What makes a man a man? Is it how much money he makes? Is it what he drives? Is it even how he is amongst women? No, it’s not. But our culture uses questions like these, and more, to measure a man and his worth. In fact, at times, a man may measure is own worth by these distorted scales.
When reading a news article I saw a link to a website with the tag line “Become a better man.” I thought “this should be rather interesting” and it was, to say the least. It was the top 10 traits of a real man. While some of the traits/concepts weren’t terrible, some were. Want an example? Why thanks for asking!
-A real man is strong. That means he doesn’t cry, moan, complain, or get sick. A real man is the backbone of his family and doesn’t have time to be weak.
-A real man is focused. He focuses on power, money, and family.
-A real man doesn’t focus on sex because that will come as a result of being focused, and having a wife. If she doesn’t satisfy, there are plenty of other women who will.
-A real man knows the importance of his family, and his other family: the organization. Basically, he’s loyal.
-A real man strives to be a role model.
-A real man doesn’t look like a woman.
Now, I just highlighted a few, and you know what? These reflect our culture. You may not hold to these, but I bet you know someone who does and they don’t all sound bad. In fact, a few of them we may agree with (read the fine print, ALWAYS, read the fine print). However, the given explanation for the various traits can be destructive (for most of them anyway). Although the last statement given I agree with %100 we need to remember that it is the stuff inside that matters most.
So the question then becomes, “What exactly is the ‘stuff’ inside?”
Scripture tells us that we are created in God’s image and that man had a special role in God’s plans. In fact, Biblical authors give insight into how a man (any age here) is to be characterized.
Titus 2:2, 6-8
“Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”
Is that slightly different from the above? Men here are told to be self-controlled and models of positive works as they live out their faith. When we talk about raising up men in today’s culture we have to wrestle against what we may think a man is and what God says men are. This passage is dealing with the conduct of a man.
For me, this is extremely important. One of the things I am passionate about is training men. Broadly, it would be training people to be more like God, but specifically training men. The lack of men, whether being leaders in their homes or in church, is devastating. The cycle that’s being repeated is that manhood is expendable and unnecessary. The truth couldn’t be further from that.
The truth is that manhood needs to be seen through God’s eyes, and then lived out in our lives. We need to stand up and break the cycle of raising young boys to chase a false sense of worth, and start teaching them realize that God has called them to reflect Him.
As you define yourself, is it a reflection of God? As you list what makes you a man, is it defined by your character?
This is something that needs to be taught and learned because it is not natural. This means that we need to be intentional about this. We need to be intentional in our personal growth to become Godly men, and we need to be intentional in helping other men grow as well. If Titus lists how we should be characterized and act, then we need someone to come along side us and help with that process.
Now I am not ruling out God’s assistance in this, but I am adding in that as Paul told Titus to ensure that men are living this way, then we must live and admonish others to do the same.
So as my parting remarks, here is what a real (Godly) man is:
-A man must be strong, but spiritual/mentally strong, that he can be sober minded in what he says and does.
-A man must be focused, diligent and self-controlled, so that he may live according to the Spirit and not the Flesh.
-A man must be a faithful steward of what God has given him. This includes family, money, and time (investing all for the glory of God).
-A man must be a role-model of Godliness. This includes monitoring his speech, and action, that he cannot be condemned. This doesn’t mean perfect, but rather, able to ask for forgiveness and seek reconciliation at the appropriate time.
This article was written for Diligence Applied Ministries in which my friend Jeremy Lundmark is the President and Founder . Thanks for the opportunity guess and God Bless!