Oct 16, 2020
Seven Points of Valor
Short Answers, Long Explanations
The short answer is, “No, courage and valor are not the same.” Though used synonymously the slight differences in the two words are noteworthy. According to Google Dictionary Courage, “Is the ability to do something that frightens one.” We send 37,000 words explaining courage in my newest book, Guts and Manhood: Four Irrefutable Attributes of Courage that you can down for free until the end of the month. In it, I use my twenty years of Bible study on the topic to dissect certain truths about courage.
Valor, on the other hand, is slight yet profoundly different in nature. Google Dictionary defines it as, “Great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.”
Courage, according to Google, confronts one’s fears where valor, is exhibiting great courage in the face of clear and present danger—especially war.
Titles Versus Courage
Braveheart is the popular 1995 film about Scottish knight and revolutionary William Wallace, who led the Scots in theFirst War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England. My favorite line in the movie is a short dialogue between Wallace and the future King of Scots (1306-1329) Robert the Bruce. With fire in his eye, Wallace rebuts Bruce’s disclaimers about men and titles with, “But men don’t follow titles, they follow courage.”
In context, Wallace is talking about war, so we are back to square one. Are you confused? The bottom line is this: Courage and valor are slightly different by definition but often used interchangeably, which is what we experienced recently on the Men in the Arena Podcast.
Christian Service Brigade
Scott Haima is a friend and president of Christin Service Brigade Ministries. CSB Ministries partners with local churches to see all men take responsibility to lead, equip, and disciple each generation. We also serve together on the Board of Directors of the largest coalition of men’s ministries in the world with nearly 200 partners—NCMM—the National Coalition of Ministries to Men.
I have been so impressed with Scott’s insight that I invited him onto our show. During our time he shared CSB’s Seven Points of Valor, which CSB does not use interchangeably but cuts the fine line between the two since their goal is to prepare young men for that time when valor will call them to act.
Here they are in order of priority.
Honor God as first and foremost in your life. Jesus said the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength (Matthew 22:36-40). A man will never be his best version aside from radical devotion to the God who made Him. A life of honor starts at the beginning by honoring the One who made him (Psalm 139). Honoring God is the foundation for honoring all others.
Valor then, by definition (and according to CSB), is the highest level of courage usually achieved under great danger and stress. But valor does not happen without the choice to act courageously over time. The first of the four attributes of courage in my book Guts and Manhood is that courage is a personal choice. Valor is nothing more than choosing courage, compounded over time. Choosing courage is a baby step to valor.
Wikipedia states that chivalry, “is an informal and varying code of conduct developed between 1170 and 1220. It was associated with the medieval Christian institution of knighthood; knights' and gentlemen's behaviors were governed by chivalrous social codes.”
Said plainly, our faith should create a moral code of conduct. If it does not, it is worthless. Following Jesus is life-altering and should create a new paradigm of moral conduct, including how we honor our beautiful counterparts.
Loyalty is nothing more than allegiance to a cause, person, or institution. The man of valor is loyal to all of these His word is his bond. His handshake is resolute His commitment is to the bitter end.
To quote my old Youth for Christ/Campus Life boss, Darrell Janzen, “He does what he says, and says what he does.”
Scott shared what I feared the most, that for young men in today’s technological Renaissance (we will look back on these days as the Dark Ages) sexual purity is the greatest struggle for young men.
A smart device that is unprotected belongs to a dumb man. I believe this. Put Covenant Eyes on all your devices. It will be the wisest thing you ever did. You can access them through the link in this Equipping Blast.
God said it. That settles it. The valorous man obeys God and his chain of command regardless of his opinions, feelings, or philosophy. He is committed to obeying and will do so at all costs—even if it costs him his life.
Obedience is so simple. Do it. Don’t think, pray, or seek advice.
Decide without hesitation.
Lastly is dedication. I may be loyal in my marriage to Shanna, but after nearly 30 years of marriage, I have earned the right to say that I am loyal to her.
But am I dedicated to her? Ahh, now you are tracking with me.
I am loyal to the institution of marriage but am I dedicated to the one I share it with. Dedication is a commitment that transcends precept for the sake of the person. People don’t follow titles, they follow courage. A successful marriage transcends from a commitment to marriage to a commitment to a person.
Forget Your Marriage: Boots on the Ground
Look at your marriage. Rank it from 1-10. Are you hanging on to a toxic and dysfunctional marriage because of your commitment to Jesus and the institution of marriage?
If so, you are not dedicated to your wife. Forget your marriage. Chuck it in the trash.
Instead, focus on your bride, dedicate yourself to her, “As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. (Proverbs 5:19)”