I think it is safe to say that men in their mid 70’s are ‘older men’. What should our expectation be for ‘older men’? What does the Scripture say?
When Paul wrote to Titus, who was pastoring the local church in Crete, he shared in verse two of chapter two: “Older men are to be temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.” So what does this look like?
Temperate – showing moderation or self restraint; level headed.
Dignified – worthy of respect; noble in conduct and speech.
Self-controlled – the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions.
Sound – solid, consistent and reliable
Where do we find men like this? One place should be around our table at Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays and other holidays. We need ‘older men’ around us and those that we love. Another place we should find them is in our own local church. This is especially critical for those of us who do not have ‘older men’ in our extended families but we all benefit from being around ‘older men’ who are temperate, dignified, self-controlled and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
There may be times when we see ‘older men’ on the front page of our newspaper or occasionally on television at night in front of a national audience. These may not be the ‘older men’ that Paul was referencing in his letter to Titus. It is fine to wish that all ‘older men’ would have these listed attributes but it simply is not the case. We can build men like this. Men can grow and change and develop and mature but it will take effort and determination and vision and focus. We can build men of character and when we do – everyone benefits. Literally, everyone wins when we build men who are temperate, dignified, self-controlled and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
Whether it is the national stage or around the family table, we need ‘older men’ of character. May God grant us grace to be intentional to build the next generation of ‘older men’.