Introducing Hannington Sibanda – Our November Man of the Month

Our November Man of the Month, Hannington Sibanda, is married to one wife and they have 4 children. Hannington describes himself as a very passionate and intense person, who gives his all. He enjoys working with people and spending time with his family. He is also a sports fanatic and loves hockey, soccer and basketball.

 

nov-m-o-m-4We interviewed Hannington about this month’s theme of men as warriors.

In your opinion what makes a man a Real Man?

A Real Man loves and protects as well as serves those around him. He puts his family first and looks for the best for them. He takes responsibility for himself and others and is a team player. He is open about his feelings and his fears.

What are the biggest things men are challenged by?

Pride, power, pennies, petticoats. Another big one is that question: who am I and how do I provide for my family?

What are you most challenged by?

I work in an environment where I steward people and resources so I need to have to have integrity and that’s always a huge challenge. To do it constantly from a heart to love and service is impossible apart from God helping me.

Do you think it is ok for a Christian man to engage in violence?

I do not endorse violence and prefer to find other ways to try and resolve whatever situation it is. I believe that sometimes there are situations when you will have to fight; for instance if an intruder broke in and people’s lives were in danger, it may come to that. Otherwise, the bible exhorts us to turn the other cheek because we know God is our defender and at the same time tells us to defend the weak and vulnerable and stand on their behalf.

What role can men play in ending intimate partner violence?

Men need to speak up on various platforms. The conversation should be focused on honouring, serving and protecting all women.

How can men resolve conflicts in their marriages?nov-m-o-m-2

First by understanding that “it takes two to tango” and therefore owning our part in the conflict as well. This also means apologizing for any hurt I have caused. If your desire is to love and protect your wife, you will be intentional about managing your temper. This also means you need to know your triggers. Things may escalate for me when I feel taken for granted. In those instances it is important to take the weapon away from the enemy. I do that by reminding myself or allowing God to remind me of His unconditional love for me and my identity in him.

 

How does the “tough guy” culture affect a man’s ability to be vulnerable?

The culture says we mustn’t show our vulnerabilities because it makes us weak and easy to take advantage of, but as men we need to remember we have Jesus’ example. He chose to look weak by dying on the cross for us but he was never weak. By submitting to God we show that we trust Him and that we know we have someone much stronger than us who looks out for us and has everything in His control.

What is the benefit of being open and vulnerable?

Sharing your feelings with your family lets them in to your space – your mind and heart. It adds tremendous value to the relationship to your marriage and family. It is good for my kids to see me show that I am sad, but also see that in spite of that I am still the father and husband that the family needs. I am still bringing stability, security and love from a place of trusting in and honouring God. It also shows everyone in the family that I am not superman and that we all need each other and add value to each other by bringing who we are and what we have to the table.

november-m-o-m

How do you teach your children how to be strong warriors in their own right?

I model it and I explain my thoughts and feelings as well as the reasoning behind my actions. We also go through material that can support and help us.

How would you protect your kids against bullying?

I would start with the basic things; teaching him how to physically defend himself, and teach him his right to say no to being treated badly. I would also tell him I got respect when I stood up for myself against a bully.

How would you support your children through a bad relationship?

It is easier with boys I think. With boys you can lighten the mood a bit and hold the space for him to express themselves whilst affirming them. With girls it’s different as it’s more about listening and being a shoulder to cry on. Either way they need to know that I am their biggest fan and that when they are wrong I will point it out but will never abandon or leave them. All the while I am learning to understand and treat girls and women better as they are different from me, a male.

How can wives support their husbands to be warriors of Christ?

Encourage, encourage, encourage!! If wives honour their husbands it translates to appreciation. Men’s egos are often fragile and so men need for someone to believe, value and appreciate them and all they do. Without a Godly and supportive wife it is difficult to achieve much.

Is there any advice you want to give men who are looking to get married?

Seek to be the man your wife would desire; a man of patience, gentleness and a man who serves God. Learn to be a man who values women for their intrinsic value and not as possessions or tools for sex. The bible tells us to treat older women as our mothers and younger women as our sisters – the underlying message being that as men we should respect, love, honour, protect and provide with our words and actions.

Our September Man of the Month: Tapiwa Chizana

This month we interviewed Tapiwa Chizana and asked him to talk to us about stewardship.

Q:   What does stewardship mean to you?

A: It means being faithful with what God has given me and being fruitful and productive with it. This speaks to resources, as well as talents. I usually draw on the parable of the talents. A good steward produces more from what he or she has been given. Stewardship is more than just keeping things safe. While it includes safeguarding and increasing ones gifts, stewardship is also about remembering that ultimately your resources do not belong to you. They belong to God. Everything belongs to God, so we must handle all things in a way that pleases Him, putting His way first, and not our own.

tsc

Q: What are the implications of not being a good steward?

