We are studying the Book of Daniel in our Sunday morning Bible studies here at Valley Baptist (7th and “A” Street in Brawley). I work with the youth Sunday school, and others teach the kids and adults. I use the same curriculum as the adults, but I modify it to enter the half-awake brains of adolescents. You are invited to join us if your child is in grades 7-12.
In a small church, one size fits all! I like using the same material as the adults with the hope that after their happy meal at lunch, just maybe, kids and their parents will have a discussion about Daniel or some other Bible principle.
For young and old men, Daniel is a great book. He is a model of one tough monkey. Do you have trouble controlling your intake of bad food? I do. It has landed me in the doctor’s office, on stomach meds and antacids at the office, home and in my glove compartment.
In the beginning of the book, Daniel had a chance for a steady diet of royal food, which was some very fine cuisine. Well, this young man established himself as a guy who didn’t go with the flow. You see, he was a Jew and his culture said certain foods were off limits—and any food sacrificed to pagan gods was a no go. Dan the man, chose to not be politically correct, but Godly and obedient. He and his crew chose a diet of water and vegetables and ended up with better health than the other young male leaders!
There are a few lessons in the early Daniel dialogues. The first lesson is obedience to God and authority often works out very well. In the story, Daniel didn’t disrespect authority, but had a discussion with his boss and was able to work out a win-win situation.
Too often, men need to play alpha dog or they will “dis” the boss in a passive way—maybe working less or cutting corners. As a result of the feeding of the fabulous four (Daniel and his three friends), “God gave these four young men knowledge, and understanding in every kind of literature and wisdom (Daniel 1:17).” They ended up not only smarter, but healthier than the others.
Men have a love affair with the loss of control. October is domestic violence prevention month, and men lose control of their anger and beat their kids and wives. Women are also guilty, and Christian men are also violent. That is not a way to be a spiritual leader of the family.
If there is violence going on, talk to your pastor, a counselor or the police. If the pastor doesn’t help you to stop it all together, call the police or change churches. Turning Point and WOVEN both offer Christian anger management programs with documented stories of success.
I am not going to say much about substance abuse. Men partaking in poison, is what drinking and drugging amount to. Daniel chose a path of purity, and his intelligence and health increased—but also, he was given superpowers. Violence, alcohol, and drugs give men “stupid-powers.” Daniel “also understood visions and dreams of every kind (Daniel 1:17)”.
When a man demonstrates self-control, healthy behaviors, respect for authority, and the ability to communicate/cooperate, they will be given more power and control in the community. So was the case with Daniel, as they began to serve the king. Their status and abilities enabled them to do great things, not only for God, but for those who did not know Him.
If you want to be a Godly man, follow the plan laid out by Daniel. It is your choice… superpower or stupid-power! Choose right, for yourself, your family, and your God!