In a previous post we looked at qualities an older man should possess in order to mentor younger men as suggested in Titus 2:2.
After an interlude of a few verses about older women mentoring younger women, it picks up with men again in verse 6 saying, “Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good.”
What’s interesting is that women are to specifically be instructed in regard to their role as mothers and wives but the verse about men does not specify similar teaching for young men of their roles as husbands and fathers. Perhaps the word “similarly” can encompass these areas. While both young men and young women need to be taught self-control, Titus 2 adds additional qualities for women.
I would suggest that the reason Paul mentions only self-control for men is that it is such a major issue for young men that the majority of focus in a mentoring relationship needs to be geared toward reigning in their impulses. If a young man is going to be a good husband and father, he needs to learn qualities that engender self-control. Men who are not married or who do not have a family are not exempt. They too need guidance in this area to be godly men.
In keeping with a similar pattern to a post about Mentoring Younger Mothers, however, this post is going to consider qualities younger men need to be good fathers, loving their children as they should.
One of the best lessons fathers can pass on to their children is that of being a loving husband, faithful to their mother and the marriage relationship. This requires learning self-control because every marriage will have its trials and temptations.
Men need to communicate worth to both their spouses and children. Learning to be respectful is one of those qualities children desperately need to learn. Speaking respectfully and treating people with dignity when pushed to one’s limit takes self-control.
Fathers, especially young fathers, will not always do things right. More than a perfect parent, what children need is a father who can admit when he makes a mistake, who asks for forgiveness, and who is willing to learn. To push through that manly pride takes self-control.
A father who is a man of integrity, is a good example for his children. When children see him lie or cheat, it gives them license to do the same. To maintain consistency in such a level of honesty takes self-control.
Children want parents who understand. They will accept decisions and discipline they don’t like better when they at least feel understood. Men don’t tend to be as feelings based or process-oriented. They tend to want to just move on or fix it. If fathers are going to understand where a child is coming from or simply be there for the child, they need the self-control it takes for them to step back and let go of the need to control the situation.
Kids need a father who keeps his promises to them. When a father gets so busy he doesn’t spend the promised time with his children or misses yet another of the child’s soccer games, plays or concerts, it communicates that the child isn’t worth the father’s time. To always be there when he should is going to take self-control in saying no to other pressing demands of life.
Effectively mentoring young men to attain to the above qualities which require self-control would not only positively affect their own marriages and families but also society.
Read More: Mentoring as a Shepherding Ministry