A: One the consequences of poor stewardship is that we may lose that which God would have entrusted to us. We also lose out on experiencing the fulfilment that comes from serving God and experiencing his pleasure. You may also lose the respect of those within your family, or amongst good friends and in the community. Being a bad steward can have a negative effect on those around you, as well as result in financial loss. Companies and organisations can be destroyed when those leading the organisations are not good stewards. Whole families can be destroyed as well.

Q : How do you steward your time?

A: I prioritise, putting God first then my family before all else. Then I prioritise with respect to work, the church, social responsibility and social life.

Q: How do you steward your family?

A: I try to spend time with my family. I pray with them and for them. I live my life being mindful of them individually, guiding each of them. I protect them as best as I can against all things that may be harmful, physically or spiritually. I am mindful of their use of time as well, for example we like the kids to spend more time playing outside and being creative rather than watching television.

Q: What are the main challenges faced when trying to be a good steward?

A: One of the main challenges is actually accepting that indeed we do have gifts and talents unique to us. It is human nature to look at what someone else has or is doing rather than being yourself and being content to serve God with the gifts he has entrusted you. I overcome this challenge by going back God and reaffirming my identity in him.

Q : Do you think paying taxes and insurance are important things to consider in stewardship?

A: I believe we do need to pay taxes as that is God’s instruction to us. I also believe there is great wisdom in paying insurance, however, we need to do it prayerfully. You can either get insurance from a place of responsibility or you can get insurance from a place of fear. I don’t advise paying exhorbitant amounts to insurance as that undermines the reality that ultimately God is our provider and he takes care of us, come what may.

Q: Can you be a good steward when you are unemployed?

A: Yes definitely. Even when you don’t have money, you have other things you are required to steward. For example, what becomes key for a man in that situation is how he chooses to steward his time. I would advise such a person to ask the Lord what they should do with the time he has given them. Perhaps they could volunteer their services at a non-profit organisation.

Q: What are the key lessons you have learnt in your journey in stewardship?

A: God is faithful and we shouldn’t be in a hurry to amass wealth. Stewardship requires patience. Sometimes we make mistakes and sin by trying to hurry things along or by trying to arrive too quickly. In so doing we don’t take due care.

pastor-tapiwa-and-florah-chizana

Q: How can wives help men be good stewards?

A: Wives can help by being genuine partners and praying lots. They can also help by using their own God given talents to contribute to the growth of the family. They can lovingly hold their husbands accountable.

Q: How do you teach your kids stewardship?

A: It begins with explaining the value of things: material and spiritual. We impress upon them the need to take care of their possessions. We let them experience reasonable consequences of not taking care of their things.

Q: What advice would you give young men who are getting married?

A: Treat your wife as an equal partner. Help her to be all that God has made her to be.

August Man of the Month: David Cunningham on Finding True Freedom

This month we had the pleasure of interviewing David Cunningham, co-founder of Family Impact. We asked David to introduce himself and then to speak about the very relevant and challenging topic of finding true freedom.

IMG_1926

I was born and raised in Scotland.  I grew up in a good but non-Christian family. I found the Lord at university. After university I moved to Zimbabwe as a teacher. In Bulawayo I met my late wife, Janet. We have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. We were married for 44 years. During our marriage we worked with Scripture Union in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa and then for 10 years pioneering the Aid for AIDS project with Scripture Union Africa.  In 2000, we went on to be the founders of Family Impact with Tom and Hellen Malande from Kenya. Today, I am a Trustee with Family Impact Africa and Petra school, as well as an elder at New Creation Church.

What have been some of the key experiences in your life which have influenced your idea of what a man is called to be in the home?

Growing up, you learn a lot more or less unconsciously. My dad was a good example; he provided for us, cared for us and was there for us. I just assumed that men should be like him.

When I became a Christian I was struck by Ephesians 5 which says that a husband should love his wife just as Christ loved the church.  That was a tremendous challenge to me about what God calls a man to be in the home and it helped us in our married life.

Janet grew up in a Christian family that was very traditional in its approach to the roles of men and women. As a result, she was held back from fulfilling her potential as a leader and speaker. Ephesians 5 helped me to see my responsibility to free her to be all she could be. Supporting her in her freedom helped us both, in that it helped us build a partnership. Our different strengths complemented each other’s weaknesses. We helped each other to fulfil our potential.

