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.

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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.