you know to move towards greater godliness.

    Glad to see that this article has been a way of raising discussion and provoking thought. May all be to the glory of God and the good of his church!

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  12. David van den Broek7 April 2011 at 19:00

    Excellent! That's very helpful. Sorry Thomas, I didn't misunderstand you just wanted to draw that point out as it's something I've been thinking about recently. It is a wonderful thing that God has made men and women different with distinct roles and responsibilities.

    As for ladies helping men with the move toward greater godliness; there is nothing quite like the joy of being able to enjoy relationships with sisters in Christ without the whole 'does he/she like me?...' thing going on. I know that it's often the guys fault but let’s resolve to cut it out and enjoy deeper, fuller relationships to the glory of Christ.

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  13. I realise that this was posted in April but I only just read it.

    This is a fantastic article, thanks so much. It's so encouraging that the young men want to treat us like sisters.

    I find it very sad in church when I talk about wanting to be a wife and a mother one day that I get shot down either by the men, older un-married ladies or by the young christian feminists. It made me feel for a long time that it was wrong to desire marriage and kids but in fact this is what the bible calls us to.

    You also made a very good point about gossip and pairing people together. This is something I am guilty off and it is a massive danger that can really damage people's relationship and even their walk with God.

    I will be sure to be posting this article on my facebook and encouraging others to read it.

    With love in Christ
    Natasha :) x

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