A letter to the Ordinary Gentlemen on June 20th, 2021.
My fellow Ordinary Gentlemen, Fatherhood is essential. Or to state it more elaborately, patriarchy is critical for the well-being of the family, the church, and society at large. On an occasion like this, one in which we celebrate fathers, we cannot be callous or apathetic about honoring fatherhood in a culture determined to undermine and destroy patriarchy. One of the great consequences of the prevalence of sin in culture is the tragedy of fatherlessness in the home. When men, and particularly fathers are missing, young men and women are left vulnerable to the enticing enslavement of ignorance, insecurity, immaturity, sensuality, and bitterness (among other sins). Just over a year ago, I had the privilege and honor of being blessed with a son, and his birth was the catalyst that lifted the Ordinary Gentlemen off the ground and into the critical territory of helping men master the art of masculinity. The need for me to model and pave the way my son should go was made that much more apparent and pushed me to be a better man. Never had I previously perceived my failures and sin to be as grave as they are. And never had I truly comprehended my ignorance more acutely than the moments proceeding my son’s birth. Few things usher a man out of immaturity more effectively than the responsibility of fatherhood in the context of a marital covenant. Fatherhood is a fulfillment of the cultural mandate to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. Far too many men put off or delay the responsibility of expanding their families because they have believed the worldly lie that children are a destructive inconvenience to the health of their young marriages and a comfortably lavish lifestyle. If these men understood childbearing and rearing to be the divine blessing it is and that God faithfully provides the means to steward the blessings He gives us, perhaps we would see more homes filled with the cries and laughter of children being raised in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Fatherhood is not a necessary evil but rather, a necessary blessing to be and do what God requires of humanity. Patriarchy is inevitable. It will never truly be overthrown or demolished. Patriarchy as an institution can be spat at and insulted but will remain forever. In Genesis 3:16 we read the account of God addressing Eve soon after the fall at which moment He declares that her attempts to live in the rebellion of her husband’s authority would essentially fail. Patriarchy is inevitable, but the real question is whether it will be evil or righteous kind. Let’s pray it is the latter. Over the first few months after my son’s birth, I developed what I consider to be the blueprint and code of the Ordinary Gentlemen. This blueprint summarized what I aspire to be as a man and what I pray my son will be as he comes of age. This is what I wrote: “So, who is an ordinary gentleman? He embraces his God-given masculinity, seeking to master spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual disciplines to be discerning, standing firm in the faith, perfect the art of manliness, and being strong. He is above reproach, a one-woman man (covenantal), embraces fatherhood, respects authority, takes responsibility, and is self-controlled. He is a man of dominion, faithfully subduing the space around him. He is moral; loving good and hating evil. He dresses well and pays attention to his posture. He esteems others highly, honors all women, and holds himself to a high standard of class. He is not passive, weak, immature nor ignorant. He leaves childish behavior behind and strives toward mature manhood. He depends on the grace of God, is repentant, exercises humility, and lives according to the will of God alone. He is gentle, continuously perfecting the control of power and strength. He protects, provides, and leads. He is a warrior, a hunter, and a poet. He is intentional, never stops learning, and pursues the status of sage. He is God’s man; exercising faithfulness and integrity, even at great cost. In all things, he is found faithful rather than wanting. The glory of God is His ultimate goal.”My son becoming this sort of man is my responsibility to see through as his father. My faithful patriarchal rule is the only way this vision will be realized. Great men aren’t built by the shards of ill-dispensed patriarchy. My fantastic father raised me to be a warrior poet and I in turn am raising my son to be the same. The unfortunate idea of toxic masculinity is an attempt to defy patriarchy and to shame men for being men. The world fears that patriarchy is a threat to women and society but a true understanding of patriarchy reveals that it is only a threat to those who live in defiance of God’s Word. Patriarchy is the covenantally masculine and faithful dispensation of protecting, providing, presiding, and leading one’s family. Society’s health depends on it.
My fellow gentlemen, Happy Father’s Day, and let’s be found faithful rather than wanting.
Your brother, Lennox Kalifungwa