What is freedom?

breaking-free_

Many of us think that freedom is the right to do whatever you want but I look at this way; a driver of a car is free to drive his or her car as long as he or she follows the rules of the road. When we don’t follow the rules of the road we will quickly have an accident or get ourselves arrested.  That is not freedom!  We are also free when we use the car the way the maker of the car intended for it to be driven. The car won’t work if we put water in the petrol tank.  Similarly, we are only able to live freely as long as we are functioning the way God our maker made us. We can find freedom and fulfilment in that. Freedom is a big word in the bible. Jesus said, ‘the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32). When we understand the truth about ourselves, we can be free to live as God intended us to be.  That does not mean that we are all the same. God is creative and loves variety; each one of us is unique.

Can a man find freedom in marriage or is he called to give up freedom?

I would say both. There are some things one may have done as a single person that need to change when we marry.  Those are the things to give up. It may be perceived as a loss of freedom but there is a greater blessing to be found. You see God said, ‘it is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him.’  God made men and women to help each other. We can discover wonderful new freedom in our relationship together.

Take sexual freedom as an example.  There is a lot of talk today about free sex with the idea that the best sex is found outside marriage.  Is that true? An interesting survey was done some years ago by a university in USA to discover which group of people was enjoying sex most.  The result of the survey was that married couples were enjoying their sex life more than any other group.  That shocked many people but it really should not surprise us because that was God’s plan from the beginning.  Freedom comes from living as God intends.

What in your opinion are the biggest challenges to finding freedom as a man?

There is a lot in the world that feeds us the wrong idea about freedom. The message is that it is all about me and that freedom is found in seeking my personal pleasure today. The problem with that is that I am basically self-centred and I am not alone in the world. There was a debate in Britain around the question “What is wrong with the world?”  As a contribution to the debate, G.K. Chesterton, a Christian author, wrote a famous letter which simply said “What is wrong with the world? I am.  Yours sincerely G.K. Chesterton.”

I suggest that the biggest challenge to finding freedom is not in our circumstances but in ourselves.

Would you say it is possible to find freedom in Christ if so how does one go about it?

It is not only possible it is God’s will for us. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1).  1 Peter 2:16 teaches us that we need to be responsible in our freedom as it says, “Live as free men but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil.”  To find freedom we need to give up the pretense that we are independent and depend on Christ. When we stop self-centred living then we can be free in Christ.

Can you say you have found freedom in Christ; if yes what has been the biggest struggle for you on this journey?

Yes, I believe I have found real freedom in Christ, yet it is not complete and is still a journey. I am reminded of Paul’s words in Philippians 3:12; “Not that I have already obtained all this or have already been made perfect, but I press on.” It is a daily spiritual battle where you constantly ask yourself the question “Am I going to put myself above everything or put Christ above everything?” The answer I aim at is “for me to live is Christ” not “for me to live is David”.

 

What concerns do you think men have when it comes to freedom?

Men are concerned that they don’t measure up to the misconception of what a real man is. Some may feel a real man is a man who is this superhero type; always strong, always capable, an extrovert. Truly a real man can very well be an ordinary man.  God made us all and honestly we are all very different. Men may think that in answering this call to freedom they must now become something completely foreign to their true identity. This makes men insecure.

What advice can be given to men and women entering marriage especially in relation to the issue of freedom in marriage?

God said to Cain, ‘Sin’s desire is for you, but you must master it.’ (Genesis 4:7).  That speaks of spiritual battle.  Exactly the same form of words comes in God’s word to the woman which speaks of a battle in relationships, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16).  Both wife and husband want to call the shots.  One of the results of the Fall is that there is a power struggle in human relationships which is especially ugly between husband and wife.

Men and women entering marriage need to understand that marriage and family is a prime site for spiritual battle.  Praise God that in Christ our marriage can now reflect the beauty of God’s plan before sin spoilt the world.  In Christ we have the victory and there is a striking contrast between the relationship conflict of Genesis 3 and the Spirit filled marriage of Ephesians 5.  There the teaching about marriage relationships is introduced by the words, ‘Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.’ (Ephesians 5:21).  A person who is full of the Spirit cannot be at the same time full of himself or herself.  A Spirit filled person will gladly fit in with others and will not be always demanding their own way.  Marriage partners should focus on loving one another not changing one another.  There is much more to say about marriage from Ephesians 5 but I believe this is a fundamental start.  In the fullness of God’s Spirit there is glorious freedom in marriage.

We need to remember that we do live in a fallen world and be mindful of the words God spoke at the fall reflecting the conflict which men and women will struggle with. It is important to realise that in Ephesians 5, which talks about how men and women ought to love each other, it doesn’t mention our rights, but rather our responsibility. We find our freedom through doing our part. If partners are not focused on changing one another but loving each other, they are most likely to see the change they are looking for. This is why submission is so important. Christ loves the church so much he gave himself up for it. That is submission. When we submit to each other we create freedom in marriage.

