Sometimes as you read a book God will cause a couple of words to capture you. That happened to me recently. Two words seemed to take up the whole page. They invaded my thinking and seemed to become the Lord’s message to me that day.
Permit me to share the whole paragraph so that you can get the context. The section comes from Henry Varley’s Life Story. Varley is most famously known as the minister who said to D.L. Moody, “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him.” Moody went on to repeat this truth throughout his life with the added words, “By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”
The same man whose words penetrated Moody’s soul wrote the following concerning his father:
Never was there any such contradiction between what my father seemed to the world and what he was in reality at home. There were no skeletons in his cupboards, no hidden chambers in his life into which he would have been afraid for any one to enter. To the very core of him, he was a good man, courteous, sympathetic, considerate, one of “God’s gentlemen,” known as such by all his friends; and not even his enemies – and inevitably he made some enemies for righteousness’ sake – ever brought his goodness into doubt.
There are many things that spoke to me from Varley’s description of his dad. Behind the words was the reminder of a father’s influence on his son for good or evil. This good man was not as well-known as his son but he is well-known in heaven and his influence lives on in our world.
I was also struck by the fact that those who knew him best knew that he had nothing to hide. No one is a greater Christian than the Christian they are in the privacy of their own home. A man may be a preacher at church but he must be a Christian at home. I want to be such a man.
But, back to our two words…
There are many men who claim to be God’s men who are not gentlemen. Yet the Lord Himself is gentle (Psalm 18:35; 2 Corinthians 10:1; Galatians 5:22-23) and those who become most like the Holy Father, most like the Perfect Man, and most filled with the gentle Holy Spirit will be gentlemen (1 Thessalonians 2:7; 2 Timothy 2:24; 1 Peter 2:18). In the words of Varley: “good…courteous, sympathetic, considerate.”
In our harsh world we could use more gentlemen. Men who are polite, kind, and honorable will make an impact. In a day when crudeness is accepted and meanness is expected, where are God’s gentlemen?
These men are not weak – they are strong in the Lord. They will, like Varley, make enemies and have battles to face. But they will demonstrate everywhere (starting at home) that God is gentle and so are His men.
May the Lord raise up in our homes and churches an army of “God’s gentlemen” who will represent Him well in our generation!