The Christian Gentleman

by: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org


"Anyone can be heroic from time to time, but a gentleman is something you have to be all the time." Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) Italian author and playwright.

What is a gentleman? Websterís Dictionary defines "gentleman" as: "A polite, gracious or considerate man with high standards of propriety or correct behavior".

Polite is having consideration for others, being courteous. Gracious is characterized by kindness, being merciful and compassionate. Propriety is the quality of being proper, conformity to prevailing customs and usages.

If we wanted a Biblical example of the definition of a "gentleman", we would have to look to Jesus Christ.

Jesus was a Gentleman!

Jesus was polite and had consideration for others. An example of this was at the wedding in Cana. John 2:1-10 (NKJV) "On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. {2} Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. {3} And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." {4} Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come." {5} His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." {6} Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. {7} Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim. {8} And He said to them, "Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast." And they took it. {9} When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. {10} And he said to him, "Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!"

Jesus was considerate of His motherís request and miraculously answered her request with His first public miracle of turning the water into wine.

Jesus is also gracious, kind, merciful and compassionate. Letís look at an example of this in: Mat 15:32-39 (NKJV) "Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way." {33} Then His disciples said to Him, "Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?" {34} Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" And they said, "Seven, and a few little fish." {35} So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. {36} And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. {37} So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. {38} Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. {39} And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of Magdala."

Jesus was gracious, kind, merciful and compassionate to the multitude. He wanted to share a meal with them before He sent them away. Gracious people love to share meals with others. Some of our best memories relates to when we have shared a meal with friends or relatives.

Jesus definitely had high standards of propriety and correct behavior. Jesus was the son of God. Jesus was God (John 1:1, 3:16). He was perfect and did not sin.

1 Pet 2:21-22 (NKJV) says: "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: {22} "Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth";"

What is sin? The Bible defines sin as: "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." 1 John 3:4 (KJV) .

Jesusí high standards and correct behavior were based on Godís ten commandments. Jesus said in John 19:17 (NKJV): "So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."

Gentleness

One of the fruits of Godís holy spirit is gentleness. Gal 5:22-23 (NKJV) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."

Gentleness is being considerate, kind and patient. A gentleman must use wisdom when he speaks and rule with kindness when he gives instructions.

The Christian gentleman must set a right example in being gentle and kind in all of his dealings with his wife, children, friends, relatives and neighbors.

Provide for your Family

A gentleman must provide for his family. Notice the stern warning in 1 Tim 5:8 (KJV): "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

Which one of the ten commandments commands us to work? Would you believe that it is the one that commands you to rest? Exodus 20:8-11 (NKJV) "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. {9} Six days you shall labor and do all your work, {10} but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. {11} For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."

Live like a Deacon

Not every Christian gentleman will be ordained a deacon, but he should try to live his life like a deacon. Letís look at the qualifications of deacons in: 1 Tim 3:8-15 (NKJV) "Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, {9} holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. {10} But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. {11} Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. {12} Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. {13} For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus."

The Gentleman and his Wife

Letís notice how a Christian gentleman should treat his wife. Eph 5:23-33 (NKJV) says: "For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. {24} Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. {25} Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, {26} that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, {27} that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. {28} So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. {29} For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. {30} For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. {31} "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." {32} This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. {33} Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."

The Christian gentleman should love his wife and exhibit gentle "loving authority" to his wife instead of "loving authority" over his wife. There is no excuse for a Christian man to abuse his wife or children.

The Gentleman and his Children

There is a stern warning to fathers in (Eph 6:4 NKJV): "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." Donít say things to embarrass your children. Remember that they have feelings too. Be fair with your children. Donít punish one for an offense and not the other child. Children know if a parent is not being fair. Notice that this verse also says that a father is responsible for the childrenís spiritual training.

In conclusion: A Christian gentleman must be a polite, gracious and considerate man with high standards of propriety and correct behavior based on God law and Godís word. He should live as Jesus lived!