All mothers want their sons to grow up to be good men, but many boys just don’t know what that means. Real masculinity, true strength, and faithfulness are all admirable qualities in men. Movies, TV and social media seems to be lacking in models of these virtues, but one place you can find plenty of examples of solid male role models is the Bible.
The stories on the pages of scripture are filled with battles, thrills, lives being risked, suspense! Our sons don’t have to look far to find excitement, along with examples of courage and proof of God’s infinite mercy. Here are 7 of my favorite Old Testament male role models.
1. Joseph: Perseverance
Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob, and one of twelve brothers. When his father’s favoritism led his brothers to sell Joseph into slavery in Egypt, he never lost faith in God. God rewarded him for his faith and perseverance with wisdom, visions of the future, power, and the eventual reunion of his family.
Use this story to encourage boys not to give up when they face challenges in school or at home.
2. Jonathan: Loyalty
Jonathan was the son of King Saul and the best friend of David, who would eventually succeed Saul as King of Israel. He was a courageous warrior and a devoted friend. When his own father instructed Jonathan to kill David, Jonathan chose to protect his friend from his father’s insanity. He was loyal to his friend, even when it meant risking his life for him.
Use this story to show boys the importance of choosing their friends wisely.
3. Tobias: Devotion
Tobias was a young man who loved a woman plagued by a demon. He married her anyway and freed her from the demon with the archangel Raphael’s help. Tobias was devoted to his beloved, working to free her even though it was risky.
Use this story to show boys what true love and devotion look like in a healthy romantic relationship.
4. Daniel: Courage
Where Daniel lived, praying to God was outlawed. Daniel did it anyway. So the king condemned him to death by sending him into a lion’s den. He didn’t know then that God would reward him for his courage by sparing his life. Daniel did the right thing when doing the right thing was especially difficult. Your son can do that, too.
Use this story to inspire boys to step up when other kids pressure them into bad behavior.
5. Noah: Faith
When God chose to destroy the world and begin again, he saved the only faithful man that he could find- Noah. When he was commanded to build an ark, Noah chose to the do the will of God despite the mockery of others, and he was rewarded for his courage. Noah had faith in God, choosing to listen to Him even when He challenged Him.
Use this story to show boys the importance of making their faith a priority even when peers mock them for it.
6. David: Humility
David defeated the giant Goliath and was anointed by Samuel as the next king of Israel as a young man. When he sinned against God, his conscience led him to seek God’s mercy. God forgave him and even promised David that a member of his royal line would always sit on the throne. David was not afraid to admit when he had done wrong and to ask for forgiveness.
Use this story to encourage boys to ask for forgiveness when they do wrong.
7. Joshua: Servant Leadership
God appointed Joshua to be the successor to Moses upon his death. He led the Hebrew people into the Promised Land, leading the attacks against the Canaanites who had taken over the land. Joshua was rewarded for his devotion to God with invincibility in war and several miraculous defeats of Israel’s enemies. Joshua was a strong leader who served his people well.
Use this story to demonstrate to boys that the strongest leaders are those who are willing to serve those that they lead.
What other male role models have you found in the Old Testament?