A Letter to Christian Young Men.

Shown: Me. Grand Canyon, AZ, 2008.

This is something I posted on facebook recently. The response was quite surprising. It’s been on my mind a good deal these days, so I thought I’d go ahead and put it here too.  I hope it challenges, blesses, and ecourages you.

         Dear young Christian fellows,

     There is something I feel that I need to take up with you. Let me start by saying that I am priveledged to know a good number of you that continue to inspire me to follow Christ and serve those around me. I really am blessed to count myself among you. However, there is an issue I feel I should call out. Actually, there are several that should be called out. Please note that I am not writing this to claim that I am better than the rest of you, because that is certainly not the case, but I am writing this in hopes that some of you will take this to heart and be one step closer to being the men that God has called you to be.

     The first is that I have noticed a distinct lack of leadership and responsibility. I find this very troubling. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly a heroic leader myself, but where in the world have the leaders gone? Apathy has taken hold of far too many of you. I tell you, if this country has fallen to secular humanism, it is not soley because of the fine-sounding arguments and indoctrination coming from academia, it is because the Christian men have been apathetic, or worse, compromising. I have heard far more than enough griping about the shape America is in, and I have seen far too little action. Let us do something.

     Men of God are called to be active in every area of life. This includes politics, community service, evangelism, ministry, school, work, and every other part. We are called to be Christ’s representatives every day, not just on ‘church days.’ Get up and do something. You are not too young. You are not too weak. You are not too stupid. You have no excuse. God can work through you. I contend that God is not glorified when you complain about the way the world is and do nothing about it. Stop waiting for other people to do things for you. I do not care to hear about the circumstances that you think exempt you from taking action. There are no exceptions.

     The next issue I’d like to rant about is that far too many of you ignore Paul’s command to treat “younger women as sisters, with all purity” (1 Timothy 5:2). In all honesty I am disgusted by the amount of objectification and flirtatiousness I have seen. This needs to stop. I have seen far too many of you that view young women as potential dates instead of daughters of God. This is a selfish mindset because it looks out for your own interests, instead of treating girls with the respect they deserve. Take an honest look at your intentions. When you are speaking to a girl are you secretly, or even subconsciously, trying to win her affections to make yourself feel good, or trying to win a date, or are you honestly seeking her own benefit, encouragement, and edification?

     I tell you, God is not honoured when you try to win the hearts of his daughters as sport. If that is your goal, you are not only acting selfish, but also insecure and cowardly. If you feel the need to find your self-worth in the number of girls that like you; that is because you do not understand that God has called you to be a man that emulates Christ; a man that is bold enough to love one woman, and to be content with her love; a man that is secure in his identity as a son of God, and not needing to find affirmation from other people. Brothers, take an honest, objective, look at your heart. God has so much more in store for you than popularity.

     Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” When you try to win a girl’s heart for the sake of feeling good about yourself you are acting out of selfish ambition and vain coneit. Stop looking out for your own interests. Stop treating girls like a list of dating options. Start looking out for the interests of others. Treat them as sisters, and daughters of God, as they deserve to be treated. God values them more than you understand and I suggest that you value them as well. Act chivalrously towards them. Open doors, speak courteously (there is a strong difference between a compliment for the sake of encouragement and a compliment for the sake of flirtatiousness), cut out the dirty jokes, guard your eyes, guard your words, stand up for them, respect them (not just the one you want to date).

     The world is against you on this. Our culture has made vanity and disrespect expectations of us. But do not let that stop you. Just because you are expected to be that way does not mean that you have to be. Christ gives us the power to overcome the world and that includes our culture (1 John 5:5). Stand up and change the expectation. Do not submit to the expectations of the culture; but aim to set the standard.

     My last point is similar to the first one: stop making excuses and take responsibility. To quote Aaron Stern, pastor of theMILL: “Boys make excuses, men take responsibility.” Be a man. Own up to your failures and take responsibility for your actions. If a problem is your fault, do not rest until you have done everything in your power to fix it. If a problem is not your fault, do not pass it off to some one else when you can do something about it. The problems may not be your fault, but that should not stop you from dealing with them. Stop trying to justify your lifestyle and be a leader by taking responsibility and doing something.

     Forgo your pride and accept correction. When some one ponts out a problem you need to fix stop being defensive and trying to explain why it is not your fault. When you attempt to rid yourself of the blame by justifying yourself, you are most likely acting out of pride. Be humble and do something about the issue. Stop being cowardly. Instead of focusing on why you are not to blame, focus on how you can emulate Christ better, and do it.

     If you actually read this, and took it to heart, I owe you a handshake. Now stop being boys and start being men. Stop being apathetic and start being leaders. Stop making excuses and start taking responsibility. Keep striving to be the men of God that God has called you to be. I will be striving right along side you.