Introducing our July Man of the Month: Dion Green!

This month we are reflecting with Dion Green, husband and father of two, on the Ephesians 5 Man: Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church. Enjoy and be challenged by what he has to say.

_D3O5719

Q: What does being a Real Man mean to you?

A: I think a good picture of a real man is that of Adam before the fall.  Adam was created in the image of God, which means we must reflect God in all we do; he was given dominion, which is authority (protection) and purpose, which was to work the land such that it brought forth a yield (provision). He was also given the ability to make decisions, and with this came the responsibility to either obey or disobey God’s instruction. Finally, God said it was not good for man to be alone, he is made to live in community, accountable to others, not as a lone ranger.  Simply put: in reflecting God, a Real Man, through radical obedience and accountability, becomes a provider and protector of his community in every sense, spiritually, physically and emotionally.

Q: What does Christ’s call to love your wife as he loves the church mean to you personally?

A: It means matching Christ’s model. In obedience and absolute submission to God, Christ was able to give up all his rights for the church, therefore as a husband, in obedience and submission to God, I should be willing to give up my rights and comforts to serve my wife and family. This is hard when applying it to two imperfect people, however loving my wife this way is the most profound picture of Christ’s love for us, that I can model to my children and the world.

Q: Do you think the call to love your wives as Christ loved the church is burdensome?

A: When you first hear it, it can sound daunting and burdensome but when you get to know Christ you begin to realise that it is not Christ saying “you need to do this and you are on your own”, he is saying “I have done it and I want to show you how to do it”. Christ dies for the church. We can take it literally that if it came to that sacrifice, men are called to die for their wives. However, every man needs to remember Christ holds both a man and his wife in his hands and will protect them. We need to surrender ourselves and our families to him.

Q: How does a man support his wife in the matter of submission, as wives are called to submit to their husbands?

A: Straight after the wives are called to submit to their husbands, the husbands are instructed to love their wives.  Men can support their wives by loving them into submission, even when they are not particularly loveable! Love is a choice not a feeling, if it were a feeling, we would never be able to be consistent. In tough times I choose to love my wife, even if I do not like what she has just done. This helps to keep perspective that the person is always more important than what they may have just done. Christ wasn’t willing to tolerate our sin but he loved us in spite of it. The husband in the home has the final say but he needs to make sure his wife feels heard and his children see him taking her thoughts into account. A husband who loves his wife must be humble enough to go with her suggestion if she has the better viewpoint on the matter. Earning power should not decide who wears “the pants”, there is no role reversal. Even if a man earns less that his wife God still calls her to submit to him, and for him to love her.

_D3O5960

Q: How do you apply the Ephesian 5 call to your lives as a couple?

A: Over time my wife and I are discovering what we are each good at and how to support each other in these. God’s plan was for man and woman to complement each other, and this looks different for each couple. Men do need affirmation. If your wife understands that you have her and your family’s best interest at heart she will affirm you although she doesn’t get your decision yet. This is a journey my wife and I are still on. No couple gets this right from the get go.

Q: How can you teach your children the essence of what men and women are called to do.

A: By spending quality time with them and including them. There is a real blessing to be found in including your children in big decisions. Also by example. They need to see their mother and I working together. We have bible time as a family where they have the opportunity to lead as well. They need to know that they are loved and heard. They get to give and receive spiritually. I am very sensitive to what God says to children and through them, after all we are called to be like children.

Q: What advice would you give to a young man about to get married

A: Do it God’s way. You may not see the blessing in that at the start but as time goes on you will definitely see it. It is never too late to repent and do it God’s way. God will honour you. Radical obedience is what God requires of us all, you will not be able to figure out marriage on your own, so best figure out how to obey God now, so that when things do not make sense you can simply do what He tells you to do! Do not go into marriage with an exit plan, when you are joined before God, you are like two sheets of metal before the master welder, where the two become one, and a perfect weld cannot be broken, it will always break somewhere else, causing much hurt to one or both of you, this is why God hates divorce.

June Man of the Month: Mpi Ndebele on Fatherhood

big6

It’s Father’s Day in June, so this month we talked to Mpi Ndebele, husband of 1, father of 4 and Managing Director at Charisma, a Bulawayo based Design and Marketing Agency, about fatherhood.

What does fatherhood mean to you?

It means a lot. Fathers are anchors in families and society. Fatherhood is a role we get from God our Heavenly Father which makes it quite a big and crucial role. I think that to be a father is to be a foundational figure that brings strength, backbone and hope to a family.

