Often times men today feel they need to be arrogant or rude to be considered a real man, the truth is a real man is self confident yet gentle and kind. A real man allows God to take the lead and will adjust his thinking to fit the will of the Father, not the other way around.
To ‘be a man’ in today’s world means different things in different parts of the world. To be a man in rural Canada often means you should be hunting and fishing and literally bringing home the bacon. Being a man on Wall Street means you need to be shrewd and cunning, you don’t leave the office until dark and much of the time you really do have to be a wolf to make it.
What does it mean to be a man in God’s eyes? Although the notion of true manhood can vary from place to place God has a very specific set of traits that He attributes to the ‘real’ man.
The Bible says that real men pursue godliness and righteousness, becoming more and more like the Father everyday.
1 Timothy 6:11 says this; “But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness”
Men today often see the word gentleness and leave it to the women in their lives to figure it out. “Real men aren’t gentle, they’re tough” is the perception that comes with it. Some may see it as weakness but the question I saw on a poster in the maternity ward when my first son was born of a large, built man who looked like your typical tough guy holding a new born baby really helped me put it into perspective, the caption read “are you tough enough to be gentle?”
They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Titus 3:2
The instruction to be gentle comes up many times in the Bible so perhaps it’s something that we men should take seriously, no?
Think of it like this, when Paul gave those instructions to Titus and Timothy it wasn’t like he was writing from a cushy downtown apartment, he was being hunted as a traitor and many wanted to see him dead! Many of his letters were written while he was in prison, which by the way was really just a hole in the ground.
Paul talks about being gentle in a time when men were not expected to be gentle. Men were expected to pick up arms and defend their king, they were farmers and carpenters who worked from sun up to sun down, they didn’t have time for being gentle and yet Paul’s instruction to always be gentle is repeated over and over again.
Don’t give in to modern stereotypes of how men are supposed to act, reach instead for your Bible and see for yourself how God wants you to behave. Far too often I run into men who are outwardly trying to be the man’s man, and the tough guy. Inwardly these men are often cowardly and scared. Try instead to be the protector of your family while still being soft enough for your wife to cuddle with, be the man who stands up for what’s right and the man who can admit to being wrong. Be the man who can bring home the proverbial bacon (or the actual bacon if that’s your thing) but also be the man who can humbly approach God and thank Him for said bacon.
Being a man doesn’t mean you have to be rough and tough and protect someone’s honor at the cost of your own, being a man means you will sacrifice yourself for your friends and your family. This doesn’t have to be the ultimate sacrifice either, Jesus already did that. You can sacrifice many things to show your family that you are a “real” man. Your time, hobbies, and yes even your wallet. Giving your wife and kids your time doesn’t mean you’re whipped, it means you love them. Giving your money to church or any other good cause doesn’t mean you’ve been had, it means you want to spread the love. And finally letting go of the hobbies you enjoy so that you can help those in need doesn’t make you a sucker, it means you’re a man with a heart.
Stop trying to be society’s stereotypical man, be a real man and put away childish things, instead be the man whom everyone wonders “what’s going on with him?” This way you can tell them “what’s going on with me? I’ll tell you….Jesus! That’s what’s going with me.”