I was asked recently about what one word I would give to a Christian young man growing up in this generation. I took the liberty of responding with two words: “purity and reliability”.
In a sense these attributes are not just specifically for the younger generation, because they are vital across all generations not just for a young man. But why did I use them?
Paul tells Timothy to Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Tim. 2:22). Here we have the image of the need for the cultivation of the beautiful fruits of righteousness; faith, love and peace. These fruits will only emerge when there is the clearance of the ground of the heart, of all vile desires. Purity is key for there to be spiritual strength and godliness. If there is no purity then there is nothing for God; the fruits of righteousness, faith love and peace will not grow. Moreover we stress this because it is such a temptation in this age (and perhaps in all ages) to give way to temptation. So the young man must keep himself pure as Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:22.
Joseph is the great exemplar of this. He realised that to fall into the trap set by Potiphar’s wife would have been disastrous. He realised this principally because he was aware that sexual sin is an offence against God. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ (Gen. 39:9b) were his words to the lecherous woman. Here was an immense victory for Joseph which set him up for valuable future ministry. Alas, many young men have failed at this point and have been lost to the service of the Lord. Oh young man “keep yourself pure!”
To have a trustworthy character is vital for the development of a young man. A young sister in Christ should look for this as a vital prerequisite in any husband to be. He must be reliable. He must be a man who keeps His word. In all realms this attribute must apply. In a work situation and in church ministry, it is the reliable people who are the great asset for the church or organisation. A young man should do what he says and say what he does. He should be a man who who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind (Psalm 15:4b). Oh to find a reliable young man they are of such value.
So young men be pure and be reliable and that will be good.