What are the key roles of a father?

A father loves. This is possibly the most crucial role because love is a cornerstone virtue in all aspects of life. It is important that a father demonstrates and articulates love. It means the world to children. A father affirms. This is one I have to consciously work on because I am often bent on making sure my children do right and don’t do wrong. I see what it does to them when I affirm my love for them and who they are regardless. God did the same with Jesus at His baptism. A father gives. I’ve recently been struck at just how much of a giver God our Father is. The Bible is full of God as a Giver and it is crucial for us earthly fathers to learn from that. A father protects. Look around you and you’ll see lots of things our children need protection from. A father guides. Our role as fathers is to help children with direction. A father teaches. Children have lots of questions and they love it when dad gives answers. A father brings fun. This is important. Dad’s always got the funniest jokes and pulls the funniest faces and is the best playmate. A father corrects. When dad speaks, children listen. It is important that we bring correction in a way that points them to the way of the Lord. A father listens. Children have a lot to say and they love saying it to dad. They need in him a friend they can trust. A father prays. I could go on, but I’m getting nervous that you will now ask how many of these things I’m getting right.

What role can a father play in preparing his own son for fatherhood and marriage?

I think a lot of this has to do with being there and being a role model. If dads see their every action as setting an example for their sons, that changes the game quite significantly. Then there’s all the easy-peasy stuff I listed in the previous question that a father does. Fulfilling those roles serves as the basis for preparing a son for all things to come. Obviously not all sons will have the privilege of having their father present as they grow up, and so as uncles, grandfathers and men in society we need to see that our responsibility goes way beyond the four corners of our house. Little boys and young men are looking to us to lay solid foundations in their lives and to make them into real men. It’s no small task.

BoystoMen

How important is it to have a father in the home?

As I have said before, it is crucial. For those men that have that privilege, we need to see our role, take on our responsibility and work to bring the much needed love, strength and stability to the home.

What would you say are the effects of an absent father?

Well, understandably, I think the home may not find the level of security or stability that is ideal for complete and full family life. Children might seek the attention they missed from their father from other, not very helpful, sources. But we obviously need to be careful not to think this applies to all children in such situations and also to not overlook the role that God plays as the perfect Father to restore what would otherwise be lost. He gives us all hope.

How do you balance work and family life?

With difficulty. I work a full time job and also tend to be a workaholic so I’m not at home as much as I’d like to be, and this is something I’m working on. It is hard to find the right balance but God is definitely helping me and I’m making progress.

What are your core values as a parent?

I don’t really have a list but love is key and foundational. Integrity is also very important because kids can tell when you aren’t being honest and transparent and that can damage them. Fairness; when you have more than one kid, they will always look out to see if you are applying consistent values, privileges and rules.

mpiandrumby

How do you and your wife settle parenting disputes if there are any?

We talk about them. We have very different parenting styles and so that inevitably leads to conflict. But we both have good relationships with the children and each know that the other has their best interests at heart so that helps. So we each allow the other to exercise their parenting style but we give each other input as well on things the other can try and do more of, or less of.

How would you approach the conversation about dating with your children? Would it be different depending on whether you are talking to boys or girls?

Firstly, I would be cultivating the kind of friendship that would hopefully mean that my children are free to talk to me. I think that’s important. I have actually very recently been receiving guidance on that very issue from people who have walked the road ahead of me. Essentially this is a conversation that needs to be happening at every step of the way, obviously keeping it age appropriate. It’s about teaching the children to respect themselves and to respect others. I imagine that a day will come when the tone of the conversation will change given the stage of life the children will be in, probably around puberty. And yes, it needs to be appropriate for each gender as experiences are different across genders. And also, I suppose experiences are unique to each child so the relationship/friendship will be crucial. I’m no expert here, still in the classroom myself.

What informs your perception of fatherhood?

Definitely the Bible and learning about our Father God. I can’t think of any better source of information and inspiration.

Does society at large help you in your role of parenting or does it make it more difficult?

I find that like-minded communities tend to help me a lot. Church is the best example of a community that helps me significantly. I think with society at large, there are many stereotypes and expectations and sometimes these are not helpful. For example, in Africa, fathers tend to eat first and get privileges that the children don’t get. This is a sign of respect. But unfortunately what we call respect can very easily turn to fear and I believe fear of fathers is more of an issue than we realise in many African families.

What is the best way for a wife to support her husband in his role as a father?

By being a friend, a wife and a mother. Parenting is a partnership and for those who are privileged enough to raise their children together, the more they see parenting as a joint responsibility graciously given by God, they will work together and help each other. Knowing his love language and affirming him a lot helps. And yikes those dads need prayer!

