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‘Be the Man, Gods Man’

Here’s what I wrote to bless my sons at their weddings and my son-in-law when he graduated from medical school.

By Dennis Rainey

Dennis Rainey wrote a special exhortation called “Be the Man, God’s Man” to his sons Benjamin and Samuel, and to his son-in-law Michael Escue. He read this to Benjamin and Samuel during the rehearsal dinners before their weddings, and he presented it to Michael when he graduated from medical school. Here’s what Dennis wrote.

Be the man, Benjamin, God’s man

On the eve of your wedding day, July 13, 2001

God made you to be the man, Benjamin Rainey. His man.

Our journey as father and son is filled with memories from as far away as the Great Wall of China and smuggling Bibles to as near as our backyard and winter picnics, roasting s’mores, and shooting hoops. We’ve sought the trophy white tail in the pine thickets of South Arkansas and tracked an elk in the alpine meadows of Eastern Oregon. From your birth I’ve prayed that you would become the man God created you to be. It’s in that spirit that I now challenge and bless you.

When accomplishments and praise come your way, resist pride. Remember the gift Giver.

Be a humble man. God’s man.

When the world lures with lust, tempts with treasure, and entices with influence and power, turn away. Turn from the temporal to the eternal. Be a Kingdom man. Be God’s man.

When culture decays, step into the battle and be a spiritual warrior for your generation. Be a courageous man. God’s man.

When the Father of lies attempts to deceive, instead embrace the truth. Live the truth. Let God’s Word be the surgeon of your heart. Then you’ll be a truthful man. God’s man.

When hobbies, toys, and games beckon you back to boyhood, turn away from childish things. Step up to manhood. Step into your responsibility and pain.

Remember the Savior. He was The Man. The God-man.

When you fail, be teachable.

When you fail again, don’t quit.

When you fail others, repent.

When others fail you, forgive them 7 X 70 and give grace.

Then you’ll be a mature man. God’s man.

When doubt comes and life makes no sense, remember Tom Skinner’s words: “I spent a long time trying to come to grips with my doubts, when suddenly I realized I had better come to grips with what I believe. I have since moved from the agony of questions that I cannot answer to the reality of answers that I cannot escape. And it’s a great relief.” Benjamin, keep coming to grips with what you believe.

Then you’ll be a faith-filled man. God’s man.

When your job as husband is more difficult than you imagined, love Marsha Kay more than you love yourself. You’ve given her a diamond and your heart. Now go for the gold.

Be a one-woman man. Be God’s man.

When the evils of the world assault your family, stand tall and guard. When the burdens of the world weigh on your family, kneel and pray. When the confusion of the world distracts your family, look to the finish line and speak the vision. Be a wise man. God’s man.

And if God blesses your life with many children (I pray He does) and more of your “self” must die each day, know that you are never more a man than when you kill “self.”

Be a selfless man. God’s man.

When life ebbs and age takes its toll, don’t step down into “retirement.” Instead step up and invest in the next generation as a mentor and a patriarch.

Finish strong, my son, and be the man. God’s man.

Never apologize for being God’s man. Dream like His man. Think like His man.

Act like His man. Love like His man.

And so, as a man still becoming God’s man, I bless you, Benjamin, as God’s man. I will stand shoulder to shoulder beside you as long as God gives me breath.

Make Godly wisdom your daily companion. Make His presence your portion and delight.

Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Psalm 112:1-2

I love you and I’m proud to be your Dad.

Be the man, Samuel, God’s man


God made you to be the man. His man.

As a father and a son we have walked a long path together. Together we have made the delightful, memory-filled and sometimes-bumpy journey from boyhood through adolescence into manhood. I honestly feel like you have helped me grow up and become a man, God’s man. It’s been my prayer that you would become the man that God created you to be. With that spirit, I come to you today with a series of challenges and a blessing.

When others disappoint you and hurt you deeply (and they will) and you want to quit, do one of the most courageous things a real man ever does—love. Be the man, God’s man.

When life competes hard for your affections and attention, be focused on the goal.

Be the man, God’s man.

When career beckons with its addictive power and you fail repeatedly by over-scheduling, learn from your mistakes. Be the man, God’s man.

When you disappoint those closest to you, resist the urge to make an excuse or cast blame. Instead, take responsibility for your actions and ask for forgiveness.

If you do, you will be the man, God’s man.

When “self” pleads to be nurtured and fed, feed others instead. You’ll never be more of a man than when you are denying yourself for others. Be the man, God’s man.

When it seems as though failure has taken up residence in your house or life, don’t quit. Ask God for strength to press on. Be the man, God’s man.

When circumstances are overwhelming and it feels like there’s no one to help you, take His yoke upon you. His yoke is easy and light.

He’s always there to help you be the man, God’s man.

When your heart grows cold for relationships (with God, wife, children, and others) and the temptation to retreat seems reasonable, don’t retreat, don’t withdraw, don’t pull back. Pray for wisdom, step into the pain of relationships and knit your heart to kindred spirit warriors. Ask God to keep your heart soft and help you be the man, God’s man.

When temptation and the lure of infidelity to God and spouse troll by you in the form of narcissism, materialism, or a woman, turn away from evil and do good.

Be a “brave heart” man, God’s man.