The Well Dressed Man
by Joseph Franks
There is something noble about being a gentleman. A man who sits upright, stands straight, walks with poise, speaks correctly, thinks deeply, and with strong meekness cares for others more than himself — especially those of the fairer sex — such a man is to be lauded and appreciated.
However a gentleman is noticed for a bit more than the way he sits, stands, walks, speaks, thinks, and opens doors for others. A gentleman is also noticed for the way in which he dresses himself. Quite often — but not always — the gentleman in the room is the man with pants pressed and creased, shirt ironed and tucked in, shoes shined, coordinated colors and patterns, belt and shoes matching, hair groomed, and his hat is always off when indoors. Yes, when one is walking down main street or through a crowded mall or airport, one can often pick out gentlemen by the way they sit, stand, walk, talk, think, serve, and dress.
And then there are Christian gentlemen. These are men who are concerned to look good on the outside, but are more concerned to be handsome within. Externally, they are dressed well by the women in their life. Internally, they are dressed well by the Holy Spirit. And what are the characteristics of such well-dressed Christian gentlemen? Consider the attributes found in the first chapter of Titus:
This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (Titus 1:5-9)
Christian gentlemen strive to have spotless reputations. They hope to have no discontinuity between their public and private lives. They want to be above reproach in every sphere of life.
Christian gentlemen marry well and stay married. They commit not adultery with their bodies; neither do they do so with their eyes and minds. They are one-women-men through and through.
Christian gentlemen exercise self-control. They are not debaucherous. They are not drunkards given to strong drink. “Wild and crazy” hardly describe such noble men. Whether they eat, drink, or whatever they do, they do it all for the glory of God. The Christian gentleman is a disciplined soul who is a passionate pursuer of that which is good, upright, and holy.
Christian gentlemen appreciate authority. Practically, they understand the necessity of structure and order. Theologically, they understand that all authority comes from God. Therefore, Christian gentlemen are not characterized by insubordination.
Christian gentlemen are dressed with meekness; arrogance has no place in their closet. Their “strength under control” is one of their most attractive adornments.
Christian gentlemen, because they are not overly concerned with self, are slow to get angry. They are patient and kind, even towards those who irritate or wrong them. And they are not bullies. Physically, emotionally, verbally, or financially, they find no pleasure in violently putting others in their place. One might even call them “gracious.”
Christian gentlemen are ambitiously content. While they seek to be good stewards of all the gifts, positions, and treasures given them by the Lord, they are not greedy for gain or applause. Because they find themselves content with that given them by the Lord, they are not miserably covetous and dissatisfied.
Christian gentlemen are hospitable. They open up their hearts, homes, and wallets to encourage others. They are appreciators of transparency and lovers of Christian fellowship.
Christian gentlemen are theologically intelligent. They have wisdom, and they also have an ability to pass on this wisdom to their spouses, children, grandchildren, church members, and neighbors. Why is this? It is because they spend time in and hold firm to the “trustworthy Word.” They are not empty talkers; they are not foolish talkers; they are not double-minded talkers; they are not voluminous talkers; and when they speak, people listen.
Therefore men, we have our work cut out for us. Many of us need an “Extreme Makeover.”
Let us dress for success. Let us be well dressed men. Let us not be overly materialistic and vain, but let us have a sense of excellence in the way we sit, stand, walk, talk, think, serve, and dress.
However, much more importantly; whether we be found in suits, khakis, cammies, or overalls, whether we be well-shaven or somewhat bearded, let us be fruited and blessed by the honorable characteristics listed above. May the world see that we are different, and may they be attracted to the difference.
And may God help us raise a next generation of Christian gentlemen. For we know, and God knows, that our culture needs more men who are noted for their muscles, meekness, manners, and morals. America needs more men suited to be elders at home, at work, in society, and within each local church.