Any final nuggets of advice to men entering fatherhood?

Yes, I’ve heard it said that there are men who avoid responsibility, those who abandon responsibility, those who abuse it and those who abdicate their responsibility as men and as fathers. Let’s be those who accept our responsibility and embrace it as a privilege and gift from the Father of fathers, God in Heaven. It’s well worth it.

Our May Man of the Month: Tim Leher

This month we talked to Tim Leher about what it means for a man to provide for his family. Tim is in his 12th year of marriage and has 3 children.

Would you describe yourself as a family man?

I trust that my family see that what I do with my time prioritises them.

What does it mean to be a family man?

It’s about quality and quantity. These are the things that have challenged me over the course of my life. I know some who race like crazy through the year then do a family vacation, but to me you have to have an everyday balance. It is important to share experiences with your family and to have shared support within the family. I know there is one place in the world where I can open the door and feel loved. When I get home if the kids are playing, cooking or watching TV, they stop and run out to greet me. Also my wife really knows and accepts me as I am.

IMG_7620

What does being a man mean to you?

In Africa being a man comes with privilege and it is a privilege. With privilege comes responsibility. I know that the privilege accorded to us in society should benefit our family and our circle of influence. Such responsibility should weigh heavily on us as men and dictate that we do not accept the status quo if that status quo abuses that privilege. Our role as men needs to be interrogated more fully by men.

What do you find most challenging about manhood?

Reconciling the stereotypes I grew up with, with my position as leader of my family. With an understanding that my wife and I are one complete, united team.

What encourages and comforts you when you find you role most challenging?

I have good male friends from different cultures. We interrogate these things together because we are united in the desire to be biblical men.

Do you believe men are called to be financial providers for their families?

No I don’t. I believe God is the ultimate provider. Unless we understand that, we will have expectations of each other and put unrealistic pressure on each other. God is the provider, but men are called to be leading stewards of all that God has given them. Men are called to be stewards of money, their bodies, their time and their families. In that role I am called to be a phenomenal steward.

So acknowledging that God is our provider does not release us from responsibility of stewarding what we have to provide for our family. A man cannot sit back and do nothing while his family is hungry. If I do that I am not stewarding what I have been given, I am not stewarding my marriage, my talent or my time. Stewarding is also a team effort. You will not reap a positive harvest if you do not use what you have been given.

How do you maintain integrity when providing for your family especially in this economic climate?

Personally I want to be able to look at what I do and realise that even if I didn’t make as much money as I could have, my integrity has remained intact. What is critical is for everyone to understand what level of integrity they want their lives to reflect. If they are not at that level, then they should urgently put steps in place to get there. Make a plan that will deliver on your integrity.

Ideally how can a wife support a husband in his role as provider?

My wife is a leader in her own right but she gives me what I believe many of us men really need – real respect. That is a foundation stone of our marriage.

What exactly should a man provide?

It goes beyond finances. First thing a man should provide is love. I believe he should also provide spiritual guidance and general family direction. He should facilitate an environment of unity and openness for his family. A husband should use his leadership to fully love his wife and kids in unity and openness where his family actually talks.

If this is being done in families, they will be a force for change in our continent. Men will not be afraid to go out and change the world because they know that even in moments when they may fail, they will still find respect and acceptance in their families. Women will innovate and be free to influence because they are loved.  Children will find identity and stability and be able to focus on learning and growing in an environment where they feel safe.

How do we encourage young men to be good stewards in this economic climate?

Churches have a huge role to play in this. I think we have a responsibility as older men to model the right way and to be mentors for young men in our communities. We have a specific struggle in our community in Zimbabwe because at some point our environment taught young men that all you needed to do was pull a move to make money and have street smarts; no real hard work involved. Now there is a need for learning, diligence, hard work and perseverance. These are hard lessons to learn later in one’s life. As men we have got to lead with our own lives.

What do you think society and media say about men who are providers and men who aren’t providing?

Media talks about provision in the context of money. We are exposed (often more subtly than we care to admit) to the line that ‘a dad who splashes the cash is a good dad’, irrespective of how invested he is in his family. The father may be absent, or unengaged but so long as his kids are at the most expensive schools, going on skiing trips and his wife is dressed in Gucci, then he is fulfilling his role. I say no – that is not the model that we should aspire to.

As I reach midlife I have come to an understanding that I won’t be the richest man. 10 years ago I wouldn’t have been satisfied with that, but today it’s enough to know I can be there for my family as well. I don’t have it all figured out but I want to know what the right end point is and how to get there.

What are the reasons some men do not provide?

