What It Takes

In God’s Word, fathers can find the wisdom they need for leading their families.

Titus 2:2

There are dozens of parenting manuals out there, each promising to make a man a better father. But in today’s passage—just 15 words in total—the apostle Paul provides more helpful guidance than a shelf full of books.

Titus 2:2 tells us that an older man tasked with leading others must be “temperate,” or free from negative influences that can cloud his judgment. He must also strive to be “dignified,” which involves being honorable and worthy of respect. Likewise, a good father must be self-controlled and live in what Strong’s Concordance refers to as “God-defined balance.” In other words, he must strive to remain even-keeled, calm, and peaceable, no matter what.

But all these positive traits aren’t worth much without the remaining characteristics Paul lists: An older man must also be “sound in faith, in love, [and] in perseverance.” A man isn’t meant to be all hard edges and uncompromising principles. He should be tender and kind as well. He must love others in the various ways Christ makes possible. (See 1 John 4:7-9.)

This advice may seem too difficult, but remember that all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). Every one of us needs to grow in Christlikeness. So where would you like to start?