 Your brother in Christ,

_Jonathon Thigpen.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9.

EDIT: After having received some apt criticism I thought I would clarify a few things.

1) Flirtatiousness: attempting to win the heart, affections, or praise of a girl without any intention of a commitment and out of entirely selfish intentions. I was NOT by any means condemning the attempt to win the heart of a girl for the sake of eventual marriage with intentions for her benefit and with commitment. Two very different topics.

 2) Compromise: I was referring to the problem of Christians adopting a dilluted form of Christianity by trying to alloy it with every other philosophy and lifestyle that appeals to them or that they are too lazy to stand against. I was NOT by any means attempting to  condemn negotiation with other people and meeting with them on common ground like Paul did in Acts 17.

 3) When I said that Christians should be involved in politics I did not mean that we all need to be politicians. I just mean that some of us are called to be politicians but that all of us should at least know what’s going on, and stand up for the major issues like life, freedom, and justice and that we should not be too apathetic, ignorant, or cowardly to stand when we need to.

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About Jonathon Thigpen

I am a student, writer, photographer, traveler, teacher, and Lego enthusiast, who is endeavouring to be a man after God's own heart.
This entry was posted in Chivalry, Community, Redemption and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to A Letter to Christian Young Men.

  1. Carson says:

    I’d just like to add to your last point on politics, beyond and before all the major issues, being politicians, or even knowing everything that’s going on, we as Christians need to be supporting our governments regularly in interceding prayers. And there are many many examples up here about how God moved in government when the church started praying.

    This was what I needed to hear, thanks for sharing(=

    • Amen! Intercessory prayers are certainly a profound duty of the Christian. A duty that is over-looked far too often and practiced far too little. God moves in amazing ways when His people pray.

      Glad to hear it, man. Anytime!

  2. Olivia says:

    Let me just say from a Jesus-following girl’s perspective, that is one of the most encouraging things I’ve read in months. Thanks Jonathan. 🙂

  3. J.F. Arnold says:

    On Politics (which I may have helped spawn that addendum):

    Christians are, undoubtedly, called to stand up for things like justice, life, love, liberty, and, in fact, all things good.

    I’m not sure that means we need to be involved in politics. In fact, I can find ways to stand up for things like justice and life by doing things that are not related to politics (voting on issues, holding rallies, etc). It seems that I could (not saying I do) reject that voting on an issue is not a viable way to change the world, or even influence it, and thus decide that instead of voting, I will spend that time affecting change anywhere I can. Does that make sense?

    As you know, I’m still trying to figure this out myself.

    • James,
      You were indeed part of what helped spawn that addendum. Thank you!
      You do raise a good point and it does make sense. However, I think we should at the very least understand what is going on in our country, and have a pressence in the political realm. Undoubtably some of God’s people are specifically called to be politicians (like Winston Churchill and William Wilberforce and the majority of the American Founding Fathers), and some are not. However, I think that doesn’t mean we should be silent. Yes, those of us who are not called to politics should spend the majority of our time standing for all things good in other ways, but I don’t see any problem with involvement in the political system on the side.

      And no worries! I’m still figuring it out too.

      • J.F. Arnold says:

        I agree that knowledge is necessary. We should be aware of what is going on, and should study the system to decide whether we should be involved.

        But it seems like it would be bad to say ‘you should vote’ if it could be proved that not voting would do more good (i.e., the voting does nearly no good, while taking that time and spending it elsewhere causes good). I’m not sure that that is indeed the case, but it seems possible.

      • Hmm. Another good point. Though, if no one voted we would have a problem. And if no Christians voted we would have a problem. I think voting, though it may not do much good, still does some good and is therefore worth doing. Besides, it doesn’t take all that much time to vote. Though, I would be strongly against anyone that would say they wouldn’t have to do anything because they voted. One of the principles America was founded on was personal responsibility, so I believe that entails doing things that need to be done outside of politics and change the nation that way as well.

  4. Pingback: What Are You Going to Do About it? | Prospect of Redemption

  5. Dude, the whole thing of seeing women as potential mates instead of people was a struggling point for me over so many years–from the first contact with some girls my mind would be on how she could fulfill my sense of loneliness. By God’s sanctifying work I have been set free from that and am so grateful. Recently I have come in contact with some vulnerable and hurting women and instead of transitioning their affections to myself I was able to see them as souls instead of bodies and pointed them to Christ. When us young men are selfish like that we bring slavery, oppression and death to the lives of women. As Christian men, though, we are called to produce life, peace and Christlikeness in their lives.

    • It’s a really tricky desire to deal with. But that’s wonderful to hear that He’s brought you out of it! It’s definitely something He’s done in my life as well. Great to hear that you’re pointing them towards Christ instead of false intimacy with yourself. Keep it up, brother.

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