I believe men may not provide because they have had poor role models, or have slipped into a pattern of behaviour learnt from their environment, they may have a fear of failure or just be lazy.

Parting WordsIMG_7783-2

I don’t come from a place of having got it all right all the time. But I do believe that if you are deliberate about understanding your role as a man and you dedicate time and resources to going from being the man you were to being the man you want to be, then you are much more likely to succeed. It’s all about intentionally striving to be the man that God asks you to be.

 

What is a Real Man? 4 men tell us what they think!

We asked 4 men in Uganda to tell us what they think makes a real man. Have a listen to what they had to say – it’s powerful stuff!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thabani Mashava – Our April Man of the Month

What defines you as a man?

My convictions define me, as well as my faith in God. I believe in being a straight person: a man of integrity who lives above board. I have strong family values; I respect the institution of marriage and the family unit. I take very little interest in the things which exclude my family, especially my wife. We have been married 16 years.

IMG_4081

Does God influence your experience of manhood, if yes in what way?

God has changed my perception of what a man is. Growing up I didn’t have the desire to settle down and commit to anyone. I figured if I made my money and had a baby somewhere who I supported, that would be fine.

I didn’t learn the role of a man growing up. My mother was the one who was present most of the time and was therefore more hands on. It is when I became a Christian man, that I realised that as a man, as a father and a husband I have got to be hands on. I also learnt that I should be, and it is ok for me to be sensitive to the needs of my family. I have enjoyed spending real time with my family. I have been teaching my daughter to cook and bake.

What is your role in your family?

My role is to love and serve my family as well as to manage and coordinate things so that my family is a functional unit. I’m also responsible for the children’s upbringing. My role is also to bring out the best in my wife and let her know she can depend on me.

IMG_4100

Is the role of protector important for a man?

I believe that role is one of the key roles for a man.

How do you protect your family?

I protect my family by having a good relationship with them. I can’t protect my daughter if I don’t have a good relationship with her because I need to teach her what a good man is supposed to be: a man who will treat her well.

I protect my family from faithless living. Living a Godless or faithless life gives rise to anxiety and fear. I don’t think children should be driven to a point of being anxious about fees or food. In times when we are lacking I want them to have faith in God so that they are not worried about it.

What challenges do you face in being protector of your family?

It is very challenging to protect my family when as a man I am feeling anxious and overwhelmed. It is also challenging when your family doesn’t understand what you are trying to do and there is no family cohesion. It doesn’t help that society these days encourages distortion of family cohesion.

Do you think men need protection? If so what do the need protection from?

Yes men do need to be protected. Men are more sensitive than women think. Men need emotional protection from anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. They also need to be protected from temptations. Wives need to try and understand their husbands and be there for them.

Does the law do enough to protect men?

No, the law needs to do more to include and protect men against abuse, sexual harassment and rape. I used to laugh about men who spoke about paternity leave. When I became a father I realised what is really involved in raising kids. The law should include men when it refers to parenting to encourage men to participate and support their wives in raising the kids more.

What do you teach your children to protect themselves and each other?

I am still working on it. I tell them “the two of you are flesh and blood you owe it to each other to look after each other”. I also tell them to be careful of predators and to communicate. I tell my son to speak up if he has a problem with someone or something. I encourage openness in the family.

What advice would you give young men who are new to marriage and are faced with the role of protector for the first time?

Firstly, you can’t do it successfully without sound biblical teachings. I find it virtually impossible. You also need to think about the other person. Don’t go into marriage thinking ‘what can I get’ or with expectations of what she should be bringing to the table. You should enter into marriage intending to give and meet the other person’s needs. Usually your partner will reciprocate. Your first question should be – what can I give?

Meet Kays Kanyangarara, our March Man of the Month!

Kays Kanyangarara: International Field Hockey official, coach, player, mentor, sports enthusiast, proud father and loving husband. A Champion of Christ.

We had a great time talking to Kays Kanyangarara this month as he shared his thoughts on men, sports and family.

2013-09-01-067

On Family

I have a lovely wife and 2 teenage sons. The teenage years are very interesting as they are now in the experimental phase with outside influences coming in and opinions of their own. What I have realised is that their foundation is very important especially at this stage.

It’s not all hard. Many people make teenagers out to be scary, difficult people but the joy and fun I experience with them far outweighs the challenges. It’s hard for a man sometimes when he comes home feeling weak and down and his family needs him and he realises he has to be strong for them. In hard times I look to God and his word. I also talk to and lean on my wife.

On Sport

My favourite sports are hockey, cricket and football. I play hockey, coach it at various schools and at the Bulawayo Hockey Club and I officiate internationally. My son is also in the Bulawayo Hockey Club.

