Tag Archives: courage

KNIGHTS in Shining Armor, raise your hand!

I asked my girl-friends what came to mind when they think of men of courage and honor. Many great ideas surfaced – inspirational men of history like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther, men who stood alongside their loved ones during times of difficulties and sicknesses, and even a man who lovingly donated his kidney to his brother. Yet another friend happily said ‘knights in shining armor’.

After having a good laugh, I realized that all the examples given were indeed of men who have bravely overcome obstacles and difficulties to save the day. How about everyday acts of courage and honor? Is there such a thing?

So I did another poll and realized that there are indeed many ways that men can show honor and courage in their daily lives, neatly summarized with the acronym KNIGHTS:

K – Keep promises

It is easy to make a promise, but sometimes not so easy to carry it out. When my dad says he will get something done, be it buying the groceries or picking me up, I know he will do it. I do not have to remind him (in fact, he has a better memory than I do!) When a man follows through on what he says, it is a good indication that he is trustworthy and dependable.

N – Never say die

It is always encouraging to watch a committed man at work – be it in completing a company project, making a marriage work or raising his children well. It becomes even more inspiring when he perseveres and shows great tenacity in difficult times, like what we read in the last blog post.

I – Intentional in maintaining integrity

The recent spate of high profile men involved in sex scandals and high-ranking executives who misappropriated company money are valuable reminders of how important it is to be a person who will not compromise in the face of temptation. A friend tells me of how a businessman secured a lucrative deal for a customer, but when offered an extra ‘personal commission’, refused to give in to temptation to accept it.

G – Gentlemanly

Chances are you would have heard the phrase ‘chivalry is dead’. But is it really? A male stranger held the door for several of us to walk through before entering through it himself and this unexpected action, though small, showed me that men do still act in a gentlemanly way towards others, even towards strangers.

H – Humble

I have heard friends sigh and say of a man, “He is too proud to admit that he is wrong!” It is not easy for a man (or a woman, for that matter) to say sorry, but when he does, it shows he is humble and willing to admit his mistakes.

T – Take care of others

I recently read about a group of men who rushed to the aid of a motorcyclist who was injured in a road accident. They braved the bloodiness and uncertainty of the situation to stay with the injured cyclist until the ambulance came. In another instance, my neighbor took in a dog he found on the street, gave it food and a bath, until his grateful owner finally came for him. Men who put others above themselves, and look out for the interests of others are indeed worthy of respect.

S – Share feelings

Sharing personal feelings may come more easily for most ladies, but for many guys, it may require extra effort. In the rare instances where my guy friends shared deeply and even teared, I didn’t think they were being weak or too emotional. On the contrary, I felt that it took courage for them to be vulnerable and appreciated them for that.

Aristotle once said, “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” KNIGHTS in shining armor, we need more of you in our world! 

Sam Chin is an Administrator with the R & D Department at Focus on the Family Singapore and is this week’s guest blogger.

My Man of Courage & Honor

I’ve just gone through the past week celebrating the man of my household, on Father’s Day and his birthday. We often hear about the sacrifices a mom makes for the family but things have been very different in my household since a year ago.

This time last year, I was going through a slew of diagnostic tests that led to the biggest ‘nightmare’ of our lives – I was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer.

We’ve had to make some adjustments as a family and the load on the husband has multiplied overnight. I thank God for the financial provision (and the insurance that covered all my medical bills) that allows the husband to be a full-time husband, full-time father. Literally!

So beyond the battle of uncertainties and the onward (somewhat) steep slope of recovery, our little girl and I have been enjoying the blessing of having our “man” around. Appreciation to this “man” is often downplayed by the lists of “to do’s”, for example:

As a husband,

I go to him when I need a shoulder to cry on and a ear to listen to my ranting when “life gets tough”, or when I need a cup of freshly squeezed organic juice. I am blessed with the best of everything – I get to enjoy the mussels and prawns while he takes the rice and I get to eat steaming hot oats while he goes without breakfast because he is busy washing up the dishes.

