Africa’s Need for Noble Men

screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-10-37-42-pmThomas Watson once said, “A father is a looking glass that the child often dresses himself by. Let the glass be clear and not spotted.”

When the nobleman in John’s Gospel believed in Christ, so did his whole household (Jn. 4:53). This would have included his wife, children, and workers. He did not give faith to his family, nor force them to believe, but was the positive and pervasive instrument God used to lead that home to saving trust.

This is why Paul encourages spouses in mixed marriages to remain and not divorce. Fathers and husbands have tremendous spiritual influence in their homes because they man the gospel rudder. “The unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband (1Co. 7:14).

Father Abraham was the appointed apparatus to teach his children the righteous way (Gn. 18:19). So was Joshua (Jos. 24:15).

Sadly, in rural African culture, a child’s looking glass is often the family member or relation that happens to be around at the time. A bike rides best with two wheels—the family with two parents. The rural African home is learning this the hard way as it drags along slowly from one generation to the next.

In our village context, and a hundred others beside, the people wonder why their culture continues to be ravaged by crime, poverty, and bad education. Certainly AIDS, corruption, and distant jobs play a part, but ubuntu is the greatest culprit. Ubuntu is the African worldview that says I exist because of the whole. Or as Hillary has said, it takes a village. This supposed “togetherness” of Africa was meant to be a contrast with the individualism of the West. Instead, it has devastated the home because grandparents, uncles, aunts, and neighbors are all viewed as sufficient and often superior trainers of the children. Single moms are rampant. Women are encouraged to seek careers. What else are grandparents for?

Africa needs fathers and husbands who will lead their households to Christ. Africa needs men who act as mirrors, before which their children can see an accurate picture of themselves and the gospel. African men need to abandon the cloak of pseudo-humility used to cover their bad character and instead urge their wives and children to follow them (1Co. 11:1). What Africa needs is an army of noble men.

 

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4 thoughts on “Africa’s Need for Noble Men

  1. Hey Paul, Thanks for the comments. Our setting is not “village” but the mentality is no different. It is such a burden to our hearts that our men would see their Biblical responsibilities as fathers and husbands and lead their homes. So few are willing to break with the mold for fear a Biblical picture of family is too western and un-african. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly African economic hardship and moral decay are passed off as the results of oppressive western colonialism and Africa’s preoccupation with western democracy and capitalism. The departure from God’s design for the home and its mandate to be centered upon the gospel is the real root cause for Africa’s countless problems. Hope you and family are well. In Christ, Joel

    On Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 8:12 AM, Between Two Cultures wrote:

    > Paul Schlehlein posted: “Thomas Watson once said, “A father is a looking > glass that the child often dresses himself by. Let the glass be clear and > not spotted.” When the nobleman in John’s Gospel believed in Christ, so did > his whole household (Jn. 4:53). This would have includ” >

  2. Yes! God please use us to show our families Jesus Christ everyday. This is the revival that we pray for in our villages. It very true that in rural Africa many family are ridding on a one – wheeled bike. That is why it is difficult for our people to make progress in spiritual matters. We take one step forward and two steps backwards.

    God help me start an army of noble men. Amen

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