_MG_1869

How do you handle your role as parent and coach?

When I am managing my son’s team I see myself standing in the role of not just his parent but a parent to the whole team. I know him best so my expectations of his conduct may be higher. My focus is to speak into all their lives as well as teach them the game.

How do you engage your family in sports?

We support each other’s sporting interests, but no one is forced. We come together with my wife to support our children’s sporting activities.

Are you a sports fanatic?                                         

No, I am a keen sports supporter.

Some women have complained that the love of sports has had negative impact on marriages because men are spending too much time on sports and too little on their families. What are your thoughts on this?

Men need to responsible. If the match starts at 5pm and you are coming home at 2am, there is obviously a problem. You must not give your wife any reason to doubt you. Where possible, involve your wife by taking her to watch sports with you. You can’t come home with stories about watching the game with your friends which include a woman, as this could lead to suspicions and mistrust. Women themselves need to make an effort to take an interest in the sports their husbands are interested in and vice versa.

What is a boys’ night out?

These are “guys only” hangouts. They are important because men need to interact as men once in a while and women need to spend time with women. You learn a lot from one another as long as it’s the right company and you get to be fully understood and be yourself.

What are the key things in considering the company you keep?

You have to be around people who speak into your life, who make you want to be better. I have church leaders I can look to.

Who is your sporting role model and why?

Kaka the footballer. He has achieved so much but still remains so humble and honours God.

Where men are concerned, how important is humility?

Humility is very difficult for a man because we do have big egos. It is important though because if you are not humble no one can speak into your life and you won’t grow.

Parting words

You have to put God first. He will lead you in everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kilton Moyo, February Man of the Month!

“Being a man is a product of choice….a decision”

Kilton Moyo: pastor, renowned author, founder of Citizen Africa Foundation, counselor, loyal husband, proud father and even prouder grandfather sat down with Family Impact and shared some priceless truths about issues which concern men and humanity as a whole. Pastor Kilton’s words speak volumes as to why he is February’s Man of the Month.

Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of your journey to manhood?

A:I think the most challenging part of my journey has been the moment of transition from being a boy to being a man. You see, being a man is not a result of circumstances, being a man is a product of choice. Some people think being male makes you a man. No. The male seeks to dominate, the male is violent. That is not what should be. A man is meant to be a person of love, honor, respect, dignity and a protector of others. But it doesn’t just happen, it is a decision. A decision you need to keep coming back to.

IMG_5383 (2)

Kilton and his wife Adilate

Q: What made you decide to be a man?

A: I had a relatively steady upbringing but I saw the men around me in my community. I saw how they conducted themselves especially in matters of marriage. My observations made me decide not to marry. The concept of marriage did not make sense to me. However as I grew older I began to think deeply about myself and I realised I wanted to be different. I wanted to be different so that I can make a difference to my family and to my clan.

Q: In what way does your decision to be a man influence your approach to your work?

A: Ministry is about people and it is about relationships. It is not about my ego. I ask myself: how much of myself can I give? Again it is a decision. I encourage and force myself to keep improving. My relationship with Jesus changed my perspective completely, it broadened my horizon. I ask God to help me see other people through his eyes and not through the eyes of my flesh. My wife helps me to do this as well.

Q: What is your opinion on men and the impact of the company they keep has on them?

A: Words are the fuel of human life. You become the things that you allow to be spoken into your life. A man must surround himself with people that speak into his assignment and who understand his vision. I walk with people who understand my vision. I meet many people and hear many words of advice but when I am alone I ask God “who is this person?” This is the worry with young people. Young people don’t always choose friends because of character. A good friend will never criticize your parents or pull you away from your family’s protection. Even when you are married a good friend will not pull you away from your family.

Q: What are your thoughts on men and marriage today?

A: My thoughts are that we don’t teach young people enough about marriage yet we let them get married. Young people are getting seriously hurt. We need clear role models. Titus 2:1-8 instructs the older men and women to teach the younger men and women how to be husbands and wives. We need to guide them and teach them to face current challenges by way of the word.

Q: What are your thoughts on fatherhood?

A: A father is one who has agreed to stand in the office of God. Children often develop a distorted image of who God the Father is through their earthly fathers. Fatherhood must be learnt and encouraged and again we need role models.

Q: What do the books you write teach?

A: I write on issues that affect people. My work has teachings on healthy sexuality, fruitful marriage, healthy crisis management, which focuses on how to manage a crisis without causing a crisis, and the role of the church in these trying times. The published titles include Sex Trap, Responding to Personal Crisis, Celebrating My Africanness and the Church at War.

Final words: You are your own CEO, the way you present yourself is how you will be received.