"You can spend your life pursuing physical perfection but there's so much more than ever meets the eye, for God looks through the surface and He defines your worth by what is on the inside. Oh, I say the measure of a man is not how tall you stand, how wealthy or intelligent you are, 'cause I found the measure of a man."
Those lyrics are from the 1990's 4Him song titled: The Measure of a Man. I spend a lot of time writing here about relationships that are in trouble, marriages torn apart, and people that are struggling with one sin issue or another. Today I want to talk about a few extraordinary men I know.
The first is my Dad, who at almost 91 is in good health and ability. He is a WWII Vet (Navy) and know I did not appreciate him as I should have when I was a kid. It wasn't until I was a little older and I began hearing from schoolmates who had adult males (fathers, step-fathers and mother's boy friends) that were abusing them and harming them that I began to understand how truly blessed I was to have a Dad that went to work every day, provided more than what we needed, loved his family, and would not dream of abusing or harming me did I begin to be grateful.
The second is my husband who is also an extraordinary man. He knew when he chose me that I came with a ready-made family, two little boys who had been through a difficult time at their young ages.
Essentially abandoned by their biological father, they were sad and frightened when he came along and befriended them. He was and is a unique man, full of zany humor and full of life. He wasn't and isn't afraid to watch cartoons, like action heroes, and dance like a crazy man half his age.
I did not intend to remarry, I was just reconnecting with an old friend. Because he is kind and gentle he won my heart and when it was time for him to meet the boys he just wanted to be nice to them. He knew they were hurting. When we married, he didn't hurry them or try to push them into having feelings for him or expect them to call him "Dad" or anything other than by his name. One day they asked if they could call him "Pa" and eventually they changed it to "Daddy."
They asked if he could be their "real daddy" after another disappointing visit with the other. We never thought it could happen, but God made a way! In June of 1993 he adopted them as his own children. If you ask him he will tell you, "They have always been 'my sons'" never his step-sons or adopted sons. Unless people ask (or do the math) they assume they are truly related, which was always my hope. When I gave birth to our biological son, he was never a "step-brother" to the others, they have always been our three sons.
My husband has been a stable force in the lives of other young men who have come to and through our home over the years. Guys whose own fathers were less than stellar or just absent found wisdom, love, help, encouragement, and human kindness in him. He was not perfect, but has endeavored to be a godly example to these young men.
On Father's Day, my wonderful husband was honored by all of his sons. One of his sons said he "gets the Father of a Lifetime award" for giving him and his brother a better future than the one they would have otherwise had, and one of those guys that passed through our family expressed his love and thanked my husband for all he has been in his life.
Several other godly men come to mind who are making a lasting positive impact on the world. Men who lead their families in taking on the challenge of all that goes along with being being foster parents, adopting children of a different race, adopting children from a different country; men who are taking the Word of God seriously as they lead their wives and children in the way of godliness.
When I was younger I didn't understand, but as I have grown wiser I realize that more than how much money he makes or his status in society, what a man does with his life and how he uses it for the glory of God; this is the true measure of a man.