The current display of men’s brokenness on the internet is grievous for many reasons. For better or worse, everyone has a story, or an opinion, and a Facebook account to share it on. There is no absence of voices or words. Among all of the stories, confessions, and calls for repentance, there is one thing missing. Almost completely unnoticed is the absence of godly older men who lead like godly older men should.
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness… Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Titus (2.1-8)
It is certainly possible that many of these older men tried to speak up and were silenced (or ignored) by younger men. If Adam’s example is any indication of our sinful tendencies, it is more likely that they silenced themselves. I can’t help but believe that much of the sickness being uncovered is a result of a bunch of younger men who were never taught to be self-controlled, dignified, and a model of good works. Perhaps it was never modeled for them by older men.
As I grieve, I find myself wondering if any of these sinful mistakes could have been avoided through the presence of older men. Maybe. Maybe not. But now I find myself hoping that we will be able to avoid any further sin through the leadership of older men. Immaturity abounds. The only antidote is for younger men to stop asking for help from each other and start seeking out the wisdom of mature older men.
I am not talking just about more aged men. I am not talking about more experienced pastors. I am not talking about older men who lead churches by filling an office at all. I am talking about courageous older godly mature men in the church who lead by knowing their Lord, loving their wives, leading their families, and serving their churches.
I am talking about older, wiser, courageous men who will show us what it means to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to be angry. I am talking about older, wiser, courageous men who will show us what it means to lead by love. I am talking about older, wiser, courageous men who will obey God and instruct younger immature (and older immature) men in all godliness.
Stand. Speak. Encourage. Admonish. Lead. Love. We need you men, now more than ever.