He has also become a victim of my harsh words especially when I am in pain. He’s unafraid to speak words of truth when I am on a downward spiral and is generous to lavish love even if it means buying a random item that is completely unimportant but simply that it makes me happy.

As a father,

Our little girl goes to him when she wakes up, needs to go to the bathroom, wants to swim, play or dance, needs her breakfast, wants a cuddle, too tired to walk and wants to be carried, too tired to eat on her own and wants to be fed … the list goes on.

She is a daddy’s girl who is assured of her father’s unconditional love and hand of protection. He doesn’t hold back discipline when the need arises and seizes opportunities to teach values even though it’s “easier” to just let it go.

It is natural for a man to gain his satisfaction at the workplace through climbing the corporate ladder. The sense of achievement through providing financially and gaining a reputation out there. But my beloved husband has laid aside all these and chosen to be the “man” in this season for the family.

It takes courage and devotion, and he has done all that excellently. It is no easy task for him, I know. The path he treads can be lonely especially with the uncertainties that lie ahead. But his steadfastness in this journey is nothing short of amazing and it has been the stabilizing force for our family.

I used to think that financial well-being and concrete future plans are the keys of a stable family, but my husband has shown me otherwise.

So this season has given me an opportunity to give thanks – for the husband and father of this household who has been standing unwavering in his love and commitment to me and our little girl. And this week has given me every reason to affirm and recognize him as the Man of Courage and Honor in our family and because of that we are truly, truly blessed!

This week’s blog post is contributed by Chia Yen who worked at Focus on the Family Singapore until a few months ago

The Legacy of a Man of Honor and Courage

20 April 2004 – a Tuesday like any other day for most, if not all, Singaporeans. But that Tuesday did not end like any other day.

Construction was going on at the Kallang stretch of the Circle Line but at about 3.30pm, several supporting structures holding up a stretch of the underground tunnel began to collapse. The surface above started to cave in, bringing tons of soil and whatever that was on it, into the hole.

Thankfully, most of the workers were having their tea break and out of the tunnel at that time. However, there was a team of 8 foreign workers who were working deep in the hole. If not for their foreman, they would all have perished.

According to eyewitnesses’ accounts, Mr Heng Yeow Peow, affectionately known as “Ah Heng” to his colleagues, risked his life as he rushed to where his team of workers were and hurried them out to safety. By his heroic and selfless action, those 8 men were spared death that day.

Heng did not make it out of that tunnel. He was trapped as the tunnel collapsed. He never saw another dawn, or the faces of his beloved wife, Sally and his two children. Neither was his body recovered despite 4 days of rescue efforts.

According to a Channel News Asia documentary, “The Spirit of Singapore”, which was first aired last year, those 8 colleagues who lived to tell their stories described “Ah Heng” as a selfless man of courage, who put their lives before his own. Finally after 7 years and with tears in their eyes, they laid a memorial stone over a grass patch where they thought Heng was buried.

Heng’s wife and children remember him as a brave man who sacrificed himself for others. They testify that he was a dutiful man, a loving husband and a doting father who had always taken care of the family, loved them and protected them. He died the way as he had lived. He left a legacy of honor and courage for his loved ones.

This hero of the Heng family inspires me!

I too want to leave a legacy of honor and courage for my children. While many things in life are uncertain, death is not. My short journey on earth gives me little time to waste – what will matter to my wife, my children, and my friends are not the many material things that I can give to them, but the amount of time I spend to sow love into their lives.

