"Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness" (Titus 2:2, English Standard Version).
For many years, I ignored this verse. After all, I was not an older man. It simply did not apply to me. Then, a rather obvious thought occurred to me: I'm getting older every day. I need to get ready. God wants to see these qualities developing within me.
God wants me to be sober-minded. He wants me to see my life, my circumstances, and my opportunities clearly. He wants me to have the humility to know my weaknesses and the honesty to know my strengths.
God wants me to be dignified. While he does not want me to be uptight and unapproachable, he wants me to be respectable. He wants me to take my responsibilities to my family, employer, church, and community seriously. He wants me to think, act, and speak with a sense of responsibility and class. A dignified man is a responsible man.
God wants me to be self-controlled. He does not want me to be controlled by mood swings, the expectations of others, drugs or alcohol. He wants me to exhibit gentleness, discipline, and strength of character.
God wants me to be sound in faith. He wants me to trust him and his word. He does not want me to doubt his honesty or his ability to live up to his word. He wants me to trust in Jesus Christ rather than in myself.
God wants me to be sound in love. He wants me to care deeply about the people around me. He wants me to be more concerned about him than about myself. He wants me to open my eyes to the lonely, the disappointed, the abused, the neglected, the depressed, and the suffering people in my sphere of influence; then he wants me to do something about it.
God wants me to be sound in steadfastness. He wants me to keep going when things are not going my way. He wants me to persevere in trying to make a positive difference in this world because he has given me reason to hope for a positive outcome in the end.
God has high expectations for Christian men, but he has provided us with the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures, and the church to help us in meeting those expectations. With his help, we can become who he has called us to be.