The thought is easy but the journey is full of challenges. The demands of life are plenty and they compete for the time that I have. These demands all seem to be legitimate and necessary.  That is why I need the courage to make a choice. I choose to do my best to be

  • An honorable husband, always leading, loving, giving due respect to my wife and honoring our marriage bed and the vow that I made to her on our wedding day.
  • A courageous husband, always protecting my wife from all harm, to correct her when she is wrong, and to accept corrections when I am wrong.
  • An honorable father, always being there for each of my children as they go through pains in life, to love them even when no other would and to take all the responsibilities of fatherhood.
  • A courageous father, standing up to immoral and unrighteous values that tempt my children and showing them the right way by personal example.

This is the legacy I will leave for my loved ones.

This week’s guest writer is Steven Chan. Joyfully married to his wife Michelle for more than 30 years, he is blessed with two daughters and a son and gifted with a son-in-law.

Authored a book, Eight Keys to Family Power and writes weekly on two blogs: Great Lovers Make a Great Marriage http://begreatlovers.blogspot.com and Blessed to Bless Others http://stevenptl.blogpsot.com

Caring for the Courageous

Inspired by the movie, Courageous, I’ve been making some personal observation about the women behind Courageous men whom I personally know.

In the words of the producers, “Hollywood produces movies to entertain and make money at the box office. Courageous was made to change lives.” The movie has the potential to change the family climate and it is certainly changing the lives of not only the men but the wives as well.

It takes a Courageous man to answer the call and fully resolve to stay committed to a standard above mediocrity and be more than just a “good enough” father and/or husband.

I realized that he can’t do it alone. The Courageous man is not immune to the challenges, discouragement and temptations that abound when he devotes himself to making and keeping commitments that will bring him and his family all the blessings and joy.

Author Kay Arthur puts it so aptly – that one of the greatest fears that dominate husbands in particular, is the fear of being found inadequate.

After being married for almost 20 years and learning from many other marriages, I’ve ascertained that a wife is the best person to help alleviate this fear. It comes down to my three “As” – my Attention, my Admiration and my Affirmation.

It is not often articulated, but my husband desires to know more than anything that I trust him and that I believe in him. He is fulfilled when he senses that despite his inadequacies, I see the possibilities and potential God has given him; I recognize and support his divinely wired role as the leader and provider of our family.

Being that voice of support, confidence and encouragement is a morale booster to him. It quells the continual struggle against any sense of inadequacy that smolders inside of him.

The truth is that I’ve not always been that voice. I recall the earlier years of our marriage – I was so naturally quick to criticize and correct my husband’s actions. There were times when I felt justified in what I said because I think that’s the way he ought to feel about himself after what he’s done or not done! Nothing can be more damaging and destructive to him and to me and the entire family. It took me quite a while though to realize what was happening.

Our men aren’t perfect. Neither are they delusional, they know it too even if they are not quick to admit it. But just like you and me, he is not to be defined by his imperfections. Sure there are times for talking plainly and honestly about things he needs to improve and watch out for. But I’ve learned my lesson that it will go a long way for me to choose wisely what I say, how I say and when to say.

Our cutting, nagging comments can wound him deeply, especially when any disapproval and resentment are unresolved and accumulated over time. It makes him feel belittled and insignificant, beaten down and discouraged. What we think of as no more than a little jab about a specific incident becomes a stabbing wound that can leave a hole in his heart.

Yet equally powerful are our simple, honest, even casual compliments.  When we make it our resolution to remind them of the potential and possibility that lies within them – not because we are patronizing or manipulating them but because we truly believe it – they feel on top of the world. This is one sure way to care for the Courageous.

I trust that the unwavering assurance of my support and devotion will inspire him to greater things than he’s proven capable of before, breakthroughs that would bring forth a richer blessing and depth of relationships to our family.

Indeed I can say that “My husband is a rich man because he has a strong faith, children who love him and a wife who adores him.”

“To my husband, Ben – my resolution is to be faithful to you and honor you in my conduct and conversation, help you reach your God-given potential and to serve you well as a wife and to be the kind of woman who truly blesses her man. I pray that when the curtain closes on my time here on earth, you will be able to confidently say that I was a woman of resolution.”